Puttaneskarla Karaitizza

Main, Party Food, Street Food, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor NZ, 18 new castaways were dumped on islands in the middle of a Thai lake where Matt made quick work assuring everyone that the rules of the season will mirror traditional US Survivor – which is the gag of the season, TBH. He then thrust the castaways into an individual challenge for an unknown power … which turned out it gave the winner, Jose, the chance to select her own tribe. Sadly for her, she didn’t seem to do the best of jobs with Chani losing both the challenges and sending her out of the game as the first boot.

Back at camp the surviving members of the Chani tribe returned to camp with Liam reeling from the choice to send their strongest female home. On the flip side JT was celebrating and quickly defended himself by saying Jose targeted him, while Franky and Renee reiterated that she was dangerous and made them feel on the outs. And as for Karla, well she was thrilled to have survived and to be able to show her strength … she was keenly aware that she was still firmly on the bottom of the tribe.

The next day the Chani tribe were thrilled to finally have fire and be able to eat actually cooked rice while the winning Khangkhaw tribe were beginning to show cracks. Particularly for poor Dylan, who’s plans to align with the biggest threats didn’t suit the bigger threats in Matt, Josh and Brad who instead wanted him out ASAP and to align with Tess, zaddy Addy and per Tess’ request, Lisa. Clever girl Tess, clever girl. The one thing going for Dylan is that as much as they want him out, they also don’t like Kaysha and want her out as well.

My boy Matt arrived for this week’s reward challenge where Khangkhaw were shocked to see Jose became the first boot. The challenge involved tribe members getting in the drink and swimming out to a platform, jumping off and releasing a key which will then unlock a box of rocks that they will use to break tiles, all for fresh tropical fruit which made Zadam cream his shorts thanks to his passion for watermelon. And that in turn made me cream my shorts thinking about him creaming his shorts. Anyway, he got the tribe out to a strong start beating Dave to the platform though was tragically overtaken on the ladder until he slayed the swimming portion and snatched back the lead. Renee took the lead over Tara giving Liam a huge advantage over Kaysha which was made worse when she couldn’t smash her key allowing Karla to lap her when getting Chani’s fourth key. JT was out for the fifth key before Matt flashed his way into my heart like King Locky. While they were well and truly behind by the time Josh swam out … when it looks that good, he shouldn’t complain.

Damn Matt, you making a play for my heart and I am so into it.

Anyway by the time they got to throwing balls Brad made quick work of overtaking things before pulling ahead and snatching victory from Chani. But since Matt gave us a killer view of his rump, everyone’s a winner … and that’s all that matters. Well, except for Chani who were dejected, Kaysha who injured herself and Zadam who projectile vomited from over exertion. Thankfully he put it down from trying so hard whilst being completely unfit … though mentioning he had a rock in his knee makes me nervous we’re going to suffer a huge loss via medevac. He quickly perked up back at camp and taught everyone about the wonders of watermelon and his mantra, ‘peace, love and watermelons’.

Meanwhile over at Chani, JT and Liam discovered a new twist requesting they send one member of their tribe to the Outpost. While they weren’t sure what it exactly entailed, everyone was ok with him going and seeing whether he is honest and trustworthy. And not put a target on their back. Over at Khangkhaw the tribe danced around volunteering by figuring out what the outpost is before Matt suggested they all draw straws rather than continuing to waste time. With Tess selected, her alliance were thrilled while Kaysha was desperately hoping for a tribe swap.

Tess and JT arrived at the outpost where Matt explained that a different person needs to attend each week and will be faced by a challenge or dilemma, which would have ramifications throughout the game. He then challenged them to build fire and burn through a rope for an unknown reward … which is totally an idol clue, no? Out of nowhere, Tess was quick to get a flame and – gag of the season – build a lasting fire while JT struggled, snatching victory for herself. Which was a hidden immunity idol clue. Matt then gave Tess the chance to lie to her tribe about what happened and talk to her opposition JT, who quickly worked to convince her that telling him the clue was a good idea in order to keep his silence. While she was initially reluctant to share the clue, she quickly folded and they both learnt that the clue would be hidden under the mat at the next immunity challenge. He promised to keep quiet and go with whatever lie she wants to tell her tribe, but there was no way you could make her feel ok for making the epic blunder.

Tess returned to Khangkhaw and told them she was against JT and won the fire challenge before seamlessly slipping in the lie that the challenge was for mattresses, tarps and other comforts … but for both tribes. So to continue rubbing salt in their wounds, she opted for no one to get the reward. Over at Chani JT made quick work of throwing Tess under the bus, telling them about her victory and the location of the idol … but that it was only for her tribe. While Arun wasn’t buying the entire story, JT filled him in on the fact it would be under both mats and wasn’t sure whether to keep it in their alliance and only tell Dave and Eve, or tell everyone. Showing that he is playing a long, deep game, he explained that no matter what seeing if anyone else goes for it will show who she is aligned with and has the idol which will be valuable information come the merge.

Franky proved to be mildly psychic, concerned about getting a roof on the shelter in case it rained which of course led to a torrential downpour. That led to Franky having a mild breakdown and came close to quitting while Karla shivered her way through the night, making Renee proud of them and Arun concerned about their willpower. Franky continued to struggle throughout the day with a fever and struggling to breathe leading to them calling the medic to make sure she was ok. This made Karla felt a little bit safer, and as such, she was instantly iconic and I love her. Meanwhile at Khangkhaw, Tess pulled Adam aside and told him the truth about everything that happened at the outpost, with them to scramble to come up with a plan to snatch the idol whilst simultaneously blocking him from going for it.

The tribes arrived at the immunity challenge where the Khangkhaw alliance and Arun and JT panicked to figure out how to snatch the idol without anyone noticing. Matt explained that the challenge would require three people to hold a stick across their back while the remaining members for the other tribe would load them up with weights. Brad seamlessly snatched the idol without anyone noticing thanks to an untied shoe before he, Josh and Kaysha faced off against Dave, Arun and Renee for immunity. While Khangkhaw focused on putting weight equally amongst the Chani tribe members, Chani loaded up the boys – dream – before Dave became the first person to drop out of nowhere. Renee followed soon after leaving Arun to carry the entire tribe on his back. While Brad struggled with his 70kgs, Arun couldn’t hold on any longer dropping the bar and handing Khangkhaw yet another victory. Though that lead to Lisa adorably fanning out over snatching the idol from Matt and snuggled with sexy, naked Matt and as such, I feel Chani should be grateful.

The Chani tribe discussed Khangkhaw’s ribbing as they arrived at the challenge before Arun quickly shared the information that Tess is clearly aligned with the Brad, Josh and Matt since they played dumb about what she won at the challenge. Given the way they figured out all the politics of their rivals, I wouldn’t count them out just … hang on, we’re at Khangkhaw post challenge. And Josh and Brad are swimming together and look totally babin’ before we learnt the rules of the idol, which seem to be the same as the US though it may remain in play if you’re not physically in possession of it when you get voted out. I dunno, that sounds weird. But Kiwi Jeff is wild and babin’, so who knows?

Back at Chani the tribe finally got to scrambling with Liam keen to get everyone focused on getting rid of the weakest tribe member, given getting rid of Jose didn’t help them in challenges. While they agreed Karla was the weakest, JT was concerned that Franky was also weak and a threat, and that makes her the most enticing of targets. While Karla was emotional, she seemed to accept her fate while Franky started to pull it together and find a way to keep herself alive, assuring Renee that while she almost quit she can sort it out and fight for the tribe.

At tribal council Matt quickly kicked them while they were down, saying they were dejected at the immunity challenge. Eve spoke up and countered that while yes, they were tired, they’ve pulled themselves together and are a strong, close family. Karla defended herself, saying that everyone had a dark moment last night, but they all pulled together before everyone but Arun admitted it was far tougher than they were expecting it to be. Franky shared that while she wanted out last night, she fought to stay and will continue to fight. Renee and JT agreed that life has been hell back at camp, though JT believed that a Chani will win the game meaning it will either be prophetic or he’ll look like an idiot. While we won’t find out for weeks, Eve jumped in to talk about her family getting her through before she broke down over how much she missed them. While everyone, Karla and Franky included, felt that they needed to keep the tribe strong, Karla tried to fight for her spot sharing that she is an experienced camper and knows how to maintain a fire. Nervous, Franky jumped in and reminded them that while she has been sick and wanted to quit, she fought through it and will continue to fight for the tribe. Sadly for Karla, Franky’s impassioned plea had more of an effect on her tribemates leading to poor Karla becoming the second person out of the game.

Given I’ve known Karls the longest out of all the castaways, I was gutted to see her walk into loser lodge knowing the true grit – great movies, both versions FYI – and determination she possesses. I first met Karla when we were studying journalism together – though separate to the time I studied with Sylvia Jeffreys and mentored Matt Chis. I get around – and we quickly bonded over our love of photographic excellence (remember, I was an Instalebrity briefly). Anyway, we’ve been dearest friends for close to two decades and as such, I knew the only thing that could cheer her up after suffering shitty luck in the game was a Puttaneskarla Karaitizza.

 

 

While I hate anchovies with the fire of a thousand suns – If I wanted something hairy and full of bones I visit Matt and his peach … or Nico, swoon – but if you take them out of a puttanesca pizza, you truly have perfection. The capers and bacon bring more than enough salt, so by the time you add some sriracha, you’re in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Puttaneskarla Karaitizza
Serves: 2

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
⅓ cup passata
oregano and basil, roughly chopped, to taste
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced and fried
⅓ black olives, sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup capers, roughly chopped
sriracha, to taste
mozzarella, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Smear passata over the prepared bases and sprinkle with the herbs and garlic. Heap on the bacon, olives, mushrooms, capers and sriracha, and cover with mozzarella.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devour immediately, in fear for the next person I’ve flagged for pizza on Reality TV. Because it is most definitely a cursed cuisine, just ask Steph, Brendan and Steph.

 

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Stephanie Cappricohnson Pizza

Main, Pizza, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, things were looking up for Donathan and Laurel at Naviti who formed an alliance with Domenick and Wendell, with Chris feeling the heat as their obvious target. Meanwhile over at Malolo, the OG Maloloans were down in numbers heading into tribal with only Michael’s idol – James’ from China, FYI – to help. The kid did good at tribal, bluffing about the power of his idol though tragically verbalised they were voting for Bradley and failed to correctly play his idol, sending zaddy Brendan out into the cold.

Back at camp Bradley showed a sliver of emotion, thrilled to have survived tribal council. While the OG Navitians were quick to pretend everything was cool, Bradley reminded us that Michael outed himself as a player and now he is without any protection. Bradley then returned to the role of smarmy douche, rubbing salt in the wounds by saying he plans to bring a trick next tribal. You’re in the numbers dude and acting like that is never going to win you the game, so shut the hell up.

Maybe sensing my impending blow-up at the screen, Probst returned for this week’s reward challenge where the tribes were required to leap over tables, remove sandbags that were hiding a lever … which released more sandbags which they would throw at some targets to release flags. It was for coffee, pastries and muff … ins, so you know I would have been hella keen for the victory. Naviti got out to an early lead though Michael’s cakes managed to catch Malolo up at the lever, raising mine with the holes in the back of his jocks. Sadly his beauty wasn’t enough to win them the challenge as Chris proved his skills with the sack, tossing them at the target and securing Naviti reward while Sebastian flailed. Once again, they couldn’t decide who to send to Ghost Island, with the Survivor Gods sending Stephanie to hopefully find an idol and get rid of Bradley.

Before shipping her out we were treated to some Chris rap slash spoken word and I honest don’t know if it got me excited or made me want to vom repeatedly. Anyway, we arrived at Ghost Island where Stephanie was concerned about being away from her allies. She then discovered she wouldn’t have the chance to play for an advantage, which really added salt in the wounds. Thankfully she focussed on staying positive and strong to show her kids what people can get through.

Speaking of getting through things, Naviti annihilated their reward where the camera confirmed I am crushing on Chris after focussing on his hot ass-et. While everyone was excited for the sugar intake, Donathan started getting sad as it reminded him of being at home with his mother and grandmother and he then broke down to his friend Laurel. And again, and I feel no one can say this enough, Donathan is a damn saint and if you don’t love him you’re a horrid person.

Chris took advantage of Donathan’s breakdown and tried to make a connection over being carers for their family members. Which I want to say was dirty, though Chris didn’t do it in a malicious way and it melted my heart. As did his butt though, make no mistake. This moment of kindness added some confusion for poor Donathan who now wasn’t sure if he wanted to be aligned with Wendell and Domenick, or Chris.

Before we had the chance to get any answers, Probst returned for the immunity. After summoning Stephanie back from Ghost Island, he explained that the tribes would be required to race out on a bridge to collect hanging sacks from a hard beam before jumping on a surfboard and pulled back into shore. Once all the sacks had been collected,  the tribes would work numbered discs out of said sacks, and use the numbers to solve a combination to release a key, which released a puzzle … which once solved, released the immunity idol into your tribe’s temporary custody.

As is becoming the usual, Naviti got out to an early lead, well, until Libby blew it completely on the second leg and Des evened things up for Malolo. Wendell and Chelsea then ran the course again, giving Wendell the chance to completely dominate and snag the lead. Tragically his pants stayed on whilst being dragged into the shore, though that is my only complaint. Despite James and Domenick having an insane lead thanks to Chelsea’s fumbles, they were up against Bradley and Kellyn who have proven dominant at puzzles. Though this time, the lead was too much for them to overcome with Malolo heading back to tribal as Naviti took out another victory.

The loss hit Kellyn hard who felt like she let everyone. Jeff being the messy friend of the housewife looking for a full time role that I know he is quickly pointed out that despite the Naviti members owning the loss, that one of Michael, Jenna or Stephanie would be going home.

Back at camp, Michael was willing to do whatever it takes to stay before Kellyn and Chelsea pulled themselves aside to lock in a vote for Jenna, to break up she and Stephanie. Sadly for them, she was working her way into Sebastian’s heart, flirting up a storm and finding a way to survive another day. Sebastian joined Des and Chelsea who tried to convince him that Jenna was the best person to boot, with him working hard to flip it to Stephanie. Given she is the bigger threat though, I’m kinda siding with his logic. Despite it being lead by his penis.

While Chelsea and Kellyn weren’t sold on the idea, they were willing to flip it to Stephanie. Meanwhile she was talking to Bradley, who assured her that she would not be going. He then joined Kellyn and Chelsea who agreed that Jenna was a non-threat and that they should actually take out Michael. Michael then went to Bradley and pledged that he would fight hard for the tribe, and he clearly got no reassurance as he broke down about how much he wanted to stay in the game. AND IT BROKE MY DAMN HEART. Out of nowhere, the Navitians started to get paranoid and Des went through Stephanie’s bag to ensure she didn’t snag an advantage at Ghost Island.

By the time they arrived at tribal council I was hella confused, though Kellyn assured us it would definitely be one of Stephanie, Michael and Jenna. Stephanie was rightfully feeling nervous, and was concerned about spending 24 hours away from her tribe at Ghost Island. On the flipside, that made Bradley nervous since she would have an advantage. Sebastian continued to preach Naviti strong before little Michael pointed out that despite not being aligned, they need to keep him if they want to maintain the numbers heading into the merge as no one knows what is happening at the other tribe.

His strong tribal performance was called out by Bradley, painting a target on his back which we don’t need … mainly as it would distract from his torn-up undies. Stephanie made things emotional, talking about how desperately she wants to remain in the game. This seemed to strike a chord with Kellyn, though when Jenna spoke about her applying for Survivor to work on forming real relationships and Michael brought up how much it meant to him, it seemed like voting anyone out would be hard on her. Des then threw out an ominous, there is always a reason to vote out someone, you just need to find it … which made things even more confusing as they headed out to vote.

The votes rolled in and one after the other they piled up on Stephanie and sent her from the game as the fifth boot. While she was super disappointed to be out of the game, she was thrilled to see that I was there to cheer her up. We’ve been friends for years after meeting on the running circuit before I banned for taking shortcuts to cheat. Given Stephanie is as terminally delightful as BenDeLaCreme, she never held it against me and we always caught up for pizza before her runs. So obviously, I had a Stephanie Cappricohnson Pizza waiting for her in loser lodge to dull the pain.

 

 

Well it seems like Ghost Island 2 already has its first curse to reverse – all three of my pizza peeps booted in the first five boots. Call Josh Wigler, because his passion for pizza and my cooking have screwed three icons. That being said, the three pizzas for this season’s losers are amongst my favourite – simple and delicate, this capricciosa is the perfect end to the trilogy.

Enjoy!

 

 

Stephanie Cappricohnson Pizza
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
⅓ cup passata
oregano and basil, roughly chopped, to taste
4 garlic cloves, minced
100g smoked ham, roughly sliced
small handful of mushrooms, sliced
½ cup black olives, sliced
1 cup marinated artichokes, drained and broken up
mozzarella, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Smear passata over the prepared bases, sprinkle of the herbs and garlic, top with ham, mushrooms, olives and artichokes and top, generously, with mozzarella.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden. Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves.

Devour immediately, hoping not to burn our mouth with some scalding cheese.

 

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Brendan Shapear and Prosciutto Pizza

Main, Party Food, Pizza, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the tribe swap but Malolo 5-4 deficit on both of the new tribes, filling Kellyn with joy and allowing a newly introduced castaway Bradley’s head to explode. Tragically he wasn’t cursed by Ghost Island, where Chris from new Naviti was sent to be humanised while his ex-Naviti chums plotted to jump across tribal lines and take out his ally Angela. Sadly for them, the Maloloans had different plans, flipping the script and taking out the more threatening Morgan … who willed her legacy advantage to Domenick on the way out.

Back at camp Dom was feeling upset by the blind side, as was Angela who they turned on. Dom and Wendell felt they were now enemies with everyone and with their backs against the wall, Dom finally shared the intell that he had a legitimate idol. Rather than the fake one he shared with everyone to make Chris even more suspicious.

The next day Dom discovered he had been willed the legacy advantage and vowed, wait for it, to reverse the curse.

Throwing us straight into the action, Probst returned for the first reward challenge of the season where the tribes had to fight over a ring, and hold both the ring and a pole at the same time. So, basically any given night. It was for PB&J, so all the OG Navitians quickly forgot about their shock at Morgan’s departure.

Chris and Wendell made quick work of father and son duo Michael and Brendan, Laurel and Angela scored another point for Naviti despite Jenna and Kellyn’s best efforts. Some nipple play from Sebastian and Bradley gave Malolo their first point over Domenick and James, though tragically that was as wild as things got as Laurel and Libby dominated Stephanie and Des, and secured reward for Naviti. Tragically they didn’t select who would go to Ghost Island and the Survivor Gods punished Kellyn for her fear, locking her in for a visit and returning her to camp in time for the next challenge … and potentially tribal council.

Arriving at Ghost Island Kellyn faced her fears of being alone head on. After a two week hiatus, Kellyn was giving the chance to play for an advantage … however given the precarious numbers advantage on Malolo, opted not to risk her vote at the next tribal council. The thought of making the wrong decision triggered memories of being blindsided in her personal life and completely changing everything, endeared her to me even more.

Back at Naviti the newly formed tribe were giddy while devouring their PB&J before Chris tried to get to the bottom of the last tribal council and how Morgan ended up going. Angela quickly filled him in on Dom and Wendell’s betrayal, with the two hightailing it to the Malolo 4 to lock in a six-person alliance and take them out. Dom and Laurel were not huge fans of the idea, preferring to work with Wendell and Dom because they like the former more. Laurel then made a beeline for Dom who filled her in on the idol and locked in an alliance while Donathan pulled in Wendell and TBH became couple goals.

Jiffy Pop returned for immunity where the tribes were required to swim out to a cage, release a chest, carry it across a bridge … open said chest and land the balls on a narrow ridge. Remember when Michaela dominated this challenge in Millenials vs. Gen X? Iconic. Anyway, Malolo got out to an early lead thanks to Michael and his partially see through jocks while Naviti couldn’t even get past the cage before Malolo made it into shore. Naviti continued to lag, allowing me plenty of time – as should you – to oggle the men in wet jocks. However out of nowhere Brendan started knocking balls off the ridge, giving Naviti the chance to catch-up and snag immunity. Much to the delight of Naviti, in particular Donathan who used the celebration as an excuse to plant an adorable peck on Chris’ cheek. Bless him, her is adorable.

Back at Malolo, the OG Maloloans were feeling dejected while Kellyn was thrilled to have trusted her gut at Ghost Island. Bradley on the flipside was feeling super smug and likened himself to dominant winners on day 12 and rubbing in her impending doom to Stephanie. Bradley then went off to rally his troops and confirm which sitting duck should be taken out, deciding that one of Michael or Brendan need to go. While Chelsea argued for Michael, Des made the case that Brendan is the person they wouldn’t assume Naviti would target and therefore he is exactly the person they should be targeting.

Down by the shore Michael and Brendan filled the girls in on their idol find, bringing Stephanie and Jenna to tears at the prospect of somehow taking out the douche-lord Bradley. Michael then assured them they would be taking out Bradley and that he would be pulling out James’ idol mid-way through tribal to spook someone into flipping.

At tribal council Sebastian confirmed their alliance would stick together, while Des couldn’t appear to read the room. Stephanie commenced the attack on Bradley, pointing out that he babysat everyone all day and didn’t give them the opportunity to find an in. Michael then joined the fray, pointing out that Chelsea and Sebastien were definitely on the bottom before Brendan jumped in and asked Sebastien if he truly believed jerk Bradley would take him, a likeable, strong, provider further in the game. While Bradley gave a robot we are equal, beep boop response, Stephanie quickly jumped in and questioned his sincerity. Sadly Kellyn quickly pointed out that they are at war so should be expecting them to try and sling mud.

Probsty tried to get Des’ opinion before Michael jumped in and presented his idol, telling the story that since James left with two in his pocket, this one now had the power to protect two people and he would be playing it tonight while Malolo would be voting Bradley. Feeling the heat Bradley returned to his favourite pastime and complained about his bad luck at them incorrectly identifying him as a mastermind. Probst and Michael then continued to prod Chelsea and Sebastien about making a big move and taking out Bradley, while old sour face got more and more anxious. Bless Kellyn, she tried as hard as she could to diffuse the situation while Michael proved that kids are hella manipulative these days.

Michael then played his idol, first for he and Brendan before reading the room and switching to Stephanie. Tragically that was the wrong move as old Naviti stuck together – probably shouldn’t have told them Bradley would go if the idol play was correct – and piled their votes on Brendan, sending my zaddy out of the game as the fourth boot.

Now I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist here, but it seems like oldies are all falling on reality TV shows this week, with Erin and now Brendan – similar to the double Morgan boots last week. I mean sure they both filmed at different times, but between that and my recent birthday I am really feeling the ageism at the mo, you know?

Anyway … Brendan is literally the sweetest man to walk the earth so wasn’t flipping out when he arrived at Loser Lodge. Which was kind of good because I was ropeable and if he didn’t talk me down I’d likely be banned from ever going to Fiji again. While it took me a while to calm down and I eventually got him to show some signs of disappointment, they disappeared immediately when he lay eyes on my Brendan Shapear and Prosciutto Pizza.

 

 

Sweet, earthy and salty, this pizza is so simple, yet do good. And better yet, looks hella impressive with absolutely no effort. None. Nada.

Enjoy!

 

 

Brendan Shapear and Prosciutto Pizza
Serves: 1 zaddy and his friends.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
⅓ cup passata
oregano and basil, roughly chopped, to taste
200g prosciutto, thinly sliced
2 pears, halved, cored and thinly sliced
2 tsp muscovado sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
balsamic vinegar, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Smear the bases with passata, sprinkle over the herbs and drape over the prosciutto. Toss the pears with the muscovado and place on top of the bases. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle over the cheese and bake for twenty minutes or until golden and crisp.

Remove from the oven, lightly drizzle with balsamic vinegar and devour, in a melancholic fashion. Think how island hot Brendan would have been.

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Stephunghi Gonzalizza

Main, Pizza, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Previously on the 35 prior seasons of Survivor, the Survivor Gods started storing up every bad mistake any contestant made in a mental bank like a psychopath that is awful, but thinks they’re the victim (Janet – I know you hate millennials, so stop asking me about Microsoft Word as if it is my fault it isn’t working). You know them, we all have one. Erik handing over his hidden immunity to Natalie, Jay playing David’s fake idol, James getting booted with two idols in his pocket, Sierra handing off the legacy advantage to the person that blindsided her, the fucking stick and I assume, the entire Ulong tribe.

Anyway, they withdrew them from the bank and shoved them on an exile like island, and now it is up to 20 new castaways to reverse the curse or flame out in equal epic situations. Like the fucking stick.

Arriving on the beach to meet Probst, we were thrilled to discover they weren’t being shoehorned into a random theme and just got to form the Malolo and Naviti tribes. No heroes in sight … well except for zaddy Brendan of Malolo who was selected to represent the tribe for the ambiguous event Jeff teased to them after laying out the theme. On the flipside, young Chris volunteered to represent Naviti before anyone else had a chance to offer. Their task? Well it was thankless, having to select two people to complete an unknown challenge – one physical, one puzzle.

School teacher and owner of my heart Brendan selected baby Michael for the physical aspect and Michaela and Hannah’s baby Laurel for the puzzle, while Chris selected Sebastian – under the sea – for the physical and Desiree for the puzzle. On account of Morgan literally throwing herself out of sight to avoid being selected. The runner was required to, wait for it, run through obstacles to collect keys that the puzzle solver uses to unlock pieces and solve said puzzle. As Probst is want to do, added another twist to the the challenge where the winner would get a shelter building kit and a fishing kit, in addition to their meagre supplies. However if the loser knows their losing, they have a widow of time at which they can forfeit the challenge, get the booby prize of a fishing kit … and hand the winner 20 eggs and a flint in addition to their haul. See, thankless task.

The guys were neck and neck throughout the obstacles – Michael must have had a juicebox – before both falling apart towards the end. Of course Brendan gave his best fatherly, PE teacher pep talk and my basement flooded. Both Des and Laurel seemed to make quick progress on the puzzle, however Chris disagreed … pulling the plug on Naviti and handing Malolo a flame grilled feast to gorge in their dining room. Jeff immediately worked to stir up some drama, identifying all the people on Naviti – well the one – who wouldn’t have given up on the tribe.

Over at the camp of kings, Michael quickly worked his way into my heart which makes me feel all kinds of icky since he is 18.  Though not to his tribe, who he is telling he is 23. The tribe quickly got to work setting up home, where Donathan worked to learn who everyone was and warm my heart with his genuine, sweet nature.

Over at Naviti, Kellyn lived up to my own preseason hype, talking about how she recently made some major changes in her life and was genuinely super thrilled to be around everyone else on her tribe. Likeable Tony Lite Dom them led construction on their shelter, since he legit is in construction, and christened Sebastian Sea Bass on account of his occupation. Sadly that got him off on the wrong foot with old Sea Bass who quickly moved to align with Chris and set their sites on Dom.

The next day we checked in with Jacob who looks like Fozzie Bear and managed to lose his shoes while by the beach. This made him feel even worse, since he and Donathan are clearly not as physically fit as the rest of his tribe. To counter that, he went off hunting for an idol … which gave the rest of his tribe enough time to talk about said idol hunting, and paint a big ol’ target on his back. He then stayed back alone at camp under the guise of getting the fire going while the tribe bonded and looked for food together. Thankfully they weren’t aware that he used said time to pour the rice into his socks to see if there was anything hidden in the container.

Back at Naviti things seemed to be going better, with their shelter coming along well and Wendell building fish traps with bamboo like a total boss. He then shared with us that he studied Law and hopes that people are going to underestimate him. Things were looking up for Dom, as Wendell had taken a shining to him and he and Bradley gave him a heads up about the Chris/Sea Bass alliance.

Jiffy Pop returned to the scene for the first immunity challenge of the season where the tribes would run across a net bridge, collect ropes and use them to wheel a sled of puzzle pieces towards a table before, obvi, solving said puzzle. To up the ante, he informed the tribes that someone from the losing tribe would be going to Ghost Island which is good for them, as it makes them immune from becoming the first boot. Naviti got out to an early lead while poor Brendan tried to coach the kids of Malolo to keep their heads held high. Sadly they were no match for Kellyn, who led her tribe to victory on the puzzle while Michael looked beautiful pushing the pieces in with his crotch.

While Jacob tried to keep morale up after their loss, the Naviti tried decided to punish his positivity and send him to Ghost Island. Though apparently, they fell straight into his trap and he wanted to find out what Ghost Island was and get himself immune. Sadly though, he said that out loud and his entire tribe know that what his game. But to reiterate, he is immune and he needed it. So yay Jacob.

Finally we met Ghost Island where Jacob was welcomed by two giant tiki statues, multiple immunity idols, all of the torch snuffers from seasons past and a row of small urns with the instruction to smash one. Inside he found a clue, telling him to follow a row of flames where he found a game of chance offering him a secret advantage … if he wagers his vote at the next tribal council. He saw three pieces of bamboo on the table in front of him, one of which was locked. He correctly assumed that the key was inside of one of them, and he simply had to pick which one. Which he did, opening it to find the Legacy Advantage from Game Changers that Sierra cursed by telling Sarah it existed, only to be blindsided by the eventual victor moments later. But of course, there was a twist, this one requiring him to hand it off to a person of the other tribe, the person he selected being puzzle-averse Morgan.

Back at Malolo, Gonzalez decided it was a good idea to chastise everyone about their loss and tell them they should have used Donathan’s idea, which she tried to pass off as her own. Thankfully he wasn’t a wallflower, electing to tell James, Stephanie and someone else – it is episode one, give me a break – that he tried to speak up during the challenge and was instead told to shut up by Gonzalez. While Gonzalez tried to rally the troops, the other Stephanie worked hard to turn things on her and protect Donathan … which Michael was concerned about, since they really need to hold on to any strength they had.

Like Ghost Island, tribal council was creepy as hell, looking like the Blair Witch had sex with a tiki god. Probst got to work needling the tribe, leading to Gonzalez talking about Jacob being special … which no one seemed to take issue with. Laurel spoke about the need to stay strong, Jeff asked Donathan how he felt about that given he is so teeny tiny. Thanks Jeff. Obviously Mama Stephanie stepped in to defend he potential new boyfriend ally, saying that strength comes in different forms. Gonzalez then spoke about wanting to be a part of the puzzle section of the challenge, which Brendan alluded would have been super useful to know YESTERDAY.

Jeff then polled the tribe about whether alliances had formed, which everyone started giving answers to before Michael said something that triggered Gonzalez’s paranoia. She then got up and started whispering in Brendan and Michael’s ear to find out who they were voting for. Michael then adorably apologised for interrupting Probst to talk to Jenna and Laurel about what was said, while Donathan sat in the left-right-out position. Thankfully for him as the votes rolled in, Gonzalez’s efforts were in vain and she found herself out of the game unanimously as the first boot.

Make no mistake Stephanie don’t call me Stephanie Gonzalez was not a happy no longer camper to become the first boot. And while I didn’t add salt to her wounds by telling her I was thrilled her exit saved Donathan, it did take an extend period of time to calm her down. But how could you not calm down when a Stephunghi Gonzalizza is in front of you?

 

 

Earthy, sweet and full of flavour, there is nothing better than the simplistic beauty of a mushroom, goat’s cheese and truffle pizza. I mean, name a more iconic throuple. I’ll wait.

Enjoy!

 

 

Stephunghi Gonzalizza
Serves: 1 angry, sassy first boot.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
olive oil
4 shallots, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
500g mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
salt and pepper
100-200g mozzarella, grated
½ cup goat’s cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp white truffle oil

Method
Make the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s recipe.

While they’re proving, heat a lug of oil in a pan and sweat the shallots and garlic for a minute or so before adding the mushrooms and cooking for five minutes, or until softened. Add the thyme, rosemary and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 180C.

When the bases are good to go, sprinkle mozzarella over the bases, top with mushroom and crumble over the goats cheese. Drizzle over some truffle oil, transfer to the oven and bake for twenty minutes or so, or until golden, crisp and delicious.

Devour immediately.

 

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Cheese & Garlic Brad Pittza

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XC: The Goldfather, Pizza, Side, Snack, Street Food

I can’t believe that I’m halfway through this year’s Oscar Gold celebration, the Goldfather! It feels like only yesterday I was chatting screenplay with Diablo, back in time pondering tunes while seeing Hen and talking the highly contested director slots with sole female victor Kath. The latter, obvi, because it was yesterday.

Today, however, I am pulling out all the stops  – and during his performances in Thelma & Louise, Legends of the Fall and Troy, well, I pulled other things – by calling on my A++ list friend, Brad Pitt. Yes people, Brad Pitt.

Now I know what you’re thinking – when did Brad Pitt win an Oscar for Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor? Well, good job you! He hasn’t … but he did win one of producing Lupita’s breakout film 12 Years a Slave.

Anyway, circling back a bit, I first met Brad while part of Geena’s entourage. While I’ve gone off him in recent years, he was totally banging in the Thelma & Louise days. One thing led to another, we started a torrid love affair and while it didn’t last, remained the best of friends.

(Don’t tell him I sold the very NSFW images of him on holiday with Gwyneth as revenge).

Back to the task at hand though, I decided to mix things up and run the Best Picture odds before going through the acting categories. Because let’s be honest, who even knows if the Best Picture winner will even be correct after last year.

While my heart – as you can probably tell – has firmly locked Call Me By Your Name in as my number 1, I find it highly unlikely to get up after Moonlight took the prize last year. Though maybe Was and Faye will hand it over no matter what? So despite being the best film of the year, I don’t see it winning. Fact, not opinion. Anyway, rule out Darkest Hour, Phantom Thread, The Post and sadly Dunkirk. That leaves us with Get Out, Lady Bird, The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and even then, I feel like Lady Bird’s best chances rest with Greta’s noms. So eeny meeny miny mo, Brad said Three Billboards, I think Get Out will take a surprise victory. Fuck the Armitages, amirite?

Unless Jordan gets Best OG screenplay, then it is The Shape of Water’s win.

Make no mistake, this date was full of some very robust conversation. So robust, we could only be sustained by the cheesy, glorious goodness of my Cheese & Garlic Brad Pittza.

 

 

Cheese, garlic, herbs, dough. Do you really need me to say anything else? I mean the layer of oil and grease when it comes out of the oven may not be the healthiest, but damn is it good.

Enjoy!

 

 

Cheese & Garlic Brad Pittza
Serves: 1-2.

Ingredients
1 serve Pizsa Zsa Gabor dough
6 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup parmesan cheese
¼ cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp oregano leaves, chopped
1 tbsp thyme leaves, chopped

Method
Make the dough as per Zsa Zsa’s orders.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Combine the garlic, cheeses and herbs in a bowl. Smear over the dough and chuck in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden, crisp and bubbling.

Devour.

 

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Naomi Fonerdue Gyllenhaal

Condiment, Dip, Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldhood, Party Food, Side, Snack

After hanging out with two of my newer friends – hey Rach and Az! – to kick off my Golden Globe Gold celebrations, I decided it was high-time I reconnected with one of my oldest friends and ex-mother-in-law, Golden Globe winner Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal.

Yes, I was secretly married to Jake Gyllenhaal for a decade before splitting amicably. Extremely out of character for me I know, but the Foner Gyllenhaals are old friends and I didn’t want to lose them.

Anyway, I first met Naomi through my dear friend and Jake’s godmother Jamie Lee Curtis – she gave my away at the aforementioned wedding to Jake – and our bond was instant. We would talk at length about our lives, loves and in my case scandals, with one of the latter where I blew up a lab inspired her Globe winning screenplay for Running On Empty.

It has been a couple of years since I caught up with Nay, on account of Jake and my divorce, so it was wonderful to reconnect and chill as friends again … before running the odds. With that, Nay and I both agreed that Greta Gerwig is a lock for Best Screenplay after her egregious snubbing for Best Director. Given I don’t have enough suitably nominated friends, I also got her to give me a hand with the Best OG Song and Best Foreign Film. As such, she was tipping that song from Jakey’s friend Michelle’s musical (The Greatest Showman, FYI) – fuck, do I ever need to catch-up with Michelle … – will take out Song, though I find it hard to go past Remember Me from Coco. We both agreed that First They Killed My Father would win Foreign Film for no other reason than this is the Golden Globes and as such, Angelina Jolie is enough to get it over the line.

It was a gruelling couple of hours debating the merits – Michelle is such a sweetheart, she should win! – of each nominee, so it was lucky I had a hella huge and hella hearty Naomi Fonerdue Gyllenhaal to keep us going.

 

 

This fondue is by no means healthy – though I guess no fondue really is – but damn if it’s not delicious. The cheesy tomato sauce is the perfect punch of pizza perfection – add in the dippers made from the best toppings and you’re in heaven. Though maybe that is just because you could die from the excess of cheesy cheesy goodness.

In any event, enjoy!

 

 

Naomi Fonerdue Gyllenhaal
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
¼ cup dry cinzano
700ml passata
3 cups grated mozzarella
1 cup grated cheddar
1 cup grated parmesan
small handful fresh basil, roughly chopped
small handful fresh oregano, roughly chopped
sliced salami, olives, sliced mushrooms, sliced capsicum, Karlic Lagerbread and anything else you could use for dippin’

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a saucepan over medium heat and sweat the garlic and onion for a couple of minutes. Add the cinzano and cook off a couple of seconds before reducing heat to low and stirring through the passata. Once piping hot, stir through the cheeses and cook until melted. Add the basil and oregano with a good whack of salt and pepper and cook for a further minute.

Pour into a serving dish and devour, piping hot, with your dippers.

 

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Aaroncini Taylor-Johnson

Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldhood, Main, Party Food, Side, Snack, Tapas

After dabbling with television in the form of Rachel Bloom yesterday, I opted to swing on over to discuss cinema with my dearest school chum Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Despite taking out Best Supporting Actor at the Globes last year for his terrifying performance in Nocturnal Animals, he was egregiously snubbed of an Oscar nom. Said snub, dare I say it, was part of the inspiration behind holding a Golden Globe Gold celebration.

I first met Az in 2010 on the set of Kick-Ass – he was fresh off the success of Nowhere Boy and I was looking to make the jump from Nicolas Cage’s entourage. You could say it was fate, however I would call it Serendipity … which led me to travel back in time to write the hit rom-com Serendipity.

We became the fastest of friends and I, of course, vowed to make him a star. Together we jumped from Kick-Ass to co-starring with Glenn Close, working with Oliver Stone and culminated by playing the Marvel-Marvel version of Quicksilver. He rightly views his success in the biz as my handiwork, so was thrilled to take the time out for my inaugural Golden Globe celebration and reconnect.

Given he won just last year, I was hoping Az would have some intel on which males were taking out the gongs this year. Either he does have intel and I am way off base, or more than likely he has no idea and my finger is still on the pulse. He believes that Chris Plummer will be an upset to take over his Supporting Actor crown, while I’m backing Willem. For comedy, I say James Franco and he says Daniel Kaluuya – because Get Out is somehow a Comedy or Musical – and for Drama – mawma – I say Timothée Chalamet for no other reason than wanting to spend the summer in Italy eating peaches, and Az is going with Gary Oldman. We did agree with Best Picture – Drama though, and by that, we agreed that it should come down to Call Me by Your Name, The Shape of Water or Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri … which means it will go to Dunkirk.

One thing we could emphatically decide AND agree on is that my Aaroncini Taylor-Johnson are completely off the hook. In a good way, obvi.

 

 

It is hard to pick my one true passion in life, but if I had to narrow it down, big balls and a cheesy meat are high on the list. Particularly when together. The creamy, delicate risotto works perfectly with the cheesy, meaty punch of the filling to create a ball that would make Jenna Maroney faint.

Enjoy!

 

 

Aaroncini Taylor-Johnson
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
¼ cup unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
1 ½ cups arborio rice
4 cups chicken stock, heated over low heat while you work … or not, no judgement
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
3 eggs, 1 whisked for the risotto and the other two whisked together for coating
500g beef mince
400g can chopped italian tomatoes
1 cup frozen peas
small handful of parsley, chopped
small handful of basil, chopped
1 tbsp chilli flakes
100g mozzarella, grated
1 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs, whisked
1 – 1½ cup breadcrumbs
olive oil, to cook

Method
Melt the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan until foamy and fragrant. Add the onion and garlic and sweat for a couple of minutes before adding the rice. Cook, stirring, for about five minutes, or until starting to become translucent. Add the stock half a cup at a time, stirring constantly, adding the next cup whenever the stock has just been absorbed.

Remove from the heat, stir through ⅓ cup parmesan and season to taste. Once cooled slightly, stir through the egg and transfer to a lined baking sheet and allow to cool completely.

While the risotto is cooling, brown the meat in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. You could add a lug of oil, but I found the fat released in cooking was more than adequate. When the meat is almost completely browned, add the tomatoes, peas, parsley, basil and chilli, and simmer until most of the liquid has gone. Remove from the heat and stir through the remaining parmesan and the mozzarella, season lightly, and remove from heat to cool slightly.

To assemble, divide the risotto into 8 equal parts – I like big balls, you know – and take ⅔ of that ⅛ – just reread that because it does make sense, despite not feeling like it – in wet hand and press the mixture together to remove any air-bubbles. Flatten to a pattie and press a hole in the middle. Fill said hole with the meat mixture and cover with the remaining ⅓ of the ⅛ of rice. Press tightly to push out any excess air, shape into a ball and place on a lined baking sheet. Repeat the process until your eight-balls are done and transfer said balls to the fridge to chill for half an hour.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Place the flour in a bowl, the breadcrumbs in another and whisk the milk with the remaining two eggs in a third. Roll the balls in the flour, shake off excess and coat in the egg wash before rolling in the breadcrumbs. Transfer to a lined baking sheet – or return to the one it just came off if you’re lazy – and repeat the process until all your balls are thoroughly coated. And that innuendo wasn’t even intentional.

Spray with some olive oil to coat and bake in the oven for about twenty minutes, or until resembling golden globes. Then devour, being careful not to burn your mouth off.

 

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Mikey Zahalsky Bread

Bread, Main, Pizza, Side, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, 18 strangers were stranded in the middle of Fiji and were arbitrarily split up into tribes of six – either heroes, healers or hustlers. That being said, Chrissy the heroic actuary is doing God’s work. Ryan kicked off his game with a secret advantage, which required him to pass it on to someone attending the first tribal. He gave the idol to Chrissy and set off an alliance that has carried them to the final five with their other ally Devon.

Speaking of Devon, he was gifted a disadvantage of not voting at the first post-swap tribal, Lauren had to hold onto a vote to play it at a later tribal and Mike, bless, burnt half of her idol in the tribal council fire, rendering it useless and Ben idolling her out of the game. He then played an idol at the next tribal council as well, sending Ashley out of the game as the sixth member of the jury.

The mood was somber back at camp after the latest #BenBomb with Mike grateful for being saved and Ben quickly disappearing to find another idol. Since the other four were confident he won’t be able to find another one and instead focussed on one of them winning immunity, you know that he will in fact find another idol. How they can stand around talking about where he went while concerned about him finding another idol, rather than trailing him like Andrea did with Malcolm is beyond me and completely absurd?

The next day Ben was feeling totes emosh about not finding an idol and given up on his sleep when out of nowhere and completely not rigged, he finally found another idol guaranteeing him a place in the final four.

The rest of the tribe awoke while Ben casually lazed about the shelter and Devon got a fire going, which feels like foreshadowing. Chrissy decided that it was time to bury the hatchet with Ben, though unbeknownst to him it was directly into his back. She then floated the idea of taking the best players to the end if he wins the next immunity challenge, while she gave him no assurance she would take him if the shoe were on the other foot.

Ben then guaranteed Chrissy would be the next one out … and you know what that means, Probst arrived for said reward/immunity challenge. The final five were required to swim out and climb up a crate step and jump off to release some keys, then cross a balance beam and collect some more keys and swim to a platform to unlock and complete a puzzle. Devon and Ryan – somehow – got out to an early lead before the balance beam made quick work of leveling the playing field. Mike and Devon arrived at the puzzle first, though Chrissy was first to release the puzzle. Challenge beast Chrissy continued her dominance – shock – taking out immunity and scoring herself comfort food and cheesecake, which she loves, because obviously. It is the food of mums and gays.

Wanting to stir shit up, Probst allowed her to pick to people to share in the feast with Chrissy taking Mike and Devon. The three of them had a quick look for a clue to the final idol before Chrissy made a toast to the three of them making the final four with Ryan. While it could have been a dangerous decision, Ryan had no interest in strategising while on babysitting. Back at reward, Mike decided they should hide Chrissy’s dead super idol and pretend that they found it on reward to get Ben to stop looking … for the idol he already found.

Chrissy then told Ben about her idol and told him to stop wasting his energy searching, filling she and Ryan with confidence and Ben with joy that he longer needs to pretend to look for the idol. He then got to work identifying who to take out with the real idol, deeming Ryan to be zero threat and debating who was best to take out out of Devon and Mike. Ben made one flaw however and didn’t strategise which made Devon nervous that against all odds, Ben had an advantage up his sleeve, and debated the merits of putting a vote on Mike just in case.

At tribal council, everyone but Ben spoke about how he was public enemy number one. Chrissy then spoke about how it was too hard to babysit Ben at all times, before Mike briefly spoke about their collective complacency before Chrissy brought out her fake idol as a show of power. Ben continued his defeatist attitude before trying to smear Chrissy’s game for gloating and tugging on the juror’s heartstrings as he spoke about how much he wanted to win.

As the votes were about to be tallied, Chrissy decided against playing her fake idol before Ben pulled out his real idol, much to the delight of the jury and the terror of the final five. Devon looked like he was about to throw up, making it extremely lucky that he put a vote on Mike leading to a 1-1 tie between him and Mike. The remaining three then revoted with Ben gloating to Devon that his fate was in Chrissy and Ryan’s hand, though thankfully for the walking torso his trust was well placed and Mike became the seventh juror.

While Mike was super disappointed in himself for not throwing a vote on Devon to save himself, he was proud of the way he played the game and was thrilled to see me waiting for him in Ponderosa with a big ol’ Mikey Zahalsky Bread.

 

 

I am only new to the monkey bread kind of scene but I’d argue that this is already one of the best. I mean, take all the gloriously comforting things you’d put on a pizza, and making it into a cheesy mess of dough? There is nothing better.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mikey Zahalsky Bread
Serves: 1-8.

Ingredients
1 cup grated mozzarella
¼ cup grated Parmesan
50g cold unsalted butter, grated
4 shallots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
small handful parsley, roughly chopped
small handful oregano, roughly chopped
¼ tsp chilli flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
non-stick  oil spray
Pizsa Zsa Gabor dough
1 cup passata
200g sliced pepperoni

Method
Combine the cheeses, butter, shallot, garlic, parsley, oregano and chilli flakes in a medium bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Spray a bundt tin with non-stick oil and roll the dough into golf-ball sized balls. Line the base with a couple of pieces, dot with passata, pepperoni and some of the cheese mixture. Continue the process, adding more balls and topping until they’re all gone, topping with any leftover cheese. Transfer to a warm place and allow to prove for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Transfer the bundt into the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until puffed, golden and brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes before turning out of the pan and devouring.

 

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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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