James Limon Chicken Piccata

Main, Poultry, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the war between Chris and Domenick raged on Naviti with Chris and Angela firmly on the outs. Meanwhile over at Malolo, the OG Navitians had control with Bradley and his little mouth leading the charge against Jenna, Michael – swoon – and Stephanie, with the latter swiftly kicked from the game as the fifth boot.

Probsty decided to open the show back up the next day by summoning the tribes for a reward challenge – PSYCH – the tribes were switching up, much to Bradley’s dismay and Wendell’s delight. Michael felt the impending swap was a saving grace for he and Jenna, while James and his tragically loose pants seemed concerned or happy. I’m not exactly sure TBH.

Jiffy handed out new buffs with Chris, Jenna, Sebastian, Wendell and Laurel discovering they would form the new green tribe Yanuya. Tragically Naviti had a numbers advantage on each tribe, with Bradley’s baby-lips and Chelsea joining Donathan, Domenick and Libby on new-new Naviti and Angela and James joining Des, Kellyn and Michael on new Malolo. Bradley was obviously feeling uneasy, not sure which alliances would hold out while Donathan – bless – was just happy to make new friends. Sebastian and the rest of the Yanuya were mostly concerned about having to start from scratch on a new beach.

We joined them back at the camp flag and despite not having anything else, they were feeling excited about their chances. Jenna was ready to win, Wendell had packed Sebastian’s perfect shell – not a euphemism – and reunited them and everything was coming up Milhouse. Sebastian was touched by the gesture and was excited to form a relationship away from the Chris and Domenick feud they were stuck behind. Chris then let everyone know how athletic and fantastic he is, over and over, though to be honest with nips like that, he can say whatever he wants. Even using the word beneficiary in the wrong way. Laurel, bless her, just tried her best not to call him out as long as they continued winning.

Over at new Malolo Michael, James and Kellyn were feeling confident, though Des was not as excited, unsure whether Angela would band with the girls to continue the Malolo slaughter. Angela and James then shared the continued feud of Domenick and Chris, and how she would have been a casualty of it had it not been for the heroics of Malolo, throwing Kellyn and Des into a panic. James and Michael reconnected, and felt they would be able to swing Angela. Maybe. Michael’s peach … DAY-YUM.

We then checked in with new Naviti where Bradley was cautiously optimistic about his position, sticking with Chelsea and reunited with Domenick. He and Chelsea then had a cup of coffee and for the first time we heard from the latter, who was moved by the coffee after the continual losses on Malolo. Domenick then shared how excited he was to finally be free of Chris, though it seems Libby has replaced him in his eyes as he cast her as public enemy number one. He spoke to Bradley about his concerns with Libby and her insincerity, leading to Bradley bringing out his cockiness again while talking about reconnecting with Domenick, playing everyone and his A+ game in general – legit quote, FYI – and I’m so excited for his impending downfall.

Jiffy Pop returned for the first immunity as new tribes where they would each have a caller direct blindfolded pairs of tribe members to find puzzle pieces and then solve said puzzle … still blindfolded. Aka the most brutal challenge of all time and I can’t wait to see people get smacked in the crotch like a teen movie! Des, Wendell and Domenick were calling for their tribes with Wendell getting Yanuya out to an early lead. Des then caught things up and took the lead as Donathan and Chelsea tried to secure pieces for Malolo instead of Naviti. Chris’ butt looked great, Michael may have learnt his jocks had holes as he wore boardies … before axing himself, Libby got smacked in the face, Michael and James then ran into a barrel and against all odds, Malolo got to the puzzle table first. Yanuya and Naviti made a beeline for the puzzle table – after Chelsea ran face-first into a pole – and things evened up pretty quickly. Well, until they discovered Wendell forgot a bag of puzzle pieces. The callers then guided a blindfolded pair of castaways to solve the puzzle, with Yanuya somehow taking victory followed by Naviti with Malolo heading back to tribal despite Kellyn doing her best, Des.

Despite feeling like he was creating a new curse after attending all but one tribal council this season, Michael got to work trying to find an in with the tribe. Given Des was feeling solely responsible for the loss and started to breakdown, maybe he had a chance. Kellyn checked in with Des to see whether she was still ok to get rid of James, which she obviously was, despite knowing it should be her. James and Michael got together in the water to find a way to save themselves, with James tasked with pulling Angela over to their side. James then shared that immigrating from Korea had given him the skills to form new relationships quickly, and assured Angela that he and Michael have her back and that Des was the best person to take out. Kellyn then checked in with Angela to see if she was still with the OG Navitians, however she wasn’t giving much away leaving Kellyn to feel sick as they headed off for tribal.

At tribal Jeff got to work rubbing salt in their wounds, calling them one of the worst tribes in Survivor history – ya’ hear, Jacob? Des shared how heartbreaking the loss was, as she felt this could have been her moment and instead she blew it. Probst reminded James that he had been in a similar situation, which he quickly danced around, as did Kellyn. Not Angela though, she thought that sometimes you strike out and you have to live with that. Des countered that getting rid of strength would actually be a better idea, given the merge is likely happening very soon. Obviously Michael disagreed given he has been to most of the tribal councils this season and felt it was still a short sighted plan.

Kellyn tried to make everything about OG tribal lines before James destroyed her argument, sharing that the tribes are random and don’t really matter. After Michael shared he leads with his heart – swoon – James, Des and Angela went head and Kellyn – bless – said her gut was the perfect mix of the two, the tribe got to voting and poor James was sent from the game as the sixth boot.

While he was super positive and calm when I caught up him at Loser Lodge, I could tell that deep down James was disappointed to go pre-jury. I assume because he fears it means no one will ever want to date him. Thankfully I allayed those fears while making a move, followed by a delicious James Limon Chicken Piccata.

 

 

If ten year old Ben heard what I’m about to say, he would repeatedly slap me and probably make a glass of Milo for the sole purpose of throwing it in my face … but this dish sings because of the delightful capers. I mean, sure, they’re just horribly salty fruits, but when you add in the lemon and parsley, you’ve got perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

James Limon Chicken Piccata
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts, pounded until 1cm thin and then sliced in half
1 cup flour
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup unsalted butter
olive oil
2 lemons, juiced and zested
½ cup chicken stock
¼ cup capers, rinsed
small handful of parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Combine the flour with a good whack of salt and pepper, and dredge the chicken to coat.

Place a large skillet over high heat and melt the butter with a good lug of oil, and cook the chicken a couple of pieces at a time for a couple of minutes each side or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and repeat until done.

Add the juice and zest, stock and capers to the pan and bring to the boil for five minutes, or until reduced and fragrant. Season, add the chicken and cook for a couple of minutes to release the flavours. Remove from the heat and add the parsley.

Serve immediately with some mash and doused in sauce.

 

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Egg Yoko Raviono

14th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Main, Pasta

After a busy and ritualistically labour intensive week catching up with Megs, Shirley, Gabs and Alan, I’ve finally arrived at the crescendo with my hero Yoko Ono.

While most people incorrectly attribute her with breaking up The Beatles – instead of male egos etc. – she is a talented artist, singer, songwriter and general multi-hyphenate, and I hate the hate she so often gets.

Plus – as a peace activist, we need more people like her in the world.

I gave her a call last week to see if she was up for the honour, and while she was confused about what a Meggstravaganza was – or even Meg, for that matter – I had her at shamanic ritual. We obviously met through John, but fast became friends in our own rite with me becoming her de facto muse.

After a quick stint reconnecting and catching-up about our current artistic endeavours – FYI, Bed-In Brisbane is likely to happen soon, we threw on the ritualistic robe for the last time this year and got to work sacrificing my Egg Yoko Raviono.

 

 

Using the still fresh Alan Pastarkin, this egg yolk raviolo is near perfection. Melting cheese and delicately cooked yolk, ensconced in perfect pasta … with burnt butter, sage and prosciutto? I’m in heaven, as you will be after you make it. Plus – it looks difficult but is super easy, so what is there to lose?

Enjoy!

 

 

Egg Yoko Raviono
Serves: 4

Ingredients
1 batch of Alan Pastarkin
1 cup ricotta cheese
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
8 eggs, separated
6 slices of pancetta, cut into strips
150g unsalted butter
sage leaves, to taste

Method
Combine the ricotta, parmesan and nutmeg in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Lay out your sheets of pasta – they should look like long, thin lasagne – and cut them into large, even squares.

Divide the cheese mixture between 8 pieces of pasta, forming into a neat mound in the centre. Top with an egg yolk and cover with a remaining piece of pasta, push out any excess air and sealing to close. Transfer to a piece of baking paper.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and heat a frying pan over medium heat. In the frying pan, cook the pancetta until crisp and delicious. Add the butter and – I advise – a shit tonne of sage leaves, and cook until crisp and fragrant.

When the water is rollicking, add the ravioli and cook for a couple of minutes, or until they float and the cheese is melted but the yolk is still runny.

Serve immediately, drowned in butter, pancetta and sage and devour. Giddily.

 

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Alan Pastarkin

14th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Pasta

After kicking things off with Megs, a drop-in from the delightful Shirley Bassey and catching up with Gabourey Sidibe yesterday, I’m thrilled to arrive at my favourite day of the Meggstravaganza – seeing a shockingly still living legend. And no tea no shade … but there is no one more worthy of the honour than my dear Alan Arkin.

While we didn’t meet until relatively late in his career, we’ve grown to become the best of friends. Making it so exciting every time I realise he isn’t close to death.

I first met Al on the set of Edward Scissorhands through my gal-pal Winona, but we didn’t solidify our relationship until the best-friend party that became Glengarry Glen Ross with Jack, Al Pac and Alec Baldy. After that, I was hooked and I made it my duty to become his muse.

My crowning achievement, obviously, was convincing him to join Little Miss Sunshine and finally snagging him an Oscar.

He was thrilled to drop by and see me again, particularly when it came with a side order of helping a fellow thespian make a good comeback. I ran straight into his arms as soon as I saw him at the arrivals gate and don’t think I let go until it was time to pop on our Meggstravaganza robes and make some Alan Pastarkin.

 

 

Making pasta at home is probably the easiest thing you’ve been too terrified to try. And let me promise you, it is so worth the effort. Which is minimal. Light, delicate and fresh – it is perfect for any and all occasions.

Enjoy!

 

 

Alan Pastarkin
Serves: 1-.

Ingredients
400g 00 flour, plus extra for dusting
4 eggs
salt, to taste
*So yeah, basically to make pasta 1 egg to 100g of flour, ok?

Method
Chuck the flour and eggs into a food processor with a pinch of salt, and blitz until a dough forms. Transfer to a floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Form into a disc, wrap with cling and leave to rest for an hour. Oh, at room temp, FYI.

When you’re ready, cut the dough into four and working one at a time, feed it through a pasta roller, working from the thickest to thinnest, dusting with flour as you go. Fold in half and the half again, then feed through the shortest end at the widest setting and work to your desired thickness.

Once it is at your desired consistency, cut to shape – if required – and cook immediately. Or devour raw like us. Though don’t, because of food poisoning.

 

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Stephunghi Gonzalizza

Main, Pizza, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Previously on the 35 prior seasons of Survivor, the Survivor Gods started storing up every bad mistake any contestant made in a mental bank like a psychopath that is awful, but thinks they’re the victim (Janet – I know you hate millennials, so stop asking me about Microsoft Word as if it is my fault it isn’t working). You know them, we all have one. Erik handing over his hidden immunity to Natalie, Jay playing David’s fake idol, James getting booted with two idols in his pocket, Sierra handing off the legacy advantage to the person that blindsided her, the fucking stick and I assume, the entire Ulong tribe.

Anyway, they withdrew them from the bank and shoved them on an exile like island, and now it is up to 20 new castaways to reverse the curse or flame out in equal epic situations. Like the fucking stick.

Arriving on the beach to meet Probst, we were thrilled to discover they weren’t being shoehorned into a random theme and just got to form the Malolo and Naviti tribes. No heroes in sight … well except for zaddy Brendan of Malolo who was selected to represent the tribe for the ambiguous event Jeff teased to them after laying out the theme. On the flipside, young Chris volunteered to represent Naviti before anyone else had a chance to offer. Their task? Well it was thankless, having to select two people to complete an unknown challenge – one physical, one puzzle.

School teacher and owner of my heart Brendan selected baby Michael for the physical aspect and Michaela and Hannah’s baby Laurel for the puzzle, while Chris selected Sebastian – under the sea – for the physical and Desiree for the puzzle. On account of Morgan literally throwing herself out of sight to avoid being selected. The runner was required to, wait for it, run through obstacles to collect keys that the puzzle solver uses to unlock pieces and solve said puzzle. As Probst is want to do, added another twist to the the challenge where the winner would get a shelter building kit and a fishing kit, in addition to their meagre supplies. However if the loser knows their losing, they have a widow of time at which they can forfeit the challenge, get the booby prize of a fishing kit … and hand the winner 20 eggs and a flint in addition to their haul. See, thankless task.

The guys were neck and neck throughout the obstacles – Michael must have had a juicebox – before both falling apart towards the end. Of course Brendan gave his best fatherly, PE teacher pep talk and my basement flooded. Both Des and Laurel seemed to make quick progress on the puzzle, however Chris disagreed … pulling the plug on Naviti and handing Malolo a flame grilled feast to gorge in their dining room. Jeff immediately worked to stir up some drama, identifying all the people on Naviti – well the one – who wouldn’t have given up on the tribe.

Over at the camp of kings, Michael quickly worked his way into my heart which makes me feel all kinds of icky since he is 18.  Though not to his tribe, who he is telling he is 23. The tribe quickly got to work setting up home, where Donathan worked to learn who everyone was and warm my heart with his genuine, sweet nature.

Over at Naviti, Kellyn lived up to my own preseason hype, talking about how she recently made some major changes in her life and was genuinely super thrilled to be around everyone else on her tribe. Likeable Tony Lite Dom them led construction on their shelter, since he legit is in construction, and christened Sebastian Sea Bass on account of his occupation. Sadly that got him off on the wrong foot with old Sea Bass who quickly moved to align with Chris and set their sites on Dom.

The next day we checked in with Jacob who looks like Fozzie Bear and managed to lose his shoes while by the beach. This made him feel even worse, since he and Donathan are clearly not as physically fit as the rest of his tribe. To counter that, he went off hunting for an idol … which gave the rest of his tribe enough time to talk about said idol hunting, and paint a big ol’ target on his back. He then stayed back alone at camp under the guise of getting the fire going while the tribe bonded and looked for food together. Thankfully they weren’t aware that he used said time to pour the rice into his socks to see if there was anything hidden in the container.

Back at Naviti things seemed to be going better, with their shelter coming along well and Wendell building fish traps with bamboo like a total boss. He then shared with us that he studied Law and hopes that people are going to underestimate him. Things were looking up for Dom, as Wendell had taken a shining to him and he and Bradley gave him a heads up about the Chris/Sea Bass alliance.

Jiffy Pop returned to the scene for the first immunity challenge of the season where the tribes would run across a net bridge, collect ropes and use them to wheel a sled of puzzle pieces towards a table before, obvi, solving said puzzle. To up the ante, he informed the tribes that someone from the losing tribe would be going to Ghost Island which is good for them, as it makes them immune from becoming the first boot. Naviti got out to an early lead while poor Brendan tried to coach the kids of Malolo to keep their heads held high. Sadly they were no match for Kellyn, who led her tribe to victory on the puzzle while Michael looked beautiful pushing the pieces in with his crotch.

While Jacob tried to keep morale up after their loss, the Naviti tried decided to punish his positivity and send him to Ghost Island. Though apparently, they fell straight into his trap and he wanted to find out what Ghost Island was and get himself immune. Sadly though, he said that out loud and his entire tribe know that what his game. But to reiterate, he is immune and he needed it. So yay Jacob.

Finally we met Ghost Island where Jacob was welcomed by two giant tiki statues, multiple immunity idols, all of the torch snuffers from seasons past and a row of small urns with the instruction to smash one. Inside he found a clue, telling him to follow a row of flames where he found a game of chance offering him a secret advantage … if he wagers his vote at the next tribal council. He saw three pieces of bamboo on the table in front of him, one of which was locked. He correctly assumed that the key was inside of one of them, and he simply had to pick which one. Which he did, opening it to find the Legacy Advantage from Game Changers that Sierra cursed by telling Sarah it existed, only to be blindsided by the eventual victor moments later. But of course, there was a twist, this one requiring him to hand it off to a person of the other tribe, the person he selected being puzzle-averse Morgan.

Back at Malolo, Gonzalez decided it was a good idea to chastise everyone about their loss and tell them they should have used Donathan’s idea, which she tried to pass off as her own. Thankfully he wasn’t a wallflower, electing to tell James, Stephanie and someone else – it is episode one, give me a break – that he tried to speak up during the challenge and was instead told to shut up by Gonzalez. While Gonzalez tried to rally the troops, the other Stephanie worked hard to turn things on her and protect Donathan … which Michael was concerned about, since they really need to hold on to any strength they had.

Like Ghost Island, tribal council was creepy as hell, looking like the Blair Witch had sex with a tiki god. Probst got to work needling the tribe, leading to Gonzalez talking about Jacob being special … which no one seemed to take issue with. Laurel spoke about the need to stay strong, Jeff asked Donathan how he felt about that given he is so teeny tiny. Thanks Jeff. Obviously Mama Stephanie stepped in to defend he potential new boyfriend ally, saying that strength comes in different forms. Gonzalez then spoke about wanting to be a part of the puzzle section of the challenge, which Brendan alluded would have been super useful to know YESTERDAY.

Jeff then polled the tribe about whether alliances had formed, which everyone started giving answers to before Michael said something that triggered Gonzalez’s paranoia. She then got up and started whispering in Brendan and Michael’s ear to find out who they were voting for. Michael then adorably apologised for interrupting Probst to talk to Jenna and Laurel about what was said, while Donathan sat in the left-right-out position. Thankfully for him as the votes rolled in, Gonzalez’s efforts were in vain and she found herself out of the game unanimously as the first boot.

Make no mistake Stephanie don’t call me Stephanie Gonzalez was not a happy no longer camper to become the first boot. And while I didn’t add salt to her wounds by telling her I was thrilled her exit saved Donathan, it did take an extend period of time to calm her down. But how could you not calm down when a Stephunghi Gonzalizza is in front of you?

 

 

Earthy, sweet and full of flavour, there is nothing better than the simplistic beauty of a mushroom, goat’s cheese and truffle pizza. I mean, name a more iconic throuple. I’ll wait.

Enjoy!

 

 

Stephunghi Gonzalizza
Serves: 1 angry, sassy first boot.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
olive oil
4 shallots, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
500g mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
salt and pepper
100-200g mozzarella, grated
½ cup goat’s cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp white truffle oil

Method
Make the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s recipe.

While they’re proving, heat a lug of oil in a pan and sweat the shallots and garlic for a minute or so before adding the mushrooms and cooking for five minutes, or until softened. Add the thyme, rosemary and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 180C.

When the bases are good to go, sprinkle mozzarella over the bases, top with mushroom and crumble over the goats cheese. Drizzle over some truffle oil, transfer to the oven and bake for twenty minutes or so, or until golden, crisp and delicious.

Devour immediately.

 

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Cheese & Garlic Brad Pittza

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XC: The Goldfather, Pizza, Side, Snack, Street Food

I can’t believe that I’m halfway through this year’s Oscar Gold celebration, the Goldfather! It feels like only yesterday I was chatting screenplay with Diablo, back in time pondering tunes while seeing Hen and talking the highly contested director slots with sole female victor Kath. The latter, obvi, because it was yesterday.

Today, however, I am pulling out all the stops  – and during his performances in Thelma & Louise, Legends of the Fall and Troy, well, I pulled other things – by calling on my A++ list friend, Brad Pitt. Yes people, Brad Pitt.

Now I know what you’re thinking – when did Brad Pitt win an Oscar for Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor? Well, good job you! He hasn’t … but he did win one of producing Lupita’s breakout film 12 Years a Slave.

Anyway, circling back a bit, I first met Brad while part of Geena’s entourage. While I’ve gone off him in recent years, he was totally banging in the Thelma & Louise days. One thing led to another, we started a torrid love affair and while it didn’t last, remained the best of friends.

(Don’t tell him I sold the very NSFW images of him on holiday with Gwyneth as revenge).

Back to the task at hand though, I decided to mix things up and run the Best Picture odds before going through the acting categories. Because let’s be honest, who even knows if the Best Picture winner will even be correct after last year.

While my heart – as you can probably tell – has firmly locked Call Me By Your Name in as my number 1, I find it highly unlikely to get up after Moonlight took the prize last year. Though maybe Was and Faye will hand it over no matter what? So despite being the best film of the year, I don’t see it winning. Fact, not opinion. Anyway, rule out Darkest Hour, Phantom Thread, The Post and sadly Dunkirk. That leaves us with Get Out, Lady Bird, The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and even then, I feel like Lady Bird’s best chances rest with Greta’s noms. So eeny meeny miny mo, Brad said Three Billboards, I think Get Out will take a surprise victory. Fuck the Armitages, amirite?

Unless Jordan gets Best OG screenplay, then it is The Shape of Water’s win.

Make no mistake, this date was full of some very robust conversation. So robust, we could only be sustained by the cheesy, glorious goodness of my Cheese & Garlic Brad Pittza.

 

 

Cheese, garlic, herbs, dough. Do you really need me to say anything else? I mean the layer of oil and grease when it comes out of the oven may not be the healthiest, but damn is it good.

Enjoy!

 

 

Cheese & Garlic Brad Pittza
Serves: 1-2.

Ingredients
1 serve Pizsa Zsa Gabor dough
6 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup parmesan cheese
¼ cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp oregano leaves, chopped
1 tbsp thyme leaves, chopped

Method
Make the dough as per Zsa Zsa’s orders.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Combine the garlic, cheeses and herbs in a bowl. Smear over the dough and chuck in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden, crisp and bubbling.

Devour.

 

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Hamry Asparagus Aramancini

Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XC: The Goldfather, Party Food, Side, Snack, Street Food

After kicking off this year’s Oscar Gold celebrations – The Goldfather, FYI – with my delightfully acerbic friend Diablo Cody, I decided day two required some quiet, respectful dignity. And what is more quiet or inspiring of respectful dignity, than a dearly departed friend?

As such, I whipped out the delorean, set a course for 1963 to escort my dear friend Henry Mancini to collect his third Oscar.

I first met Henny in the mid-50s while working together in the music department of Universal Pictures – I played recorder, triangle, tambourine and, obviously, yazz flute. We became the fastest of friends, and I eventually became his muse.

Now at the risk of confusing the timeline, I grew up to my present self and met my husband in this timeline, then took him back in time to get Hen the Oscar he so sorely deserved … as he never won in the OG timeline. When I got back in time, I convinced Mickey Rooney to take on the racially appropriated role in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Thanks to Mick, it got greenlit – why Aud wasn’t enough is beyond me, but whatevs – and I got Hen the job doing the score.

He then witnessed my husband and my love, and wrote us a song to mark the occasion. It was Moon River, I encouraged him to use it in the film … badda bing, badda boom, two Oscars in one year. Aren’t I all sickening with this love talk?

Anywho I obviously used the time driving back in time to focus on the odds for Best OG Song and Best Score, in honour of my chum. Score is obviously going to Alexandre Desplat who will get his second Oscar for The Shape of Water. Best OG Song however is a three horse race, one of which I put in the race simply by not shutting up about it. While I’d love Mary J. Blige to convert one of her noms, I don’t see her taking either. And while both of Sufjan Stevens’s songs from Call Me by Your Name bring me to tears, Mystery of Love is the dark horse that I’m willing into the race. The Oscar will go to one to either Benj Pasek and Justin Paul for a second year, for The Greatest Showman or Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez for Coco. Which TBH, made me cry so damn much. Ti amo, Gael!

Henry was mildly confused when I arrived with in ‘63, though lapped up my excuse that I was so moved by his inevitable third Oscar. I mean, he lapped it up like it was a plate full of my Hamry Asparagus Aramancini.

 

 

Now I know I only just posted another arancini recipe a couple of days ago … but get off my back. I mean, creamy risotto, rolled into balls, crumbed and baked? How could you resist? Plus – ham and asparagus is super different to mushroom and gorgonzola.

¿ Por que no los dos ?

Oh … and enjoy.

 

 

Hamry Asparagus Aramancini
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
4 cups chicken stock
olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2-3cm lengths
1 ½ cups arborio rice
½ cup dry vermouth
⅔ cup parmesan, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
200g ham, diced
150g vintage cheddar, cubed
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
½ cup flour
1 egg
2 tbsp milk

Method
Bring the stock to the boil in a saucepan, reduce heat to low and simmer. Meanwhile, heat a lug of olive oil and the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and sweat for 5 minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the asparagus and cook for a couple of minutes, or until soft bright green. Stir for a couple of minutes, or until the rice starts to get translucent around the edges.

Stir through the vermouth, followed by half a cup of the warm stock and stir until the liquid has just all absorbed. Add another half cup of stock and repeat the process until it is all gone, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add the parmesan and seasonings, and stir to combined. Allow to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

To assemble, place the breadcrumbs in one bowl, the flour in another and whisk the egg and milk in another. With wet hands, take 1-2 cup of risotto in your hands, form a ball while squeezing out all the air. Form a whole in the centre, press the cheddar inside, enclose and roll. Repeat until they’re all done.

When you’re ready to crumb, roll each arancini in flour, followed by egg wash and then the breadcrumbs. Repeat the process and place on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and place in the oven to bake for fifteen-twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour.

 

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Todd Herzongola & Mushroom Arancini

Party Food, Side, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: China, Tapas

Can you believe that the premiere of Survivor is five days away? Well you better, because it is … and I am bursting out of my skin with excitement. After kicking off my countdown with past champs Vecepia, Tom and Danni, I knew there was only one person I could have over to round things out – my boy Todd Herzog!

Todd has had an extremely well publicised battle with alcoholism over the last couple of years (which was subsequently taken advantage of by Dr. Phil), but I’m pleased to say that unlike me, he is doing really well. And it filled me with such joy to see him, happy and healthy.

And ready to welcome another person into the winner’s circle.

As you may have assumed, I played a large role in Todd’s problem, always wanting to give him one more drink … but thankfully he hasn’t held that against me and we’ve been able to maintain our close friendship.

Todd truly is an icon of Survivor and, in my not at all humble opinion, is one of the best winners and gave one of the best final tribal performances of all time. Let’s be honest, the jury wanted one of the girls to win before Todd schooled them, and charmed his way to a million dollars.

If it isn’t already abundantly clear, I love Todd and desperately want him to return when he is well enough.

Anyway, we laughed, we cried and we ran the odds on who we want to win (heart, Jacob) and who we think will win (please Wendell or Kellyn). As is always the case here, I found it to be extremely hunger inducing, so whipped us up a batch of Todd Herzongola & Mushroom Arancini.

 

 

Now I love me some arancini … but when they taste like this, how could you not? The creamy risotto, the woody mushroom and the whack of the gorgonzola. These babies are heavenly.

Enjoy!

 

 

Todd Herzongola & Mushroom Arancini
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
4 cups chicken stock
olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chilli flakes
250 mixed mushrooms, finely chopped
1 ½ cups arborio rice
½ cup dry vermouth
⅔ cup parmesan, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
½ cup flour
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
150g gorgonzola, diced

Method
Bring the stock to the boil in a saucepan, reduce heat to low and simmer. Meanwhile, heat a lug of olive oil and the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and sweat for 5 minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the mushies and cook for a further five minutes, or until soft before adding the rice. Stir for a couple of minutes, or until the rice starts to get translucent around the edges.

Stir through the vermouth, followed by half a cup of the warm stock and stir until the liquid has just all absorbed. Add another half cup of stock and repeat the process until it is all gone, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add the parmesan and seasonings, and stir to combined. Allow to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

To assemble, place the breadcrumbs in one bowl, the flour in another and whisk the egg and milk in another. With wet hands, take 1-2 cup of risotto in your hands, form a ball while squeezing out all the air. Form a whole in the centre, press the gorgonzola inside, enclose and roll. Repeat until they’re all done.

When you’re ready to crumb, roll each arancini in flour, followed by egg wash and then the breadcrumbs. Repeat the process and place on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and place in the oven to bake for fifteen-twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour.

 

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Nico Tortellini

Main, Pasta

Sorry for the delay with this week’s recipe, I am only just coming down from my wonderful week at a private villa with Nico. While it was only meant to be a friendly catch-up between friends, Nico is truly intoxicating … and like Joni Mitchell, I couldn’t help but drink a case of him.

As you know, I first met Neeks through Mich and Corbs on the set of the egregiously shortlived TBL, and while I’d love to say it were his brains and many talents that drew me to him, our sexual chemistry is what brought us together.

Thankfully it didn’t take long for me to see him as the kind, wise and talented individual that he is, and we became friends after being lovers. Which kinda flips Bolton’s rule, no?

Anyway … let’s get to the good stuff. I picked Nico up from the airport, it was hot and humid and we drove to a private villa not far from the scene of the cage-fighting accident with Miley that rendered Annelie out of action on here.

We swam, we laughed and we literally ticked all the boxes. It was, as you would expect, glorious.

When it came to nightfall, we were absolutely ravenous for something carby and glorious, that could easily be eaten off a body Samantha-in-SATC-style. Which meant I obviously went for a Nico Tortellini.

 

 

“It is so thoughtful,” he said as I brought it to the table.

“Creamy, hot and spicy, and packed full of sausage – it is everything this week has been.”

Enjoy!

 

 

Nico Tortellini
Serves: 4-6 … or 2 starved lovers on Valentine’s Day.

Ingredients
1 cup ricotta
½ cup emmental
½ cup grana padano
pinch of nutmeg
1 egg, lightly whisked
salt and pepper, to taste
60 gow gee wrappers
olive oil
6 spicy Italian sausages, excluding your lover’s
3 garlic cloves, minced
small handful mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp chilli flakes
½ cup sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
1-2 cups baby spinach
300ml double cream
½ cup grated parmesan, plus extra to serve

Method
Combine the ricotta, emmental and grana padano cheeses in a bowl with the nutmeg, egg and a good whack of salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.

Grab your gow gee wrappers, a pastry brush and a half-filled mug of water. Spoon out a large teaspoon of mixture into the centre of each gow gee wrapper, lightly brush the edges with water and fold the pastry in half leaving you with a filled semicircle. Take the two edges and turn them into to each other and press together to form a large tortellini … because I love his large tortellini.

Once they’re all ready, get a big pot of salted water boiling over high heat. When bubbling as aggressively as your chemistry, add the pasta and cook for five minutes, or until they are all floating. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking.

While the pasta are cooking, heat a lug of olive oil in a large skillet and push meatball-sized pieces of meat out of the sausage and cook for a couple of minutes, or until they’re all cooked. Add the garlic and mushroom and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until the mushies are softening and the kitchen fragrant. Add the chilli, sundried tomatoes, spinach and double cream and cook, stirring, for a further couple of minutes. Remove from the heat, stir through the parmesan and season well.

Return the tortellini to the pasta pan, pour over the sauce and toss until well covered. Serve immediately, in a bowl, on your sexy lover or both, the latter two after they’ve adequately cooled, ovbi.

Sprinkle with even more cheese – sausage’s best accompaniment – and devour.

 

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Jessicarbonara Johnston Pizza

Main, Pizza, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, new-Yawa remained undefeated after the swap while at Levu, Joe proved that finding idols truly is a bald man’s game. Things however weren’t so peachey at Soko with Chrissy and Ryan having to decide between keeping JP and Ali, sending the latter out of the game

Back at camp Chrissy was quick to make JP feel comfortable after tribal, and was thrilled to be closer with each of the boys than they are with each other. We checked in with Yawa the next day to learn that Cole was feeling confident that should they merge, they were five strong. That, of course, was quickly disputed by Ben who rightfully was concerned by the closeness of Cole and Jess. Rounding out the catch-ups, Ashley spoke about how broken, starved and divided Levu is. So … final three of Chrissy, Ashley and Ben/Ryan/Cole/Devon, yeah?

Probst quickly arrived for the reward challenge, much to the excitement of the hungry Levu tribe. Though it wasn’t actually a challenge, it’s the merge – what a surprise!? After dropping buffs – sadly, not JP’s trou again – and getting swanky new purple ones, Probsty informed the starved castaways that instead of the merge feast, they’d be going to Queen Sandra’s fave – Outback Steakhouse.

The castaways toasted making the merge – YAS, they’re all dateable – downed steaks, and drank up which brought down Joe’s defenses and allowed Chrissy and Ben to quickly deduce that he has an idol, painting a larger target on his back. Jessica also emerged from her shell, hitting on the waiter’s thunder from downunder.

Back at camp, the new Solewa tribe got to work improving or building – who knows whether it is a new camp – their shelter, while Cole searched for a clue which was hidden in the wad of nails he was using. Bless him. Jessica and Desi got reacquainted, while Ryan and Devon caught up and floated the idea of a hustler-heroes alliance to take out the healers. The boys looped Lauren in on the plan, who wasn’t so keen on the plan giving she is aligned with Mike. She then told Mike and I was reminded of the epic ‘David as an idol’ scene from Millennials vs. Gen X.

Devon took the plan to Ben and Chrissy to get rid of Joe, that latter of whom was thrilled given she found him insufferable at lunch. Ben however was more keen to take out Cole, given he literally eats whatever he wants. Jessica and Lauren pulled Cole aside to warn him about his eating, Ben floated the idea of booting Joe or Cole with Mike, and I am reminded how freaking confusing merge episodes are.

Thankfully, Cole is pretty and Devon’s torso is longer than I am tall.

Pulling me out of the alliance whirlpool, Probst returned for the first immunity challenge where everyone stands on a narrow beam and keeps a ball spinning within a disc. As quickly as it started Ryan dropped out, followed by Mike whilst trying to be cute while taking a step – what did Alyssa Edwards say? Jessica was out after taking her second step forward, followed by Ben, JP, Devon and Lauren as they dropped to the final section. Joe soon dropped out, leaving Desi, Cole, Chrissy and Ashley to fight it out for immunity. Which Desi won, after Cole and Chrissy dropped their balls and Ashley dropped while trying to move her second foot onto the narrowest section of the beam.

Getting straight back into it, Cole pulled Ben aside back at camp to apologise for eating all the food and not thinking about others. Despite accepting his apology, Ben did not in fact accept said apology – preach – though wasn’t sure whether booting him was a good plan, or could blow up in his face.

Feeling unsafe, Cole approached Joe to fill him in on the new Yawa alliance immediately pissing off Joe, who knows Ben will flip at the first opportunity. Cole then joined Mike, Lauren and Desi to talk about getting rid of the heroes biggest threat Chrissy, leaving them to debate whether Ben was with them or about to go against the family. Obviously Lauren then approached Ben to talk about which side they would go with, before the hustlers and heroes – sans JP – got together to pick their target. Given they’re concerned about Joe and Cole having an idol, and the Cole and Jessica alliance, Jessica seemed to be their safest option.

At tribal, Probst quickly brought up the theme and put the target on the plentiful healers. Everyone danced around loyalty and truth, trying to keep their allies calm and not give anything away. Mike then offended Joe, who was talking about being extremely loyal, leading to him pulling out his idol and threatening to use them. Cole was unphased by the display –  given he helped Joe find his first idol – while Ben announced that the battle lines were drawn and they need to vote to see where the chips may fall. Joe played his idol just in case they fell for him, which they did not, instead coming down to Chrissy and Jessica, with the latter booted from the game … as the final pre-jury boot.

Poor, sweet Jessica was feeling quite down when she arrived at loser lodge – particularly after finding out it hadn’t ticked over to Ponderosa as yet – though quickly perked up when she saw me, her dear friend, waiting for her. Like the great, great Cirie Fields, I first met Nurse Practitioner Jessica while in rehab. She was completing a placement at the time and given how kind she was, she took a lost cause like me under her wing and helped me through (one of) my most recent stint(s) in rehab and got me sober. As such, we’ve been friends ever since.

After getting her out of her post-boot funk, we got to work catching up, talking about how dreamy Cole and his nips are … and then dreaming we were eating my Jessicarbonara Johnston Pizza off dem plates.

 

 

If CalebAras and Joan – and Skarsy, obvs – have taught you anything, I love me some carbonara. I mean, warm, salty, creamy goodness going straight down my throat? Sign me up … and now, in PIZZA form.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jessicarbonara Johnston Pizza
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
1 cup parmesan, grated
2 eggs, lightly whisked
salt and pepper
200g pancetta, roughly sliced
4 shallots, thinly sliced
a handful mushrooms, thinly sliced
125g pecorino cheese, grated

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C and prepare bases as per Zsa Zsa’s method – sans tommie paste.

Whisk the parmesan, eggs and a good whack of salt and black pepper until thick and combined.

Spoon the egg mixture onto the rolled out dough and spread across the bases. Sprinkle over the pancetta, shallots and mushrooms, and top with pecorino.

Transfer to the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until the bases are crispy and the cheese golden. Devour.

 

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