Reubannah Pentato Salad waiting to be giddily destroyed by Hannah Pentreath.

Reubannah Pentato Salad

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Main, Salad, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the Contenders dominated the early game, securing immunity after immunity (after immunity) while the Champs just enjoyed rewards and nothing else. I mean, not even each other’s company after the great power shift at their second tribal. In the early stages, Luke and Harry found two full idols, while Janine and Shaun found idols which were only valid for the other tribe. David then borrowed JaQueen’s idol note, made his own and traded it with Shaun for the real one. After a tribe swap left David and Luke without any allies and Daisy without her bestie Shaun, she decided to make some new friends, flipping on her OG tribe and saving the boys with an assist from Baden and John, blindsiding Sam and then sending Queen Sarah out of the game … after putting her through the trauma of a near-drowning challenge. May I remind you she survived a damn tsunami and deserves more than that.

We checked in with the Contenders where Janine was getting to know Harry, asking him to regale her with tales of his fake son. While I wasn’t a fan of Harry to start, I honestly love that everyone was so interested about his life with his son and he managed to fool them all, despite not remembering his name consistently. Harry, I’m sorry if I’ve been mean – I love you, you sweet family man you.

Over at Camp Champ Baden and Luke were on the hunt for coconuts, with the vet teaching the young whipper snapper how to tell if they are any good. Sadly his skills weren’t on the money though, as he cracked a rotten coconut. Speaking of rotten coconuts, Andy was loving his closest ally in the game David, however sadly for him, David had zero interest in aligning with him. And that makes me so happy. David was thrilled about his new majority alliance though, laughing and frolicking in the water with Luke and John. Sadly for Dave though his other close ally Daisy is missing her former bestie Shaun and that is making him jealous.

Speaking of Shaun he and the Contenders were worried about rain rolling in later that day, which is not a euphemism for them heading to tribal council and him being on the outs. Controlling the tribe are Jaqueen, Pia and Abbey who are worried about the threat that David poses, figuring that they need to take out his closest friends to weaken him before they can strike. With that JaQueen and Abbey approached Shaun to fill him in on the fact that his idol was fake and damn JaQueen, you’re a bloody icon. The next day Shaun was feeling hella salty before he unwrapped said fake idol to find that it was clearly David’s home job and slowly became enraged and ready for revenge.

My boy Jonathan arrived to lord over the reward challenge with an assist from his stun(ning) gun(s), where one at a time, two people would face off against someone from the rival tribe to knock the other’s idol off a perch. For DIY toasties, which TBH is pretty lazy of JLP but he is hot, so whatever. Luke finally defeated Matt in round one, Hannah then evened things up against Pia – driven by her hate for Matt calling her weak – before Zaddy John pulled his own idol of its perch, handing the Contenders their second point. Tragically the icon himself Ross was defeated by Sonic impersonator Andy, while Baden was bested by Harry the family man in a dance fight. Daisy made quick work of Abbey … by exascerbating a previous knee injury which is fucking savage. Shaun and has nemesis David were the next to face off and while Shaun scored the point, we won as they held each other while shirtless. John and Harry faced off, if you could call it that, as John dived under his legs, grabbed the idol and secured victory for the Champions. The tribes then mingled and congratulating each other on a challenge well played before Shaun whispered to Daisy that David handed off a dud idol and she needed to get rid of him ASAP.

The Champions returned to camp with David smarting over continually lose to Shaun in their face offs. Thankfully that sadness didn’t last long as they discovered the toastie ingredients and a bunch of personalised plate from their families. We then learnt that Zaddy John is a doting uncle to two beautiful nieces and I honestly love him more and more each episode. We then learnt that David is a loving father of three and I love him too. Baden’s plate featured his cat which again, is iconic, while Daisy broke down about her message from home and then learnt more about the ravages of drought and honestly the drought is fucked, despite how beautiful the farm looked. They got to work assembling their sandies, licking up the cheese goop and then straight up toasting sandwiches that fell in the fire and sadly for John, burning his plate. While everyone was distracted by Luke overeating and almost vomiting, Daisy pulled Baden aside to fill him in on fake-idol gate – and throw shade at Andy – and they planned to keep it quiet until they figure out how to deal with him.

Back at the Contenders Ross continued to be a total cutie, trying to snatch Harry’s socks while JaQueen, Abbey and Pia bonded on the beach and gushed about how much they love each other. They weren’t loving Harry and his shiftiness however, with Janine deciding that he needs to go ASAP. As he loitered around the bushes, wondering why he hadn’t made any allies. Shaun and the Champion girls got together by the fire, hopeful that Daisy will deal with David on their behalf. Later that night Harry grew hopeful that his idol could ingratiate him with his fellow OG Contenders, sharing the news and suggesting they use it to idol out JaQueen. And just like that, I don’t like Harry anymore.

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where someone would chop through a rope to release blocks, while the six others walked two of said blocks through obstacles before untying knots to release poles which they then need to use to knock nine more blocks down … before using all the blocks to build a tower. The first to finish their tower snatching immunity. John and Ross were first up and to quote Jonathan, they punished their log until John got the Champions out to a slight lead. The Champions continued to extend their lead, almost lapping the Contenders. The Champions continued to extend their lead, starting on the tower before the others had even wrangled their poles. Shaun desperately tried to close the gap while Baden and Andy stood on David and Luke’s shoulders to finish the tower, with Daisy barking at Baden until he saved them from certain doom by holding the tower and stopping it from falling allowing the Champions to right it, awkwardly back away and finally secure immunity.

Amidst the celebrations and commiserations, David told JaQueen to vote out Shaun, Harry hugged Daisy and told her that if he goes, Shaun is next. To make things even more exciting, Jonathan dropped the surprise that not only did the Champions secure immunity but that they would also be attending tribal council that night to watch over proceedings. Sadly sans popcorn, much to Hannah’s dismay.

Back at camp the Contenders talked about their loss and Daisy’s aggressive leadership in the challenge. JaQueen and Simon got together to confirm that the Champions need to stay strong, identifying Harry as the shiftiest and decided to load all their votes on him. Meanwhile Harry and Casey got together to talk about JaQueen’s dominance, with him deciding that they should load all their votes on her. He then decided that Casey should go tell the Champions about his idol which potentially did what he hoped, making them distrust her and decide to flip the vote on to her instead. Casey returned to the Champion women to confirm the plan to get rid of Harry, with them confirming that they don’t believe Harry has it and as such will just vote for him. Casey returned to Harry to tell him they are being shifty, with Harry deciding that he should act like a complete and utter jerk at tribal to guarantee the votes go his way to ensure his idol play works. Sadly for him though JaQueen Inc. seem fairly set on getting out Casey instead.

At tribal council the Champions happily occupied the jury bench as the Contenders filed in and sat down, with Harry chewing a twig to complete his douche performance plan. JaQueen admitted that she was feeling lucky to be in the majority of the Contenders tribe, with Harry jumping in to talk about how nervous he is about the vote ahead. Ross shared that he trusts six or seven people on the tribe, so it isn’t all about the old tribe. Casey admitted that he told her he doesn’t trust her, which left Harry to assume that he was the other odd one out. Jonathan then pointed out that David and Luke managed to beat a numbers disadvantage, with Shaun complimenting them on being charming before Harry jumped in to point out on six people were actually playing the game while the rest were just cruising. He then went back to chewing his twig while Pia and Abbey started to call him out for not knowing their tribal dynamic.

Harry then pointed out that JaQueen is clearly in charge which angered Abbey and Janine, with Abbey not liking his smug face in particular. Casey thought that Harry got under their skin, Shaun admitted that they probably don’t know the dynamic before Janine pointed out that Harry is a completely different person in tribal. This lead to Abbey and Pia questioning who he is, before Ross point blank asked him whether his child was real. He then admitted that he does not have a kid, much to Abbey’s heartbreak before Pia reminded him that as a fan, this is not exactly the way to play the game and really, he is only playing himself. Matt said he was basing his vote on strength, Shaun was hopeful that that is enough to keep him while a decidedly less aggressive Harry tried to convince them that he will be an asset come the merge.

Just as the tribe were about to head off to vote, Jonathan advised them that tonight they would not be voting someone out of the tribe but instead the Champions would be voting to steal someone to join their tribe. Much to Matt’s absolute rage. With that the Champions voted one by one, snatching Shaun to their side and leaving Matt, Casey and Harry at an even worse numbers disadvantage.

The next day Shaun was settling in well at the Champions tribe, fishing with John and Andy while celebrating everyone bonding and getting along in the beautiful palatial camp. Daisy and Hannah were walking along the beach, Luke was complimenting Baden on his darkening tan and growing likeness to Peter Andre and honestly, I’m going to stop there as it doesn’t get better than a Peter Andre reference. Wait, it does get better – JOHN IS NUDE and my basement is flooded. Daisy too was full of joy, thrilled to be reunited with her bestie Shaun. While she had enjoyed her alliance with David and Luke, Shaun told her just how tight the Champion alliance is and as such, the Contenders need to come back together to ensure that David or Luke go and they can take control of the game.

David too had noticed the shift, nervous about how quickly Shaun managed to reunite the tribe and as such, put him back in the minority. He then decided that he needs to try and win Shaun over, so got to work trying to figure out how to play the whole fake idol saga off. They went for a walk together, with David sharing that he still has his idol and Shaun lying and saying that since he has no need for it on this beach, he thinks he may hide it to trick someone into using it. David fell for it, thrilled that they could come together and he got away with his crime, unaware that Shaun has no intention of honouring the final five he suggested between them, Luke, Daisy and Zaddy John.

Meanwhile back at the scummy, segregated camp Shaun left, the remaining castaways were weakened, sad and starving. Add to that, they were nervous about Harry’s new personality and his outed lies, and you could say they were all hating life. JaQueen was most angry about Harry painting the biggest target on her back, knowing that it could come back to bite her no matter how strong she builds her alliance. Though she is very grateful for her idol. Speaking of Harry, he was suffering in his jocks after making everyone hate him for absolutely no bloody reason, though he wasn’t willing to ever give up. Simon tried to get everyone’s mood back up with a cheeky peptalk and honestly, I love how pure he appears to be. What a bloody sweetie.

Jonathan and his guns wheeled out the old tower for today’s immunity challenge where the tribes – the Champs complete with Harry’s wanky toothpicks – would race through a series of obstacles, collecting balls, taking them to the top of the tower and awaiting remaining people to pull two ropes under water to open up a goal, with the first tribe to empty all their balls into the hole winning. Simon and Matt got the Contenders out to a slight lead, while Shaun struggled while looking beautiful in his speedos. Matt then struggled at the net obstacle, allowing Shaun and Luke to close the gap and land their balls on the tip of the shaft first. The Champions continued to extend their lead, leaving poor Pia and Casey to desperately try and make up some time, eventually making it to the top while the Champions struggled to land any balls. Ross jumped in to hold the Contenders goal open allowing Simon to score goal after goal, while the Champions remained on nothing. I’d like to pretend it was exciting to watch but Simon completely dominated, handing Contenders immunity and sending the warring Champions to tribal council.

Back at camp the Champions were shocked to lose the challenge, though Shaun quickly rallied and decided to lock in a split vote on David and Luke, unaware that their two idols could decide everything. Poor Hannah started to come down sick, with David and Luke approaching Daisy to suggest they get rid of Hannah instead. Meanwhile Shaun rallied Andy, John, Baden and Hannah to lock in the split vote. Hannah finally got a damn confessional, sharing that she is key to the plan and really needs to sell the fact that she thinks she is going home to ensure David doesn’t play his idol. Speaking of David, he was confident in the rest of the tribe going after Hannah instead of taking out he and Luke – aka the obvious targets – since nobody is playing on their level.  Andy being Andy decided that keeping David and Luke may actually work out in his favour, telling them to play their idol(s), save themselves and join him to take out Daisy. While Luke and David didn’t really think that they could trust Andy, they didn’t really have time to figure out what was happening before heading out to tribal.

At said tribal council Jonathan threw a little bit of shade at Shaun bombing the last challenge, before the adonis spoke about how grateful he was to be reunited with his friends. Daisy lay it on thick, talking about how even if he was terrible at challenges she would want him back as she trusts him implicitly. Hannah spoke about being on the bottom of the tribe for votes, Andy said he trusted his word while Luke straight up said that he planned to vote for her, though given he and David kept whispering, me thinks that is a lie. Daisy spoke about keeping the tribe strong while David and Luke continued to whisper amongst themselves. David then mentioned that he heard his name while Luke did some bad acting to pretend he wasn’t in on it – which is honestly iconic – while Daisy spoke about being confused as David pulled his idol out of his pocket. He then vowed to play the idol, which Shaun wasn’t convinced was a legit plan and was looking forward to finding out his plan. Andy wished he had an idol, Hannah asked if David would play the idol on her, while David said that she knows she doesn’t need it. Daisy was concerned about whose name was on the block then, with David and Luke continuing to whisper to figure who to pile their votes on and send home, should they play their idols.

With that the tribe voted, David and Luke both played their idols negating three votes on David and needlessly burning Lukes, while the remaining votes were tied for Shaun and Hannah. With a rando one for Daisy, which adds nothing to the story other than the fact Andy is all alone. With that the tribe voted again, this time for only Hannah and Shaun, with the iconic Hannah finding herself booted from the game. While I quickly pulled her into a hug, heartbroken of all the funny confessionals they never let us see from the queen, I explained that I am glad Shaun stayed if only so he has more opportunities to join John for a cheeky nude scene.

Pun intended.

While she was kind of cut that a dear friend like me – I went to the police academy with her while researching for a role in a Police Academy reboot that went nowhere – would be relieved to see her booted, she understood that my thirst always comes first. Again pun intended. And with that, we laughed, lamented what could have been and tucked in to a family-sized bowl of Reubannah Pentato Salad.

 

Hannah Pentreath waiting to smash a Reubannah Pentato Salad after a shocking tribal council.

 

How do you make something as majestic as potato salad even better? Add a hearty helping of (Academy Award winning) Pastrami Malek and all the fixins’ of a reuben. Nutty swiss cheese, tart cornichons and spicy Russianne Hathaway Dressing work together to make majestic, magnificent.

Enjoy!

 

Hannah Pentreath smashing a Reubannah Pentato Salad after a shocking tribal council.

 

Reubannah Pentato Salad
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1kg small potatoes, halved
½ head of cabbage, shredded
⅓ cup Shayonnaise Swain
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tbsp horseradish cream
1 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
200g Pastrami Malek, shredded
100g Swiss cheese, shaved
½ cup baby cornichons, halved
1 tbsp chives, roughly chopped

Method
Place the potatoes in a large saucepan with enough water to cover them, and bring to the boil.  Once rollicking, reduce to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are just cooked through. Add the cabbage and cook for 30 seconds, drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking and leave to drain slash cool for a further 15 minutes.

While the potato and cabbage is getting all chill, combine the mayo, tomato sauce, horseradish cream and lemon juice in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and leave to rest.

Combine the potatoes and dressing in a large bowl and toss until well coated. Add the pastrami, cheese, cornichons and chives and toss again.

Serve immediately and devour, sadly. Thinking of what could have been for Hannah’s game.

 

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Braised Briskarmack

12 Days of Chrismukkah, Main

At the risk of sounding like the whore of Chrismukkah, my dear friend Chris and I started off as lovers – he put the Chris in my mukkah, if you will – which makes me extremely thankful, a little surprised and at the same time disappointed, that none of the cast fought over me on set.

Our love quickly blossomed when he guested on my dear friend Amy Sedaris’ classic Stranger’s with Candy but after a few torrid months we realised we were better off as friends and parted ways.

A few years later and fresh out of rehab, I wanted to show him how much I had grown and how mature I now was and pushed for him to be welcomed to The O.C.

Bitch.

Despite being the first to leave the series, Chris’ career went from strength to strength co-starring in the hit Amanda Bynes film Love Wrecked, the TV movie Beauty & the Briefcase, an episode of Desperate Housewives and more recently, a starring role in Nashville.

Which is actually good.

Given his commitments to the latter, Chris and I haven’t been able to spend much time together lately. It was such a treat to reconnect and get the inside scoop on what will become of Rayna and her hair … and celebrate the more -mukkah side of Chrismukkah with my Braised Briskarmack.

 

braised-briskarmack-1

 

To be honest, I have no idea if this meal comes close to being kosher … but I assume if you’re celebrating a hybrid holiday, you probably aren’t too staunch on eating kosher. I did avoid cooking the delicate brisket and sweet, creamy mushrooms together though.

That counts for something, right? RIGHT?

Oy – enjoy!

 

braised-briskarmack-2

 

Braised Briskarmack
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
10 cloves garlic
4 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed and roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
1.5kg beef brisket
a couple each of celery stalks, onions and carrots, roughly chopped\
2 cups red wine
800g canned chopped tomatoes
small handful of parsley
small bunch of thyme, a few sprigs reserved for the mushrooms
500g button mushrooms, quartered
1 cup beef stock
3 tbsp horseradish cream
½ cup sour cream

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Place half the garlic and all the rosemary in a mortar and pestle with a good pinch of salt and pepper and crush until a paste forms. Transfer to a bowl, combine with a generous lug of oil and rub over both sides of the brisket.

Heat a lug of oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat and sear either side of the meat for a few minutes. Chuck in the veggies, wine, canned tomatoes and herbs and stir gently to combine.

Place the lid on firmly and transfer to the oven, baking for about 4 hours. Check every hour or so to ensure there is enough liquid and to keep the meat covered – which I rarely would support. Once the meat is tender, transfer it to a board and leave to rest for 20 minutes.

While it is resting, get to work on the mushrooms by heating a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Reduce to low and add the remaining garlic – which you will have minced but I forgot to tell you – mushrooms and the leaves from the extra thyme sprigs and cook for about five minutes, or until browned and soft. Add the stock, turn the heat up to medium-high and simmer for about ten minutes, or until reduced and slightly thickened. Add the horseradish, sour cream and cooking liquid and cook, stirring, for five minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste.

Slice the brisket into diagonal slices and serve with some latkes, topped with the mushrooms.

 

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