Ali Pastelliott Chicken Tacos

Main, Party Food, Poultry, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, new Levu was divided two-two after Alan was idoled from the game, while dinner-plate nips Cole replaces Patrick’s place in Lauren’s heart, driving her mental with his poor manners. Meanwhile over at new Soko, Ryan was caught between his OG ally Ali and her newer ally Chrissy, siding with the latter to send Roark from the game.

Back at camp Ali confronted Ryan about what happened and asked why he never told her about the vote, upset as she would have been willing to take out Roark. While he admitted that he was concerned about how close she and Roark had become, she got emotional and couldn’t see any logic. This also upset Ryan who had hoped that he’d be able to work with Ali into the future, though that was clearly out of the picture.

The next day, Mike the dick doctor became the provider at Yawa … and boy was he proud of himself. Tragically he then dropped his entire haul in the fire – like a combination of Sandra’s first two sabotage attempts – though was kind enough to give everyone some of his charred fish. Ben was then compared this to Cole, who had cooked a couple of his larger fish and not shared them. This coupled with the fact Lauren tried – and failed – to explain why they needed to share to better the team, started putting more nails in his rapidly growing coffin. Cole then went for a walk to calm down with Jessica, leaving Mike, Ben and Lauren to strategise, talk smack and align to take them out.

My main man Jiffy Pop returned for a pizza reward – which is hopefully for Snickers, for grumpy Cole – where the tribes were required to balance their ball with a big, hard rod and release a boat before rowing out and shooting their loadballs at a target. Soko got out to an early lead, thanks to JP and Ali’s ball-handling skills, quickly getting out to their boat before the others complete the course. That is until Chrissy forgot to undo the second knot, resulting in Yawa catching up. Ben and JP both struggled to aim their balls, allowing Levu to catch-up just as they each hit their first. Mother nature then decided to make it a little tougher, whipping the waves up and making the targets even harder to hit … though JP and Ben prevailed, securing reward for Yawa and Soko.

We then got a killer crotch shot as JP exited, though sadly he was still wearing pants. Sigh.

Soko were thrilled to return to camp with their pizzas thanks to JP’s physical prowess. That, obviously, made Ryan nervous given the merge is imminent. Add to that the fact he is quiet and doesn’t really bother talking about strategy made things seem safer for Ali. Meanwhile over at the losing Levu, Ashley and Devon solidified their alliance and debated whether they felt Joe or Desi would be willing to go for rocks for the other. Devon then took Joe for a walk, allowing Ashley to get to work on Desi who in fact, was more than willing to get rid of Joe as she know his loyalty is all on his terms. He then found the idol despite being babysat, this time without anyone – with a huge fucking mouth (swoon) – knowing.

Meanwhile over at Yawa, Cole started to get the shakes before passing out while Mike was offering him worms. Doctor Mike and nurse Jessica went straight into action, with Jessica cooking up her portion of rice to give him sustenance. While it made her realise how much she wanted to keep him in the game, Mike and Ben saw it as a liability, vowing to take him out if they head to the next tribal.

With all targets identified, Jeff returned for immunity where the tribes would all have to suspend a disc using four ropes … and then spell immunity vertically on said disc using blocks, from the bottom – kween – to the top. RIP Joe Del Campo. Levu and Yawa both appeared extremely strong, while poor Soko struggled and restarted after only a couple of blocks. Then out of nowhere Levu dropped, followed again by Soko … and then Yawa as they were two steps from immunity. Levu and Soko then battled it out for immunity before Yawa came out from behind – my favourite – with a new strategy, overtaking the others and taking out immunity as Soko dropped again and Levu snatched second place.

Back at camp, JP was confident that Ali would be the next one out the door while Ryan was still questioning whether it was better to take out JP, the man that has literally carried him through a challenge. Knowing that Ali is key to his plan working, he went and apologised to her and to try convince her to take out JP. That was obviously an easy task, with Ali offering to talk to Chrissy about getting JP out … which is probably the worst plan for them, given she trusts Ryan and not Ali. Chrissy then pulled Ryan aside to discuss who was the better option, with them only vowing allegiance to each other before heading off to tribal.

They arrived to some light shade from Jeff before Ryan and Ali spoke about getting past their post-last tribal drama. JP then gave a smug look, either meaning he knows something we don’t or is heading for a downfall. Jeff then called him out for being hella laid back, and acknowledging why he could be voted out rather than why he shouldn’t. Jeff gave him a backhanded compliment – dude and dem nips, I clearly like nips, really is made from granite – before he acknowledged that this was a wake-up call and he needs to be more social. While I’d argue her needs to be more naked, potato, po-tar-toe. They then went to vote where once again, Ryan flipped on Ali … and sent her from the game and one of the biggest physical threats to the merge.

Given Al’s career as a celebrity assistant, it should come as no shock that we’ve known each other for years. On account of my many, legitimate celebrity friendships, remember? While I won’t spill on her employer – they’re one of my best friends, obvi – I will say that Ali is the sweetest and like Roark, will dominate the next Second Chances. Particularly if she lives on a diet of only my Ali Pastelliott Chicken Tacos until then.

 

 

Spicy and sweet, these babies go a long way in proving the importance of pineapple in cooking. I mean, why they get so much hate? Like iceberg lettuce, they aren’t classy, but in the right place are true perfection. And the right place is here with the smoky chicken tacos.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ali Pastelliott Chicken Tacos
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
500g chicken mince
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp hot paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp dried oregano
1 orange, juiced
1 cup chicken stock
200g pineapple chunks
2 chipotle chillies in adobo, roughly chopped
12 corn tortillas
iceberg lettuce, shredded
shredded cheese, ladies choice … you being the lady, obvi
2 avocados, mashed
coriander, to taste
sour cream, to taste

Method

Heat a good lug of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and sweat the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes, or until soft, fragrant and sweet. Add the chicken, paprikas, cumin, coriander and oregano and cook, breaking up with the wooden spoon, for a couple of minutes, or until cooked through. Add the juice, stock, pineapple and chillies, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and cook until reduced.

 

When you’re ready to devour, heat the tortillas in a hot, dry frying pan, thirty seconds per side, top with lettuce, chicken mixture, cheese, avocado, a sprinkle of coriander and dollop with sour cream. Devour.

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Mummy Meatnoaf Schnapp

Main, Snack, Stranger Feasts

Yesterday marked the halfway point of our Stranger Things slash Halloween celebration Stranger Feasts – after my previous dates with Shan, Mil, Gats and Cal – and I realised it was high time we caught up with Will Byers himself, Noah Schnapp.

Similar to Shan, I first met Noah when he came in to audition for Stranger and despite getting him and Finn confused literally every time I see them – I mean, come on, they look like brothers – I knew that he was the only one for the part.

Or Mike. No Will, definitely Will.

As a dear friend of Winona’s, I took him under my wing and gave him tips on how best to win her over to foster that mother-son bond that is integral to the show. I would argue it was my tutelage of how Wins ticks that led to them forming the glorious relationship they have now.

Like all the kids before him, Noah was really excited to come and visit in Brisbane and to spruik the latest season. And to thank me for getting him a job opposite Petey Dink on Angry Birds, obvi.

After catching up and giving him a stern talking to about eating right, studying hard and being good, I realised that I may actually pass as a functioning adult. While that hit my extremely hard and filled me with rage, I took a deep breath and whipped him up a delicious (and nutritious) Mummy Meatnoaf Schnapp.

 

 

Without giving anything away about season two, I decided Noah needed a spooky meal that was far less murdery than the monsters attacking Hawkins. While these are essentially just patties covered in pastry, I would argue that is all you need. Delicately flavoured, moist meat(loaves), wrapped in flakey pastry? Tell me what more you could ever need.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mummy Meatnoaf Schnapp
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
½ cup breadcrumbs
2 egg, lightly whisked, separately
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, grated
½ cup peas
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
2 sheets puff pastry, cut into 1cm strips.
4 black olives, pitted and sliced

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the mince, breadcrumbs, one of the eggs, garlic, carrot, peas, Worcestershire, tomato paste, oregano and basil in a large bowl and scrunch to combine. Divide into 8, roll into a ball and flatten into patties.

One at a time, mummify the patties leaving space for eyes. Place on a lined tray, add two olive eyes and repeat until done. Brush each with the remaining egg and bake for 20 minutes to half an hour, or until cooked through and the pastry is crispy.

Serve immediately on a bed of mashed potatoes, splattered with bloody ketchup as required.

 

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Pumpkim Richartta Rolls

Main, Party Food, Side, Snack, Vegetarian

Given the troubles Kimmy has had the last couple of years, it was such a joy to catch up with her and see for myself how well she is doing. Particularly because I feel responsible for leading her down the path she is on.

Of course, my sweet, sweet Kimmy doesn’t see it that way.

I sadly haven’t seen much of Kim since the tragic passing of her dear ex and my beloved friend Monty. As soon as we saw each other, we ran into the other’s’ arms and sobbed for her loss before spending the afternoon reminiscing about the good times with Monty and how proud of her she would be.

While Andy Cohen would be extremely disappointed with my inability to convince her to return to the housewives full time – I still think she needs time to heal – he (and Rinna) would be happy that I was able to get her to accept the infamous bunny for Hucksley’s first birthday.

After achieving the near impossible, I decided to push my luck and talk to her about the sequel-reboot of Witch Mountain … which she just LOVED, though I sadly can’t talk about it due to Disney’s hella watertight confidentiality agreements (the slut pigs).

Given how much ground we had to cover, we needed something light, hearty and soothing – that I could also sneak a drink in a mug with – to give us sustinance. No doubt you know where this is going – given it is our simplest pun yet and isn’t shoehorned in at all – we shared my famed Pumpkim Richartta Rolls.

 

 

A little bit spicy, soothingly sweet and the earthy combination of pumpkin and the ricotta work to create a delightful vegetarian alternative to sausage rolls that doesn’t include spinach.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pumpkim Richartta Rolls
Makes: 12.

Ingredients
500g butternut pumpkin, diced and roasted
500g ricotta cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs , lightly whisked
½ – 1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp dried oregano, plus extra to garnish
1 tbsp plain flour
¼ cup grated parmesan
3 sheets puff pastry
salt and pepper, to taste
milk, to glaze

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the pumpkin, ricotta, garlic, eggs, breadcrumbs, cumin, oregano, flour and parmesan in a food processor with a good whack of salt and pepper, and blitz until smooth(ish) and combined. Add more breadcrumbs if it is too wet.

Cut each sheet of pastry in half, place a long strip of the mixture in the middle of each pastry half and roll over to enclose.

Cut each in half, transfer to a lined baking sheet and brush with milk before sprinkling with some extra oregano. Place in the oven and bake for about twenty minutes, or until golden and crispy. Then, obviously, devour like, again, a slut pig.

 

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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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Jeffrey Tamburito

Cinco de Cuatro Celebration, Main, Snack

I know what you’re thinking – what the fuck are you doing back for Cinco de Cuatro when today is Cinco de Mayo, you fool? A) that is super aggressive, let’s keep it pleasant and b) I simply can not have a Mexican food celebration honouring Arrested Development without the Bluth patriarch himself, Jeffrey Tambor.

I mean sure, I’ve totally dissed and dismissed my boy – well Lucille’s boy, both of them – Tony Hale … but we caught up last year and he is ok with it. He wanted to give his onscreen family, particularly his sibs Will, Porsh and Jase, a chance to be featured on this historical record of my celebrity friendships.

Anyway, back to Jeff – we’ve been friends for decades after meeting through my dear, dear, dearly departed friend Larry Sanders. I was completely taken by his talent in Lazza’s show and when he came in to audition for Arrested Development, I knew he just had to play George and Oscar.

After it was tragically axed prior to him snagging an Emmy, I made it my personal mission to snag him the gold. When I started developing a little show for Amazon called Transparent, I suggested he audition and help support the T of my community.

At first he thought I asked him to audition for season five of Community in an attempt to keep it on the t-eev, and while he agreed, he was even more excited to find out it was Transparent and his casting would help boost visibility for a less privileged part of my actual community. Now I know that it is fucked up to have a cisgender man playing a trans woman, but Jeffrey knows that and is working hard to make it up to the trans community by advocating that he be the last.

Given that season four should be released in the next few months, I was far less political in our discussions and instead focused on getting myself some spoilers / convincing him to find me a nice juicy role in the inevitable season five. Obviously that required me to sweeten him up, which in turn obviously meant I had to serve up a big old Jeffrey Tamburito.

 

 

There is no better way to honour the legitimate holiday that is Cinco de Mayo than a big, fat, spicy burrito. Hot, fresh and altogether soothing, is there anything more you need me to say to get some pork on your fork?

Enjoy!

 

 

Jeffrey Tamburito
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1kg pork shoulder
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 onions, quartered
5 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
a few sprigs of oregano
3 tsp cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
200g chipotles chillis in adobo sauce, blitzed to a pulp
400g can of chopped tomatoes
1L chicken stock
3 ripe tomatoes, diced
4 shallots, finely sliced
1 red capsicum, diced
400g can of kidney beans, drained
juice and zest of lime
1 onion, diced
small handful of coriander, finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric
3 cups rice, rinsed thoroughly
6 cups water
12 large tortillas
Guacamole, grated cheese, lettuce, sour cream, sriracha and any other beloved accompaniments, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Heat a lug of oil in a dutch oven, season the pork and seal on both sides until golden. Remove from the pan, add the carrots, onion, garlic, bay leaves, oregano 2 tsps of the cumin and the smoked paprika and toss around with the meat for a minute or two, or until fragrant. Add the chillis, tinned tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to the boil. Cover and transfer to the oven and cook for three-four hours, or until the meat is falling apart.

While the meat is cooking, combine the tomatoes in a bowl with the shallots, capsicum, kidney beans, lime juice and a lug of olive oil. Stir well, season and refrigerate until needed.

Then get the rice ready by heating yet another lug of olive oil in a large pan and frying the onion for a couple of minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the coriander, the remaining cumin and turmeric and cook for a further minute before stirring through the rice. Cover with water, give a good whack of seasoning and cook, uncovered, over low heat for about twenty minutes.

Once everything is done, remove the meat from the oven and shred meat between two forks like a basic white girl says she is for a wedding and return to the pan on the stove top. Crank the heat up and simmer in the sauce for ten minutes or so, or until thickened and delicious.

To serve, heat a tortilla is a dry frying pan. Transfer to a bench, layer with your desired salad, the bean salsa, condiments and cheese and finally the pulled pork. Fold the tortilla over to enclose, seal the ends and roll to create a fat cylinder. Wrap in foil and transfer to the aforementioned frying pan to cook for a minute or so either side.

Before, obviously, devouring.

 

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.

Jasalbondigas Bateman

Cinco de Cuatro Celebration, Main, Party Food

There was only one person I could spend actual Cinco de Cuatro with and that is my dear friend Jase Bates.

Well, actually, I’m still a bit iffy on the logistics of which day Cinco de Cuatro falls on but I’m rolling with the day before Cinco de Mayo thing. Just roll with it, ok?

Jase is on my my dearest friends – because he is born in ‘69 (lol) and shares my husband’s middle name – so I am super stoked that he is Arrested Development’s lead and earnt him the plum gig of catching up with me on the big day.

I first met J in the mid-80s through his sister Justine – who I shared a torrid affair with on the set of Family Ties – and was immediately taken by his wit, charm and obvious talent that I could use for coattail riding. Fun fact: when my other friend from Family Ties – Mick J. Foxy – was looking for a lead in the Teen Wolf sequel, Teen Wolf Too, I knew he was the only person that could take on the role.

Turns out I was into bears from an early age.

Anyway, given his career resurgence I haven’t been able to spend as much time with Jasey-B lately, so it was so nice to sit back, take a breath and gasbag about everything we’ve missed over the last few years.

Given how busy I have also been with my career resurgence, it was an exhausting chat and we desperately needed something hearty enough to give us the require energy to celebrate Cinco de Cuatro … enter my lengthily titled Jasalbondigas Batemen.

 

 

You know how much I love both meat and balls, so it should come as no surprise that I would go straight to a Hispanic meatball in honour of our Mexican celebrations.

Spicy, comforting and oh-so-tasty, these babies go perfectly with some Portia de’arrozi, beans and dickloads of cheese. Hell, eat it after a cheeky Jessica Flaulter and wash it down with a Will Horcharnetta.

Figuratively. Maybe. Eh, whatever – enjoy!

 

 

Jasalbondigas Bateman
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 egg
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp dried oregano
olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 bay leaf
½ tsp hot paprika
800g canned chopped tomatoes
raw caster sugar

Method
Combine the mince, 2 cloves of garlic, egg, smoked paprika, cumin, chilli powder and oregano in a bowl. Scrunch the mixture with your hands until well combined and form into 12 meatballs. Place on a tray, cover and chill for half an hour.

Heat a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and remaining garlic, and cook for five minutes or so, or until translucent and sweet. Add the bay leaf and hot paprika and give a quick stir before adding the tomatoes and a pinch of sugar. When bubbling away, drop in the meatballs and spoon over some liquid. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about twenty minutes or until the balls are cooked through.

Serve immediately with the rice and beans before devouring.

 

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.

James Van Der Greek Chips

Party Food, Side, Snack

Did I ever tell you that James Van Der Beek is the reason I am married? I’m fairly certain I have … but it is a story that bears repeating.

While there is a part of me that will always be heartbroken that JVDB never proposed to me while we were dating – he didn’t like sharing me with J-Jax, which was a not-negosh for me back in 2001 – he knew before I did when I found the man of my dreams and pushed me to propose.

He sat me down the day before my 22nd birthday and made me rewatch the two-part finale of Dawson’s Creek. It got to the part where Joey and Pacey were watching his faux-show and he turned to me just as faux-Joe started quoting the theme song and said, do you want to wait? For your life to be over?

Obviously I didn’t and the rest is history … but that is just the kind of close friendship we have, you know? I mean, he knew I should propose even before I did.

I’m not surprised though, JVDB has been my best friends since he guested on Clarissa Explains It All and I dumped the wagon that was Mel J H. I knew he was destined for greatness – and that he was a total babe – and made it my life goal to make him the star of a seminal teen drama series.

When I first locked in that goal, I had a different understanding of the word seminal … but I was successful, even if I didn’t mean to be.

As I mentioned, I haven’t seen to him since the one-two punch of Don’t trust the bitch in Apartment 23’s axing and convincing him to join the cast of CSI: Cyber – with my friend Bow Wow – but thankfully he never held any of my advice against me.

And being that it came from my dear friend JVDB I actually believe he didn’t  … and that that fact had nothing to do with his love of my James Van Der Greek Chips.

 

 

I know he is not Greek … but these were our favourite post going Greek snack. And how could you find fault with that/them, really? Crispy potatoes, sharp feta, sweet oregano, tangy lemon and a nice punch of chilli.

Seriously, it is perfection – enjoy!

 

 

James Van Der Greek Chips
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2-3 potatoes, cut into ½ cm batons the length of the potato
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
zest of a lemon
chilli flakes, to taste
⅓ cup feta, crumbled

Method
Preheat oven to 220°C.

Once the oven is scorching hot, place the potatoes on a lined baking sheet with a lug of olive oil and a whack of salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes to coat and spread into a single row. Place in the oven, reduce heat to 180°C and cook for twenty minutes or until golden and crisp. You may need to flip once halfway through cooking …  but I can never really be bothered.

Remove the chips from the oven, sprinkle the oregano, zest and chilli flakes over the hot chips and toss.

Decant to a bowl, top with feta and devour.

 

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Jenna Moussaka

Main, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands

Guys – it is less than two weeks until my girl Sandra returns for her third crown … or to at least block Tony and JT from equaling her record.

Not that I don’t have faith in her ability to snatch the crown again. Can you tell I’m excited for Survivor and Sandy’s return?

Given that my girl is an underrated goddess, despite her perfect game record, I felt it best to honour her third attempt by holding court with another underrated victor, my dear friend Jenna Morasca.

Like Sandy, I would defend Jen and her gameplay to the ends of the earth. Sure she ended Rob C’s hope of ever winning the game and feuded with a deaf person but she also stripped for peanut butter – who wouldn’t TBH – went on an immunity run and even gave away immunity without it sending her home.

Plus, she was sassy as fuck, gives a good sound bite and was probably the best appointed winner to make it far in All Stars hadn’t had to quit to be with her mother.

I first met Jen way back when we were both attending University of Pittsburgh studying zoology – I was going through a weird Brendan Fraser/George of the Jungle phase and thought that a knowledge of animals could help.

Given our sassy attitude and good looks we were immediately drawn to one another and became the best of friends. I was her Heidi before Heidi existed, basically. After my many run-ins with Burnett, I kept our friendship quiet as she auditioned which I would argue got her cast meaning I played an integral part in her victory.

We are such busy little bees that we haven’t been able to see as much of each other as we like, so it was such a treat to sit down, gab about the upcoming season and dreams for her eventual return.

Speaking of dreams, my Jenna Moussaka is most definitely one.

 

jenna-moussaka-1

 

Spicy, rich and creamy – this little baby is the ultimate comfort food. Plus, eggplant makes it healthy, so you barely have to feel guilty about the cheesy goodness clogging up your arteries.

Enjoy!

 

jenna-moussaka-2

 

Jenna Moussaka
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
a generous lug of olive oil
3 eggplants, cut into half centimetre discs
2 red capsicums, cored and halved
500g beef mince
500g lamb mince
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
800g tinned tomatoes
100g unsalted butter
75g plain flour
3 cups milk
120g parmesan, roughly grated

Method
Preheat the oven to 220˚C.

Place the eggplant discs on a wire rack, over a lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and bake for about half an hour, or until crisp, charred and drying out. Add the capsicum for the last ten minutes to blister their skins.

Reduce oven to 160°C.

While they are cooking, heat a lug of oil in a large pan and cook the mince over medium heat, or until browned. Add the spices, oregano, onion and garlic and cook for a further few minutes. Meanwhile diced up the charred capsicum and add to the pan with the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about fifteen minutes. Season and allow to rest.

To make the bechamel, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Once foaming, add in the flour and cook until lightly browned and not resembling either butter or flour. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the milk until all combined. Return to the heat and cook for a minute or two, or until thickened. Remove from the heat, season and leave to rest.

To assemble, place a third of the meat mixture on the base of a large baking dish. Top with a third of the dried, charred eggplant and repeat the process until both are all gone. Pour over the bechamel, top with the cheese and bake for half an hour, or until golden and bubbly on top. Remove and allow to rest for five minutes before devouring.

 

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+.