Jon English Muffins

Baking, Bread, Breakfast, Side, Snack

The number one perk of time travel – outside of fraudulently getting lotto numbers – is being able to catch-up with your deceased friends … at optimal points in their life / career.

Obviously since I was travelling back to see Jon-Jon but didn’t want to let on that everything was not alright, I went back to ‘74 while he was starring in Jesus Christ Superstar with my dear gal-pal Marcia Hines.

You see Marce introduced us when she joined the show in ‘73, so it was the perfect way to slot back into my life without alerting him of any issue. Plus, he was hella banging in the 70s.

Anyway, our friendship was instantaneous and after excusing myself from life in Marce’s entourage, I commenced touring with Jon and quickly became his muse / career adviser. As seems to be the way it goes, I had hits and many misses throughout those times – there are only so many hippie, drug-lord murders one can play before it gets old. It wasn’t until the 90s and the classic All Together Now that we really hit our stride professionally.

It truly was such a treat to see Jon-Jon truly in his element like he was while playing Judas, laughing with the band and firing off banter with Marce and I. And then future me after I chloroformed past me.

After a night of hard performing on stage and hard drinking with Marce at her blackmarket, backstage casino, I used to wake up early day in, day out, and whip up fresh Jon English Muffins that we’d have toasted, slathered with butter and vegemite.

 

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Just getting to experience our old tradition once final time was enough to fill my heart with joy, but the taste of a fresh, freshly toasted English Muffin made me feel euphoric.

Fresh, doughy … do you really need me to describe bread? It is bread. Bread is good. Just enjoy, ok?

 

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Jon English Muffins
Makes: 8-12.

Ingredients
300g bread flour, plus extra for flouring
7g dried yeast (that should be one sachet. Should be)
pinch of salt
1 tbsp caster sugar
⅔ milk
1 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 egg, lightly beaten
oil, for greasing
polenta, for dusting

Method
Combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl.

Melt the butter into the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until it reaches 40-45C. Remove from heat.

Pour the butter and milk into the flour mix and knead with a dough hook in an electric mixer for a minute or two. Add the egg and knead for a further five minutes.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and prove for two hours.

Dust the bench with polenta and roll the dough out until it is 2cm thick and cut into mug sized rounds. I say mug sized as I can’t be bothered buying 70s cookie cutters, so reached for a mug. Jon-Jon’s kitchen wasn’t well stocked, ok?

Anyway, sprinkle more polenta on the base of a large baking sheet and place the discs of dough on them. Top with another dusting of polenta and leave to prove – again – or half an hour.

Heat a large frying over the lowest possible heat and fry each muffin for about five minutes either side, or until golden, crisp and perfectly cooked.

Serve however you like, but slathered in Vegemite would make you a happy little Vegemite. So … yep.

 

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All together now

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

The festive season has taken a firm hold of me – which let’s be honest isn’t hard considering Mariah Carey’s Christmas albums are year-round listening in my house – and as such, it gets me feeling all nostalgic for the friends I have lost in the past year.

My dear friend Jo-Jo English sadly passed away in the weeks before our birthdays and we never got to have our final joint birthday extravaganza. As such, I’ve decided to dust off the old time machine and celebrate his life / our friendship.

Hopefully without causing a Flashpoint timeline.

Well, unless it causes Skarsy to join me in a throuple … that would be more than ok!

Anyway, what says I miss you without letting on that he died?

Image source: Unknown.

 

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Tim Rice Paper Rolls

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVI: Gold Interrupted, Side, Snack

After being reminded of my once close relationship with Elton – yep, you know we went there – I thought I would reach out to one of our favourite outside-the-boudoir collaborators, Tim Rice.

Yeah, I should have also won for Can You Feel the Love Tonight but Elton had my name struck from the record – maybe that is why our feud started?

My friendship with Timmy pre-dates Elty, having first met working as law clerks in London in the 60s. Our mutual love of music and my passion for theatrics, meant writing musicals was something we were born to do culminating in our first collab with David Gest’s doppelgänger ALW on Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

While I got into huge feud with ALW after he refused to focus on Doll’s coat over Joseph’s – our feud inspired the rivalry between Sheff and ALW in The Nanny – my close relationship with Tim was unbreakable and has lasted through all of my later feuds.

Timmy had far fewer aggressive opinions about this year’s Original Song nominees, wanting them all to win(!), but eventually caved to agree with me that Lady Gaga and Sam Smith are the absolute worst and have no place on the Oscars stage … and that Fifty Shades of Grey was a film full of nuance, that was understated, elegant and cerebral.

Needing to fuel such a spirited conversation (to help me firm up my bets), I opted for my Tim Rice Paper Rolls.

 

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Fresh, delicate and delicious – these rice paper rolls hit all the right notes without making you feel like death afterwards. I mean, Mac and Cheese is great but it is hard to focus on your gambling, on such a full stomach.

Good luck nominees – hopefully Gaga doesn’t rob someone more deserving again (K-Dunst forever)! How good would it be for The Weeknd to do something that his ex-future-father-in-law D-Bag Foster hasn’t been able to?!

Enjoy!

 

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Tim Rice Paper Rolls
Makes: 12.

Ingredients
500g chicken breast
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup wombok, finely shredded
1 small red capsicum, thinly sliced
1 carrot, grated
2 shallots, sliced
1 lebanese cucumber, cut into matchsticks
¼ cup mint leaves
¼ cup crushed peanuts
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce, plus extra, to serve
12 rice paper rounds

Method
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the chicken breast, cooking for five minutes on each side or until cooked through. Remove from the heat and mix the garlic and lime juice through the still hot pan and stand to until it is cool enough to handle, then shred the meat.

Place the shredded chicken, lime zest, wombok, capsicum, carrot, shallots, cucumber, mint, nuts fish sauce and sweet chilli sauce into a large bowl aka everything excluding the wrappers, and mix to combine.

To assemble the rice paper rolls, soak a sheet of rice paper in warm water for 30 seconds, until it softens.

Place the rice paper onto a flat surface and place about ⅓ cup of the mixture halfway between the bottom and the centre, then turn up the bottom of the wrapper to cover the filling. Holding the filling in place, fold in the two sides, then roll up. Repeat until you’re out of wrappers. Any leftover filling goes alright as a salad.

Devour slathered in sriracha, hoisin or soy.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.