Pierogene Levy

All up in Schitt's Creek Week, Main, Party Food, Snack, Street Food, Tapas, Vegetarian

Given I am close with the entire cast of Schitt’s Creek, it was extremely difficult to decide who to bestow the honour of kicking off my celebration honouring their return to the screen. But like my girl Hizza Clinton before me, I am known for making hard choices when I need to, so picked up the phone to call the delightful Eugene Levy first.

I mean, it is only fitting that I kicked off the party with Eugene as he is the person I have known the longest. Eug and I first met whilst a part of Second City, Toronto and by a part of, I was his stand in when blocking performances given our eerily similar appearances.

While we drifted apart when I was deported from Canada – and therefore unable to appear on SCTV – we reconnected again in the ‘90s through my dear friend Tars. I was part of her entourage on the set of American Pie to get closer to Chris Klein – it was the ‘90s – but I was so thrilled to see Eug again that I abandoned my lust for Chris, and instead focused on making up for the lost years of our friendship.

Despite being extremely busy with other publicity commitments, he was so excited to come down under and mark season four in culinary form with his dearest friend.

“Ben, you really need to come visit when we’re filming next season. I could see Alexis having a long-lost twin and you have the perfect nature to pull off the role!”

“Eug, my love, I don’t know. I’m super busy at the moment, but it truly makes a lot of sense.”

Now I can’t tell you how that conversation ended for upcoming contractual reasons – hell, I shouldn’t have even mentioned how it began – I can tell you that my v. Canadian Pierogene Levy were the perfect snack to toast season four … and beyond.

 

 

Like Eugene, these babies are the perfect comforting slash celebratory snack. Warm and fluffy, and packed full of carb-y, cheesy goodness, you need to get these in your belly ASAP.

Warm apple pie my arse (… which is another embarrassing story of mine for another time).

Enjoy!

 

 

Pierogene Levy
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1.5kg potato
6 shallots, roughly cut
200g ricotta cheese
100g cheddar cheese, grated
2 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
40 gow gee wrappers

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Peel and cut the potatoes quarters and place in a saucepan of salted water. Bring to the boil and cook until just tender, about five-ten minutes depending on their size. Drain the potatoes, transfer to a lined baking tray with the shallots and cook for a couple of minutes, or until all the moisture is gone. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool for about fifteen minutes.

When the aggressive heat from the potatoes has gone, mash them until their mostly smooth. Add the ricotta, cheddar, eggs and a good whack of salt and pepper, and mix until thoroughly combined.

To make the pierogis, place the gow gee wrappers on a clean, dry bench and place a generous teaspoon of filling in the centre. Brush the edges with water and press the edges together, pleating as you go … to make them look as flash as a rat with gold teeth. Because, obvi.

When they’re all done, bring a large pot with about 1-inch of water to the boil and steam the pierogis for about ten minutes, give or take, or until they’re cooked through.

Devour, greedily, with sour cream or some hot sauce.

 

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Spinachevy and Chase Rolls

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Game of Golds, Main, Party Food, Snack, Vegetarian

After kicking things off with EGOT recipient Reets and a semi-sweet trip down memory lane with my dear(ly departed) Jack, I thought we needed to bring back the funny for day three. And, obviously, there is no man that has won exactly three Emmy Awards (that I can be bothered looking up) funnier, that I can call a friend than Chevy Chase.

I’ve known Chevs for years, after meeting in Betty Ford – who fun fact, gave me free treatment at the clinic as we’re also dear friends – in the ‘80s and becoming the fastest of friends. While there were obviously some issues between us after he dropped the N-bomb on the set of Community and refused to make me play his son in the newest Vacation movie, I found a way to forgive him.

Hey – I forgave Candace Cameron Bure for being Candace Cameron Bure, I can do anything.

Anyway being a betting man, Chevs was keen to get straight to work after a brief catch-up. Given the fact two of his Emmys are for writing, I bequeathed him the great honour of discussing all – yes, all – the writing categories.

Obvi, Big Little Lies has Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Drama Special, while he backed Saturday Night Live – again, obvi – for Variety Series, I think it’s going to go to John Oliver or Samantha Bee. As far as the series categories go, Aziz and Lena have the comedy wrapped up for the sublime Thanksgiving episode of Master of None. We again disagreed on the drama winner, Chevs going for The Handmaid’s Tale, while I think the Duffers’ will take it out with Stranger Things … as a consolation for losing Outstanding Drama Series.

As you can imagine, what with two disagreements, we needed something hella hearty and comforting to get us through. Thankfully my Spinachevy and Chase Rolls more than fit the bill.

 

 

Fresh, spicy and dripping with cheese, these are my favourite kind of rolls this side of Alyssa Edwards’ backrolls.

*Tongue pop* Enjoy, okkkuurrr?

 

 

Spinachevy and Chase Rolls
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
500g frozen spinach, defrosted and drained completely
250g danish feta, crumbled
½ cup parmesan, grated
small handful dill, roughly chopped
1 onion, finely diced
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
zest of one lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
2 sheets puff pastry, halved
1 egg, lightly beaten

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Combine the spinach, feta, parmesan, dill, onion, breadcrumbs, zest and salt and pepper in a bowl.

Split the mixture into quarters and roll each portion into long – puff pastry length – sausages and place along an edge of the puff pastry. Brush the edge of the pastry and roll to enclose, ensuring the seam is on the bottom. Cut into three and place on a baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining three quarters.

Brush each roll with eggs and bake for 25 minutes or until golden, crisp and flaky. Devour.

 

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Jane Cakeghoulski

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Halloween, Party Food, Side, Snack, Werewolf Bar Mitzvah

Can you believe we’re at the Werewolf Bar Mitzvah crescendo already?! It feels like only yesterday that we were hanging out with Tracy, Judah, Scott and Jack – particularly Jack, since it was yesterday.

While we’ve managed to go the week without Teens and Al, we couldn’t celebrate a spooky soiree without the true Queen of 30 Rock, my dear friend, the supremely talented and future EGOT Jane Krakowski.

And by true Queen … would you cross Jenna Maroney?

I first met Jane in the 80s while co-starring in the original Broadway production of Starlight Express until my nemesis ALW cut my part – Spread, the loosest caboose – due to my pornographic interpretation of the roll. It was a rough time in my life, having my inevitable first Tony ripped from my hands and I never would have gotten through it without Jane’s love and support.

Given her egregious snubbing at this year’s Emmys, I really wanted to make our time together special enough to pay back her kindness … and there is nothing more special than a batch of my Jane Cakeghoulski.

 

jane-cakeghoulski-1

 

Again, cake decoration is far from strong point … but that doesn’t matter when the cake is this good. Which is all thanks to Nigella Lawson, since I converted her Chocolate Guinness Cake into cupcakes because what represents the blackness of death better than a dense, guinness cake? And what is better at making the whiteness of a ghost stand out.

Enjoy – you’ll never forget them!

 

jane-cakeghoulski-2

 

Jane Cakeghoulski
Makes: 12.

Ingredients
250ml guinness
250g unsalted butter
75g cocoa powder
400g caster sugar
140ml sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
275g plain flour
2½ tsp bicarb soda
250g cream cheese
150g icing sugar
125ml double cream
black icing and / or chocolate button eyes, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the guinness and butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Once the butter is completely melted, whisk in the cocoa and sugar and remove from the heat.

Whisk the sour cream, eggs and vanilla in a jug and then whisk into the slightly cooled mix, before whisk in the flour and bicarb.

Pour the batter – which is pretty runny, so don’t be alarmed – into 12 lined Texan muffin tins. You could also use normal muffin tins but then you’ll end up with huge muffin tops – which wouldn’t be the worst thing, they are all that. Place in the oven and bake for about half an hour, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Remove to a rack to cool completely.

While it is getting hella cool, beat the cream cheese in a stand mixer until smooth. Add in the sieved icing sugar and double cream, and beat for a further minute.

Dollop the ghastly ghost icing on the blackened cakes, decorate with spooky faces … and then devour.

I ain’t afraid of no ghosts.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.