Indian Shants

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Main, TV Recap

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, Tyra brought all the girls back – well except for quitters Liz and Brendi K – to compete for the chance to return to the competition. Yes – all the girls … minus those two. I’m talking Maggie, Ivana, Rhiyan, Coura, Liberty, Christina, Sandra, Erin and even Jeana returned to take the place of one of the girls. Rio slowly unravelled throughout the entire episode, taking a horrible photo and finding herself out of the competition and replaced by her friend turned foe Jeana.

We arrived back at the model house where it was time for Kyla, Shanice and Khrystyana to celebrate arriving in the true final four. I assume, not really caring which of the demon twins was joining them. While they were a solidified, friendly unit, they had interest in Jeana and her attitudes return. Given she vowed to be savage upon her return, I still don’t blame them. Shanice then shared that she let herself down last week and had kind of just given up, though was galvanised to work through the final challenges and make something of herself and do her family proud. Khrystyana then spoke about how much she loves and needs her mother, how proud she wanted to make her and damnit, girl – I’m crying! She then couldn’t share that she had been molested as a child and broke down and damn, I can’t.

The next day the models were summoned to a carnival, or so they thought … it was actually a shoot for Pantene. The girls were given four different products – a foam, moisturising conditioner, a speedy miracle and a volumising conditioner for Jeana’s human hair wigs – and tasked with styling and directing their own shoot. Jeana then selected a wig that looked exactly like Khrystyana’s hair, before styling her make-up the same way and using the same props. But she is sweet yo, and is too busy to notice. Kyla slayed her ethereal shoot, as did an adorably bossy Khrystyana, Shanice relied on props similar to the queens Michelle hates that rely on their body and Jeana, well, thought she did well but kinds just looked dead.

The top four were then tasked with selecting their best photo where Kyla struggled as she couldn’t sell the product to herself and felt like she failed. They then delivered their photos to the client, where they were all praised … except for Kyla, who Pantene had wished selected a photo with the feather. Ultimately Khrystyana continued her dominance, winning the challenge and given a secret reward to share with the girl of her choosing. She chose Kyla, FYI.

Back at the house Jeana continued her reign of terror, laying into Kyla for talking like a baby while lamenting her confusion about the point of the challenge. Thankfully the editors are shady as hell and cut to Khrystyana talking about how proud she is off her dominance and how desperately she wants to stop Jeana from getting any further. Even Shanice complaining about her psoraiacis being more difficult than Jeana donning a wig, looked tame compared to Jeana being a demon.

The next day the girls were surprised by the arrival of Kyla and Khrystyana’s mothers. While the former immediately put her mother to work making beds and cleaning the house, Khrystyana took her mother aside to finally share with her about her molestation. Her mother was sweet and fiercely protective and it was all beautiful.

After the mother’s disappeared, the final for four arrived at their editorial shoot for the week promoting the same products from earlier. Better yet, the winning shot would ultimately form part of their prize and become a campaign for Pantene. Backstage Khrystyana was feeling confident until she noticed that once again Jeana had selected the same hair colour as her again. And based off the side-eye Jeana kept throwing, it was completely deliberate and she is the absolute worst.

Khrystyana went first and absolutely slayed the shoot – and vowed to outshine Jeana, which duh, she will – until Jeana walked over and played mind games while mimicking her entire shoot like a deranged psycho. Kyla was up next and powered through her long neck, and completely embodied the Pantene personality and looked beautiful. Shanice finally got her makeover look and looked stunning. That in turn gave her confidence and she looked great albeit terrified. Thankfully wicked Jeana struggled through the shoot, desperate to bring sex to the shoot rather than the everywoman look of Pantene. She however loved it, making me uber excited for her second fall.

At panel Shanice quickly got to work thirsting over guest judge Philipp Plein before Tyra dropped the bomb that he joined the panel to help select which girls would go on to become the final three and walk in his runway as the final challenge. While Shanice looked beautiful in her shot, the judges couldn’t agree whether it was a good or bad photo. Jeana was universally despised and was read for being way too sexy. Well except for Philipp Plein who just came off as thirsty. Kyla absolutely slayed and looked like a box for hair dye, while Khrystyana looked sexy though was able to overcome it because of the innocence she brought to it. Ultimately, Kyla took out best photo, followed by Khrystyana leaving Shanice and Jeana to fight for the last slot in the final runway. Thank f- Tyra handed the final photo to Shanice, eliminating Jeana from the competition again …

Oh, wait! Nope. Philipp Plein’s boner save Jeana yet again, earning her a free ticket to the final show. Though obviously she will get a fourth place finish, right? RIGHT.

Conveniently I was watching the episode with the current reigning top model and my dear friend India Gants, so you don’t have to go without a recipe. You’re welcome. India was a stand out last season with her down-to-earth personality, kindness and ability to take insane pictures. As such, she and I are backing a win by Khrystyana next week … though wouldn’t discount Kyla taking it out after slaying Pantene. Jeana is dead in the water, obvi, and Shanice is a winner just by making the top three. It was exhausting catching-up, running the odds and plotting the next in her career, so it was lucky I had a big vat of Indian Shants ready to go.

 

 

Spicy, hot and completely soothing, this rich curry is the best – and dare I say it, only – way to eat shanks. The meat crumbles, the curry burns and the raita cures all that ails ya’ – perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Indian Shants
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
4 lamb shanks
2 onions, sliced
3 cloves
3 dried chillies
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 cinnamon quills
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp hot curry powder
400g crushed tomatoes
400ml coconut milk
500ml chicken stock
rice, Joe Manngo Chutney, fresh coriander and yoghurt or raita, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Place a dutch oven over medium high heat with a good lug of oil. Once nice and hawt, season the shanks to taste and seal the meat for about five minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to rest.

Reduce heat to low and cook the onion for a couple of minutes, or until just starting to get translucent.  Add the cloves, chillies, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, cumin, coriander and curry powder and cook for a minute to release the flavours. Stir through the crushed tomatoes, coconut milk and stock, and bring to the boil. Once rollicking, add the shanks, add water until they are just covered – you may not need any – cover and place in the oven to simmer for two hours.

Once your entire house smells glorious, remove from the oven and transfer the shanks to a plate and keep warm. Place the dutch oven over a medium heat on the stove and cook until the sauce has reduced.

Serve the shanks immediately on a bed of rice, slathered generously in sauce, yoghurt/raita, chutney and coriander.

Devour.

 

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Chicken Cormac McCarthy

Main, Poultry

Full disclosure, Cormac is one of those celebs that I’ve always assumed has died and I’ve got the time machine half way out of the garage, before I realise that just because his beautiful prose is timeless does not mean the man is dead.

And boy doesn’t he remind me in the kindest, most elegant of ways. Every. Damn. Time. We’re. Together.

As I mentioned, Cormac and I connected in the 50s at a writing workshop and I was brought to tears by the beauty of his words. I mean, it completely took my breath away and I knew that I was just what he needed to go from unrefined talent, to the literary icon he is today.

I’m sure that Cors would have a different take on our early years together – he’d downplay his talent, or something … I’m sure he is aware the my mentorship was the key to his success – our friendship has always been consistently strong.

Despite never being asked to write a foreword or a blurb for a novel, not that I’m bitter or anything like that!

Given that Cors is getting on, I met him at the airport and drove him straight to my home for a 4PM dinner. I mean, yes, we reconnected, caught up and chin-wagged the early afternoon away but by 4 we were well and truly done, so sat down for his favourite writing food, my Chicken Cormac McCarthy, and toasted to our beautiful friendship.

 

 

Fun fact: all the pretty horses was actually named after my original version of this dish … which he didn’t realise I actually made using horsemeat. Upon discovering that horrid little secret, he implored me to change over to chicken and this smooth, spicy delight was born.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Cormac McCarthy
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
800g chicken breasts, diced
50g natural yoghurt
sunflower oil
2 onions, diced
5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp grated ginger
12 cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp hot chilli powder
1 bay leaf
4 whole cloves
1 tbsp plain flour
small pinch of saffron
2 tsp muscovado sugar
1 cup cold water
¼ cup double cream
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Chuck the chicken in a bowl with the natural yoghurt and a good whack of salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large pot and sweat the onions, garlic and ginger over low heat for about fifteen minutes or so, or until your kitchen is so fragrant you just can’t control yourself anymore. Add the crushed cardamom seeds, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli, bay leaves and the end of the cloves – throw away the stalks, I hate them – and cook for a further five minutes.

Stir in the flour, saffron, sugar and a good whack of salt, then slowly pour in the water while stirring. Cook for a further ten minutes before removing from the pan, removing the bay leaf and blitzing the mixture until smooth.

Return the pan to the heat and add the chicken and yoghurt, and cook over low heat, stirring, for about half an hour, or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir through the cream and cook for about ten minutes.

Season to taste and serve immediately with some freshly cooked rice … to help with the devouring.

 

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Will Dahl

Main, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previous on Survivor, high school student Will was sick of everyone looking at him as being a child, so decided to flip the game and send Zeke to the jury to build his final tribal resume. Sure Kengel almost completely bungled the entire flip with his Australian Survivor-esque honour code … but thankfully his alliance has the brains.

But seriously guys, Ken can do whatever because he is bangin’ ok?

Anywho – we opened up back at camp where Will’s latest allies applauded his move … while his ex-allies seethed quietly. Lil’ Will then shared his plan to flip-flop his way through the game – which would have peaked my interest if it was Kengel – which you just know is going to end well.

Almost as if hearing my alluded prophecy, Bret and Sunday met up with Adam at the well to discuss the prospect of joining him, Hannah and Kengel to boot David, Jay and Will – the two biggest threats and the strategic question mark.

Not wanting to leave me waiting, Jiffy-Pop appeared for the first immunity challenge of the episode – you knew it was a double this week, right? To be completely honest I’m not sure what was really happening in the challenge – there was a pole, some discs, balancing, wires and some ropes – just that Jay dominated and Ken looked beautiful, but not like a doll.

Oh and to be clear, Jay won immunity and again, it wasn’t really close. At all.

Despite gloating that he doesn’t need to chat with the other bozos, Jay was pulled into the scrambling by Will who started rallying the troops to get rid of poor little David. David was obviously feeling insecure about this or maybe seeing Ken in his jocks, I’m not sure … I got distracted.

Fingernail painting emoji, amirite?

Adam opted to join the fray and approached Bret to turn on the kid playing the middle, echoing Aubry and Julia last season. While Bret and Sunday were completely onboard, Hannah was not as easily convinced knowing that she owes her life in the game to both Will and David.

So obviously it was at that moment that the tribe ventured to tribal where Will proudly spoke of his Ciera Eastin trademarked BIG MOOVEZ while throwing some Drag Race-esque shade. Not to be outdone, Adam then started to compliment the jurors as he also commenced working on those final tribal votes JIC.

Sadly for Will his work for nought as his found his way out of the game, once again proving the man in the middle of the road is oft run over. Thankfully I was on hand with a delicious albeit kinda healthy Will Dahl – my poor protege Will, being forced to eat all healthy like – to dull the pain over getting his dreams crushed by the big kids.

 

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Spicy, nourishing and altogether comforting, this dahl makes everything ok … from the inside out. Which is actually how i describe my relationship with Kengel … but i guess you’ll hear about that next week.

 

will-dahl-2

 

Will Dahl
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
a good lug of olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
500g sweet potato, peeled and roughly diced
3 tomatoes, diced
3 cloves garlic, wait for it … wait for it, roughly chopped
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
250g red lentils
generous handful of baby spinach
1 litre vegetable stock
handful fresh chopped coriander
natural yoghurt or raita, to serve

Method
Heat some oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan and sweat the onion for a couple of minutes. Add the sweet potato and cook for a further five minutes or so. Emphasis on so, obviously.

Add the tomatoes, garlic, ginger, chilli and spices and cook for a further few minutes. No so. Add the lentils, spinach and stock, season generously and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the sweet potato is gorgeously soft and lentils child-approved mush. For Will’s sake (don’t tell the whipper snapper I said that).

Adjust the seasoning if required and devour, slathered in coriander and yoghurt, if you like.

You should like.

 

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Jessicurry Lewis Puffs

Main, Party Food, Poultry, Side, Snack, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, TV Recap

So previously on Survivor was the first half of a double episode, so maybe go read about the lead-up to Chris’ boot there, ok? I mean, Probst didn’t tell me what to focus on and you just know my mind is stuck on Ken’s ant covered torso.

Back at camp, Sunday continued to be an upbeat non-entity and Jay was shocked to have survived, despite the fact he had an idol and if he were truly worried, should have played the idol.

Bret then got to work winning over the majority alliance and approached Zeke after tribal, and then took Sunday to help him chat with David the following morning. The latter of whom decided Zeke needed to go.

Obviously Bret then went to Zeke to discuss getting rid of David. David then told us how much of a threat Zeke is, Zeke then countered by saying David was a threat. Breaking up the confessional back and forth, Zeke took his fellow nerd crew out for a chat to discuss how the battle lines were falling.

Feeling my confession, Probst then manifested for arguably the most hilarious reward challenge of all time, were they were broken up into three teams and then forced to flop along a course like snakes. I think there was a puzzle at the end but all I could focus on was Ken writhing around in the sand. If only he got his white buns out to glitzen in the sun like Will and Bret.

I don’t want to say it would have won him the challenge, but Bret’s butt surely contributed to his, Zeke and Sunday’s come from behind win.

And you know what a challenge win means for Bret … the party boy comes out! Although out of character, he didn’t get completely wild and instead had a completely heart warming conversation with Zeke about his sexuality.

Seriously, you thought all the feels were in the first hour.

Sadly Sunday literally returned to the table and our beautiful discussion about sexuality turned to the next vote which, surprise, surprise, Zeke was hoping would see David exiting the game.

When they arrived back at camp, Hannah ran to David – sick of Zeke’s growing kingpin attitude – and told him what Zeke was plotting, scaring the shit out of David.

Thankfully Probst was just as sick of the David-Zeke back and forth and reappeared for the immunity challenge which sadly had zero innuendo. I mean, they had to navigate a rod through a hole … but at best you could make a glory hole joke.

Probst deserves better, to be honest.

Thankfully Jay dominated both aspects of the puzzle – oh, there was a slide puzzle finish – and claimed immunity before anyone else even finished the first part.

Back at camp the tribe quickly got to work deciding on where they fell in the David-Zeke war … until Zeke got spooked by Hannah’s non-committal attitude during their watercooler discussion and flipped his side’s vote to Hannah.

Sadly – or amazingly – it was only the beginning of the bedlam as we arrived at one of the most confusing and chaotic tribal councils of all time.

And that is ignoring the bug that attacked and fell in love with Taylor on the jury bench.

Probst kicked off by asking if anyone was confident about tonight, which no one was. Hannah then started to whisper to Jay, David alluded to trust clusters, the previously delightful Bret then got mad and started to berate David for his anxiety. Zeke joined the bullying, before Hannah and Sunday stepped in to stop them.

With that over, Hannah started whispering to Adam again, Sunday threw out Ken’s name, Adam whispered to David and everyone was completely confused as they went to cast their votes.

Not content with just one selfless idol play, David played his idol on Ken – following Sunday’s lowkey killer move of throwing out his name when he was never the target – before we saw the votes come in tied for Zeke and Hannah.

With Adam’s boneheaded move to change David’s idol play from Hannah, to Zeke, we went for a second round of voting with Hannah and Zeke taking the opportunity to campaign to Jessica to avoid rocks while everyone was voting.

Sadly it was another tie and they couldn’t come to a unanimous decision leading to Will, Bret, Sunday, David, Jessica and Adam going to rocks, where Jessica’s fear of rocks was proven to be founded, as she found her way out of the game.

Breaking everyone’s heart in the process.

Although the silver lining is that Ken is now the proud owner and my dear friend Jess – we met after she convinced the Albany D.A. to drop charges against me, I think for racketeering, due to my (alleged) clear and apparent psychological issues – was comforted by a huge batch of my Jessicurry Lewis Puffs.

 

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Hot and spicy, a little bit sweet and completely comforting and warm, these curry puffs are the perfect way to dull your rock-draw pain. Or fill up if someone has eaten all your Thanksgiving leftovers.

Or to snack on while watching Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

Enjoy!

 

jessicurry-lewis-puffs-2

 

Jessicurry Lewis Puffs
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
500g chicken mince
½ cup madras curry paste
1 large washed potato, cut into a small dice
1 carrot, cut into a small dice
1 cup frozen peas
small handful coriander leaves, finely chopped
3 tbsp lemon juice
6 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
natural yoghurt or raita, to serve

Method
Heat a lug of oil  in a large frying pan and sweat the onion and garlic, until softened. Add the mince and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon until browned – about five minutes. Add the curry paste and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the potato, carrot, peas and 1 cup of water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for about ten minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat, stir in the coriander and lemon juice, and allow to cool.

While everything is chilling, preheat the oven to 180°C.

Once adequately chilled, cut each sheet of pastry into four or nine squares – depending on how large you want the puffs. Place a mounded -tsp-tbsp, depending on the size of the pastry – heap of the mince mixture. Brush the edge of pastry with egg, fold over the pastry to enclose, press and crimp the egg and place on a lined baking sheet. Continue the process until you run out of pastry or mixture.

(I had extra mixture so I made a curry jaffle with paneer … but you just freeze it).

Brush the top of the puffs with egg and place into the oven for 20 minutes or so, or until lightly browned and puffed.

Serve with yoghurt or raita and devour.

 

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