Gaten Ratarisoni

Main, Pasta, Stranger Feasts

You want to know the scariest thing about our Halloween spooktacular, Stranger Feasts? The joy and kindness of the Stranger crew – like Shan and Mil before them – makes me want to be a happier, kinder person.

I mean, it make me feel so violently sick I want to vomit up slugs like Will in the season 1 cliffhanger!

Anyway, my dear friend Gaten Matarazzo is arguably the most infectious happy person you could ever be around, so I knew he was the best person to help me honour premiere day. Plus, he is one of my oldest friends in the cast.

We first met in 2011 when he was starring in the Broadway production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. I was working as a consultant on the show after lying about my involvement in the film – my mum went to school with Sarah Chadwick, so it wasn’t hard to fabricate the work history – and dare I say it, was integral in its success.

And its abrupt closure.

Given that, I felt bad and vowed to help further Gaten’s career. Not that he needed any help landing the role of Dustin, given his killer audition. But once again, I’d love to take full responsibility for his success.

Gats arrived almost bouncing, full of excitement and energy for the wider community – which he didn’t like me referring to as plebs – to see season 2. I’ve already binged the entire season, of course – which I can’t prove, lest I were to spoil things – and wholeheartedly share his excitement for the cracking to get the attention it deserves. Though maybe that was the big bowl of Gaten Ratarisoni talking … because again, that sounds nice.

 

 

Spicy, rich and dotted with ghastly (looking) halloween delights, this rat infested risoni is the perfect comfort food as you buckle in for the return of Stranger Things.

Enjoy!

 

 

Gaten Ratarisoni
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
600g spicy Italian sausages, skins removed and shaped into baby rat-sized
balls (aka, pinch one end)
250g mushrooms, stalks removed and sliced into a bat shape
1 tbsp chilli flakes
⅓ cup pitted black olives, sliced into ghoulish eye balls
⅓ cup sundried tomatoes, left whole to resemble bloody brains
500g risoni
400g can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
250ml cinzano rosso
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup mozzarella

Method
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and sweat the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes before adding the sausage rats to brown for five minutes or so. Add the mushrooms and chilli, and cook for a further couple of minutes before adding the olives, sundried tomatoes and risoni. Give a good stir to coat before adding the tin tomatoes, paste and cinzano, cooking for a couple of minutes.

Add the chicken stock – yes it seems out of place, but beef is too rich for this – reduce heat to low, stir through the spinach and simmer for about ten minutes, or until the liquid has absorbed and the the risoni cooked through.

Remove from the heat, stir through the mozzarella and serve immediately, with the stringy mozzarella creating a mess of cobwebs as you serve. Which I am aware, mine didn’t … I was waiting for a new couch for the show.

In any event, devour.

 

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BBQ Pork & Luscon Pizza

Main, Party Food, Pizza, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers

Previously on Survivor, the tribes switched but thankfully didn’t break up the lovebirds Cole and Jessica. Well unless you’re Jessica, who spread word about her advantage to block a vote at the upcoming tribal to everyone on new Yawa. Meanwhile Ryan was sitting pretty at new Soko, remaining with ally Ali and united with Chrissy who he bequeathed the OG advantage to in episode one. None of that mattered as Levu lost immunity, leaving Devon as the swing vote between the OG heroes and healers … until Jessica’s advantage stripped him of his vote, followed by Joe successfully playing his idol, saving himself and sending Alan from the game.

Things were suitably awkward back at camp, with Ashley and Devon congratulating Joe on successfully playing the idol. While Ashley wasn’t a huge fan of Alan, she was feeling the pressure since, at best, she is two vs. two if Devon is on her side.

The next day we dropped by Yawa where the crackling fire started to freak out Ben, bringing up bad memories of his time in the Marines. Lauren then went to the beach to see if he was ok, making me realise that the two of them and Chrissy are my dream final three. And given his powerfully personal confessional, I am thinking his chances are pretty good.

Allowing me to use my tissues for another reason, Probst returned for the next reward challenge. Reviving the Millennials vs. Gen X classic, the tribe members arms and legs were bound and required to slither across the sand and push a ball to the end, before shooting said balls – not in my tissues – into a basket … for coffee and treats. Desi dominated, getting Levu out to an early lead, allowing Ashley to get to the second mat before Roark had even gotten to Soko’s first. Levu finished the course before Soko and Yawa had even finished, shooting a basket before Yawa finally joined them shooting and poor Ryan repeatedly struggled to get over the first mound. Levu took out victory as Ryan finally made it over the mound as Cole madly tried shot his final baskets, securing them coffee and Ryan a faceplant on the mat courtesy of JP.

Everyone was happy at Levu as they returned with trays of food and coffee, uniting the tribe after the previous tribal. That being said, the 6m torsoed Devon still wasn’t trusting Joe and pledged his allegiance to Ashley as Joe and Desi went for a pow-wow on the beach. While two vs. two isn’t helpful, they are confident that they’ll be able to sway Desi if the other option is rocks.

Meanwhile Ryan was busy apologising to everyone at Soko for his dismal performance in the challenge, cracking jokes and trying to make the most of his social game. We then heard from Roark for the second time in two episodes, where we learnt she was thrilled to be the swing vote in the swap … though I’m getting the vibes, she will get Julia’d by Ryan’s Aubry if they end up at tribal. Wanting to further her own game, Ali went for a walk with Roark to see what numbers they each have and whether they can work together. They decided to target the heroes, making Ryan nervous as he is closely aligned with their first target Chrissy.

Over at Yawa, Cole was eating their minimal food directly out of the containers, much to the chagrin of Lauren and Ben. Wanting to keep the healer majority, Jessica took Mike to get water and form a closer bond given Cole was fast becoming public enemy number one. Since Cole had obviously been unable to keep the whereabouts of Joe’s idol secret, Mike knew where to look and found the Yawa idol. Sadly while Jessica was present, forcing them into an alliance whether he wanted it or not.

Jiffy Pop returned for immunity where the tribes were required to swim out to a boat to collect three bags of rice before pushing them through a wall, walking them across a balance beam and tearing them open to find balls … which they then had to maneuver up a wall before landing them in a hole. With Ryan sitting out, Yawa got out to an early lead followed closely by Soko, while Levu struggled to get through the wall. They then hit the balance beams, allowing Levu to not only catch up but overtake and get a decisive lead, with Yawa following closely behind with JP singlehandedly tried to keep Soko in the challenge. Ben made quick work of sticking the first ball in, giving Yawa the lead with Devon close behind and Soko falling out of it. Jessica and Cole also made quick work of the wall, handing Yawa immunity while Chrissy bombed the wall … allowing Desi to secure the other immunity for Levu.

Back at camp Chrissy was feeling anxious after bombing the challenge, making her vow to play big. Identifying Roark as the biggest player in the game, she pulled her aside with the view to forming an all women alliance. While Roark said she was interested, she most definitely was not and Chrissy knew it. She then approached JP – who’s chest hair is really growing out quite nicely – and Ryan about taking out the girl in the middle – so Chrissy is Aubry? This put Ryan in a hella awkward position, as Ali was firmly in the Roark camp and his other ally wanted her out. Totes awkies, as they say.

At tribal council Ali quickly started throwing shade at Chrissy for bombing the challenge, which didn’t set well with Queen Chrissy who immediately jumped in to defend herself. Ryan gave a non answer, giving no hint as to which way he was leaning. Roark got extremely sassy about Chrissy not approaching her until they lost the challenge, Ryan and JP were allegedly concerned about Roark and Chrissy’s chat by the beach despite the fact they’re clearly voting for each other. Ali made a subtle pitch to Ryan, about trust being earned at tribal council … which clearly didn’t work as he joined JP and Chrissy to send Roark from the game.

I first connected with Roark while she attended Vanderbilt University. My ex Anderson Cooper begged me to act as a life coach slash mentor at his great-great-grandfather’s university and my friendship with Roark makes me grateful for not being able to say no to that silverfox. As a superfan, she was gutted to go pre-merge but the pain quickly disappeared when she saw my BBQ Pork & Luscon Pizza.

 

 

While we barely heard from Roark pre-swap, I can attest that she is worthy of this majestic pizza. Now I know pineapple is a contentious ingredient on a pizza, it more than earns its place here – the sweet fruit perfectly cuts through the hot chilli and tart olives to leave you wanting more. Kinda like how you feel about Roark’s edit, you know?

Enjoy!

 

 

BBQ Pork & Luscon Pizza
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
passata and italian herbs, for the aforementioned bases
3-4 pork & fennel sausages, casings removed and fried into meatballs
3-4 rashers bacon, cut into strips and fried until crisp
⅓ cup diced pineapple
1 red onion, thinly sliced
⅓ cup black olives, pitted and sliced
pickled jalapenos, to taste
¼ cup BBQ sauce
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C and prepare bases as per Zsa Zsa’s method.

Smear the dough with the passata and italian herbs, top with the sausage balls and bacon, sprinkle over the pineapple, onion, olive and jalapenos, artistically pour over the sauce and cover with cheese. Bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Then devour, regretting your place on the jury.

 

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Jericroquettes Malabonga

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Party Food, Side, Snack, TV Recap

And after 55 days out in the Samoan jungle, we finally have a new sole survivor in the form of Jericho.

He and Tara managed to outwit, outplay and outlast Joan, Adam, Kate, Tarzan, Aimee, Sam, Mark, Jacqui – yes this is a shameless plug for all our other recipes – Kent, AK, Ben, Odette, Jarrad, Anneliese, Henry, Tessa – yep, still going – Sarah, Luke, Ziggy, Locky, Michelle and Pete, to battle it out in the final tribal council.

While his performance at final tribal was – like night and day with last year’s champ Kristie’s – rather subpar, Luke’s going into bat for him and Henry pushing him to get fiery were enough to hand him a win for a game well played.

I mean, sure, I am shook to see that sometimes nice guys do win after he worked his ass off around camp to provide for his tribe, single-handedly tried to save his tribe from crushing defeat and made some hilariously ridiculous metaphors to give people a laugh … I assume. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that he did get pretty villainous on his way to the prize.

Now it is quite awkward, but Jericho and I aren’t the best of friends after he restrained me on a flight for “drunk and disorderly behaviour,” so I wasn’t thrilled to see him out in Samoa, let alone taking out the win … but he did manage to win me over while we shared his victorious Jericroquettes Malabonga.

 

 

It could be said that croquettes are quite simple, but there is no denying that they’re delicious and definitely have more than meets the eye. Plus – potato, bacon and cheese. How do you go wrong?

Congratulations on your victory Jericho – enjoy!

 

 

Jericroquettes Malabonga
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
5 potatoes, cooked, mashed and cooled
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced, fried and – you guessed it – cooled
2 eggs
3 shallots, thinly sliced
½ cup plain flour
½ cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup milk
salt and pepper

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the mashed potato, bacon, 1 egg, shallots, half the flour and the mozzarella in a bowl. Divide into 10 balls – I like a big fat croquette – and roll into a sausage shape.

Place the remaining flour in a bowl, with the remaining egg whisked with the milk in another and some seasoned breadcrumbs in another. Roll the croquettes in the flour, followed by the egg wash and then the breadcrumbs. Place on a lined baking tray, chuck it in the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Remove from the oven and devour immediately, with some Spicy TomaJones Sauce.

 

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Chilli con Tarane Pittza

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Pizza, Snack, TV Recap

After sending Peter out of the game to become the final juror, our final two awoke on the final day shocked and excited to have made it to the end and potentially hours away from being a hell of a lot richer. They then arrived at treemail to discover the final two breakfast, rather than cookies or lollies.

As they cooked the feast, Jericho shared his childhood growing up poor in the Philippines and spoke about being underestimated the entire game. He then outlined his entire game, using Luke as a meatshield, using the cookies to build alliances and avoided receiving votes until day 52. On the flipside, Tara spoke about her journey being voted out of Samatau – and saved by a twist – and somehow surviving her way through 21 tribal councils. They then packed up the camp and got quite emotional to be leaving the place they’ve called home for eight weeks … before heading off to the final tribal council.

Jonathan gave Jericho and Tara a quick rundown of how final tribal council plays out before they delivered their open statements. Tara spoke about how terrified she was by her competitors on day one and she knew that her social game was the only thing that could save her. She outlined how she spoke to everyone to keep her options open while riding her shield Locky, before slaying him and not taking the easy vote at the final four. Jericho then congratulated everyone on their gameplay before telling everyone he wasn’t as lovable as they assumed, with his usual eloquence. He then referred to his cookies as a shield before I started having horrific Amanda Kimmel final tribal bombing flashbacks.

Queen Michelle kicked off the festivities by congratulating the final two on sitting there – savage – before asking them to each point out their biggest move in the game. Tara singled out the Locky vote as her greatest achievement, orchestrating the boot while allowing her enough time to prove she could survive without him. Jericho’s big move was the cookie alliance. Amanda, can you hear me?

Anneliese was next, giving Jericho the chance to defend himself for riding Luke’s coattails. Once again, he gave a delightful metaphor about riding Luke like Santa in a sleigh, meaning he was whipping Luke to get him to do what he needs. She point blank told Tara that Jericho was currently above her in her mind, and questioned why she chose to save Jericho at the final four. Once again Tara clearly explained that she felt Jericho deserved to be in the finals … and knew that she needed someone strong in the challenges to battle Pete and carry her to final tribal.

Locky – still clothed – then congratulated Tara on getting him out of the game before asking Jericho if their swim in the deep water was truly personal, or just a game. Jericho told him it was his highlight of his time, and Locky deemed it enough. Ziggy then asked each of them to explain why the other deserved to win the game, which highlighted nothing more than the fact both of them aren’t very good at explaining their games but damn can they talk up their pal.

King of the Jury Jarrad arrived to talk smack about his whiny underlings before asking Jericho where his game went wrong, if he loses tonight. Thankfully he said that booting Tessa from the jury was what scares him the most. Finally adding some interest to the affair, Jarrad warned Jericho that like the merge vote, Jarrad would be underlining his vote to send a message to him. May the odds be ever in your favour, mwahahahaha.

Sarah then got involved, telling Jericho he played a skittish, confusing game before reminding Jericho that he let her, as a cat, drown. She then pointed out that he constantly contradicts himself, and asked him to explain himself better. Which he did not. Next up was Luke as the clouds opened up, dumping rain on everyone as he went in to bat for his friend. Kinda. Saying Jericho kinda deserves credit for some of their moves.

Peter arrives, terrifying Tara, before asking her the gentle question of what she did while still hiding under Locky’s wing. Sadly she outlined getting rid of AK, which happened after she was voted out of her tribe. Peter then asked Jericho to give him three words

Henry then fired up and rolled out his crazy eyes before announcing that he wasn’t a yoga instructor. He then asked Tara when she started playing the game, which she stupidly said was day 49. This pissed Henry off, so he cut her off and succinctly outlined her gameplay for the jury. He then tore into Jericho for his wishy-washy decision making, and booting Tessa from the jury despite the fact she said she wouldn’t vote for Tara … and then took Tara to the end. Jericho then seemed to get some fire, and defended his game and spoke about being proud of having Henry’s blood on his hands.

One by one the jury went out to vote before Jonathan dropped the bomb that unlike last year he wouldn’t be reading the votes on the island, instead taking them back to read in Australia VIA BOAT TO SYDNEY HARBOUR. YAS BISH, YAAAAAASSSSSS.

After some brief chit-chat, JLP got down to the business of crowning our winner. The votes rolled in for Jericho, followed by a second Jericho and a trio of Tara’s before a trio of Jericho’s handed him the win and the title of sole survivor. While Tara couldn’t convince the jury she deserved the title, she did play an extremely strong, flexible game and more than earned her place as the runner-up and a big fat, congratulatory Chilli con Tarane Pittza.

 

 

I have such warm memories of being fascinated by the kitsch ‘90s-ness of a Mexican Pizza. I mean, sure, spicy mince, bean and capsicum are delicious. But pile on some sour cream, guacamole and stab it with chips and you’ve got a hilarious pizza party.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chilli con Tarane Pittza
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
passata and italian herbs, for the aforementioned bases
½ batch Chilli Con Kim Carnes
½ red capsicum, thinly sliced
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 avocado, mashed
corn chips, hot sauce and sour cream, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C and prepare bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Then prepare the Chilli as per Kimmy’s instructions – remember when she started it all? Such an innocent time.

Smear the dough with the passata and italian herbs, heap on chilli, splay with capsicums and cover with cheese. Bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Dollop the mashed avocado in the centre, spear with some corn chips and serve with some hot sauce and sour cream.

Then, obvi, devour.

 

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Puff Daddy Pizza

Main, Pizza, Side, Snack

Sometimes you just need to party and get wild with your gang, to feel like yourself again. You know?

While we’ve been feuding since my egregious snubbing from the Bad Boy Records 20th Anniversary Tour, we both realised that life is more enjoyable with the other in it and he kindly agreed to reconnect.

As you can imagine, as co-founders of Bad Boy Entertainment, Puff and I have been involved in our fair share of scandals – the nightclub shooting probs being our most famous … despite the fact you legally cannot prove I was there or involved – but we truly never meant no harm, just partying hard like young guys a wont to do.

Despite announcing that he was planning to quit the music biz to focus on his acting career and the fact that was my idea for him, I was hoping that our reconnection would be enough to force him out of retirement to remake I’ll Be Missing You with me.

Which he obviously was hella keen for.

That being said, I did have to work overtime to convince him to change his mind with me, so I had to whip up one of my favourite shortcut meals. Enter my Puff Daddy Pizza.

 

 

I first flirted with puff pastry pizzas – and calzones – while a poor uni student slash up-and-coming-rapper, and to be honest, they are oft better than their pillowy or crip doughed equivalents. Flakey, light and most importantly simple, these babies are the perfect mid week meal or work lunch … for the working rapper.

Enjoy!

 

 

Puff Daddy Pizza
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 italian sausages
2 sheets frozen puff pastry
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp mixed dried Italian herbs, chef’s choice
¼ cup sundried tomatoes, shredded
¼ cup chargrilled capsicum, shredded
¼ cup black olives, sliced
¼ cup chargrilled artichokes
1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
200g feta cheese
mozzarella cheese, just to add some stringiness … not so much necessary

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat and remove the sausages from their casings, frying them into small meatballs for a couple of minutes.

Place each sheet of puff pastry on a lined baking sheet and smear each with tomato paste and dried herbs. Sprinkle over the cooked sausage, chargrilled vegetables, feta, chilli and a little mozzarella, to taste.

Place in the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the pastry is puffed and glorious. Devour.

 

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Jacken Thomas & Avocado Pizza

Main, Party Food, Pizza, Poultry, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand the final four spent a lot of time talking about redemption island, while those at redemption island used their time to destroy camp, sure that they’d be returning to the game after the last battle. Which they didn’t, with Shay becoming the tenth person eliminated and Mike and Jak stuck rebuilding redemption for god knows how long.

And they were well pissed about the sitch. Moping in the charred remains of their shelter without any food, after confidently devouring it all pre-battle.

Back at camp, the tribe were also shocked to discover that no one returned with them but at least at shelter and food, I guess. Thankfully Nate told horrifically boring stories to keep them as equally tortured. While Barb continued to await getting voted out and giving up on her glorious victory … until a noble steed or two arrived, bringing with it some much needed motivation to give us the victor we deserve.

Not wanting to keep me waiting long, Matt arrived for the next immunity – and video message from home reward – challenge where the tribe had to complete a mega obstacle course, while balancing balls on poles. Which I hope Nate loses solely because his family are terrible singers and I can’t suffer through it all. As usual, Tom got out to an early lead until Barb was overtaken by the equine power, closed the gap and then, shock of all shock, took out immunity over Tom. In the most physical challenge of the season.

Slay queen, you need to win this. She then got to watch her video from home and was most excited to see her horse, instead of her family. “They’re big enough and ugly enough to look after themselves” – Barb, a fucking icon.

The tribe returned to camp where they all congratulated Barb on her victory, all shocked by what transpired … none more so than Barb, who thought it was lovely to take it out. Not allowing the moment to settle, Avi quickly pulled Tom aside to worry about Barb’s victory potentially changing her mind on helping them win, and instead playing for herself. Like that is a bad thing.

Back at redemption, Mike and Jak were not enjoying their squalid, half-destroyed, foodless camp … of their own making. Jak then decided he looked like Abe Lincoln, which he did not. Nor did he look like a Babraham Lincoln.

Meanwhile over at Casar, Nate appeared to be giving up while chatting to Avi, accepting that day 35 is good enough. Which I hope is a half-arse attempt at reverse psychology. Apparently the scrambling was not interesting though as we returned to redemption island where the boys were speculating about who won immunity and how the next tribal council will shake out, making me wish it would hurry up already.

Back at camp again, Barb was feeling very emotional – I think about booting Nate, but I’m not sure exactly. She then gave him a pep-talk about him winning redemption which begs the question, why vote him out if you want him back in the game? The olds then speculated how the votes will stack up for Tom and Avi when they make final tribal. It was all very confusing.

We finally arrived at tribal where Barbs talked about the similarities of dominating the game and raising children, exposing the fact that she may actually be playing to win and the not wanting to win is actually a fake-out to get further. Again, queen! Nate spoke about his ability to read people and admitted that he will probs be voted out in a matter of minutes.

Which is what happened, despite Barb’s considering flipping to save her fellow oldie.

Nate arrived at redemption to a very warm reception from the boys, where he was quick to fill them in on Barb’s immunity win and her alliance with Tom and Avi. Meanwhile back at camp it was Tom’s turn to begin his descent into madness, rambling and playing the drums, alone, by the fire. Give him the cheque, I’m done – if I learnt anything from Kirstie, it is that madness always wins. While he continued to entertain himself, Avi and Barb discussed whether they should have sent Tom to redemption the night before.

We returned to redemption island where Nate complained about how awful it was and marvelled at Mike and Jak’s ability to tolerate the place. We then got an extended monologue from Mike talking about being the king of redemption, setting up his inevitable return before Jak summed it up most succinctly, announcing he hated it.

After a brief period of speculation from those still in the actual game – Barb thinking Jak would lose the battle, Tom went with Nate – we arrived at the final battle and the end of redemption island, where Jak, Mike and Nate had to stack Nicaraguan coins on the hilt of a sword. I mean, I used the word hilt but I have no idea if that is what it is … but i’ll leave it in anyway. In any event, I’m referring to the handle, ok?

Given that it was a fiddly endurance challenge, it didn’t make the most riveting challenge … though Mike’s nipples were on point, literally. Then out of nowhere, my on-again-off-again friend Jak dropped a coin while placing it on the stack and found himself out of the game for goods.

While I was a bit standoffish when he arrived at Loser Lodge, I was able to convince him to pop on the loin cloth and I softened. Well, not softened, but I was feeling happy enough to whip him up a comforting Jacken Thomas & Avocado Pizza.

 

 

I may feel hot and cold about Jak, but I never question my love for his pizza namesake. The sweet chutney is cut by the zing of the onion, add in the creaminess of the avo and you’ve got pizza-fection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jacken Thomas & Avocado Pizza
Serves: 2-4.

Ingredients
pizza dough (I used the one from Pizsa Zsa Gabor)
passata or tomato paste, with a combination of herbs
1 onion, finely sliced
400g chicken breasts, diced
1 cup fruit chutney
salt and pepper, to taste
1 avocado, sliced
mozzarella cheese, grated

Method
Follow the dough recipe on Zsa Zsa’s recipe.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat and brown the chicken until cooked all the way through. Add the chutney and a good good whack of salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.

When everything is set, roll out two bases and smear them both with some herby passata. Top with some sliced onions, the chicken and avo, and then drown in some mozzarella.

Transfer the pizzas to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until browned and glorious. Then devour.

 

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Cheazy-E Bacon Cob

Bread, Dip, Party Food, Snack

Reconnecting with Pete Doherty to discuss turning our life story into a musical got me feeling all nostalgic and emotional, and as such, I felt it was high time to get the time machine out and check in with a dearly departed friend. One that I’d always wanted to spin our life story into a movie, but was never able to due to a (since ended) feud with Ice Cube.

Yep – I went back to the early ‘90s to see my boy Eazy-E.

Given his somewhat sudden death occurred during a period I was banned from entering the U.S.A., I was never able to say a final goodbye and that is something that has weighed on my soul ever since. Though not enough to keep me from getting deported/banned from the U.S. 60 times since, the latest being by the Cheeto in Chief last month.

It should come as absolutely – said in my best Gia Gunn breaking character as Kim Kardashian voice – no surprise that I grew up in Compton with the N.W.A. and was an integral member of the group … until I was asked to leave for causing too much drama with rival crews. Despite being ‘released’ from the group, it was always accepted that if Eaze is the godfather of gangsta rap, I am definitely the godmother due to our close, unshakeable bond.

Fun fact: Straight Outta Compton was written about me as a cheeky nod to the fact that I’m anything but straight. That song is so much more cerebral than people think … and really should be the anthem for next year’s pride. I mean, I’m practically the OG Babadook.

I decided it was best to go back to ‘93 at the peak of his feud with Dre, as it wouldn’t arouse any suspicion since we’d get together every few nights to talk smack about Dre and plot his downfall. I know inventing time travel is a luxury but like SpiderMan, I know that with that great power comes great responsibility and it is often hard not to try and fix the past for my friends.

I mean, I had HIV medication packed and was ready to save him, butterfly effect be damned, but I backed out after he gave a rousing speech about how everything happens for a reason, carpe diem and Dead Poet’s Society. You may not be aware, he was a passionate fan of that movie … even more so than my year nine English teacher who clearly assumed he was the second coming of Robin WIlliams’ character.

He was not … and I’m well off tangent.

Given that I knew he didn’t have long left, I decide to whip him up his favourite, extremely unhealthy dish, my Cheazy-E Bacon Cob.

 

 

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is not a healthy dish … but damn is it delicious. I mean, there is no way any combination of cheese and bacon could go wrong.

Just remember, this is a sometime food – enjoy!

 

 

Cheazy-E Bacon Cob
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
2 cob loaves, one for the dip and one for extra dipping croutons
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
4 shallots, finely sliced
250g cream cheese, softened
½ cup double cream
⅔ cup sour cream
1 cup mozzarella, grated
1 cup cheddar, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Method
Preheat your oven to 180°C.

Cut the top off one of the cob loaves and scoop out the bread. Place the hollowed cob on a lined baking sheet and cut the remaining bread – excluding the lid – into bite size pieces and place on another tray. Dice the remaining cob and place on the second baking sheet. Set aside.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and fry the bacon and shallots for about five minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Place the cream cheese, double cream and sour cream in the bowl of an electric mixer, and beat for a couple of minutes, or until combined. Add the cheeses, bacon, shallots and a good whack of salt and pepper and mix for a further minute.

Transfer the filling to the hollowed cob, place the lid on and bake for half an hour. Remove the lid and bake for a further ten minutes, adding the remaining bread to crisp up.

Serve immediately and devour.

 

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Meat Louvers McClintock Pizza

Baking, Main, Pizza, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand – which was a mere minute ago – Mogoton finally ended their losing streak, snatching a critical victory

Hermosa returned to camp and quickly spilled all the beans on Tony’s outburst at Shay, making the tribe question her trustworthiness which could prove her undoing come a merge. Shannon continued to prove that she is the smartest person in the game, thankful that Tony was gone as it is one less potential ally for Nate and Barb.

Back at Mogoton, Shay, Tom and Avi returned from the duel to discover that Lou was feeling sick and could barely stay conscious or move. By the time we find out she is having cold sweats, it became pretty obvious why the episode didn’t end with Izzy’s victory in the duel.

After a brief interlude with Shannon and Georgia sunbaking and discussing their dwindling supply of food and their potential hunger-induced losing streak, we returned to Mogoton where Matt and the medics finally arrived to confirm that the treatment for Lou’s septic foot wasn’t working.

Given that the doctor had zero idea about what was wrong with her, she was evacuated from the game leaving Mogoton to feel like they will never catch a break in the game … oh, and uncertain whether she would return.

Over at Hermosa, Shannon and Jak were down by the water discussing the massive divide between the five young kids and the two olds. Oh and the fact that they are running out of rice and don’t have fishing gear means they’re pretty fucked. Digging her hole even further, Barb popped on a pot of rice and then proceeded to forget about it and burn the minimal rice they had left.

Self-proclaimed comedian Jak then tried to lighten the mood or genuinely attempt humour by pretending to catch a pelican. I assume you’d have to be there?

Back at Mogoton, the tribe were extremely worried about how Lou was going … and then Avi decided to join my spank bank, doing yoga on the beach IN BRIEFS.

Give me a couple of minutes, ok?

Barb and Nate discovered a cheeky treemail at Hermosa, pondering whether now was the time for their tribe mates to throw the challenge and send them home. Which wouldn’t bother Barb as she’d rather go home now than make the jury and have to give one of them the win.

Matt assembled the tribes for the immunity challenge where Hermosa discovered that Lou was removed to be assessed by medical last night before announcing that she was too sick to continue and is officially out of the game.

He then told everyone to drop their buffs – I was sure he was going to say pants – and get ready for a swap … but that is a story for next week’s elimination, ok?

Given that my dear friend Lou is a farmer slash country girl and I have a blatant disregard for the opinions of medical professionals, I removed Lou from the hospital and whipped her up a healing and hearty Meat Louvers McClintock Pizza.

 

 

While she was gutted to perk up within the hour of eating, just after the doctor officially pulled her from the game she was thrilled to reconnect and have me there to make everything ok.

Plus – how do you go wrong with a shit tonne of meat and cheese on dough? You just can’t!

Enjoy!

 

 

Meat Louvers McClintock Pizza
Serves: 2-4.

Ingredients
pizza dough (I used the one from Pizsa Zsa Gabor)
passata or tomato paste, with a combination of herbs
1 onion, finely sliced
150g mushrooms, sliced
½ cup barbecue sauce
4 Italian sausages, cooked and sliced
100g leg ham, sliced
100g pepperoni, sliced
100g chorizo, sliced
chilli flakes (shock horror), optional
mozzarella cheese, grated

Method
Follow the dough recipe on Zsa Zsa’s recipe.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

When the dough is ready to go, roll out two bases and slather each with the herby passata. Top with onion and mushrooms, drizzle over the barbecue sauce and scatter over the meat before drowning in a thick layer of cheese. Chuck them in the oven – colloquially not literally – and bake for about fifteen minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

The devour … though making sure not to burn your mouth on the cheese, lest you too want to be medically evacuated.

 

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Ethan Calzone

Bread, Main, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands

With only three weeks to go until the premiere of Survivor: Game Changers – Queen Sandra Diaz-Twine’s Triple Crown, I thought it was fitting to mark the occasion with my dear friend and third victor Ethan Zohn.

After the aggressive sex appeal of Colbster in the Outback – not to be confused with Sandra eating at Outback Steakhouse – it was nice to see Africa bringing a calm, kindness to the way Survivor floods my basement.

Ethan was – and still is, FYI – a total babe. Perfect ringlets, kind heart, banging bod – Ethan was everything I didn’t know I wanted from a man and I immediately made it my goal to find and befriend/bed him.

Sadly Burnett had banned me from filming countries during production after the Outback incident but thankfully I found a loophole – identity theft – by the filming of All Stars and found myself in the jungles of Panama with the man of my dreams.

As hard as I tried, I wasn’t able to help this babe achieve a double crown – yes I suggested to Rupert that digging a shelter was a great idea to turn people against him – sadly that wench Jenna Lewis was around though and made sure no winner – not even the babes – had a chance.

I haven’t seen Ethan since his wedding last year, in part because I was busy but mainly because I am heartbroken. Thankfully Ethan was more than keen to reconnect and help win me back.

Even more thankfully, Australia is as hot as hades this week so Eth and I had no choice but to have a minimal clothing catch-up with a sizzling Ethan Calzone.

 

ethan-calzone-1

 

After poor Eth became the last winner standing in All Stars, I snuck into Loser Lodge and whipped him up a very suggestive calzone. Did you think this cooking for boot things started in Second Chances? Hell no.

I stuffed that soft pillowy dough full of spicy sausage, dripping, creamy cheese and some mushrooms. The mushrooms didn’t add to the innuendo … but it didn’t need. The rest was quite persuasive.

20 days until the premiere – who will join me next week? Lets just say … I love her but we did have a rivalry.

Enjoy!

 

ethan-calzone-2

 

Ethan Calzone
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
7g sachet instant dried yeast
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp caster sugar
¾ cup warm water
2 cups plain flour
2 tbsp olive oil
⅔ cup passata
2 chicken breasts, diced and fried
2 chorizos, cut and fried
handful of mushrooms, sliced
120g chargrilled capsicum, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
handful of basil leaves
2 tsp chilli flakes
200g feta, crumbled
mozzarella, just to make it hella cheesy

Method
Combine the yeast, salt, sugar and warm water in a jug. Give a quick stir and leave to get all foamy for about ten minutes.

Please the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast mixture and oil, and need with a dough hook for ten minutes. Transfer to a large oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove for an hour, or until doubled in size.

While the dough is proving, prep the filling and preheat the oven to 200°C.

Punch back the dough, split in four and roll each out into a 30cm (ish) round). Smear a half moon of passata on each piece of dough. Top with the chicken, chorizo, mushroom, capsicum, garlic, basil, chilli and cheeses. Fold the dough over on itself, pushing out as much air as possible and seal the edges.

Place the calzones on a lined baking sheet and transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen to twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour immediately, trying to avoid burning yourself on the hot cheese.

 

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Baked Zeki Smith

Main, Pasta, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the Gen X war came to a head with Jess and Chris battling to stay, with Jess’ side winning the battle as Chris found his way out of the game. Sadly for Jess though, it was a double episode and despite the battle lines being redrawn between Zeke and David, with the votes deadlocked between Zeke and Hannah and Jess being rock-of-doomed out of the game.

It was brutal and sad and I’m still struggling to process it. Thankfully, however, it means that Ken is now the proud owner of the unknown Legacy Advantage.

We arrived back at camp where Hannah seemed to be experiencing the same levels of post-rock PTSD that I am. Although I guess she has the addition of guilt, and was there, so hers is probably more justifiable.

After Hannah calmed herself, David lamented his bad luck while Zeke rallied his troops for a very, very cocky display. But surely this episode won’t follow the saying win the battle, lose the war – right?

Probst opted to appear quickly – I assume concerned by my thirst as Kengel and his torso wandered around post Legacy Advantage – to announce it was time for the loved ones visit. So yep, now my face is as flooded as my basement.

I mean, seriously, how do you not cry hearing Adam ask about his sick mother … and then announce, through tears, that he couldn’t bare to use his advantage. Then Ken started talking about how he idolised his brother. And then Zeke’s dad saying he looked up to Zeke and that he was his hero – fuck.

FUCK – why am I showing human emotion?

Oh … and then they had a challenge where they were tethered to a rope and had to flip through an obstacle course. I couldn’t see through my damn tears but Jay took it out and moved by Adam’s promise not to steal the reward, opted to share it with him, Will and Sunday. Breaking my damn heart, again.

In return Adam gave him the reward steal advantage which is a great move considering the advantage is actually a huge disadvantage. And he still got to go on reward and get an update on his mother.

Again … my damn fucking heart. Honestly there is nothing to be said, seeing Adam breakdown was horrible particularly knowing that she sadly passed away after filming.

The next day David, Will and Adam quickly got our heads back in the game as Will decided he was sick of being treated like a kid – which technically, he is – and told them he wanted to make a move and flip to their side to send Zeke home.

Wanting to keep our spirits on the up and up, Probst quickly returned for the immunity challenge where they had to keep a tight grip on a firm rod to stop it penetrating a surface. While the fact that it sounds amazingly smutty would normally be enough, it forced Ken to tense his bare chest and torso – yes, it was a home fucking run. Despite the fact Adam took out immunity instead of my Kengel.

Back at camp Adam was feeling confident with immunity, his idol and the fact Will was looking to flip. Sensing David and Co’s serenity, Zeke started to get paranoid and decided to flip their vote from David to Ken.

Kengel and Will then sent for a pow-wow, much to Will’s annoyance – meaning Will, a child, is dead to me. Will then told Ken that Zeke’s group were now planning to vote him out, Ken then pulled Jay aside to confirm it was the case.

Then Will followed … and then Zeke … and then Sunday, before Will laid out all of his plans to build his resume.

Obviously that pissed off everyone – and firmed up Ken as an unlikely goat for the final three – leading to Hannah and David’s vote returning to the table with Ken and Zeke as we headed to tribal council.

Once there, James Earl Jones Jnr. called everyone out for their agism as the sides went back and forth appealing to him, to pick their side.

Thankfully – for Hannah, David, Ken and Adam at least – Will did decide to flip, rendering Adam’s (kinda)successfully played crotch idol (on the four Hannah votes, FYI) pointless – but hey, at least it drove home, really hard and deep, the phallocentric innuendo for the episode – sending my dear friend Zeke to Ponderosa.

I first met Zeke in 2014 after joining his gay, all-male improv group ‘Judith’ – given our passion for Survivor, friendship was inevitable and our best-friendship quickly blossomed. While he was super bummed to get the boot, he was thankful to see me there to cheer him up and run through the ways he could have changed his game up over a hearty Baked Zeki Smith.

 

baked-zeki-smith-1

 

There is nothing more comforting than a baked ziti – particularly in the tropical heat – rich, spicy and slathered in cheese, it is the perfect way to pull you out of a post-boot depression.

Zeke thinks it is a culinary game changer – enjoy!

 

baked-zeki-smith-2

 

Baked Zeki Smith
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
500g Italian sausage, removed from casings
500g beef mince
4 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground sage
1 tbsp chilli flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
500g dried ziti (or penne if you’re stuck in Australia)
500g ricotta
500g mozzarella, grated
½ cup parmesan, grated
1 egg
handful fresh parsley and basil, roughly chopped

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and sweat for a couple of minutes, or until soft. Add the sausage and mince, and cook until browned. Drain of any excess fat – don’t be too particular about it as the glorious fat as the glorious flavour, said the future Biggest Loser contestant.

Add the tomatoes, herbs and a good whack of salt and pepper, reduce heat to low and simmer for about half an hour. Remove from the heat and ladle out a few cups of sauce to a large bowl to cool separately.

Preheat oven to 180°C and cook the pasta as per packet instructions, minus a minute or two – you want the pasta to be just al dente. Run it under cold water and allow to drain completely.

In a new bowl, mix the ricotta, most of the mozzarella, parmesan, egg and a whack of salt and pepper until just combined.

Add the pasta and removed tomato sauce  to the cheese mixture and stir thoroughly.

Add half the pasta to the bottom of a large baking dish, top with half the meat sauce, top with the remaining pasta … and then, you guessed it, top with the remaining meat sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella.

Chuck it in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and molten. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for ten minutes. Top with remaining herbs and devour.

 

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