Mortadella Reese

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It is always with such mixed feelings that I venture back to see my dearly departed friends, like the divine Della Reese. I mean, it is such a joy to see them again but it is also a reminder that the world has lost them.

And a fear that it will lead to a butterfly effect that will see a sequel to The Butterfly Effect reignite Ashton Kutcher’s career. Which is risky AF.

Lucky I understand that with great power, comes great responsibility and I am adept at keeping things in check. Plus – how can you focus on anything but when spending time with a dear friend like Della.

I first met Della in the ‘60s when I got my start as a production intern on the set of her talk show Della. While some talk-show hosts are actually vicious – apparently – Della was nothing but kind and took me under her wing, and as such, I became her most loyal supporter.

Given my passion for Survivor, I decided to go back to the early ‘00s set of Touched By an Angel as I knew it was me running my mouth about the show, that led to Roma and Mark Burnett getting together. So I couldn’t do too much damage.

Plus – TBAA is such a joyous iconic program, that I wanted to see Della in action just one more time. And boy did she deliver! We laughed, we cried and in between takes, we smashed some glorious slices of Mortadella Reese like it was the good old days.

I guess because it was slash is.

 

 

This may come as a shock given my passion for sausage, however this is the first time I’ve attempted this recipe – thanks SBS – but damn am I glad I did. Salty, sweet and smooth, this has fast become my third favourite meat to have in my mouth.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mortadella Reese
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
1–2 full-length natural ox bung or other disgusting sausage casing which is far more terrifying in theory
1 cup sweet red wine
6g ground coriander
1g ground cinnamon
5g mace
10g standard kwikurit, not to be confused with kiwi fruit like when I went shopping
8g powdered gelatine
450ml chilled water
200g hard back pork fat
4.5kg pork shoulder meat
75g salt
125g skim milk powder
1 cup pitted green olives, sliced
25g dried pepperberries

Method
Soak the ox bung in cold water for 1 hour, then rinse well inside and out. Thread onto a sausage nozzle, put it onto a plate and keep in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile bring the wine to a gentle simmer in a large saucepan with the coriander, cinnamon and mace for 20 minutes, until well reduced. Set aside to cool completely.

While this is getting chill, combine the kwikurit and gelatine in a jug with the chilled water, stirring until dissolved. Set aside.

Now start working on the meat by cutting the fat into a 1cm dice, and putting the meat through a 1cm mincer plate into a large bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and milk powder and scrunch to combine. Add the spicy wine and water mixtures, and stir to thoroughly combined. Return through the mincer using a 6mm plate.

Add the fat, olives and pepperberries to the freshly minced bowl and mix until combined. Place in an airtight container and place in the fridge to chill overnight.

Set up the sanitised sausage cannon and fill the bowl with the forcemeat, ensuring not to leave any air pockets, and attach the nozzle to the end of the sausage cannon. Remove the mixture from the fridge and pump the mixture out the end of the nozzle before you tie off the end.

Slowly start to crank the cannon and fill the sausage, guiding the casing out of the cannon as it fills, using your whole hand, onto a clear sterilised work surface. Once it has reached the desired length, stop and tie off the end. Repeat the process until you finish the mixture.

Place the sausage into a smoker after the temperature has reached about 49°C. Smoke heavily, raising the temperature gradually to about 80°C, and hold until the mortadella reaches about 65°C on a digital thermometer. This can take up to 3–4 hours.

Transfer mortadella to the fridge and chill overnight, before slicing and devouring.

 

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Walk With You

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

I’ve been quite emotional with the tragic passing of my dear Luke, which got me thinking about all the other angels that have touched my life.

Which in turn reminded me that my dear Della Reese left the world just over a year ago, and I really could have used her support right about now.

As such, I’m backing the delorean out of the garage and heading back to the TBAA days to get some spiritual guidance.

What says I need you to walk with me while I work through this tragic loss, without mentioning said tragic loss and causing a butterfly effect?

Image source: Touched by an Angel.

 

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Greg Paneer

Cheese

I tell you, life feels as good as it gets when I’m spending time with my celebrity friends. None more so, than the delightful Greg Kinnear.

While I didn’t meet Greg until he was already an Emmy winner, he always credits me for the stratospheric launch of his career. And that love, support and praise, really speaks to me on a deep level. As such, my ego particularly likes spending time with him.

You see, I was part of Hellraiser Hunt’s entourage on the set of As Good As It Gets, and when I wasn’t busy trying to position myself as the King of the set, I was coaching Greg. He was lower on the totem pole, compared to Hells and Jack so I made it my mission to coach him on playing gay and get him into the A-list.

One Oscar nomination later and a string of hit movies including You’ve Got Mail opposite Megs (Megs, Megs, Megs) and I think you’ll agree I succeeded.

Given he is now an A-lister, out visits aren’t as often as we’d like but he always drops everything when I ask to catch-up.

Fresh off the set of House of Cards, I desperately tried to find out any tea but he told me that he was sworn to secrecy and he couldn’t even tell me. I mean, that is how deep our relationship is that I am the one person he wants to share his secrets with, even though I’m a terrible server like Sheree and always spill said tea.

Anyway, despite not getting any goss we did the usual, laugh, cry, love and then smashed a giant plate of my Greg Paneer for optimal joy.

 

 

Making cheese always seems like it is in the too hard basket, with all the acids, salts and cultures required. Thankfully, paneer is one of the most basic and still tastes oh so good. Soft and creamy, it is the perfect thing to fry up or say, chuck in a Jenneer Saagustin.

Enjoy!

 

 

Greg Paneer
Serves: 2 besties.

Ingredients
1L milk
pinch of kosher salt
2 tbsp lemon juice

Method
Line a sieve with a double layer of cheesecloth.

Combine the milk and salt in a large saucepan and slowly bring to a light boil, stirring semi-constantly to avoid burning on the bottom.

Remove from the heat and gently stir through the lemon juice until the curds and whey are seperated. Which should happen pretty instantaneously.

Pour the contents into the lined sieve and rinse under cold water. Grab the edges of the cheesecloth and twist into a ball to drain all the liquid and leave in the sieve to drain for a further five minutes.

Transfer to a large plate and place another on top layered with some cans to help it condense. Place in the fridge to chill for about an hour, or until solid.

Then slice and serve/fry, and then devour.

 

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Courtney Love Cake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Oh my god – what a delight it was to see Courts again! I was anxiously waiting at the VIP exit of Brisbane Airport – the one where Schapelle left from! – and ran straight into her arms as soon as I saw her, breaking down in tears from either feuding with a washed up Gladiator or how desperately I missed her.

JK, obvi it was the latter. My feud gives me life.

Now as you know from my time-travel enabled date with Kurt, I’ve known Courtney for years when we were both huge in the Portland gay club scene where I was turning tricks at the time. She realised that I was destined for greatness – well, a different kind of greatness because no judgement – took me under her wing and vowed to make me a star.

While I kept on stumbling, Courts was never disappointed in me and always made me feel loved and appreciated. She truly is the sweetest person, which is why I’m honoured to have introduced her to Kurt.

Anyway I haven’t seen Courts since she toured Australia four years ago, so it was such a treat to see her, reconnect and see whether she believes that Nico and I will ultimately end up together. Well, if things don’t pan out with The Commando, obvi. And if she and Neeks enjoyed their time with Ru and Mish, obvi.

Given the deep love I have for dear Courts, I knew there was only one thing I could make that would do her and our friendship justice. A delicious Courtney Love Cake.

 

 

A traditional Sri Lankan celebration cake, the Love Cake is moist, spicy and sweet and is emblematic of all that is good in the world. Like my dear ride-or-die friend.

Enjoy!

 

 

Courtney Love Cake
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
350g raw unsalted cashews
1 tbsp rosewater
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups raw caster sugar
4 eggs, separated, plus an additional 4 yolks
1 ½ cups semolina
⅓ cup honey
icing sugar, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 150°C and line a square cake tin with baking paper.

Blitz the cashews in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the rosewater and spices and blitz again until well combined.

Cream the butter and sugar in the large bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, to the point where they appear to be pulsating. You know the look. Add the yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition before folding through the fragrant cashew mixture, semolina and honey.

Using a clean bowl, beat the egg whites in the stand mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold into the semolina mixture, transfer to the cake tin and bake for an hour, or until firm and cooked through.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Before carving, dusting in icing sugar and devouring. With your favourite friend.

 

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Celebrity Skin

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

The Ekka winds are ripping through Brisbane – it is a thing, think like Santa Ana winds, but far more ocker – and I’m kind of in need of some warmer weather. Basically, and I hate saying this, no matter how mild it is I am sick of winter and ready for spring to roll around and seasonally guilt me into refreshing my jush.

Essentially I’m suffering from SAD and I need someone to make me (mood) over.

Oh, make me over. I’m all I want to be. As my co-workers can attest, I’m a walking study in demonology. As such, I picked up the phone and begged my bestie Courtney Love to drop by and help perk me up?

What says, I want you to give me a reason to be beautiful rather than to crash and burn?

Image source: Unknown.

 

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Tabboulea Michele

Salad, Side, Snack

I’ve finally caught up on listening to all of Danny Pellegrino’s podcast in the last couple of weeks – not a paid endorsement, but it is perfection – and he has mentioned the importance of the Wicked movie moving into production ASAP with Lea Michele starring as Elphaba. It reminded me how desperately I needed this to happen, so I reached out and decided to push the point as hard as I could.

I’ve known Lea for years after meeting while sharing the starring role in Spring Awakening, opposite my ex-lover Jonathan Groff. You see, she and i were extremely busy chasing down roles and men respectively, so the producers allowed us to share the role if I became a Lea Michele drag impersonator and never spoke about.

NDA, shmemDA.

Anyway, given I had to develop a deep understanding of her psyche and perfect her mannerisms and vocal style, we became the best of friends. Even after I was kicked out of the cast in a blaze of scandal.

“You do a perfect Lea Michele impersonation, can’t you just play Elphaba and share your beautiful talents with the world?” she said as I sat her down to talk about the movie.

“Yes, obviously! But I feel it is the role you were born to play. I mean, my dear friend and OG Elphaba played your mum on Glee. And it would make Danny Pellegrino so happy,’ I pleaded.

I don’t know which part softened her but by the time I was serving up my Taboullea Michele, she vowed to Elphaba hers. Thank goodness!

 

 

While most people would argue that tabbouleh isn’t a meal, we aren’t most people. Plus – it is green people! How else do I convince her other than a big bowl of fresh, tasty salad that packs a delicious punch?

Enjoy!

 

 

Tabboulea Michele
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
⅓ cup fine burghul
2 lemons, zested and juiced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 bunches flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 small bunch fresh mint, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely diced
2 shallots, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Combine the burghul in a bowl with the zest and juice and leave to soften for about ten minutes.

While it is softening, combine everything in another bowl, then add the softened burghul and stir to combine.

Devour.

 

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Don’t stop believin’

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

She was just a small town girl, livin’ in a lonely world until she took the midnight train, found me willing to go anywhere … and I jumped on her coattails and vowed to make her a star.

Oh – FYI, I’m talking about Lea Michele.

Now I know – I KNOW – Journey are the reason that we all know to never give up on your dreams or to not stop believin’, if you will … but my dear friend Lea is the reason we started believing in the first place.

So what should I make to thank her for giving me something to believe in?

Image source: ABC Studios.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.

McRebawich McEntire

Uncategorized

Oh gosh, if my dear friend Reba McEntire isn’t the sweetest thing. Ya’ll? Sorry, I sound like Reese Witherspoon when I try to go country and it is simultaneously making me sick, enthused about my inevitable drag career impersonating her and extremely concerned that I run the risk of offending my dear friend Reba.

JK Kimora, I could never offend the beautiful Reba McEntire. She has a heart of gold and can take a joke.

While I didn’t meet my dear friend Reebs until 1990 – when she was co-starring opposite the divine Kevs Bacon in Tremors – we quickly connected over our quick wits and became the best of friends. As such, I vowed to help her make the transition from singing superstar to acting queen as successful as possible.

And given she’s had two hit sitcoms and is completely iconic, I think you’d agree that I succeeded.

Anyway, it was such a delight to have Reba in my home once again and to float potential sitcom ideas – obvs featuring me – for when she completes the hat trick. That is obviously extremely hunger inducing, so I was glad I had lined us up a shit tonne of McRebawich McEntire to tide us over.

 

 

I didn’t want to typecast Reba as a KFC girl since she is the first female colonel, so was glad she could never go past the majesty of my Maccas copycat of the infamous ribwich. If The Simpsons taught me anything, which you know it has, it is that being able to track down our fave burg’ has always been notoriously hard to find. As such I quickly learned to make my own sticky, barbecue delights for when Reba and I were on the road together.

And she has been eternally grateful ever since.

Enjoy!

 

 

McRebawich McEntire
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g pork spare rib meat, uncooked and hacked from the bone
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp muscovado sugar
¼ tsp hickory liquid smoke
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup barbecue sauce
2 dill pickles, sliced
1 onion, diced
4 Hulk Hogies, cut in half

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Combine the meat, Worcestershire, sugar, liquid smoke and a good whack of salt and pepper in a food processor and blitz for a couple of minutes, or until completely mince and coming together.

Split the meat into 4 equal patties, shape into a hand-sized rib-esque rectangle and place on a lined baking sheet. You could even put little dents along the way to really sell that it is a rib patty, put I won’t hold it against you if you don’t*.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes or so, or until the patty is just cooked through. Remove and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.

To serve, split your buns – giggity – and place them in the microwave on high for twenty seconds. Dip the rib patties in the barbecue sauce. Place each patty on the on the bottom of the roll, top with pickles, onion and close the sandwich.

Devour.

*You know I will.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.

Fancy feast

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Well hot damn, shout it from the roof of the Grand Ole Opry, the first in line to the Queen of Country throne – because Dolly, obvs – slash my dear friend Reba McEntire is finally free to drop by for a date.

We’ve been trying to tee something up for the last year or so, but to no avail. Thankfully I saw that KFC was celebrating its 50th anniversary in Australia recently, picked up the phone to chat to the current Colonel and thankfully she was free to swing by for a quick date.

What says I love you, I’ve missed you, I need you back on TV and releasing new music … without typecasting her in the KFC bucket?

Image source: KFC who I would gladly accept any and all sponsorship arrangements from, FYI.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.