Destitsio Williams

Baking, Main, Pasta, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the merge hit leaving Cole nice and paranoid … and, bless, unable to see the clue to an advantage in plain site. With him busy, the heroes and hustlers got together and plotted to take out the healers, one-by-one. Which commenced at tribal after Joe played him idol needlessly as Jessica became the final pre-Ponderosa boot.

Solewa returned to camp where things were awkward and everyone kind of stood around awkwardly while Cole spoke about being upset and Joe impressed by their move. We then found out that Ben and Lauren had in fact orchestrated the entire blindside, with my namesake hoping they can go all the way to the top seven … though was concerned something would screw it up. Which is totalling going to happen, no?

The next day Mike was still struggling with the loss of tribal before Lauren, out of nowhere, found the clue to the advantage Cole couldn’t see in front of him. The advantage is another variant of the extra vote gig, with Lauren allowed to forgo voting at the next tribal council and stockpile the vote for a later tribal council. Depending on our you feel about saving, it is the ultimate banking game … or way too hard.

Not leaving me to sweat on it too long, my love Jeff returned for the reward challenge where the tribes would be split into two teams to run up a tower and shoot sacks at a target. Aka what the homophobe at my work said every gay person would be doing after Australia voted for marriage equality … which yes, was true for me, but also, have some fucking decorum. The team of Ben, Mike, Lauren, Ashley and Desi got out to a 3-0 lead before Ryan, Chrissy, JP, Cole and Devon’s strategy – to have the worst people go first and no longer have to participate – played of overtaking the others and snagging a spaghetti dinner, with Joe … who won the lottery and got reward without competing.

After the challenge Jeff explained that the spaghetti would be served ‘family style’ meaning there would be one single serve and each would go in to eat alone, not knowing how much the others had had. To further improve Joe’s day, he was given the opportunity to outline their eating order. Given he needs allies, Joe elected to go last sending Devon first – don’t tell Rodney, but it was for his birthday – followed by JP, who also didn’t notice a clue under the plate. Sweet Cole went next and surprisingly found the clue straight away … before using a tea towel to cover the clue. Smart move and also, so fucking dumb. Chrissy and Ryan also found the clue – outlining it was hidden under the tribe flag – before the latter hid the plate in the bushes.

Chrissy and Ryan spoke about the clue and Cole’s dim wit while Joe ate, before the latter proved he wasn’t as dumb as everyone thinks and questioned what they were talking about. This of course set up a three man race to collect the idol, which kind of fizzled out as Ryan snatched the idol while Cole went to pee. Thankfully he tasked Chrissy with covering the hole, leading to Cole diving under the flag with her to fight for the already gone idol. This then caught everyone’s attention, leading to an all in brawl before Ben decided Cole did have the idol. Oh … after the flag fell on top of everyone.

I mean, this was some Benny Hill shit. Praise Probst.

Given Cole was now in desperate need of some actual immunity, Probst returned for the challenge where the castaways were required to stand on a balance beam, while keeping an object up with a long hard pole. So again, pretty much my favourite pastime. Mike and Joe quickly dropped out followed by Devon, Lauren, Ryan – whose heart was literally beating through his chest – Ashley, Chrissy, Ben and Desi. This left Cole and JP to battle it out for immunity and my heart as their chests glistened in the sun. JP couldn’t keep it up long enough, handing Cole immunity … and well, my heart. I mean, he is proven to keep it up longer. How can I go past him?

Cole’s immunity win didn’t sit well with the hero-hustler mega alliance who half-heartedly congratulated him on his victory before quickly locking in a split vote for Joe and Desi. The split vote gave the healers hope, given they only needed to flip one person to their side to take control. Surprisingly this was Cole’s plan. Sadly for Joe he decided to approach Ryan and Devon while Ben lurked in the bushes ala Queen Sandra, leading to Ben blowing up at Joe at camp while Desi, Ryan and Chrissy lazed about in the shelter, nonchalantly wondering if something was happening.

After things cooled down, Lauren pulled Ben aside to share that they can not split the vote tonight otherwise she will lose her advantage. This made Ben nervous forcing him to approach Mike to flip to their side and save him. While Mike wasn’t sure keeping Ben was a good idea, he did think showing loyalty may carry him further.

At tribal Joe and Ben continued their feud with Joe identifying him as a threat, while Ben tried to point out he is a part of a bigger alliance and that he trusted them all. It went back and forth for a while before Chrissy and Ashley joined the fray to point out how annoying Joe is. Desi then gave a confusingly cryptic comment, Mike threw out the fact the Yawa five betrayed him as the last tribal and Ben spoke more about being a vet, which really isn’t making the target on his back any smaller. Desi continued to dig her own grave and Devon spoke about being a bright and beautiful light – seriously, swoon … and out of nowhere – before they headed off to vote.

Notably Lauren was successful in snagging her extra vote before the votes finished up tied with four each on Joe and Desi, with one each on Ben and Lauren for good measure … and no one the wiser that that didn’t add up to 11. More surprisingly the votes piled up on Desi in the revote, sending her out of the game to become the Queen of Ponderosa.

While she was absolutely heartbroken by the turn of events – and let’s be honest, so was I – I was glad to be able to hang with her, cheer her up and decide the tone for this season’s jury over a big ol’ bowl of my Destitsio Williams.

 

 

It is a truth universally acknowledged – right Jules – that pasta will cure all ailments. Add a dickload of spices, a large hunk of meat and a creamy sauce? That is what dreams are made of, right Hiz?

Enjoy!

 

 

Destitsio Williams
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 onions, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, grated
2 tbsp tomato paste
1kg beef mince
2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp dried mint
2 cups passata
500g ziti pasta
¾ cup butter
4 eggs
1 ½ cup parmesan, grated
¼ cups plain flour
2 cups milk, heated
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat before sweating the onion, garlic and carrot for five minutes … or so. Add the paste and mince and cook, breaking up the mince with the wooden spoon, for ten minutes or so, or until starting to brown. Add the allspice, mint and passata with a good whack of salt and pepper. Stir, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

While your meat sauce is cooling, melt ¼ cup butter in a medium saucepan until foamy. Add ¼ cup flour and cooking for a minute or two, or until the roux is coming together. Remove from the heat and whisk in 2 cups of milk until smooth. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and whisk through the yolks of the eggs, with the nutmeg and ¼ cup parmesan.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Cook the pasta as per packet instruction before draining and returning to the pan with the remaining butter, egg whites and parmesan. Stir for a couple of minutes or until everything just comes together.

Press half the coated butter into the base of a large baking dish. Top with the meat sauce, following by the remaining pasta … and then finally, the béchamel. Sprinkle with some extra parmesan and bake for 45 minutes, or until golden.

Remove from the oven, allow to rest for ten minutes … and then devour.

 

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Mummy Meatnoaf Schnapp

Main, Snack, Stranger Feasts

Yesterday marked the halfway point of our Stranger Things slash Halloween celebration Stranger Feasts – after my previous dates with Shan, Mil, Gats and Cal – and I realised it was high time we caught up with Will Byers himself, Noah Schnapp.

Similar to Shan, I first met Noah when he came in to audition for Stranger and despite getting him and Finn confused literally every time I see them – I mean, come on, they look like brothers – I knew that he was the only one for the part.

Or Mike. No Will, definitely Will.

As a dear friend of Winona’s, I took him under my wing and gave him tips on how best to win her over to foster that mother-son bond that is integral to the show. I would argue it was my tutelage of how Wins ticks that led to them forming the glorious relationship they have now.

Like all the kids before him, Noah was really excited to come and visit in Brisbane and to spruik the latest season. And to thank me for getting him a job opposite Petey Dink on Angry Birds, obvi.

After catching up and giving him a stern talking to about eating right, studying hard and being good, I realised that I may actually pass as a functioning adult. While that hit my extremely hard and filled me with rage, I took a deep breath and whipped him up a delicious (and nutritious) Mummy Meatnoaf Schnapp.

 

 

Without giving anything away about season two, I decided Noah needed a spooky meal that was far less murdery than the monsters attacking Hawkins. While these are essentially just patties covered in pastry, I would argue that is all you need. Delicately flavoured, moist meat(loaves), wrapped in flakey pastry? Tell me what more you could ever need.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mummy Meatnoaf Schnapp
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
½ cup breadcrumbs
2 egg, lightly whisked, separately
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, grated
½ cup peas
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
2 sheets puff pastry, cut into 1cm strips.
4 black olives, pitted and sliced

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the mince, breadcrumbs, one of the eggs, garlic, carrot, peas, Worcestershire, tomato paste, oregano and basil in a large bowl and scrunch to combine. Divide into 8, roll into a ball and flatten into patties.

One at a time, mummify the patties leaving space for eyes. Place on a lined tray, add two olive eyes and repeat until done. Brush each with the remaining egg and bake for 20 minutes to half an hour, or until cooked through and the pastry is crispy.

Serve immediately on a bed of mashed potatoes, splattered with bloody ketchup as required.

 

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Blue Cheeseburger Hamilton

Burgers, Main, Side, Snack

After the highs of the Emmys and the lows of being reminded that intolerance is still alive and real, it was such a joy to reconnect with my dear friend slash ex-lover Blue and see what he and his beautiful family are up to.

I first met Blue while working together at Warner Music Group and love quickly blossomed. While it sadly didn’t work out for us romantically in the long run – he is too damn nice and couldn’t overlook my rage blackouts and scams – it slowly turned into a dear friendship.

A couple of years after our breakup, I visited Blue while on holidays and decided to set him up with a friend of mine. Cut to a few years later, he and Matt are married and fathers to a beautiful little boy. You’re welcome, both Blue and members of the public that get to watch them on social media.

Anyway – Blue answered my hysterical calls asking for some emotional support while working through the homophobia incited by the Australian government, jumped in the car and met me in L.A. to talk through the pain and catch-up.

While I was a mess when he arrived, he quickly cheered me up reminding me that the world is not that bad a place and our community is stronger than a vocal minority empowered by an ineffective government. Plus – he reminded me that our best friends’ meal is a Blue Cheeseburger Hamilton and that is all the repayment he needs for supporting me.

 

 

It is no secret that I love me a burger, and this is up there with my faves. The huge whack of blue cheese, mixed with the glorious bacon and the sweet onions? I just came a little while thinking about them.

Enjoy!

 

 

Blue Cheeseburger Hamilton
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter and olive oil
4 onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
500g beef mince
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp natural yoghurt
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
8 rashers of streaky bacon
4 Kirsten Bunst
200g blue cheese, crumbled

Method
Heat the butter and oil in a medium frying pan, adding the onions when the butter is nice and foamy. Reduce heat to low and sweat for about half an hour, stirring to avoid them sticking. Once they are really soft, crank the heat to medium and add the balsamic, muscovado and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook until the onions are sticky. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.

Meanwhile combine the mince, garlic, yoghurt, Worcestershire and a heaped tablespoon of caramelised onions and scrunch with your hand to combine. Form into four patties and chill in the fridge for about half an hour.

When you’re ready to eat, heat a lug of olive oil on a griddle over medium heat and cook the patties for a couple of minutes each side. Transfer to a plate and cook the bacon for a couple of minutes each side before transferring to a plate.

Split the buns – my favourite pastime – and lightly toast them on the grill before getting down to assembly. Place a dollop of caramelised onions on the base of the burger, followed by the patties, then the bacon and a good crumble of blue cheese – I obviously used more than blue cheese – before devouring.

 

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Meatzza Doherty

Main, Pizza, Snack

Where do I start with my dear friend Pete Doherty. I mean, despite all the ups and downs – the latter of which there were many during the noughties – we’ve always had a solid friendship and he was been the greatest support a guy could hope for.

I don’t know if it had anything to do with the fact that we met whilst working as grave fillers at Willesden Cemetery in the late ‘90s – let’s be honest, it may have been the ‘00s, I wasn’t the most reliable narrator at the time – or not, but we’ve always tried not to sweat the small stuff with each other and have made the most out of every day.

Sadly though making the most out of every day back then involved a lot of coke, in addition to his blossoming music career.

Since we both recently got clean, I don’t want to dwell on coke years – plus, it will make the musical of our lives more exciting for you – but it goes without saying that I was his muse and was instrumental in the success of Babyshambles and the Libertines.

After leaving rehab in 2015, we made the difficult decision to keep our distance from one another to avoid falling into the temptations of our old habits. I would be lying if I said that I haven’t wanted to hang out with Pete every day of the past 18 months, so I’m glad that we both feel well enough to catch-up and prepare to tell our story, one step at a time like we are Sharon Needles as Caitlyn Jenner.

As soon as I heard footsteps in the hall, I ran to the door, flung it open and threw myself into his arms, saying everything I couldn’t during the course of our absence. Despite having our break, it felt like only yesterday that we’d last caught up, laughing and joking, and sharing what we’ve been up to.

While he was a little bit reticent about the musical at first, my Meatzza Doherty made quick work of winning him over.

 

 

No I don’t make it a habit of talking smack about my dear friend Saint Nigella Lawson, but I felt just one meatzza was nowhere near enough. While I couldn’t convince him that a Meatlovers Meatzza is a good idea, he was definitely sold on my chargrilled veggie version. But really, how couldn’t you be – artichoke, olives, capsicum, (non-grilled) mushrooms and feta … on a big-arse patty of meat. Could you ask for anything more?

The answer is no, FYI. I know you’ll enjoy it!

 

 

Meatzza Doherty
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
3 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
3 tbsp breadcrumbs
3 tbsp basil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 egg
salt and pepper, to taste
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
4-6 chargrilled artichokes, quartered
⅓ cup olives, pitted and halved
⅓ cup chargrilled capsicum, sliced
200g mushrooms, sliced
150g feta, crushed

Method
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Combine the mince, parmesan, breadcrumbs, basil, garlic, egg and salt and pepper in a bowl, and scrunch to combine. Press the mix into a lined pizza tray.

Next, combine the tin tomatoes and oregano and smear over the bloody patty. After that, throw all the veggies over the top, followed by the feta and throw into the oven for half an hour, or until cooked and golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for five minutes, before serving / devouring.

 

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Georgia Burgerson

Bread, Burgers, Main, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor NZ, the tribes were switched up with Tom getting a new lease on life at Mogoton with Jak, Mike and Lee joining he and Shay, where the latter was clearly on the outs. Over at Hermosa, Barb and Nate were also saved from their impending doom landing with Georgia, Avi and Sala, with Shannon sent to redemption island to wait to join the tribe that lost the next immunity challenge. After an epic fail at the immunity challenge, new Hermosa banded together to give Nate and Barb their revenge, sending Gerogia to redemption island where she barely beat Izzy in the last duel.

On redemption Georgia was struggling after a night of torrential rain put out her fire. While she planned to quickly get one up and running, she struggled forever to make fire before lamenting the fact that she was away from her allies, who I assume could actually get a fire going.

Back at Hermosa, Shannon continued to feel uneasy about her place in the tribe, given her history with Barb and Nate. Not wanting to stay on the bottom, she identified that Sala was key to her survival and desperately tried to form a connection with him by washing dishes by the shore. Proving how smart she is, she appealed to Sala’s sense of right and kindness … which seems to have won the big softie over. Swoon town, Sala – swoon.

Meanwhile at Mogoton, Tom wasn’t thrilled about the storm that was rolling in before taking a note out of the drag race book and threw some epic shade at Shay’s lack of work ethic. She lay around and sat on the beach while the boys worked around camp and went fishing. I mean, the boys were driving me mental but her complete disinterest in trying  is making them seem likeable.

Continuing in the theme of taking from other reality TV shows, Avi and Shannon got to work making his clothing work in the hope of impressing Tim Gunn … I assume. All I took away from the segment was that Shannon and Avi are quickly becoming quite tight and they’re concerned about the next immunity challenge.

Back at Mogoton, Tom and Jak were bonding and trying to become the second coming of rice and beans … which given they are trying to be the Queen, Sandy D-T and Courtney Yates, I am back to hating them. I mean, they will never, ever be at their level. Distracting from my rage, they discovered treemail inviting them to a word puzzle immunity challenge … which they are planning to throw to get rid of Shay.

With that, Matt arrived to lorde over the immunity challenge which looks like it is a lot more than just a puzzle, knocking Hermosa’s confidence given how fit Mogoton are. If only they knew they were planning to throw it anyway! The challenge involved the classic Survivor element of throwing buckets of water between tribe members, before filling a bucket attached to a see saw to release a key … to unlock the pieces to the word puzzle. Despite the boys planning to throw the challenge anyway, Shay could not get it together giving Hermosa a huge lead. Then Barb and Shannon happened, struggling with the puzzle to the point where Jak and Michael would have easily caught up had they not been so obviously trying to throw the challenge.

Matt then called the immunity idol old mate when giving it to a very emotional Shannon, which is probably the most amazing thing to have happened ever.

Hermosa were feeling triumphant back at camp, with Shannon gleefully sunbaking and singing, while Sala and Nate discussed how obvious it was that Mogoton threw the challenge. Meanwhile over at Mogoton, the boys pretended to be disappointed by the loss while Shay was confident her chances of survival were slim to none. She then made the questionable move of playing cards, rather than getting to work … wait, hang on a minute – she is trying to stay in the game, talking to Jak and Tom about getting rid of Mike instead.

Shay’s pitch actually makes a lot of sense, and would guarantee breaking up the pair of Georgia and Mike. But then we run the risk of losing scenes of Mike spraying so much insect repellent on his naked torso he looks like he is oiling up for a body building challenge. Jak and Tom approached Mike to explain to him that Tom would be writing down Mike’s name, to avoid Shay going off on them at the next duel … which made Mike nervous, given that means Jak could change his mind at the last minute and easily get rid of Mike before the merge.

At tribal, Matt was quick to let the boys know that he knew what they were up to, despite not going the Probst route and openly calling it out. Jak tried to be cute, Mike started to get anxious, while Shay had accepted the fact that she is definitely on the bottom. Talk turned to redemption, with Mike confident that Georgia would return to the game … despite being seconds away from losing the previous duel. Before they went to vote, Shay gave one final push to stay which sadly fell on deaf ears, as the tribe sent her to redemption – faux-shocking Tom – to be beaten by Georgia if Mike is psychic.

The boys returned from tribal council where Jak says something stupid and immediately kills the boner I had thinking about the sausage fest. Not seeming to notice my pain, Tom quickly congratulated himself on a fake vote well played as the boys got cocky – again, not in a good way – about dominating the remainder of the game. What is it about best laid – seriously, me and the sex puns – plans?

Shay arrived at redemption where Georgia was shocked to see her, assuming her girl Shannon was destined to be the next boot. They chatted, Georgia was bubbly and Shay vowed revenge if and when she returns to the game. I wonder what is happening at the sausage fest …

The next day, things were tragically not post-coital at Mogoton where the boys passed the time with some busy work. Despite Lee’s best efforts to spice things up with some rope play, nobody seemed to be keen on 50 Shades of Survivor and we were stuck to wonder why the gods hadn’t taken Jak instead of Lou.

Meanwhile over at Hermosa, the tribe were sitting around for morning coffee when Sala returned with an invite to the next duel … where they speculated a merge was a comin’. While they were excited by the prospect, Avi was concerned about where Tom would fit in with his plans given the bro-town over at Mogoton. Not wanting to leave anything to fate, Shannon hounded Avi to ensure that he would be able to woo him.

The peanut gallery arrived at redemption island where Matt was quick to partly confirm their suspicions, announcing that in addition to the losing person being eliminated for good, the victor would be returning to the game … stopping just short of confirming the merge.

The duel was the classic card stacking challenge – which Aubry dominated on Game Changers – meaning it could literally be anyone’s game. And reminded me on the epic finish to season 5 of House of Cards … but I digress.

Shay got out to a strong start where Georgia was shaky and second guessing herself. Then I realised that Shay has used 90 percent of her tiles on the bottom two floors, allowing Georgia to overtake Shay half a metre from the top … before her tower tumbled to the ground at the last minute, allowing Shay to jenga out enough tiles to take out the duel and return to the game … sending my girl Georgia out of the game for good.

Despite being extremely frustrated and disappointed, my fellow dance star – I’m kind of feeling like her and Alexis’ boot were fated to air during my Tony Gold celebrations – quickly perked up when she spotted me whipping up a big old Georgia Burgerson.

 

 

Yes – this is just a copycat of a Quarter Pounder but like everything else in the world, it is so much tastier when it is homemade. I mean, you know the buns are fresher and you know what is in the meat … and let’s be honest, it is so much better being able to eat it in the comfort of your own home (or Loser Lodge) with or without comfort pants.

Enjoy!

 

 

Georgia Burgerson
Serves: 2-4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
salt and pepper
4 sesame seed buns, halved
ketchup
mustard
½ an onion, diced and placed in iced water for five minutes, and drained
2 dill pickles, sliced
8 slices high melt cheese

Method
Squeeze out as much liquid from the mince as possible before placing it in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch to combine with your hands, and divide into four equal patties. Place on a plate lined in cling, cover and place in the fridge for about half an hour.

While the patties are on ice, prep everything else in the burgers.

Once you’re good to go, place a large griddle over medium heat and toast the open halves of the buns for a minute, or until golden. After the buns are done, the griddle should be nice and hot, so lightly brush some oil over the pan and add the patties, flattening down with a spatula. Cook for a few minutes, flip, and cook for a further couple of minutes.

To assemble, spread ketchup and mustard – to taste – on the top half of the bun, add onions and sliced pickled. On the bottom, place a slice of cheese, the patty and the second slice of cheese. Bring the buns together and devour, immediately.

 

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Brad Culpepper-Steak Pie

Main, Pie, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

So that cat is well and truly out of the bag, with Brad, Sarah and Troyzan outlasting the rest and landing themselves in the final three. The new and improved jury segment lead to some robust debated between Brad and Sarah, with Troyzan relegated to the role of ignored finalist / zero vote second runner-up.

While Sarah played the clearly superior game, Brad did a great job learning from the mistakes of his first game via following the mantra – what would that neat lady Monica do. Turns out, he took it too literally and followed in her footsteps to finish in second.

I mean, sure, the last few days on the island he started to choke and clearly needed a damn snickers, you can’t fault the way he controlled the early game with Sierra and upcycled everything they could salvage from the marooning to ensure their island digs were as stylish and comfortable as any and all five star accommodations.

As you know, Annelie and I have been firm friends with the Culpeppers since Brad’s time in the NFL. After what happened during One World, I knew how critical it was to our renewed friendships to avoid selling stories to the tabloids during this run.

Brad was disappointed to not take out the title when he arrived at Ponderosa but his mood quickly changed when he discovered that I was whipping him up a hearty and comforting Brad Culpepper-Steak Pie to dull the pain slash cure his hanger.

 

 

You really should know by now, that I have a passionate love for pies. Sweet, savoury, fruity and filled with cream – if you can make, I will love it. But obviously, this one is extra delicious given the aggressive kick of pepper elevating the smooth meaty gravy.

Meaty gravy – what delightful imagery.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Brad Culpepper-Steak Pie
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1kg beef mince
2 onions, sliced
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
kosher salt, to taste
¼ cup flour
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 cups beef stock
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp cracked black pepper
salt to taste
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the beef and cook until browned while breaking up with the spoon. Add the onion, garlic, thyme and a pinch of salt and cook for about five minutes. Reduce heat to low, add the flour and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Stir through the tomatoes, stock, Worcestershire sauce and pepper, and simmer for an hour or so.

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Once the filling is reduced and glorious, transfer to a pie or baking dish. Cover with puff pastry, crimp the edges to seal, prick a couple of steam holes and brush with the beaten egg.

Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or so, or until the pastry is golden and crisp.

Serve immediately and 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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Quesandillaz-Twine

Main, Party Food, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Tavua continued to dominate immunity challenges, which was very lucky for Troyzan. Unluckily for Mana, Debbie went from lovable-nuts to scary after missing out on sandwiches while over at Nuku J.T. and Aubry’s plot to boot Michaela backfired on the former, sending him out of the game with an idol in his pocket.

Oh and Sandra stole the sugar, blamed it on her closest ally and still came out clean.

Back at camp Aubry gave her best Adam Klein impression while congratulating the people that blindsided her. Despite it being fairly obvious why it was J.T. over her, Aubry asked them why she was saved before correctly identifying that Sandra was running things and is the best player out there, royally screwing her in the process.

Over at Mana, Tai decided to make the most of last episode’s hidden immunity idol clue and get his wood wet under the cover of darkness. Turns out, that little process gives you a happy ending. What a damn surprise.

Clearly getting hot and bothered, Jiffy Pop arrived for what the tribes assumed was an immunity challenge which was instead another swap were Sandra and Varner became the latest people to be completely screwed by the game, ending up on new-Nuku with Ozzy, Sarah, Andrea, Zeke and Tai.

Everyone else but Debbie ended up on new-Mana, while Deb found herself without a tribe and a pony, heading to exile island until one of the other tribes boots someone to make room for her.

New Mana arrived – or returned – to camp where Troyzan was thankful to have some allies, while Brad was feeling screwed though was hopeful to hook up with Troyzan – which is a weird porno I’d give a shot – given his One World connection to my girl Monnie Culpepper.

Over at new Nuku, Sandra and Varner did their best to ingratiate themselves to their new tribe members. Sandra being Sandra, remained calm and was sure that she would be able to find her feet.

And just like that, Zeke and Ozzy went for a walk to reaffirm the need to get rid of Sandra, before rallying their fellow ex-Tavuans and lining up a decoy boot in Tai. Which given his past will not go well if he finds out, despite knowing Sandra is the biggest threat.

Feeling uneasy, Tai approached the Nuku well hoping to find their hidden immunity idol … which he did, bringing his total for the episode to two and the season to three.

Why couldn’t it be Sandra?

We then caught up with Debbie who was approaching what she thought was Exile Island and instead landed on a luxury yacht complete with feast and – oh wait, here is the shitty part – cockstainCochran to provide advice … and thankfully something useful in an advantage.

Hatred aside, this is a crazy showmance I can get behind. And I assume, so can Debbie who is more excited to see him than the presidents and prime ministers she has, of course, also met.

Debbie then told her potential new boyfriend about how confident she was and ragged on Brad ‘fuck you’ Culpepper, before Cochran presented her with – what I assumed was an engagement ring – the options for her advantage. She of course elected the worst advantage, the extra vote – which has booted its holder every time it has been played before – rather than an advantage for her tribe at the next immunity challenge or my personal favourite, a kit to build a fake immunity idol.

Sadly a devious revenge plot where she gives a legit looking fake idol to Brad to boot him will not come to fruition.

The next day Zeke and Varner connected by the beach where Varner shared how desperately he wanted to make the jury on his third game. Zeke, knowing he should start making Sandra and Varner relax, told Varner how much they wanted Tai out of the game. The entire conversation made Sandra anxious … but Sandra is smarter than mostall players, and knew something wasn’t adding up.

Not wanting to leave us hanging too long, Jiffy Pop returned for the first immunity challenge as new tribes where they were required to get wet, pull themselves off … a platform and over monkey bars before running to shore and placing their piece(s) in a cart and pulling them into shore.

Obviously it ended with a puzzle.

Mana got out to any early lead, which despite Varner’s best efforts to pull up a load, never went away, sending Mana to tribal council.

Back at camp, Zeke reconfirmed the need to get rid of Sandra, while Varner was feeling confident it was Tai. Again, Sandra’s superior intuition shone as she felt nervous – for the first time in three seasons – and approached Ozzy, Sarah, Zeke and Andrea about booting Tai to avoid a Kaôh Rōng kaôh-lition.

While Sarah and Ozzy weren’t wanting to budge on the Sandra vote, they acknowledged how persuasive and right she is, and that they do need to break up the trio of Tai-Aubry-Debbie.

On the other end of the spectrum, Tai then approached Varner to tell him that Sandra was indeed the target … allowing Sandra time to come up with a plan, which is never a good thing.

With that, they arrived at tribal where Andrea announced that they would continue in the tradition of the season – like All Stars before it – to boot the biggest threat, while Ozzy spoke to the back of Sandra’s head about the positives of keeping a bigger threat as a shield before Sandra announced that she was confident it was her as no one was talking to her.

This spooked Tai … who then commenced talking in circles, confusing himself and making the rest of his original, original Nuku tribemates. Sarah then mentioned being open to a couple of options, spooking Tai even more before Sandra said that she’d vote for whoever he wanted her to. Before he whispered a name to her.

He then gave Varner the same name, to which Varner mentioned they still needed another person. The rest of the tribe wanted the goss … so Tai then announced that he was now considering Ozzy, spooking Ozzy, Zeke, Sarah and Andrea, who then commenced their own whispering.

After some back and forth and everyone being confused, they threw their hands in the air and decided to just vote … which sadly – and I hate that I’m even typing it and never assumed I would have to – resulted in my dear friend, sass-monster and greatest player of all time Sandra Diaz-Twine being voted out for the first time.

Thank fuck those fuckers fucking applauded her on her way out the door. The stupid fucks. The Queen is dead, long live … the D-list returnees rounding out the cast?

While I was fuming by the time she arrived at Loser Lodge, Sandra took her first ever boot in her stride … until I convinced her to break into both camps while they were at the next challenge and burn their camps to the ground. FYI, that is why they were crying in the next episode preview.

As you know, I met Sandra when I was her server at Outback Steakhouse and we quickly bonded over being fiery, sassy and persuasive. While she has never been able to get me out there as a contestant – she tried for Blood vs. Water but Aras got jealous – I was scheduled to appear as her loved one, which is probably more of a tragedy than seeing the Queen and Malcolm felled within a fortnight.

Obviously that meant I was in desperate need of some comfort food, meaning I had to whip out my famous Quesandillaz-Twine.

 

 

An ode to my girl’s winning ways, these quesadillas are the absolute best – spicy, cheesy and with a good whack of chilli, the crunch in your mouth and go a long way to help even the sharpest of pain.

Enjoy … if you can!

 

 

Quesandillaz-Twine
Serves: 1 first-time boot and her irate firebug of a bestie.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, diced
2 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp cinnamon
400g canned diced tomatoes
400g canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 avocados, pitted and diced
small handful of coriander, roughly chopped
canola or vegetable oil, for frying
8 tortillas
250g sharp cheddar, grated
1 lime, cut into wedges
sour cream

Method
Brown the mince in a large skillet over medium heat, breaking-up with the wooden spoon as you go. Add the garlic, onions and a good whack of salt and pepper and  cook for a couple of minutes, or until the onion is just translucent. Add the spices and cook for a minute, before adding the tomatoes, black beans and paste. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about twenty minutes, or until the liquid is pretty much gone.  Remove from the heat and stir through the avocado and coriander.

When you’re ready to devour, heat a large clean skillet over medium heat and add a lug of oil. Place a tortilla in the pan, sprinkle half with cheese, top with the mixture and more cheese, because this is comfort food. Fold the tortilla over to form a semicircle, pressing down on the quesadilla to set. Flip once, cooking a couple of minutes each side. Repeat the process until the mixture or tortillas run out, I don’t mind which.

Cut the quesadillas into wedges – because you don’t need to feel guilty if the food is hand-sized – and serve with a squeeze of lime juice, a dollop of sour cream and, of course, hot sauce.

Devour, in honour of Sandra.

 

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Jenna Moussaka

Main, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands

Guys – it is less than two weeks until my girl Sandra returns for her third crown … or to at least block Tony and JT from equaling her record.

Not that I don’t have faith in her ability to snatch the crown again. Can you tell I’m excited for Survivor and Sandy’s return?

Given that my girl is an underrated goddess, despite her perfect game record, I felt it best to honour her third attempt by holding court with another underrated victor, my dear friend Jenna Morasca.

Like Sandy, I would defend Jen and her gameplay to the ends of the earth. Sure she ended Rob C’s hope of ever winning the game and feuded with a deaf person but she also stripped for peanut butter – who wouldn’t TBH – went on an immunity run and even gave away immunity without it sending her home.

Plus, she was sassy as fuck, gives a good sound bite and was probably the best appointed winner to make it far in All Stars hadn’t had to quit to be with her mother.

I first met Jen way back when we were both attending University of Pittsburgh studying zoology – I was going through a weird Brendan Fraser/George of the Jungle phase and thought that a knowledge of animals could help.

Given our sassy attitude and good looks we were immediately drawn to one another and became the best of friends. I was her Heidi before Heidi existed, basically. After my many run-ins with Burnett, I kept our friendship quiet as she auditioned which I would argue got her cast meaning I played an integral part in her victory.

We are such busy little bees that we haven’t been able to see as much of each other as we like, so it was such a treat to sit down, gab about the upcoming season and dreams for her eventual return.

Speaking of dreams, my Jenna Moussaka is most definitely one.

 

jenna-moussaka-1

 

Spicy, rich and creamy – this little baby is the ultimate comfort food. Plus, eggplant makes it healthy, so you barely have to feel guilty about the cheesy goodness clogging up your arteries.

Enjoy!

 

jenna-moussaka-2

 

Jenna Moussaka
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
a generous lug of olive oil
3 eggplants, cut into half centimetre discs
2 red capsicums, cored and halved
500g beef mince
500g lamb mince
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
800g tinned tomatoes
100g unsalted butter
75g plain flour
3 cups milk
120g parmesan, roughly grated

Method
Preheat the oven to 220˚C.

Place the eggplant discs on a wire rack, over a lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and bake for about half an hour, or until crisp, charred and drying out. Add the capsicum for the last ten minutes to blister their skins.

Reduce oven to 160°C.

While they are cooking, heat a lug of oil in a large pan and cook the mince over medium heat, or until browned. Add the spices, oregano, onion and garlic and cook for a further few minutes. Meanwhile diced up the charred capsicum and add to the pan with the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about fifteen minutes. Season and allow to rest.

To make the bechamel, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Once foaming, add in the flour and cook until lightly browned and not resembling either butter or flour. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the milk until all combined. Return to the heat and cook for a minute or two, or until thickened. Remove from the heat, season and leave to rest.

To assemble, place a third of the meat mixture on the base of a large baking dish. Top with a third of the dried, charred eggplant and repeat the process until both are all gone. Pour over the bechamel, top with the cheese and bake for half an hour, or until golden and bubbly on top. Remove and allow to rest for five minutes before devouring.

 

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