Sweet Potato Estelle Galetty

Side, Snack, Thankgiving for being a friend, Vegetarian

I know it is hard to pinpoint a more tragic death, particularly when it comes to your friends, but my dear, beautiful Estelle Getty’s was truly heartbreaking. I mean, I miss Bea and Rue just as much, but knowing that she truly suffered in her final years and couldn’t remember how wonderful she and The Golden Girls were will always break my heart.

After Bea and I circled back to the lot after catching-up yesterday it took all my strength not to break down in tears knowing what would happen in a couple of decades. We ran into each other’s arms and held each other close, silently acknowledging the deep love of our friendship.

“Pussycat!” Oh FYI, she used her pet name for me – pussycat – as her term of endearment for Dorothy on the show.

“Pussycat, I’ve missed you! How have you been? Why don’t you come visit me more? Are you well? Can I get you a part on the show? Do you want a snack?”

I’d known Estelle for a couple of years by 1987, having met while she starred in the Torch Song Trilogy which was written about me by my ex-Harves. Our bond was instant and while we never got to spend as much time with each other as we’d like, it always felt like only days between visits.

We drove to her L.A. home, laughing and catching up, despite the fact I knew exactly what she had and would be up to next. It was heartbreaking yet at the same time so wonderful to be able to spend time with her while she was still at her best. The only that made the date every better was chowing down on some Sweet Potato Estelle Galetty.

 

 

Potato bake is the side dish of champions. Be it normal or sweet, there is nothing better than perfectly roasted potatoes covered in dickloads of cheese and a punch of herbs.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sweet Potato Estelle Galetty
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
5 shallots, thinly sliced
500g sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
a few sprigs of fresh thyme, roughly chopped
a small stalk of rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp chilli flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
⅔ cup freshly grated parmesan
200g goat’s cheese

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the potato, shallots and a lug of olive oil in a bowl with the thyme, rosemary, nutmeg and chilli. Toast to coat.

Smear – yes, smear – a lug of olive oil on the base and edges of a small baking dish.

Layer the potato on the base of the dish, slightly overlapping, moving from the outside in, until covered. Sprinkle over a quarter of each of the cheeses, followed by another layer … and a quarter of the cheeses and more potato until it is all gone. Finishing, obvi, with the cheese on top.

Place the galette in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, covering with foil after half an hour if the top is getting to crispy.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for ten minutes. Then devour, ferociously.

 

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BeaBQ Arthur Corn Salad

Salad, Side, Snack, Thankgiving for being a friend

While The Golden Girls were one of the best sitcom ensembles ever assembled, the heart and soul of the show was my dear friend and comedy icon Bea Arthur. At the very least, she was the de facto lead given she was what brought Sophia into the mix.

Though speaking of Soph, she was the soul … and so were Rose and Blanche. Fuck.

In any event, my dear friend Bea is the first girl I’m checking in on … given the controversial meeting we had last time I ventured back in time. I mean, sure, she doesn’t know it since that date occurs in ‘89 and I’ve opted to visit during Thanksgiving ‘87. But I know, and guilt is a pretty big motivator.

Bea was thrilled to see me as I pulled up to the studio in the delorean.

“Quick Ben, quick. Fucking get out of here – we don’t need Betty to spot us and want to third wheel our friendship.”

“I’m fucking trying Bea, I’m  driving as fast as I fucking can,” I screamed, not wanting to hurt my friend Bet, or upset Bea by being sympathetic.

I sped through the Hills, down past Carney’s on sunset and eventually landed at her home in Brentwood – which will eventually become a Golden Girls museum, depending on how her will turns out following my next journey back in time – to reconnect, discuss a potential sequel to Mame – which you all know, does NOT eventuate – and devour a festively appropriate BeaBQ Arthur Corn Salad.

 

 

Fresh and zingy are not words that are oft thrown around when it comes to discussing dinner on turkey day. Though I can promise, it is more than worth it. The fresh, charred corn works perfectly with the zing of the tomato and lime, and the sweet delight that is basil.

Praise be … I mean, give thanks. Aka enjoy!

 

 

BeaBQ Arthur Corn Salad
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
6 corn cobs, de-husked and scorched over the flame of a stove
olive oil
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
½ red capsicum, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
a small handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped
a few sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and roughly chopped
1 lime, juiced
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Combine everything in a bowl.

Toss.

Devour.

 

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Jane Porrocks Pies

Ab Fab’s 25th Birthday, Main, Party Food, Pie, Side, Snack

I honestly wasn’t sure how I’d top the delight of catching up with my dear friend Jen, nor am I sure why it has taken us so long to celebrate Ab Fab. In any event, I am filled with joy knowing that my dear friends are finally getting their moment in the sun that is this anthropological endeavour. None more so than the divine, bubbly, little voice herself, Jane Horrocks.

Now Babs – as her closest friends slash anyone that has read her Wikipedia entry know is her real name – and I have been the dearest of friends for close to three decades, after meeting during casting of The Witches.

In his golden years, Roald had asked me to oversee the production of all adaptations of his work, starting with The Witches. As soon as Jane walked in to the audition, I know that she was the only person that could play Susan … and is oft the case, vowed to make her a star.

When Jen mentioned transitioning Ab Fab into a show, she asked me to help assemble a killer cast, the likes of which had never been seen. I knew that Jane would be absolutely perfect for the role of Bubble and immediately drafted a contract and offered the role without Jen ever seeing her.

While she was annoyed by my underhanded tactic, her rage quickly dissipated after laying witness to Babs’ talent. I mean, she was almost nommed for an Oscar, for christsakes!

Given how busy I’ve been, I regret to admit that we haven’t seen as much of each other as we’d usually like. That being said, our friendship is so dear that it is always as though no time as past between our dates.

After a long hug we got to work drinking, laughing and reconnecting … and toasting to Ab Fab’s success with a big batch of Jane Porrocks Pies.

 

 

As British as tea, scones or the Queen – not Sandra, soz – pork pies are not just delicious, they’re comforting … and, dare I say it, life affirming. They just aren’t particularly healthy.

But who really minds about that? Enjoy!

 

 

Jane Porrocks Pies
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
500g Cumberland sausages, skins removed
200g streaky bacon, diced
⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tbsp sage, roughly chopped
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 sheets shortcrust pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
sesame seeds, to top

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Combine the sausage, bacon, breadcrumbs, sage, nutmeg and a good whack of pepper in a large bowl, scrunching until well combined.

Cut each sheet of pastry into 9 even squares and line 18 holes of (two) muffin pans with pastry. Divide the mixture evenly between the holes and tightly packing it in … you know I love that. Fold any extra pastry over the mound of meat, brush with some egg and top each with the remaining squares of pastry. Fold it in on itself – obvi in a decorative fashion – cut a small hole in the top of each, brush with egg, sprinkle with sesame seeds and transfer to the oven to bake for 30-40 mins, or until golden and brown and cooked through.

Serve immediately, hot, slathered in caramelised onions.

 

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Feter Confit Tomato Crostini

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Party Food, Side, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, 24 new Australians were cast into the Samoan wilderness – for the second season of the third attempt of Australian Survivor – before whittling the numbers down to the final three after 53. While they weren’t as flashy as Luke, Henry, Locky or Queens Michelle and Jacqui, Peter, Tara and Jericho have fought hard to make it to the end and survive through a very unpredictable season.

We opened up with our final three commencing the fallen comrades – which needs to be brought back on OG Survivor – where Tara and Peter awkwardly had to dance around Joan, while Jericho tried to pretend he knew something about Adam, Kate and Tarzan. We then paid our respects to Aimee – aye – and lovebirds Sam and Mark, before being reminded by how much of a Queen Jacqui is. Tragically she was followed by Kent, then (thankfully) AK, Ben and Odette, the latter two who got more airtime now, than they did during the game. Jarrad then kicked off the jury portion, followed by super-idol victim Anneliese, before they all praised Henry for his game and fauxgi spirit. They then (awkwardly for Jericho) spoke about ex-juror Tessa’s logical, methodical approach to the game, Sarah’s ability to get down and dirty while playing the game and providing for the tribe. Jericho then described Luke as his other half which is a term I absolutely hate given that it implies people are not whole unless they’re in a relationship. We honoured Olympic powerhouse Ziggy, b-b-b-banging Locky – sadly no rehash of the nudity – and the true Queen of the season, Michelle.

Seriously, they flew through that.

The end of their walk led them to the same cliff Kristie dominated Lee and El last year for the final immunity challenge of the season. Tara was shocked to still be in the game, while Peter knew it was do or die and I assume, Jericho was thinking about kittens and puppies being washed out to sea. Jonathan hyped the challenge, telling them that unlike last year’s challenge, this year it will be conducted under the cover of darkness, making it even colder and miserable…r.

Jonathan spent the early stages of the challenge baiting the contestants to remember how uncomfortable the challenge would be, which truly is savage. Darkness fell by the hour mark where Tara took one in the face – I assume she was referring to a wave – before giving the blunt answer that she was feeling completely shit. Jericho then commenced gloating and playing mind-games with Tara and Pete. The latter then tried to channel Kristie, speaking about how much he loved Survivor and wanted to make it to the end.

To distract from the pain and to add some interest, Tara spoke about how diverse all of the castaways are before her emotions started to get the better of her. Showing true kindness and, shudder, mateship, Jericho and Peter tried to give her a pep talk and motivate her to not give up. She tried to talk through the pain while the boys came up with ways to distract her from the pain – and Jericho got some spelling tips – before she ta-ragically couldn’t hold any longer and stepped down from the challenge at the 3 hour mark. The boys managed to last an extra two hours which seemed not to have phased Jericho at all, while Peter was hunched over like a dead body on The Ring. Try as he might, Peter was in too much pain and asked for JLP to help him out of the challenge, handing Jericho immunity … and by the look on his face, the win. While Peter broke down, Jericho and Tara joined him and all sat, hugged together, comforting him by the fire. Then nature proved to be savage, and threw out a huge wave that wiped out their warmth.

Not wanting to waste any time, we lost the entirety of day 54 as the final three arrived at tribal council where Jericho was daunted by the decision in front of him. Jonathan then led the jury in a round of applause for the final three’s effort in the challenge before Jericho was forced to sit between Tara and Peter as they fought for their place in the game. Or to vote them out, I honestly can’t tell, as both their arguments were that they were not the easy one to take out … which is exactly what you want to do to win the game. Tara then proved she is saavier than I gave her credit for, throwing Peter’s logic to get rid of Jericho three days ago against him.

Peter then went all in for Tara’s game, outlining why she is a goat … and again, that is meant to be his case for getting rid of her. A fired up Tara then tore into Pete’s game, saying him winning is disrespectful to the game which is a better pitch when highlighting how easy someone is to beat. With that, Jericho cast his sole vote and sent Peter out of the game as the final juror.

While he was feeling pretty salty when he arrived at tribal council, he freely ran into the arms of his dear friend – me, we’re both totes homo in communications, of course we know each other – and lamented what could have been. I joined him in crying, though thinking about the tragic loss of Michelle at the previous tribal council. Thankfully I cooked through the pain and whipped him up a big, comforting batch of my Feter Confit Tomato Crostini.

 

 

Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of bruschetta … but this is where its at. I love tomatoes, but have always struggled with them in their raw state, so this is the perfect fix to the Italian classic. Rich and caramelised tomato, tart creamy feta and sweet basil? Sign me up!

Enjoy!

 

 

Feter Confit Tomato Crostini
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
¼ cup olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed
1 tsp raw caster sugar
1 tsp champagne vinegar
500g cherry tomatoes, halved
salt and pepper, to taste
small handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped
200g feta, whipped
12 thick slices sourdough

Method
Preheat oven to 130°C.

Combine the oil, garlic, fennel, sugar, vinegar and tomato in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. And when I say good, I mean good. Ok? Transfer to a lined baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes to an hour, or until soft and caramelised. Fold through the basil leaves.

Grill the sourdough, spread with the whipped feta and top with the confit tomatoes … before devouring.

 

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Annelicoise Wilson Salad

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Main, Salad, Side, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, the tribes followed the lead of Spice Girls as two became one. While the remaining Asagans looked to be screwed given their numbers disadvantage, they systematically pulled in Henry, Michelle and Locky, one by one, to take control which tragically sent Jarrad out of the game.

Though again, in the words of Abi-Maria, at least he made the jury.

The tribe returned from tribal council where the former majority were reeling from J-Rad’s departure, quickly banding together to find out who flipped on them. While Tessa, Ziggy and Pete assumed it was Locky that flipped, my king did some next level lying and bamboozled them to the point where it felt like they couldn’t even be bothered to find the rat.

The next day Anneliese was still reeling from the vote and Locky’s ability to lie to her face, which made her feel uneasy about him. She then decided that he needed to go, and got to work deciding who best for them to target. Meanwhile Henry and Jericho went for a walk to find Henry’s idol from day four, using the useless clue that he gave to Jericho at the reward challenge a couple of weeks ago. He then pretended to find his own idol again, solidifying Jericho’s loyalty to him.

Anneliese meanwhile continued her assault on my man, approaching Sarah to join with her to get rid of Locky. On the flipside, Henry continued to solidify his alliance with Luke and Jericho by stealing the rest of the jam while everyone slept. It makes as much sense as it sounds, given it will not end well. As expected, JamGate erupted the next morning when Anneliese and Locky discovered the jam was gone.

In the post-jam world of Asatoa, Henry and Locky met up with Sarah and Michelle to discuss their next move, deciding that it was most important to get rid of Anneliese. They also decided that she was the one to eat the jam, just to really confirm the alliance. Ziggy and Pete then reconnected to discuss their next steps, with the latter wanting to go down swinging with his current alliance while Ziggy was willing to shop around for answers.

On the walk to the immunity challenge, Anneliese told us she didn’t want Locky to win, while Henry mentioned Anneliese couldn’t win meaning, in all likelihood, one of them is about to win the challenge. Jonathan gave us a quick rundown – after Henry flagged JamGate again – with the challenge broken up into three stages. The first six people to hook their ring on a pole – my favourite pastime – moved through to the second round, where they had to work through a rope tangled on an obstacle. The top three moving on to the last phase where they each had to land three balls on a ledge at the top of a ramp.

Doing the LGBT community proud, Pete quickly landed his ring, followed by Tara, Henry, Locky, Tessa and Jericho. Henry took an early lead on the second stage, before being overtaken by Locky who became the first person moving on to the final stage. Thankfully Henry wasn’t too far behind, with Jericho rounding out the top three. Locky got out to an early lead, before Henry and Jericho each landed a ball. Henry landed his second, followed by Jericho before Henry just took out immunity. Oh and yeah, neither Locky nor Anneliese won immunity like predicted. Whatevs.

After a brief interlude of pleasantries while everyone congratulated Henry on his victory, shit started to get real. Henry, Luke, Locky and Michelle confirmed the vote for Anneliese, though Michelle and Luke would pretend they were onboard with getting out Locky. Locky then tried to work the idol out of Anneliese’s hands, though given the fact she knows they’re both targeting each other it wasn’t very successful. Anneliese then approached Tessa and Pete to see what the plan was, with them telling her that it is likely her. She then admitted that she had the idol and vowed to play it and stick together.

Tessa and Pete then approached Ziggy to lock in the plan, which she agreed with before running directly to Locky and Henry to keep Locky – another potential meatshield for Ziggy – in the game over Anneliese. While Locky and Henry were feeling confident, Tara and Luke weren’t buying it and were extremely nervous as they headed off to tribal.

At tribal, Jarrad watched on from the jury as the first five minutes revolved around JamGate. While Sarah correctly guessed Luke was involved, Jericho alluded to the fact that it may have influenced the vote which shows he is probs smarter than I give him credit for. Finally we got to some vague statements about the numbers, with Michelle pointing out that despite believing she had the numbers after the last tribal council, the line in the sand was washed away the very next day. Ziggy mentioned she was planning to take out a threat tonight, while Tara and Henry spoke about how dangerous flippers are in the game. Michelle spoke about idols being out there followed by Ziggy mentioning that tonight is the night to make a move, making me even more anxious than I thought possible today … AND I was at the Emmys but a few hours ago!

The votes rolled in between Locky and Anneliese – well I assume, we only saw two – before Anneliese decided to play her idol to save herself from becoming the scapegoat. Sadly for her though, Ziggy opted to play her super idol negating Anneliese’s idol and sending her out of the game as the second juror. While I would have burnt the jury villa to the ground if it happened to me, Anneliese was as gracious as always upon arrival and warmly embraced me as I put the finishing touches on her Annelicoise Wilson Salad.

 

 

I’m actually a lecturer at Anneliese’s university – obviously, I’m still into running uni scams – and I truly have a soft spot for her. Hell, I’d go as far as to say she is my favourite student … which explains why I was willing to cook seafood for her. Well … serve it. While the idea of tuna makes me sick, nicoise is actually pretty amazing. Though I assume that all comes down to the potato and eggs? In any event, enjoy!

 

 

Annelicoise Wilson Salad
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 eggs
150g potatoes
150g green beans, trimmed, halved
2 tbsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
pinch of muscovado sugar
¼ cup olive oil
2 baby cos lettuces, leaves torn and rinsed
200g tinned tuna, drained
12 small black olives, halved
small handful parsley, diced

Method
Place the eggs in a pot of cold water. Place over medium heat, bring to the boil and cook for five minutes. Drain the eggs, submerge in cold water, peel and half.

While the eggs are cooking, place the potato into a second pot of water with a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Cook for five to ten minutes, or until tender. Add the beans and cook for a further minute. Drain, run under cold water to refresh and allow to drain for a couple of minutes.

Combine the vinegar, dijon, garlic, muscovado and olive oil in a jug and whisk until well combined.

To serve, place the lettuce in a bowl, top with potato, beans and eggs. Drizzle with the dressing, add tuna and olives, sprinkle over parsley … and add more dressing, because who doesn’t wanna get saucy.

Then, obviously, devour.

 

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Spinachevy and Chase Rolls

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Game of Golds, Main, Party Food, Snack, Vegetarian

After kicking things off with EGOT recipient Reets and a semi-sweet trip down memory lane with my dear(ly departed) Jack, I thought we needed to bring back the funny for day three. And, obviously, there is no man that has won exactly three Emmy Awards (that I can be bothered looking up) funnier, that I can call a friend than Chevy Chase.

I’ve known Chevs for years, after meeting in Betty Ford – who fun fact, gave me free treatment at the clinic as we’re also dear friends – in the ‘80s and becoming the fastest of friends. While there were obviously some issues between us after he dropped the N-bomb on the set of Community and refused to make me play his son in the newest Vacation movie, I found a way to forgive him.

Hey – I forgave Candace Cameron Bure for being Candace Cameron Bure, I can do anything.

Anyway being a betting man, Chevs was keen to get straight to work after a brief catch-up. Given the fact two of his Emmys are for writing, I bequeathed him the great honour of discussing all – yes, all – the writing categories.

Obvi, Big Little Lies has Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Drama Special, while he backed Saturday Night Live – again, obvi – for Variety Series, I think it’s going to go to John Oliver or Samantha Bee. As far as the series categories go, Aziz and Lena have the comedy wrapped up for the sublime Thanksgiving episode of Master of None. We again disagreed on the drama winner, Chevs going for The Handmaid’s Tale, while I think the Duffers’ will take it out with Stranger Things … as a consolation for losing Outstanding Drama Series.

As you can imagine, what with two disagreements, we needed something hella hearty and comforting to get us through. Thankfully my Spinachevy and Chase Rolls more than fit the bill.

 

 

Fresh, spicy and dripping with cheese, these are my favourite kind of rolls this side of Alyssa Edwards’ backrolls.

*Tongue pop* Enjoy, okkkuurrr?

 

 

Spinachevy and Chase Rolls
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
500g frozen spinach, defrosted and drained completely
250g danish feta, crumbled
½ cup parmesan, grated
small handful dill, roughly chopped
1 onion, finely diced
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
zest of one lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
2 sheets puff pastry, halved
1 egg, lightly beaten

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Combine the spinach, feta, parmesan, dill, onion, breadcrumbs, zest and salt and pepper in a bowl.

Split the mixture into quarters and roll each portion into long – puff pastry length – sausages and place along an edge of the puff pastry. Brush the edge of the pastry and roll to enclose, ensuring the seam is on the bottom. Cut into three and place on a baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining three quarters.

Brush each roll with eggs and bake for 25 minutes or until golden, crisp and flaky. Devour.

 

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Toadette in a Blacklock Hole

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017)

Previously on Australian Survivor, Henry, Ziggy and Anneliese all whipped out their idols and formed a four way alliance … with Ziggy on the outs, given her awkward way of sharing the news. Over at Asaga, Sarah stood as our only hope to get rid of Luke, pulling in Pete and getting her ducks in a row. Sadly, the row was unnecessary with new Samatau losing immunity and heading to tribal council where Michelle eviscerated Ben. It was glorious and brutal all at once.

We opened up at Asaga where Sarah was getting over being underestimated, though knew that it was a necessary evil to make it further. That being said, she has decided that now is the time to make a move and Luke should be the next to go. She cornered Pete, who was obviously on board given the fact he has a sum total of zero allies on new Asaga. She then approached her target Luke and his minion Jericho to talk about keeping Pete to get information on Samatau, which is a great way of hedging her bets. While Luke was nervous about the idea, he didn’t actually realise what she was trying to do … so she is safe. For now.

Over at Samatau, Henry was still smarting over losing his goat Ben at the last tribal council. Given her killer performance at tribal, Henry approached Locky to talk about getting rid of – realistically – the most dangerous player left in the game.

JLP wanted to get all up in the episode gig while surprising Asaga with Ben’s boot at the previous tribal council. The reward for an Italian feast involved the tribes being blindfolded while a caller talks them through a maze, help them club some sacks out of watermelons and launching the aforementioned sacks into a basket. Luke and Locky were the callers, with the latter being far more successful as Sarah ended up in a safer version of no-man’s land. Despite a slow start, Ziggy secured the first sandbag for Samatau, allowing Henry to almost catch up to Jericho, securing Samatau second while he got Asaga’s first. While Luke somehow managed to keep Asaga going, Samatau secured all five before Tara secured Asaga’s fourth. It came down to a battle of Locky and Luke, with the (jerk) latter catching up at two bags a piece. Thankfully it was neck and neck for a minute before King Locky took out the victory for Samatau.

JoJo surprised Samatau with the chance to select someone from Asaga to join their reward. Given the fact they assume he is royally fucked, they took Pete before Jonathan surprised them with the chance to take a second person. They then decided to play it strategically, giving him the chance to pick the person most likely to keep him in the same giving Sarah some food, and pissing of Luke-ser in the process.

The victorious Samatau arrived at reward where Michelle was thrilled to smash a wine, aye – is Amiee back in the game? – and the tribe giddily wooed like white girls. Henry pulled Sarah aside to lay out plans, telling her that he, Locky and Anneliese want to go to the end with her before they both agreed to get rid of Luke. Sadly, Sarah wants to keep Jericho safe though … but you win some, you lose some?

Back at Asaga, Luke continued to butcher the English language while complaining about Sarah for refusing the reward she had no say in attending. He then pulled in Odette and Tara to boot Sarah at the next tribal council, deciding Jericho can vote Pete to avoid upsetting him about getting rid of Sarah. Which seems unnecessary and highly likely to blow-up in his face. Thankfully.

Pete and Sarah returned to camp extremely bloated while Luke and Tara yelled nonsensically at them. Neither of them gave anything off while struggling to digest the food, making Luke act more skittish than usual, leading to Tara warning Sarah and Pete than he is targeting them and they need to play it smart.

Meanwhile at Samatau, the well fed tribe were relaxing before Michelle decided to get to work painting a new target on someone’s back to evade the boot at the next tribal council. She then approached literally everyone to tell them that Henry had handed off an idol clue to Jericho a few episodes back. A clue that leads to the place where Henry found his. This of course didn’t come as a shock to Locky, who then added serious actor to his Survivor filmography (which currently just features erotic sand writhing).

Jon-Jon decided to reappear for the immunity challenge where Ziggy gave a very gloaty response about the Italian feast, leaving Sarah and Pete to – again – talk down the food. The challenge involved a modern maypole, releasing planks to build stairs and puzzle pieces. Samatau got out to a huge lead thanks to the seamless teamwork of Anneliese and Henry, and Locky’s bouncing pecs. Anneliese and Henry continued to work well on arguable the most difficult slash coolest challenge in any Survivor, while Sarah tried to make sense of Jericho chaos while being berated – quite rightly – by Odette. After dropping the final pieces a couple of times, Henry thankfully secured immunity for Samatau and a front row seat at Asaga’s tribal council that night.

Asaga returned to camp where Sarah and Luke battled it out to secure the minority. While Luke was counting on the Cirie Fields memorial 3-2-1 vote – potentially isolating Jericho in the process, while Sarah and Pete were hoping to get Tara and Odette to join them in getting the airtime sponge. Sarah was fairly confident she had the former two on board, so approached Odette to join them who was absolutely shocking at pretending she didn’t know Luke was targeting Sarah.

Tara then started to get antsy, approaching Jericho about how stressed she was to be voting out Sarah at tribal. He obviously flipped out about this, thinking the plan is Peter. He then approached Luke for the truth – with Luke now lying to Tara’s face – before talking to Sarah. Given the fact he wants airtime, Luke soon followed Sarah and Jericho to the shore to clear the air or intimidate Sarah into submission. Thankfully queen Sarah stood her ground and called out Luke’s shit and vowed to stick with Pete, making it hella awkward as they wandered out to tribal.

Asaga entered stage right while Samatau giddily watched from the jury bench. JoJo was quick to bring up the feast, asking Luke how he felt. This elicited a huge reaction from Tara when he denied being pissed. After Sarah and Odette danced around the questions, Jericho slowly got to a point – or at least, I think he thinks he did – before Sarah admitted that she is on the chopping block and it was bedlam back at camp after immunity. Luke tried to get people – apparently – to turn the vote back on Pete, which Pete obviously disagreed with, countering he is the best chance to get in with Samatau. Jericho and Sarah then did some secret squirrel whispering, before Luke gave Sarah a chance to get in line with him leading to her standing up for herself and Tara calling out his bullshit.

They then fought back and forth before Jonathan announced that given the whole crew were in attendance, things would be going a bit differently tonight. He then gave an Asagan the opportunity to mutiny – despite them dying first – to Samatau, which Pete quickly jumped at seemingly screwing Sarah and Tara in the process.

Asaga returned from the tribal council shitfight where Odette decided they all just needs to hug it out before Luke said something incoherent, and everyone else realised how screwed they were after their show for Samatau. Luke continued to make bad decisions, picking fights with Tara who stood up for herself, put him in his place and made him look dodgy to his dear friend Jericho. Thankfully Sarah is feeling confident and I’m hoping it isn’t misplaced.

Meanwhile things were looking up at Samatau where Pete had a new lease on life and his renewed tribe were thrilled with all the drama they had just witnessed. Henry however wasn’t loving the return of Pete because he strengthens the rival alliance of Ziggy, Tessa and Jarrad. Remembering how dull they were – outside from screaming while voting out Anneliese – when in control, I tend to agree.

The next day things were looking extremely bleak at Asaga before Sarah tried to win a despondent Jericho back to her side. While the model has all the right things to say, it didn’t seem to be sinking in, making me think that Jericho is more aware than I’m giving him credit for. On the flipside, Luke decided that rather than talking to people, it was in his best interest to search for an idol despite the fact he knows Jericho was handed a fake one to the one that was hidden on his beach four weeks ago. After a brief, out of nowhere interlude from Odette talking about her killer gameplay, Sarah and Tara got to talking about how to save themselves from the next tribal council … which obviously meant they planned to throw Odette under the bus for being flaky.

Meanwhile over at Samatau, Pete got reacquainted with his old allies with he and Tessa deciding that Henry and Locky are the biggest threats and need to go ASAP. He then checked in with Jarrad, who agreed that Henry needs to go if they lose immunity though was scared about what that would mean for their relationship with Locky. Back over at Asaga, Sarah continued her reconciliation path by approaching Luke to bury the hatchet. She then floated the idea of getting rid of Odette and while Luke still doesn’t trust her, I’m hoping he trusts her enough to get her to the merge.

Jonathan finally returned to put the strategising to rest and lord over the next immunity challenge, where each tribe would have to hold themselves up with ropes on the side of two large A-frames over the water. Sounds simple, but it would be completely fucked. Surprisingly Locky was the first person out of the challenge, followed quickly by Luke and Henry. Sarah evened things up by going in for Asaga, soon followed by Tara and Michelle, leaving Jericho and Odette vs Pete and Ziggy. Odette was next to go in leaving Jericho to battle it out with Pete and Ziggy. Despite a small stumble from Ziggy, she managed to save herself before Pete fell in. After over two hours on the ropes, Jericho finally gave up handing immunity to Samatau and sending the divided tribe back at tribal council.

Asaga returned to camp to commence the pre-tribal scramble where everyone was complimentary about Jericho’s performance for a couple of minutes before getting down to work and locking in a vote for Odette. Despite agreeing it was best for all of them, Jericho decided that he no longer trusted Sarah and wanted to pull in Odette to join he and Luke to take out Sarah. While Sarah was still intending to get rid of Odette, she approached the latter to talk about joining her and Tara to get rid of Luke. Luke then got uneasy about what was happening before Odette mentioned that she would rather flip a coin to decide who to vote out, which should sound alarm bells for everyone.

The dwindling tribe arrived at tribal council where Jon-Jon was quick to throw some shade at their losing streak before checking in with Jericho who spoke in complete circles about whether they were getting along or not. Sarah was feeling nervous yet hopeful, perhaps realising she is the easy vote, Odette decided the easy vote was no longer a good idea. Tara and Sarah spoke about the importance of thinking about who you can work with at the merge, while Odette spoke about the importance of keeping a meatshield in the game, which appeared to make Luke nervous. Despite his look of terror, Jericho then agree with the importance of keeping a shield in the game … which Luke stepped in to confirm, was him.

After some more vague talk, Odette spoke about being confident that she would not be the next one voted out, which of course meant that she ended up becoming the twelfth – and final pre-merge – boot. While Odette is a dear friend of mine – having met at podiatry school, which I attended to work through a foot phobia – I was glad to see her go, if it meant my girl Sarah got to stay in the game until the merge.

Plus, I made her her favourite meal, my Toadette in a Blacklock Hole.

 

 

If there are two things that go together better than anything else, they are sausage slipped into a warm, soft, pillowy hole. While this baby could hardly be considered classy, it is completely delicious … and it is sausage, squeezed in a hole, topped with a sweet and salty condiment.

Fuck, I’m circling … the hole in which the sausage is shoved.

Just enjoy, ok!

 

 

Toadette in a Blacklock Hole
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 tbsp sunflower oil
sprig of fresh rosemary
8 thick sausages
½ cup plain flour
1 tsp chilli flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
2 eggs, lightly beaten
300ml milk
1 tsp seeded mustard

Method
Preheat the oven to 240°C.

Place the oil and rosemary in a roasting pan and bake for five to ten minutes, or until piping hot.

Remove the rosemary from the pan, gently add the sausages and return to the oven for five minutes.

Combine the flour, chilli flakes and salt and pepper in a bowl, and the eggs, milk and mustard in another. Slowly whisk the two together until you have a smooth batter.

Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and very gently – and I mean gently, the batter will spit – pour the batter around the sausages. Return to the oven and bake for a further twenty minutes, or until puffed and golden.

Serve immediately with some caramelised onions, and devour.

 

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Eggs Benedict Burgan

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Breakfast, Burgers, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, we were reminded that there were three idols in play – two normal, one super – and after a tribal switch, they all landed on the same tribe. Meanwhile new Asaga featured a battle-royale between Tara and AK, with Luke joining with Tara to help her exact her revenge and finally send him out of the game.

Back at camp Tara was as giddy as a schoolgirl, while Luke was yacking it up before letting us know that witnesses would be the first to go, and as such totes homo Pete, would be the next to go. This once again, obviously, makes me hopeful that we’re leading to back-to-back falls of the cocky male players.

I’m also hopeful Locky will break his 11 episode nudity drought.

When we checked in with Samatau, I assumed my dreams were coming true as Locky, Henry and Ziggy went for a swim. While I was crestfallen to see both the boys fully clothed, I was thrilled to see that their positions were looking up as they formed an alliance as the three strongest people in the game. She then had a lapse of judgement and told them that she had an idol – leaving out the super aspect – which obviously led to the boys plotting to get rid of her.

Tara was still loving life at AK-less Asaga and Luke was still extremely overconfident, referring to himself as the King. He then reaffirmed that getting out Pete is the priority, which thankfully Sarah disagrees with. She then approached him by the shore and broached the idea of taking out Luke, to both eliminate a batshit insane, erratic player and to cement connections with those at Samatau. The girl is playing hard, no one notices and I love it.

We returned to Samatau where Locky was quick to approach Anneliese with Henry about joining them and Ziggy in an alliance. Sadly, she assumed he had the original Samatau idol and that he gave his clue to Jericho. Being another queen, she decided to ask him if it were true pointblank … which he then denied. Thankfully they went to meditate where sanity prevailed and Henry decided to trust someone in the game and told her the truth. Anneliese then told him about her idol, they secured each other’s trust and went to loop Locky in to solidify the final three we deserve.

Michelle, who is essentially how I would be on the island, told us that while she isn’t really built for island life, she is built for the quarter of a million dollars that could build her dream home. With that, she got to work trying to find the cracks in the tribe and vowed to turn things around on Ben. She then approached Ben – which I admit, doesn’t make any sense – who speculated at her about the super idol and told her he would vote out Locky next. It now makes sense, given he gave her a shit tonne of powerful information and screwed himself.

Little JoJo arrived for the immunity challenge where Luke and Tara were proudly sporting a pair of shit eating grins as Samatau discovered AK’s demise. After some shady chat, JLP explained the challenge where each tribe member would have to hold a sandbag tether to a trough of water. Essentially it is the icon Teresa Cooper / Shi-Ann Huang / Parvati Shallow memorial challenge, but in tribe format. After about five minutes Michelle tapped out and handed her bag off to Henry and Locky. Jarrad soon followed, leaving Locky and Henry to struggle with two bags each while everyone from Asaga remained in the challenge with their sole sacks. Tragically Locky and Henry’s bag sack handling skills weren’t up to pass, dropping the bags and handing Asaga their first immunity win in fuck-knows how long.

Samatau returned to camp to commence scrambling, with Michelle vowing not to go home without a fight. Sadly for Mich, Henry and Locky decided that getting rid of her was the smarter option given Ben was more easily manipulated … and a goat for Henry. Tessa agreed Michelle was more dangerous, as did Jarrad who decided he wanted to keep Ben around given the fact he has him wrapped around his little finger. There is a pattern emerging, and it isn’t saying much about Ben’s intelligence.

Despite the fact that she is apparently fucked, Michelle got to work putting Ben’s intel to use. She hightailed it over to Anneliese and Locky, telling them that Ben was planning on taking out the latter with his arm of one. They ate this shit up as she continued to point out that Luke also wants Locky out and Ben would flip to help him achieve that goal as soon as the merge hit. This convinced Locky that Ben definitely needs to go.

While Henry and Jarrad tried to convince him that Ben didn’t have any friends to flip said vote, Locky was seemingly resolute. He then spoke to Ziggy and Anneliese by the beach, before Ben approached to throw a spanner in the chat. Hilariously, they seemed unfazed, and continued to plot about flipping the vote on the unaware Ben. Anneliese they included him in the conversation to see what his plans were post-merge, to which he replied it probs, maybs, is to stick with Samatau.

The kid is doing Michelle’s job for her .. though his apparently questionable intelligence is kind of a reason to keep him and maybe this is all a rouse?

At tribal, JLP was quick to check-in with Michelle about how she was feeling post-swap fucked. While she handled the question with ease, Ben stumbled as Jonathan asked how he was feeling, pointing out that he felt like he was on the bottom. Everything continued to go to shit for Ben, with Locky admitting that while he feels close to Henry, he struggles to make a connection with Ben. The latter of which tried to work his way into a deeper hole, causing Anneliese and Locky to talk about needing to get word to Henry that Ben needs to go.

JoJo noticed the discussion, giving Michelle the opportunity to campaign, HARD, against Ben, and air all of his dirty laundry and spilt tea. While it was glorious to watch – GLORIOUS – I almost felt bad to the kid as he awkwardly tried to dance out of the shit-storm and she kept pulling him back in. Michelle is the new queen and she is a queen that we don’t deserve. The tribe then voted and amazingly, Michelle saved herself – though highlighted herself as a threat in the process – sending Ben out of the game.

I immediately took him under my wing when the poor thing arrived at loser lodge, completely gobsmacked and full of praise for Michelle. She may have outplayed him, but he was impressed and that goes to show what a nice kid he truly is. I mean, he even forgave me when I asked to speak to his manager and tried to get him fired from Grill’d. Given the fact it eventually became a personal joke between us, I knew I had to whip him up a nice fat Eggs Benedict Burgan.

 

 

If I were to narrow down to my two greatest culinary loves, they’d have to be burgers and breakfast … and this little baby has the privilege of falling into both categories. Juicy, spiced patties, tangy hollandaise and salty bacon, BETWEEN BREAD? You had me at the tribe has spoken.

Enjoy!

 

 

Eggs Benedict Burgan
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
250g beef mince
1 tsp chilli flakes
½ ground sage
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
white vinegar
4 rashers streaky bacon
2 eggs
½ batch Hollandaise Taylor
2 Jon English Muffins

Method
Combine the mince, chilli, sage and a pinch of salt and pepper. Scrunch to combine and form two, thin patties.

Get a saucepan of water with a lug of vinegar on the boil over high heat.

Heat a lug of olive oil in small frying pan over medium heat. Add the patties and cook for three minutes each side. Remove from the pan and add the bacon, cooking until crisp.

The water should be well and truly boiling at this time, so reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, swirl the water and crack the eggs in. Cook until the white is just cooked, and the yolks are gooey.

Quickly whip up the Hollandaise Taylor and toast two Jon English Muffins.

To assemble, place two rasher of bacon on the base of the muffin, top with the patty and poached egg and drown with hollandaise. Top with the other half of the muffin and devour.

 

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Karlic Lagerbread

Bread, Side, Snack, Vegetarian

In case you haven’t noticed I have a real affinity for the elderly, particularly when they are as kind and sweet as my dear friend Karl Lagerfeld.

As soon as our eyes locked in his interview to replace my as Pierre Balmain’s assistant in the 50s – using my calculation, Stockard Channing would have been well into her 60s at the time – I knew that I had found a lifelong friend. I also had the inkling he was destined for greatness, and as such, would need a powerful muse to help him on his way.

After three years in the job, I convinced him it was time to move on and landed him a job with Jean Patou where I proudly inspired two collections per year, for five years. While his first collections were poorly received, I told him to stand by his skin-baring silhouettes (and get my goods out there for the world to see).

My trick to being such a successful muse? A constant state of nakedness to inspire them with my beauty … or to make something to simply cover me up.

Given how busy he is with all his labels, we haven’t caught up in just over a year so it was a delight to just hang and relax in our sunglasses and high starched collars.  We laughed in a sophisticated manner, gossiped, I tried to inspire a few collections – it is winter here, so expect fur to feature next season … I looked great on my rug – and devoured his favourite Karlic Lagerbread.

 

 

Fun fact: despite what the book The Karl Lagerfeld Diet would have you believe, this is the only thing Karl ate in his pursuit of losing 42kgs in 2001. Maybe the dickload of garlic cut through all the carbs, butter and cheese – who knows?

In any event, it packs a punch and is oh-so-delicious. Enjoy!

 

 

Karlic Lagerbread
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 baguettes
100g butter, at room temperature
6-8 cloves of garlic, crushed (I did say it was a lot!)
¼ cup parmesan
¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the butter, garlic, parmesan and parsley in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

Cut the baguettes into 2cm slices, leaving joined at the bottom. Spread the garlic butter generously between the cuts and wrap each baguette in foil.

Place the garlic bread in the oven and bake for about  twenty minutes, or until golden, crisp and glorious. Devour immediately.

 

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Jonathan LaPagliatelle

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Pasta, Vegetarian

He’s baaaaaa-aaaaack! This time next week we’ll have witnessed scruffy Oz-Probst – and my dear friend – Jonathan LaPaglia snuff his first torch of the season. And I will have screamed for smelling salts as the euphoria/orgasm rendered me unconscious.

Yes – that is the long winded way of saying Australian Survivor is back and I couldn’t be happier to announce that once again JoJo requested my presence in Samoa to act as his houseboy / culinary comfort chef for the castaways.

I’ve known Jo for years, after a chance meeting at the University of Adelaide where I was skulking about the med school trying to meet a future doctor to take as my husband. While he had zero interest in pursuing a relationship due to our similar appearance (read: killer guns), we became friends against all odds and I was quickly taken into the LaPaglia family.

While there was a period of ugliness after Anthony refused to get Josie Alibrandi gender-flipped – and that time I tried to torch his car when I was overlooked for the hosting role – we remain the closest of friends and I was thrilled to spend two months together in Samoa, catching-up, feasting in front of the contestants … and I assume doing weights.

To celebrate the impending return of Australian Survivor, I flew Jojo over to discuss how we felt the season went – really good … unless the editors really drop the ball / can’t be paid by Channel 10 – over a big fat bowl of my Jonathan LaPagliatelle.

 

 

I’ve long held the belief that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach – I actually coined the phrase, NBD – and this is the first dish I ever made him to win him over. Warm, fresh, creamy and tasty, it is the second most fun I’ve had getting sauce over a man’s face.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jonathan LaPagliatelle
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
bunch of shallots, sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
200g button mushrooms, sliced
5 sprigs of thyme leaves
250g chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste
500g tagliatelle
250g mascarpone
200g baby spinach, washed and drained
100g parmesan, grated

Method
Heat a good lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat and cook off the shallots and garlic until the island love nest – or kitchen – is aromatic. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook for a further ten minutes, or until the mushrooms are lightly browned.

Add the stock and bring to the boil, before reducing the heat and simmering for fifteen minutes. Season and keep warm while you cook the pasta as per packet instructions.

When the pasta is al dente, add the mascarpone and spinach to the the mushroom mix and stir until combined and the spinach wilted. Stir through the pasta and half the parmesan, before serving, generously drowned in the excess parmesan.

Devour immediately with your big strong, LaPagli-esque arms and think of how they’d hold you tight in winter. Or something.

 

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