Gregk Meatballouganis

Main, Party Food, Snack

Well do I have a gag of the season for you – and surprisingly that is neither what he or I said – I came clean to Greg about only reaching out in ‘88 to try and snatch the rights to his story that eventually lead to Breaking the Surface starring Mario Lopez. And not only that, he laughed, told me he always knew that and was just pleased to have my friendship once again.

After meeting at the University of Miami in the late ‘70s, I was immediately drawn to Greg’s talent on stage and in speedos and I made it my goal to get together and live out our twincest life. I was successful and for a beautiful couple of months, I was known around campus as Greg’s lubed anu … well, let’s just say people knew I was always ready for him to dive in.

As I mentioned, things got ugly when he found out I was mainly pushing him in to diving to make room for me to star on the stage. Thankfully three decades on, he appreciates the fact that it inadvertently motivated him to succeed in diving and as such, he should be thanking me for making him the success that he is.

Which I quickly told him I wouldn’t just appreciate, I required it before he got to eat anything.

He laughed it off as a joke though his thanks and praise seemed genuine enough that I opted against starting another feud and instead, enjoyed his company and reconnected. We laughed, we cried and most importantly, we got to fill our mouths with as many big, meaty balls as our hearts desired. In the form of my Gregk Meatballouganis.

 

 

Honouring both our love for ball play and his father’s Greek heritage, these big morsels are near perfection. Spicy, sweet and packing pockets of creamy feta, these lamb meatballs work well as a snack, in a yiros or – gasp – accompanying a big ol’ salad (what have I become).

Enjoy!

 

 

Gregk Meatballouganis
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
500g lamb mince
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp chilli flakes
¼ cup oregano leaves, roughly chopped
100g feta, crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place everything in a large bowl and scrunch until it is well combined and thoroughly mixed.

Using meat hands, shape into golf ball-sized balls and place on a lined baking sheet until all the mixture is gone. Transfer to the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until cooked through and crispy on the outside.

Allow to rest for five minutes before devouring, preferably covered in tzatziki.

 

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Thai Chicken Meatburrells

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Game of Golds, Main, Poultry

Tragedy – emmy gold only has another day after today. So two days, for people that struggle with basic maths. Anyway you should thankful, knowing that you’ve got to experience my extremely close connections with these stars AND the fact that my boy Ty Burrell came through with the goods and finally invited me to the Emmys as his date.

I’ve known Ty for close to two decades, after meeting through my friend Eric Bana and torrid lover Josh Hartnett on the set of Black Hawk Down. Between coming up for air from Josh and cracking jokes with Eric about kick-boxing, 24 hours, a day, I found Ty and we bonded over our small town upbringings and inherently funny personalities.

Given Modern Family completely changed his life, Ty and I haven’t been able to hang out as often as we’d like, so he just jumped at the opportunity to have me drop by, catch-up and help run the odds. And offer up his plus one, since I can’t go with Kit Harington this year.

Anyway, while I was very supportive and told him that there is no way anyone would beat him for supporting actor … we all know Alec Baldwin will take it, while Tituss Burgess deserves it. Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series, however, is probably the most difficult for me to pick. I firmly believe it is a two man race between Aziz and Donald. Since I’ve split writing and directing between the boys, I’m also feeling Actor and Outstanding Comedy will be divided between the two. While I prefer Master of None, I feel Atlanta is poised for most Outstanding Comedy and as such my boy Aziz is going to deliver a hella cute acceptance speech where he can’t believe it all happened.

After that, I was feeling hella confused – picture me as the meme of the woman thinking in priz – so Ty and I needed something warming and hearty to sort out my equilibrium, so I whipped him up a batch of my Thai Chicken Meatburrells.

 

 

Fresh, spicy and packing a whole lot of heat, these babies are the perfect thing to wake you up, soothing your soul and, if you’ve got a sensitive, clear out your system as a pre-show detox. But seriously, these are amazing.

Enjoy!

 

 

Thai Chicken Meatburrells
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g chicken mince
2 tbsp red curry paste
2 tsp minced ginger
5 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup breadcrumbs
small handful of coriander, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
2 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 lime, zest and juice
salt and pepper, to taste
2 carrots, julienned
1 can coconut milk
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
3 red chillis, thinly sliced
½ cup baby corn
¼ cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped
rice noodles, to serve

Method
Combine the mince with 1 ½ tsp red curry paste, minced ginger, 2 cloves of garlic, coriander, 1 tbsp of fish and soy sauces, lime zest and a good whack of salt and pepper. Form into walnut sized balls and place on a lined baking sheet, cover and chill in the fridge for half an hour or so.

Meanwhile, heat a lug of vegetable oil for in a large frying pan and quickly fry the remaining garlic for a minute. Add the carrots and remaining curry paste and cook for a further minute or so. Add in the coconut milk, chicken stock, remaining fish and soy sauces, sugar and chillis, and stir to combine.

Gently add the meatballs one by one, and cook, half-covered for about fifteen minutes, or until they’re poached all the way through. While the balls are cooking, cook the rice noodles as per packet instructions.

Once the balls are ready and you’re kitchen is smelling … a-ma-zing, add the baby corn and lime juice, stirring to combine as you cook for a couple of minutes further.

Remove from the heat and serve over a bed of noodles, top with some extra coriander and peanuts. Then, devour.

 

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Jasalbondigas Bateman

Cinco de Cuatro Celebration, Main, Party Food

There was only one person I could spend actual Cinco de Cuatro with and that is my dear friend Jase Bates.

Well, actually, I’m still a bit iffy on the logistics of which day Cinco de Cuatro falls on but I’m rolling with the day before Cinco de Mayo thing. Just roll with it, ok?

Jase is on my my dearest friends – because he is born in ‘69 (lol) and shares my husband’s middle name – so I am super stoked that he is Arrested Development’s lead and earnt him the plum gig of catching up with me on the big day.

I first met J in the mid-80s through his sister Justine – who I shared a torrid affair with on the set of Family Ties – and was immediately taken by his wit, charm and obvious talent that I could use for coattail riding. Fun fact: when my other friend from Family Ties – Mick J. Foxy – was looking for a lead in the Teen Wolf sequel, Teen Wolf Too, I knew he was the only person that could take on the role.

Turns out I was into bears from an early age.

Anyway, given his career resurgence I haven’t been able to spend as much time with Jasey-B lately, so it was so nice to sit back, take a breath and gasbag about everything we’ve missed over the last few years.

Given how busy I have also been with my career resurgence, it was an exhausting chat and we desperately needed something hearty enough to give us the require energy to celebrate Cinco de Cuatro … enter my lengthily titled Jasalbondigas Batemen.

 

 

You know how much I love both meat and balls, so it should come as no surprise that I would go straight to a Hispanic meatball in honour of our Mexican celebrations.

Spicy, comforting and oh-so-tasty, these babies go perfectly with some Portia de’arrozi, beans and dickloads of cheese. Hell, eat it after a cheeky Jessica Flaulter and wash it down with a Will Horcharnetta.

Figuratively. Maybe. Eh, whatever – enjoy!

 

 

Jasalbondigas Bateman
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 egg
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp dried oregano
olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 bay leaf
½ tsp hot paprika
800g canned chopped tomatoes
raw caster sugar

Method
Combine the mince, 2 cloves of garlic, egg, smoked paprika, cumin, chilli powder and oregano in a bowl. Scrunch the mixture with your hands until well combined and form into 12 meatballs. Place on a tray, cover and chill for half an hour.

Heat a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and remaining garlic, and cook for five minutes or so, or until translucent and sweet. Add the bay leaf and hot paprika and give a quick stir before adding the tomatoes and a pinch of sugar. When bubbling away, drop in the meatballs and spoon over some liquid. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about twenty minutes or until the balls are cooked through.

Serve immediately with the rice and beans before devouring.

 

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Alan Meatballs

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVII: Gold with the Wind, Poultry, Snack

Ok, so full disclosure – I didn’t really think about category diversity when organising this year’s soiree. For that, I am sorry … but also, not sorry – these people are my friends and you’ll just have to accept that we’ll be spending a lot of time discussing the screenwriting categories.

Adding to my flock of seagullsscreenwriters is my dear friend, Best OG Screenplay winner and – of course – ex-lover Alan Ball.

I first met Al whilst working on Cybill – him writing, me as part of Chrissie B’s entourage – and our attraction was instantaneous. After a torrid affair, I broke things off assuming he would amount to nothing – I don’t admit it often but I was wrong. He was obviously heartbroken and injected his pain into a little known screenplay called American Beauty.

Yes, you’re welcome – I inspired the classic film.

After seeing that I was wrong I tried to grovel my way back into his heart – well I don’t know if I grovelled but I definitely recall being on my knees – and the Oscars. While he sadly declined my offer to rekindle our romance and we’ve helped each other creatively ever since.

Fun fact: I’m the one who inspired him to cast Skarsy in True Blood. Again, you’re welcome.

Now for the most important part of the event – oh, after catching up with my dear friend obvs – Al agreed that Manchester by the Sea will take out Best OG and Moonlight will take out Best Adapted Screenplay … though Lion and Arrival are worthy challengers.

Given my love of Alan and (his) balls, there was no way I was going to whip up anything other than my Alan Meatballs.

 

alan-meatballs-1

 

You know I love balls as much as Jenna Maroney but these minimally altered lil’ Meatball Shop numbers are as pure perfection as Skarsky (obvi NSFW). Big, thick and juicy, they are everything you want in and around your mouth and are absolutely exploding with flavour.

Enjoy!

 

alan-meatballs-2

 

Alan Meatballs
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
a good lug of olive oil
500g chicken mince
1 egg
¼ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped
30ml white wine
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp ground fennel
1 tsp ground chilli
a generous whack of freshly ground black pepper

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking sheet with baking paper.

Combine all the ingredients – excluding the olive oil – in a large bowl and scrunch together in your hands.

Roll the mixture into a golf ball size, packing firmly as you go. You will need to wet your hands frequently as you go to smooth out the edges. Place on the sheet and repeat until done – you should end up with a dozen balls.

Place into the oven and bake for twenty, or until firm and crisp. Allow to rest for a few minutes before serving with your favourite salad or as sliders … and devouring.

 

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Moroccan Lamb Gaffnizza

Bread, Main, Party Food, Snack

So I know I was kind of rambling the other day – probably still spooked from the Werewolf Bar Mitzvah and the fear that the Sanderson Sisters were coming for my youth, but I have been friends with the delightful Mo Gaffney for years, after meeting her through my childhood friend Kathy Najimy.

Does it make more sense now?

Anyway, I played an integral part Kathy and Mo’s Mo’s success, getting Kath the job in Sister Act and Mo a job on Ab Fab and Drop Dead Gorgeous, the later of which solidified are friendship and made us as close as we are.

As it is universally acknowledged, DDG is the greatest movie ever made and that is in no small part due to the supreme talents of all the friends I cast in the film. However towards the end of the casting process – and this will come as a shock –  I was having difficulty casting the integral cameos of Terry and Colleen but thankfully – praise Jesus – I thought of Mo’s work as Bo and knew there was no one else who could play the role.

The rest, yada yada yada, history.

Mo has been busy lately guesting on Veep, House of Lies, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, appearing in the – terrible and I hate to admit it – Ab Fab movie and actively campaigning for my girl HRC on Twitter (remember, I am her campaign manager), so it was so nice of her to take the time out and reconnect as I warm up for the holiday season.

Thankfully Mo is fully supportive of me pretending that Brisbane is in the northern hemisphere and I don’t have sweat dripping off my balls, and was more than into splitting a hot and spicy Moroccan Lamb Gaffnizza.

 

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It should probably be apparent to you by now that I am a huge fan of pizza, the love affair being second only my love of burgers. I’m also a massive fan of balls – second only to Probst … and am Australian, so lamb. Put that all together with some hot Moroccan flavour, smooth feta cheese, sweet pumpkin and sharp rocket, and you’ve got yourself a meal worthy of my dear friend Mo and her mo friend.

Enjoy!

 

moroccan-lamb-gaffnizza-2

 

Moroccan Lamb Gaffnizza
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
½ butternut pumpkin, diced
extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
500g lamb mince
2 tbsp moroccan spice mix
2-3 pizza bases, obviously using Zsa Zsa’s recipe
⅓ cup pine nuts
small red onion, finely sliced
200g feta, diced
grated cheese, optional but advised … who doesn’t want more cheese?
rocket

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Spread diced pumpkin on a small tray, coat with a dash of olive oil, sprinkle over the cumin and cinnamon and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.

Meanwhile, combine the lamb in a bowl with the moroccan spice mix – you can make your own, but I frankly could not be bothered. Heat a lug of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and throw in balls of the spiced meat, not worrying about being too careful with size or form. Cook until browned on the outside, remove to some paper towel and repeat the process until all the meat is cooked.

When ready to assemble, cover the base with some tomato paste and some miscellaneous herbs, throw over some meatballs, spice pumpkin, pinenuts, spanish onion and cheese/s. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until crisp and delicious.

Remove from the oven, top with some fresh rocket and allow to stand for five minutes before serving / devouring.

 

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Jalfleezi Carseldine

Australian Survivor, Main, Poultry, TV Recap

After booting El the night before, Kristie and Lee awoke on the final day to the customary breakfast feast where Kristie was giddy from excitement while Lee only seemed concerned. Maybe he realised that not wanting to play the game wasn’t actually the best strategy to win?

Not messing about or wanting to see Lee suffer in his thoughts, we arrived at final tribal council where the jury were trotted out to give us some excitement and bring the pain, right?

Oh yes, yes indeed! Well … kind of at least.

Before that though, Lee and Kristie were given the opportunity to make opening statements were Lee – of course – pledged loyalty, mateship and a moralistic game while an assertive Kristie emerged and completely dominated her opponent.

Then the good stuff happened well, after El was startled to be making a speech and then bumbled her way through an attempt to throw Kristie under the bus. Thankfully new Kristie wasn’t having a bar of it and shut her down.

Next it was Queen Flick’s turn to wonder why Kristie hadn’t made any big moves, to which she eloquently explained she was playing with the cards she was dealt and didn’t have the luxury to play in the majority and saw what happened when people stuck their necks out.

Brooke then teed up Lee dumping El – praise – before laying into Kristie for being controlled by Lee every step of the way. Obviously new Kristie wasn’t taking it and told her that she was using Lee by making him feel like he was in control.

JL – like us at home – then introduced herself to Kristie before absolutely tearing the ignorant and arrogant Lee – her words, obvs … since we’re boning – a new arsehole. While that would normally make me jealous, it was the most excitement I’ve seen on the show in weeks, so I let it slide.

Kylie then dropped by to remind us of that first episode winner’s edit and why it disappeared so quickly. I mean, seriously, you use your opportunity to tell them to keep answering questions?

Sam then dropped by to fill the non-fun angry juror quota, where he awkwardly confronted Lee for taking advantage of Kristie. Which is fine and all, if new Kristie hadn’t emerged at the start of final tribal and confirmed she was also using Lee.

Thankfully – or so I thought – Nick arrived to call them both out, asking where this Kristie had been the entire game, which had kind of already been answered, before slamming Lee’s morality … and making a bizarre casually homophobic comment from 2005, leading me to say forget you, go home, GOODBYE, you look weird cleanly shaven. Oh and eat yo’ damn rice.

Sue arrived and spoke for the audience, saying that Kristie’s game completely did her head in. Once again, new Kristie let Sue know that while her game ended her’s she went to twenty tribals, knowing who would go home every time.

Matt then tried to pull a rabbit out of his hat asking Kristie who he would be giving the money to – new or old Kristie – if she won his vote. Um, Matt – the ancient Samoan witch who will live on the island and never touch the money, duh. It is worth it.

With that, it was finally time to vote and given the fact that none of them really asked Lee any questions about his strategy, it is no surprise that Queen Kristie earnt her crown and took out the title of Sole Survivor.

Sadly for Lee, his kids were trotted out just in time to witness his loss – and I assume to let El meet her new step-kids – but thankfully it did distract him from the pain of losing the game he had never seen, in a landslide.

As I’ve made it quite clear throughout the season, Lee and I have been on-again, off-again lovers – block your ears Nick! – meeting at the cricket pitch when I answered a Craigslist ad for someone looking for someone to bat off and play with balls. While Lee hadn’t placed the ad, I was taken in by his banging bod and pursued him relentlessly until I eventually wore him down.

Wanting to distract from his loss and reinvigorate our spark in a tropical setting, I decided to whip him up our favourite date meal my Jalfleezi Carseldine.

 

jalfleezi-carseldine-1

 

Like my dear Lee, this curry is super hot. Like, damn hot. Throw in some thick, juicy balls and you’ve got a mouthful of absolute goodness. Oh and I strongly recommend serving generously slathered with raita as it is hot and real adds the smutty visual you want when eating outwith Lee.

Enjoy!

 

jalfleezi-carseldine-2

 

Jalfleezi Carseldine
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
500g chicken mince
¼ cup jalfrezi curry paste
⅓ cup frozen peas, defrosted and drained
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped, plus extra to garnish
250g cauliflower, trimmed and blitzed in a food processor
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 small carrot, grated
vegetable oil
1 onion, peeled, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced
2 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp ground coriander seeds
800g chopped tomatoes
small knob of butter, about a tablespoon
juice of one lemon
lime wedges, to serve
sliced red chillies, to serve
long grain rice, to serve
raita, to serve

Method
Place mince, curry paste, peas, coriander, cauliflower, shallots and carrot in a large bowl, season and mix well.

Shape into meatballs – roughly the size of golf balls – with wet hands, place on a lined baking sheet, cover and place in the fridge for an hour.

Heat a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat and sweat the onion and garlic until translucent, aka a couple of minutes. Add all the spices and cook for a further minute to release the flavour. Add in the tinned tomatoes, rinsing the tins out with a bit of water and adding it to the pan. Give a good stir, turn the heat up to high and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, gently drop in the meatballs and simmer, covered, for about half an hour, stirring sporadically.

Uncover, stir through the butter and lemon juice and remove from the heat.

Serve on a generous bed of rice with lime, chilli, coriander and all the usual fixins’ – if only Jeff was here to say that – raita, pappadums, naan etc.

 

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Abi-Maria GoMezze Plate

Main, Party Food, Side, Snack, Survivor: Cambodia - Second Chance

Let us all pause and have a moment silence as our dear, sweet, feisty Abi-Maria was once again booted a week before the finale. Albeit this time, in an episode marked by dueling golden showers and Demon Tasha aka DT.

Speaking of DT, she has had many moments of insufferability however it was the callous way she cut our beautiful friend Abi AND mocked the dreamiest castaway of the season Keith, that finally cemented her status as the most dislikable cast member. Probably ever.

And before you even start rumours, no, we had nothing to do with her “near” drowning.

Either way, welcome back to the fold, Dr Joe! What a shame Wigles couldn’t secure as much screen time in her triumphant return.

But I’ve digressed.

As you could easily assume, our history with our close friend Abi-Maria pre-dates her appearances on Survivor after meeting in our Nicki Minaj led anger management. Nicki saw the brilliant, calm natures we all possessed and bonded us like a sisterhood, thankfully without a weird pair of pants for us all to share.

We spent the following years being zen and hanging out before deciding that one if not all of us should compete on Survivor to get closer to Probst’s bed. As Abi was the only one eligible, we through all of our resources behind getting her on the show and rigging a cast of clowns for her to dominate.

Then Annelie and I met Malcolm and tragically for Abi (but wonderfully for us), we fell into bed with him and went about rigging the season with him in mind. We could go on but long story short, we went into court ordered sex therapy, were treated by Denise who then weaseled her way on to the season and stole the win from our true friends by whispering our names to Malcs during final immunity to spook him.

It was a rough few months after the truth came out to Abs, but we felt it only fair that we be dead to her for all the pain and heartache we had caused. Thankfully her kind heart shone through and she forgave us during the Anti-RC AGM.

Going into Second Chances, Abi had the odds stacked against her but thanks to her plucky determination and general charm, she was able to weave her way through the pre-merge game and a horror stint on Angkor to sit pretty behind her witch shield at the merge.

Sadly her sterling resume and on point voting record got the better of her and she was sent to our open arms in Ponderosa as a jury threat to devour our Abi-Maria GoMezze Plate!

 

Abi-Maria GoMezze Plate_1

 

Like Abi, the plate is spicy, sweet and everything you need in life and more. Well done sweet angel – we can’t wait to rig Heroes vs. Villains 2 for you!

Enjoy!

 

Abi-Maria GoMezze Plate_2

 

Abi-Maria GoMezze Plate
Serves: 6-8, or 1 blindsided juror, her emotionally unstable friends and Savage’s teen headwear.

Ingredients
Hummus
400g can of chickpeas, reserving some of the liquid
2 tsp tahini
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ tsp crushed sea salt
3 tbsp quality extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Smoked paprika, to garnish
Parsley leaves, to garnish

Meatballs
1 kg beef mince
1 large red onion, grated
½ bunch dill, finely chopped
2 tbsp dried spearmint leaves
1 tbsp dried chilli
1 tsp cumin
1 cup short grain rice
1 tsp salt
50 ml olive oil
2 cups passata
1 lemon, juiced

Dolmades (thanks SBS, I had no idea)
220 grams long-grain rice (rinsed)
2 tsps ground allspice
1 tsp chili flakes (dried)
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 bunch mint leaves (chopped)
1/2 bunch Italian parsley leaves (chopped)
3 tomatoes (roughly chopped)
1 purple onion (finely chopped)
2 lemon (1 zested, 2 juiced, plus extra wedges, to serve)
80 vine leaves (soaked in cold water for 30 minutes)
185 ml olive oil
4 garlic cloves (peeled)

Lemon & Chili Potatoes
3 small potatoes
clove of garlic, crushed and chopped
1 tbsp chilli flakes
juice of one lemon
2-3 tbsp oil

Haloumi
500g haloumi
Olive oil, for frying
Lemon wedges, to serve
Salt and pepper

Roasted peppers, stripped
Olives
Pita, toasted and cut into strips

Method
Hummus
Rinse the chickpeas in cold water and blitz in a food processor with the tahini, crushed garlic, salt, lemon juice and a generous dash of the reserved chickpea liquid, slowly pouring oil in as you go.

When smooth and at the desired consistency, place into a serving dish. Drizzle with some more extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with paprika or finely chopped parsley leaves, for colour.

Meatballs
Preheat oven to 180C.

Combine the mince, onion, dill, spearmint, chilli, cumin, rice, salt and olive oil and roll into fat walnut sized balls and placing into a large baking dish.

Cover with the passata and bake for about 40 minutes until meat is cooked.

Remove from the oven and pour over the lemon juice and serve with some of the cooking liquid.

Dolmades
Cook rice in boiling salted water for 8 minutes or until par-cooked. Drain, refresh under cold running water, then drain again. Cool slightly.

Place rice, allspice, chilli flakes and powder, oregano, mint, parsley, tomatoes, onion and lemon zest in a bowl and mix to combine.

To assemble, place 2 heaped teaspoons of rice mixture in centre of a leaf (leaves should be 12 cm x 12 cm; layer 2 leaves if necessary). Fold in sides and roll up to enclose filling, then place upright in a saucepan. Repeat with remaining rice mixture and leaves, ensuring dolmades are snugly packed in pan.

Whisk lemon juice and oil in a bowl and pour over dolmades. Stuff garlic in between dolmades, then cover and cook over low heat for 1½ hours or until rice and leaves are tender (add extra oil or water if liquid has evaporated). Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until cold. Serve with extra lemon wedges.

Lemon & Chilli Potatoes
Preheat oven to 200C.

Finely slice potatoes into 5mm half-moon discs, coat in oil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with garlic and chilli and bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, pour over the lemon juice and add a good whack of salt and pepper.

Devour.

Haloumi
Cut haloumi into 5mm slices. Heat frying pan up and drizzle with olive oil. Cook haloumi for around 3 minutes, turning just once.

Serve and season with salt and pepper, squeezing lemon juice over the top.

Plating
Roasted peppers, stripped
Olives
Pita, toasted and cut into strips

 

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Risottis Redding

Main

I am so thankful that we successfully mastered time travel! Aside from the obvious information we get like the winning lotto numbers and who to bet on at the track on a boozy Wednesday afternoon, it is such a joy to be able to go back and reconnect with our friends that have passed … or to correct condiment catastrophes.

We first met dear Otis Redding while we were children singing in the Vineville Baptist Church choir. Otis is the first person to ever put us on the right path; Annelie and I joined the choir to get close enough to loot the collections after each service but young Otis caught us and instead of sending us to juvie, befriended us and tried to help us lead an honest life up until his untimely death (which inspired us to write the hit and then shit TV series LOST).

During our too-brief friendship, we were able to enjoy a highly successful writing partnership culminating in the hit some (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay … which you know are not the lyrics I was suggesting while we were on a romantic working holiday in Sausalito.

Remembering the time fondly and wanting to stop Otis from getting on the plane, Annelie and I set the time machine to 1967, aka the beautiful time that we wrote the song. Obviously while there, we were also hoping to secure some Bay Area property to avoid being priced out by the tech boom, but it was mainly to see Ot.

Always the gentleman, it was such a thrill to see Otis again! Despite some annoying Hermione-with-the-time-turner logistical issues to start, we were able to talk down our past selves (by paying them off with future money to ultimately buy property. Yep, genius bribe idea) and spend some much need relaxation time with Ots.

He casually strummed his guitar (for once, this is not a euphemism) and put the finishing touches on his beautiful song while we got to work making his favourite meal Risottis Redding (with Annelie and I wishing the other wasn’t there ruining the romantic mood, and in her case, forcing me to cook in clothing).

 

Risottis Redding_1

 

Like our dearly departed friend, risotto is a homely, delicate dish with so many notes depending on how you make it. Risottis is a very simple version of the Italian classic, with a light mix of herbs and cheese creating a sweet base for the robust and salty prosciutto, topped with some leftover pork meatballs and pesto to give an added kick.

Enjoy!

 

Risottis Redding_2

 

Risottis Redding
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 ½ cups chicken stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
250g prosciutto
2 cups arborio rice
½ cup white wine
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
black pepper, freshly ground
1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
½ batch Christopher Porken Meatballs
Toni Basil Pesto, to taste

Method
Bring the stock to boil in a large saucepan over medium heat and then reduce to a simmer.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic and prosciutto, stirring, until soft. About 5 minutes.

Pour the rice into the pan and cook, again stirring, for a further three minutes before adding the white wine and salt. Continue to stir until all of the wine has been absorbed. Add a cup of chicken stock and continue to stir vigorously as it absorbs. When it is almost all gone, add another cup and repeat the process until all of the stock is gone.

Reduce heat to low and stir in the butter, parmesan, pepper and rosemary. Season to taste.

Generously ladle into bowls and serve with freshly cooked meatballs and pesto.

 

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