Bacon, Mushroom and Nataleek Andersotto

Main, Survivor, Survivor: San Juan del Sur - Blood vs. Water

I know I have been a bit of a Debbie Downer when it comes to the twist of the upcoming season of Survivor but I am still excited because, well, it is Survivor. And for every One World or Redemption Island, there is a China or Heroes vs. Villians, which is something I am eternally grateful for. Plus – One World gave us Kim and Redemption Island gave us Russell’s pimpled, ingrown-haired armpits.

But I’ve been waylaid – I am here to celebrate one of my favourite Sole Survivors slash two-time The Amazing Race contestant and the cherry on top of San Juan Del Sur’s twinnie bookends, my girl Natalie Anderson.

Like Bob before her, I didn’t meet Nat until after her first reality TV stint – I am a close, personal friend of the Beekman’s – however the friendship quickly blossomed. And I played a critical role in getting her a spot on San Juan Del Sur and her well deserved win.

While people tire of the constant bartering and handing out rewards as treats, San Juan Del Sur is an unpredictable season and Natalie’s arc from wounded surviving Twinnie to vengeful powerplayer after Jeremy’s boot is one of the greats.

Add to that a beautiful idol play, a masterful ‘accidental’ blindside to save Keith and dragging him along as a meatshield to guarantee a path to the end puts her in my top ten favourite winners. And more than worthy of a hearty Bacon, Mushroom and Nataleek Andersotto whenever she damn wants!

 

 

There is nothing quite as comforting and glorious as a risotto. I don’t know if it is the creamy rice or the liquor, but it always fills me with joy when I’m feeling blue. Add in mushies and bacon, and I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Bacon, Mushroom and Nataleek Andersotto
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1L chicken stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 leek, washed and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
1 ⅓ cups arborio rice
250g mushrooms, thinly sliced
200g baby spinach leaves
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 cup shredded parmesan
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Bring the stock to a simmer over low heat and heat the oil and butter in a large pan. Once nice and foamy, add the leek and garlic and sweat for five minutes. Add the bacon and cook for a further couple of minutes or until the kitchen is fragrant and glorious.

Add the rice to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, or until starting to get translucent around the edges. Working a ladleful at a time, add the stock to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, waiting until the stock has been absorbed before adding the next.

Once all the stock has been used up, add the mushrooms, spinach and thyme, and cook for a further couple of minutes. Stir through the parmesan and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Serve immediately, slathered in more cheese and then devour.

 

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Novak Gnoccovich

Main, Pasta, Vegetarian

Oh my goodness, Novie is just the sweetest damn thing in the world.

He ran into my arms at the secret security exit of Brisbane Airport – the one made famous by Schapelle Corby, FYI – and said, “I’m so glad you invited me to appear on your anthropological study! I feel like time spent with you will be what pushes me to another grand slam victory.”

I mean, come on. That is adorable and brings a tear to my cold dead heart.

I’ve known Novak for years, meeting in 2005 at the Australian Open. As you know, I am well respected in the tennis community and I was on hand to offer unsolicited advice to people that lost their matches. To help them be better, you know?

While most people balked at my advice and labelled it useless, ill conceived and offensive, Novak appreciated my efforts and we became the best of friends. Well second-best of friends, because Rog.

Nov hasn’t had the best run at the last couple of Opens so was excited by the prospect of my magic touch helping him to glory and hand him the Male Singles record outright. And given how magical my Novak Gnoccovich is, I have a good feeling he’ll be taking out the win.

 

 

Earthy mushrooms and delicate gnocchi bathed in a rich creamy sauce … and THEN covered by a tonne of parmesan and cut by lemon juice. It is heaven. HEAVEN I tell you!

Enjoy!

 

 

Novak Gnoccovich
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
3 tbsp butter
500g mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp flour
2 cups chicken stock
½ cup ricotta
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tbsp sage, roughly chopped
1 tbsp chilli flakes
500g fresh gnocchi
parmesan, to garnish

Method
Heat a tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the mushrooms and cook stirring occasionally for ten minutes or so, or until the liquid has all absorbed. Add the remaining butter and flour and cook for a minute, or until it has lost its flouriness.

Remove from the heat and slowly stir through the chicken stock. Return to heat and bring to the boil, before reducing heat to low and simmering for ten minutes. Add the ricotta, lemon zest and juice, sage and chilli, and cook for a further five minutes.

At this point, cook the gnocchi as per the packet instructions or recipe. Once done, drain and add to the creamy sauce. Serve immediately and top with a generous handful of parmesan.

Devour!

 

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Gnocchalie Boscaiola

Main, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the tribes joined Jeff on a beach where they were told to drop there buffs – after Bi’s medequit, not that they seem to care – with the OG Davids at a disadvantage on each of the tribes. Carl was left tribeless and sent to exile island, which did come with an advantage in being immune from the upcoming tribal – and joining the losing tribe – and snatching an idol nullifier from the clutches of the ocean. But back to joining a tribe, he would be joining the tribe formerly known as David – Vuku – after they lost the immunity challenge. Despite having a Goliath advantage, Alec grew tired of his allies and joined the Davids to get rid of Natalia and keep my pizza curse going.

Back at camp Kara and Alec quickly introduced themselves to Carl before going aside to discuss what the hell happened at tribal. Kara thankfully played the situation perfectly, congratulating him on his move but questioning where that leaves her now that he is their hero. While he assured her that they are simply numbers for them to use, I don’t think he realises he is now in the minority.

The next day we checked in with the newly formed Tiva tribe where Gabby was encouraging the tribe to enjoy the positive vibes from the sun … as a massive storm rolled in and started to pummel all of the tribes. Not that it seemed to bother Natalie on Jabeni, who was just living her life as rain and wind lashed her face. She then told the producers it is probably time for them all to go. Tivas sign blew over, the camps flooded and they all became Davids as mother nature dominated them – thanks Christian – and they were evacuated from their beaches.

A couple of days later they returned to discover their camps destroyed, learning that in addition to playing the game they would be rebuilding their two week old camps. At Tiva Alison was overwhelmed by the pace of the game, which wasn’t slowly down as Jeff returned for the reward challenge. The tribes were required to retrieve sandbags from a net, being shooting them at two targets with slingshots. The prize was four chickens for first and eggs for second, begging the question, will the chickens be evacuated during the next cyclone? Anywho John looked like a total bae – are you a bae, or just bae? – while getting Tiva out to an early lead, while Nick and Alec appeared to be slowed down by Mike and Davie respectively. Dan seemed to struggle with the targets however, allowing Alec and Elizabeth to snatch victory for Vuku while Jabeni snatched second place just after Dan scored his first point.

Vuku were delighted to return to their destroyed camp to discover their new chickens, while Kara started working on the Davids to get them to turn on Alec. She went to her semi best friend Elizabeth to check her chances of staying over Alec and while Elizabeth likes her, she knows Kara is more loyal to the Goliaths and as such, Alec is the one she needs to keep. Meanwhile over at Jabeni, Angelina was delighted to finally have some protein in the form of eggs. As was Natalie, who wanted them to cook all the eggs instead of letting them go off, despite culinary school grad Lyrsa trying to explain that won’t happen. Natalie wandered off after napalming her way to victory, leaving Lyrsa to lament to Mike that she just wants to make it to the merge and not play with Natalie anymore. Mike obviously then jumped in to explain that he has had nine more days of it and he too, is sick of it,

The next day Christian was still bonding with John and Dan, christening themselves the brochachos. This made Dan nervous however, as their bond makes Gabby more of an outsider and that could trigger her to find an idol and get rid of one of them. As such he went hunting for the Tiva idol and while he failed, he did find a clue to the idol which would be hidden at the upcoming immunity challenge and give him his second of the game. And made the former fat kid feel like a Goliath. Swoon.

Jeffrey returned for this week’s immunity challenge where the tribes would be required to run over an obstacle, lift and climb a ladder, raise and cross a bridge, retrieve a ball and guide it through an upright maze. Oh and Dan chose to only wear jocks and a tee, so hopefully him trying to hide the idol turns out like Sharn’s fail. Vuku and Tiva were neck and neck while Jabeni desperately tried to close the gap. Dan casually tried to make his way back to collect the idol – which based on the side-package he is rocking, should remain hidden – which he did, as Alec and John made a play for my heart working on the maze with their buns on display. While Nick managed to close the gap and take the lead, Christian tapped out with John and he and Alec quickly re-closed the gap, snatching immunity for themselves and sending Jabeni to their first tribal council.

Back at camp Lyrsa confirmed that she is definitely planning to get rid of Natalie, while Natalie led the charge to vote out Lyrsa, since Nick is stronger in challenges. Despite Nick losing the challenge. Angelina brought up the side-benefit of getting rid of Lyrsa, since she has a jacket that Angelina wants since it is super cold and she doesn’t have one. She then asked Natalie to find a way to get the jacket, leading to her approaching Nick and telling him to give up his jacket, steal Lyrsa’s or risk being voted out. Obviously he didn’t stand for this bullying, told Lyrsa and approached Mike to turn the tables on Natalie without activating the napalm. Nick and Mike decided that they needed to get Angelina on board and while she assured them she was all in, she was scared about the repercussions with the OG Goliaths.

At tribal council Angelina was still worried about the OG tribal numbers and staying Goliath strong, while Lyrsa quickly pointed out that clearly wasn’t the case since Natalia is gone. Natalie defended their Goliath strong mentality – Kellyn flashbacks – and assured them she is never the centre of drama and is quite laid back. She then brought up boiling the eggs and Lyrsa explained that she understands how to cook since she went to culinary school, before Natalie said that it should have been two people making the decision rather than the pack talking about it, Angelina tried to explain it away as liking to be efficient but sometimes not taking people on the journey with her, Mike explained she has strong opinions about a lot of things and poor Queen Natalie was shocked to learn she had issues with people.

Nick finally joined the fray and brought up jacketgate, which Natalie explained was a negotiation not bullying. While Lyrsa and Nick continued to argue that it was unfair, Natalie continued to defend it as a negotiation and didn’t throw Angelina under the bus. Sick of waiting for Angelina to jump in, Queen Natalie prompted her to admit the jacket was for her which she eventually did. Though it definitely wasn’t enough to save our Queen, as Mike joined with the Davids to take out Natalie and her napalm, as poor Angelina was left to beg for her to leave her jacket behind. Which fell on deaf ears and while I like Angelina, it was glorious.

My dear friend and mentor ran into my arms at Loser Lodge and despite being fresh out of the doom and gloom of the game, took me in her arms, wrapped me up in her jacket and chastised me for looking so cold. Which TBH is v. on brand for this season’s queen, caring and bossy. Not that the castaways would let you believe she is caring.

Anyway as a fellow journo/writer/publisher, I’ve known Natalie for years and we’re the best of friends – obvi – so I knew the only thing she could stomach after a blindside would be a piping hot Gnocchalie Boscaiola.

 

 

Gloriously soft gnocchi – lest you want to piss of Nat – slathered in the perfection of a rich creamy, sweet, salty boscaiola sauce, may look suspiciously like what I served up for Kylie Evans but I can assure you they’re different. This has mushrooms, after all.

Enjoy!

 

 

Gnocchalie Boscaiola
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
200g mushrooms, sliced
6 rashers streaky bacon, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chilli flakes
300ml cream
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
500g packet potato gnocchi, I wasn’t risking pissing off Nat with a dud
2 cups baby spinach
½ cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper, to taste
small handful parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, and cook the mushrooms, bacon, garlic and chilli for five minutes or until the kitchen is hella fragrant. Add the cream and peas, bring to a simmer and cook for five minutes.

Cook the gnocchi as per packet instructions.

Once the sauce has slightly reduced, add the spinach, parmesan and a good whack of salt and pepper and stir to combine. Remove from heat, stir through the gnocchi and serve sprinkled with parsley.

Devour.

 

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Chicken Shomein Fairfax

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Main, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Sharn and Shane were well and truly on the bottom, desperate to find a way to save themselves. Thankfully for them Brian voted Fenella out and upset the other half of Shonella, so when he took Monika on reward and left Shonee back at camp, the three of them formed a new alliance. Despite winning a car – a curse as powerful as my pizza curse – and not winning immunity, Brian survived tribal council thanks to his idol, leaving poor Monika to be blindsided by the SH clique who had a feeling he was packing said idol.

The next day Brian was feeling a bit salty, while Shonee rejoiced in surviving this long and being the final Contender standing. The four congratulated themselves on a game well played and were giddy about their only being three days left. Grubby continued to sulk around the camp, while Shonee listed off her impressive resume from surviving the tribal swap, navigating the post-merge flip-flop and most impressively, Benji’s nachos eating. Hopefully this is start of the winner’s coronation and not a send-off, because I can’t handle a Michelle Dougan situation again.

Meanwhile Shane was dolphin-ing it up in the ocean, talking about the complexities of the mind games and her stellar, not to be fucked with social game. She then shared that her ideal final two would be opposite Sharn, despite the fact she is a killer lawyer and would have an easier time against the disliked blindside. She followed Shonee, listing her resume of blindsides and knowing that going up against Sharn would show that she can defeat the barrister at her own game. Oh and obviously pulling off the blindside of Brian, flushing his idol and his ally in one foul swoop. Given she thinks he is villainous and wants to take him down, however isn’t sure whether taking him out next is the best idea.

Sharn and Shane went for a walk, leaving Brian time to approach Shonee to find out why she flipped on him at the previous tribal. While he pretended to trust her and accept her rational, he vowed to take her down and do what it takes. With that, he followed in the girls footsteps and listed his villainous resume and hoped that his final tribal speech would be interesting and exciting enough to hand him the win. Trying to find new friends, he went for a walk to check treemail with Sharn where they discovered a moral dilemma where a meal was sitting in the jungle and they could either choose to share with Shane and Shonee, both split it or if they can’t decide, the person that wants it for themself gets it. While they debated back and forth for a while, Brian chose to keep the food for himself while Sharn opted to split and as such, Brian got it all for himself. Which he ate, giddily and without remorse.

My boy Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the castaways were required to weave discs through a maze suspended on a spring and then stack 12 on top of said maze without knocking them off. Brian and Shonee got out to an early lead while Shane started to close the gap and Sharn took the slow and steady wins the race motto. As you can imagine, this isn’t really something exciting to type about, let alone read … so Brian placed his twelfth and then dropped the stack, as did Shane … and Shonee, leaving Sharn to Steven Bradbury. Wait, nope, she dropped too leaving Brian to snatch immunity on his second attempt. This time with far less arrogance.

Back at camp the ladies congratulated Brian on his immunity win, while Brian was proud of taking out another immunity challenge and quickly identified Sharn as the next boot. He approached Shonee to lock in the vote against Sharn since they were each other’s best hope. Shonee was fairly confident she would be able to turn Shane against Sharn, so approached her to explain how well Sharn has played and how strong she will perform at final tribal. While Shonee would prefer to be taking out Brian, she continued to work Shane hard and assured her that if they are in the final three, she will take her to the end over Brian. Shane and Sharn went for a walk and marvelled at Brian’s luck in the game, before Shane spilt all the goss to Sharn and told her that they were planning to take her out. This allowed Sharn to explain to Shane that if there is a tie between their votes and Brian and Shonee’s, Sharn and Shonee would make fire and as such, they would win out in the end.

After locking in a deal with Sharn, Shane approached Brian to see where his head was at and told him that she would be interested in flipping to them and taking out Sharn as it is their best chance. They roped in Shonee and the three agreed they would vote together, which made Shonee feel even more nervous about the vote ahead. As such, Shonee approached Sharn as she felt she was the most trustworthy person left in the game and floated the idea of joining together to take out Shane instead. Sharn acknowledged that Shane was her biggest competition left in the game and as such was conflicted about which way to go at tribal council.

At said tribal council Brian spoke about only being able to trust immunity at this point in the game, Shane agreed that she doesn’t really know who she can trust, however admitted that she planned to stick with her loyalty and hope for the best. Sharn spoke about being nervous about tribal, though planned to trust her gut, while poor Shonee spoke about not being able to trust anyone until after the votes are read. She hoped that the people she spoke with during the day and felt on the same page as were being honest and things would work out for her.

Sharn acknowledged people needing to play for the jury, trying to sway Shane into staying loyal by painting the jury as not interested in an easy – sorry Steve, giving – win. Shane said that some of the jury actual prefer the villainous gameplay, though admitted that past loyalties would come into play in the final vote. This led to Brian admitting that all the contenders would potentially vote for Shonee and as such, she is a threat. Though he backed the game he played. Sharn spoke about not knowing if she can beat everyone in the end, while Shonee tried to sway her by talking about sticking with her gut. Fellow gut-gal Sharn said that she too would be sticking to hers and with that, they headed off to vote and Sharn and Shane stuck together while Brian and Shonee didn’t, leaving Shonee to be tragically felled in fourth place.

While I desperately wanted to scream at her for essentially 2-1-1-ing herself out of the game and not even trying to go to fire, I couldn’t stay mad at her and instead broke down in tears over the fact that not only were we robbed of a Shonella final two, she follows in the footsteps of Michelle and Flick of being the fourth place robbed goddess. She held me close as I sobbed for all that we, Australia, lost until I was strong enough to serve her a comforting bowl of my Chicken Shomein Fairfax.

 

 

Sweet, spicy and packed full of comforting carbs, chow mein is one of those dishes which look complex but are super easy. So easy you can cook while blinded by the combination of tears and rage.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Shomein Fairfax
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
500g fresh hokkien noodles
peanut oil
500g chicken mince
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 chillies, sliced
2 carrots, julienned
1 red capsicum, seeded and sliced
1 tbsp curry powder
¼ cup oyster sauce
3 tbsp tamari
½ cup cooking sake
⅔ cup peas
½ cup baby corn
100g oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 bunch choy sum, roughly chopped
½ wombok, shredded
4 shallots, sliced

Method
Seperate the noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water for five minutes or so. Drain.

Heat a good lug of oil in a wok and cook the mince over high heat for five minutes, or until browned, breakin up any lumps as you go. Add the garlic, chilli, carrot and capsicum, and fry for a further minute. Add the curry powder, oyster sauce, tamari and sake and cook for a couple of minutes. Add all the remaining vegetables and cook for a couple of minutes.

Remove from the heat, toss through the noodles and devour, piping hot, with plenty for hot sauce in honour of her spicy confessionals.

 

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John Coq Au Ransling

Main, Poultry, Survivor: Caramoan - Fans vs. Favourites, Survivor: South Pacific

While I kind of dropped off the radar – which as you know, I will strike from memory in the coming weeks – as soon as Wendell defeated Domenick thanks to Laurel breaking the tie on Ghost Island, I am super pumped by the fact that in sub five weeks Survivor: David vs. Goliath will be back and all will be right in the world.

Because let’s be honest, no matter how terrible a season can be any survivor is better than no Survivor because there will also be a Michael or Brendan to thirst over.

As has become the tradition, I decided to reach out to some of my dearest Sole Survivor friends to countdown to the latest season … and since they were all unavailable, I decided to invite John Cochran.

I joke, I joke! I love Cochran and he is my dearest friend … now. But damn did I hate him during the horror that was South Pacific. The self-deprecating humour, the inability to fit in with the jocks and not wanting to get naked in the water – it was like watching myself on screen and I just couldn’t handle it.

Thankfully his flip to Coach and Co’s side led to a glorious Sophie victory, so I apologised to him for my heavy use of voodoo during the season and we slowly, tentatively became the best of friends. A friendship so strong, I couldn’t even bring myself to hate him when he voted against my lover Malcolm in his winning season.

Say what you will about the season being terrible and made for him, Caramoan had some killer moments – the TEETH, Malcolm losing his pants, Dawn seething about missing out on the family reward – and Cochran ran the game, well and truly deserving his victory.

While we couldn’t run the odds since the cast is yet to be released, we do agree that Probst’s friend, creator of Enlightened and The Amazing Race contestant Mike White – who was clearly visible in the preview at the end of Ghost Island – should become an icon of the game … and the hot cop will most likely be my number one thirst trap. Though maybe those opinions were just the John Coq Au Ransling talking.

 

 

Like his oft joked about daughter – with Sophie, obvi – Aubry Bracco, I can’t bring myself to see him without the sweet flavour or bacon, mushrooms, chicken and sweet, sweet wine. This time, however, the wine is white and hot damn does it still taste amazing. Rich and creamy, Coq au Riesling is all the fun of Coq Au Vin but with a lightness … that is removed by addition of cream. But it’s cream, so you know what, so what, who cares.

Enjoy!

 

 

John Coq Au Ransling
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter
2 onions, diced
6 rashers of streaky bacon, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
500g chicken thighs, diced
250g mushrooms, sliced
750ml Riesling
1 cup cream
salt & pepper, to taste
handful parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Melt the butter in a large pan and sweat the onions over medium-low heat for five minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add the bacon and cook until the fat has rendered before adding the garlic and cooking for a further minute or so.

Reduce heat to low, add the mushrooms and cook for five minutes or until browned and glorious. Add the chicken and cook for a minute to brown the sides before drowning, giddily, in wine. Crank up the heat and bring to the boil before reducing to a simmer and cooking, covered for half an hour.

Remove the lid and stir in the cream and cook for a further five minutes, or until slightly reduced. Season, sprinkle with parsley and remove from the heat. Serve immediately, and devour with a generous hunk of French Sourdough. Like a Paige de Keragne, for instance.

 

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Pizzastarah Silverman

Main, Pasta

Let me start by getting the obvious out of the way first – while my dear friend Sarah Silverman wasn’t able to get me a role in Wreck-It Ralph 2, the rough cut she showed me is hilarious. Though I stand by the fact I should have been in the princesses scene as the queen.

But whatevs.

Thankfully I’ve been friends with Sez for such a long time, that I was able to look past the slight and join together for a nice date. I’m a damn saint, I tells you.

I first met Sare while skulking around 30 Rock trying to get Lorne Michaels to lift my life ban. She was finishing up her one-and-done run on the show while I was being escorted from the building, and Clive the kindly security guard threw me into her path. I call him kindly because that harsh toss from the door led me to my best friend, and for that I’ll always be grateful.

I took advantage of her post-SNL pain, and drove her to show them what a big mistake – HUGE – they had made, and in turn ride her coattails to fame, fortune and success.

While we had a brief period of vicious feuding after her edits on Fucking Matt Damon made me lose out on an Emmy – yeah, my version was pretty X rated – I moved past it because I knew my life is better with Sare Silv in it.

Who am I? That was so earnest and sweet.

Anyway – as I am wont to do, we laughed, we cried, we watched the movie, we watched the random swingers party happening in the rooftop pool in the building across the street and we smashed a deliciously confusing hybrid Pizzastarah Silverman.

 

 

What is better than pizza or pasta? Yes, you guessed it – a pasta made out of pizza ingredients! Ten points to Gryffindor! I mean, nothing can possibly give your pasta a pep in its step quite like pepperoni. Add in olives, mushies, parm and all the usual pizza suspects, and you’re in for a world of joy.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pizzastarah Silverman
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp chilli flakes
a handful of mushrooms, sliced
½ cup black olives, sliced
½ cup sundried tomatoes, sliced
½ cup chargrilled capsicum, sliced
100g pepperoni, sliced
2 cooked Italian Sausage, sliced
400g can diced tomatoes
½ – 1 cup cream, to taste
2 cups baby spinach
salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup grated parmesan, plus extra for serving
500g pappardelle

Method
Start by getting a large pot of water boiling over high heat.

While the water is coming to a rollicking party, heat a lug of oil in a frying pan over medium heat Add the garlic and onion and cook for a couple of minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the chilli, mushrooms, olives, sundried tomatoes and chargrilled capsicum and cook for a further minute before stirring through the pepperoni and sausage.

Add the tomatoes and cream and bring to a simmer for a couple of minutes, reduce heat to low, add the spinach and a good whack of salt and pepper and leave to bubble, covered, while you cook the pasta as per packet instructions.

When the pasta is ready, add the parmesan to the creamy tomato sauce and stir well. Toss the pasta into the pan and stir until coated. Serve immediately, slathered in additional parmesan for optimal devouring.

 

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Beve and Blarke Bean Sauce

Main, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Tess didn’t react well to the Brad blindside leading to her and Tara going to (passive aggressive) war. On the flipside, Matt’s confidence grew and grew following the blindside, however Lisa admitted to patiently waited in the wings to take her shot at him. Sadly she was unaware that Matt and Dave were old school chums and as such, were protecting each other at every possible juncture. Before the cracks could show in that alliance, they rallied the tribe to take out one of the biggest threats in the form of icon, goddess and queen, Renee.

Back at camp Dave was caught up in the semantics of the betrayal that lead to he and Renee’s feud, unable to see how telling someone to put their vote on her is wrong if he voted with her in the majority. Thankfully Zadam explained that it was in fact a betrayal since they didn’t actually communicate anything. Despite the peptalk, Dave was still hurt slash concerned about his game and as such, Adam was sick of the whining – don’t whine in front of Adam FYI – and vowed to get him out ASAP.

The mood was looking up the next day as Matt and Zadam joked about a Scissor Paper Rock immunity challenge – which would be iconic, TBH – and chilled around camp. Thankfully Lisa was on hand to bring some excitement, identifying that now is the time for her to take out Matt since they’re down to seven and she no longer needs to worry about Renee. Before we could see her work her magic, treemail arrived announcing a glorious food reward. They think.

With that, they trundled off to find Kiwi Jeff to learn they would need to balance a pole of corn on the end on an ever expanding long, hard pole – aka the challenge that almost killed Joe-gel in Second Chances – with the winner snatching themselves a sweet feast. Which almost made them all cream their shorts. Given this isn’t the most exciting challenge to watch unless someone faints, the Kiwis added some Harry Potter musical queues as Lisa made jokes – maybe – about nobody liking a floppy pole before she, Tess, Tara, Adam and Matt dropped their corn leaving Dave and Eve to battle it out. Though since Dave had clearly struggle for the past couple of minutes, it came as no surprise that he soon followed and handed Eve a shit tonne of sweet treats. And us, the joy of seeing Dave just miss out on winning another challenge.

While Matt felt that yet another Eve victory painted a big old target on her back, she chose to share her reward with his bestie Dave – and Zadam who reminded us about his massive pregame botox injection – so hopefully that can help keep her alive. Adam was concerned about sharing the reward with Dave, given his penchant for eating to the point of vomming … until he saw the massive spread and almost died. Though true to form, Dave made out like he had eaten too much and that he was regretting it. Which Adam obviously felt was a dramatic cry for attention.

Back at camp Lisa and Tara tried to convince themselves the pre-challenge teaser was more than enough for them before Tess put an end to the happiness by pointing out Dave had been on every reward while she hasn’t been on one. While that didn’t get Tara to bite and want to take her out, Matt was more than willing to get her out as the endurance challenge queen. While Matt and Tess seethed, Adam, Eve and Dave bonded on reward and opened up hope for our quiet queen to avoid the boot. As did the fact that Lisa actively kicked off her assault on Matt making quick work of pulling in Tara and them trying to figure out the other two people that would be best to help them.

The victors returned back to camp with Dave continuing to be dramatic about how full he is, much to the absolute disgust of Adam who quickly unfriended Dave after their bonding. Adam then decided it was time to get rid of Dave, puzzled about why it hasn’t occurred already and why Matt wants to keep him around. Speaking of which, Matt lamented about the difficulty of playing the game with someone he is already friends with as it is yet another layer of deception they need to keep in check. Unaware she was leading the charge against him, Matt and Dave checked in with Lisa to see where her head was at heading into the next tribal. Obviously she quickly assured him that she is all in on taking out Eve and they headed back to camp … until Lisa and Matt spotted an arrow on the ground, made a meditating excuse to get rid of Dave and found themselves a hidden immunity idol. Which is great, except for the fact Lisa wants to take him out and he technically snatched it first.

With that, Matt was feeling confident about his place in the game and his alliance with Lisa thanks to his assurances that it is their idol. Sadly she isn’t feeling that trust as it now makes getting him out just that little bit more difficult and her chances of winning are now slim to none. And her pain broke my heart because I would totally react the exact same way. Lisa was feeling more confident the next day after coming up with a plan to get him to hand over the idol and sell it as a way to keep things even between them by having someone ‘own’ it and the other ‘hold’ it. Sadly it made her feel like he didn’t trust her, though thankfully that wasn’t the case and vowed to work with her to make it to the end.

Matty Chis returned for this week’s immunity challenge where the castaways were required to manoeuvre bamboo through a tangled piece of rope, then across a balance beam and lastly through an obstacle, dropping people along the way. Tess made quick work of the first stage, joined by Matt, Dave, Lisa and Adam for the second obstacle. Despite hoping to take out immunity to ensure Matt didn’t, poor Lisa didn’t survive the second round as Matt, Tess and Dave faced down the final stage. All three remained neck and neck throughout the challenge, though since Dave never wins it was clearly a two horse race which Matt tragically won. Well, tragically if you’re a fan of Lisa. Which everyone should be. Making it even worse, she audibly said “oh no, Matt won,” as he took out the challenge and she is concerned someone may have heard her.

Back at camp Lisa tried to come up with a plan B for the upcoming vote, while Matt tried to rally the troops to continue on with his plan to get rid of Eve. Dave and Eve caught up by the shore and decided to focus their attention on getting rid of Tess, or so Eve thought. Adam joined Matt and Lisa by the well to discuss who to get rid of and the weird pre-tribal mood. While they all lamented not wanting to take out Eve, Adam confirmed that her challenge prowess was a concern while poor Lisa had to stand silent instead of countering the fact she is the best chance of beating Matt at a challenge. She then went to talk to Tara who was keen to vote Dave instead, though Lisa felt they had left it too late to change up the vote before tribal and that sticking their necks out would come back to bite them. Tara tried to convince Matt to flip to Dave which did make him nervous about whether he could trust her, though appeared to talk her around from flipping. While on the other side of camp, Adam and Tess spoke about not wanting Tess to go and considered getting rid of Dave instead. Thankfully the stars aligned and Tara and Adam were able to talk before tribal council about pulling in some numbers to get Dave out instead … however since Tara has never spoken to Adam about strategy, it seems doomed to fail.

At tribal council Matt spoke about his second immunity win painting a bigger target on his back, Tara shared that she is not a hustler baby and instead just listened to what people told her while poor Eve started to break down about not being a hustler and fearing for her place in the game as everyone had ignored her during the day. She then kinda went one step too far and spoke about how hard she has fought – aka how well she has played – through sobbing tears, cementing why she does need to go. While she didn’t want to shame the people she felt betrayed her, Dave felt that she was hurt by him not voting with her despite not actually having any control or sway to change it.

Poor Eve continued to fight through tears and begged people to vote with their heart before Matt gave everyone a chance to speak up before voting. Which Zadam did, telling her that while he likes her they have never actually had a strategic conversation and as such, he has no idea what tomorrow would bring if he did in fact flip. While she – rightly – pointed out that he has a huge amount of influence on the tribe, her pleas however were too little too late, as she found herself booted from the game. While she was really gutted and emotional to find herself heading to the jury, dear, sweet Eve was quickly cheered up by the sight of a big bowl of Beve and Blarke Bean Sauce.

 

 

Now I am ashamed to admit that beef and black bean isn’t usually on my go-to list of Chinese take-away dishes, given our delicious it is. Let’s just put it down to childhood loathing – unadulterated loathing – and never really wising up to the fact of this beauty in my teen years because I had men to secretly thirst after.

So … enjoy!

 

 

Beve and Blarke Bean Sauce
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
¼ cup shaoxing wine
2 tsp raw caster sugar
600g beef fillet, thinly sliced
2 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp black bean sauce
1 tbsp sriracha
1/4 cup beef stock
vegetable oil
1 onion, cut into wedges
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 green capsicum, cut into large dice
100g mushrooms, sliced
4 shallots, cut into 5cm lengths

Method
Combine half the shaoxing in a large bowl with the sugar. Add the beef, toss to coat and leave to marinate in the fridge for half an hour. While that is gettin’ chill, whisk the remaining shaoxing in a jug with the cornflour, soy, black bean, sriracha and stock and leave to rest.

When you’re ready to rock, heat a lug of oil in a wok and stir fry the beef in batches for a couple of minutes or until browned. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for a minute before adding the capsicum and mushrooms. Cook, stirring for a further couple of minutes. Add the sauce to the pan and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

Stir through the shallots and serve immediately, on a bed of fluffy rice.

Devour through your tears.

 

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Udonathan Hurley

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Following Sebastian’s boot we opened up straight at the next immunity challenge where Probst told them they’d be required to once again complete an obstacle course to collect puzzle piece before solving said four-piece pyramid puzzle. Yep – four piece. Laurel and Wendell got out to an early start – and we got Wendell crack, swoon – followed by Dom, Don and Angela, the latter proving steak isn’t actually helpful. Wendell and Laurel remained neck and neck throughout however everyone managed to catch up and work on the puzzle at the same time before Wendell took out immunity out of nowhere.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Wendell on winning immunity while Dom was gagged by the fact pyramids are not in fact flat on top. Given that Wendell has clawed back two wins, Dom was concerned about needing to find an edge over his rival. He vowed that Angela was a non-event, so decided to see what Donathan would do if he wins the next challenge with him immediately vowing he’d take Dom. While Dom didn’t exactly trust him, he feels that Laurel is more of a threat and decided it may be best to take her out. She joined Wendell and Dom to talk about moving forward, with Dom admitting she is more threatening than the others. Once again she reiterated that her only game plan is to hope they split the votes and she was scrape a win together thanks to the stragglers. Dom and Wendell then pulled himself away to decide what to do, with Wendell suggesting it may be best to get rid of Laurel but he will definitely be using Erik’s Micronesia idol to save someone and he hopes it is a big enough move to snag him a win.

At tribal council Probst shaded Dom’s performance at the last tribal before Yanny lamented the fact that Dom and Wendell are safe thanks to immunity and idols, meaning she, Donathan and Angela were unsafe. Angela admitted they looked like they spent the day decided who to take out before Donathan spoke about his inability to win a challenge. Dom then spoke about the fear of picking the wrong person to take to the end and Wendell brought up his idol and the fact he was undecided whether to play it for someone. Laurel reminded them of her loyalty and hoped it was enough, sparking Don to once again point out he is shit at challenges.  With that, the final five voted before Dom played his idol and Wendell took the chance to showboat for the jury, playing his immunity idol for Laurel since she reminded him of his sister. They then hugged it out, exchanged the idol, played it and sent dear, sweet Donathan from the game as the ninth boot.

Given it was the wonderful most experience of his life, he was pretty damn happy when he arrived at Ponderosa, despite his boot. So after quickly catching up, discussing his game and sassing about Laurel’s ability to ruin all moves, I quickly whipped up an Udonathan Hurley and celebrated his experience.

 

 

Spicy and comforting, this is the perfect representation of sweet Donathan – aka the second recipient of the Sia LGBT player of the season. The sassiness of his tribal council performances are like a whack of chilli in a sea of kind, loving udon noodles. And that is exactly why you love him.

Enjoy!

 

 

Udonathan Hurley
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 tbsp vegetable oil
500g pork mince
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 long red chillis, sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp cooking sake
1 tbsp soy sauce
5 shallots, sliced with some green reserved to garnish
¼ cup red miso paste
2L chicken stock
500g udon noodles
4 eggs, at room temperature
200g silken tofu, cut into four slices
2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

 

Method

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok over high heat, add the pork mince and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes while breaking up with a wooden spoon. Add the ginger, garlic chilli and sesame seeds and cook for a further couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms, sake, soy, chopped shallots and miso paste and stir for a minute or so, before slowly stirring through the stock. Bring to the boil before reducing to low and leaving to simmer.

 

Prepare the udon noodles as per packet instructions, soft boil the eggs and peel.

 

To serve, place the udon noodles in a bowl, add a slice of tofu and the eggs cut in half and top with a generous heaping of the pork broth. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and the green of the shallots, and devour.

 

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