Samosa Hinton

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Main, Side, Snack, Tapas, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the tribes merge and they celebrated with an auction where Shane was the true winner getting to beg people to split food with her. Which as a grandma, she excelled at … even before we learnt along with Lydia not to fuck with Shane Gould. With the beast out of the way, the Champions appeared to be splintering, so when given the opportunity to snatch an advantage, Sharn took it with both hands giving her an advantage at the upcoming immunity challenge. Which she parlayed into a second win. Despite trying to sway the bottom of the alliance over to their side, Robbie and Benji once again came up short and poor Robbie was sent from the game and to the Jury Villa to become King of the Jury.

We returned to camp the next morning where Sharn loitered in the water while Mat wrote a message to his son Max’s birthday and hot damn, my ovaries exploded. Not to be outdone, it is also Steve’s birthday and Mat and Sharn helped him celebrate. He was touched and started to tear up by the time everyone served him a cake of potato and carrot and hot damn, I love zaddy Steve and his buff people’s alliance. My ability to relate with them or not, be damned!

Jonathan didn’t leave us waiting long, arriving for this week’s reward which is essentially flags but with coloured bottles. Before the challenge started, however, Benji spoke about having the sads and Sam said that Robbie raised some valid points, though he made them too late for anyone to do anything. Which is kinda a dangerous thing to say, no. Anyway, back to the challenge which is for a trip to the Survivor spa with wine and cheese, and if Mat and Steve don’t have a zaddy date this episode is straight up homophobic. Monika was first out, fucked up by a shoulder charge from Shane Gould. She was followed by Steve who gave up because he wanted someone that wanted it more to win – swoon – much to the delight of Shonee who would love a good shampoo.

They were joined on the loser bench by Shane, Shonee – who smashed Sharn in the process – before Sam and Benji tried to come up with strategies to take out Brian and Mat, sadly failing and eliminating Sharn instead. Sam was taken out by Brian, who was the next eliminated leaving Mat and Benji to battle it out. The final round complicated matters with the person having to grab the idol, snatch the bottle and run over the start line. Despite getting out in front, Mat let Benji grab the bottle and proceeded to tackle him leading to some beautiful homoerotic wrestling before Mat eventually snatched victory. As is always the case, Mat was given the chance to select one person to join him and out of nowhere selected Fenella for having a killer sense of humour. To further complicate matters, he was given one more spot at the spa, selecting Sharn and angering Sam who felt even more on the outs of his alliance.

We followed Mat and the girls to the spa where they were delighted to find hammocks, champagne, chocolate, cheese and a shower, while Fenella tried to figure out why Mat selected her. After scrubbing up, Mat admitted that he didn’t invite her for her sparkling personality and instead was hoping to pull her in to become the new majority alliance. Despite not wanting to pull in Shonee, Fenella kept bringing up her ride or die and agreed that the six of them should take control.

The victors returned to camp where they lined up the losers and handed out gifts of razors, tweezers, soaps and while it is obvious as hell, he got Steve some jocks and I will never bitch about that. Unlike Benji, who decided that he needs to go ASAP. Brian however wandered into the ocean to wash himself off with the soap and I really question myself sometimes, because even that was pretty hot. Even as they joked about him being grotty.

To make it even worse, we opened the next day with the tribe were ogling Brian’s weight loss and talking about him being a babe. While I wanted to explore my psyche and why I found the bathing scene hot, I was distracted as Benji got to work ingratiating himself with Mat to try and get close enough to take him out. He charmed him, Sharn and Steve, talking about having no allies left in the game before turning around and approaching Sam about potentially taking Mat out. Sam was obviously keen since he has been feeling on the bottom of his alliance, however he knew that a flip required Shonella’s support so approached them about joining him and Benji. The girls were keen, so he moved on to Monika about aligning with them … however she could see how panicked and stressed he was, and I’m not sure whether she is actually interested in joining with the paranoia.

JoJo returned for the latest immunity challenge, the Survivor classic – Last Gasp – where everyone would have to hang on to a grate on the surface of the water as the tide rolled in around them. The last person remaining calm enough to stay under water, wins. Given they were dangerously in the shallows – making escape more difficult – they started to get eaten by little fish, which TBH would be enough to do me in. Everyone was still in the challenge after 50 minutes as the water lapped at their mouths and panicked set in. Well, for everyone but Shane was zen as hell. Sam became the first person out of the challenge, followed by Shonee, Steve, Monika – despite taking on a tonne of water for ages – Sharn, Fenella and Benji, after an extreme battle with himself. After an hour and fifteen Brian opted out, leaving Shane and Mat to fight for immunity with their faces completely submerged before Shane surfaced out of nowhere and handed Mat immunity.

While everyone else was congratulating Mat, Benji and Sam were devastated as they returned to camp, since their dream target was now immune and they needed to find a different target. Sam threw out Steve’s name instead, given he is Mat’s – and mine – number one. Sam approached Mat to throw him off the scent and assure him that he is talking to the others to try and distract them, however Mat was hurt and felt that Sam betrayed their alliance and decided that he now needs to go as his conversations only benefitted himself. Mat rallied Sharn, Shane and Steve who were all in for taking out Sam due to his betrayal, before Mat pulled in Benji who was just happy that someone else’s name is being thrown around. This made Sam even more paranoid, as he returned to Mat to try and win his way back into the alliance. Sam told him that Benji told him – this sounds like a school fight – that Mat was targeting him, infuriating Mat and motivating the Champions mega alliance to reconsider taking out Benji.

At tribal council we saw a scrubbed up Robbie was babin’ albeit tragically clothed. Sam spoke about the fact it wasn’t really the right time to move last night and then admitted he is well and truly on the block tonight, and therefore he regretted it. Sam spoke about Mat targeting Lydia – despite it being Shane’s plan – and admitted he warned Lydia to try and keep things together, which Mat felt was a betrayal. The two went back and forth talking about loyalty and the power of words, and to be honest it seemed pretty painful. Sharn got in on the mum and dad talk action, asking how he could say he was sticking with his alliance when he just said it was fractured. While he defended it as a slip of the tongue, I just don’t know if anyone truly believes him anymore. Benji jumped in on the action, pointing out that the Contenders were still easy allies. Steve said he had heard his name thrown out this afternoon, as had Sam and Benji, before Benji continued to work this tribal council and say it was important that they trust in who they plan to vote with and regroup if and when needed.

Brian was confused, though looking for ways to build his resume, Shane was just being her usual baller self and Mat wasn’t sure whether he would stick with the devil he knows, or the one whispering new plans in his ear. With that, the tribe went off to vote and Benji felt safe enough not to play his idol, quite rightly, as Sam found himself joining Robbie on the jury. Given Sam is an absolute delight, he took his boot in his stride and was even cool that I used our entire catch-up flirting with Robbie. As a still-clinging-to-young alumni of UQ, I’ve known Sam forever and we’ve been besties for years, so I’m not really surprised he took his boot so well. Or me dumping him to pursue a classically hot guy I’m going to regret. Though since I kept him well fed with a big ol’ batch of Samosa Hintons, why would he even care about me?

 

 

Packing a lot of spice and a good whack of chilli, these babies are the ultimate comfort snack. I mean, spiced meat and crispy pastry – name a more iconic duo.

I’ll wait. And in the meantime, you can enjoy!

 

 

Samosa Hinton
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
500g beef mince
1 potato, washed and diced
1 carrot, grated
½ cup frozen peas, defrosted
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tbsp chilli flakes
½ tsp ground ginger
1 ½ tsp garam masala
3  cups flour
1 tsp ground cumin
⅓ cup melted ghee
¾ cup warm water
vegetable oil, for brushin’

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat and sweat the onions and garlic for five minutes or so. Add the mince, and cook for a further couple of minutes, breaking up with a wooden spoon as you go. Add the potato, carrot, turmeric, coriander, chilli, ginger and garam masala, with a big whack of salt and pepper, and cook until the mince is done. Add the peas and cook for a couple of minutes, or until all of the liquid has absorbed. Remove from the heat and  allow to cool.

While the fillin’ is chillin’, combine the flour with a good pinch of salt and the cumin. Slowly add the ghee and water, kneading as you go to create a smooth, firmish-not-sticky dough. Cover and leave to rest for half an hour.

Preheat oven to 200C.

To assemble, split the dough into ten pieces and roll into discs. Cut each disc in half and shape into a cone. Pack with the filling and seal the ends with a dab of water to form a triangle. Place on a lined baking sheet and continue until the filling and dough are all gone.

Brush the samosas with vegetable oil and place in the oven to bake – because I’m scared of fryin’ – for fifteen minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour with some Raita Mitchell or Joe Manngo Chutney.

 

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Chapategan Garlicsior

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Bread, Side, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the tribes switched leaving Tegan and Shonee feeling hella screwed as the odd women out on the Champions, and Lydia, Sharn and Monika in the minority at the new Contenders. With Lydia and Sharn gone, Mat felt lost and anxious about his survival, while Lydia was straight up desperate to find a way to stay at the Contenders. After losing immunity, Mat bonded with Tegan and learnt that Jackie had told her his alliance had planned to throw the challenge anyway. This, tragically, led to Jackie being thrown under the bus by everyone but Brian, dealing her a dud hand and sending her from the game in a blindside.

Thanks to their poker faces their, their poker faces.

We checked in with the new Contenders tribe where Benji and Robbie were feeling hella smug after the swap, thankful that they can make it to the end together. They were also thankful to have found pawpaws, hoping to channel Tyson’s move of into banditting food and parlaying it into a victory. Spoiler alert: they will fail. Similar to Benji’s plan to shake things up today, which he assured was’a comin’.

The next day Lydia was helping the tribe to salute the sun and showing off the fact that she is the most ripped contestant to ever play the game. Which Robbie was loving, unlike, Lydia, Sharn and Monika since they know that they’re dead women walking and are doing anything to survive. Robbie heaped on the praise to Lydia and Sharn to make them feel better, but all Sharn cared about was wrestling back control and her first target was Benji since he is too much of a gamer and she thinks he needs to be knocked down a few pegs. Note to Wilson siblings: chill out when you hit the beach, ok?

Meanwhile at the Champions Shonee and Tegan looked to have found a groove with the tribe, with Steve and Mat thankful to have started to thin out the herd. That being said, they were wary of Brian since they also blindsided him at the last tribal and they need him as a number. For now. The boys decided that Shane was being underestimated by their competitors and concocted a plan with Sam to use her as a double agent, gather information and make their alliance stronger. Though given her idol hunting and the speech when she played it, I don’t think that will work out for them. Bow down to Kween Shane Gould, yo.

As speculated, Brian was feeling sad and since he is getting island hot, I am getting sad for his pain. He then discovered a bunch of clothes Jackie left lying around and proceeded to win them back by crossing over with RPDR and heading to the reward challenge as Jackie to win everyone back. Brian – you had me at mooning the camera getting into drag.

My boy JoJo arrived for this week’s reward challenge where the new Contenders were thrilled to discover that Tegan and Shonee dodged a bullet, while Brian really warmed my heart with his comedy interlude. Anyway, the challenge would require people to face off hanging off a pole with the first person to drop losing; the first tribe to three win a big ol’ roast and a bottle of veen, so everyone was hella keen. Once again Mat and Robbie kicked things off with Robbie, shockingly, finally securing a win against the old boy. Despite the Commando’s coaching, Heath defeated Brian, leaving Sharn to battle it out against Steve for a Contender’s victory. Steve managed to claw one back for the Champions, leaving Fenella and Tegan to duel for victory or survival, with Fenella – deemed useless by Lydia – once again proving to be a challenge beast, snatching victory for the new Contenders.

The new Contenders arrived at the roast, with Fenella desperately searching the table for the wine like the relateable queen that she is. Fauxmerican Benji was thrilled about something, Robbie was pumped to be dripping in the specialist of sauces, gravy, and everyone was just feeling pretty dandy. Robbie continued his passion for Lydia, asking about her career and we learnt that despite knowing nothing about Survivor, she made it to the Olympics after 18 months in the sport and truly is an icon. I don’t know if it was the wine or the roast talking, but everyone was feeling the love and Lydia was comfortable enough to say their camp was shit.

Oh – and Benji was drunk enough to be confident to go grab the idol … in the middle of the night. Despite every message you hear about not getting eaten by a shark. He waded through the shallows, tempting The Meg to eat some salty, sinewing sass-monster however tragically made it to the island – not that I was willing him dead, FYI – and snatched himself an idol in the dark. Like Figgy snatching that idol that blocked his sister’s idol and sent her packing last season.

My boy Jonathan returned for this week’s immunity challenge where they were required to transport tires across monkey bars, before ferrying them through a myriad of obstacles and using the tires to solve a puzzle. In addition to immunity, the winning tribe would get to attend tribal and watch the proceedings unfold so err’ybody was pumped to compete. Robbie and Lydia got the Contenders out to an early lead over Mat and Steve. While Fenella and Sharn tried their best, Tegan and shonee caught things up … until Heath overpowered Sam and got the Contenders back in front. Shane and Brian allowed the Champs to catch up … until the Steve and Mat lost the cart handing Lydia and Robbie the lead. Basically, it was back and forth however the Contenders had the wheels off for the puzzle first, giving them enough time to snatch immunity once again. Jonathan handed them immunity and gave them a message to read back at camp, while Brian worried about how he was going to avoid the boot.

Back at camp Tegan was feeling all the feels, living it up at the bottom of the tribe. The tribe however did not care about her nerves, giving her nothing until she got exasperated and went to the well to see if anyone would talk strategy with her. With her and Shonee out of camp the Champions locked in a vote for Tegan, while Brian – much to Mat’s dismay – slowly worked his way out of the circle to connect with Tegan and Shonee and concoct a plan to take control. Brian approached Shane to see if she’d be keen to jump ship and get rid of the boys … giving her a tonne of intel to take back to Mat and Steve. Though thankfully she was smart enough to know that keeping some information to herself was also a smart move.

Despite his assurances, Tegan wasn’t feeling safe voting with Brian tonight and decided she and Shonee need to make a move. After Sam nobly told her she would be voted out tonight, Tegan approached Mat to try and sway him to take out Brian instead given he is far less trustworthy. While Mat wasn’t sold on the whole idea, Tegan and Shonee were undeterred and approached Shane to get her to flip given she is an icon, they are icons and hot damn Granny Shane holds all the power and I am living for it. She spilled Brian’s tea – to take out Mat – to the girls and Tegan encouraged her to take the information to Mat, setting the stage for another blindside.

At tribal council Jonathan introduced the Champions and their audience before poking Tegan and Shonee for intel, with Shonee iconically reading the Champions and their flawed plans for filth. Shane praised Tegan for her epic journey thus far, Brian tried to sell the basics of the game to his tribemates, Shane doubled down on keeping the Champions strong … before Shonee went. To. Town. Poking Tegan to share everything Brian told her that morning, to woo the girls over to his side and get rid rid of one of the girls. While Brian tried to deflect, Tegan pointed out he is well and truly on the bottom of the tribe … and while he agreed he was blindsided, he casually waved it away and accepted it. Tegan continued to lay into Brian to try and get him to flip to their side, with everyone dancing around the fact that the Speedo twins are controlling the tribe.

With that, the tribe voted and Tegan once again found herself booted from … wait, wait – there is a twist. Sharn stood up and announced that that the Contenders immunity came with the opportunity to save the person from being booted, just before getting their torch snuffed. Tegan pleaded with them to save her and take her back to back to their camp. And despite the Contenders having the majority on the new Contenders – and Heath pushing hard to get them to see sense – Robbie and Benji joined the OG Champions and banded together to send Tegan from the game. For good.

And boy was I pissed. I threw a pot into the ocean and screamed into the abyss for the lack of Mat and Steve speedo time as Tegan sauntered into Loser Lodge. While She tried to calm me down by reminding me that she had technically already suffered the indignity of being blindsided and she was just happy to have made it as far as she has. I couldn’t rationalise the boneheaded move of the boys – keep a potential extra number over booting a number, but thankfully Chapategan Garlicsior is a pretty solid distraction.

 

 

Packing a solid whack of garlic, this fresh Indian bread is the perfect comfort food after facing your second boot of the game. Second. When it is counterproductive to the entire Contenders tribe. Well done Benji and Robbie, you’ve fucked everyone. As badly as you usually would

Enjoy!

 

 

Chapategan Garlicsior
Serves: 4-8.

Ingredients
250g wholemeal flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp pepper
250ml cold water
2 garlic cloves, minced

Method
Set aside 200g/7 oz of the flour and reserve for shaping the chapatis.

Combine a cup of flour with the salt and pepper in one bowl, and place the cold water and garlic in another.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and slowly pour the liquid in, kneading as you go until you have a soft dough, or about five minutes of kneading. The process is kinda like a heavy handed version of making scones.

Divide the dough into eight balls and sprinkle some flour on a bench. Roll each ball out until it is roughly 3mm thick.

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and cook each chapati for about a minute, flipping once halfway through.

Repeat until done before devouring, preferably with some Steve Mankhouw Chicken Curry or Jenneer Saagustin.

 

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Jenneer Saagustin

Main, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor the Contenders luck started to wear thin and try as they might, they couldn’t pull together a win in either challenge. Maybe in part because Lydia almost pulled Jenna’s ankle straight off her leg, but I digress. Heading back to tribal, the Contenders seemed split down gender lines with Paige trying to join the boys to get rid of Shonee, though they intended to target her and the girls and parents alliances  – aka the girls minus Paige and plus Heath – joining together to target Steve K. In the end, the boys and Paige were shocked to see their two different plans blow up and poor lil’ Steve sent from the game.

We opened up at the Champions where Moana and Mat were bonding over their football careers, and while sport chat normally makes me feel anxious, it was hella sweet to see them talking about their dreams like that. Sharn and the one true Steve then joined the fray and damn, wouldn’t this be a sweet final four? I can’t believe I’m rooting for the Champions.

The next day we checked in with the Contenders where everyone was quiet after Steve K’s blindside. The most shocked, however, was Paige who not only landed in the minority but she only received votes from the people that she thought trusted her. For some reason, she went back to the boys to see whether she could trust them again instead of going to the girls and parents alliance. Meanwhile Zach continued his descent into villaindom, bitching about Paige’s fears while Benji and his fluctuating accent continued to dwell in the background.

Meanwhile back at the Champions everyone was feeling the love for one another. Well, except for Lydia and Sharn who were sick of Brian never doing anything to help. Ever. Though they could see the silver lining, agreeing that it makes voting him out that much easier. Speaking of Brian, he defended his laziness saying that if everyone else wants to work they can and he doesn’t need to prove himself. While I agree with that, the fact he thinks ‘Brian Time’ is not painting a target on his back and killing his strategic game, shows he has no clue.

Oh and Jenna is still well injured and is really emotional, which is heartbreaking to watch.

Jonathan quickly made his return to the screen for the reward challenge though Paige quickly turned it into a tea spilling session, sharing that the vote was not unanimous, much to the disgust of her tribemates. Before she could lay all their secrets bare, Jonathan announced that the challenge would require the tribes to make their way down a course using three barrels and two planks without anyone touching the ground. Once at the end, two castaways would try and fish four balls to them and attaching them to a frame. Once he announced that it was for an Aussie pub lunch, everyone was overcome with joy and desperate to smash a pint. The Champions got out to an early lead thanks to the leadership and all around perfection of Steve, crossing the line before the Contenders were even half done. Brian and Jackie snagged their balls while the Contenders continued to flounder, crossing the line as the Champions attached their first ball. Jenna and Zach quickly secured their balls and closed the gap … before briefly overtaking, only to drop their balls and hand victory to the Champions once again. Much to Robbie’s chagrin.

The dejected Contenders tribe returned to camp with Anita trying to boost everyone’s morale. Meanwhile Zach, Benji and Robbie pulled Tegan aside to talk about how poorly Paige performed in the challenge. To prove their point, Zach went down on the beach and held Robbie and Benji on his shoulders – I squat double them *eyeroll* – in full view of Paige and the girls. While I would normally be all in for such messy, pettiness … he is just a dick now.

Washing the taste of jerk out of my mouth we headed over to the beach pub where Steve and the Champions were thrilled to be downing a pint and smashing a pie before Shane noticed a photo board celebrating why they are Champions. They then swapped stories about their achievements and it was all sweet as hell, I assume until it got to Jackie as she trolled them with a picture of her playing with her rubix cube. It was iconic, but then Shane spoke about her achievements at 15 and Mat about his autistic son and how he and his iconic wife Chloe started a charity to help other families get help. Once again, fuck me dead, I am crying.

The tribes reconvened for the immunity challenge where Robbie was desperate to get another win on the board and looked willing to kill to get it. Before getting to the challenge, Jonathan announced that the doctors were still concerned about Jenna’s ankle and she would be choppered out to undergo scans to make sure it wasn’t fractured. Thankfully though, it seemed to only be for the challenge and if cleared she will be able to return to the game. With those tears out of the way, each tribe would start on a large platform and one-by-one slide down and swim to platform before paddling a canoe out to a tower, retrieving three rings, returning to the top of the tower and landing the rings on a pole.

The Contenders got out to a slight lead on the slide portion, which continued to grow as Brian steered the Champions well of course with Steve as their only hope. Benji snagged all the Contenders rings before the Champions made their way to the tower. Then Steve happened, catching up and pedaling the boat at full speed backwards. Sadly they had to turn the boat around, giving the Contenders their lead back. And then some. The Champions snatched back the lead whilst hoisting themselves up the wall, until Brian struggled and allowed the Contenders to pull back in front. That is until they missed landing all of their rings. Mat landed the first ring for the Champions, followed closely by Jackie getting their second and while Zach managed to snatch one, it was all for nothing as Moana secured another immunity for the Champions.

Back at camp Zach didn’t care which female goes home, as he deems them all useless. Heath tried to give everyone a pep talk, saying that if Jenna returns they need to vote her out as they need to maintain their strength. While they all agreed to have a nice afternoon, Anita spread that Paige was sharing intell with the Champions at the challenge like wildfire, much to the rage of Queen Tegan and they tried to secure enough votes to take her out. Sadly that was interrupted by the return of Jenna who arrived on crutches and tearfully announced that she had been cleared to stay however was unable to do anything really, except for throwing, boosting morale and doing puzzles. While Heath continued to push to get rid of Jenna for the sake of the tribe, Tegan couldn’t bring herself to take out their ally and begged him to join them in getting rid of Paige instead.

At tribal council Jonathan asked for an update on Jenna’s health, leading to a heartbreaking monologue about how much she contributes to the tribe and how desperately she wanted to stay. Fenella praised her leadership and positivity as everyone nodded their heads in agreeance. JoJo got shady and questioned the boys about throwing their votes on their ally Paige. Paige tried to pretend it was all good between them and that they all trust each other. Anita started shaking her head, completely disagreeing that Paige can be trusted. Zach joined the fray talking about how great Jenna is, however she is useless to them at the moment and they need to take her out. Shonee and Tegan spoke about how much Jenna means to them and that trust is important to them. Heath wrapped things up talking about the fact they need to keep the tribe strong before they become extinct.

Jenna then jumped in and told everyone to trust their gut and follow their heart when it comes to the vote. She then told the girls that they need to remember how strong they all are, and not to let anyone push them around. Meanwhile Robbie and Benji started whispered about who else, if anyone, they could possibly vote for. With that, the tribe voted and one be one, the votes rolled in for Jenna and the poor, motivational icon found herself booted from the game she so desperately wanted to play.

While she was pretty upset when she arrived at Loser Lodge, she agreed that her tribe made the only decision they could. As hard as it may be to accept. We then cried for a bit about how sad we were to see her before settling in to smash a Jenneer Saagustin to cheer her up. Until it hit me …

 

 

Curry is the new Pizza Curse?! The curse was waiting out their on Ghost Island and since I – *spoiler alert* – didn’t make pizzas for anyone in this cast, its powers grew and transferred to curries. I mean, how else can you explain the back-to-back curry losses? You can’t.

Though … when they taste this good, how can you complain. Fresh paneer, creamy spiced spinach – YAS YAS YAS.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jenneer Saagustin
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
peanut oil
200g paneer, diced
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric
2 tomatoes, diced
500g frozen spinach, defrosted
½ cup cream
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Heat a good lug of peanut oil in a large pan over medium heat and fry the paneer on either side for a couple of minutes, or until golden and crisp. Remove from the heat and transfer to some paper towel to drain.

Add a little more oil to the pan and saute the onion, garlic and ginger for five minutes or so, or until softened. Stir in the garam masala, cumin, chilli and turmeric, and cook for a further minute or until your kitchen is so fragrant you can barely contain yourself. Add the tomatoes, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, for about ten minutes.

Once the fragrant tomatoey goodness is starting to reduce, bring the heat back to medium and stir through the spinach. Cook for five minutes further before stirring through the cream and paneer, and cooking for an additional five minutes.

Serve immediately and devour with a tonne of rice, chapati, naans and/or papadums. Preferably and, not or.

 

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Steve Mankhouw Chicken Curry

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Main, Poultry, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the Contenders got off to a rough start, with Jenna getting injured in the first challenge and Steve K’s paranoia rendering him a social pariah. That is until Matt killed his game at the first tribal and Steve K got his kit off with the zaddy club and won his way into my heart. Sadly for them and the future of glorious man nudity, a burgeoning all women alliance was forming at the Contenders and could strip me of my joy, one bun at a time. Despite nailing the reward challenges, the Champions struggled in immunity challenges, sending them to tribal back-to-back. With Russell out of the way as an easy target, Jackie and Damien tried to rally their troops with war hero and seeming delight Damien booted from the game.

We opened up at the Contenders camp where Shonee, Anita and Fenella were hunting for pawpaws, with Fenella continuing her relatability streak by complaining about the bush. Meanwhile out on the shore Steve K and Robbie were having a clothed bonding session doing some tai chi and/or martial arts. Me know sports, no? Steve shared that he is the ultimate puppet master of his tribe, working on making connections with the bro alliance to save himself before making a crab trap with Zach. Hot damn, I love Stev … wait, no, playing too hard. He spent his time bonding with Zach to broach the idea of taking out the women, despite being down in the numbers. Zach at least realised they were down in the numbers and needed to take them out if they were going to fight down gender lines.

Meanwhile over at the Champions Mat was lamenting their string of losses and having to vote out Damien. Thankfully it woke him up a bit, making him realise that he needed to play the game. This lead him to Moana, who was more than keen to align with him and further her budding kingdom. To solidify their alliance, she not only told him about her hidden immunity idol but asked him to hold onto it for her. Why do I have a feeling this isn’t going to end well for her?

Before my bad feelings could come to fruition, Jonathan returned for the reward challenge where one member from each tribe would cling to a long, hard pole for dear life – aka my life – while two people from the opposing tribe work to pull them off and drag them to their mat. Given it was for a vanity and toothbrushes, both tribes were all in. Off topic: how good is brushing your teeth? Heath and Brian were first on the pole, while Sam, Mat, Robbie and Zach worked to extract them. Robbie and Zach made quick work getting Brian off … the pole, dragging him towards the mat – and victory – while Mat and Sam had an on-off dance with Heath and the pole.

Next up Jackie and Paige tried to hold off Fenella, Jenna, Sharn and Moana. While Sharn and Moana got out to an early lead, Paige put up a hell of a fight, flailing about before they ultimately scored the point. Heath and Steve W jumped on the pole for round three, with Benji, Robbie, Brian and Mat working to rip them off. While both groups quickly got their men off, Steve W and Heath put up a hell of a fight before out of nowhere, Robbie got a second wind and dragged Steve W – and Benji, who was hugging him – over the mat for another point. Next up Shonee and Lydia jumped on the pole, with Shane – with an assist from Monika – dominating Shonee and tying things up.

Match point featured Jenna and Jackie on the pole, with Lydia, Moana, Paige and Fenella working to rip them off. While Lydia and Moana got out to an early lead, Jenna started screaming in pain while Lydia tried to drag her away. This saw the challenge stopped with the medic called in, telling her to sit out of the challenge and leaving them to reset. Given they reset with Paige and Lydia on the poles and Moana, Sharn, Anita and Fenella dragging, it was no surprise that the champions won their third reward in a row.

Back at the Contenders, everyone was concerned about Jenna’s injury given she is good in challenges and brings up morale. The medic advised her that she should leave the game to avoid doing any further ligament damage, making her think about home, her daughter and all the reasons while she can’t bring herself to quit and will keep on fighting.

Things were far sunnier at the Champions tribe where they were thoroughly enjoying brushing their teeth, ogling themselves in the mirror and in Brian’s case, making sure his brows haven’t challenged the Spice Girls and done an old two becomes one job. With everyone distracted, Moana, Sharn and Mat got together to solidify their alliance, making me concerned that she is becoming way too confident.

At the Contenders tribe the gender divide continued to widen, as the boys all bro-ed it up and Zach’s confidence started to rub Queen Shonee the wrong way. She vowed that the boys needed to go one after the other however was concerned about losing the strength, so instead of going for Zach planned to target Steve K. While they weren’t sure whether Paige would be with them, Shonee, Fenella and Anita were convinced that they’d be able to swing Heath and Jenna to the side to make up the numbers and take control of the game. Did I mention Shonee is a queen?

JoJo returned to lord over the immunity challenge where the tribes were required to chop through a rope to make their big balls drop before lugging said balls through some obstacle, stringing it back up over a pole and swinging it into targets. The Champions got out to an early lead, however the Contenders were able to overtake on the wall obstacle as Jackie struggled to pull herself over. Sadly for them the lead didn’t last long as the Contenders couldn’t undo a knot, allowing the Champions to snatch back the lead. When it came to lobbing the rope over the final pole, the Contenders managed to take their lead back with Heath and Steve K knocking out a target before even Mat got the rope over. Once again, the Champions caught up – thanks to Steve W coaching Mat through the rope – and snatched victory, with the Contenders struggling to knock out their final target.

Back at camp Zach congratulated everyone for working hard in the challenge, despite being thrilled he can take out one of the women. Speaking of whom, the girls were hanging out by the shore to lock in their vote for Steve K and while everyone said they were keen to get rid of him, Paige wanted to check in with the boys and see what they were thinking. Paige went for a chat with the boys and shared that she was actually aligned with Robbie, Zach, Benji, Heath, Jenna and Tegan. They all agreed that Shonee was the actual target, split up and the boys locked in their actual target as Paige. Confused Tegan, Jenna and Heath disappeared to discuss the pros and cons of taking out Steve K or Paige, with them appearing to favour the idea of taking out Steve K with the Fenella, Shonee and Anita trio. Over the afternoon Zach grew more confident in his numbers and their impending blindside – the biggest ever done, in Steve’s word *coughs* still waiting for Sue’s big move *coughs* – which TBH left me fairly certain that tribal is a formality and Steve K is tragically exiting tonight.

At tribal council Jonathan quickly addressed the gender divide on the tribe, which Fenella quickly tried to deny saying she would happily drink a beer with the boys. Benji and Jenna continued to deflect JoJo’s questioning, before Rob admitted that there is definitely a majority  within the tribe. Tegan played it coy, saying she hoped she was part of it and would be voting with who she spoke to, allaying both sides fears. Steve and Benji spoke about trust and joked about their male intuition, much to the disgust of the females on the tribe and me on the couch. Zach and Steve admitted there were feeling confident about how the vote would play out, while Heath, Tegan and Jenna’s smirks seemed like that was not the case. As predicted, the votes rolled in and Steve K and the nudist club were shocked to discover they had been planned and Steve K found himself out of the game as the fourth boot.

Given my passionate love of Uber Eats – nope, not a paid endorsement … but they easily could pay me –  I’ve become quite a dear friend of Steve K as he delivers my shame foods around to the backdoor – surprisingly not a euphemism – so no one can judge me/assume I am a professional eater. I oft worry about how hard he has to work, carrying kilos of brisket, burgers and fries to me on the hour, so I always make sure I tip him in gallons of delicious Steve Mankhouw Chicken Curry.

 

 

Back when I was even more basic white boy – can you believe? – a very mild mango chicken curry was as far as me and my colon were willing to push Indian. Oh, how the times have changed! Thankfully this version has ever so slightly grown with me, adding a light kick of chilli to the sweet mango and tomato sauce leaving the tender chicken bathed in, well, glory.

Enjoy!

 

 

Steve Mankhouw Chicken Curry
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
3 onions, two whole and one diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 red chillies
2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp ground fennel seeds
1 tsp coriander ground
1 tsp garam masala
¼ cup natural yogurt
500 g chicken thighs diced
olive oil
6 cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
400g can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
270ml coconut cream
500g mango, pureed
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Place the whole onions, half the garlic, the chillies, chilli powder, ground fennel, coriander and garam masala in a food processor and blitz until well combined. Add the natural yoghurt and blitz for a further minute. Transfer to a large bowl, stir through the diced chicken and transfer to the fridge to marinate for a couple of hours.

When the chicken is ready to go, heat a lug of oil in a large pan over high heat and cook the cardamom and cinnamon until nice and fragrant. Add the remaining onion and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes, or until soft.

Reduce heat to medium and add the chicken and marinade and cook for about five minutes. Once your kitchen is hella fragrant, add the tomatoes, tomato paste and coconut cream and bring to a rollicking boil, before reducing to a simmer, adding the mango puree and cooking, stirring occasionally, for about half an hour by which time it should be thick and spicy.

Serve piping hot on a bed of rice and with a massive pile of naans and papadums for ease of devouring.

 

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Jose Tikka Maasdama

Main, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor N … o wait a minute, Survivor NZ is one-upping Australian Survivor and has ditched Knee-coo-argh-goo-arua and has headed to a new location in the form of Thailand – yes, pronounced Thailand. While that makes me mildly misty for Brian Heidik’s porno past – he is a garbage person though, I know that – Tanya Vance’s illness and Shi-Ann’s robbery with the fake merge, I am mostly thrilled to have an inland location and thirsty after the Kiwi camera angles. Sigh, Lee and those up-short confessionals – swoon.

Anyway 18 Kiwi castaways boated their way through the Thai waterways – JT, Josh and Adam being particularly babin,’ and Tess speaking for all of us (or maybe just me) shocked by the fact tigers are in Thailand – before meeting Matt on a tiny remote island in the middle of a lake. Despite assuming they had already been split into tribes, the castaways arrived on shore en masse with Renee already terrified by the youth and physicality of her competitors. Though what everyone should really be worried about is the fact that Dave and Matt are High School best friends and in all likelihood will be a strong pair.

After Matt gave the laundry list of changes for the season – hidden immunity idols are a yes, redemption island is a no – Kaysha said she was ready to play, Jose shared she would love the money and Liam felt they would be more cutthroat. Putting that theory to the test, Matt announced that they would be kicking things off differently this year with everyone competing in an individual reward challenge for the, psych, he didn’t tell us … but they pick the tribes, no? Anyway, the challenge kicked off with Jose, Franky, Matt, Renee, Josh, Eve, Kaysha, Arun and JT dominating 20 knots and moving on to the second, now shirtless, round. Josh is still my fave, though Matt is coming through. Anyway, they swam out to a platform in the leak to find another bag of tiles, with Arun, Matt and Jose the lucky three to find tiles despite Franky’s dominance. The final three then swam back into shore before literally ordering tiles from 1-100. Despite being neck and neck with Matt’s glistening torso, Jose took out victory only to discover her victory won her – and Matt, who she selected for coming second – the opportunity to select her tribe. Jose selected Arun, Eve, Dave, Franky, Liam, Renee, JT – who was thrilled to be picked late – to form Chani, with Karla rounding it out as the only remaining female. Matt asked Tara, Josh – swoon – Tess, Brad, Kaysha – shocked she wasn’t first selected – Adam, Lisa forming the Khangkhaw tribe with Dylan completing the tribe by default.

Arriving at the island Chani’s spirits were up, until they discovered the food supplies were scarce and then opted to drink water without caring about whether they needed to boil it. Jose took on a leadership role by default, suggesting they clear a path to limit the risk of snakes and get to work building a fire and shelter closer to the shore. Despite admitting that selecting the tribe kind of made it obvious for her to take the lead on the tribe, Eve warned us that it could easily come back to bite her. Meanwhile over at Khangkhaw, Tess and Adam were overwhelmed harsh location while Josh and Brad made quick work of putting together a shelter.

Despite being on the island less than an hour, Karla slashed her hand with a machete and almost bleeding out which made her feel even worse, already feeling on the outs of the tribe. While people were distracted by the drama, JT noticed Arun looking for clues to the hidden immunity idols and decided that if you can’t beat them, join them and forming an alliance. While Liam felt nobody was worrying about playing the game yet, JT followed up his two-person alliance by pulling in Eve and Dave, and Dave rounding out the majority with Franky.

Tara decided to play up the mum-card, despite Barb killing the competition last year with that exact strategy. While she was out sorting the bathroom amenities for her new kids, superfan queen Lisa shared that she was also going to play the mum card and pretend she just wanted to make her kids proud. While she wanted to downplay her passion for the game, she took Tess under her wing and gave her a list of dos and don’ts in the game. While Lisa felt it was all a rouse and didn’t buy it, Tess was hoping the lack of knowledge would allow her to dominate without making herself a threat. Soooo, Tess will eventually blindside Lisa, no? Back at Chani, Arun was hoping to avoid being seen as a leader, leaving Dave and Jose to focus on building fire. That was contrasted with Khangkhaw who decided it was a good idea to soak some rice overnight so they’ll have some mildly moist rice ahead of the next challenge, hopeful it would be enough to get the jump on their competition. Jose was concerned about the target she painted on her back, though was proud of winning the challenge and felt she had selected a strong tribe that would keep her safe. Sadly for her, Franky was sick of her running her mouth which is an easy excuse to get rid of someone early.

The tribes arrived at a muddy field to meet Matt for the first tribal reward of the season for tools and a flint to help sort the fire sitch and make their live easier. The challenge would involve pairs running out into the mud, finding a bag and touching their mat with it … before the other tribe’s pair snatch it. Jose and Renee made quick work winning the first round over Lisa and Tara. Matt and Adam evened things up thanks to the dominant blocking of Adam over Dave and Arun … I think. It was sexy mud wrestling and my thirst is real. Tess and Kaysha owned Franky and Karla, leaving Josh and Brad to battle it out against Liam and JT for the win. Once again, the dirty shirtless men were writhing and hugging before Brad made a break and secured victory for Khangkhaw. Matt then wished Adam happy birthday, his flowing locks look glorious in the mud and damn, everything was right in the world.

Particularly knowing the God filled himself with botox to keep his fellow castaways guessing.

Back at camp Khangkhaw made quick work getting fire thanks to Tara’s passion for pyromania, while poor Chani struggled to make fire with sticks rubbing salt in their wounds. Chani decided to follow Khangkhaw’s lead and cook some rice in the sun to try and turn things around for themselves. Thankfully the winning ways of Khangkhaw ran into a problem as they loaded their fire with rocks to aid cooking … only for them to start exploding everywhere and almost killing the tribe. With that, Dylan extinguished the flames and they were back at square one. Adam felt people were yet to pick up on the fact he was avoiding work as much as possible, while Dylan and Kaysha went hunting for rocks, idols and building an alliance with them, Tara, Lisa and Adam. Slay queens. Khangkhaw then sat down to Adam’s birthday dinner of actually cooked rice, sang him happy birthday and it was fucking delightful. Poor Chani then tried to eat their sun-rice and started to feel even worse about themselves.

Matt returned for the first immunity challenge of the season where the tribes would be required to use long, hard poles to build a staircase and then run through an obstacle course, unlock puzzle pieces and complete said puzzle. Khangkhaw got out to an early lead while Jose started barking at her tribemates, though somehow they caught up which I assume says the strategy works. Matt then dominated the key maze, giving Khangkhaw back the lead from Franky allowing Dylan and Lisa to secure immunity for their tribe.

After their second loss, Jose proclaimed the strategy to blindly follow her worked well, despite the loss which immediately made me nervous since that isn’t really having any results. On the flipside, Franky was nervous about the vote after letting the tribe down. She went to get water with Renee and Dave, with them deciding they need to keep the tribe strong at this stage, though unsure what exactly that meant. While Franky identified Karla as an option and she felt like she was on the bottom, it didn’t really feel like it as they arrived at their iconic cave tribal council.

Eve felt disappointed to be at tribal council, while Renee felt that they were no weaker than their opponents despite their track record. Franky was nervous after blowing the competition, Dave thought the suffering was bringing everyone together. Renee and JT thought you should never feel safe in the game, Franky downplayed her scheming, Liam thought there had been no scheming, Jose felt they were outliers for being positive and not plotting while Karla was nervous and felt that no one should feel blindsided since everyone should be feeling nervous at their first tribal. That however was completely false as the votes rolled in for her and Jose, with Jose finding herself becoming the first boot to her and Karla’s utter disbelief.

While Jose was feeling her feels when she arrived back at loser lodge, she was thrilled to see me – her mentor and friend from Blenheim – there with a warm, slightly patronising smile. Given her dominance in the challenges, she was surprised to find herself becoming the first boot … until I reminded her that Ulong did it to Jolanda in Palau and we can always channel my pettiness into sabotaging them. Tragically she still wished her tribe well, though I suspect it had a lot to do with my Jose Tikka Maasdama.

 

 

Given she was kicked in the guts, I knew she would need something to give her back her spice … and let’s be honest, a Tikka Masala is the best way to do it. A little bit of heat and a shit tonne of spice, I had Jose back in top form in a matter of mouthfuls. Which is meant to sound less sexually aggressive than it does.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jose Tikka Maasdama
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
2 tbsp garam masala
salt and pepper, to taste
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup natural yogurt
600g lamb, diced
vegetable oil
2 onions, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
800g can diced tomatoes
1 cup double cream

Method
Combine half the garam masala with a good whack of salt and pepper, the cumin, coriander, chilli, lemon zest and juice and natural yoghurt in a bowl. Add the lamb and toss to coat before covering and placing in the fridge to marinate for an hour or so.

Heat a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat and sweat the onions for a couple of minutes. When starting to soften, add the garlic and ginger and cook for a further minute before stirring in the tomatoes and remaining garam masala. Once bubbling, add the lamb and marinating liquid. Stir to combine and bring to the boil before reducing to low and simmering for fifteen minutes.

Once the lamb is cooked through, add the cream and stir to combine and heat through. Serve immediately with rice, poppadoms and all the fixins’ … which Jose will never hear as the first boot.

Don’t be sad though. Devour!

 

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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.

 

will-dahl-1

 

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.

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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!

 

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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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