Jericroquettes Malabonga

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Party Food, Side, Snack, TV Recap

And after 55 days out in the Samoan jungle, we finally have a new sole survivor in the form of Jericho.

He and Tara managed to outwit, outplay and outlast Joan, Adam, Kate, Tarzan, Aimee, Sam, Mark, Jacqui – yes this is a shameless plug for all our other recipes – Kent, AK, Ben, Odette, Jarrad, Anneliese, Henry, Tessa – yep, still going – Sarah, Luke, Ziggy, Locky, Michelle and Pete, to battle it out in the final tribal council.

While his performance at final tribal was – like night and day with last year’s champ Kristie’s – rather subpar, Luke’s going into bat for him and Henry pushing him to get fiery were enough to hand him a win for a game well played.

I mean, sure, I am shook to see that sometimes nice guys do win after he worked his ass off around camp to provide for his tribe, single-handedly tried to save his tribe from crushing defeat and made some hilariously ridiculous metaphors to give people a laugh … I assume. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that he did get pretty villainous on his way to the prize.

Now it is quite awkward, but Jericho and I aren’t the best of friends after he restrained me on a flight for “drunk and disorderly behaviour,” so I wasn’t thrilled to see him out in Samoa, let alone taking out the win … but he did manage to win me over while we shared his victorious Jericroquettes Malabonga.

 

 

It could be said that croquettes are quite simple, but there is no denying that they’re delicious and definitely have more than meets the eye. Plus – potato, bacon and cheese. How do you go wrong?

Congratulations on your victory Jericho – enjoy!

 

 

Jericroquettes Malabonga
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
5 potatoes, cooked, mashed and cooled
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced, fried and – you guessed it – cooled
2 eggs
3 shallots, thinly sliced
½ cup plain flour
½ cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup milk
salt and pepper

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the mashed potato, bacon, 1 egg, shallots, half the flour and the mozzarella in a bowl. Divide into 10 balls – I like a big fat croquette – and roll into a sausage shape.

Place the remaining flour in a bowl, with the remaining egg whisked with the milk in another and some seasoned breadcrumbs in another. Roll the croquettes in the flour, followed by the egg wash and then the breadcrumbs. Place on a lined baking tray, chuck it in the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Remove from the oven and devour immediately, with some Spicy TomaJones Sauce.

 

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Gnocchi Gilbert

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Main, Pasta, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, Jericho had the shits after his beloved Luke was booted from the game. Thankfully Locky was still public enemy number one … until he won his third immunity, leading to a battle between Ziggy, Tara and Locky, and Pete, Michelle and Jericho. Well, until the threat of rocks came into it and she flipped to guarantee her safety, sending Ziggy from the game in sixth place.

The tribe returned to camp where Tara quickly defended herself for flipping on Ziggy, rightly pointing out it saved her from getting Jessica Lewis-ed. Locky however was well pissed, given the fact everyone openly spoke about wanting him out at tribal, his closest ally Tara included. The next day he was still smarting, ignoring the rest of the tribe while they sat by the camp. Knowing that he is screwed if he doesn’t work through his issues, Locky spoke to Tara in the shelter about their issues, accused her of yelling at him while yelling at her and then dropped the L bomb to clear the air instantly.

While the love story was unfolding, Peter, Jericho and Michelle tried to come up with a plan B for if Locky wins his fourth immunity in a row. This in turn gave Locky enough time to fashion his own plan B, taking Anneliese’s idol message and rag, showing it to Tara to convince her that he has an idol and letting her spread it like wildfire to save him. Tara and Michelle bought it hook, line and sinker, but the boys weren’t buying it. Once again, Jericho proving himself smarter than I give him credit for.

Breaking things up, Jericho spoke about a traumatic experience from his childhood when he almost drowned while trying to surf, solidifying his rapidly expanding winner’s edit. Hell, it was so damn emotional I even welled up and rooted for him. Proving why I love Locky – other than his buns – he offered to go out swimming in the deep water with Jericho so he would feel safe and get to experience something he always wanted to. Fuck me dead – I’m not crying, YOU’RE CRYING. Can they go to the final two and one of them propose Boston Rob style?

As heartwarming as the moment was, him winning over Jericho and pulling at Tara’s heartstrings painted an even bigger target on his back, motivating them even more to pip him at the post at the next immunity challenge. Right on cue JLP returned for a combined reward and immunity challenge where they each had to line up dominoes on a suspended bar to ring a gong … without knocking them over. The reward? Well my friends, that is for a car – and picnic – meaning whoever wins immunity tonight is now out of the running for the win. Actually, does the car curse count on Australian Survivor?

In any event, Peter got out to an early lead though sadly was just short. Jericho thought he had it, missing by one block. Locky gave it a crack, missing after a couple. Then Tara failed, allowing Michelle and Locky to battle it out with the former taking it out by a couple of seconds. Fuck I hope the car curse isn’t applicable here. She was then given the chance to take the car for a spin and the obligatory picnic with two of her closest friends, taking Jericho and Tara. While Locky was pissed to miss out on immunity and a car, Pete was pissed about the picnic and spoke to me on the deepest of levels.

Michelle and her crew arrived at the beach to enjoy their picnic feast and before the basket was even opened, Jericho proposed them forming a final three alliance. While they all jumped on the idea, talk turned to Locky with his post-challenge reaction convincing Tara that he was idol-less, while Michelle was still unconvinced. Meanwhile back at camp things were decidedly awkward with Locky and Pete trying to make clunky chit-chat before Pete cut the crap and tried to get Locky to prove he had an idol.

Locky gave arguably the best deflection possible – we want you to question whether I have it so my vote can dictate the entire tribal – before the others returned and her started working on Jericho to flip and get rid of goat Pete to earn the respect of the jury. Jericho then rejoined Pete, Michelle and Tara while they debated whether Locky has an idol, while Locky hid in the bushes to make them think he was trying to find his idol. This somehow convinced Michelle that he has the idol as she followed him down the beach to plot about getting rid of Peter making me wonder, can he actually pull this off?

At tribal Michelle was quick to gloat about her immunity and car combo before JLP started to rub salt in Locky’s wounds. Pete quickly went in for Locky before Michelle started to defend him, before he and Locky started to bicker with Locky providing some much needed sass. Tara joined the fray to challenge the use of the term goat, explaining that sheep makes far more sense. After that brief interlude, Pete and Locky continued their fighting with Pete fighting hard, although not brave enough to say that Locky will vote for me anyway, so pile your votes on Locky and if he does have an idol, I’m out.

Tragically, albeit by no means surprisingly, Locky didn’t play his non-existent idol and found himself voted out of the game – despite Winchelle flipping – in fifth place. As heartbroken as I was to see my dreamboat go, I’m truly shocked that he managed to make it as far as he did so tried to keep myself grateful as we caught up in the jury villa.

Now I know you’d assume that I don’t actually know Locky, given how lecherously I speak about him each episode, but we’ve actually been the dearest of friends for years after he taught me to swim on an adventure trip, which I paid forward with Steph Rice via time travel. (Fun fact, me constantly suggesting nudie runs are why Locky was so comfortable getting nude in episode 2). How did I repay his kindness though? By whipping up a big bowl of my Gnocchi Gilbert, obviously.

 

 

I don’t know about you, but whenever I think about Locky, I think of white, pillowy mounds you just can’t wait to bury your face in. Add some spicy, salted meat and you’re living my dreams. I’m going, away, for a minute … enjoy!

 

 

Gnocchi Gilbert
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1.5 kg floury potatoes, peeled and chopped into a generous dice (larger pieces, less water absorbed)
large pinch freshly grated nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
⅓ cup grated parmesan, plus extra to garnish despite how ugly it looks when not shaved
350g plain flour, plus extra to dust
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
200g speck, diced
1 tsp chilli flakes
800g diced tomatoes
2 cups baby spinach

Method
With that, place the potatoes in a pan of cold water – this is important – bring to the boil and cook until just tender. Drain the potatoes, return to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring, for a minute or two to ensure they are dry husks aka without moisture.

Allow to cool. Say it with me and remind me if you ever hear me mention gnocchi, allow to cool completely.

Pass through a ricer or mash aggressively until smooth and your rage sorted. Add a pinch of nutmeg, eggs, a pinch of salt and flour and gently bring together with your hands. Emphasis on gentle, the dough is like shortcrust pastry – you want to work it only as much as you need to.

Once it has come together, dust the bench and your hands with flour and take about a quarter of the dough, roll into a 1.5cm thick log. Slice into 2cm lengths, use the back of a fork to roll the gnocchi to give you the imprint – press the fork down into the length and pull towards you – and place on a floured baking sheet to rest. Repeat the process until all done and allow to rest for an hour or so.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a pot over medium heat and cook the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes, or until softened. Add the speck and cook for a few minutes, or until crisp and fragrant. Add the chilli flakes and tomatoes, and reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes.

Cook the gnocchi in batches until they rise to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon to a colander and repeat until they’re done.

The sauce should be ready to go, so add the spinach and cook for a minutes or so, or until wilted. Remove from the heat, toss – don’t you love tossing for Locky – through the gnocchi, cover in parmesan and devour, greedily.

Three cheers for Locky and his nudity!

 

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Annelicoise Wilson Salad

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

Previously on Australian Survivor, the tribes followed the lead of Spice Girls as two became one. While the remaining Asagans looked to be screwed given their numbers disadvantage, they systematically pulled in Henry, Michelle and Locky, one by one, to take control which tragically sent Jarrad out of the game.

Though again, in the words of Abi-Maria, at least he made the jury.

The tribe returned from tribal council where the former majority were reeling from J-Rad’s departure, quickly banding together to find out who flipped on them. While Tessa, Ziggy and Pete assumed it was Locky that flipped, my king did some next level lying and bamboozled them to the point where it felt like they couldn’t even be bothered to find the rat.

The next day Anneliese was still reeling from the vote and Locky’s ability to lie to her face, which made her feel uneasy about him. She then decided that he needed to go, and got to work deciding who best for them to target. Meanwhile Henry and Jericho went for a walk to find Henry’s idol from day four, using the useless clue that he gave to Jericho at the reward challenge a couple of weeks ago. He then pretended to find his own idol again, solidifying Jericho’s loyalty to him.

Anneliese meanwhile continued her assault on my man, approaching Sarah to join with her to get rid of Locky. On the flipside, Henry continued to solidify his alliance with Luke and Jericho by stealing the rest of the jam while everyone slept. It makes as much sense as it sounds, given it will not end well. As expected, JamGate erupted the next morning when Anneliese and Locky discovered the jam was gone.

In the post-jam world of Asatoa, Henry and Locky met up with Sarah and Michelle to discuss their next move, deciding that it was most important to get rid of Anneliese. They also decided that she was the one to eat the jam, just to really confirm the alliance. Ziggy and Pete then reconnected to discuss their next steps, with the latter wanting to go down swinging with his current alliance while Ziggy was willing to shop around for answers.

On the walk to the immunity challenge, Anneliese told us she didn’t want Locky to win, while Henry mentioned Anneliese couldn’t win meaning, in all likelihood, one of them is about to win the challenge. Jonathan gave us a quick rundown – after Henry flagged JamGate again – with the challenge broken up into three stages. The first six people to hook their ring on a pole – my favourite pastime – moved through to the second round, where they had to work through a rope tangled on an obstacle. The top three moving on to the last phase where they each had to land three balls on a ledge at the top of a ramp.

Doing the LGBT community proud, Pete quickly landed his ring, followed by Tara, Henry, Locky, Tessa and Jericho. Henry took an early lead on the second stage, before being overtaken by Locky who became the first person moving on to the final stage. Thankfully Henry wasn’t too far behind, with Jericho rounding out the top three. Locky got out to an early lead, before Henry and Jericho each landed a ball. Henry landed his second, followed by Jericho before Henry just took out immunity. Oh and yeah, neither Locky nor Anneliese won immunity like predicted. Whatevs.

After a brief interlude of pleasantries while everyone congratulated Henry on his victory, shit started to get real. Henry, Luke, Locky and Michelle confirmed the vote for Anneliese, though Michelle and Luke would pretend they were onboard with getting out Locky. Locky then tried to work the idol out of Anneliese’s hands, though given the fact she knows they’re both targeting each other it wasn’t very successful. Anneliese then approached Tessa and Pete to see what the plan was, with them telling her that it is likely her. She then admitted that she had the idol and vowed to play it and stick together.

Tessa and Pete then approached Ziggy to lock in the plan, which she agreed with before running directly to Locky and Henry to keep Locky – another potential meatshield for Ziggy – in the game over Anneliese. While Locky and Henry were feeling confident, Tara and Luke weren’t buying it and were extremely nervous as they headed off to tribal.

At tribal, Jarrad watched on from the jury as the first five minutes revolved around JamGate. While Sarah correctly guessed Luke was involved, Jericho alluded to the fact that it may have influenced the vote which shows he is probs smarter than I give him credit for. Finally we got to some vague statements about the numbers, with Michelle pointing out that despite believing she had the numbers after the last tribal council, the line in the sand was washed away the very next day. Ziggy mentioned she was planning to take out a threat tonight, while Tara and Henry spoke about how dangerous flippers are in the game. Michelle spoke about idols being out there followed by Ziggy mentioning that tonight is the night to make a move, making me even more anxious than I thought possible today … AND I was at the Emmys but a few hours ago!

The votes rolled in between Locky and Anneliese – well I assume, we only saw two – before Anneliese decided to play her idol to save herself from becoming the scapegoat. Sadly for her though, Ziggy opted to play her super idol negating Anneliese’s idol and sending her out of the game as the second juror. While I would have burnt the jury villa to the ground if it happened to me, Anneliese was as gracious as always upon arrival and warmly embraced me as I put the finishing touches on her Annelicoise Wilson Salad.

 

 

I’m actually a lecturer at Anneliese’s university – obviously, I’m still into running uni scams – and I truly have a soft spot for her. Hell, I’d go as far as to say she is my favourite student … which explains why I was willing to cook seafood for her. Well … serve it. While the idea of tuna makes me sick, nicoise is actually pretty amazing. Though I assume that all comes down to the potato and eggs? In any event, enjoy!

 

 

Annelicoise Wilson Salad
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 eggs
150g potatoes
150g green beans, trimmed, halved
2 tbsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
pinch of muscovado sugar
¼ cup olive oil
2 baby cos lettuces, leaves torn and rinsed
200g tinned tuna, drained
12 small black olives, halved
small handful parsley, diced

Method
Place the eggs in a pot of cold water. Place over medium heat, bring to the boil and cook for five minutes. Drain the eggs, submerge in cold water, peel and half.

While the eggs are cooking, place the potato into a second pot of water with a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Cook for five to ten minutes, or until tender. Add the beans and cook for a further minute. Drain, run under cold water to refresh and allow to drain for a couple of minutes.

Combine the vinegar, dijon, garlic, muscovado and olive oil in a jug and whisk until well combined.

To serve, place the lettuce in a bowl, top with potato, beans and eggs. Drizzle with the dressing, add tuna and olives, sprinkle over parsley … and add more dressing, because who doesn’t wanna get saucy.

Then, obviously, devour.

 

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Salmontha Hashcakes

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Main, Seafood, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, Sam and Mark W tried to become the second coming of the most boring showmance – El and Lee – while Jacqui and Henry formed the second version of great survivor duo – Denise and Malcolm. But that’s all we know about Asaga – other than cookies – as Samatau lost four straight immunities, sending Adam, Kate and Tarzan out of the game, before Tessa and AK were finally able to make a move, blindsiding Locky’s alliance and sending Aimee out of the game. Ay …

Things were nice and awkward as Samatau returned to camp following Pete’s flip, with Locky and Tara well and truly on the outs after tribal. Locky tried to lay on the charm – and my pants spontaneously fell off – as a storm rolled in, while Tara went the opposite route and let her rage fly, yelling at Pete for flipping on her. This obviously made AK a very happy boy, which I still don’t know if I’m onboard with just yet. Are we meant to like AK?

The next day we checked in with Asaga where Kent was doing handstands in the water, making me question my dick-togs fetish. We were reacquainted with Sarah who spoke about the joy of not having to attend tribal … though she was starting to hope that the winning streak would end. Echoing the sentiment, Henry was going stir-crazy waiting to make some moves and play the actual game. Slash get rid of episode one villain Sam.

It was still bleak in the cold light of day over at Samatau where Tara was sulking in a hammock, trying to avoid Pete who she and Locky are not ready to forgive just yet. Pete however was feeling proud of making his move and signalling to the others that he is a player, not a number. Though given how Australian Survivor normally goes, I don’t actually see that as a good thing.

Wanting to keep things exciting, JoJo arrived for the reward challenge where Asaga were shocked to discover Aimee was eliminated at tribal. The challenge, another homoerotic favourite of mine – why couldn’t Henry and Locky be on the same tribe – requires the tribes to stand on a log and navigate around each tribemate and get to the other side. Given it is for a barbie and booze, the stakes – lol – were high. Odette and Ben struggled big time for Asaga which allowed Samatau to take the lead with Tessa, Ziggy and Anneliese finishing the course before Sam finally got a point on the board for Asaga. Sadly it was all for nought as Samatau continued to widen the gap, ultimately putting their issues behind them and  taking out a much needed victory.

Sam was well pissed to have missed out of the barbie and vowed that Ben is not an asset and would be the next person out when they lose immunity. Which given the fact we’ve seen something other than the Jericho/Luke cookie sitcom at Asaga, a trip to tribal council feels imminent.

Samatau returned to camp to discover a table completely laden with food, instantly dissipating the various feuds as Tara and Locky got to work whipping up their feast. While everything was going peachy, AK quickly turned it all to shit while pondering aloud where the idol clue could be hidden.

Meanwhile back at Asaga, Sam spoke about struggling with not winning any rewards so far, though quickly pointed how confident was being in the majority alliance. Mother nature then decided it was time to bring her down a peg, sweeping her out into the ocean while fishing with Luke and Mark before Luke swam to her rescue.

Anneliese and Tara got together by the beach to talk about the new alliances on Samatau, both agreeing that AK will self-destruct before getting the chance to make it to the end. Tara continued to wallow in her fall from grace, breaking down with Locky and crying about how awful AK is and how hard the game is. Making him less and less likeable, AK bitched about her tears to Tessa and saying that she should be fighting. While yes, it is true, maybe don’t say it while she is mid-breakdown.

Back at Asaga, Henry spoke about his life outside of the game and reminded us about his continuing fauxgi lie. Sam and Sarah however are not buying the fact he is a yogi with the former trying to out him in front of the tribe. While he danced his way out of the lie, Sam and Sarah were more sure than ever that it was a lie. Henry realised that Sam was starting to question his career and vowed to throw the next challenge and get rid of her. For realsies, this time.

Right on cue JoJo returned for the immunity challenge where Henry’s v-lines plant me firmly on his side in the looming Henry/Sam feud. Given the fact that Locky is sure that Asaga’s continued victories all come down to Henry, I am starting to think he make actually get his way with the challenge. Each tribe started on a platform in the ocean before one-by-one diving into the water, climbing up and over an obstacle, running over a net and back to the shore. Once the entire tribe was in, one person from each tribe was required to cut through a rope to release puzzle pieces. While Locky got Samatau out to a strong lead, Michelle overtook Anneliese before Tessa dominated Kent and reclaimed the lead. Luke then overtook AK handing-back Asaga’s lead. Henry and Sarah had a nice headstart on the puzzle however Henry finally succeeded in throwing the challenge, moving at a snail’s pace allowing Tessa and Anneliese to overtake Asaga and take out their second immunity challenge.

Back at camp Henry was quick to apologise for blowing the puzzle while quietly thrilled his plan worked, vowing to get rid of Sam. He then approached Sam to talk the plan for tribal, where they agreed to split the vote between Michelle and Ben. He then did the walk around, getting everyone to agree to get vote out Sam. Sarah however, was not so sure.

While Sam tried to confirm the split between Michelle and Ben, she and Mark were feeling nervous about tribal and felt that something was up. Mark then used his army training to try and get some information out of Sarah, which she skillfully danced around. She however wasn’t feeling great and now wanted Mark out. He then continued to alienate people, approaching Jacqui and Kent to confirm the Michelle/Ben vote with Kent also wanting to get rid of Mark. Not to be outdone, Sam then approached people in the shelter and was so intense that I have no idea who they’re actually going to boot.

We arrived at tribal council where JLP’s guns were on point, as usual, while welcoming Asaga back. Kent spoke about his joy at avoiding tribal for so long, though was glad to finally put his brain to use again. Mark tried to play the diplomat, talking about the challenge being close and everyone pulling their weight at camp. Henry continued to play defeated for blowing the challenge before Luke joked that Henry and Sarah were responsible for them losing. Sam through some shade on people not pulling their weight, before Michelle and Ben jumped in to defend themselves and say that while they have no idea how to camp – preach – they are trying, in their own way.

Talk quickly turned to people overplaying, with Sarah pointing out that someone going too hard too soon creates too much tension. This made Sam nervous, as she quickly tried to defend herself and get people to see the game her way. Michelle once again jumped in, knowing that Sam’s way involves her torch getting snuffed. Queen Jacqui then gave the perfect analogy for the game, saying that while you play Monopoly with your friends, you still buy Mayfair, build hotels and try to wipe them out. Sam spoke loyalty, before Michelle mentioned she was feeling confident that she would see day 17, earning a smirk from Sam.

Sadly that smirk was quickly wiped off her face as Henry’s plan came to fruition and she became the sixth boot. While she was super intense in the game – which is ultimately how I think I would play – Sam took her boot in her stride and showed a whole lot of class – which is not something people would ever say about me. I’ve known Sam for years, both being huge deals on the running circuit (actual footage of me running at the end of the pack). While I did consider Tonya Harding her to give myself a chance, I knew that ultimately I would be terrible in prison and vowed to support her career and ride her coattails. My way to her heart was via a batch of my Salmontha Hashcakes.

 

 

While I have a passionate hate for seafood, I knew that these semi-healthy – fish = healthy, ok – treats were the only way to win her over after my threats. I then tried them and was pleasantly surprised by how good they were – hot, zesty and light, they are the perfect thing to help you work through the pain of having your tribe flip on you. Or Mondayitis, which has similar symptoms.

Enjoy!

 

 

Salmontha Hashcakes
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
600g potatoes, cut into a 1cm dice
½ frozen peas, defrosted
400g tinned (skinless and boneless) salmon
½ a bunch of fresh chives, finely chopped
1 lemon
1 tbsp chilli
2 tbsp flour
salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg, lightly whisked
olive oil

Method
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil over high heat. Once rollicking like the Samoan surf, add the potatoes, reduce heat to medium and simmer for around 10 minutes. Add the peas and cook for a further minute before draining in a colander. Mash the potatoes and peas, and leave to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Once cooled, add the chunks of salmon, chives, zest of the lemon, chilli, flour, a good whack of salt and pepper and the egg. Combine with your hands and divide into 8 balls. Flatten into cakes, place on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with some olive oil and bake for about twenty minutes, or until golden, crisp and cooked through.

Serve immediately with some lemon wedges and a salad, or just with the wedges if it’s a snack.

 

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Gabriel Mash

A decade of saying so, Side, Vegetarian

So you know how everyone loves Suits / Harvey Specter and (apparently) hates Because I Said So? Well in your face, I don’t (well, haven’t gotten around to) watch Suits … and would argue that the latter is my dear friend Gabriel Macht’s best work.

Ever. And forever. I mean, it will go down as the pinnacle of his acting skill.

Despite having known of Gabriel since his guest appearances on Beverly Hills, 90210 and Sex and the City, we really connected after he married my dear friend and Brisbane local Jacinda Barrett.

Given how busy he is with Suits, I haven’t been able to see much of Gabe lately so it was such a treat that he could take the time to drop by and catch up. (Particularly given I needed a fifth and couldn’t ask Stephen Collins, obviously).

“Ben – I know you think Because I Said So was my best work (and I fear that it is just when you thought I was looking my prettiest), but you need to try Suits. It is great … “

“You just aren’t selling me Gabe. Carrie couldn’t convince me to try Star Wars before her death and you wo … “

“I look really good in a suit.”

“Ok, I’m listening … “

After we got that wee negotiation out of the way, Gabe and I were able to get to the real work of celebrating the cinematic masterpiece that is Because I Said So while downing – sadly from a bowl, rather than off our bodies – a big serve of my Gabriel Mash.

 

gabriel-mash-1

 

Now I know, I know – we had a mash for last year’s Gilmore Girls celebration! But mash is the co-best form that potato can come in and therefore we can have multiple flavour combinations … like fries, ok?

Oh and buckle up – because this creamy, spiced parmesan version will knock your socks off. I mean, I was going for pants … but socks will do (if you have a foot fetish).

Enjoy!

 

gabriel-mash-2

 

Gabriel Mash
Serves: 4-8.

Ingredients
1kg potatoes, peeled and cut into 3cm chunks
¼ cup butter
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ – ½ cup milk
¼ cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

Method
Rinse the potato in a pot of cold water until the water runs clear. Fill the pot with cold water and a generous pinch of salt, cover and bring to the boil over high heat. Once boiling, remove the lid, reduce heat to low and simmer for about five-ten minutes, or until just soft all the way through.

Drain the potato and place in a large bowl of a stand mixer with the butter and nutmeg, and beat on medium with the paddle attachment for a couple of minutes. Once combined, reduce speed to low and slowly pour in the milk until it is at your desired consistency. Finally add the parmesan, season to taste and give one final stir.

Serve with Steak Diane Keaton or direct from the bowl.

 

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Diana Yiros

Main, Party Food, Poultry, Snack

I know bad things always come in three, but there was something in the way that 2016 stalked its way through killing so many of my friends that I feared George, Carrie and Debs wouldn’t be the final ones to find themselves in a coffin.

Or an urn shaped like a prozac. Fuck I miss you Caz.

Anyway, I arrived in LAX for the Caz and Debs final double act – Meryl’s singing was spectacular and nothing at all like Florence Foster Jenkins / Mamma Mia – and hurriedly got on my phone, fearing that Diana probably succumbed to her death at the hands of the murderous year.

“Hello, love child.”

“Oh no, my dear sweet Tracee – mummy’s gone, isn’t she? She dead, sweetie?”

I started to cry uncontrollably.

“Ben? Dear Ben, is that you? It’s Diana, why are you acting all upside down?”

“WHAT?! Di, you didn’t die? The cruel mistress of 2016 didn’t take you off to the endless love?”

I started to cry uncontrollably, again. This time from relief.

“No baby love, thankfully I’ve kept hanging on. I figure one legend needs to survive the year to watch over Betty White.”

With such wisdom, I knew Diana had survived for a greater purpose and after sobbing into the phone for a further twenty minutes when I realised I wouldn’t be able to use my inheritance to pay off my massive gambling debt, I invited myself over to cook her up something fresh and healthy to start her new year on the right track.

Obviously that meant stuffing her with a big fat Diana Yiros.

 

diana-yiros-1

 

It should not come as a shock that I love any meal that is phallocentric but there is something about a yiros that makes it extra special. Maybe it is the juicy meat, slathered in creamy tzatziki oozing out of the end?

Yep, that is definitely it. Enjoy!

 

diana-yiros-2

 

Diana Yiros
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 fresh (or store bought, I guess) pita breads
juice and zest of a lemon
1 tbsp fresh oregano, roughly chopped
pinch of dried chilli flakes, salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped, 4 for the marinade and 1 for the tzatziki
500g chicken thighs
4 potatoes
½ cup Greek yoghurt
125g Greek feta cheese, crumbled
1 Lebanese cucumber, deseeded, grated and drained
2 tomatoes, roughly diced
1 red onion, finely chopped
handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Preheat the oven to 225°C.

Combine the lemon zest and all but 1 tbsp of juice (that is for the tzatziki), oregano, chilli, salt, pepper, olive oil and four of the garlic cloves in a large bowl. Stir to combine, add the thighs and mix again to coat. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate for half an hour or so.

While they thighs are getting juiced, wash (if needed) the potatoes and cut into long, thick battens. Place on a lined baking sheet, toss in a lug of olive oil and place in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes, or until  you’ve got golden, crisp chips. Flip once halfway through to ensure an even brown.

While the thighs are finishing off marinating, combine the yoghurt, feta, cucumber, remaining garlic and reserved lemon juice in a bowl and blitz with a stick blender. Season to taste, cover and whack in the fridge.

This is probs a good time to prepare the tomato, red onion and parsley if you didn’t do that up front. Just saying.

Anyway, heat a large skillet over high heat and quickly cook the pitas on either side and transfer to a plate. When the pan is nice and hot, reduce to a medium-low heat and add the chicken. Cook for about ten minutes, turning once. Remove from the pan to rest for five minutes and shred into small pieces.

To make your yiro, smear some tzatziki on your pita, top with some chips, tomato, onion and parsley, followed by some chicken and another slather of tzatziki (and feta, if you have any left over).

Wrap tightly and shove into your gob, to devour.

 

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Yanic Bluesdale Mash

Oy with the turkeys already!, Side, Vegetarian

I was feeling so emotionally drained after going back to visit my dearly departed Ed, that I didn’t think it was possible to experience joy again.

Then I remembered that I was catching up with my close pal Yanic and I could force him to repeatedly say Lorelai as Michel until I was happy.

I tried to find a supercut to really drive home its wonder but alas, you miss out.

Anyway – after an hour of Lorelai-ing me back to happiness, Yanic and I quickly got to work on catching up on everything since we last got together in 2011 to open his spin studio SpinEnergie. Needless to say, he has been hella busy but thankfully could take some time out to star in the revival … was looking bangin’ / camera ready to boot.

Now I know what you may be thinking – why are we getting Michel, when you aren’t celebrating the revival by catching up with Rory’s boyfriends.

Well in response, a) two out of the three men have restraining orders out against me – I’ll let you guess who – while the other is busy with a new hit show. And b) Michel was around for the entire series and was a dependable, lovely force.

Kinda like my Yanic Bluesdale Mash.

 

yanic-bluesdale-mash-1

 

There is nothing more dependable or lovely than mashed potato, is there? Seriously – let’s pause and really think about mashed potato for two minutes …

Welcome back, isn’t it delicious? Now think about adding in some tart blue cheese and you’ve got a soothing side with a deceptive kick.

Which is totally how I describe Yanic / Michel – enjoy!

 

yanic-bluesdale-mash-2

 

Yanic Bluesdale Mash
Serves: 6 as a side. 1 for someone self-loathing about to enter a spin class.

Ingredients
1kg potatoes
knob of unsalted butter
milk, to preference
150g blue cheese, crumbled
very generous whack of salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Peel potatoes and cut into large, 4 cm-ish chunks. Rinse thoroughly with cold water.

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan of salted water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about ten minutes … but checking frequently as you don’t want the potato too cooked lest you want soggy mash.

Drain the potatoes and return to the pan over the off-but-still-hot hob and stir for a minute to dry out any excess liquid.

Transfer the potatoes into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat them using a paddle attachment for a couple of minutes with a generous knob of butter and the blue cheese. Remove from the mixer and stir through enough milk to get the consistency you like and season to taste.

Top with some blue cheese crumbles and devour.

 

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Barack O’lamba

Amer-she-can Week, Main

Happy Fourth of July!

Go big or go home, has long been my motto. Originally in my ads for a sugar daddy in ‘80s West Hollywood – it originally read, go big and I’ll go home – but I’ve digressed.

Since it is his final Fourth in office, Barack has relaxed his stance on the privacy of our annual Fourth cook-out celebration and is letting me take our friendship public. I guess he figures he needs to make the most of his final months.

As I work as HRC’s interior designer – amongst other jobs – I needed to drop in on the White House and take some measurements for the renovations I have planned to make the second Clinton White House the biggest and best sequel ever produced. So this visit – soz Barack – helped me kill two birds one stone.

Well three, considering Michelle and I will be able to release her workout DVD next year, Michelle’s Ob-arm-a-rama System © – a collection of arm workouts set to the classic music of Bananarama.

Anyway, I really need to learn to stay on topic – amirite?

So, I’ve been friends with the Obamas for about thirty years now after meeting Barack in Harvard where I was running a scam as a Law Professor. Despite the fact that I was unqualified, I somehow taught his cohort enough for them to attain their qualifications and pass the bar – I assume that you pick up a thing or two when you’ve spent a life in the courts defending your various crimes – so thankfully Barack never held my indiscretion against me.

Despite not having an official role in the administration, Barack has relied on me to provide advice during his presidency and it is such a thrill to finally be able to share our White House bond with the world.

It was such a joy to be able to sit down – for what will likely be our last time together in the White House – and reminisce about our past and his future, following Michelle and our booming fitness empire (watch your back Bridges).

We needed something hearty and robust to be able to stand up to our deep conversations, so I opted for my (very Australian) Barack of O’lamba.

 

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Yes, Amer-she-can Week is all about celebrating America, HRC’s upcoming presidency and Independence Day (not the terrible movie and – I assume – its terrible sequel), Barack wanted our final Fourth together in the White House to be more like a state dinner – celebrating the culture of his foreign guest.

Plus, HRC wanted the week to celebrate culinary diversity … unlike any week Trump would have me host. Thankfully we are feuding … and you thought he hated Rosie O?!

And anyway, who can go past succulent lamb on a bed of sharp goat’s cheese, creamy potatoes and blistered tomatoes? Exactly.

Enjoy!

 

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Barack O’lamba
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
6-10 small chat potatoes
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
8-bone rack of lamb
olive oil
1 handful pitted kalamata olives
a bulb of garlic cloves
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
a few sprigs rosemary
150g feta
olive oil

Method
Preheat the oven to 190°C.

In a large pot of salted water, parboil the potatoes until tender.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat and sear each side of the lamb until golden. Remove from the pan.

Reduce the heat to low and add the potatoes, smash with a spatula and fry each side until crisp. Remove from the heat.

Squeeze the tomatoes to break them and add to the pan with the olives, the leaves of the rosemary and garlic. Empty into a large roasting pan, chuck the lamb on top and cook for about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the lamb / whether they’ve devoured roids.

When done, rest the lamb for five minutes and slice into pairs. Serve, crumbling the feta over the garlicky, tomato, potatoes.

Then devour.

* Adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe.

 

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Abi-Maria GoMezze Plate

Main, Party Food, Side, Snack, Survivor: Cambodia - Second Chance

Let us all pause and have a moment silence as our dear, sweet, feisty Abi-Maria was once again booted a week before the finale. Albeit this time, in an episode marked by dueling golden showers and Demon Tasha aka DT.

Speaking of DT, she has had many moments of insufferability however it was the callous way she cut our beautiful friend Abi AND mocked the dreamiest castaway of the season Keith, that finally cemented her status as the most dislikable cast member. Probably ever.

And before you even start rumours, no, we had nothing to do with her “near” drowning.

Either way, welcome back to the fold, Dr Joe! What a shame Wigles couldn’t secure as much screen time in her triumphant return.

But I’ve digressed.

As you could easily assume, our history with our close friend Abi-Maria pre-dates her appearances on Survivor after meeting in our Nicki Minaj led anger management. Nicki saw the brilliant, calm natures we all possessed and bonded us like a sisterhood, thankfully without a weird pair of pants for us all to share.

We spent the following years being zen and hanging out before deciding that one if not all of us should compete on Survivor to get closer to Probst’s bed. As Abi was the only one eligible, we through all of our resources behind getting her on the show and rigging a cast of clowns for her to dominate.

Then Annelie and I met Malcolm and tragically for Abi (but wonderfully for us), we fell into bed with him and went about rigging the season with him in mind. We could go on but long story short, we went into court ordered sex therapy, were treated by Denise who then weaseled her way on to the season and stole the win from our true friends by whispering our names to Malcs during final immunity to spook him.

It was a rough few months after the truth came out to Abs, but we felt it only fair that we be dead to her for all the pain and heartache we had caused. Thankfully her kind heart shone through and she forgave us during the Anti-RC AGM.

Going into Second Chances, Abi had the odds stacked against her but thanks to her plucky determination and general charm, she was able to weave her way through the pre-merge game and a horror stint on Angkor to sit pretty behind her witch shield at the merge.

Sadly her sterling resume and on point voting record got the better of her and she was sent to our open arms in Ponderosa as a jury threat to devour our Abi-Maria GoMezze Plate!

 

Abi-Maria GoMezze Plate_1

 

Like Abi, the plate is spicy, sweet and everything you need in life and more. Well done sweet angel – we can’t wait to rig Heroes vs. Villains 2 for you!

Enjoy!

 

Abi-Maria GoMezze Plate_2

 

Abi-Maria GoMezze Plate
Serves: 6-8, or 1 blindsided juror, her emotionally unstable friends and Savage’s teen headwear.

Ingredients
Hummus
400g can of chickpeas, reserving some of the liquid
2 tsp tahini
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ tsp crushed sea salt
3 tbsp quality extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Smoked paprika, to garnish
Parsley leaves, to garnish

Meatballs
1 kg beef mince
1 large red onion, grated
½ bunch dill, finely chopped
2 tbsp dried spearmint leaves
1 tbsp dried chilli
1 tsp cumin
1 cup short grain rice
1 tsp salt
50 ml olive oil
2 cups passata
1 lemon, juiced

Dolmades (thanks SBS, I had no idea)
220 grams long-grain rice (rinsed)
2 tsps ground allspice
1 tsp chili flakes (dried)
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 bunch mint leaves (chopped)
1/2 bunch Italian parsley leaves (chopped)
3 tomatoes (roughly chopped)
1 purple onion (finely chopped)
2 lemon (1 zested, 2 juiced, plus extra wedges, to serve)
80 vine leaves (soaked in cold water for 30 minutes)
185 ml olive oil
4 garlic cloves (peeled)

Lemon & Chili Potatoes
3 small potatoes
clove of garlic, crushed and chopped
1 tbsp chilli flakes
juice of one lemon
2-3 tbsp oil

Haloumi
500g haloumi
Olive oil, for frying
Lemon wedges, to serve
Salt and pepper

Roasted peppers, stripped
Olives
Pita, toasted and cut into strips

Method
Hummus
Rinse the chickpeas in cold water and blitz in a food processor with the tahini, crushed garlic, salt, lemon juice and a generous dash of the reserved chickpea liquid, slowly pouring oil in as you go.

When smooth and at the desired consistency, place into a serving dish. Drizzle with some more extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with paprika or finely chopped parsley leaves, for colour.

Meatballs
Preheat oven to 180C.

Combine the mince, onion, dill, spearmint, chilli, cumin, rice, salt and olive oil and roll into fat walnut sized balls and placing into a large baking dish.

Cover with the passata and bake for about 40 minutes until meat is cooked.

Remove from the oven and pour over the lemon juice and serve with some of the cooking liquid.

Dolmades
Cook rice in boiling salted water for 8 minutes or until par-cooked. Drain, refresh under cold running water, then drain again. Cool slightly.

Place rice, allspice, chilli flakes and powder, oregano, mint, parsley, tomatoes, onion and lemon zest in a bowl and mix to combine.

To assemble, place 2 heaped teaspoons of rice mixture in centre of a leaf (leaves should be 12 cm x 12 cm; layer 2 leaves if necessary). Fold in sides and roll up to enclose filling, then place upright in a saucepan. Repeat with remaining rice mixture and leaves, ensuring dolmades are snugly packed in pan.

Whisk lemon juice and oil in a bowl and pour over dolmades. Stuff garlic in between dolmades, then cover and cook over low heat for 1½ hours or until rice and leaves are tender (add extra oil or water if liquid has evaporated). Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until cold. Serve with extra lemon wedges.

Lemon & Chilli Potatoes
Preheat oven to 200C.

Finely slice potatoes into 5mm half-moon discs, coat in oil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with garlic and chilli and bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, pour over the lemon juice and add a good whack of salt and pepper.

Devour.

Haloumi
Cut haloumi into 5mm slices. Heat frying pan up and drizzle with olive oil. Cook haloumi for around 3 minutes, turning just once.

Serve and season with salt and pepper, squeezing lemon juice over the top.

Plating
Roasted peppers, stripped
Olives
Pita, toasted and cut into strips

 

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+.