Mortadella Reese

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It is always with such mixed feelings that I venture back to see my dearly departed friends, like the divine Della Reese. I mean, it is such a joy to see them again but it is also a reminder that the world has lost them.

And a fear that it will lead to a butterfly effect that will see a sequel to The Butterfly Effect reignite Ashton Kutcher’s career. Which is risky AF.

Lucky I understand that with great power, comes great responsibility and I am adept at keeping things in check. Plus – how can you focus on anything but when spending time with a dear friend like Della.

I first met Della in the ‘60s when I got my start as a production intern on the set of her talk show Della. While some talk-show hosts are actually vicious – apparently – Della was nothing but kind and took me under her wing, and as such, I became her most loyal supporter.

Given my passion for Survivor, I decided to go back to the early ‘00s set of Touched By an Angel as I knew it was me running my mouth about the show, that led to Roma and Mark Burnett getting together. So I couldn’t do too much damage.

Plus – TBAA is such a joyous iconic program, that I wanted to see Della in action just one more time. And boy did she deliver! We laughed, we cried and in between takes, we smashed some glorious slices of Mortadella Reese like it was the good old days.

I guess because it was slash is.

 

 

This may come as a shock given my passion for sausage, however this is the first time I’ve attempted this recipe – thanks SBS – but damn am I glad I did. Salty, sweet and smooth, this has fast become my third favourite meat to have in my mouth.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mortadella Reese
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
1–2 full-length natural ox bung or other disgusting sausage casing which is far more terrifying in theory
1 cup sweet red wine
6g ground coriander
1g ground cinnamon
5g mace
10g standard kwikurit, not to be confused with kiwi fruit like when I went shopping
8g powdered gelatine
450ml chilled water
200g hard back pork fat
4.5kg pork shoulder meat
75g salt
125g skim milk powder
1 cup pitted green olives, sliced
25g dried pepperberries

Method
Soak the ox bung in cold water for 1 hour, then rinse well inside and out. Thread onto a sausage nozzle, put it onto a plate and keep in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile bring the wine to a gentle simmer in a large saucepan with the coriander, cinnamon and mace for 20 minutes, until well reduced. Set aside to cool completely.

While this is getting chill, combine the kwikurit and gelatine in a jug with the chilled water, stirring until dissolved. Set aside.

Now start working on the meat by cutting the fat into a 1cm dice, and putting the meat through a 1cm mincer plate into a large bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and milk powder and scrunch to combine. Add the spicy wine and water mixtures, and stir to thoroughly combined. Return through the mincer using a 6mm plate.

Add the fat, olives and pepperberries to the freshly minced bowl and mix until combined. Place in an airtight container and place in the fridge to chill overnight.

Set up the sanitised sausage cannon and fill the bowl with the forcemeat, ensuring not to leave any air pockets, and attach the nozzle to the end of the sausage cannon. Remove the mixture from the fridge and pump the mixture out the end of the nozzle before you tie off the end.

Slowly start to crank the cannon and fill the sausage, guiding the casing out of the cannon as it fills, using your whole hand, onto a clear sterilised work surface. Once it has reached the desired length, stop and tie off the end. Repeat the process until you finish the mixture.

Place the sausage into a smoker after the temperature has reached about 49°C. Smoke heavily, raising the temperature gradually to about 80°C, and hold until the mortadella reaches about 65°C on a digital thermometer. This can take up to 3–4 hours.

Transfer mortadella to the fridge and chill overnight, before slicing and devouring.

 

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Walk With You

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

I’ve been quite emotional with the tragic passing of my dear Luke, which got me thinking about all the other angels that have touched my life.

Which in turn reminded me that my dear Della Reese left the world just over a year ago, and I really could have used her support right about now.

As such, I’m backing the delorean out of the garage and heading back to the TBAA days to get some spiritual guidance.

What says I need you to walk with me while I work through this tragic loss, without mentioning said tragic loss and causing a butterfly effect?

Image source: Touched by an Angel.

 

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Daniel Kahlua and Milk

Drink

I know it feels like I’ve had a busy week with Drag Race and Survivor both back, back, back again, and remember the good ol’ dance days with Tawny. But when a friend as delightful as Daniel calls to see if you want to hang out, the answer is always yes.

I’ve known Dan for ages, meeting while working together on Skins. We were both in the writers room – I based the character of Maxie on me – and were quickly drawn to each other by our wicked sense of humour.

Even then I could tell he was destined for greatness, so I obviously took him under my wing and vowed to make him a star. Cut to last year when he was riding high on his first Oscar nom with Get Out and starring in an Oscar winner superhero blockbuster, and I think you’ll agree that I did a bloody good job.

Given how busy he has been, we haven’t been able to hang out as often as we’d like, and more importantly, have missed our joint birthday party the last two years. While it was a couple of days late – we normally split the difference and celebrate on the sixth, if you’d like to honour us – it was delightful to finally get back into the swing of things by toasting with a chilled Daniel Kahlua and Milk.

 

 

Is this so simply it barely justifies a recipe? Of course. But Daniel is a total sweetheart and deserves a place on this ‘ere patch of cyberspace. And anyway, who wants a drink that’s difficult to throw together at the end of a long week.

Enjoy!

 

 

Daniel Kahlua and Milk
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
ice
¼ cup kahlua
⅓ cup milk

Method
Fill a highball with ice.

Top with kahlua, followed by milk.

Down.

 

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Jane Crackpieski

Baking, Dessert, Hashbrown: The End, Pie, Sweets

Like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt itself, we’ve reached the end of the road of our farewell celebration – Hashbrown: The End – and I am starting to get a bit misty, which is inappropriate when you’re meant to be honouring a hilarious show. But after catching up with Carol, Dylan, Ellie and Tituss I was too emotional, so I reached out to my dear friend and icon Jane Krakowski to see if she was free to drop by.

And she obviously was, since you’re ready this.

As you know I met future EGOT Jane in the 80s while co-starring in Starlight Express until my before I was callously cut. Thankfully it was Jane’s undying love and support that saw we through the tragic loss of my role of a lifetime.

Given Jane is a damn comedy icon, I try to see her as much as possible however it has tragically been well over two years since we last got together. As soon as she walked through customs I ran into her arms and started sobbing – some say it was because I missed her so, but we both knew that it was because at the close of today Jacqueline Voorhees will go the way of Jenna Maroney. And that is hard for me to deal with.

Unless Teens does reboot 30 Rock, I guess.

Somehow I managed to pull myself together long enough to drive home, go to the fridge and pull out the ultimate comfort food in the form of a Jane Crackpieski.

 

 

I feel like I am on a bit of a Milk Bar kick at the moment, but you know, when it’s right, it’s right. Any everything they do is right, even when it is a mistake. If you don’t know the story, Christina Tosi made the pie for staff dinner and while it was undercooked and she felt it was a dud, they couldn’t stop eating it and an sweet, addictive icon was born – the Crack Pie®.

And if that doesn’t offer you hope in a post-Kimmy Schmidt world, I don’t know what does.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jane Crackpieski
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
Oat Cookie
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
75g muscovado sugar
40g raw caster sugar
1 egg yolk
½ cup flour
120g rolled oats
⅛ tsp baking powder
pinch of baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt

Assembly and filling
180g muscovado sugar, plus 1 tbsp for the base
1 tsp kosher salt, plus ¼ tsp for the base
280g butter, melted – 55g for the base, the rest for the filling
300g raw caster sugar
20g milk powder
24g corn powder
¾ cup double cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
8 egg yolks, separated with military precision
icing sugar, for dusting

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Kick things off by working on the oat cookie. Cream the butter and sugars using the paddle attachment on a stand-mixer on medium-high for 3 minutes or so, or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and add the egg, before increasing speed and beat for a further couple of minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients and using the paddle, mix by hand until moist enough to return to the mixer to beat on low until just combined.

Dollop the mixture onto a lined baking sheet and flatten into a 1cm thick splat. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until caramelised, puffed and firmly set. Allow to cool completely.

When you’re ready to get to work on the final product, preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the cookie in a food processor with a tablespoon of muscovado sugar and ¼ tsp of salt, and blitz until it is the consistency of wet sand. Add 55g of melted butter and blitz until it comes together as a ball. Transfer the ball into a pie dish and firmly pack to cover the edges in an even thickness.

To make the filling, combine the remaining sugars, with the milk powder, corn powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until evenly blended. Still going, add the remaining butter and mix for 3 minutes or until all the ingredients are moist. Add the double cream and vanilla and continuing mixing for 3 minutes, or until completely combined. Scrape down the side and add the egg yolks, mixing on low speed until it is glossy and combined.

Pour the filling into the pie dish and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown but still jiggly.

Open the oven door and reduce the oven temperature to 160°C and close the door once it has cooled to that temperature. Cook for a further ten minutes, or until firming around the edge but jiggly in the centre.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before covering in cling and transferring to the freezer to set. Remove to defrost a couple of hours before you’re ready to serve.

When you’re ready for your mind to be blown, dust with icing sugar, grab a spoon and devour. Greedily. Thankful that we exist at the same time that Milk Bar does.

 

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Tituss Burizo & Chicken Rolls

Hashbrown: The End, Main, Side, Snack, Street Food

Now I know I said I don’t have favourites when I caught up with Carol way back when – you know, before Dylan and Ellie – but there is no denying that Titus is he true heart and soul of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. From scamming Kimmy in the early episodes, to lemonading and fighting with High Schoolers, Titus has my heart. And that is because of the iconic work of my dear friend Tituss.

Oh and it doesn’t help that he was based off me. Thanks Teens!

While I didn’t meet Tituss until he appeared on 30 Rock, I was blown away by his hilarious performance and immediately attached myself to him. And vowed to get him a damn Emmy one of these days.

Despite not making that a reality – yet – Tituss never throws shade at me when we have our monthly catch up to gossip and gulp down as much pinot noir as humanly possible. Which we obvs just refer to as the gossip and gulp date.

In any event, Tituss was thrilled to add another date to our busy dance card, particularly in light of the end of him playing me. As is oft the case, we laughed, we cried – which is becoming more and more prevalent as the end approaches – and gorged on as much comfort food as possible. Like some Tituss Burizo & Chicken Rolls.

 

 

Bet you thought I was going to make a red wine themed meal, no? Well instead of going with the literal interpretation, I instead opted to take another phallic symbol and form it into something just as comforting. And how do you go past smokey sausage wrapped in warm, doughy pastry? You can’t.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tituss Burizo & Chicken Rolls
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
300g raw chorizo, casing removed
300g chicken mince
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 zucchini, grated
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 rosemary sprig, leaves finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
2 sheets puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp sesame seeds

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Combine the chorizo, chicken, onion, garlic, zucchini, carrot and rosemary in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and scrunch with your hands into it comes together in a cohesive ball.

Cut each piece of puff pastry in half and divide the dough into four. Shape into long sausages and place close to a long edge of each piece of pastry. Tightly roll and cut each into 4-6 pieces and transfer to a lined baking sheet, seam side down.

Brush with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until golden, flaky and cooked.

 

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Ellie Kemparmigana Rissoles

Hashbrown: The End, Main

After kicking off my celebration of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Hashbrown: The End –  catching up with Carol and Dylan, I realised that I needed to circle back to the point and celebrate the titular Kimmy. Aka my dear friend Ellie Kemper.

While I haven’t known Ellie as long as some of the other cast members – I met her in 2011 while visiting Melissa on the set of Bridesmaids – we quickly bonded over our passion for writing and became the best of friends.

Despite being a close personal friend of Tina, I shockingly didn’t organise the casting. It was such a delight to pick up the phone from Tina who was giddy to have found her Kimmy, only to discover it was my dearest friend.

I haven’t seen Ellie since the last Emmys – where I refused to believe the news that Kimmy’s end was nigh – so it was wonderful to spend some time together and absorb the fact that this delightful, quirky show is ending and the world will never be the same.

And our hearts will become a blackened void.

Though I guess that’s where my Ellie Kemparmigana Rissoles come into play.

 

 

Chargrilled eggplant topped with a juicy, braised rissole, covered in tomato sauce and cheese? You can’t go wrong, even for the staunchest of anti-eggplanters – the veggie only, obvs – like me.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ellie Kemparmigana Rissoles
Serves: 6-8, depending on the size of your eggplant.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 large eggplant, cut into 1cm slices
1kg beef mince
1 tbsp oregano, chopped
1 tbsp basil, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
⅓ cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups passata
½ cup – or more, obvi – mozzarella cheese, grated

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Place the slices of eggplant on a lined baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Transfer to the oven and bake for half an hour, flipping once. Remove and drain on some kitchen towel.

Reduce oven to 180°C.

Combine the mince, oregano, basil, garlic and parmesan in a bowl and shape into 16 rissoles.

Place the eggplant slices in the bottom of a baking dish and top each with a rissole. Pour over the passata and sprinkle with the mozzarella. Transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until the cheese is golden and the rissoles cooked through.

Serve immediately with a big heaping of Gabriel Mash or on their own. Or with salad. I don’t mind, the most important thing is you devour.

 

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Quesadylan Chipotlula Chicken

Hashbrown: The End, Main, Snack, Street Food

Now I know Kimmy Schmidt only has four main cast members, but I couldn’t go past honouring one of the wider ensemble members before the show comes to an end. While Amy Sedaris is still someone I need to catch-up with ASAP, it is Dylan Gelula who I felt deserved a date given Xanthippe’s relationship with Kimmy provided me with so much joy when it first started.

I first met Dylan on the set of Jennifer Falls where I was working as Jessica Walter’s self-appointed bodyguard – I couldn’t trust Jeffrey Tambor not to appear and verbally assault her – but was taken by the young upstart’s talent. And ability to hold her own against Jess and the equally iconic Jaime Pressly.

When Tina first brought Unbreakable to me, she was hoping I would play Xanthippe – then named Benthippe – though I was too busy making bad choices and made a bad choice for my career. And a great choice creatively, suggesting she gender flip the role and cast Dyl.

You’re welcome.

I haven’t seen Dylan since filming the earlier seasons, so it was a treat to look back on how far she has come and for me to bait her into thanking me for giving her the big break. Thankfully she was a sweetie and before I had even mentioned that I would be serving a big plate of Quesadylan Chipotlula Chicken, she was talking about how wonderful my support has been.

 

 

You know I love my chilli to liquify my insides and given me the hiccups and the table, and these babies don’t fail. Piping hot, smokey and a little bit sweet, they’re the perfect food to honour the fire she brought to the role.

Enjoy!

 

 

Quesadylan Chipotlula Chicken
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 onions, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
200g can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, roughly chopped
400g can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
salt and black pepper, to taste
3 cups roast chicken, roughly chopped
8 tortillas
3 cups grated cheese
Guacamole, sour cream and lime, to serve

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a skillet over medium heat and sweat the onions for five minutes, or until tender. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute, or until fragrant. Quickly add the chipotle in adobo, tomatoes and sugar with a pinch of salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and stir through the chicken until heated through.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

To assemble, sprinkle cheese on a half of each tortilla – in a half-moon, ya dig? Split the chicken amongst the tortillas and spread to cover the cheese. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and fold the tortillas closed to form semi-circles. Press firmly and transfer to a lined baking sheet.

Place in the oven to bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden and crisp. Cut into wedges and serve piping hot with guac, sour cream and a fresh squeeze of lime juice.

Devour.

 

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Sidecarol Kane

Drink, Hashbrown: The End

It is truly hard to pick a favourite character on Kimmy Schmidt. I mean, Titus is iconic, Jacqueline is Jacqueline, Kimmy is adorable and sweet but I will always have a special place in my heart from Lillian. Maybe because we both rent out apartments without floors or more likely because Carol Kane is an absolute damn delight!

Though to be completely honest, I do not and will not ever choose a favourite so DON’T bring it up again.

I first met Carol on the set of Annie Hall when I was part of Diane’s entourage and we bonded over the pain of trying to manage our naturally curly manes. I mean, everyone loves the concept of curly hair but it can be a total pain – particularly in heat or humidity – and that is something that only a curly can understand.

Somehow we’ve both managed to achieve great success despite the stress of our luscious, time consuming manes, so we don’t get to see as much of each other as we would like. No joke, we haven’t seen each other since 2006 and TBH it is probably the thing that keeps me up at night.

As a dear friend to both, I was on hand for the Madame Morrible changeover between Rue and her in Wicked, and we’ve been too busy to catch-up. Thankfully the end of Kimmy does offer us one positive, in that she had enough free time to jet down, reconnect, vow not to go so long between drinks and toast her success with a Sidecarol Kane. At it was amazing.

 

 

It should be extremely obvious by now that I will – and have – suck the alcohol out of deodorant if required, so it goes without saying that I find this delicious. But you will too – a little bit of tang and a whole lot of punch, it is the perfect way to honour a delightful show. And an even more delightful icon.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sidecarol Kane
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
2 shots brandy
1 shot orange liqueur
1 tbsp lemon juice
ice

Method
Pour the brandy, liqueur and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker and give a good ol’ shake.

Pour into an old fashioned glass filled with ice.

Down.

 

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Hashbrown: The End

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Hashbrown: The End

Sit down and pour yourself a big glass of pinot noir because Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s end is nigh, and if that isn’t a reason to start living your life in ten second increments, I don’t know what is.

Unless you too were kidnapped by Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne and held in a bunker for the last four years, you would know that Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is one of the greatest shows of all time. Given it is from the mind of Tina Fey though, we shouldn’t be shocked. And I am totally set to go all Kanye-on-Taylor on the winner of Best Comedy at this year’s Emmy if it doesn’t finally receive some love.

Oh and I guess congrats on being a mole woman if you were in the John Hamm bunker!

So try and relax, get gussied up and look like a million bucks – I’m sure that is a compliment to a non-celeb – and prepare to live as good as a werewolf while celebrating the too short life of Kimmy. And Kymmi too, I guess.

What do I make for the cast as they blimp in?

Image source: NBCUniversal / Netflix.

 

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Sandra Dohnuts

Baking, Dessert, Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldy Bird, Snack, Sweets

Just like that we’ve arrived at the end of this year’s Golden Globe Gold celebration, Goldy Bird and are ready to see whether my bets will pay literal dividends or whether I will need to assume a new identity and disappear again. But let’s not worry about that because after catching up with the divine Ryan, Katey, Rich, Diane and Gael, we’re wrapping things up with icon, queen and this year’s nominee slash host slash my dear friend, Sandra Oh.

I’ve known Sandy for close to two decades after meeting on the set of The Princess Diaries. I was part of Mandy’s entourage at the time but I quickly bonded with Sandra given she is extremely delightful, charming and I knew she was destined for greatness.

Despite the fact I introduced Sand and her ex-husband, I took her under my wing, introduced her to Alexander Payne and then encouraged her to audition for a little show called Grey’s Anatomy.

Needless to say, she is grateful for the way I shaped her career.

Sandra was super stressed as we caught up, busy perfecting the final Globes script with my boy Andy Samberg and getting set for their moment in the sun. Given two of my friends are co-hosting, it goes without saying I haven’t been this proud since the Tina and Amy years.

Given how busy she is, I didn’t want to waste to much of her time so we quickly sat down to run the final odds of the season. Obviously she downplayed her chances for Best Actress in Drama, predicting it is Julia’s to lose – I know Sandy is winning though – while we both agreed that Matthew Rhys will take Best Actor, Penelope Cruz will take Best Supporting Actress and Pose will snatch Best Drama.

With that, I now hand things over to the globes while Sand and I sit in her dressing room preparing for the final show and smashing some Sandra Dohnuts.

 

 

Pillowy dough covered in sticky, sweet ganache and a healthy layer of sprinkles? They may not be classy, but damn are they perfect.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sandra Dohnuts
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
100g butter
¼ cup raw caster sugar
3 eggs
1 cup milk, plus 2 tbsp for the glaze
½ tsp vanilla extract, plus 2 tsp for the glaze
3 ¼ cups plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
150g icing sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder
½ cup sprinkles

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light, pale and fluffy. With the mixer still on, add the eggs, one at a time allowing to mix after each addition, and the milk and vanilla, mixing until combined. Still mixing, add in the baking powder and salt until just combined – it may look a bit curdled, but relax.

Remove from the mixture and fold in the flour until just combined, making sure not to overmix.

Transfer batter into a piping bag and pipe into a doughnut pan. If you don’t have a pan you can try and pipe them into circles – they may not look perfect, but they’ll taste it!  Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden and fluffy.

Remove the doughnuts from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat the process until the batter is done.

While they’re all chilling, sift together the sugar and cocoa powder in a medium bowl and slowly stir in the milk and vanilla until a smooth, pourable glaze forms. Pour over the chilled donuts and sprinkle, with the sprinkles.

Leave to set, then devour.

 

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