Tessalad O’Halloran

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Salad, Side, Snack, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor, Luke scored big at the auction and somehow won me over in the process. Tessa scored big getting an overnight reward, taking Luke and Michelle with her and forming the champagne alliance, not to be confused with the champagne celebrant. Tessa then won immunity and set-up the biggest blindside of the season, with the various factions aligning to take out the biggest threat in the game, fauxgi, Henry.

Asatoa returned to camp where Tara was shocked to once again find herself on the wrong side of the numbers, though wasn’t disappointed by the outcome given Henry was a huge threat. Locky was also sad, though not surprised, repeatedly sharing that he spent Henry’s last minute in the game begging him to play his idol.

The next day Luke was feeling extremely confident to have regained control, despite the fact that Michelle, Tessa and Sarah are the clear brains of the alliance. Luke continued to be overconfident and my brief period of fandom once again came to an end. As she has once again lost her numbers, Tara joined Ziggy and Michelle for a turn around the jungle where Ziggy pushed herself as the ultimate swing vote. Back at camp, Luke continued to be overconfident and reminded us that he invented the spy shack, which was somehow employed by Tony Vlachos in his winning season on Survivor. Despite the fact he is overselling his involvement in a spy shack, he did catch Ziggy and Tessa plotting to get out Jericho by the well so it is worth it. As much as I want Jericho to leave.

A shark then came to the bay leading to Locky wandering out to a sandbar to try and equal Luke’s kill count. Abruptly the tribe then joined together to talk about who has received votes at tribal councils, where Queen Michelle spoke about being in control though not being considered a threat. She then talked smack about Sarah who then tried to form a women’s alliance with Ziggy, minus Tara and I think plus Pete, leading to Michelle distancing herself from her closest ally to avoid getting caught in any potential webs.

My boy JoJo returned for the next immunity challenge, which is one of my faves, requiring everyone to balance an idol on the top of a long, hard – albeit not very girthy – pole. Remember, this is the one leading to Joengel fainting in Second Chance and Keith “ma fuckin’” Nale taking out immunity. The wind was positively cyclonic, though somehow everyone survived the first three rounds before Jericho, Tara and Locky dropped out within seconds of each other, followed by Michelle, Tessa and Sarah. Not long after ticking over into the fourth round Pete faltered in his pole-work, leaving Luke and Ziggy to battle it out for immunity. Thankfully our Olympian outlasted my renewed nemesis and took out her second individual immunity.

Tara was feeling extremely nervous arriving back at camp, identifying that Tessa and Pete are the two that they need to pull in to blindside Sarah. Tessa quickly agreed with the plan, which Locky was buying but Tara was not really trusting her. Tessa and the champagne alliance then reconvened to confirm their plans to split the votes between Locky and Tara, ignoring the fact that that leaves three people to force a three-way tie.

Michelle and Tessa were feeling extremely confident in their plans, which obviously lead to Luke and Jericho plotting to get rid of Tessa due to the spy shack intel. The boys then approached Sarah and Luke became mildly likeable again, explaining that getting rid of Tessa was the best option meaning Sarah and Locky – my obvious faves – should both be safe for tonight. Sarah though wasn’t so sure about flipping on Tessa, meaning there were a sum total of 300 different plans as they headed off to tribal.

At tribal Tara acknowledged that every time she thinks the vote is easy, she ends up being blindsided. Sarah, Michelle and Locky added that everyone is playing extremely hard and that has resulted in alliances changing every hour. Ziggy added that that sort of gameplay is what is changing up the targets as the latest person to make the move is quickly becoming the newest target. While Luke and Tara, Pete and Tessa, and Sarah and Michelle all said that there are still people they trust left in the game, Sarah pointed out that she never specified for how many votes which is kind of makes me worried. Particularly when Jericho said he was planning to assassinate a threat and I can’t remember, for the life of me, who he thinks is a threat.

The votes then rolled in two a piece for Locky, Tara, Sarah and Tessa, before Dr Tessa was tragically felled and sent to the jury. While I feel sorry for (almost) everyone that gets voted out, Tessa did only manage to make it this far thanks to old Tarzan’s idol so I wasn’t as sympathetic as I could have been. Plus, she was far more compelling when she was an underdog, so I didn’t want to lift her up too much, you know? Despite this, I whipped her up a Tessalad O’Halloran which, truth be told, is the ultimate pick me up anyway.

 

 

The sweetly caramelised sweet potato, with the punch of the onion, garlic and pesto work perfectly with the beautiful orbs of cous cous and fresh spinach. Did I mention that Tessa is a doctor and I knew she’d want a responsible first meal back in reality? Well she did … and she got lockylucky that this was also delicious.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tessalad O’Halloran
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 sweet potato, diced
1 red onion, quartered
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
olive oil
250g Israeli cous cous
¼ cup Toni Basil Pesto
2 cups baby spinach

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place the sweet potato, onion and garlic on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with oil and bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and caramelised.

While that is on, cook the cous cous as per packet instructions.

When they are both done, transfer to a bowl and toss through the Toni Basil Pesto and baby spinach before serving and devouring, in an aggressive manner like the salad flipped on you.

 

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Mikesican Polloway

Main, Poultry

Given Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers is but a week away – I mean, Franny will already have another member of her first boot gang – I decided to bury the hatchet with Mike Holloway to celebrate its return.

While I generally reserve these countdown dates for my most favourite victors, I’ve never really appreciated Mike’s game and feel it is time to apologise for trying to ruin his reputation in the Survivor community.

Say what I do about his at times questionable gameplay, he did make a compelling underdog and made it to the end by equalling the individual immunity record. Obviously that doesn’t make up for the fact he horrifically misplayed the auction advantage situation, nor the fact that he was at times overbearing … but without him, nobody would have stood up for Shireen while she was being abused and that moment is enough for me to overlook the rest.

I’m not going to lie, it was an extremely awkward phone call to make when I called to invite him. And yes, it took him an extremely long time believe I wouldn’t throw acid in his face on arrival but he did, eventually, agree to drop by and let me apologise while counting down to next week’s premiere.

Again, it was super awkward for a hot minute after Mike’s arrival but we eventually got back into the swing of our friendship – we met while working construction together in Texas – and had a delightful night together. As friends, thankfully for both of us.

We laughed, we cried and reconnected as we gossiped about who took his place in the cast of Survivor: Second Chance (we both agree it was Andrew ‘at least you made the jury’ Savage). We then distracted ourselves from throwing shade on Savage by toasting to upcoming season, over a delicious Mikesican Polloway.

 

 

Sure this name is clunky but once you’ve tasted this Mexican inspired roast chicken, you will no longer be passing any judgement. Fresh, spicy and packing a punch, this tender roast makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside … and wanting to say God bless Merica. Well, that is what Mike said, anyway.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mikesican Polloway
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 large free-range chicken
olive oil
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 limes, zested
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 onions, quartered
3-4 potatoes, quartered
2 red capsicums, quartered
a small handful of coriander

Method
Preheat the oven to 240°C.

Combine the cumin, ground coriander, paprika, lime zest, oregano and salt and pepper with a good lug of olive oil and rub on the outside of the chicken. Prick the two limes with skewers, then stick them up the chicken’s bum.

Place the garlic, onions, potato and capsicum in the bottom of a baking dish, toss through a lug of olive oil and place the chicken on top. Place in the oven, reduce heat to 200°C and roast for an hour and fifteen minutes.

When the chicken is golden and crisp, take the tray out of the oven and transfer the chicken to a plate to rest for 15 minutes … before carving, serving and devouring with the veggies and a sprinkling of coriander.

 

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Blue Cheeseburger Hamilton

Burgers, Main, Side, Snack

After the highs of the Emmys and the lows of being reminded that intolerance is still alive and real, it was such a joy to reconnect with my dear friend slash ex-lover Blue and see what he and his beautiful family are up to.

I first met Blue while working together at Warner Music Group and love quickly blossomed. While it sadly didn’t work out for us romantically in the long run – he is too damn nice and couldn’t overlook my rage blackouts and scams – it slowly turned into a dear friendship.

A couple of years after our breakup, I visited Blue while on holidays and decided to set him up with a friend of mine. Cut to a few years later, he and Matt are married and fathers to a beautiful little boy. You’re welcome, both Blue and members of the public that get to watch them on social media.

Anyway – Blue answered my hysterical calls asking for some emotional support while working through the homophobia incited by the Australian government, jumped in the car and met me in L.A. to talk through the pain and catch-up.

While I was a mess when he arrived, he quickly cheered me up reminding me that the world is not that bad a place and our community is stronger than a vocal minority empowered by an ineffective government. Plus – he reminded me that our best friends’ meal is a Blue Cheeseburger Hamilton and that is all the repayment he needs for supporting me.

 

 

It is no secret that I love me a burger, and this is up there with my faves. The huge whack of blue cheese, mixed with the glorious bacon and the sweet onions? I just came a little while thinking about them.

Enjoy!

 

 

Blue Cheeseburger Hamilton
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter and olive oil
4 onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
500g beef mince
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp natural yoghurt
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
8 rashers of streaky bacon
4 Kirsten Bunst
200g blue cheese, crumbled

Method
Heat the butter and oil in a medium frying pan, adding the onions when the butter is nice and foamy. Reduce heat to low and sweat for about half an hour, stirring to avoid them sticking. Once they are really soft, crank the heat to medium and add the balsamic, muscovado and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook until the onions are sticky. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.

Meanwhile combine the mince, garlic, yoghurt, Worcestershire and a heaped tablespoon of caramelised onions and scrunch with your hand to combine. Form into four patties and chill in the fridge for about half an hour.

When you’re ready to eat, heat a lug of olive oil on a griddle over medium heat and cook the patties for a couple of minutes each side. Transfer to a plate and cook the bacon for a couple of minutes each side before transferring to a plate.

Split the buns – my favourite pastime – and lightly toast them on the grill before getting down to assembly. Place a dollop of caramelised onions on the base of the burger, followed by the patties, then the bacon and a good crumble of blue cheese – I obviously used more than blue cheese – before devouring.

 

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Jarrot Fengel Soup

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Main, Side, Snack, Soup, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor, Asaga was feeling washed out after Pete mutinied while he was loving being back at Samatau. Not loving it, were Henry and Michelle who slipped further down the pecking order. After a hard fought immunity challenge between Ziggy and poor, dim Jericho, the latter dropped from a pyramid over the water handing Samatau victory and sending the dwindling Asaga back to tribal where Odette learned Julia’s lesson, in that the person in the middle is oft run over.

Back at camp Sarah was feeling proud after uniting the two rival pairs to take out Odette, who really would be a nightmare at the upcoming merge giving her lack of loyalty. The next day, the final Asagans were still shocked to have survived 35 days. While Tara and Luke thought they were due for a challenge, Sarah was feeling the merge was well overdue and rallied the troops to plan who best to target from Samatau to sway to their side.

Speaking of the devils, Jarrad was feeling extremely confident to have his alliance back together and started to gossip about Locky being paranoid. Tessa was also feeling concerned, which makes me think one of Pete-Jarrad-Tessa-Ziggy is out tonight as they are coming across as smarmy.

JoJo was quick on the scene where the two tribes arrived for … THE MERGE. That is after Jericho butchered the English language, yet again. Everyone was thrilled as they unrolled their new black buffs ahead of the first individual reward challenge. The castaways were required to stand over an elevated glass bottle and swing a pendulum around it, without knocking it over. Sounds simple, but it is for the ultimate merge rejuvenation reward – new clothes, some pampering, food and letters from home.

Just as quickly as I had written off Luke, he spoke beautifully about how important his family are to him and I am now back in his corner. Michelle was first out of the challenge, quickly followed by Henny-Penny, Tara and challenge beast Ziggy. We ticked over the ten minute mark where Luke’s mind games backfired and he eliminated himself, followed by Locky, Sarah, Jarrad, Peter and Anneliese, leaving Tessa and Jericho to battle it out for reward. Given the fact Tessa is a doctor, I’m not shocked that her steady hands prevailed and she took out the first individual victory.

Of course Jonathan then offered her the chance to make a choice – to keep the entire reward for herself or to give up everything but the letter so that everyone can receive theirs. Making the most obvious decision, she opted to give everyone their letters. The newly formed … merge tribe returned to the former Asaga camp where everyone found their way to some coffee and treats while they read their letters. Michelle, obviously, saw right through her decision. While I do counter that their wasn’t an actual decision for the victor, it is probs going to create some drama so that makes me happy.

Michelle then questioned her family’s motives for writing the letter – they want some money – Tara sobbed about her kids, Pete sobbed about his relationship with his father, Henry and his nips looked beautiful while they struggled with his mother’s passing, Locky has a girlfriend and that is just fucked, Anneliese’s family sounds awesome, while Tessa and Jericho sound quite emotionally secure and their families weren’t too emosh. Sarah then sobbed through her letter, as did Ziggy leading to Luke’s moment in the sun while talking about his family and how much he loves them.

With the niceties behind them, the merged tribe got to know each other while Tessa spoke about her confidence that Samatau will stick together and get rid of the remaining four Asagans. Tara and Locky however reconnected by the fire and spoke about everyone being concerned about their bond. Meanwhile Jericho spoke about the merge being a David and Goliath battle, and while he is kind of a moron, I do believe they will prevail … for now.

Everyone ran around doing chores before Tara prodded Sarah to go reconnect with Michelle and try and work her into a new majority. Sadly Michelle had no interest in moving away from the majority and quickly told Ziggy as much. Henry however was more than willing to make the jump and got to work on Jericho and Sarah to form a new alliance. In the other corner, Jarrad and Ziggy got to work solidifying their numbers – he, Ziggy, Pete, Tessa, Locky and bonus points Anneliese and Michelle – before he suggested taking out Henry, who they acknowledged had definitely flipped.

Thankfully Jonathan returned for the first individual immunity challenge where we learnt the tribe went with the gang-bang naming convention, forming Asatoa. The challenge was another looks simple, sounds fucked scenarios where they have to balance themselves between two rails … to avoid being the next one voted out, and the first member of the jury.

Anneliese quickly dropped out of the challenge, followed by Tara, Michelle, Luke, Sarah and Pete. While everyone appeared to be struggling, Olympian Ziggy and Jarrad both looked solid before Locky dropped, followed by Jericho, Jarrad and Tessa, leaving Henry and Ziggy to battle it out for immunity. Henry’s muscles glistened as the sweat rolled over his tanned skin in the sunlight before dropping out of nowhere and giving Ziggy immunity.

Back at camp Jericho explained that his alliance’s only option was to pull in Locky and Michelle, while the majority debated the merits of getting rid of Henry – who they assume has an idol – and Luke, given he is unlikely to have found one. We then checked in with Henry who decided that getting rid of Jarrad is the best back-up option since Ziggy is immune. Given his numbers aren’t great, Henry pulled Locky aside to talk about joining he and Tara’s alliance to get rid of Jarrad, which Locky didn’t feel was the right thing to do at this time.

Wanting to lock in the numbers, Jarrad then approached Jericho to float the idea of working together, agreeing to underline their votes to prove their loyalty. Tessa then ran us through her numbers, convinced that Michelle was automatically in their pocket without actually trying to include her in anything. Tessa then fumbled the ball and told her that she is the last one in the alliance, so that’s why they weren’t involving her … which inspired Michelle to approach Locky about making a move together. Which of course, leaves me hella confused just as they left for tribal council.

Once there, Locky spoke about the confusion of trying to figure out where everyone stood giving the multiple swaps. Luke was feeling nervous, Henry felt like he was stuck in the middle of his allegiances, Pete was coy and Michelle signalled that a move was afoot, mentioning that she thought everything was locked a day ago, but now, wasn’t so sure. Jarrad then started to feel quite anxious, as is Tessa, while Michelle and Sarah gossiped quietly in the corner. Jericho then spoke about war, which made Ziggy feel grateful about having immunity while Locky was feeling tomorrow would make it clear where everyone stood and where the game would go.

Michelle then gave some more killer tribal grabs, which again sounded like a war-cry as they headed in to vote. The votes started piling up on Luke before everyone zigged – not Ziggy-ed – and voted Jarrad out of the game – with a baller underlined vote from Jericho, FYI – as the first member of the jury.

As an Instagram celebrity slash amateur model, I’ve known Jarrad for years, having bullied him into shooting 7 of my 9 nude portfolios. While he apparently found the experience to be traumatic, I somehow one him over and we became the dearest of friends. Though I think that has more to do with my Jarrot Fengel Soup.

 

 

Sweet, earthy and completely warming, it is the perfect dish to warm you up during that last push of winter … and after a brutal post-merge blindside. Though in the words of the great Abi-Maria, at least he made the jury?

Enjoy!

 

 

Jarrot Fengel Soup
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 kg carrots , peeled, trimmed and sliced
2 bulbs of fennel, trimmed and sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 potato, roughly diced
2 sprigs thyme
1 tablespoon maple syrup
salt and pepper, to taste
1 bay leaf
1 ½ cups vegetable stock
½ cup cream

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the carrots, fennel, onion, garlic, potato and thyme on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with a good lug of olive oil and the maple syrup and bake for about twenty minutes, or until they are all starting to caramelise.

Transfer the gloriously caramelised veggies to a pot and add the bay leaf and stock, and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce to low and simmer for a further twenty minutes, or until everything is tender.

Take the pot off the heat, remove the bay leaf and blitz with a stick blender until smooth. Stir through the cream, return to a low heat and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Serve with a drizzle of maple and devour carefully. You know soup has a penchant for burning the shit out of your mouth.

 

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Lucille Meatballs in Beer Sauce

Main, Pasta, Snack

I was balls deep in this year’s Emmy Gold celebrations – after successful dates with Reets, Jackie-Boy and Chevs – when I was struck with a horrid feeling while driving away from Chevs’ … I’ve never documented a time-travel enabled date with the undisputed queen of television, Ms Lucille ma’ fuckin’ Ball.

Yes guys – how this kind of thing still comes as a shock to you, I will never know – I was a dear friend of Lucille Ball. I mean, probably even her best friend. The bestest.

I first met Lucille in the 30s while co-starring in the play Hey Diddle Diddle – where I was fired for diddling the director. While I was surrounded by scandal, Luce stood by my side and when the play was shut down after a week in DC, I escorted her to film the Too Many Girls which co-starred a friend of mine, Des.

Again, yes – of course it was me that introduced Lucy and Desi.

Anyway, given I wanted to see Luce at her best, I set the delorean for the ‘50s so we could catch up while they filmed a ep of I Love Lucy. It was such a joy to see them in a happy, successful time and it filled me with unending joy.

As this is the second date where I can’t reference the year, on account of the butterfly effect, I was left to run the odds all on my lonesome in the DeLorean. As she is the queen of comedy, I got to thinking about the female comedy awards. While I feel Pamela Adlon would prove an amazing person to end Jules’ streak, I can’t see anyone pipping her this year. Obviously Kate McKinnon is taking out supporting again, if only for her rendition of Hallelujah which made me cry for an hour.

Given that Luce was also the head of a production company – hallelu, desilu – I figured she’d be cool with me exploring the behind the cam odds. Donald Glover will win directing for a comedy, Jonathan Nolan (or the Duffer to hedge my bets) for drama, Don Roy King for SNL for Variety and Jean-Marc Vallée for Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special.

Seriously – it was an action packed date, which called for an extremely special Judd family favourite – after Luce cooked it for us in the ‘70s – my Lucille Meatballs in Beer Sauce.

 

 

Moist, zingy and entirely sweet, these babies are the perfect thing to pop in your mouth while filling a hole … or catching up with a departed friend and running the odds in a defunct car.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lucille Meatballs in Beer Sauce
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
1 onion, grated
⅓ cup quick-cook oats
1 egg, lightly whisked
½ tsp ground allspice
1 tbs each of olive oil and butter
40g French onion soup mix
1 ½ cup beer
1 tbs brown sugar
1 pinch ground nutmeg
¼ cup sour cream
500g spiral pasta

Method
Combine the mince, onion, oats, egg and allspice in a bowl and scrunch to combine. Shape into walnut sized balls and allow to chill in the fridge for half an hour.

When raring to go, get a large pot of salted water on to boil and heat the oil and butter in a large pan over medium heat. Lightly fry the chilled balls in the hot, frothy liquid for a couple of minutes on each side, or until browned and glossy. Sprinkle with the soup mix and pour over the beer, stirring once the froth has subsided. Add the brown sugar, nutmeg and cook, stirring, for a further half an hour.

In that time, cook the pasta to packet instructions, drain and return to the pan with a small knob of butter. When the pasta is done and the balls cooked through, add the sour cream to the balls and stir to combine.

Serve the saucy, wet balls on a bed of buttered pasta … and devour.

 

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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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Richard Hash

Breakfast

While I feel like we’re balls deep with Survivor, following the surprisingly choice Survivor NZ: Nicaragua – pronouncing every damn syllable, obvi – and being half-way through Australian Survivor 3.2, the granddaddy of reality TV – Probst’s Survivor is returning in just under four weeks with the premiere of Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers.

Not to be confused with RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3, which I can exclusively confirm will be subtitled Hennies v. Hunties v. Hallelus.

As with last season, I wanted to spend the lead-up reconnecting with my dear friends slash past Survivor victors. And as such, I knew I had to kick this season’s celebrations off with a date with my ex-lover, dear friend and all around OG Richard Hatch.

In what is almost reality TV history now, Richard Hatch is attributed with being the person to establish the strategic (slash invent the) game of Survivor. Despite people thinking otherwise, there were others tinkering with strategy in Borneo, though Rich was the most successful and charismatic, so is remembered solo. Plus, he won over a delightfully homophobic Rudy with his nudity to boot, making him a true icon.

Just a less bone-inducing one than Locky #neverforget

After dominating Borneo, Rich returned for only his tragic second appearance, surviving far longer than Jenna Lewis wanted winners to, before being bamboozled and blindsided.

While Rich has had a colourful history with the law, taxes and appropriateness, he has always been a loyal friend … despite being an ex-lover, and for that I’ll always be eternally grateful. So much so, when he drops buy to lust over the new cast slash lock in our winner tips, he will always have a fresh Richard Hash waiting for him.

 

 

Spicy, fresh and hearty, a hash is a perfect winter breakfast to celebrate being the first Sole Survivor, clear the blues of being bamboozled and or a prison-hooch induced hangover.

Enjoy!

 

 

Richard Hash
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 chorizos, sliced into discs
3 cooked potatoes, cut into 1cm cubes
1 tbsp chilli flakes
150g feta, crumbled
4 eggs
small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180ºC.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and sweat the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes. When nice and soft, add the chorizo and cook for a further couple of minutes. Add the potatoes and chilli flakes and cook for a further five minutes, or until the chorizo oil has been absorbed by the potatoes.

Crumble feta over the top, crack the eggs over and transfer to the oven to bake for five-ten minutes, or until the white has just set.

Gently fry the onion and garlic in a little oil in an ovenproof pan until the onion is soft. Add the chorizo and fry for 2 to 3 minutes.

Sprinkle with parsley and a good whack of salt and pepper, before devouring.

 

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Kent Nelsonion Rings

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Side, Snack, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor, Tara and Anneliese were voted out of Samatau and were saved by the game’s first twist, switching tribes instead. As there must be balance, Ben and Henry volunteered to switch from Asaga, leaving the Jac of Jacry all alone. After losing immunity, Luke then finally claimed the upper hand, pulling in the new Asagans and booting my dear Queen Jacqui.

Returning to camp, Luke was feeling hella confident after blindsiding Jacry and taking control of Asaga … which feels more like pride cometh before the fall. Michelle was also thrilled, as was Tara who pointed that each of the original tribes were eight and eight, making me feel like she isn’t all Asaga strong. Poor Kent on the other hand, was feeling on the outs and was desperately trying to keep his feelings in check.

We returned to Asaga the next day where Anneliese and Tara were feeling up, surviving against all odds. Sarah then pointed out a rainbow and made my heart swell. On the other end of the mood spectrum, Kent was still feeling pretty crummy though hoped that being underestimated could help him dodge yet another vote. Anneliese, Tara, Sarah and Michelle then gossiped about Kent, with the latter saying that Odette and Kent were behaving like the children she nannies. Though she DGAF that he is against her, since she is playing harder. Do I have a Jacs replacement already?

Over at Samatau, Ziggy was fanging for a swim while we finally heard from Bern? Ben, who said that as the youngest, he was missing being doted on by his parents though was glad to be on Samatau, where people were respecting him. We were then treated to Jarrad trying to woo him over, which my gut is saying is going to end up like Ziggy flipping to Tara and Locky. Ben agreed to get rid of Henry to get further, though I reiterate, the conversation seemed more about seeing if Ben knew about an idol rather than aligning.

On the Henry note, he was feeling extremely confident in his charm, and the majority he left back at Asaga … which was destroyed at the last tribal council. Shit is gonna be awkward in a few minutes!

As expected, JoJo arrived for reward where my little Henny arrived to discover that his girl was booted at the last tribal council, leaving Luke and Tara with the biggest shit-eating grins imaginable. He tried to act like it didn’t hurt, but you could tell it really did. Locky then spoke about how good it was to see both Tara and Anneliese, which started painting the target back on their backs. Jonathan then explained the rules for an ice-cream reward, where the tribes had to push a cart of puzzles up a course before building a palm tree.

Kent was inexplicably removed from the challenge for medical reasons, before Ziggy and Locky completely dominated Luke and Jericho to get Samatau out to a huge lead. Ben being Ben, he then struggled with some knots before the combination of Henry, AK, Ben and Tessa tried to maintain their lead with Anneliese, Sarah, Odette and Jericho on their tails. Close to the end, Samatau discovered they had made some mistakes, allowing Asaga to claim a come from behind victory. Which is obvi my favourite kind.

Arriving at their ice cream reward, Jericho seemed to cream his shorts while the rest of the tribe were feeling pretty damn good. Just not cream in your shorts good, you know. He then devoured a shit tonne of ice cream before pointing out his lactose intolerance. They then started throwing hella shade at AK – which I can always get behind – before Anneliese stubbled upon a clue which led her to another, which she got sprung trying to find.

Before we could see if Anneliese had just screwed herself, we returned to Samatau where Henny was smarting over Jacqui’s boot while the OG Samatauns were thrilled – or angry, I don’t know – to discover Tara and Anneliese survived. While Henry was shook, Ben tried to use it to his advantage by pointing out to AK that he has no options left without Jacqui.

Back at reward, Anneliese was still removing husks from the palm pretending that she was looking for firewood where she finally found the clue without anyone noticing. It instructed her that the idol was hidden at the next immunity challenge, as such, she decided it was important to share the clue with someone to run cover, choosing Naomi Campbell’s mate Sarah. Thankfully Sarah was thrilled with the news, as she could use said news to extricate from her newly formed alliance of Luke and Jericho … filling me with equal parts hope and pride.

Things were still not looking up for Henry on Samatau where he spoke to Locky about how he was royally screwed without Jacs. He obviously then decided that creating his own beach-drawn game would be the best way to ingratiate himself with the tribe, which won over Ziggy and made Ben look like an absolute moron. That being said, Tessa and AK knew that his likability was a problem for their games and because of that, he needs to go ASAP.

Anneliese and Sarah awoke on day 24 to plot how best to snatch the idol at the upcoming immunity. Given the fact Anneliese is becoming the puzzle queen, she couldn’t actually snatch it for herself and instead handed over the clue and responsibility to Sarah to snatch.

On that note, JoJo returned for said immunity challenge where Jericho gloated about the previous reward before Henry pointed out that he and Ben were on the outs and in desperate need of a win. The challenge involved the tribes transporting disc along a rope challenge before releasing them, pushing them up a ramp, into a barrel and then up a shoot – where the idol was hidden – to release the puzzle pieces. As seems to be the case, Samatau got out to an early led with Ben – shockingly – turning in a strong performance, while poor Sarah was left to untangle the discs for Asaga solo. Will Sarah even make it to the idol before Samatau finish? It isn’t looking good.

Samatau continued to extend their lead, getting the puzzle pieces before Sarah – finally joined by Jericho – had even finished the first obstacle. Anneliese then paces the course, desperate to snatch the idol while Samatau snatched immunity. After successfully taking the idol, Anneliese joined her tribe before Henry handed an idol clue over to Jericho out of nowhere making me hopeful that he planted a fake idol where he found the old one and I forgot. Did that happen and we’re about to see Luke or Jericho humiliated? Please.

The defeated Asaga returned to camp, trying to make themselves feel better about their loss. While everyone was upset, Luke was loving it since he was in control … which feels like he is being set up for a fall. Anneliese and Sarah disappeared to discuss their alliance, with Sarah continuing her strong gameplay by confirming she Anneliese’s idol is hers alone and she wanted to work with her as best as she could.

Sensing he is next to go, Kent opened up his strategy shop down the beach hoping to lure people over to discuss options with him. After an awkwardly long period of sitting lazily at the end of the beach, Tara approached Kent to see if he was open to getting rid of Michelle which is what he was hoping anyway. Tara then approached Anneliese to get rid of Michelle, which the latter wasn’t keen on given the fact Sarah wouldn’t be keen on it. Tara then approached Luke about keeping strength, with Luke suggesting Odette – who is the strongest woman left in the game – instead of Kent.

Michelle, Anneliese and Sarah discussed the upcoming vote by the fire, where Michelle started to drink the overconfidence kool aid which appears to have rubbed Sarah the wrong way. She then approached Kent to discuss the fact he and Odette were next to go, which he countered that the options were actually Michelle and Kent. Given that Sarah is aligned with Michelle, she tried to sway the vote to Luke or Jericho instead to lock in a majority and take control.

They arrived at tribal council where JLP was quick to rub in the fact they completely bombed the immunity challenge, with Jericho and Luke  explaining the loss in an extremely basic manner. Michelle spoke about how difficult the challenge was, before Anneliese admitted that they are kinda screwed given the fact that Samatau was stacked with athletic members. Michelle then raised some eyebrows talking about getting rid of threats and keeping people she can trust, rather than strength. Odette, Jericho and Luke debated which was the right option, before Michelle and Kent were outed as causing most of the disharmony in the tribe. After talking about not really getting on, Kent offended Michelle by pointing she doesn’t contribute much at camp. She then challenged him to point out how he does any better, which he struggled with. Sarah then spoke about the fact there is a clear majority, though those on bottom should be working hard to claim back the majority. Despite signalling that she was on the precipice of flipping, Sarah stuck with current majority to take out my speedo loving daddy Kent.

Since he is the Chief Financial Officer of a Government Department, I have long known to keep my dear friend Kent on my good side. How do I do that, you ask? By whipping up a big batch of my Kent Nelsonion Rings.

 

 

Despite the fact it is bleedingly obvious that you can’t go past fried food when looking for comfort, I figure I should do my best to sell you on these babies. Though the crisp batter, sweet, melting onion and whack of salt kinda do that for me, no?

Enjoy!

 

 

Kent Nelsonion Rings
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 large onions
125ml milk
1 egg
70g flour
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp muscovado sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp paprika
oil, for fryin’

Method
Slice the onions into 1cm wide rings and heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat until 180°C.

Whisk the wet and dry ingredients together, separately – aka wet together, dry together – before whisking them all together.

Dip the onions in the batter and fry a few pieces at a time for a couple of minutes, or until golden and crisp. Transfer to some kitchen towel and repeat the process until the onion is all gone.

Season with salt and pepper and devour, in a melancholic yet accepting manner.

 

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Jacken Thomas & Avocado Pizza

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Jacken Thomas & Avocado Pizza
Serves: 2-4.

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

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

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

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

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

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

 

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