Gregk Meatballouganis

Main, Party Food, Snack

Well do I have a gag of the season for you – and surprisingly that is neither what he or I said – I came clean to Greg about only reaching out in ‘88 to try and snatch the rights to his story that eventually lead to Breaking the Surface starring Mario Lopez. And not only that, he laughed, told me he always knew that and was just pleased to have my friendship once again.

After meeting at the University of Miami in the late ‘70s, I was immediately drawn to Greg’s talent on stage and in speedos and I made it my goal to get together and live out our twincest life. I was successful and for a beautiful couple of months, I was known around campus as Greg’s lubed anu … well, let’s just say people knew I was always ready for him to dive in.

As I mentioned, things got ugly when he found out I was mainly pushing him in to diving to make room for me to star on the stage. Thankfully three decades on, he appreciates the fact that it inadvertently motivated him to succeed in diving and as such, he should be thanking me for making him the success that he is.

Which I quickly told him I wouldn’t just appreciate, I required it before he got to eat anything.

He laughed it off as a joke though his thanks and praise seemed genuine enough that I opted against starting another feud and instead, enjoyed his company and reconnected. We laughed, we cried and most importantly, we got to fill our mouths with as many big, meaty balls as our hearts desired. In the form of my Gregk Meatballouganis.

 

 

Honouring both our love for ball play and his father’s Greek heritage, these big morsels are near perfection. Spicy, sweet and packing pockets of creamy feta, these lamb meatballs work well as a snack, in a yiros or – gasp – accompanying a big ol’ salad (what have I become).

Enjoy!

 

 

Gregk Meatballouganis
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
500g lamb mince
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp chilli flakes
¼ cup oregano leaves, roughly chopped
100g feta, crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place everything in a large bowl and scrunch until it is well combined and thoroughly mixed.

Using meat hands, shape into golf ball-sized balls and place on a lined baking sheet until all the mixture is gone. Transfer to the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until cooked through and crispy on the outside.

Allow to rest for five minutes before devouring, preferably covered in tzatziki.

 

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Diving in. Aaaaaaaalllllll in.

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

After having a fucking great catch-up with me mate Liam last week, I got to thinking about the need to catch up with one of my dear friends that I used to, well, get intimate with, so to speak – the greatest diver in history, Greg Louganis.

Greg and I studied theatre together – and each other – at the University of Miami, where I pushed him to focus on his immense talent for diving. Mainly because he was really good at theatre and as such, I was threatened and wanted him distracted while I worked on snatching my EGOT.

Anywho he found out my plan, we broke up and didn’t speak until I reached out after the Seoul Olympics incident. And we’ve been the best of friends ever since.

What says you’re one of my best friends (and I hope you never find out I reached out to option your rights and star in the TV movie in place of Mario Lopez)?

Image source: Pascal Rondeau /Allsport.

 

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Stephanie Fried Rice

Main, Side, Snack

It felt like such a relief to be able to just jump in the car and drive a couple of suburbs this week, rather than having to get my people to organise the logistics of transferring major A-list celebrities to-and-from Brisbane Airport without anyone realising they are in town. I don’t want to complain about my blessed life, but sometimes it does get exhausting.

As I mentioned, I was once a swimming trainer – mainly to fulfill my passion for men in speedos and/or super tight pants – here in Brisvegas, as we oft loathsomely say. While my students feature the who’s who of Australia’s swimming elite – obviously though Grant Hackett and I used to booze together and Kowalski and I … well – my personal fave was little Stephy Rice.

I mean, sure, she felt it appropriate to tweet a homophobic sledge at a rugby team in 2010 but she did actually seem remorseful – plus, it’s not like I haven’t forgiven someone for making stupid statements – and apologised profusely. Shockingly I made the mature choice and accepted her apology and moved on … on the express condition that she appear on The Celebrity Apprentice.

While I stacked the cast with an actual businesswoman to shame her out of the competition and my nemesis Dawn Fraser – who hates that we’re close – she somehow won the game. Sure it further inflamed my rage for a couple of hours, but then I had to admire her moxie and we’ve been the dearest of friends ever since.

Sadly for the ailing Australian swim team, I couldn’t convince her to join me in staging a comeback but it was such a treat to catch-up and reconnect. We laughed, I briefly made her cry like she was apologising for a homophobic slur – despite her aggressive suggestions to the contrary, she is obviously voting ‘yes’ in the offensive same-sex marriage postal survey – and we ultimately became closer than ever before.

Though maybe that is just the Stephanie Fried Rice talking?

 

 

There is nothing better than fried rice, particular when it is sans prawns. Spicy, fresh and with a kick of heat, this is the perfect comfort meal to mend friendships and alleviate hunger.

Enjoy!

 

 

Stephanie Fried Rice
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 cup long-grain rice, cooked as per packet instructions
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 eggs, lightly whisked
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
6 shallots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, diced
1/2 cup corn kernels, cooked and drained
1/2 cup peas, cooked and drained
1 capsicum, diced
2 tsp char sui sauce
2 tsp tamari
1 tsp rice wine
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Heat half the vegetable oil in a small frying pan, and lightly cook the eggs until they form a delicate omelette. Leave to rest.

Heat the remaining vegetable oil in a large frying pan and add the bacon, frying until crisp. Add the garlic and shallots and cook for a further minute, or until fragrant. Add the carrot, corn and capsicum and cook for a further five minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for ten minutes before adding the sauces and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Devour.

 

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Wet Golden Medley

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

I feel like it always bears repeating since it may come off as a lie, but I am huge on the sports scene … and not just from trawling the men’s locker room.

In addition to my years on the tennis circuit, my iron-manning with the Curry-Kenny’s lead to me becoming a swimming trainer. My most notable student being Brisbane’s own Stephanie Rice.

Despite living a couple of suburbs apart, Steph and I haven’t caught up in close to a year. After moving past some mild shock to receive a call from me – rather than my people, obvi – she gladly accepted my invite and agreed to drop by later in the week.

What says thank you for knowing that I really only wanted to see you Olympic medals and bringing them with you?

Image source: Unknown.

 

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 and Tumblr.

Lisa Curry Salmon Slice

Main, Seafood

Like a swim in the ocean or the Commonwealth Games pool, catching up with Lisa has the ability to instantly lift you and help clear everything out of your head. I guess that is why I became so reliant on her in the periods I’ve been in recovery.

Lisa has always had a maternal care for me and has been quick to give me the unequivocal support I crave from everyone, even when I’ve given her shonky business advice and caused an incident at Underwater World in the early 90s that inspired the Jurassic Park and Jaws franchises, as well as the film Deep Blue Sea.

That kind of support is enough to earn her the place as my third-best Sunshine Coast mother-figure.

Now full disclosure, I hate seafood. It is the absolute worst. I think it is because one day they are living in their filth and the next are being served on a plate. To quote the egregiously Academy Award snubbed (I am not joking) Drop Dead Gorgeous, “Don’t ever eat nothin’ that can carry its house around with it. Who knows the last time it’s been cleaned.”

But I’ve digressed.

Lisa has spent a lot of time in the ocean, so I assume she has either built up immunity to their filth or she has an iron gut. Either way, I had to go with a nod to her aquatic prowess by serving up my Lisa Curry Salmon Slice.

 

lisa-curry-salmon-slice-1

 

I may hate seafood, but this kitsch 80s beauty is one aquatic meal I can stomach. Be it the curry, the cheese, the pastry or the memory of drowning it in ketchup until I could stomach it at five years old, there is something about this meal that is soothing and delicious.

In that so bad it’s good kinda way – enjoy!

 

lisa-curry-salmon-slice-2

 

Lisa Curry Salmon Slice
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
220g pink salmon, drained
1 small onion, finely chopped
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 carrot, grated
1 tablespoon curry powder
½ cup cheddar cheese
2 sheets ready rolled puff pastry
1 egg, beaten

Method
Combine all ingredients, except pastry and egg, in large bowl and mix well.

Cut pastry sheets in half. Place 2 of the 4 halves on an oven tray. Place salmon mixture on pastry, leaving 2cm border. Fold remaining pastry in half lengthways. Cut through folded edge of pastry at an angle, at 1cm intervals, stopping 2cm in from the edge.

Brush edges of pastry on oven tray with egg, carefully unfold cut pastry, place over salmon filling. Press edges of pastry together with a fork. Brush top with remaining egg. Bake in moderate oven for about 25 minutes or until pastry is puffed and well browned.

Serve with steamed veggies … because that is better for you and Lisa wants you to remember that. Bless.

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Iron woman, hear me roar

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

When I get into something, I really get into it, don’t I?

Last week I dipped my toe back into the athlete pool and I decided that this week is another perfect opportunity to work on my fitness … with you as my witness.

I first met my dear friend Lisa Curry (Kenny) in the early 80s when two of my older siblings recorded a hit demo about her wedding to Grant, over one of our eldest sister’s cassettes. As the youngest, I knew that I was the best person to be their manager and went into bat for them to negotiate their record contract and the overarching Curry-Kenny rights.

Obviously I had an affair with Grant (inspiring Tania’s wedding in Muriel’s Wedding) and blew … the deal, but thankfully Lisa accepted my apology when I reached out during a 12-step program and we’ve been friends ever since.

What says long live Lisa Curry-Kenny. Curry-Kenny. Curry-Kenny, Curry-Kenny, Curry-Kenny?

Picture source: Unknown, but I need them to do my next headshot.

 

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+.

ParmiGeena Davis Meatball Poppers

Oscar Gold

It is a fact universally known that the greatest friends you can make, are those that you connect with during the darkest periods of your life and our dear, dear friend and Academy Award winner Geena Davis came to us in a time of deep personal turmoil.

We connected with Geens when she was studying for her role in Thelma and Louise. It is a little known fact that the final car chase is based on actual events.

Annelie and I had committed a crime that we don’t like to talk about (it was the basis for the plot of Ocean’s Eleven and we don’t talk about it because we hate Clooney); we were caught, were tailed by the police and drove into the Grand Canyon.

Geena was so understanding of our issues when she was trying to get into character that we have continued our friendship and even had her support when we were thrown off the set of Stuart Little during one of our foiled revenge plots against Jonathan Lipnicki.

Geens wanted to catch-up before the Oscars to talk about the rise of Patty Arquette and comeback of our mutual friend Keats (I was DeVito’s stunt/body double on Batman Returns) and we felt something warm and loving, like our ParmiGeena Davis Meatball Poppers, was appropriate.

 

ParmiGeena Davis Meatball Poppers_1

 

The gooey cheese is offset by the rich passata with a strong punch of the basil that makes the meatballs a perfect comfort food/first post-awards-season-dieting meal.

Well, if you don’t go to In’n’Out, obviously. Which you should.

Enjoy!

 

ParmiGeena Davis Meatball Poppers_2

 

ParmiGeena Davis Meatball Poppers
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
¾ cup breadcrumbs
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
3 garlic cloves, pressed
small onion, grated
2 Tbsp + 1 cup passata
½ Tbsp dried oregano seasoning
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded mozzarella

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C and line a baking sheet with baking paper.

Set aside 1 cup passata and the shredded mozzarella

In a large mixing bowl, combine all remaining ingredients. Mix well, do not over mix or you will have tough meatballs. Portion out meat mixture to desired size (about a tablespoon is good) and place on baking sheet. After all meatballs have been portioned roll into balls with wet hands.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.

Turn over meatballs and drizzle passata over each meatball and top with cheese.

Bake a further 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown and bubbly.

Gorge.