Franks’n Beans

Breakfast, Main

Oh my – where do I start with my dear sweet Frances Bean?! As you know, I am a dear friend of her parents Kurt and Courtney and as such, have always taken a protective older brother role in her life.

Oh and FYI, I am her third godparent with Michael Stipe and Drew Barrymore for my exemplary morals, though that never seems to make the news, does it?

I always tried to look out for Frances growing up, as I have long known – thanks to LVP, no less – that the crown is heavy and as the Princess of a grunge empire, her crown was pretty heavy and I always wanted her to know that I had her back and support her unconditionally.

To the point where I followed her to Bard College to make sure she was ok slash see if I could ride her coattails. Shockingly, I had a rare moment of self reflection and realised that riding coattails was exploitative, so I left school and let her soar.

And soar she did..

It was such a delight to see her again, give her and hug and reiterate to her how proud I am in the awkward way your mum does. Thankfully she didn’t think it was too weird and we spent the afternoon catching up and laughing about our past … over a big vat of Franks’n Beans.

 

 

Sticky and sweet, earthy and a little bit spicy, this little baby was our go to meal at college. Like a combination of a childhood hug and nostalgia, it is everything you could want while reminiscing about the good old days.

Enjoy!

 

Franks’n Beans
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
6 rashers streaky smoked bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 green capsicum, diced
1 tbsp chilli powder
⅓ cup ketchup
⅔ cup bbq sauce
3 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
4 cups vegetable stock
800g canned navy beans, you could try dried but TBH it is too hard
salt and pepper, to taste
6 skinless hot dogs, thickly sliced

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a dutch oven and cook the bacon, onion and garlic for about five minutes, or until fragrant and glorious. Add the capsicum and chilli, and cook for a further minute.

Stir through the ketchup, barbecue sauce, muscovado sugar, dijon, worcestershire, stock and beans with a good whack of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered and semi-stirring, for about an hour, or until the liquid is thick and glorious.

Add the hot dogs and cook for a further five minutes before serving generously on fresh toast.

And devouring.

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Rock and Roll royalty

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Spending time with my dear friend Courtney Love last month and watching Ru snatch an Emmy for the season Courts guested on reminded me that I desperately needed to catch-up with my dear friend Frances Bean.

As a close friend of Courts, Ru and her dad – I was just out of shot with Courts in the above photo – I’ve known Frances for her entire life, and watching her grow up truly is the thing I’m proudest of.

I mean, her courage, grace, kind nature and passion for cooking; she is just the best.

So what do I make that is worthy of my favourite surrogate sister?

Image source: Unknown.

 

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Lemon Merrin Dungey Pie

Baking, Dessert, Pie, Sweets

When I first met Merrin Dungey – aka Mezza – she was cracking jokes with some of the lower members of the cast of Deep Impact. Despite being quite the high roller on set as T’s best-friend, I was drawn to her infectious joy and decided to take her under my wing.

Let me tell you, Mez is just what the doctor ordered – I feel joyous again!

Jubilant even.

Mez has long been someone I’ve relied on to lift my mood and in exchange, I’ve lifted her up the Hollywood ladder. After Deep Impact, I quickly introduced her to Sorks and got her a brief role on The West Wing, landed her a part with my – and I guess the world’s – Friends and bounced her too Chrissie Apps on Jesse before landing her the big fish that was Alias opposite my then boyfriend Bradley Cooper.

It had been a couple of years since we last caught up – I may have caused a scene on the set of Trophy Wife when she was guesting and was scared I had embarrassed her. Thankfully, I hadn’t but sadly that meant I had to struggle with my mood these last few years.

Mezza is trying to relax and make the most of her free time before reporting to the set of her new show, Conviction, so was down to party and bring the joy … which she did.

As did my Lemon Merrin Dungey Pie.

 

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I like my lemon curd like I like to act to attract men – tarty, smooth and soft and warm inside. Add the culinary equivalent of Merrin / valium, pastry, and a generous dollop of mallowy meringue and you’ve got the perfect dessert to eat away your feelings.

Enjoy!

 

lemon-merrin-dungey-pie-2

 

Lemon Merrin Dungey Pie
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
Pastry
1 ½ cups plain flour
2 tbsp icing sugar mixture
125g butter, chilled, coarsely chopped
2 ½ tbsp iced water

Filling and meringue aka all the rest
Lemon Kurd Cobain
1 cup cold water
¼ cup cornflour
8 large eggs, whites only
⅔ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon coarse salt

Method
In a larger bowl, sift the flour and icing sugar together. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the water and mix with your hands until it just comes together … just.

Shape into a 2cm thick disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out until it is about 5mm thick, lay the dough in a 23cm pie dish, trim excess, line with baking paper and return to the fridge for half an hour.

Then add pastry weights and bake for 15 minutes … and then remove the pastry weights and baking paper and bake for a further 15 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Set aside to cool completely.

That was kind of militant right now, wasn’t it? Sorry.

Anyway, while the crust is cooling, get to work on the curd. Start by whisking together the water and cornflour, then go to the recipe and when it calls for the butter add the cornflour slurry.

Rather than chilling the curd, pour it straight into the crust, smoothing over with the back of a spoon and chill in the fridge for 3-5 hours – the pie, not you – or until it is set.

About half an hour before you’re over the pie chilling preheat the oven to 180°C … again.

While the oven is warming up for you, combine the whites, sugar and salt in a large, dry bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high until stiff peaks form. Layer the meringue on the pie, sealing in the curd, and bake for about 5-10 minutes, or until the meringue starts to brown.

You could always use a blowtorch in lieu of the oven but I don’t, and nor should anybody else, trust me with a blowtorch.

Either way, once you’re done devour and feel happiness again.

RIP *spoiler* from OITNB.

 

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Lemon Kurd Cobain

12th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Condiment, Dessert, Easter Meggstravaganza, Snack, Sweets

Let me tell you, when the lights were off I entertained Kurt Cobain … but that isn’t the point of today’s catch-up. It was all about Meggy.

As you’ve probably figured out thanks to basic deduction and the process of elimination, Kurty is this year’s hero in the meggstravaganza process and I’m hoping through the power of my time machine, he is able to give a posthumous-yet-still-alive-in-the-past boost to Meg’s career.

Kind of like how I brought him back to life, technically, through the use of my scientific brilliance.

It would come as no surprise to anyone, that I enjoyed (and still do with the latter) a very close friendship with Kurt and Courtney in the late 80s and 90s. Fun fact: I actually introduced the two after meeting Courtney in the gay clubs of Portland where I was turning tricks at the time. While in the later years of his life we shared an addiction to heroin, our friendship, first and foremost was built on trust, unconditional love and a passion for ELO.

As is the case with a lot of my friends, I ended up being Nirvana’s chief muses most famously inspiring Smells Like Teen Spirit with a love-letter I wrote to Kurt when I misunderstood his kindness.

Using the time machine to catch-up with my deceased friends is always bittersweet, but being able to see Kurt and Courtney at their happiest while she was pregnant with little Frances Bean was a true joy. Kurt was a bit confused as to why I was reviving Meg’s career, given that it was at her height in the early 90s and he assumed she would stay at the top of the A-list, but was very happy to be able to help out.

Proving, once again, why the reluctant voice of a generation is my hero.

After delicately explaining the situation with her poor 00s choices, I needed something nice and sweet to avoid any awkward butterfly effects from my stint in the past. Although I did attempt to thwart the future release of the abhorrently awful The Butterfly Effect. Thankfully I had a batch of my Lemon Kurd Cobain on hand to bring the fun!

 

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Lemon curd is quite possibly one of my favourite things, particularly when it is super tart and added to a pie. I was concerned about how meringue would hold up in the time-travel, so had to stick with eating it straight out of the jar with a spoon. And slathered on bread … but sadly not our bodies. Once again, I ruined my chance of forming a Love-Judd-Cobain throuple.

Enjoy!

 

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Lemon Kurd Cobain
Makes: About 2 cups.

Ingredients
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
⅔ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
8 large egg yolks
¼ tsp maldon salt
140g unsalted butter, diced into 1-2cm cubes

Method
Whisk together, sugar, zest, juice, yolks and salt in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat and stir constantly until it thickens and can coat the back of a spoon. A couple of minutes.

Remove from heat and add butter, piece by piece, stirring well after each addition until melted, combined, smooth and thickened.

Pour curd through a fine sieve into a jar and cover with cling wrap directly on the top to avoid a skin forming. Refridgerate until cool before devouring.

 

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