Troyzanella Robertson

Salad, Side, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap, Vegetarian

With Cirie, Aubry and Tai swiftly ejected from the finale, Cirie under tragic circumstances, we opened up on day 39 with Troyzan sharing a touching story about dreaming of this moment from seeing the very first episode. If only we’d seen more of him this season, I would have shared his confidence.

They got to work whipping up the finale breakfast with Sarah proud of how she has played the game, hoping that the jury would reward her gameplay and her officer-esque honesty at final tribal.

Brad was feeling very confident, sure that he could put his lawyer skills to use and convince the jury to award him the money.

We quickly returned to tribal where the jury looked as disappointed with the final three as I was – I mean, it could have been Sandra, Cirie and Malcolm for fucks sake. Given that this is game changers, Jeff announced one final twist in the game – changing the jury format of the game to allow a more open dialogue between the jury and the finalists.

Zeke was quick to start the dialogue, praising Sarah for turning on him and then returning to tribal every night wearing his jacket AND turning on Sierra while still being able to convince her to hand over the legacy advantage. He then volunteered as tribute for her and this is suddenly the Hunger Games … which kinda makes sense.

Andrea also praised Sarah before breaking down because Sarah had hurt her and she wasn’t sure if she could move past it and feel good about voting for her. Sarah said that she valued all of their relationships, earning laughs from Ozzy and Debbie who couldn’t trust a word she said before volunteering as Brad’s tribute, to champion his victory based solely on challenge performance.

Cirie quickly pointed out that they booted Sierra as she was the brains of Brad and Troy’s operation and without her, assumed they’d wander around bumping into each other. He was obviously very quick to outline that he was in fact responsible for assembling the alliances.

Michaela joined the fray to test Brad on his personal connection to her, highlighting a major flaw in his social game. On the flipside, Andrea and Tai then asked Sarah how she felt about building those relationships for the sole purpose of taking her out. Aubry quickly directed the question to where it needed to go, allowing Sarah to knock her answer out of the park.

Obviously that upset Debbie, with her vowing to vote for Brad. That in turn earned Michaela’s frustration, with her highlighting that it is just a game and they need to get over their hurt feelings. She then threw shade at Troyzan, asking what the hell he even did in the game. That lead to everyone in the jury jumping on board to berate his lack of gameplay.

Andrea was quick to point out that Brad wasn’t very good at forming relationships with people that weren’t a part of his inner circle. Brad tried to defend himself, before Tai cut him off and told him that he clearly has no idea how he comes across to others. Hali then jumped in and the dear law student, schooled the lawyer.

Debbie then added that he was virial and full of testosterone.

Zeke jumped in to point out that Sarah voted correctly all the time because she was always aware of what was going on, while the others did not.

Brad’s tribute from district 7, Ozzy, jumped in to once again praise Brad’s challenge prowess and tell people that that clearly means he deserves the win. Debbie again agreed, before Sarah cut in to point out that he was a professional athlete and kind of had a leg up. Brad tried to cut back in before Michaela told him to shut-it-down and let her finish.

That allowed Sarah to point out more ways she owned the game, manoeuvring around the technicality of voting out Sierra without voting for her and snatching the advantage from under Michaela’s feet while everyone was distracted by Cirie’s balance beam triumph.

Brad gave his last ditch plea, relying pretty much on winning immunities and being a neat guy and helping out at camp. Sarah simply implored them to vote for the best player who controlled every vote, rather than with their hurt feelings. Defeated, Troyzan simply thanked them for being a part of the journey because it meant a lot to him.

With that, they went to vote with Michaela announcing that anyone that didn’t vote for Sarah is a bitter Betty. Ozzy hoped that Brad could do what he couldn’t. Zeke was honour to vote for his girl Sarah and Debbie obviously voted for Brad, hoping that just once good guys – like the guy she screamed at pre-merge – could finish first just once. With that the jury voted, crowning Sarah the sole Survivor and Brad the second second-place Culpepper, and Troyzan as predicted the zero votes third place finisher.

While Troyzan’s game wasn’t very showy, he was far more likeable than his first go-around and that in itself is a win. I mean, I’ve always known that he is a kind, friendly soul as one of his dearest friend – I forced him into taking my photo in swimsuits. He was disappointed when he exited the game, but quickly perked up with a little bit of love from his friend and a big ole Troyzanella Robertson.

 

 

There is nothing more comforting than bread and as such, I knew that this is all that he would ever need to move on from his third place finish. Plus … he knew it was coming since he was on the ballot for Second Chances.

All that aside, this is delicious – fragrant, sweet … and bread. There is damn bread, case closed, it is perfect. Enjoy!

 

 

Troyzanella Robertson
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
200g ciabatta, roughly torn into chunks and left to dry for an hour
600g mixed very ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
200g chargrilled capsicum, roughly chopped
a bunch of fresh basil, leaves torn
champagne vinegar
olive oil

Method
Place the tomatoes in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and toss to combine.

Add the onion, garlic, capsicum, basil, and a good lug of both the champagne vinegar and the olive oil, to taste. Again, toss … you know I love a toss.

Add the bread, toss, serve and devour.

 

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Mojitony Deane

Drink, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Shay flipped on her alliance for the second time, at her second tribal, sending a well pissed Tony to redemption island. The next day those not in purgatory competed in their first reward challenge, where Mogoton continued their losing streak. Meanwhile on redemption, Tony made quick work of the duel sending my queen Hannah out of the game.

We opened up back at Mogoton where Sala and Lou spoke about what went down at the duel and his threats for Shay’s blood, scaring the shit out of Shay. Given that he was out for blood though, I get it. Meanwhile Georgia and Shannon decided it was best to keep the juicy intel from the rest of the Hermosa helping Shannon in her quest to be my new queen.

Oh and Tony was still calling for blood on redemption … while sharpening a knife. I thought he was sweet, but that’s some scary shit.

Hermosa sat down to the first of their two meals for the day, confusing Nate and Barb who couldn’t understand why they’d bother eating twice a day for four days when they’re barely a week into a 40 day competition. Sadly though, they’re screwed if they ever lose a challenge.

Back at Mogoton Izzy got to work whipping up a sand cake in honour of Sala’s daughter’s birthday. I was going to throw some serious shade about the cake until seeing how it touched Sala … which in turn touched me. You got lucky, Izzy!

We returned to Hermosa where Lee’s hair was looking fucking stunning. THEN he decided to go fishing in short shorts. Ladies and gentleman, I think we have a winner of my heart! There was then a lot of poo talk which made me and my nieces and nephews thrilled – if they watched – though it ended up backfiring on Jak, with Barb sick of his attempted humour.

Over at Mogoton Lou and Avi went for a walk to talk strategy, planning to keep stringing Tom along to pull in the numbers with Sala, begging the question how does Shay flip if she isn’t a part of the majority?

Matty Boy – is that a nickname? More importantly, is he worthy of one – arrived to lord of the immunity challenge where tribe members had to square off against someone from the other tribe by holding themselves up between two walls on small footholds.

Lee’s hair continued to look glorious, though I also started to realise that Tom is also pretty banging. Did I mention no one dropped out on the first two footholds? Because they didn’t. Avi was the first to drop not long after transitioning to the thinnest foothold, followed by Lee – with a hairflick, swoon. Izzy hit the deck not long after, which is the best thing to say with a kiwi accent. After a lengthy struggle Tom gave out leaving poor Lou to battle it out for her tribe solo. Despite some excitement with Shannon falling out and it starting to rain – which made Mike also look banging, the water glistening over his flexing muscles …

Oh and then poor Lou dropped, handing Hermosa immunity and giving Shay the opportunity to make a new alliance that she can flip on!

Back at camp, Hermosa were loving themselves sick, sitting under their tarp and gloating about their continuing winning streak. Thankfully nature threw Mogoton a bone and the rain stopped, though not after destroying poor Shay’s scriptures.

Lou, Izzy and Shay broke away from the boys to discuss the upcoming tribal where Shay continued to push for Tom, which is something neither Izzy or Lou seem keen on. Avi and Sala got together and vowed to vote Izzy, Tom dropped by and wasn’t keen to boot Izzy, instead wanting to get rid of Shay. Avi then went to talk to Lou and Shay, where the latter verbalised wanting to boot Tom putting Avi in a difficult position. Shay and Avi then went for a walk where Avi worked overtime to save Tom, which Shay still isn’t buying into.

Avi delivered the news to Tom, who was disappointed that it was coming down to him and Izzy, though not disappointed enough to get her, Avi and Lou to get rid of Shay. As they prepared for their date with Matt, Izzy gave a last ditch plea to Avi after he announced that they would be voting her out. After Izzy was clearly upset by Avi’s news, Tom got to work on the obvious solution and went to the girls to join he and Avi to boot Shay, completing the circle of confusion before heading off to tribal.

At tribal Shay and Avi spoke about being disappointed by their losses, though not defeated. Tom then gave a great read on the situation over at Hermosa, low-key proving he is an asset and a huge threat going into the merge. Lou outlined that she trusted everyone while Izzy announced that she was pretty confident that she would be getting the boot.

Sadly for her she was correct, sending her to redemption island to stew in her rage with Tony. Thankfully Tony welcomed her with open arms, not shocking Tony since Shay is obviously the wicked witch of the west. That being said, I assume he was just happy to have some company given his monologue after she arrived.

Back at camp Mogoton continued to feel sorry for themselves, except for Tom who was only saved by Shay’s last minute flipping. I KID YOU NOT!

The next day Hermosa were still riding on the high of their victories, already losing the ability to count the number of days despite eating two meals a day. Jak and Mike pulled Shannon, Lee and Georgia aside to discuss throwing the next immunity challenge to get rid of Barb or Nate, breaking my heart in the process. Thankfully though Shannon continued to be the likeable voice of reason, with her countering the fact that while throwing a challenge is a bad idea, Nate will flip on them in a heartbeat and it sadly makes sense. Barb however noticed that Shannon had dropped she and Nate, leaving the olds desperate to fight for the next immunity.

Over at Mogoton, Tom and Avi ran through their option to call out Matt and get him to rotate the sit-outs on Hermosa to give them a shot. Obviously that lead into the next reward challenge where Hermosa were shocked to discover that Izzy was the one voted out at the last tribal.

The challenge is one of my faves for smutty puns, where one member of each tribe has to pitch their balls for the rest of their tribe to catch. Balls, pitching and catching – what more could a guy ask for? Sala and Shay got Mogoton out to an early lead, taking three balls before Hermosa even took one … surprisingly caught by Jak. Sala got another, Lee and his torn apart shorts got in on the action before Sala proved the most skilled with balls, snagging Mogoton with their first challenge victory of the season.

Back at camp Hermosa weren’t taking the end of their losing streak very well, with Mike quick to point out that Nate was absolutely useless in the challenge. Mike and Georgia discussed how best to ration their food, vowing to cut down tomorrow like literally every person on a diet.

It was a different story over at Mogoton where everyone looked happy for the first time in nine days. To add insult to Hermosa’s injuries, Georgia’s fears were confirmed with Mogoton gloating about how much food they have remaining … without even taking into account the huge fishing kit they just won in the reward challenge. That night Lou announced that she had sliced her foot on a rock the day earlier and that it was already looking nasty and infected, which is never a good thing on Survivor.

The next day they put their fishing net to good use, catching a fish for everyone and adding to their insane food haul. Lou however couldn’t care less, with her infection making her feel lethargic and sick.

Over at Hermosa, Georgia and Mike were desperately scouring the beach for anything that looked remotely edible. While they found some dragon fruit, which they were able to make into a sweet smoothie with rice. Jak however was not having a bar of it, despite the fact that it looked like Nate and Barb weren’t given the opportunity to eat anything and he could have offered it to them.

At redemption island, Izzy and Tony were having a chat as they packed their bags … and by that, Tony spoke at Izzy while she sat in silence wishing the duel would arrive and grant her silence or allow her to make a break for freedom out of the game. Thankfully for her, Matt arrived for the duel where they were each tethered to a rope wrapped around two wooden obstacles.

Before they got to work, Tony continued to use his words – a lot of words – while attacking Shay. On the flipside, Izzy couldn’t be bothered dwelling on her post-boot anger and instead focused on the duel. She got out to an early lead and despite Tony’s best attempts to catch-up, he wasn’t able to make up the ground giving Izzy the victory and sending Tony out of the game as the third boot.

While he was super disappointed to be out of the game, he was thrilled to have someone to talk to. Given my passion for rambling however I wasn’t so sure, so quickly whipped up a cheeky Mojitony Deane.

 

 

Now I’m normally not a huge fan of anything rum but this baby is so tropical and refreshing, I just can’t go past it.

Plus, let’s be honest, I’d suck the alcohol out of a deodorant stick … so enjoy?

 

 

Mojitony Deane
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
½ fresh lime, cut into four wedges
a couple of fresh mint leaves
a pinch of raw caster sugar
2 shots white rum
cubed ice
soda water, to top

Method
Place the lime, mint and sugar in the bottom of a highball and briefly muddle.

Top with the rum, ice and top up with the soda water.

Give a quick swizzle and down.

 

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Andrea Gumboehlke

Main, Poultry, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Officer Sarah shared information of her vote steal advantage with kween Cirie, winning her and I over. Wanting in on the action Sierra then shared information about the legacy advantage with Sarah, which backfired as Sarah targeted her to get a hold of the advantage – successfully blindsiding Sierra and securing the advantage for herself over Sierra’s closest ally Brad.

Maku Maku returned to camp where Aubry, Andrea, Cirie and Michaela were shocked about why Sarah pretended to be shocked about Sierra getting the boot. This made Andrea nervous and immediately want to target her, on the flipside Cirie was keen to keep her on side and take her to the end as a goat.

The next day Sarah then explained how the legacy advantage worked, none the wiser that we already know about said advantage from Jessica and my wet-dream Kengel last season. Her reenactment of her shocked face was on point though, before gloating about her total of two advantages. Which she plans to use to get rid of Andrea ASAP.

Given that it is a double boot, Probst jumped straight into the action for the first immunity challenge of the episode – the classic house of cards challenge … though this time it was on a balancing table.

Aubry got out to an early lead after finally joining the season, casually chatting about her boyfriend (the insufferable) Cochran. Michaela and Andrea caught up, before quickly dropping out. Brad dropped his stack, as did Cirie and Sarah, while Aubry continued to dominate with a slow and steady wins the race mentality. Michaela and Troyzan caught up, then dropped … seriously this is boring commentary, no? Despite needing to take cards off to get enough height, Aubry took out the challenge – and almost Probst with that hug – breaking the time record by over ten minutes.

The tribe returned to camp, mystified by Aubry’s mad skillz and probably wondering why she was allowed to enter the game on day 33. Cirie and her mob got together to lock in the vote against Brad. Proving to still be as tone deaf as always, Michaela went to find Brad and direct him to stop looking for an idol and to instead go fishing.

Yeah he took it as a threat and it was, but Monica would totally go fish for everyone as she is such a nice, neat lady.

Andrea tried to get Aubry and Cirie to turn on Sarah as the biggest threat over the boys, which backfired as Cirie went to Sarah and floated the idea of getting rid of Andrea instead of Brad.

With that little bit of confusion, we arrived at tribal where Aubry spoke about the ‘we’ being a bit more solid these days, to which Sarah agreed that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. On the flipside, Troyzan argued that given he has zero options (or chance at winning) – sorry Kass, he took your Spencer-appointed title – if anyone flipped to him, they’d have the most loyal ally ever. Forever, BFFs.

While Aubry agreed, she noted that with eight people left there is still a lot that could happen. Cirie and Andrea spoke about the lack of pre-tribal scrambling … which I assumed was just cut because of the double boot. Brad agreed that he didn’t scramble with Andrea, figuring that since he’s voted against her twice now, she wouldn’t be interested. Sarah then started her jury speech a few tribals too early and reiterated that when she was a juror, she rewarded gameplay and would like the jury to reward her for voting all of them out. Which Aubry countered with the fact you need to make an emotional connection, which is what she lacked in Kaoh Rong and lost her the game.

As they went to vote, Brad gave a last ditch plea for the majority to think about the fact that one of them will go out fifth, inevitably regretting not taking out their alliance earlier. Whether it was Brad’s work or not, Cirie, Sarah and Michaela all flipped to the minority to take out Andrea … blindsiding Aubry and earning Cirie and playful tickle on the way out the door.

Say what you will, girl sure can handle a blindside with grace and a smile.

Given that both Dre Dre and i are beloved members of the media, it is obvious that we’d be the dearest of friends. And so I knew that despite loving the chance to be slaughtered by kween Cirie, she would be sad and in desperate need of a Andrea Gumboehlke.

 

 

Hot and spicy, yet creamy and smooth – this baby has everything you need to be a successful Survivor contestant slash friend.

Enjoy!

While it is obvious … who will join me next?

 

 

Andrea Gumboehlke
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1kg boneless chicken thighs
vegetable oil
500g smoked chorizo, cut into thick coins
⅓ cup plain flour
2 onions, diced
4 shallots, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 green capsicum, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
4-6 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
1 cup okra, thickly sliced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp filé powder

Method
Combine 1 tablespoon of salt with the pepper, paprika and cayenne and toss through the thighs, until coated.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large dutch oven and add the chicken and chorizo, stirring to brown the edges but don’t worry about being too pedantic. Transfer the browned meat to a plate to rest and bring the liquid to the boil.

Add the flour and whisk until it is chocolate coloured, 15 minutes should do. Reduce the heat to low and add the onions, before cooking for ten minutes. Add the shallots, celery, capsicum and garlic, and cook for a further ten minutes.

Whisk in the broth, add the bay leaves, thyme and reserved meat and bring to the boil. When going nuts, reduce heat to low and simmer for about an hour.

Stir in the okra, Worcestershire, hot sauce and filé powder, and cook for a further hour. Remove from the heat, season to taste … and then devour with steamed rice and plenty more hot sauce.

 

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Zekeshuka Smith

Breakfast, Main, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Zeke and Andrea continued to feud, Debbie was confident that the power alliance of six would hold strong with Sarah on board … which of course meant it didn’t, with Sarah joining with Aubry and Cirie to mend the previously mentioned feud and blindside my dear Debs.

Back at camp, Brad congratulated the ex-minority on a killer blindside before – shockingly – privately telling us that he and his alliance were now kinda, sorta definitely screwed. Sarah was very quick to take the blame/credit for flipping, hoping the jury would reward her for making a move to better herself.

The new minority then joined together to congratulate each other in hushed tones and received kisses from the kween … which hopefully aren’t mob related, giving how Aubry views her.

Jiffy Pop quickly arrived for the reward challenge where – again, shockingly (which is clearly my descriptor for the recap) – the tribe was split into two teams to compete for an overnight resort and feast reward.

While Michaela got the orange team out to a quick lead in a challenge she dominated last season, the blue team quickly caught Brad up when pulling him up – yes, up – the wall to grab numbered puzzle pieces. Troy caught the orange team up, before Sarah brought the blue back in front … though thankfully for both teams, the physical aspect was completely irrelevant, as they struggled with the word puzzle FOR CLOSE TO AN HOUR.

Thankfully Andrea put us out of our misery and picked up on Jeff’s exceedingly more obvious clues, solving the puzzle and snagging victory for herself, Brad, Sarah, Aubry and Zeke.

At reward the victors quickly snagged themselves a drink and gorged on the feast splayed out on a lazy susan. Is that last part important? No … but they made a point to acknowledge it. Continuing in his tradition from last season, Zeke and Brad started discussing football which immediately made Andrea wary.

Meanwhile the losers back at camp were looking like absolute crap. I mean, no offence … but they truly looked wrecked. Troyzan made a game reappearance and lamented being on the bottom with Tai – which sounds great – neither acknowledging their idols to the other.

The victors returned to camp looking refreshed like the after-shots of a makeover however Aubry too was starting to worry about Zeke and Brad’s bonding. Andrea and Cirie quickly went aside to discuss making a move against Zeke, which Cirie was completely on board with given the fact he knows more about the game than her despite it being her fourth time out.

Cirie then tackled their biggest hurdle and pulled Officer Sarah aside to get rid of Sarah’s closest alliance on the island. Sarah then shared her vote steal advantage with Cirie as a way to throw the target off Zeke … before sharing with us that she is willing to flip back to the other side if it she thought it was better for her.

The next day Zeke was feeling uncomfortable by the eerie calmness of camp before going on a walk with Sarah and outlining how the remainder of the game would play out for them. Potentially proving Cirie’s point, Zeke then told her that he wanted to propose a final five alliance between them, Brad, Troyzan and Michaela … before running straight to the boys to tell them he’s saved them from the next day.

Wanting to help put us out of our misery, Jeff returned for the immunity challenge where they each have to line up blocks on a moving bar set up over a trip obstacle, that will ultimately – hopefully – knock a gong at the end. While everyone got out to a strong start, Brad was the first to drop all of his blocks before Andrea just edged out in front with Sarah and Michaela and snatched individual immunity again.

Back at camp, Andrea was feeling confident enough from her victory to take out Zeke, rather than sticking with the easy option of Sierra. While she could quickly get Cirie on board, they were both concerned about how to convince Sarah it was the best way.

Sierra then appeared as they started to talk about potentially getting her on board to vote for Zeke, which she obviously agreed to before they even finished their sentence. Sarah then dropped by to test their fears and while she wasn’t thrilled about it, she semi-agreed to the plan despite not liking Andrea’s cockiness.

With that, Andrea approached Aubry and Michaela who were thrilled and concerned about the plan respectively. Michaela and Sarah then spoke about their concerns with the plan and confirmed themselves as the swing votes at tribal.

At tribal Sarah confirmed she was the reason Debbie was voted out, resulting in her flipping the bird from the jury box. Tai lamented feeling uneasy for the first time in his two seasons, while Brad and Sierra were concerned about being the newest bottom. Andrea and Michaela spoke about the new majority sticking together, with the latter adding that now isn’t the right time to make a move given how close the numbers were.

There was talk of the heart and relationships, the need to make friends, constantly running the numbers, bottoming and treating people like chess pieces leaving me mildly confused as they headed to vote. Thankfully though it didn’t take long for the confusion to dissipate as the votes rolled in for Zeke and he found himself becoming the fourth member of the jury as Michaela – not Sarah – sobbed from the bench.

As you know, I’ve known Zeke for a couple of years after I began coaching his improv group – hey, when you know Teens and Ames it is your civic duty – so he was so thrilled to see a familiar face in loser lodge – again – after his back-to-back losses.

Thankfully though Zeke is such a positive guy and knows that it is just a game, so we didn’t dwell on his Game Changers experience and instead focused our energy on devouring some Zekeshuka Smith.

 

 

I was thrilled it was Zeke booted – like sad for him, but thrilled for me – because I was actually nursing a huge hangover from fake partying with Debbie and this baby is the perfect hangover cure.

Hot, rich and topped in par-cooked eggs if you are still nursing a headache after this, I don’t know what you should do. Maybs get taken out to pasture – who knows?

Enjoy!

 

 

Zekeshuka Smith
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 capsicum, diced
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
2 merguez sausages, sliced
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes
salt, pepper and sugar, to season
a handful of baby spinach
8 eggs
a handful of feta cheese, crumbled
Parsley, to sprinkle

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large pan and sweat the onion and garlic for about five minutes. Add the capsicum, jalapeno and sausage and cook for a further five minutes. Add the spices and cook for a minute before adding the tomatoes and a good whack of salt and pepper, and a pinch of sugar. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to low.

Add the spinach and stir to combine before cracking the eggs into the pan, cover and cook for five-ten minutes or until the whites are set and the yolks are perfect. Serve immediately, with feta and parsley crumbled over the top.

Devour with crusty bread.

 

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Jeffrey Tamburito

Cinco de Cuatro Celebration, Main, Snack

I know what you’re thinking – what the fuck are you doing back for Cinco de Cuatro when today is Cinco de Mayo, you fool? A) that is super aggressive, let’s keep it pleasant and b) I simply can not have a Mexican food celebration honouring Arrested Development without the Bluth patriarch himself, Jeffrey Tambor.

I mean sure, I’ve totally dissed and dismissed my boy – well Lucille’s boy, both of them – Tony Hale … but we caught up last year and he is ok with it. He wanted to give his onscreen family, particularly his sibs Will, Porsh and Jase, a chance to be featured on this historical record of my celebrity friendships.

Anyway, back to Jeff – we’ve been friends for decades after meeting through my dear, dear, dearly departed friend Larry Sanders. I was completely taken by his talent in Lazza’s show and when he came in to audition for Arrested Development, I knew he just had to play George and Oscar.

After it was tragically axed prior to him snagging an Emmy, I made it my personal mission to snag him the gold. When I started developing a little show for Amazon called Transparent, I suggested he audition and help support the T of my community.

At first he thought I asked him to audition for season five of Community in an attempt to keep it on the t-eev, and while he agreed, he was even more excited to find out it was Transparent and his casting would help boost visibility for a less privileged part of my actual community. Now I know that it is fucked up to have a cisgender man playing a trans woman, but Jeffrey knows that and is working hard to make it up to the trans community by advocating that he be the last.

Given that season four should be released in the next few months, I was far less political in our discussions and instead focused on getting myself some spoilers / convincing him to find me a nice juicy role in the inevitable season five. Obviously that required me to sweeten him up, which in turn obviously meant I had to serve up a big old Jeffrey Tamburito.

 

 

There is no better way to honour the legitimate holiday that is Cinco de Mayo than a big, fat, spicy burrito. Hot, fresh and altogether soothing, is there anything more you need me to say to get some pork on your fork?

Enjoy!

 

 

Jeffrey Tamburito
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1kg pork shoulder
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 onions, quartered
5 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
a few sprigs of oregano
3 tsp cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
200g chipotles chillis in adobo sauce, blitzed to a pulp
400g can of chopped tomatoes
1L chicken stock
3 ripe tomatoes, diced
4 shallots, finely sliced
1 red capsicum, diced
400g can of kidney beans, drained
juice and zest of lime
1 onion, diced
small handful of coriander, finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric
3 cups rice, rinsed thoroughly
6 cups water
12 large tortillas
Guacamole, grated cheese, lettuce, sour cream, sriracha and any other beloved accompaniments, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Heat a lug of oil in a dutch oven, season the pork and seal on both sides until golden. Remove from the pan, add the carrots, onion, garlic, bay leaves, oregano 2 tsps of the cumin and the smoked paprika and toss around with the meat for a minute or two, or until fragrant. Add the chillis, tinned tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to the boil. Cover and transfer to the oven and cook for three-four hours, or until the meat is falling apart.

While the meat is cooking, combine the tomatoes in a bowl with the shallots, capsicum, kidney beans, lime juice and a lug of olive oil. Stir well, season and refrigerate until needed.

Then get the rice ready by heating yet another lug of olive oil in a large pan and frying the onion for a couple of minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the coriander, the remaining cumin and turmeric and cook for a further minute before stirring through the rice. Cover with water, give a good whack of seasoning and cook, uncovered, over low heat for about twenty minutes.

Once everything is done, remove the meat from the oven and shred meat between two forks like a basic white girl says she is for a wedding and return to the pan on the stove top. Crank the heat up and simmer in the sauce for ten minutes or so, or until thickened and delicious.

To serve, heat a tortilla is a dry frying pan. Transfer to a bench, layer with your desired salad, the bean salsa, condiments and cheese and finally the pulled pork. Fold the tortilla over to enclose, seal the ends and roll to create a fat cylinder. Wrap in foil and transfer to the aforementioned frying pan to cook for a minute or so either side.

Before, obviously, devouring.

 

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Jasalbondigas Bateman

Cinco de Cuatro Celebration, Main, Party Food

There was only one person I could spend actual Cinco de Cuatro with and that is my dear friend Jase Bates.

Well, actually, I’m still a bit iffy on the logistics of which day Cinco de Cuatro falls on but I’m rolling with the day before Cinco de Mayo thing. Just roll with it, ok?

Jase is on my my dearest friends – because he is born in ‘69 (lol) and shares my husband’s middle name – so I am super stoked that he is Arrested Development’s lead and earnt him the plum gig of catching up with me on the big day.

I first met J in the mid-80s through his sister Justine – who I shared a torrid affair with on the set of Family Ties – and was immediately taken by his wit, charm and obvious talent that I could use for coattail riding. Fun fact: when my other friend from Family Ties – Mick J. Foxy – was looking for a lead in the Teen Wolf sequel, Teen Wolf Too, I knew he was the only person that could take on the role.

Turns out I was into bears from an early age.

Anyway, given his career resurgence I haven’t been able to spend as much time with Jasey-B lately, so it was so nice to sit back, take a breath and gasbag about everything we’ve missed over the last few years.

Given how busy I have also been with my career resurgence, it was an exhausting chat and we desperately needed something hearty enough to give us the require energy to celebrate Cinco de Cuatro … enter my lengthily titled Jasalbondigas Batemen.

 

 

You know how much I love both meat and balls, so it should come as no surprise that I would go straight to a Hispanic meatball in honour of our Mexican celebrations.

Spicy, comforting and oh-so-tasty, these babies go perfectly with some Portia de’arrozi, beans and dickloads of cheese. Hell, eat it after a cheeky Jessica Flaulter and wash it down with a Will Horcharnetta.

Figuratively. Maybe. Eh, whatever – enjoy!

 

 

Jasalbondigas Bateman
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 egg
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp dried oregano
olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 bay leaf
½ tsp hot paprika
800g canned chopped tomatoes
raw caster sugar

Method
Combine the mince, 2 cloves of garlic, egg, smoked paprika, cumin, chilli powder and oregano in a bowl. Scrunch the mixture with your hands until well combined and form into 12 meatballs. Place on a tray, cover and chill for half an hour.

Heat a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and remaining garlic, and cook for five minutes or so, or until translucent and sweet. Add the bay leaf and hot paprika and give a quick stir before adding the tomatoes and a pinch of sugar. When bubbling away, drop in the meatballs and spoon over some liquid. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about twenty minutes or until the balls are cooked through.

Serve immediately with the rice and beans before devouring.

 

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Portia de’arrozi

Cinco de Cuatro Celebration, Side, Snack, Vegetarian

I feel like such a terrible person – don’t worry, I know I’m not – I caught up with Ellen over two and a half years ago and as we were saying our farewells, we spoke about how I need to have a date with my dear friend Portia. Two and a half years ago!

Oh well – better late than never, I guess?

Anyway, I’d barely finished dialling the number before Porsh answered and excitedly screamed into the phone, “yes, yes, yes, yes, YES! I’d love to come visit and be featured on your anthropological record of your celebrity friends … to celebrate Cinco de Cuatro.”

Lucky it wasn’t a surprise, otherwise I’d have to take Jess and Will out of my inner circle!

As you can probably tell, it has been a couple of years since I have seen my dear Porsh and I’m so thankful that we finally got it together to put the time aside. Annelie and I have known Por for years – Annelie having co-starred with her in Ally McBeal as the dancing baby, and I co-starred with her as Elle Macpherson’s body double in the Kate Fischer/Tziporah Malkah headliner, Sirens.

Given that she was just killed off on the hit show I pretend to watch, Scandal, P was hella relaxed, having caught up on her sleep and feeling excited for the next step in her career. After swapping a few stories, catching each other up on our families – Ellen misses me desperately, obvs – we sat down for a bowl of spicy, Cinco de Cuatro appropriate Portia de’arrozi.

 

 

Hot and fresh, this little bowl of goodness is the perfect accompaniment to any meal … or long overdue date with a dear gal-pal.

Enjoy!

 

 

Portia de’arrozi
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
⅓ cup olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 jalapenos, thinly sliced
2 cups long grain brown rice, rinsed thoroughly
2 cups chicken stock
400g tin crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper, to taste
small handful coriander, roughly chopped
juice of a lime

Method
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and sweat the onion and garlic until nice and fragrant. Add the jalapenos and  cook for a further five minutes.

Reduce the heat to low, add the rice and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes. Stir in the stock and tomatoes, crank the heat and bring to the boil.

Again reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about fifteen minutes, or until the liquid has absorbed. Season generously with salt and pepper, stir through the coriander and lime juice … and devour.

 

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Jessica Flaulters

Cinco de Cuatro Celebration, Main, Snack

Given that her wickedly delightful character Lucille is the creator of the passive-aggressive holiday, I couldn’t go past opening up our Cinco de Cuatro celebrations with a power-date with Jessica Walter.

To put it simply, Jessica Walter is a damn saint. I mean, the woman gave us three of the greatest female characters of all time, Lucille, Malory Archer and Tabitha Wilson from the criminally underrated 90210 reboot.

Actually … make that four, Fran Sinclair is probs the second best character of Dinosaurs, which coincidentally is how I met her.

Annelie and I were working on the hit show – as you know, her young years look inspired Baby Sinclair – and were quickly taken under Jess’ wing. Despite her the acerbic women she plays so well, Jess is such a sweetheart and wanted to make sure Hollywood didn’t destroy us.

While she clearly wasn’t able to keep us out of trouble for long, she always forgave our misdeeds and tried to help us be better. This lead to her getting me a job on Arrested Development writing her put-downs as an outlet for my sass.

Sadly Jess and I haven’t been able to catch-up over the last few years – given our hectic schedules – so it was delightful to be able to spend some time together … and work on convincing her to pitch the long-lost-twin-Duster storyline for season five.

I’m not sure how successful I was with the latter but given how delicious my Jessica Flaulters are, I assume they did the persuading for me.

 

 

Spicy, fresh and dripping in cheese, flautas are quite possibly my favourite form of rolled chilli-tortilla Mexican. Crisp on the outside, moltenous and gooey in the centre, topped with a little bit of my favourite (albeit trashy) lettuce and dickloads of avo? You can’t argue with that.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jessica Flaulters
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
500g chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 onion, diced
2 garlic clove, minced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup salsa, Struthers or store bought, I don’t mind
small handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 cup cheddar, grated
1 lime, juiced
12 tortillas
iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 avocados
sour cream
Sriracha

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet, rub with a lug of oil and a good whack of salt and pepper. Bake for about twenty minutes, or until just cooked. Remove from the oven, shred the chicken and allow to rest / cool.

Turn the oven up to 200°C.

Meanwhile, heat another lug of oil in a large pan and sweat the onion and garlic for about five minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add the jalapenos, cumin and cayenne and cook for a further two minutes. Add the chicken and salsa, and stir to combine.

Remove from the heat and stir through the coriander, cheese and lime juice.

Grab the tortillas and place some of the chicken mixture along one end. Roll the tortilla and transfer the roll to a lined baking sheet. Repeat the process until the mixture is gone. Brush each with some oil and bake for about twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Serve immediately topped with some lettuce, mashed avo, sour cream and Sriracha … and devour.

 

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MickMuffin Jagger

13th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Breakfast, Burgers, Main, Snack

We’ve come to the end of the ritual and wild horses couldn’t keep me away because this legend is a gas gas gas! Yep, as you may have guessed, I’ve finally convinced my dear friend, ex-lover and God amongst men Mick Jagger to drop by and visit … on record.

It truly is amazing how many people in the world are rooting for Megs’ return to the A-list.

I grew up with Mick and Keith in Dartford in the ‘50s – remember, I kicked Keith out of Annelie and my barbershop quartet minus one leading to the boys forming Rolling Stones. You’re welcome.

Despite the fact we semi-offended Keith by giving him the boot, he appreciated that it was the push he needed  … allowing us to play the integral role in Rolling Stones success, as Mick wanted.

While we’ve dutifully carried out our work as their muses life has gotten in the way over the years and sadly we never get to spend as much time together as we’d like, so I was super thankfully he made the long flight over to visit!

After quickly catching-up and gleefully accepting his request to be little Devereux’s godfather, we got to work on the main purpose of the visit – Meggstravaganza – and devoured way too many MickMuffin Jaggers.

 

 

It is a fact universally acknowledged that breakfast is the best menu at McDonald’s … and its piece de resistance, is the Sausage and Egg McMuffin.

And this takes that majesty, flips it and reserves it, into something even greater – a big kick of chilli, just cooked egg and cheddar so sharp it could cut a bitch.

Long story short, enjoy!

 

 

MickMuffin Jagger
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
500g pork mince
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
a couple of sage leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
pinch of nutmeg
good whack of salt and pepper
olive oil
8 Jon English Muffins
8-16 slices vintage cheddar
8 eggs, sunny-side up
Sriracha or chilli jam, to taste
Slash Browns, to serve

Method
Combine the mince, onion, garlic, sugar, sage, parsley, chilli, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a large bowl and scrunch with your hands until well combined. Divide the mixture into 8 even balls.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat, when piping hot, reduce heat to medium and add half the patties to the pan and flatten with a spatula to about 1cm thick. Cook for about 5 minutes, flip and cook for a couple more. Remove from the heat and repeat the process with the remaining patties.

While the patties are on the go, split the muffins and get toastin’. Top half of each muff with a slice of cheese and place the cooked patties straight on top.

Once the patties are done, cook each egg until the whites are just done and the yolks are perfectly cooked. Place on top of the patties, drizzle with Sriracha or chilli jam and top with the other muff-half.

Devour … with a generous amount of Slash Browns.

 

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