Cheevieburger Nachoda

Main, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor 41, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the tribe turned up to the latest immunity challenge where Jeff gagged them with a(nother) twist. They were split into two groups of five and each group would compete for their own immunity and then vote a person out. Oh and the person that lasts the longest overall would win a reward for their group. After Erika took out immunity over Ricard, Shan, Heather and Naseer, she noped out of the challenge handing reward and immunity to Xander. The losers ventured back to Ua to strategise with Shan wanting to target Heather and Ricard planning to get rid of Naseer. And after Naseer told Heather that she would definitely be going home, it motivated Ricard to loop Erika and Heather in, with them banding together to eliminate Naseer.

The victors returned to camp and as they joyfully smashed their stew, Xander was thrilled to hold the balance of power in their group given he has immunity, an idol and an extra vote. Evvie meanwhile wasn’t overly nervous since they have a good bond with Deshawn and was formerly very tight with Xander. As such, the duo put their differences aside and decided that targeting Liana would be their best bet for moving forward. Deshawn meanwhile was floating not voting out Evvie to Danny, who obviously quickly shut things down. Danny then approached Liana to lock in the vote for Evvie while Liana was nervous about what exactly Xander would do with the idol knowing that if that happens, it may end up sending her home.

Liana then boldly approached Xander and asked him to join the Evvie vote and even had the nerve to suggest that he should hand over his idol until after tribal council to make her feel comfortable with the plan, which he wisely shut down with a hell fucking no.

Xander and Evvie then caught up with Deshawn and Danny, suggesting that Liana threw their names out there and while Deshawn was all in on aligning with them to get rid of her, Danny still looked well and truly pissed. As such he pulled Xander aside and told him that Evvie is far more threatening than Liana and if they want to work together, he thinks getting rid of them is the better idea first and then they can look at Liana.

As the group arrived at tribal they were gagged to discover Naseer had immediately joined the jury. Danny spoke about how stressful it is given Xander is the only person safe. Xander meanwhile focused on how great the stew was before Deshawn brought things back to the game, pointing out that it is a tough choice given the group is so small and he had wanted to work with the person that he thinks is getting booted. Liana spoke about the calmness of the smaller tribal, though admitted it feels so much more dangerous. Xander admitted that having immunity gave him a little extra power while Evvie admitted that everyone was being particularly cagey back at camp. Including them.

Everyone in the tribe spoke about how they are fairly confident their plan is the one that is going to succeed which made Deshawn point out that means someone is clearly lying in the situation. Evvie then likened tribal council to being on a rollercoaster and how the fun part is surviving the chaos and fighting through your fear about dying, while Deshawn pointed out that is what is about to happen to someone’s game. Which obviously meant it was time to vote, with poor Evvie realising they were the one blindsided from the game.

While it was a bit chaotic getting everything together in Ponderosa, I was thrilled to be there to support my dear friend Evvie. Well, after supporting Naseer because I have a process and like me mid-breakdown, they just need to trust the process. 

I first met Evvie when she started her PHD during one of my many scams while pretending to be a college Professor. I also coached Lori Loughlin’s daughters in rowing, but that is another story for another time. In any event, as it usually does, the college soon realised I have no qualifications to be a professor and I was quickly fired, though Evvie being kind, we kept in touch and soon became the best of friends. As such, I knew the only thing that could cure her post-boot blues were a big, hot Cheevieburger Nachoda.

You know I love burgers and will find anyway to turn a dish into one and well, this little number thankfully turned out delightfully. Salty pickles, creamy cheese and the whack of onion team perfectly with the corn chips and well, just make it and find out how great it is.

Enjoy!

Cheevieburger Nachoda
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 tsp olive oil
500g beef mince
½ tsp Worcestershire Sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
1 bag corn chips
8 slices American cheese
1 small onion, diced
1-2 tomatoes, diced
1-2 cups shredded iceberg, washed and dried
2-4 dill pickles, sliced
2 tbsp American mustard
2 tbsp ketchup

Method
Heat a lug of olive in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the mince and Worcestershire, breaking it up into largish chunks – I failed at that – with the back of a wooden spoon. Season, reduce heat to low and leave warm.

Place the corn chips in four bowls and heat for a minute or so in the microwave, top with a couple of slices of American Cheese, followed by the mince, onion, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, mustard and ketchup.

Then devour, greedily.


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Sticky Meatball Scarlettuce Cups

Main, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 1, TV, TV Recap

Like Art before her, I’m not going to dwell too much on Scarlet. I mean, damn Ru, why you gotta have four people left in contention for the crown? It really makes my life that much more difficult.

In any event, Scarlet well and truly stormed through the competition, served killer looks and well, that pole dancing was damn impressive.

That being said, it would be remiss to not say that her well-known past performances were horrible and as a white man, it is not my place to forgive her or accept her apologies. But I do hope that she is genuine about making amends and learning from the this because the world needs growth and healing with those she hurt so stupid, racist shit just stops happening.

Which is what I told her as I sat down and slammed a plate of Sticky Meatball Scarlettuce Cups in front of her.

Like at the end of a good night, there is nothing I love more than sweetly, sticky balls. Combining san choy bow and ramen influences, these babies are earthy, spiced and most importantly, easy. Which is what I like to hear when I’ve got sticky balls.

Enjoy!

Sticky Meatball Scarlettuce Cups
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
1 tbsp ginger, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chilli paste
225g water chestnuts, finely chopped
⅔ cup panko breadcrumbs
4 shallots, thinly sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
⅔ cup plum sauce
100g vermicelli noodles
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
2 baby cos lettuce, leaves broken off and rinsed.

Method
Combine the mince, ginger, garlic, chilli, water chestnuts, breadcrumbs and shallots with a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch to combine with your hands and mix into golf-ball sized meatballs.

Heat a lug of oil in a wok over medium heat and cook the balls for five minutes or so, tossing infrequently. Add the plum sauce with a cup of water, stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick and sticky. My two favourite descriptors.

Cook the noodles as per packet instructions and drain well to avoid any drippiness.

To assemble, divide a couple of lettuce leaves on a plate, top with noodles and meatballs and garlic with a few slices of chilli. And then, obviously, devour.


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Crunchwrap Supremme de Luxe

Drag Race España, Drag Race España 1, Main, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

I have just finally seen the first episode of Drag Race España and while I may have come for Jon Kortajarena – I said what I said – but damn I am glad I went through countless quarantines to venture over for the dolls because they were fierce. I mean, ¡ qué divertido ! 

(And you know, the fact that it is available on Stan in Australia so I can watch along with the rest of the world. FYI, this is not an ad. For some reason nobody wants me endorsing their products).

But that is enough about the episode until next week – I have a new take on spoilers and not ruining things for people. Instead, I wanted to focus on the other non-Jon reason for months of quarantining – my dear friend Supremme de Luxe.

I’ve known Supremme for years and years after meeting in a Diana Ross & The Supremes message board on the AOL. Does that age me? 

Don’t answer that.

Anyway, we quickly became the best of friends – like a non-romantic You’ve Got Mail – and when I finally returned to Spain in the mid-aughts to reclaim my throne as Pedro Almodovar’s muse, we finally met and solidified our bond.

She gave me a call a few months before filming was due to commence and honestly, it kind of broke my heart.

“Hey Ben, I know you’re friends with Fred and Pangina too but couldn’t cover their franchises because of language barriers (read: laziness on my part) and lack of timely local broadcasts on a streaming service you have, but I’d really love it if you could find it in your heart to fit your dear friend Supremme into your schedule.

“Oh and Jon will be there, if you could fit him in.”

With that, I vowed to fit everything in and jumped the next plane to Spain and after weeks of quarantine measures, finally got to hold Supremme in my arms, celebrate the upcoming season and split a delightful Crunchwrap Supremme de Luxe.

It is a fact universally acknowledged that there is nothing better in life than a crunchwrap. Tragically both of the ‘Bells in Brisbane are in the outer suburbs and by the time I get them home, they delights are decidedly lacking in the crunch. Thus why I immediately jumped on the copycat train to experience them in all their crunchy glory as Supremme intended.

This riff on the fast food delight is super cheesy, super crunchy and packs a killer punch of chilli and well, let’s just say that this is what dreams are made of.

Enjoy!

Crunchwrap Supremme de Luxe
Serves: 2 hungry besties, 4 normal people.

Ingredients
2 cups Chilli Con Kim Carnes
6 large tortillas
1 cup nacho cheese sauce
2 cups tortilla chips (because tostada shells aren’t readily available, and I love Téa Leoni)
½ cup sour cream
1 avocado, mashed
1-2 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 tomato, diced
1 cup Mexican cheese blend
vegetable oil, for brushin’

Method
Some may call me lazy, but after the pandemic travel and quarantining, I was exhausted upon my arrival in Barcelona and as such, went with the easiest version of the recipe possible.

Once you’ve done the mise en place – did you know je parle français aussi?! – get to work assembling by placing four large tortillas on a bench. Divide the beef mixture amongst them, followed by the cheese sauce, leaving an inch or two bare around the edge. Top with tortilla chips, sour cream, avo, lettuce, tomato and cheese.

Split the remaining large tortillas and use to top the the filling before folding in the edges to create a tight disc. Flip over and leave to settle for five-ten minutes.

Once you’re confident they are closed – you should never be too confident – place a large frying pan over medium heat and once scorching, reduce to low and brush with vegetable oil. Carefully transfer a crunchwrap, seam side down, to the pan and fry for five minutes or so, or until nice and crunchy. Flip and cook for a further five minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is nice and melted. Repeat the process until done.

Then, obviously, devour.


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Danni Po’Boytwright

Main, Survivor, Survivor: Guatemala, Survivor: Winners at War, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor nothing apparently happened and honestly, if this trend continues, I am going to be ropeable. While the network was too lazy to give the iconic season two hour episodes and therefore don’t have time, I love to reminisce. I mean, watching 20 former victors arrive on a remote island – countless falling on their faces as they exited the dingy – before Jeffrey threw them straight into an immunity challenge, where the new former Dakal tribe received immunity, meaning Sandra, Amber, Sarah, Sophie, Kim, Tony, Tyson, Yul, Nick and Wendell were saved from the Tina Wesson, first to worst special. Meanwhile at Sele, Denise found a new, less sexy – but still packing – Malcolm, in the form of Adam, though they sadly got lost in the jungle and immediately became the targets. Luckily Adam is better than people give him credit for and rallied the old school alliance of Rob, Parvati – swoon – Ethan and Danni to his side to get rid of Natalie and weaken Jeremy.

Then the second immunity challenge happened and despite a massive lead for Dakal, Jeremy slayed the final portion and secured immunity. This made Dakal descend into chaos, with the Game Changers all aligning, the poker group of Kim, Tyson and Amber – by proxy – on the outs and the wet-dream power alliance of Yul and Sophie pulling in Nick and Wendell to take control of the tribe. Ultimately pulling in the Game Changers to get rid of Amber, again, to weaken a male. Much to the disgust of Sandra.

We opened by checking in on Natalie and her new BFF Amber on the Edge of Extinction where Amber was still trying to come to terms with her boot, though was grateful for a second chance and was using her four children at home and her husband over at Sele as motivation to keep going and to push to find ways that she can help Rob’s Cause.

Speaking of Rob, he awoke at Sele to discover a bequeathed Fire Token and immediately panicked that it meant that Amber had been voted out. He then shared how hard it was for both of them to leave the kids once again and as such, he worried about how she would cope with all the time to think the edge provides. Rob found Parvati by the shore and immediately shared his fears with her while Parvati hopefully suggested that maybe it was Sandra. They then speculated about all the different friends that could have possibly passed their token to him, but you could tell deep down that he knew his wife was gone. And if Sandra had something to do with it, he would be out for revenge.

Meanwhile Denise and Ben were chatting and collecting wood, with the latter hoping to improve his game by building social bonds. As a semi-expert, Ben decided to coach Denise in finding hidden immunity idols with it quickly paying off as Denise snatched it. Sadly for her it was a best friend’s idol, requiring Denise to give the other half away with it only working when combined. Surprisingly Ben didn’t pressure her to give him the half, instead suggesting that she pass it off to someone to build trust. Helpfully suggesting Adam, somehow unaware that the two were fast becoming a tight duo. With Ben’s blessing, Denise found Adam on the beach and told him what had happened and while they were both annoyed that Ben was aware of its existence, glad that they could use it together. With that Denise suggested that they gift it to Parvati to get an in with the icon, while Adam quickly talked her out of it and around to giving it to him instead.

Over at Dakal Yul was using his long, hard piece of wood to collect fruit for the tribe, while Kim acted as his cheerleader, just desperate to find a friend. Speaking of Kim, she was struggling with being on the outs after dominating her first season and decided to go find an idol. Despite knowing that hunting isolates her and makes her more of a target, the risk was worth it as she really didn’t have any other options. After learning that it was a crummy best friend’s idol, Tony and Nick appeared from behind a tree, with her pretending to be grabbing firewood. While she knew that she had been caught, she assumed they didn’t think she had found it. Having a good feeling about Sophie, she approached her to gift her the other half idol, much to Sophie’s confusion given they aren’t aligned and Sophie is keen to take her out using the intel.

Back at the Edge of Extinction, Amber and Natalie discovered a note for yet another advantage. Natalie played dumb about the whole token jam, bartering any advantages to earn enough to by rewards or advantages for them. For some reason, the duo opted to hunt for the advantage together, meandering around the island until Amber decided it was a trigger to find something that may appear tomorrow. Annoyed at expending all the energy, Natalie felt guilty and went to get water for them both. It was there that she discovered an advantage in the well. Said advantage would set the person back one token, and give them the opportunity to exit tribal council before the votes were cast, meaning they were immune, but also missed out on having their say. Like the Pia and Luke majesty in Champions vs. Contenders II. Over at Sele we learnt that Jeremy was the lucky person to be get the advantage offer, with him readily handing over his token.

We returned to Dakal where Tony was hard at work on his fake job of construction to keep himself occupied so he doesn’t do anything stupid. Instead of injecting that energy in improving camp, he used his time to make a ladder so that they could climb up to collect fruit. The tribe took the 20-foot ladder into the jungle to test it out, while Tyson marveled at the fact he isn’t dead and Sophie was concerned that he was actually going to test it and die. Tony being Tony, he then actually climbed the idol and honestly, I am still shocked that he isn’t dead.

While everyone was worried about his mental well being, the move did soften them towards him and everyone was laughing and happy. Sarah noticed that this is exactly how he was in Cagayan and was glad that people were falling for him, hopeful that him making more friends would hide from their friendship of more than six years. The duo finally took a moment to go for a walk and quickly suggested that they reignite their Cops’R’Us alliance and while they all looked happy, Sarah did not that last time they aligned, He took her out and as such, she is going in with her eyes wide open.

Jeffrey finally arrived for the combined reward and immunity challenge and after Rob stopped fuming about losing his wife, Jeff explained that they would race out with a cart to collect three years on the top of towers, then use said keys to release three chests. They would then load them on the cart, dis-assemble it, pass it through an obstacle, reassemble it and wheel the cart to the end and solve a puzzle with the pieces inside. The reward was for the Survivor spice kit and honestly, I am shocked that Michele didn’t have PTSD from the Koah Rong spice challenge genocide.

Dakal got out to an early lead with Sele nipping at their heels. It turns out however that Tyson is more adept at wielding a long, hard pole and extended their lead ever so slightly. Dakal continued to work well together, putting their cart back together ahead of Sele, getting their pieces to Sandra and Sophie with a decent lead over Sele, leaving Rob and Denise to nervously wait. Sandra and Sophie had finished their first segment of the puzzle as Denise and Rob finally joined the fray, with Tony encouraging his tribe to cheer for their girls to make their rivals more anxious. Which is equal parts petty, hilarious and amazing. Rob and Denise took a break to sort their pieces on the table, while Sandra and Sophie whipped through the puzzle, winning the challenge for their tribe with a huge lead, sending Sele back to tribal council.

Making me think, was Rob too concerned about Amber to think? If so, I ship them so hard.

Back at camp Parvati was nervous about being outnumbered by the new school winners on the tribe, while Rob was heartbroken to have choked in the challenge. Ethan pointed out that Rob was crap in the challenge, while Rob countered that he too was shit. Rob wasn’t overly concerned about heading to tribal council however, as he built a strong relationship with his fellow old school winners and as such, they got together to try and find a target. Unfortunately, the alliance was plotting without one of their members, Danni, which made her super nervous. And irritated with Parvati, got to work schmoozing the tribe to try and save herself. Danni and Ethan caught up with Ben and Danni sadly let slip the existence of the old school alliance, immediately terrifying Ben as the newest winner on his tribe.

With that Ben took the information to Adam and Jeremy, with Ethan tagging along and pretending not to be a part of any of the drama, to turn the tide on the old schoolers. Meanwhile Danni approached Rob and explained that she was feeling left out, so checked in with him to see whether he would be willing to take out his number one ally, Parvati. While they promised to go with the plan and stick together, Rob considered it her second and final strike, and instead got to work turning the vote on her. This made Adam happy, seeing the oldies fighting against themselves and while he would rather get rid of Parvati, he was happy to bide his time until it was right and get rid of Parvati. Ethan told Parvati about Danni targeting her, before the trio joined together to lock in the Danni vote and see whether they trust Ben enough to go through with it. Meanwhile Adam filled Michele and Jeremy in on the plan, before offering up the chance to take out Parvati instead. And being on the bottom of the tribe, the duo obviously didn’t care, as long as it wasn’t them.

At tribal council Adam struggled to stick his torch in a hole, and oh my god, is he playing the bumbling fool perfectly? With the slapstick out of the way, Rob spoke about the importance of making both real and fake relationships, which Ethan agreed was hard to figure out. Michele admitted to struggling to read people this season and that old school and new school doesn’t impact. Parvati disagreed and said that playing decades ago made it difficult for some people to keep up, given they never had to contend with certain elements and as such, are pretty much newbies in this era.

Danni agreed and said that her previous game was all about loyalty, which is what she was trying to do this season. This got a nice chuckle from Parvati who shared that Danni originally had targeted Rob, who then became her ally in the old school alliance. This got a reaction from Ben, who shared Danni’s earlier faux pas with the tribe and said that as much as they want to deny it, there clearly was an old school, new school thing occurring in the tribe. He then spoke about the rising paranoia in the tribe, blaming the oldies for causing it in the tribe. This led to the trio berating him for calling them out, when everyone is.

Rob, Jeremy, Parvati and Ethan started whispering, before Rob called on everyone to empty out their bag to prove that they don’t have the idol. Denise skillfully hid her idol in her hand as everyone emptied their bag, and Adam called Rob out for strong arming the tribe into showing their possessions. Adam spoke about the more important aspect of the game being about forming relationships at this point, with Parvati agreeing that the vote was solely coming down to relationships.

With that the tribe voted, nobody played a hidden immunity idol and Queen Danni was ironically voted from the game for running her mouth, despite winning her season and hiding her plans from even the producers. On the way out the door, a dejected Danni bequeathed her Fire Token to Denise.

Unlike most of my other Edge of Extinction catch-ups, I didn’t jump out and spook the hell out of Danni. While I had planned to, I was ugly crying like Dawson Leery and was not being quiet about it, and as such, Danni found me hiding under the bequeathment table and asked what the hell I was doing down there. I spluttered through snot bubbles as I explained how happy I was to finally have a Guatemala OG return to the game and seeing her running her mouth out of the game so soon, was too much to handle. Particularly since she won by keeping her mouth shut in confessionals, so production couldn’t spoil her plans.

I continued to cry as she tried to perk me up, vowing to return to the game and slay it. And as such, told me I better have another recipe lined up to follow the delicious Danni Po’Boytwright we shared as she headed to the girl’s club known as Edge of Extinction.

 

 

Spicy and meaty, this baby is one of my favourite ways to enjoy meat in my buns. While it may appear simple, this po’boy makes up for its simplicity by being jam packed with flavour. Garlicky, creamy, spicy and sweet, this sando is a complete journey for your mouth, which is just what you need.

Enjoy!

 

 

Danni Po’Boytwright
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper, ground
1 tsp ground chilli
1kg beef chuck roast
2 cups beef stock
4 Hulk Hogies
½ cup Shayonnaise Swain
8-12 slices provolone cheese
iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 tomatoes, sliced
4 dill pickles, sliced
1 tbsp hot sauce

Method
Combine a good lug of olive oil with the garlic, salt, pepper and chilli in a large, shallow dish and add the beef chuck. Rub with the marinade, cover and place in the fridge for an hour or so.

Heat another lug of oil in a dutch oven over high heat. Once scorching, reduce heat to medium and seal the roast on either side for a couple of minutes, allowing the outside to caramelise. Once it has started sticking to the base, add the beef stock and bring to the boil. Once rolicking, reduce heat to low and simmer for an hour or so, or until the meat is falling apart and the liquid is all but gone. You may need to add more stock to the pan throughout cooking.

Remove the meat from the pot to rest for five minutes before using two forks to shred the beef like you would pulled pork. Return the beef to the pan to absorb all the juices and keep warm while you prep the sandwich.

Preheat oven to 180C.

To assemble, split the buns in half and heap with a generous smear of mayonnaise. Generously top with the meat, followed by a few slices of cheese. Pop them on a lined baking sheet and cook for five minutes or so, or until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven, top with lettuce, tomato, pickles and a generous spritz of hot sauce.

Then devour.

 

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South West ShickAnn Huanger

Burgers, Main, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: All Stars, Survivor: Thailand

This time next week we will have ventured to an island featuring absurdly large busts of Survivor icons Sandra and Rob, Jeffrey will no doubt have spoken about balls and poles and our first boot will have eaten their feelings with me in Ponderosa.

But more importantly, that means I have one more icon to celebrate as we anticipate the return. Which is where my dear, dear, Shii Ann comes in to play.

While All Stars cops a lot of flack because of the ugly, bitterness there was one shining light and that was the iconic underdog herself Shi Ann. I mean, name a more iconic moment than her winning immunity at the exact moment she so desperately needed it and then proceed to rub it in the faces of everyone that she was up against.

It was that spitfire moment that truly solidified her place in my heart and I was honoured that she accepted the invite to be the showstopper of this season’s countdown. Particularly since she is busy with her real estate career in NYC.

Obviously we gossiped about the cast and the upcoming season – she agrees that Janet and Elaine are icons that need to be protected at all cost – but mostly we caught up on how she has been (great), whether she would come back for another season (yes) and most importantly, whether my ex Frederick still pines after me (of course).

We then sat down to a plate of piping hot South West ShickAnn Huangers and toasted to the season ahead.

 

 

A little kick of chilli, a punch of lime and the creamy guacamole work together to make this burger sing. I mean, only stupid, stupid people wouldn’t agree that it is perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

South West ShickAnn Huanger
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g chicken mince
½ cup black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup corn, rinsed and drained
3 shallots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp cumin
1 lime, zested and juiced
4 Kirsten Bunst
olive oil
1 tomato, sliced
a handful butter lettuce leaves, rinsed and drained
1 batch Lady Guagamole
hot sauce, to serve

Method
Start by combining the mince, black beans, corn, shallots, garlic, chilli, cumin and lime in a bowl, and scrunching with your hands until well combined. Split into four patties.

Place a skillet over medium heat and add the split buns to toast for a couple of minutes.

Add a good lug of oil to the pan and cook the patties for a few minutes before flipping and cooking for a remaining five minutes, or until cooked through.

To assemble, place a hearty dollop of guacamole on the base of the roll. Add a few slices of tomato, lettuce, the patty, hot sauce and another dollop of guac. Just because.

Then devour, greedily, rubbing it in the faces of those that didn’t get a burg.

 

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Chickeke Parma Burger moments before Keke Palmer got her hands on it.

Chickeke Parma Burger

Burgers, Main, Snack, Street Food

I don’t even know how I am typing this during Ekka season, but I feel like a positive, renewed man that isn’t crippled by the conflict of his passion for a Snoop Daggywood Dog and fear of falling back in with the intoxicating world of carnies.

Which reminds me, me and my hands need to catch-up with Lee-Anne Locken ASAP. I mean, once a carnie always a carnie, I guess?

But anyway, I am positively loving life ATM and that is in no small part thanks to spending time with my dear, perky, hilarious friend, the iconic Keke Palmer herself. While I knew her way back when she was simply Lauren, I knew she was destined for greatness, quit my job as a High School drama teacher and became her manager slash coach.

Did I mention I was the inspiration for Mr. G? Well I was.

While I’m not at liberty to tell you whether she is legit joining morning television full-time, I can confirm that we had a delightful time catch-up, plotting a way to get a reboot of Scream Queens happening at Netflix – I need Stamos to show skin and I know they will help – and that she assured me that if she were going to morning television permanently, she would have me on as an entertainment reporter slash culinary wiz.

Say what you will about my culinary skills, a gorgeously gloopy Chickeke Parma Burger can prove very convincing to get what you need from your nearest and dearest.

 

Keke Palmer overjoyed about potentially smashing a Chickeke Parma Burger

 

Crisp, juicy chicken, sweet tomato sauce and a heaping pile of sharp parmesan cheese, if you didn’t think there was a way to improve upon a parma, you would sorely be mistaken. I mean, adding the bun and with it, the ability to eat with your hands without judgement? I’m a genius, I tell you. Even if I wasn’t really the first person to come up with idea.

Enjoy!

 

Keke Palmer overjoyed about smashing a Chickeke Parma Burger

 

Chickeke Parma Burger
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 Kirsten Bunst
4 Chicken Parmigina Gershon
½ cup Shayonnaise Swain
1 tomato, sliced
1 lettuce, leaves removed, washed and drained.
Jud Beerza Battered Fries, to serve

Method
Cook the buns and parmies as per Kirsten and Gina’s recipes, and make the mayo.

To assemble the burgs’ toast the buns and smear the insides with a little bit of mayo. Add a layer of tomato, then the lettuce, then the parma. Close the burger and serve with fries, devouring immediately.

 

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Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Burgers, Main, Street Food, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor young, underestimated Baden had a hero moment at the reward challenge, proving himself to his tribe and helping them snatch their first reward. Things continued to get better for the Contenders – no doubt due to John’s nude scene – snagging another win at the immunity challenge. In no small part thanks to Janine’s idea to dig and trench over a hole. Which everyone agreed to, and don’t you forget it! Thankfully for JaQueen and her fellow outsiders, Luke and David found an idol, and then followed it up by working overtime to convince Abbey and Ross to flip on the athletes alliance, which worked, sending Susie out of the game and handing control of the tribe over to them.

The next day the new majority were living it up at Camp Champ, making jokes and having a great time. While Steven, Nova and E.T. sat around the shelter, sulking about the fact they were outplayed at tribal and wouldn’t be steamrolling their way to the merge. At the end of the rainbow the Contenders were still riding high on their back to back victories, none more so than Sarah who was overwhelmed by the beauty of Fiji and getting into the groove of island life. The tribe sat around the fire, roasting Sarah Harris and Studio 10 while flashing us back to John’s nude scene – how many times do you think I can bring this up, I wonder. There was an extremely hard pivot, with my Queen Sarah then talking about her experience surviving the Boxing Day tsunami. Honestly, just give her the money because she is the greatest and I’m sad we haven’t seen enough of her in the first three episodes.

We returned to Camp Champ where Nova was still running a tight ship in the kitchen … or protesting, I can’t tell. Though she was auditing bananas, then telling Ross he could cook his own damn rice (which is fair). We then followed Ross and Pia into the jungle who were snacking on ants, no doubt because Nova banned them from eating as she was seething after Susie’s blindside. As was Steven who was well and truly feeling the heat as the instigator of the athletes alliance, though he reminded us that he does not give up, ever, and will not go down without a fight. Given he talked about almost dying at least five times, I won’t make any jokes about winning Gold simply for not going down.

My love Jonathan returned for the next reward challenge – which coincidentally is a water challenge – aka Monika’s tower of belly flopping doom where people would jump off the tower one by one and snatch a flag, swim to a pontoon and then dive down to retrieve letters which they will use to solve a word puzzle … for HOT BLOODY CHOCCIE! Before Jonathan even asked the Contenders to sit someone out, Casey dived for the bench leaving tsunami survivor Sarah to face off against a huge body of water. When the challenge rolled around, Matt and David were neck and neck, while Hannah and Abbey both missed their attempts, while poor Sarah worried about screwing it up for their tribe. Luke got the Champs to a lead, before Harry closed the gap leaving Janine and Baden to arrive with the third flags neck and neck.

Daisy than followed in Monika’s footsteps and did a killer belly flop before John got the Contenders out to a lead. The Contenders then tried to coach Sarah through her trauma and TBH, I think the Champs should forfeit for her. Eventually it came down to just Sarah and Pia on the top of the towers, with Pia grabbing her flag on her third attempt while the Contenders gave up on trying to win and instead pushed Sarah to make the jump to prove it to herself and overcome her fear. Zaddy John then swam back to the tower to help Sarah, offering to hold her hand and jump with her. Matt too swam back, while the Champions slowly made their way to victory as the trio hugged at the top of the tower, agreeing not to push her outside her comfort zone. After the challenge Jonathan asked Sarah about her fears, giving her tribe the chance to publicly praise her and her bravery. Oh and then Jonathan gave the champs the chance to invite a contender to share in their reward, with them giving John a sweet treat for having Sarah’s back like the bloody icon he is.

Back at camp Sarah was still feeling guilty about losing the challenge and called the tribe around to explain what happened in the moment during the challenge and damn, all I want to do is give her a big hug as she is so much stronger than she is feeling. Shaun being the most beautiful man in the world, supported her and everything she’s been through and if John wasn’t John, I would be rooting for just Shaun.

Speaking of John, he was living it up over at Camp Champ, meeting new friends and most importantly, his childhood crush Pia aka the star of his fave movie, Looking for Alibrandi. I mean, does he get any better? While everyone was smashing marshmallows, Janine noticed a clue on the beach near the table, so slyly reached down to grab it, with only ally David catching her at the last minute. JaQueen wandered deep into the jungle where she learnt that she had picked up a clue, leading her back to the well where she snatched an idol … for the Contenders. The note explained that the idol was only good for a Contender to play at a Contender tribal council and that a Champion idol sits in the same location at the Contender beach. Given the highly specific wording, I assume a swap is a coming and this could be very good for her should she find herself becoming a Contender. She then debated whether it was a good idea to give the idol to John and hope he’d return the Champion idol to her, before ultimately deciding that patience is her best bet. It didn’t add anything to the narrative, but John returned to his tribe and then got down on one knee and gifted Sarah with a marshmallow for everything she has done for the tribe, and damn I love him so much.

Jonathan’s gun show returned for the immunity challenge where eight members of each tribe are tethered to ropes, wrapped around obstacles before releasing themselves and a pack of balls, which the final two have to roll up a curved wall and land them in a bucket. Hannah and Shaun got the Contenders out to an early lead over Abbey and David, much to Nova’s chagrin. While they managed to close the gap on the second obstacle, the Contenders still maintained a slight lead which only extended when Daisy and John hit the course, despite a killer run from Pia and Luke … until they tangled themselves on the second obstacle, alloying Baden and Sam to lap them. Casey and Matt started the course before the third Champion pair made it to the wall, until Casey started to fade and Janine and Simon slowly started to close the gap. Andy and Harry had a huge head start figuring out how to roll the balls in the bucket, landing three before the Champions even made it through the gate. While Nova’s hockey past helped her land her first roll, it was all for nought, as Harry landed the final ball, handing the Contenders third third immunity win.

Back at camp Pia was feeling extremely nervous after stuffing up the challenge with Luke and while they apologised, Nova looked like she wanted to kill them both. Steven went out into the ocean to cool down, both figuratively and literally, before assuring us that Abbey or Ross are the athletes target, rather than Pia or Luke. Abbey approached Simon to explain why she flipped, pointing out that Steven hadn’t bothered to ever talk to her. While he wanted her to join back with the alliance, she explained it was too hard. She then went to talk to Steven and Nova, with Steven making the situation worse for himself, cussing her out and calling her weak. Completely ignoring the point of Survivor, wondering why she dared not to tell them she was jumping. She then stood up for herself, explaining that he is the reason she flipped, given he never gave her the time of day.

She and Pia then walked down the beach where Abbey started to break down over the way Steven spoke to her. Janine, Ross, Luke and David stumbled upon them and asked what happened before going back to camp, asking Steven what the hell he said to her. While he was quick to deflect from the way he spoke to her, with Nova backing him up, the tribe rallied around Abbey. Steven eventually tried to smooth things over, finding her by the shore to apologise before returning to camp to joke about needing to pack his bag, knowing only a miracle will save him.

At tribal council E.T. seemed at a loss trying to explain how they lost yet again, while Nova pointed out that true Champions keep getting back up when things go wrong. Pia addressed the elephant in the room, saying that tensions flared after losing the immunity challenge before Abbey jumped in to rescue her, explaining that someone cussed her out – which Luke jumped in to point out was Steven – for flipping at the last tribal council. He admitted to it and reiterated his apology before Nova explained that she thought booting Steven was a bad, emotional idea and was salty about it. David explained why he defended Abbey so vehemently before Nova completely downplayed Steven’s behaviour. While Pia explained that he did get in her face, Nova continued to defend her friend while Pia pointed out that she too was there and saw everything. E.T. went back to talking about the initial alliance before Steven said that the tribe will be weakened without him, should he actually go home and no matter what, the divide will still be there if they don’t fix things.

With that the tribe voted and – to steal Jonathan’s joke – Steven lived up to his reputation and skated through once again, with his closest ally Nova getting the boot instead. While Nova was shocked to get the boot, she took her blindside like the legend that she is as she pulled me into a big hug. As you know, I’ve been involved with many an Olympics and while my specialty was swimming – hey Lisa and Steph! – like Nova, I was able to cross over and actually coached the Hockeyroos in ‘95-’96 which is where I first met the Australian hero. I always knew Nova was destined for greatness, and to see her going from strength to strength is one of the greatest joys of my life. That and celebrating her many victories with a big, juicy Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger.

 

Nova Peris celebrating her fourth boot Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger.

 

Hot, spicy and packing a real punch, there is no better way to honour the Queen of the Kitchen, dual-sport Olympian, Gold medalist, former senator and all around icon Nova. The burn of the chicken mixed with the creamy mayonnaise and sharp cheddar, honestly, is the only joy I can derive from seeing this hero booted.

Enjoy!

 

Nova Peris celebrating her fourth boot Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger.

 

Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
6 small bird’s-eye chillies (seeds in for additional heat, if you wish)
½  teaspoon chipotle chilli powder
4 cloves garlic
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp oregano
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup champagne vinegar
salt and pepper
2 chicken breasts, sliced into 4 fillets
4 Kirsten Bunst
½ cup Shayonnaise Swain
1 cup lettuce, shredded, washed and dried
1-2 tomatoes, sliced
4 slices cheddar cheese

Method
Blitz the chillies, chilli powder, garlic, lime zest and juice, paprika, oregano, olive oil and champagne vinegar in a food processor with a good whack of salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and rub over the chicken pieces. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

When you’re ready to rock, transfer the chicken to a lined baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes, or until cooked through and starting to blacken around the edges.

Split the buns, smear each side with the mayo and top with some lettuce, tomato and a slice of cheese. Add the piping hot chicken, close the burg’ and devour, greedily.

 

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Tostavo Santaolalla

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XCI: Call Me By Your Gold, Street Food

Ok, ok – I know it feels like I’m stuck on a musical binge at the moment, after kicking off Call Me By Your Gold with Em and Reese on account of musicals, but Gustavo Santaolalla is an icon in his own right and I couldn’t go past with catching up with my dear friend to celebrate this year’s Oscars.

While I only met Gus close to fifteen years ago through my love Ang, our bond quickly grew as I inspired his exquisite score in Brokeback Mountain and made sure it captured the love and unbridled passion I held for Heath and Jake. And Mish.

Given it won him his first Oscar, I assume you agree that I am a gloriously stunning muse.

Gus being the delightful, sweet man that he is was totally shocked, humbled and honoured to get an invite to my annual Oscar Gold celebration. Even more so, as he got to help me lock in my bets for his sound brethren.

For Sound Editing, Gus believes I shouldn’t look past First Man, however I think A Quiet Place is a safe bet. For Sound Mixing, I am going with my boy Rami’s Bohemian Rhapsody while he thinks First Man will take that also. Given First Man didn’t even get a nom for Original Score, Gus is going with Isle of Dogs however I think If Beale Street Could Talk has it on lock. As does Gaga for Best Song which should just be given out straight away as it is the safest bet of the night.

That being said, Black Panther is the only nom that could act as a spoiler. Though it won’t.

TBH it was a pretty easy bunch of noms to discuss, but that didn’t stop us from getting down to sharing a platter of Tastavo Santaolalla. You know, to give us back our energy.

 

 

Hot and spicy, fresh and crunchy, tostadas are one of my favourite Mexican dishes. I mean, it is essentially a giant chip piled with a meaty-salady dip. When I put it that way, you find it pretty irresistible, no?

Enjoy!

 

 

Tostavo Santaolalla
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 red onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
500g beef mince
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp chilli powder
2 tsp cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp turmeric
400g refried beans
8 corn tostadas
cheddar cheese, sour cream, lettuce, hot sauce and coriander, to garnish

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large skillet and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes, or until soft, sweet and fragrant. Add the mince and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon until the mince is browned. Stir through the tomato paste and spices, and cook for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile heat the beans in a small saucepan.

To assemble, smear the tostadas with the beans, top with the mince mixture and literally any combination of cheese, sour cream, lettuce, hot sauce and coriander that you desire.

Devour.

 

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Ryan Cosling and Avocado Salad

Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldy Bird, Salad, Side, Snack

Hey Girl, you didn’t think there was anyone I’d rather kick off this (new) year’s Golden Globe celebrations with than my dear friend Ryan Gosling, did you? I mean between the fact we’ve known each other for decades after co-starring on The Mickey Mouse Club – obvi I was a mouseketeer – and that he won his globe after five noms, he is best place to help me run the odds this year.

Normally I like to show you the other sides of my celebrity friends however when it comes to Ry, what you see is what you get. He is an absolute babe-town slash sweetheart, is a loyal friend and is just thoroughly delightful.

I mean, he was so worried about how I would take him getting with Eva and starting a family – we dated in the early noughts – so he took me on a friend vacay where we watched her movies with a critical eye until I softened enough to her and he was sure that I wouldn’t feel slighted by the relationship.

While I obviously flew off the handle when I realised talking smack about Eva’s performance in the classic film Urban Legends: Final Cut – the film’s only weakness IMO – wasn’t foreplay, we quickly won me back by having personally edited the locker scene from Crazy, Stupid, Love and his Blue Valentine nude scene in a 14 hour loop to help calm me down.

That sort of thoughtful gesture is even enough to curb my penchant for holding grudges. As such, we’ve been the best of friends for life.

When I arrived in L.A. I made my way straight over to his home to catch-up. He threw his arms around me – swoon – and told me how desperately he missed me slash how happy it made him to be helping me make my second triumphant return to the interwebs.

As I am wont to do, we laughed, we cried and we talk smack about our frenemies before getting down to running the odds. Given how much I love him, I decided to cover all the motion picture acting nominations with him. For Supporting Actor we agreed that my boy Mahershala is likely to snatch a globe to make up for his snubbery for Moonlight and Supporting Actress will go to Regina King. The leading performances are where we started to disagree, with Ry thinking Christian Bale will take Comedy and Musical while I think Robert Redford will take a surprise victory. For Comedy and Musical Actress, he believes it is Olivia Colman’s to lose, while my gut tells me Crazy Rich Asians will take a win and Constance Wu feels like their best shot. For Drama, he thinks Bradley Cooper will win here – I obvi am Rami all the way, er’ryday – and Lady Gaga will continue A Star is Born’s streak, while I can not move past Glenn Close.

Because she is Glenn Close damnit.

Given he is such a delight, things didn’t get very heated so I didn’t need to cook up anything hearty to ground us – like roast gosling, for instance. Instead, we feasted on a fresh and delightful Ryan Cosling and Avocado Salad.

 

 

I know that I normally push extremely hard in favour of the ‘you don’t win friends with salad rule,’ but this is so good I have to make an exception. Packing a tonne of flavour and healthy enough to make you smugly think that you’re keeping your new year’s resolutions, it is near perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ryan Cosling and Avocado Salad
Serves: 2

Ingredients
¼ cup greek yoghurt
1 lime, juiced and zested
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp dill, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
2 baby cos, washed, dried and leaves removed
1 avocados, peeled, stoned and sliced
handful of mint leaves

Method
Combine the yoghurt, lime juice and zest, maple syrup, dill and a good whack of salt and pepper in a jug.

Layer the cos on a platter, topped with the avocado slices and a sprinkle of mint.

Drizzle over the dressing.

Devour.

 

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