Hamry Asparagus Aramancini

Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XC: The Goldfather, Party Food, Side, Snack, Street Food

After kicking off this year’s Oscar Gold celebrations – The Goldfather, FYI – with my delightfully acerbic friend Diablo Cody, I decided day two required some quiet, respectful dignity. And what is more quiet or inspiring of respectful dignity, than a dearly departed friend?

As such, I whipped out the delorean, set a course for 1963 to escort my dear friend Henry Mancini to collect his third Oscar.

I first met Henny in the mid-50s while working together in the music department of Universal Pictures – I played recorder, triangle, tambourine and, obviously, yazz flute. We became the fastest of friends, and I eventually became his muse.

Now at the risk of confusing the timeline, I grew up to my present self and met my husband in this timeline, then took him back in time to get Hen the Oscar he so sorely deserved … as he never won in the OG timeline. When I got back in time, I convinced Mickey Rooney to take on the racially appropriated role in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Thanks to Mick, it got greenlit – why Aud wasn’t enough is beyond me, but whatevs – and I got Hen the job doing the score.

He then witnessed my husband and my love, and wrote us a song to mark the occasion. It was Moon River, I encouraged him to use it in the film … badda bing, badda boom, two Oscars in one year. Aren’t I all sickening with this love talk?

Anywho I obviously used the time driving back in time to focus on the odds for Best OG Song and Best Score, in honour of my chum. Score is obviously going to Alexandre Desplat who will get his second Oscar for The Shape of Water. Best OG Song however is a three horse race, one of which I put in the race simply by not shutting up about it. While I’d love Mary J. Blige to convert one of her noms, I don’t see her taking either. And while both of Sufjan Stevens’s songs from Call Me by Your Name bring me to tears, Mystery of Love is the dark horse that I’m willing into the race. The Oscar will go to one to either Benj Pasek and Justin Paul for a second year, for The Greatest Showman or Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez for Coco. Which TBH, made me cry so damn much. Ti amo, Gael!

Henry was mildly confused when I arrived with in ‘63, though lapped up my excuse that I was so moved by his inevitable third Oscar. I mean, he lapped it up like it was a plate full of my Hamry Asparagus Aramancini.

 

 

Now I know I only just posted another arancini recipe a couple of days ago … but get off my back. I mean, creamy risotto, rolled into balls, crumbed and baked? How could you resist? Plus – ham and asparagus is super different to mushroom and gorgonzola.

¿ Por que no los dos ?

Oh … and enjoy.

 

 

Hamry Asparagus Aramancini
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
4 cups chicken stock
olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2-3cm lengths
1 ½ cups arborio rice
½ cup dry vermouth
⅔ cup parmesan, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
200g ham, diced
150g vintage cheddar, cubed
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
½ cup flour
1 egg
2 tbsp milk

Method
Bring the stock to the boil in a saucepan, reduce heat to low and simmer. Meanwhile, heat a lug of olive oil and the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and sweat for 5 minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the asparagus and cook for a couple of minutes, or until soft bright green. Stir for a couple of minutes, or until the rice starts to get translucent around the edges.

Stir through the vermouth, followed by half a cup of the warm stock and stir until the liquid has just all absorbed. Add another half cup of stock and repeat the process until it is all gone, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add the parmesan and seasonings, and stir to combined. Allow to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

To assemble, place the breadcrumbs in one bowl, the flour in another and whisk the egg and milk in another. With wet hands, take 1-2 cup of risotto in your hands, form a ball while squeezing out all the air. Form a whole in the centre, press the cheddar inside, enclose and roll. Repeat until they’re all done.

When you’re ready to crumb, roll each arancini in flour, followed by egg wash and then the breadcrumbs. Repeat the process and place on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and place in the oven to bake for fifteen-twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour.

 

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%^neenish Tart #$!(*&

Baking, Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Goldenade, Party Food, Snack, Sweets

After a long, busy week celebrating the Grammys with this year’s Grammy Gold, Goldenade, and spending time with my dear friends Whits, Burt, Tom, Madge and Jim, we’ve finally reached the end of the road. And there is no one I’d rather mark the grand finale with, than the divine [redacted].

I was meant to have [redacted] over for last year’s Grammy Gold celebrations but ran out of time, so it was wonderful to have the opportunity to make it up to her this year.

I’ve known [redacted] since the late ‘70s, when she and [redacted] were part of [redacted]. After breaking backstage at a concert, I convinced them that they were carrying the others and to leave the band if they wanted to achieve greatness. Cut to a few years later and the [redacted] were a success and they released the hit song [redacted] … which was coincidentally written about me.

As always, you’re welcome. For that, and encouraging her to release a [redacted].

Anyway, we’ve got a lot to cover today so I’m going to jump straight into the odds, lest you miss your bookies. I think Best New Artist will go to Khalid – [redacted], obvs thinks it will go to Alessia Cara. We agree that song of the year will go to Despacito, despite the fact it should have been released the way I wrote it … as a celebration of the great Jennifer Esposito. Album of the Year we’re tipping for Lorde and Record of the Year will go to Childish Gambino, even though it is likely Jay-Z or Kendrick Lamar Odom’s to lose. Donald Glover is just my zaddy.

With all that out of the way, and us well and truly caught up on each other’s lives there was only one thing left to do. And that, obvi, was to smash some [redacted]nenish Tart [redacted].

Now I have a passionate aversion to mock cream – which is weird, given my love of butter – so this isn’t the most traditional of neenish tarts. But I would argue, that is what makes it so damn good. Sweet and tangy, with a pastry that melts in your mouth. Sign me up to this goodness.

Enjoy!

[redacted]neenish Tart [redacted]
Makes: 12-16 individual tarts.

Ingredients
250g plain flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups plus 50g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, cubed plus cup at room temperature
1 egg, beaten
raspberry jam, to taste
½ cup condensed milk
lemon, juice and zest
2 tsp cocoa powder, sifted
4 tbsp water
a few drops of pink food colouring

Method
Chuck the flour and 50g icing sugar in a food processor and quickly blitz to remove any lumps. Add the cubed butter and blitz until it just starts to come together. Add the egg and blitz again. If it isn’t coming together, add ice cold water a tablespoon at a time, blitzing after each addition. Once formed, shape into a disc, cover in cling and place in the fridge to chill for half an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Dust a clean bench and a rolling-pin with flour and roll out the pastry until it is 4mm thick. Cut into 12-16 rounds with a cookie cutter, and place into mini-tart pans. Trim off any excess dough and prick the base with a fork. Transfer to the oven and bake for ten-fifteen minutes, or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove to a cooling rack until completely cooled.

Spread about a teaspoon of jam into the base of each tart and place in the fridge while you work on the filling. On that, combine half a cup of icing sugar with the condensed milk, butter and juice and zest of the lemon, mixing until smooth. You could use a stand mixer if you want, but aggressive utilisation of a wooden spoon – which should be an award show category, TBH – will work just as well.

Divide the filling between the tart cases, smooth the surface and return to the fridge for half an hour, to set.

Combine the remaining icing sugar with the water and stir until smooth. Split it between two bowls, adding the cocoa to one and the food colouring to another. If either is too runny, add some more icing sugar until it is a spreadable consistency.

Spread half of each tart with chocolate icing, and return to the fridge to set for fifteen minutes. Spread the other side with the pink icing, return to the fridge and set … before devouring the lot.

 

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Madonna Kebab

Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Goldenade, Main, Street Food

After tipping over the halfway point of my Grammy Gold celebration, Goldenade … and just getting back from visiting another deceased friend in the form of Tom – after Whits and the thankfully still alive Burt – I knew I needed to see someone that made me feel all shiny and new. And no one makes me feel like that, quite like my girl Madonna.

Yes ladies and gentleman – I am friends with the icon that is Madonna. Dare I say it, I am actually the person that made her who she is today. And that is not an overstatement in the slightest.

I first met Madge when she was a bit player in bands in the late ‘70s before inspiring her to drop her last name and head off on a solo career. Badda bing, badda boom, ‘83 rolled around and her debut album was released … thanks to me.

I then co-wrote all the songs on Like a Virgin, inspired her to parlay her music career into an acting one and most importantly, gave her the idea for – not to mention 90% of the poses – her hit book Sex. Fun fact: I have the only copy of outtakes which even I deemed too explicit for publication. But damn, Vanilla sure could ice me, baby …

Anyway, Madge was thrilled to drop by and celebrate the Grammys – on the proviso that her superfan and my fellow friend Michelle Visage came nowhere near her – and run the odds on this year’s pop performances.

She agreed – albeit begrudgingly – that Ed Sheeran will win Best Solo Pop Performance (because everyone loves white bread), Despacito will take out Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Seth MacFarlane will snag Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album over Bob Dylan and Ke$ha will snag her first Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album.

Such exhausting and necessary work required something that packed enough energy, comfort and booze-sopping ability, so I quickly hauled-arse to the kitchen and whipped up a delightful Madonna Kebab.

 

 

Rich, spicy and fresh, there is nothing better than a kebab to fill your heart with joy. Or song even, I guess. Add in some fresh salad and a slather of natural yoghurt and I feel like life is no longer a mystery, as like a prayer, this kebab can take you there.

Enjoy!

 

 

Madonna Kebab
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
500g lamb mince
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chilli flakes
sea salt and pepper, to taste
8 Pita Andre Bread
iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 red capsicum, sliced
Greek yoghurt, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the mince in a large bowl with the garlic, spices, and salt and pepper, and scrunch together in your hands until smooth. Shape into 24 meatballs and place on a lined baking sheet, transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Toast pitas, split in half – and those halves open – and fill with lettuce, onion and capsicum, top with a couple of meatballs, slather in Greek yoghurt before devouring, greedily.

 

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Michello Williams Shots

Dawson's Creek 20th Anniversary, Dessert, Drink

After spending time with Josh, Katie, Mezza-B, JVDB and Kerr, we’ve come, just like that, to the end of my Dawson’s Creek 20th Anniversary road. Though I guess, really, I should call it a creek, no? Given said anniversary of the premiere falls today and we’re balls deep in awards season, I knew that Mich was the perfect person to act as the jewel in our crown.

Plus – Michelle Williams is a damn saint and is hella iconic, so she is most deserving. I mean, her statement post-Wahlbergate and shout out to Anthony Rapp was perfection.

While I only met Michelle on the Dawson’s set, we quickly became the best of friends and have been each other’s emotional support ever since (even if her close bond with Busy sometimes gets in the way). Fun fact: as Jake and I were engaged at the time of Matilda’s christening and I’m her secret third godparent).

Her career has truly gone from strength to strength since leaving the Creek, raking in a Golden Globe and a quartet of Oscar nominations (… that really should bump up to five after her powerhouse performance, during two different filmings, in All The Money in the World). She kinda is like the millennial version of Meryl, TBH.

Of course she laughed off my lavish praise when we set down to celebrate her role as Queen Jen Lindley and her ongoing success, but deep down I know she appreciated me toasting her with a tray of Michello Williams Shots.

 

 

Since we are both – yes, BOTH – hella classy, I didn’t want my jello shots to be a technicolour monstrosity that burnt from your esophagus right to your soul. So instead of that, I went with a dignified sparkling, berry and chambord combination which truly gives you life. Consider this the Oscar version compared to the usual Golden Globe-esque jello shot.

Enjoy!

 

 

Michello Williams Shots
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
750ml bottle of sparkling, I went with Prosecco because Sonja Morgan is my low-key role-model
6 leaves Gelatine
¼ cup raw caster sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1 shot chambord
½ cup blueberries or raspberries, rinsed and drained

Method
Cut the gelatine into the top of a double boiler, cover with the sparkling and leave to sit for fifteen minutes, or until hella soft. Fill the bottom of the double boiler with water and simmer over a medium heat until the gelatin has completely melted. Whisk in the sugar and lemon juice until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour the remaining sparkling into a bowl with the chambord and add the gelatin-sparkling mixture through a sieve.

Chuck a couple of berries in each shot glass – this could honestly fill 18-24. So just set any remaining liquid in a jelly mould or even a bowl – fill with jelly and transfer to the fridge to set for a couple of hours.

Once set, grab then out and devour, greedily.

 

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Cecil B. DeMille-Feuille

Baking, Dessert, Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldhood, Snack, Sweets

After such a rushed week celebrating my first ever Golden Globe Gold and running the odds and/or reconnecting with Rach, Az, Nay, Ids and Nat, I knew I needed a Globes legend to finish off the party. And there is no one more legendary than Cecil B. DeMille.

I mean, he has a dang award named after him – he owns the Golden Globes!

I first met Cec while working in the silent movies together and we became the fastest of friends, let me tell you old sport. Given people didn’t have to hear my horrific voice, it was the most successful my career has ever been though alas, under the pseudonym Monroe Salisbury … before I faked my death in the ‘30s.

While I didn’t enjoy much success after the talkies kicked in – leading to my stint in the sanitarium before faking my death – Cec and I remained the best of friends and me, his most frequent silent collaborator. Ironically – or maybe not, again, Alanis ruined the word for me – I was the one to inspire The Greatest Show on Earth which I decided had itself inspired The Greatest Showman.

I jumped in the delorean once again and decided to run the odds solo to wrap up my Globes coverage. Rounding out my predictions, I can’t go past Coco snagging Best Animated Feature though Loving Vincent may sneak in as the HFPA are wont to feel superior to the other industry bodies. Alexandre Desplat will take out Best Score for The Shape of Water, with it also snagging Best Director for Guillermo del Toro.

Despite the emotion that surrounds visiting with a dear friend in the past, it was such a treat to reconnect and help him celebrate winning the first ever Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 1952 Globes. And I mean, how can you be sad when there are Cecil B. DeMille-Feuille around.

 

 

Light, flaky pastry and the creamy delicate custard perfectly support the tart raspberries, leaving you with the perfect dessert to honour the start of awards season.

Enjoy!

 

 

Cecil B. DeMille-Feuille
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
1 tbsp custard powder
1 cup milk
1 tbsp raw caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 ½ sheets puff pastry, thawed
⅔ cup thickened cream
250g fresh berries, I went with blueberries and raspberries because I’m wild
2 tbsp raspberry coulis

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Combine the custard powder and a quarter of the milk in a saucepan until well combined. Whisk in the sugar, vanilla and remaining milk and cook over medium heat for about five minutes, or until the custard thickens. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl, cover with a piece of cling directly touching the surface and chill for a couple of hours for an hour or so.

While the custard is gettin’ chill, place the pastry on a lined a baking sheet and top with a second piece of baking paper and a second baking tray, and bake for 20 minutes. Flip the trays over and bake for a further five minutes, or until golden and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

When you’re almost ready to start assembling, whisk the cream until stiff peaks form and fold it through the custard mixture.

Cut the pastry in half using a serrated knife and place one piece on a platter. Spread with half the custard cream and half the berries. Top with another sheet of pastry, the remaining berries and cream and top with the last piece of pastry. Drizzle with the coulis and devour immediately.

 

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Pastéis de Natalie Wood

Baking, Dessert, Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldhood, Snack, Sweets

It has been a busy start to the year catching up with some of my nearest and dearest Golden Globe winners slash friends, that I started to get all sentimental. While my dates with Rach, Az and Nay all carried a certain emotional gravitas, reconnecting with the man that saved my life in the form of Ids really started to make me feel misty. And made me think of one friend I always wish I had been able to save – the divine Natalie Wood.

As you know, Annelie and I were dear friends with the Wagner-Woods and their extended friend group. What you don’t know, is that I was meant to be on the boat with her, Bobby Wags and my ex-lover Christopher Walken that night until Chris and I had a fight when I tried to open up our relationship, and I refused to get on the boat.

“Please Ben! We’ll have such a wonderful time, my love,” Nat asked in her gentle way.

“If Chris doesn’t want me to see any more semen, I won’t be seeing anymore Sea Men,” I shrieked.

That was the last thing I ever said to Natalie Wood.

I whipped out the time machine and charted a course for the summer of ‘80 to spend time with my dearly departed friend, far enough away from her death to not try and interfere.

Since I obviously couldn’t let slip any future details, lest I set off a butterfly effect, I ran the remaining film odds while in the delorean. Obviously I am rooting for Allison Janney and Margot Robbie to take out a one-two punch for I, Tonya, though I firmly think they will split Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress in a Comedy with the Lady Bird crew of Laurie Metcalf and Saoirse Ronan. Which way that splits I’m not sure, but I have a good feeling about my fellow Gold Coaster’s chances. For Drama Frances McDormand or Sally Hawkins will win, though I’d far prefer a tie while Best Comedy or Musical will go to Get Out, unless Greta Gerwig doesn’t win Best Screenplay, in which case it will be Lady Bird.

With no distractions remaining – outside of her impending death – we were free to have a positively delightful date, toasting her then recent Globes win. It was also such a treat to have a less explicit final interaction while devouring my Pastéis de Natalie Wood.

 

 

Creamy, rich and wholly delicious, these little babies are the perfect treat for catching-up with friends, gambling and gives you enough energy for the rigors of time travel.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pastéis de Natalie Wood
Makes: 24.

Ingredients
500ml milk
1 cinnamon quill
1 tbsp vanilla extract
70g plain flour
485g raw caster sugar
6 egg yolks
3 sheets puff pastry, for no other reason than being lazy and time travel already taking up enough time as it is

Method
Combine the milk and cinnamon in a saucepan and bring to a simmer before removing from the heat and allowing the quill to steep for a few minutes. Discard the quill and whisk in the vanilla extract.

Place the flour in a small bowl and whisk in about a quarter of the liquid to form a thin roux. Return to the pan with the remaining milk and bring to a simmer once again and whisk the roux back in for a couple of minutes, or until thickening. Turn off the burner, but leave the pan over the heat.

Meanwhile combine the sugar in a pan with 200ml of water and bring to the boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly whisk the syrup into the milk mixture until you’ve got a thick white liquid. Giggity.

Place the yolks in a large bowl and then slowly add the thick white liquid while constantly stirring until it is well combined. Cover with cling touching the surface and set aside while you work on the pastry.

Heat the oven to 230°C.

Cut each sheet of pastry into 9 squares and press into the holes of 2, 12-hole muffin pans, trimming the edges to form neat little cases. Pour the custard into each shell, stopping about 1cm from the top and bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden and scorched in places.

Cool in the pan for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. If you can stop yourself from devouring them instantly, that is.

 

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Peach Idris Melba

Dessert, Snack

After catching up with a member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe a couple of days ago – in the form of Az, who I saw in between Rach and Nay, obvi – I decided to reach out to another person that ticked both the superhero and Golden Globe winner boxes … in the form of my dearest friend Idris Elba.

I first met Ids in the mid-90s when he guested on Ab Fab. While I was taken by his talent and beauty, my alcoholism made him a distant memory. Flash forward six years and my dear friend Anna Paquin ‘introduced’ us on the set of Buffalo Soldiers. I had no idea that we had already met, until I started having flashes of memories which culminated in me realising that he is the one that dropped me in to rehab and saved my life.

Upon realising the truth, I ran into his arms and thanked him for believing in me. It was all super heavy and lovely, so I broke up the moment by propositioning him and putting me on a repayment plan.

While this made him wonder whether I’d replaced one addiction with another, I explained that my genuine thanks terrified me and was simply acting out. He bought it, and we’ve been the best of friends ever since.

It was so delightful to spend the afternoon with him, discussing where we want 2018 to take us – Ids gets me getting deep – before we buckled in to run the odds of the remaining TV categories. Obviously we both agree that it goes without saying that my part-time love Skarsy is a lock for Supporting Actor and Big Little Lies will take out Best Miniseries and The Handmaid’s Tale will take Best Drama. That is where our opinions started to differ – he thinks Ewan will win Best Actor in a Miniseries, while I think Kyle MacLachlan will be a spoil. He thinks Kevin Bacon will win Best Actor in a Comedy while I feel this is definitely my boy Aziz’s year, while Ids thinks Sterling K. Brown will take out Drama while I think Freddie Highmore will be a surprise.

Such an exhausting catch-up, both emotionally and mentally – predicting how the HFPA will vote is hard you guys – calls for something to sweeten the deal. And there is nothing sweeter than my Peach Idris Melba.

 

 

Summer is the time for stone fruits AND peaches resemble butts, so I knew there was no better way to honour my friend. Plus – sweet peaches and creamy ice-cream slathered with tart raspberry coulis and dusted with toasted almond flakes. Name something that sounds bad?

I’ll wait.

Enjoy!

 

 

Peach Idris Melba
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 cups water
3 ½ cups raw caster sugar
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp lemon juice
8 peaches, halved and seeded
½ cup flaked almonds, lightly toasted
Raspberry Coulis, to serve
Vanilla Ice Cream, to serve

Method
Combine the water, sugar,vanilla and lemon juice over low heat until the sugar dissolves, Bring to the boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes. Reduce heat to low and submerge the peach halves and poach for a few minutes, or until tender yet retaining their shape.


When the peaches are ready to go, which I assume is being ‘melba’d,’ transfer to a bowl and chill for about ten minutes.

To serve, place a few heaps on ice cream in a bowl with the peaches before topping with Raspberry Coulis and sprinkling with almond flakes … before devouring.

 

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Naomi Fonerdue Gyllenhaal

Condiment, Dip, Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldhood, Party Food, Side, Snack

After hanging out with two of my newer friends – hey Rach and Az! – to kick off my Golden Globe Gold celebrations, I decided it was high-time I reconnected with one of my oldest friends and ex-mother-in-law, Golden Globe winner Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal.

Yes, I was secretly married to Jake Gyllenhaal for a decade before splitting amicably. Extremely out of character for me I know, but the Foner Gyllenhaals are old friends and I didn’t want to lose them.

Anyway, I first met Naomi through my dear friend and Jake’s godmother Jamie Lee Curtis – she gave my away at the aforementioned wedding to Jake – and our bond was instant. We would talk at length about our lives, loves and in my case scandals, with one of the latter where I blew up a lab inspired her Globe winning screenplay for Running On Empty.

It has been a couple of years since I caught up with Nay, on account of Jake and my divorce, so it was wonderful to reconnect and chill as friends again … before running the odds. With that, Nay and I both agreed that Greta Gerwig is a lock for Best Screenplay after her egregious snubbing for Best Director. Given I don’t have enough suitably nominated friends, I also got her to give me a hand with the Best OG Song and Best Foreign Film. As such, she was tipping that song from Jakey’s friend Michelle’s musical (The Greatest Showman, FYI) – fuck, do I ever need to catch-up with Michelle … – will take out Song, though I find it hard to go past Remember Me from Coco. We both agreed that First They Killed My Father would win Foreign Film for no other reason than this is the Golden Globes and as such, Angelina Jolie is enough to get it over the line.

It was a gruelling couple of hours debating the merits – Michelle is such a sweetheart, she should win! – of each nominee, so it was lucky I had a hella huge and hella hearty Naomi Fonerdue Gyllenhaal to keep us going.

 

 

This fondue is by no means healthy – though I guess no fondue really is – but damn if it’s not delicious. The cheesy tomato sauce is the perfect punch of pizza perfection – add in the dippers made from the best toppings and you’re in heaven. Though maybe that is just because you could die from the excess of cheesy cheesy goodness.

In any event, enjoy!

 

 

Naomi Fonerdue Gyllenhaal
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
¼ cup dry cinzano
700ml passata
3 cups grated mozzarella
1 cup grated cheddar
1 cup grated parmesan
small handful fresh basil, roughly chopped
small handful fresh oregano, roughly chopped
sliced salami, olives, sliced mushrooms, sliced capsicum, Karlic Lagerbread and anything else you could use for dippin’

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a saucepan over medium heat and sweat the garlic and onion for a couple of minutes. Add the cinzano and cook off a couple of seconds before reducing heat to low and stirring through the passata. Once piping hot, stir through the cheeses and cook until melted. Add the basil and oregano with a good whack of salt and pepper and cook for a further minute.

Pour into a serving dish and devour, piping hot, with your dippers.

 

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Aaroncini Taylor-Johnson

Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldhood, Main, Party Food, Side, Snack, Tapas

After dabbling with television in the form of Rachel Bloom yesterday, I opted to swing on over to discuss cinema with my dearest school chum Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Despite taking out Best Supporting Actor at the Globes last year for his terrifying performance in Nocturnal Animals, he was egregiously snubbed of an Oscar nom. Said snub, dare I say it, was part of the inspiration behind holding a Golden Globe Gold celebration.

I first met Az in 2010 on the set of Kick-Ass – he was fresh off the success of Nowhere Boy and I was looking to make the jump from Nicolas Cage’s entourage. You could say it was fate, however I would call it Serendipity … which led me to travel back in time to write the hit rom-com Serendipity.

We became the fastest of friends and I, of course, vowed to make him a star. Together we jumped from Kick-Ass to co-starring with Glenn Close, working with Oliver Stone and culminated by playing the Marvel-Marvel version of Quicksilver. He rightly views his success in the biz as my handiwork, so was thrilled to take the time out for my inaugural Golden Globe celebration and reconnect.

Given he won just last year, I was hoping Az would have some intel on which males were taking out the gongs this year. Either he does have intel and I am way off base, or more than likely he has no idea and my finger is still on the pulse. He believes that Chris Plummer will be an upset to take over his Supporting Actor crown, while I’m backing Willem. For comedy, I say James Franco and he says Daniel Kaluuya – because Get Out is somehow a Comedy or Musical – and for Drama – mawma – I say Timothée Chalamet for no other reason than wanting to spend the summer in Italy eating peaches, and Az is going with Gary Oldman. We did agree with Best Picture – Drama though, and by that, we agreed that it should come down to Call Me by Your Name, The Shape of Water or Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri … which means it will go to Dunkirk.

One thing we could emphatically decide AND agree on is that my Aaroncini Taylor-Johnson are completely off the hook. In a good way, obvi.

 

 

It is hard to pick my one true passion in life, but if I had to narrow it down, big balls and a cheesy meat are high on the list. Particularly when together. The creamy, delicate risotto works perfectly with the cheesy, meaty punch of the filling to create a ball that would make Jenna Maroney faint.

Enjoy!

 

 

Aaroncini Taylor-Johnson
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
¼ cup unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
1 ½ cups arborio rice
4 cups chicken stock, heated over low heat while you work … or not, no judgement
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
3 eggs, 1 whisked for the risotto and the other two whisked together for coating
500g beef mince
400g can chopped italian tomatoes
1 cup frozen peas
small handful of parsley, chopped
small handful of basil, chopped
1 tbsp chilli flakes
100g mozzarella, grated
1 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs, whisked
1 – 1½ cup breadcrumbs
olive oil, to cook

Method
Melt the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan until foamy and fragrant. Add the onion and garlic and sweat for a couple of minutes before adding the rice. Cook, stirring, for about five minutes, or until starting to become translucent. Add the stock half a cup at a time, stirring constantly, adding the next cup whenever the stock has just been absorbed.

Remove from the heat, stir through ⅓ cup parmesan and season to taste. Once cooled slightly, stir through the egg and transfer to a lined baking sheet and allow to cool completely.

While the risotto is cooling, brown the meat in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. You could add a lug of oil, but I found the fat released in cooking was more than adequate. When the meat is almost completely browned, add the tomatoes, peas, parsley, basil and chilli, and simmer until most of the liquid has gone. Remove from the heat and stir through the remaining parmesan and the mozzarella, season lightly, and remove from heat to cool slightly.

To assemble, divide the risotto into 8 equal parts – I like big balls, you know – and take ⅔ of that ⅛ – just reread that because it does make sense, despite not feeling like it – in wet hand and press the mixture together to remove any air-bubbles. Flatten to a pattie and press a hole in the middle. Fill said hole with the meat mixture and cover with the remaining ⅓ of the ⅛ of rice. Press tightly to push out any excess air, shape into a ball and place on a lined baking sheet. Repeat the process until your eight-balls are done and transfer said balls to the fridge to chill for half an hour.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Place the flour in a bowl, the breadcrumbs in another and whisk the milk with the remaining two eggs in a third. Roll the balls in the flour, shake off excess and coat in the egg wash before rolling in the breadcrumbs. Transfer to a lined baking sheet – or return to the one it just came off if you’re lazy – and repeat the process until all your balls are thoroughly coated. And that innuendo wasn’t even intentional.

Spray with some olive oil to coat and bake in the oven for about twenty minutes, or until resembling golden globes. Then devour, being careful not to burn your mouth off.

 

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Rachel Bloom’in Onion

Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldhood, Party Food, Side, Snack

I thought it was only fair to kick off our first Golden Globe Gold, Goldhood, by making up for my shade thrown at The CW yesterday. While their shows aren’t as critically beloved as other networks, it is easily my favourite US network given my love of teen drama, rom-coms and superheroes.

I am basic and proud.

Anyway, the jewel in The CW’s critical crown is without a doubt Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and its creator-writer-producer-star and Golden Globe winner, my dear friend Rachel Bloom. I’ve known Rach for years and years, meeting through our mutual friend Ilana Glazer when she took over my room in Il and my flat in BK.

Now I don’t want to say that Rach became obsessed with me and I inspired the character of Josh Chan, but well, I did. I moved from Brooklyn to West Covina, for some unknown reason, got deep into bubble tea and she followed me. While I awkwardly set her straight on the fact I was not in fact straight – I was running a scam trying to marry a wealthy older woman in NYC when we met – we were able to remain friends, she returned to NY and I encouraged her to turn it into a beloved comedy musical. Emphasis on beloved.

It was such a treat to kick off the new year with such a dear friend and strap in for the all important running of the odds. While it was bittersweet given the fact she was snubbed this year, she held her head high as we got to work discussing the female TV categories. She agreed that Nicole, Laura and Lis would all add a globe to their hauls for Big Little Lies for the former two and The Handmaid’s Tale for the latter (with it also taking out Best Drama), we did differ in her ex-category comedy. While she believes Frankie Shaw would continue the trend of a young ingenue taking out the gold, I think it is definitely the other Rachel’s to lose. When it comes to comedy series, I believe Master of None will get the recognition it deserves, though wouldn’t be shocked if this is where SMILF takes out a win.

As is oft the case, the discussion rendered us completely exhausted so it was lucky I’d whipped up a delightful – and DiazTwine family favourite – Rachel Bloom’in Onion.

 

 

As a founder and ex-co-owner of Outback Steakhouse, it is hard to call this recipe a copycat … though I was fired in controversial circumstances and can never talk about it again. Forget I said anything … though be thankful that this copycat I have no connection to creating is delicious.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rachel Bloom’in Onion
Serves: 1 pair of besties.

Ingredients
1 large white onion
2 ½ cups flour
2 tbsp paprika, plus ¼ tsp for sauce
1 tsp cayenne pepper, plus pinch for sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried oregano, plus pinch for sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
2 eggs
2 cups milk
vegetable oil, for fryin’
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tsp ketchup
2 tsp horseradish cream
¼ tsp paprika

Method
Cut the top of the onion off and peel back the skin, making sure to keep the root area intact. Repeatedly slice down into the top of the onion, about 1cm apart, stopping just before the bottom to form your petals.

Combine the flour, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder and oregano in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. In a second bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together.

Dip the onion into the flour mix to completely cover, shaking off excess like my frenemy Tay-Tay. Transfer to the egg-milk mixture and swirl around until completely coated before returning to the flour for one final coat. Transfer to the freezer for 30 minutes to set.

Fill a medium saucepan with 10cm of oil and heat to 200°C.

While everything is coming to temperature, combine the mayo, ketchup, horseradish, ¼ tsp each of paprika and salt, and pinches of cayenne and oregano in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Gently lower the onion in, open side down and allow to fry for 5 minutes or so, or until golden and opened. Flip and cook for a further couple of minutes. Transfer to a paper towel to drain off excess oil before serving with the dipping sauce … and devouring.

 

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.