Stuffed Shelly Long Bake

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Golden Family, Main, Pasta

After spending the last few days catching up with the current shining stars of television – hey there current nominee Christina Applegate, and rising stars Riz and Tatiana! – I decided Emmy Gold: Golden Family needed some gravitas in the form of some TV royalty. So I picked up the phone and invited myself over to celebrate Shelley ma’ fuckin’ Long.

While yes, she is still working hard with killer runs on Modern Family and less recently – and my favourite – playing Carol Brady in The Brady Bunch movies, her Emmy winning turn as Diane in Cheers is truly the stuff of TV legend.

I mean, her and zaddy Ted Danson’s will-they-won’t-they romance is enough to flood my basement even now.

Obviously Shell was honoured to finally get the call up to appear on this patch of cyberspace and introduce herself to a new audience. While our relationship started out quite rocky thanks to the meddling ways of the morally corrupt Kelsey Grammer, Rhea Perlman – the saint that she is – was able to sit us down, make us see sense and finally end our feud in 1987 before Shelley departed Cheers.

Did I mention I was a featured barfly in Cheers? Because I was.

Anyway, given she starred in one of the most iconic comedies of all time, I got her to help me run the odds for Outstanding Comedy Series, hoping that this category provides a well-deserved surprise slash great return on gambling investment. While Veep, Barry, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Fleabag are generating the most chatter to take out the win, this is the category that I could honestly make a case for every nominee taking it out. Russian Doll was bold and moving, The Good Place is the greatest exploration of morality ever committed to screen and Schitt’s Creek is a remarkable show filled with hope and joy.

While my heart wants Schit’s Creek to take it out and Shelley thinks The Good Place deserves it, I think it will go to Fleabag. But given Schitt’s has the worst odds, am betting it all on them for a good return on investment. While Shelley tried to suggest I go for a safer bet, I didn’t listen and drowned out her wise words by smashing a big Stuffed Shelly Long Bake.

 

 

There is nothing better than pasta … except kitsch foods, so using that logic, this baby is the holy grail. Large shell pasta bake full of rich, creamy spinach and cheese floating through a sea of spicy tomato sauce like the SS Noms? Sign me up.

Enjoy!

 

 

Stuffed Shelly Long Bake
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
300g jumbo pasta shells, cooked per packet instructions
olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
250g spinach, roughly chopped
500g ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg, lightly whisked
a small handful fresh basil, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups marinara sauce
1 tbsp chilli flakes

Method
Preheat oven to 180C.

Heat a good lug of olive oil in a skillet and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the spinach, remove from heat and cook, stirring for a minute or so, or until the residual heat has wilted the spinach. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.

Once the onion, garlic and spinach are pretty much tepid, add the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, egg, basil and a good whack of salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

To assemble, pour marinara sauce in the bottom of a baking dish and stir through the chilli flakes. Stuff each shell with the cheese mixture and place randomly in the baking dish. Repeat the process until the pasta and/or cheese is all used up.

Dot with any remaining cheese mixture, sprinkle with a little extra parmesan and transfer to the oven to bake for 30 minutes. Or until gloopy and glorious.

Leave to rest for five minutes before serving and devouring. Triumphantly like an icon.

 

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Lemon Chrisotta Daughertynuts

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Vanuatu - Islands of Fire, Sweets

Another week, another painful wait for a cast announcement. I mean, since the season has already been filmed – not to mention my ability to time travel – I’m totally all over the cast of Edge of Extinction, I feel bad that you’re not in the know. And I can’t give you my sassy hot takes.

I will tease the fact there are three guys, all of whom I love, that I can not tell apart.

A lack of cast however will still not deter me from counting down – and trying to push through my concerns slash the general negative sentiment – to the upcoming season however, so I called my dear friend Chris Daugherty to drop by.

And hot damn, I just realised that this year’s countdown features dates with victors from controversial or low-rated seasons?!

Anyway despite an apparent dislike for Vanuatu as a whole, it is up there with one of the best turnarounds by a winner. Chris went from potentially being the first boot to find himself the last man standing at the final seven before joining with three other outcasts to take control of the game, slaying his biggest threats and taking out victory.

While I was rooting for Eliza when it aired – who I really need to catch one day soon – since she was young and scrappy and I was a teen, there is no denying that Chris deserved victory after overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds.

With that, I finally told him that I was proud of the game he played, asked him to help me figure out a way to identify the three identical strangers of Edge of Extinction and smashed a few Lemon Chrisotta Daughertynuts.

 

 

You know how much I love a creamy filled bun, and these babies sure don’t disappoint. Pillowy dough, tart lemony cheese and a sweet and sour crust? I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lemon Chrisotta Daughertynuts
Serves: 24.

Ingredients
750g flour
150g raw caster sugar, plus ¼ cup for filling
7g dried yeast
1 cup lukewarm milk
⅓ cup buttermilk
3 eggs, at room temperature
30g melted butter, plus extra to coat the ‘nuts
250g ricotta
3 lemons
1 cup caster sugar

Method
Combine flour, 150g raw caster sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook, stir in the milk, buttermilk, 2 eggs, and 30g of melted butter. Attach the hook and knead for five minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove for two hours.

When proving is half an hour from being done, blitz the ricotta with the remaining egg and the juice and zest of two lemons. Chill in a bowl until you’re ready to go.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Knock back the dough, turn onto a lightly floured surface and roll to 3mm thick. Cut into 24 rounds and place a dollop of the ricotta mixture in the centre of each. Fold to enclose, roll into balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Repeat until done, cover and leave to prove for a further hour. Once puffed, transfer to the oven to bake for 10 minutes.

While they’re baking, combine the regular caster sugar with the zest of the remaining lemon.

While the doughnuts are still hot, dip in the butter and toss through the lemon sugar. Then devour.

 

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Novak Gnoccovich

Main, Pasta, Vegetarian

Oh my goodness, Novie is just the sweetest damn thing in the world.

He ran into my arms at the secret security exit of Brisbane Airport – the one made famous by Schapelle Corby, FYI – and said, “I’m so glad you invited me to appear on your anthropological study! I feel like time spent with you will be what pushes me to another grand slam victory.”

I mean, come on. That is adorable and brings a tear to my cold dead heart.

I’ve known Novak for years, meeting in 2005 at the Australian Open. As you know, I am well respected in the tennis community and I was on hand to offer unsolicited advice to people that lost their matches. To help them be better, you know?

While most people balked at my advice and labelled it useless, ill conceived and offensive, Novak appreciated my efforts and we became the best of friends. Well second-best of friends, because Rog.

Nov hasn’t had the best run at the last couple of Opens so was excited by the prospect of my magic touch helping him to glory and hand him the Male Singles record outright. And given how magical my Novak Gnoccovich is, I have a good feeling he’ll be taking out the win.

 

 

Earthy mushrooms and delicate gnocchi bathed in a rich creamy sauce … and THEN covered by a tonne of parmesan and cut by lemon juice. It is heaven. HEAVEN I tell you!

Enjoy!

 

 

Novak Gnoccovich
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
3 tbsp butter
500g mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp flour
2 cups chicken stock
½ cup ricotta
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tbsp sage, roughly chopped
1 tbsp chilli flakes
500g fresh gnocchi
parmesan, to garnish

Method
Heat a tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the mushrooms and cook stirring occasionally for ten minutes or so, or until the liquid has all absorbed. Add the remaining butter and flour and cook for a minute, or until it has lost its flouriness.

Remove from the heat and slowly stir through the chicken stock. Return to heat and bring to the boil, before reducing heat to low and simmering for ten minutes. Add the ricotta, lemon zest and juice, sage and chilli, and cook for a further five minutes.

At this point, cook the gnocchi as per the packet instructions or recipe. Once done, drain and add to the creamy sauce. Serve immediately and top with a generous handful of parmesan.

Devour!

 

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Nick Blintzon

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, Sweets, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor twenty Americans were marooned on a cyclone ravaged Fijian Island and separated into two biblically themed tribes based on whether they were successful or not. Ironically – I think, Alanis help me out – the first boot wasn’t taken out by a vote but instead Pat was felled by an act of God as a wave sent their arc flying and cracked his back. He was followed out the door by Jessica – after my pizza curse struck again – and Jeremy before Bi up and quit – due to a torn ACL, but don’t tell Jeff –  just as the tribes were switching.

Despite being in a Goliath majority on her newly formed tribe, Natalia became the second and final victim of my pizza curse before Natalie became a victim of herself, exiting without so much as turning to face Angelina as she begged for a jacket, followed by poor Lyrsa who was wondering how in the hell she would tolerate the pre-jury vacay with the boss.

With that the tribes merged and Elizabeth started to accrue a Harem of Hunks, as she was followed into Ponderosa by John, Dan, Alec and Carl before Gabby broke the drought after trying to turn on Christian. Turns out she was one vote too soon, as he followed her out the door before Davie, Alison and Kara arrived to round out the jury.

The final three plead their case to the jury with Angelina completely shut out, no doubt in part because she opted to humiliate Alison on her way out the door – but she gave up her shot at immunity for rice, guys! Despite a strong game Mike proved that Goliath’s always have a weakness, as Nick overpowered him at final tribal council and snatched the title of Sole Survivor slash $1M.

While poor Nick struggled to find his feet in the first few days, Pat’s medevac saved him from the fate of becoming the first one out and allowed him to reset his game. And reset he did, taking control of the original David tribe with Christian, and then manoeuvring out of a minority position on the post-swap Jabeni tribe.

By the time he was playing a pivotal role in snatching back the majority on the merge tribe, keeping a meat shield long enough to avoid being targeted and snatching a string of late game immunity challenges, he pretty much had the game on lock. And what an exciting game it was. And by game, I mean season. This season was great. So great, the only way I could toast his success was splitting a big plate of Nick Blintzon.

 

 

Picture it: crepes, rolled into cheese filled tubes and then fried (or baked). Still with me? Then you dust with icing sugar and go to heaven. Because these are delicious.

Enjoy!

 

 

Nick Blintzon
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
4 eggs
400ml milk
250g flour
1 tsp salt
butter, to grease
1 cup ricotta cheese
250g cream cheese
⅓ cup raw caster sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp vanilla
icing sugar, to garnish

Method
Whisk three of the eggs and milk together in a small bowl, and the flour and salt in another. Form a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients, whisking continuously, until smooth and combined.

Melt a good knob of butter in a skillet and pour ⅓ cup of mixture into the pan to make a crepe. Repeat the process until the batter is all used. Leave them to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Beat the remaining egg, ricotta, cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla until smooth and combined.

Place a couple of tablespoons in the centre of each crepe and fold like a burrito. Brush with some melted butter, place on a lined baking sheet and transfer to the oven to bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour immediately, dusted heavily with icing sugar.

 

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Joy Beharsagna

Main, Pasta

It was actually my dear friend Joy that reached out to me about dropping by for this week’s date. She had noticed that I dropped off the face of the earth but the google alert featuring my name, rehab, prison and scandal hadn’t pinged, so she was extremely concerned about my welfare.

When I turned my phone back on after a ten minute digital detox, I discovered one to two frantic voice-to-texts that read, ‘Bern. Place chamomile me has been as chew grits kiss. Lava Jay’. After an hour abusing Siri, I deduced that it was Joy and decided to pick up the phone and see what was up.

Her concern for me was up, obvi, and that is why I love her.

I’ve known Joy for years after meeting on the set of Manhattan Murder Mystery in ‘92. I delivering Diane her daily filming steak when I literally bumped into her, in a rom-com fashion. We bantered about the accident, our acerbic wits instantly bonded us and we’ve been the best of friends ever since. To the point where I put her name forward as a potential co-host of The View when Babs refused to hire me in drag as Angela Merkin.

She and I spent the afternoon chatting, laughing and taking a little time to enjoy the view, before sitting down to smash a big old Joy Beharsagna … and watch Australian Survivor, obvi. Honestly, did you really think I was going to make anything else?

 

 

Obviously this is Queen Joy’s famous recipe with the name smooshed into hers. But when I’m making my triumphant comeback to cyberspace, why should I get creative when Joy has already created something of perfection. Sweet and spicy sausage, a whack of herbs and the majesty of ricotta – if you haven’t tried Joy’s lasagna, you’re not living.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Joy Beharsagna
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
375g fresh lasagna sheets … or Alan Pastarkin, if you dare
2 onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
750g Italian sausage, removed from skins
olive oil
800g crushed tomatoes
¼ cup tomato paste
2 cups passata
¼ cup oregano, roughly chopped
½ cup basil, roughly chopped
2 tsp kosher salt
¾ tsp pepper
500g ricotta cheese
1 ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
500g mozzarella cheese, grated
1 egg
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a large skillet and cook the onion over low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute before bringing the heat up to medium, adding the sausage and cooking, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, for 10 or so.

Once the meat is no longer pink, add the tomatoes, passata, paste oregano, basil, salt and pepper and cook for twenty minutes or so.

While the sauce is simmering, combine the ricotta, a cup of parmesan, mozzarella, egg, parsley and a good whack of salt and pepper.

To assemble, spread a third of the mixture in the bottom of a large baking dish. Layer a couple of sheets of pasta over the top and spread over half the cheese sauce. Top with another third of the meat, some pasta and a the remaining cheese sauce. Pour over the remaining sauce, top with some parmesan and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour or so, or until bubbly and crisp.

Devour. Preferably with Karlic Lagerbread.

 

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Rotolaurel Johnson

Main, Pasta, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

After seeing Angela become the final member of the jury, we returned back to camp where the final three hung out by the shore and watched the last sunrise with Dom lying that they were all deserving of the win before joining together for the Day 39 feast. Wendell felt like this was his decade long dream and he needs to bring his A-game to take a win. Laurel was trying to figure out how to convince the jury that despite her game not being flashy, she was responsible for sending all of them home and saving the boys’ backs. Dom was just focusing on closing the game out strong for his family, though was super concerned about facing Wendell and coming on too smug with the jury.

At final tribal Probst handed the floor over to the jury with Kellyn kicking off the Outwit portion of the game. Laurel pointed out she was stuck playing from the bottom the entire game and needed to rely on her social game. While Michael gave her credit for that, particularly since she went to all four tribes however that doesn’t take away from the fact she rode them to the end. Donathan agreed that he and Laurel both felt they had power, they kinda didn’t before Michael continued to undermine her argument and said that Dom had the best social game with Wendell also being strong.

Des wasn’t convinced about Wendell’s argument about talking rap together – shockingly not Chris’ though – leading Wendell to talk about having to save Dom from himself on day two. Chris called bullshit on his ensuing argument leading to Wendell emphatically sharing he was in charge only for Donathan to interject and say Dom approached he and Laurel, not Wendell. Dom then spoke about attempting to get rid of Chris during the Morgan blindside. Kellyn got sick of the argument for who brought people into the alliance so asked everyone that felt they worked with them – is this Mean Girls? – and to share who brought them in to the alliance. Wanting to claw back some ground, Wendell pointed out that Dom did a lot of showboating and that may have offended people but also risked ruining his game.

When it came to Outplay Laurel ruled herself out, saying she feels that relying on immunity at the end means you’ve played the game incorrectly. Wendell started listing his catalogue of creations – is this Ikea? – before Michael shut him down and asked about which idols they had and how that factored in. Wendell then shared that loyalty kept Laurel around which Michael gave zero fucks about and told him just as much. Dom then cut in to talk about his theatrics during his self-identified best move of the game when he booted Sebastian. He explained in minute detail how it was important to retain his real idol and bluff with the fake one. Sebastian then shared how hurt he was by the brutal way he played the idol and Donathan joined in to share that it wasn’t a truth bomb and instead the entire thing came off as bullying. Dom then tried to apologise to both of them and while Michael felt it was a good move and Chris shared his respect, the others seemed unmoved.

Rounding things out with the outlast portion, Laurel shared that keeping the boys around may not have been exciting, it was her best move and getting rid of them would have only benefited those on the jury, not her. Dom then spoke about not meaning to offend people and reminded them to vote for who played the best game, not on emotions or building furniture. Wendell then shared that he brought all the weird little pieces of him to the game and that he may not have made much of a show, but he did play an extremely strategic game.

With that, Probst tasked the jury with voting before – gag of the season – opting to read the votes on site, shocking everyone … meaning he is throwing away 34 seasons of tradition, or something big is about to go down. He then tallied the votes one by one for Domenick, Wendell, Domenick, Wendell, Domenick, Wendell, Domenick, Wendell and Laurel realised that in a matter of two votes, she would be joining the jury to cast the final vote for a winner after joining the jury as the new final member of the jury.

Thanks to the power of time travel, I caught up with Laurel before she cast the deciding vote for the winner. I whisked her away to Ponderosa and offered her an ear before she made the deciding vote and of course, culinary counsel in the form of a Rotolaurel Johnson.

 

 

Rich, creamy, cheesy pasta is arguably the greatest comfort food of all time. Which is exactly what you need after being destroyed by a jury, immediately told they didn’t find you worthy and then thrust into the unenviable position of choosing a victor between your two closest friends.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rotolaurel Johnson
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups passata
½ cup basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 tsp raw caster sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
250g frozen spinach, thawed and drained
500g ricotta cheese
1 egg
⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
¼ tsp nutmeg
8 fresh lasagne sheets, thanks Alan Pastarkin!
½ cup grated mozarella

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a large skillet and sweat the onion and half the garlic for a couple of minutes. Add the passata, basil leaves, sugar and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat to rest.

Combine the spinach, ricotta, egg, parmesan and nutmeg with the remaining garlic and a good whack of salt and pepper.

To assemble, lay out each of the lasagne sheets with the thin end closest to you. Place a generous dollop of mixture in the end and shape like a sausage. Roll up to form a fat cannelloni, wetting the end to seal and cutting in half. Repeat the process until the pasta and mixture are all done.

Place half the sauce in the bottom of a dutch oven and place the rotolo in facing up. Pour over the remaining sauce and place in the oven for fifteen minutes before adding the mozzarella and scattering of parmesan and cooking for a further ten minutes or so, or until bubbly and glorious.

Allow to rest for ten minutes, if you can, before devouring.

 

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Egg Yoko Raviono

14th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Main, Pasta

After a busy and ritualistically labour intensive week catching up with Megs, Shirley, Gabs and Alan, I’ve finally arrived at the crescendo with my hero Yoko Ono.

While most people incorrectly attribute her with breaking up The Beatles – instead of male egos etc. – she is a talented artist, singer, songwriter and general multi-hyphenate, and I hate the hate she so often gets.

Plus – as a peace activist, we need more people like her in the world.

I gave her a call last week to see if she was up for the honour, and while she was confused about what a Meggstravaganza was – or even Meg, for that matter – I had her at shamanic ritual. We obviously met through John, but fast became friends in our own rite with me becoming her de facto muse.

After a quick stint reconnecting and catching-up about our current artistic endeavours – FYI, Bed-In Brisbane is likely to happen soon, we threw on the ritualistic robe for the last time this year and got to work sacrificing my Egg Yoko Raviono.

 

 

Using the still fresh Alan Pastarkin, this egg yolk raviolo is near perfection. Melting cheese and delicately cooked yolk, ensconced in perfect pasta … with burnt butter, sage and prosciutto? I’m in heaven, as you will be after you make it. Plus – it looks difficult but is super easy, so what is there to lose?

Enjoy!

 

 

Egg Yoko Raviono
Serves: 4

Ingredients
1 batch of Alan Pastarkin
1 cup ricotta cheese
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
8 eggs, separated
6 slices of pancetta, cut into strips
150g unsalted butter
sage leaves, to taste

Method
Combine the ricotta, parmesan and nutmeg in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Lay out your sheets of pasta – they should look like long, thin lasagne – and cut them into large, even squares.

Divide the cheese mixture between 8 pieces of pasta, forming into a neat mound in the centre. Top with an egg yolk and cover with a remaining piece of pasta, push out any excess air and sealing to close. Transfer to a piece of baking paper.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and heat a frying pan over medium heat. In the frying pan, cook the pancetta until crisp and delicious. Add the butter and – I advise – a shit tonne of sage leaves, and cook until crisp and fragrant.

When the water is rollicking, add the ravioli and cook for a couple of minutes, or until they float and the cheese is melted but the yolk is still runny.

Serve immediately, drowned in butter, pancetta and sage and devour. Giddily.

 

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