Pheko Phettata

Breakfast, Main, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor South Africa 20 castaways from seasons past relit their torches for a shot at redemption and an even bigger prize. Split based on their placement in their original seasons, the post-merge returnees on Masu quickly stamped their name on the contest and easily took out reward. Sadly for them, that was as far as it went as Yontau dominated the first immunity challenge and protected Seamus from going the way of Francesqua. Yontau was nearly split down the middle, with a trio of pairs aligning against the Season 6 castaways. And Tejan. However that was all for nought as Chappies was sprung hunting for a hidden immunity idol in the middle of the night, with his ally Dante leading the charge to send our iconic Nude King Chappies from the game.

The next day his duo Steffi was feeling isolated after being left out of the loop for the first time in her Survivor career. On the flipside, Palesa was thrilled to be in the majority for once. She opened up about her surprise at Tevin giving her the idol, knowing it could help solidify things with the other tribe after the swap. Given she isn’t overly comfortable with the current majority, which is a trademark good read from Palesa. Speaking of which, Marian was catching up with Dante and Meryl and locking in the plan for their original alliance and flipping on the alliance with Season 6. Likely making them wish they only played poker together, rather than getting inked. Shane meanwhile was disappointed by the blindside and almost being voted out, though after Marian caught him up on all the drama – and how she protected him – he was well and truly feeling better.

Over at Yontau the tribe were living their best lives, except for Tania who was disappointed in Pinty and her general selfishness when it comes to food. After she quietly complained to Phil, the tribe went for a walk down along the beach leaving Thoriso to look for the idol. And when Tania and Killarney caught her, she told them not to worry about her given Tevin had already found it as she watched on. Which obviously spread like wildfire and eventually made its way to Tevin who was surprisingly chill, instead only concerned by the fact that perception is reality and he now has to navigate it, rather than say, seek out revenge on Thoriso ASAP.

The tribes reconvened with zaddy Nico for the immunity challenge where Yontau were gagged to see Chappies had been voted out. But back to the challenge. Five castaways from each tribe will race out in the water one at a time to retrieve a fish trap holding balls before the rest of the tribe wheel them back in. And once all the balls have been retrieved, they will shoot them into a trough with the first to land them all jagging immunity and reward, in the form of an epic fishing kit. Pinty got Yontau out to a very early lead while Masu struggled to figure out the winch system. Lucky for them, Tevin struggled in the water allowing them to close the gap slightly but TBH, it was still a blow out despite Shane working overtime shooting half of the Masu balls as Dino secured immunity for Yontau.

More importantly, we won as Dante rocked his speedo during the challenge.

Back at camp Yontau were thrilled to take out victory and while they were all happy, Tevin killed the vibe by calling out people speculating about him having an idol. Tania being the absolute sweetest took the fall and said she had been speculating about it only and while I love her for doing it, I feel like this is coming back to bite her. With that, Tevin pointed out the symbols around camp to everyone and then led the tribe on an idol hunt with Seamus successfully jagging it. Though disappointed everyone knew, rendering it powerless. But you know, at least he has it for the next tribal council should they go, since it expires after then.

Later that day, Pinty snuck off by herself to smash a secret coconut before coming back to camp to cuss out Tania for calling her out for eating more than everyone else. She then stormed off in the darkness to go hunt for mussels while the tribe rallied around Tania and assured her they agreed, though they weren’t really open to calling Pinty out and creating tension. No doubt since none of them want to miss the merge a second time by rocking the boat like Pinty.

We checked in with Masu where Palesa was frustrated by their loss and wanted to focus on keeping the tribe strong, rather than sticking with her alliances. Toni and PK meanwhile were desperate to get rid of Marian given she isn’t overly strong and not open with them about her gameplay. As Toni caught up with Steffi and suggested Marian be the one to go, Marian quietly watched on and knew she had to get to work and prove Toni wrong. Steffi immediately approached an upset Marian, who opened up to her about how she is in so much pain due to her vitiligo and being in the sun. And damn, I am loving Steffi this season as she quietly held Marian and raised her up. Toni meanwhile continued to go person to person talking about how weak Marian is, with Palesa happy to sit back and let her take the lead.

Well, until she disagrees with a decision.

Marian, Steffi, Meryl and Dante caught up to figure out the counterplan, with Meryl wanting to focus on Toni given she can morph into her role within the tribe. Though she was willing to wait it out, given there should be another opportunity and as such, she was fine to tow the line and get rid of PK. Dante opened up about wanting to play a more active game this go around, so led the charge to rally said vote against PK before dropping by to chat to Toni and pretend he was keen to get rid of Marian. 

Oh and then Marian straight up found a diplomatic immunity idol, which just means she can elect to join the other tribe at tribal council – or send someone else from the tribe – before they vote. And while that is risky, that could be super useful post-swap, which is exactly how she sold it to her delighted allies.

At tribal council Steffi spoke about the tribe being struck down with a case of the alphas and as such, every time they compete, everyone is jockeying to lead rather than working together. Shane agreed and suggested that the one true leader needs to emerge and make decisions for them, which is advice that I’m not exactly sure will fix things. Dante spoke about the pre-season relationships playing a role in decision making, which annoyed Toni and PK who fired up and said people need to move on from their matching tattoos they got after their first season (essentially). Palesa meanwhile downplayed past relationships and instead spoke about the real issue being everyone is trying to run from their past games and as such, creating a lot of uncertainty.

Dante spoke about making the decision that will help them win challenges, which doesn’t necessarily mean physical strength. This led to Marian opening up about her emotional breakdown and that Steffi was the only one to comfort her, leading to Toni once again firing up and saying she never even saw it. And the fact Marian also never even spoke to her today, so she wasn’t ostracising her. Meryl admitted she didn’t speak to everyone either, though she spoke to people that were privy to other plans. Shane spoke about making decisions based on sticking with the majority, which everyone agreed was their plan, meaning half the tribe are about to be blindsided.

With that the tribe votes and Shane was one of the people that actually landed in the majority as the Breakfast Club banded together to take out PK. As Toni watched on in tears, kinda proving their decision right, given how close they are. Which is something PK agreed with as he arrived at Loser Lodge and I entered into my usual post-boot peptalk. Like Chappies before him, the odds were always stacked against PK going into the season due to his bonds and being a massive threat. Which seemed to be enough to cheer him up as we smashed a Pheko Phettata (but sadly only a Pheko Phettata).

Light, fluffy and a little bit spicy, this little Mexican inspired frittata is the perfect way to start the day. Or close out your second Survivor journey. Or for any reason, TBH.

Enjoy!

Pheko Phettata
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
1 chorizo, sliced into coins
1 potato, cut into 1cm dice
1 red onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
400g red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
a small handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped
6 eggs
½ cup cream
⅓ cup parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra to serve
1 tsp hot sauce
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Pop a frying pan over medium heat and cook the chorizo for a couple of minutes, or until the onion starts to ooze. Add the potato and onion and cook, stirring, for a further five minutes. Add the garlic and beans and cook for a further minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the coriander.

Transfer the mixture into a greased pie dish. Whisk together the eggs, cream, parmesan, hot sauce and a good whack of salt and pepper. Pour over the chorizo and potato mixture, followed by another sprinkling of cheese.

Pop the frittata in the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until golden, puffed and cooked through. Allow to rest for five minutes before transferring to a plate and devouring. Joyously.


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Jeffrey Tamburito

Cinco de Cuatro Celebration, Main, Snack

I know what you’re thinking – what the fuck are you doing back for Cinco de Cuatro when today is Cinco de Mayo, you fool? A) that is super aggressive, let’s keep it pleasant and b) I simply can not have a Mexican food celebration honouring Arrested Development without the Bluth patriarch himself, Jeffrey Tambor.

I mean sure, I’ve totally dissed and dismissed my boy – well Lucille’s boy, both of them – Tony Hale … but we caught up last year and he is ok with it. He wanted to give his onscreen family, particularly his sibs Will, Porsh and Jase, a chance to be featured on this historical record of my celebrity friendships.

Anyway, back to Jeff – we’ve been friends for decades after meeting through my dear, dear, dearly departed friend Larry Sanders. I was completely taken by his talent in Lazza’s show and when he came in to audition for Arrested Development, I knew he just had to play George and Oscar.

After it was tragically axed prior to him snagging an Emmy, I made it my personal mission to snag him the gold. When I started developing a little show for Amazon called Transparent, I suggested he audition and help support the T of my community.

At first he thought I asked him to audition for season five of Community in an attempt to keep it on the t-eev, and while he agreed, he was even more excited to find out it was Transparent and his casting would help boost visibility for a less privileged part of my actual community. Now I know that it is fucked up to have a cisgender man playing a trans woman, but Jeffrey knows that and is working hard to make it up to the trans community by advocating that he be the last.

Given that season four should be released in the next few months, I was far less political in our discussions and instead focused on getting myself some spoilers / convincing him to find me a nice juicy role in the inevitable season five. Obviously that required me to sweeten him up, which in turn obviously meant I had to serve up a big old Jeffrey Tamburito.

 

 

There is no better way to honour the legitimate holiday that is Cinco de Mayo than a big, fat, spicy burrito. Hot, fresh and altogether soothing, is there anything more you need me to say to get some pork on your fork?

Enjoy!

 

 

Jeffrey Tamburito
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1kg pork shoulder
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 onions, quartered
5 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
a few sprigs of oregano
3 tsp cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
200g chipotles chillis in adobo sauce, blitzed to a pulp
400g can of chopped tomatoes
1L chicken stock
3 ripe tomatoes, diced
4 shallots, finely sliced
1 red capsicum, diced
400g can of kidney beans, drained
juice and zest of lime
1 onion, diced
small handful of coriander, finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric
3 cups rice, rinsed thoroughly
6 cups water
12 large tortillas
Guacamole, grated cheese, lettuce, sour cream, sriracha and any other beloved accompaniments, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Heat a lug of oil in a dutch oven, season the pork and seal on both sides until golden. Remove from the pan, add the carrots, onion, garlic, bay leaves, oregano 2 tsps of the cumin and the smoked paprika and toss around with the meat for a minute or two, or until fragrant. Add the chillis, tinned tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to the boil. Cover and transfer to the oven and cook for three-four hours, or until the meat is falling apart.

While the meat is cooking, combine the tomatoes in a bowl with the shallots, capsicum, kidney beans, lime juice and a lug of olive oil. Stir well, season and refrigerate until needed.

Then get the rice ready by heating yet another lug of olive oil in a large pan and frying the onion for a couple of minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the coriander, the remaining cumin and turmeric and cook for a further minute before stirring through the rice. Cover with water, give a good whack of seasoning and cook, uncovered, over low heat for about twenty minutes.

Once everything is done, remove the meat from the oven and shred meat between two forks like a basic white girl says she is for a wedding and return to the pan on the stove top. Crank the heat up and simmer in the sauce for ten minutes or so, or until thickened and delicious.

To serve, heat a tortilla is a dry frying pan. Transfer to a bench, layer with your desired salad, the bean salsa, condiments and cheese and finally the pulled pork. Fold the tortilla over to enclose, seal the ends and roll to create a fat cylinder. Wrap in foil and transfer to the aforementioned frying pan to cook for a minute or so either side.

Before, obviously, devouring.

 

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Debbean Wanner Salad

Salad, Side, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the tribes merged and Zeke decided it was the perfect time to turn on his two closest allies Andrea and Cirie. Thankfully for the latter two however, Debbie decided it was the perfect time for the tribe to boot Ozzy, leading the charge to send him to the jury.

Back at camp Debbie basked in the afterglow of tribal, confident that her majority were locked in and would not budge. On the other end of the spectrum, Andrea was feeling uneasy about being left out of the loop and lashed out at Zeke for targeting her. This made Zeke feel unease and trapped with the majority, until Sarah pulled him aside and vowed to work together to sway the game.

Uttering lines being drawn for the 700th time in the episode, Sarah pointed out that the tide always comes up and washes them away. I wonder if she knew that Debs did hers in concrete, making it impenetrable?!

Not wanting to be left out of the fun my boy Jeff arrived to preside over a cheeky team reward challenge for a luxury picnic on the beach – which is an oxymoron, I know. Given that there are an uneven number of castaways, someone was left out and thankfully for our viewing pleasure … it was Michaela, who cussed out her competitors and provided sassy commentary while missing the secret advantage hidden until the sit-out bench.

Oh … and the challenge? The teams had to complete an obstacle course over the water which for the first time ever made me wish this were Australian Survivor because there was blurring aplenty as people lost their clothes over the obstacles.

Brad got his team out to a very early lead against Tai – which was no-doubt cemented by Debbie’s expert crawl across the balance beam – which never really went away. To add insult to injury, poor Cirie struggled to make it to the second platform until Sarah joined her to help her finish the course.

After Brad’s team secured victory, Troyzan returned to the game and joined Sarah, Tai and Zeke to help her finish the course. Which she did and then broke down in tears.

I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING.

To make my face leaks worse, she then spoke about how she pushed herself to prove to her sons that you should never give up. I’m probs paraphrasing here but the tears distracted my vision.

While Brad, Aubry, Andrea, Debbie and Sierra left to enjoy their reward, Jeff summoned a boat to collect the losers when Sarah spotted the secret advantage that Michaela had been sitting on for the last hour, quickly snatching it for herself and cementing this episode as the Sarah show.

Back at camp the losers continued to win me over by holding a Cirie love fest with Sarah talking about how proud of her she was and Tai telling her that her kids would be proud of her achievements. Softening me and the cunning strategist that is Cirie Fields.

Getting us back into the game, Sarah removed herself from the rest of the tribe to discover her secret advantage was the cursed vote stealer – last used by Stephen Fishbach to boot himself from the game – which she vowed to use correctly.

Meanwhile Civil Air Patrol Captain Debbie Wanner and the rest of the victors enjoyed their flight to the luxury beach picnic which truly did look quite amazing. After Brad gloated about his move to split from his alliance of Sarah and Troyzan in the challenge to ensure they’d be able to keep abreast of what was happening in each location.

Andrea then vocalised her pain about Zeke turning on her for no reason, before Sierra ominously claimed that the game was locked down and she was in control.

Back at camp, Cirie got to work winning Sarah back over to her side as she appealed to her need to change how she played the game and make moves to earn her the win. While Sarah wasn’t convinced it is the right time to make a move, she definitely was ready for it … which doesn’t bode well for confident ol’ Sierra.

Sensing I was struggling with the lack of eye-candy left in the game Jeff returned for a(nother) classic immunity challenge where everyone has to spell immunity with blocks, balanced on a teetering table. Jeff got to work giving Tai sass for not being able to spell immunity – despite English being his second language – which as dear Joe del Campo can attest, is difficult on no food.

Andrea got out to an early lead before dropping her tower, allowing Troyzan to overtake her and take out his first immunity win of the season as blocks of letters rained down at the other end of the course. Sadly though Fiji does not appear to be his island.

With her ally winning immunity Sierra was feeling extremely confident and quickly threw the target on Andrea, which her alliance was all on board with … despite Michaela’s sass potentially moving the target to her back. Despite Debbie trying to get rid of Michaela, Brad – her nemesis from two episodes ago – was able to convince her that Andrea was the biggest threat at the moment.

Given that she was left out of all the discussion with her own alliance, Sarah started to feel nervous and decided that it was potentially time for her to make a move. She approached Zeke and decided they need to work with Andrea to flip the numbers and take out one of the alliance. Sierra then pulled Sarah aside to run the numbers and propose a final three with them and Debbie, making her feel like maybe she shouldn’t make a move.

Debbie continued to be a dominant strategic force and told Aubry to vote Michaela as a secret cover for their Andrea boot. Aubry didn’t love that and took the information straight back to Andrea, Michaela and Sarah and vowed that this is what happened before she booted Debbie the last time and she was too difficult to trust. This obviously made Sarah’s predicament even more confusing.

Wanting to put us out of our misery, they arrived at tribal and  – after a brief reflection on Cirie’s challenge experience – got to work going back and forth between how the numbers would go down. Debbie spoke about how strong the six were while Troy drew eyerolls talking about how people should be grateful to make it to six.

Zeke then argued that the deck of cards reshuffle after every vote, to which Sarah agreed … somehow upsetting Michaela who would benefit from said reshuffle. Which she did, with the votes rolling in between Andrea and Debbie – as she pulled out another prop and starting snacking on popcorn like the sass queen she is – with Sarah flipping on her alliance to send Debbie out of the game as the third member of the jury … again.

Illuminati confirmed?

As you know, Debs is a dear dear friend of mine and we’ve been lucky to be co-workers at 398 of our previous jobs ranging from when we were street mime in Paris, dance teachers in Stars Hollow, ran as part of Ned Kelly’s gang, were tour guides in Bonny Doon, ran a Japanese cat cafe, were nude models/#girlbosses in San Francisco and invented post-its. Needless to say, girl and I are close as fuck.

While Debs was disappointed to be vanquished by Aubry and her over-confidence for a second time, she was thrilled to be reunited with her favourite recurring co-worker in Ponderosa. Though she may have been thrilled to see the Debbean Wanner Salad.

 

 

Earthy, spicy and a little bit fresh … I honestly don’t think there is a meal that could better represent the wild and exciting nature of my dear friend.

Enjoy!

 

 

Debbean Wanner Salad
Serves: 4 as a main, 6-8 as a side.

Ingredients
400g can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
400g can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
400g can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn kernels, cooked and left to drain
½ red onion, finely diced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
½ red capsicum, finely diced
handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup muscovado sugar
½ tsp ground chilli
¼ tsp ground cumin
olive oil
salt and pepper

Method
Combine the beans, corn, onion, celery, capsicum and parsley in a large bowl and toss to combine.

In a large jug, combine the apple cider vinegar, sugar, chilli and cumin with a good lug of olive oil and a good whack of salt and pepper. Add to the bowl and toss to combine.

Transfer the salad to the fridge and allow it to rest and absorb the flavours for a couple of hours … then serve and devour.

 

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Enchilada Nicodemou

Main

Oh Ada, how you fill my heart with so much love!

Ada was thankfully given the night off from her relentless Home and Away filming schedule – the only reason I have never taken up one of the many offers to appear on the show – to drop by, gab and devour something as nourishing as our friendship is for our souls.

I mean yes, as with most of my friendships we had our rough patches like when I forced her off Heartbreak High and onto my new series Breakers where I was casting Alex Dimitriades look alikes to fill the void that he left after finally getting a restraining order. Thankfully after the show tanked, she got Home and Away though and I got her a role in The Matrix, so she eventually had to forgive me.

I mean, she got to marry Ryan Kwanten … she couldn’t hold a grudge.

Despite the many lawsuits Channel 7 have brought against me in her past 16 years on Home and Away – the daily death threats to Kochie and Grant Denyer (back in the day – I forgive him after he tanked people I knew on Family Feud), the aggressive trolling of Tara Dennis’ design skills and my lecherous courting of Bruce McAvaney caused but a few – she has always demanded my presence on set to provide her with love and guidance.

Given how busy I’ve been the last year, travelling the globe to provide culinary coverage of multiple Survivor seasons while managing HRC’s campaign, hosting brunch with the All Stars of Drag Race and my usual weekly guests, our relationship has regretfully been on the backburner. Thankfully Ada jumped at the chance to come up and reconnect – but really, who would want to miss out on a batch of my Enchiladas Nicodemou.

 

enchilada-nicodemou-1

 

Make no mistake, these enchiladas are less Mexican than Tex Mex but to a Australian Greek Cypriot and an Australian of questionable origins it does the trick – smokey, sweet and packing a nice kick of heat, they keep you coming back for more despite the complete bastardisation of a culinary history.

Enjoy!

 

enchilada-nicodemou-2

 

Enchilada Nicodemou
Serves: 4, heartily.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
800g chicken breast, diced
1 capsicum, diced
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 ½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground coriander seeds
½ tsp turmeric
400g can chopped tomatoes
400g can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp tomato paste
hot sauce, to taste
salt and pepper, to season
8 tortillas
1 cup tasty cheese
guacamole, extra hot sauce and sour cream, to serve

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Sweat the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes before adding the chicken and cooking, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes. Add the capsicum and the shit tonne of spices and cook for a minute to release the flavours before stirring in the tin tomatoes and kidney beans, tomato paste and hot sauce. Season to taste and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, half covered and stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes.

Preheat the oven 180°C.

Once the mixture is ready, get out a large baking dish – one you’d use for lasagne etc. – and layer out your tortillas. Place about a half a cup of mixture on the middle of the tortilla, tightly roll up and place into the pan. Repeat the process until the tortillas are gone and the pan burst with deliciousness.

Pour any remaining meat mixture over the top of the enchiladas, top with the cheese and bake for about half an hour, or until golden, bubbly and moreish.

Allow to rest for ten minutes before devouring, slathered in gauc, hot sauce and sour cream.

 

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Condoleezza Rice and Beans

Side, Snack

What a day to catch up with Condy! Despite our different political views, joining together to watch Hillary become the first woman secure to a major party’s presidential nomination in the US was so exciting for feminist, political scientists like us.

As you know, Condoleezza and I first connected in university and have stayed in close contact ever since. Yes, GBJ is the worst but that shouldn’t take away from the brilliant mind and kind heart that Condy possesses.

I haven’t shared much about my past in politics but amongst my stints in rehab, the arrests and my fluctuating periods of fame, I became a fierce political animal and have been involved in all major political decisions in the US, the EU, Canada and the Cook Islands in the past three decades, in an advisory or dictatorial capacity.

But a great political mind like mine can’t do it alone and that is where Condy and I work so well together, discussing the issues and generally being dominant bosses.

I hadn’t seen Condy since the email scandal broke – full disclosure, I told Hizza to use her personal email AND dob in Condy and Colly – and was a bit nervous about how my betrayal would be received.

I was also very nervous as I hadn’t brushed up on my Russian and that is the only language we communicate in. Again, like bosses.

Thankfully I had nothing to worry about with Condy giving me the warmest of embraces when she arrived, so excited to watch the results roll in / discuss War and Peace, again / devour a bowl of our college era favourite, Condoleezza Rice & Beans.

 

condoleezza-rice-beans-1

 

Being a poor student, you have to get creative with your meals if you want to eat well. I had just come off a stint coaching the Jamaican bobsled team to victory – yes, I inspired Cool Runnings – when I connected with Condy, so I was very into creole flavours.

The rice and beans are brought together with the silkiness of the coconut milk and the sharp kick of spices. Condoleecious!

 

condoleezza-rice-beans-2

 

Condoleezza Rice & Beans
Serves: 2 pals, or 4-6 as a side.

Ingredients
400ml coconut milk
1 jalapeno, finely sliced
3 spring onions, sliced
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp creole spice (who doesn’t trust Emeril?)
4 garlic cloves, crushed
3 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
1½ cups brown rice, rinsed, drained
400g kidney beans, rinsed, drained
lime, quartered to garnish and taste

Method
Place coconut milk in a large saucepan with a cup of water, the chilli, spring onions and salt, and bring to the boil.

Add the creole spice, garlic, thyme leaves, rice and kidney beans, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.

Remove from the heat, season with a whack of pepper and squeeze of lime and devour.

Or serve it with … well that is another catch-up for another time.

 

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