Amber Marinara Sauce

Condiment, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor: All Stars, Survivor: The Australian Outback, Survivor: Winners at War, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor – which yes, yes, was minutes ago – 20 former champions of the game arrived in Fiji for the 20th anniversary special edition, battle royale, all winners season. While the opening didn’t have the majesty of dislocated shoulders or Sugar running around topless flipping the bird at the heroes, seeing winners like Amber, Ethan and Danni, who I never thought I would see again, was so exciting and grand, my gay little heart almost exploded. Mainly because Ethan is a zaddy and can get it. But anyway, the victors were split into two tribe Dakal and Sele, with the former taking out the opening immunity, meaning Queen Sandra lived to avoid becoming the first boot. Over at Sele, Rob, Parvati, Ethan and Danni joined together to form an old school alliance, taking control and deciding whether to split up Adam and Denise – who got lost together – and Natalie and Jeremy. Given the latter two were such close allies, and Jeremy’s blindside literally pushed Natalie to victory, they targeted them and sent Natalie to the Edge of Extinction.

We followed Natalie off to the Edge of Extinction, which she was now a massive fan of given it gives her the chance to return to the game. Despite following in her sister’s footsteps and getting booted first in The Amazing Race All Stars, she was still shocked to have been voted out of the game, describing the feeling of picking up a torch at tribal as weird.

The next day we checked in with Dakal where Sandra and Sarah were talking to Yul by the well, finding some common ground on their lack of connections and not having family. Sandra told the duo how hurt she was by Rob lying to her about playing, after denying it while spending 36 days together on the Island of the Idols. And honestly, I don’t know if this is a brilliant lie to get the target off her own back, or whether she was genuinely hurt … but I live for my vengeful queen. I just wish it didn’t mean she was likely going to take it out on Amber, instead of her hubby. Seeing a chance to split up the poker pals, Yul asked Sandra and Sarah if they would be willing to split up the marrieds and their card shark chums, which the Game Changers both quickly agreed to. Yul was mainly thrilled that the ladies were trying to pull together the same people he was. Aka the one time players that don’t have any connections on the tribe. Yul took the information back to his allies Sophie, Wendell and Nick and they were obviously keen to snatch the majority.

Over at Sele Michele was smarting over being left out of the vote at the previous tribal council, given she has so much pressure to prove that she deserved her first win and is actually a good player. She and Ben caught up, agreeing that Rob is in control of the tribe, no matter what he says, and that they need to hook up with Adam to make sure the new school kids aren’t led to the slaughter by the oldies. Firmly in the middle of the factions, Jeremy excused himself to a quiet section of the jungle where he learnt that Nat had bequeathed him her Fire Token and as such, he was the richest man in the game.

Speaking of Nat, she discovered the price list for items on Edge of Extinction which was accompanied by a note, offering a chance to earn herself a Fire Token. With that, she went hiking around the island to find the last place you would see the sun set. Where she discovered an immunity idol that is good for the next three tribal councils, which she could sell to someone from the losing tribe at the next immunity challenge for one Fire Token.

Speaking of the immunity challenge, Jeffrey arrived to lord over it. Each tribe was required to paddle out to retrieve a bag of number tiles, race over a series of obstacles, use the numbers to release three rings and then toss three rings to raise three flags. Both tribes were neck and neck getting into the water, until Sele straight up paddled into a pontoon and gave Dakal a huge lead. Which only extended as Sele over shot the dock with the number tiles. Sele desperately tried to close the gap but Dakal proved too strong, extended the lead as Rob single handedly flipped his tribemates over an obstacle. By the time Sele made it to the last obstacles, Yul had managed to release the rings giving Tyson and Wendell a massive head start tossing their rings. Wendell scored the first point before Adam finally released the rings. While Wendell continued to struggle, Jeremy quickly landed three rings in a row and handed Sele a massive come from behind win.

Back at camp Tony decided to simply ask if anyone wants to go keep Natalie company on the Edge of Extinction. With nobody jumping at the chance to exit the game, the tribe quickly splintered to find a target – not calmly, as Yul requested – with Sandra and Nick keen to take out Amber, while Kim, Amber and Tyson suggested those two and Tony to Wendell, unaware that they were aligned. Wendell, Nick and Yul caught up, Amber was feeling confident in her alliance with Tyson and Kim, though the pace made her nervous and she knew that she needed to keep up. Amber approached Sophie to see whether they should be getting rid of Sandra, given she spreads information to keep the target of herself. Speaking of Sandra, she was spreading information to her allies, to solidify the target on Tyson, Kim or Amber.

Sandra was feeling particularly confident, given she discovered and accepted the immunity idol in her bag. Stirring the pot with safe, glee, Sandra told Tony and co that Tyson now wants Tony out, pissing Tony off and getting his allies to change the plan to get rid of Tyson instead. Particularly since Amber isn’t scrambling, and keeping the married couple together keeps the target off him. Meanwhile Yul and Nick approached Tyson to let him know that everyone is terrified about the poker alliance, and as such, Tyson immediately flipped his game from dictating a vote, to assuring them that he will be a loyal number and vote whichever way they want him to. Kim and Amber be damned. Speaking of Kim, she was feeling nervous for the first time in her Survivor career, approaching Sandra and Wendell to find out who the target is, quickly realising that it may just be her.

Knowing that her presence was causing a lot of silences, she desperately tried to find someone to talk to and started announcing herself before entering any populated areas. She felt awful to finally be left out in her Survivor career, and was just hopeful that she wasn’t the one that was punished for the alleged poker alliance.

At tribal council Probst continued to make Amber feel super old, reminding her that she hasn’t played in over 16 years with her admitting that the speed of the game is overwhelming. Tyson spoke about the differences in each of the eras of Survivor, with the oldies sitting back and observing while the newer victors seem to act first, think second. Amber felt that Tony was running around erratically, with he and Sandra defending him because they were going to tribal council. And if she can’t keep up with the pace, she needs to get out of the way. Sophie said that the scrambling dropped off throughout the day, and as such, people should be nervous that their last conversation is correct. Which Sandra agreed with, given it was whittled down to a small group. Kim admitted that she was part of the small group because she played in a poker game which everyone believes is an alliance, which Tyson agreed was also putting him in danger.

Kim desperately tried to convince everyone that she is not close with the poker group and if it is, she isn’t a part of it. Wendell agreed that there are so many connections that the game is a mess, while Amber said that with $2 million dollars on the line, everyone was playing for themselves. Which Sandra gladly agreed with.

With that the tribe voted, Sandra held on to her hidden immunity idol and Kim and Tyson were spared as Amber became the second person and first Mariano voted out of the game to the Edge of Extinction. After bequeathing her Fire Token to Rob, I jumped out from behind the Edge of Extinction sign and unlike Natalie, she wasn’t terrified nor surprised to see me. She simply threw her arms around my neck and told me how glad she was to at least see me in her moment of crushing defeat.

Like Sandra said while voting for her, it was heartbreaking to see Amber’s third chance cut because of Rob’s threat level, rather than her own. And that thought made me start to break down in tears. Immediately, she went into mum/mom mode, pulled me in for a hug and reminded me that everything will be ok. And that while Edge of Extinction sucks, I can at least watch her in every episode. With that thought bringing a smile to my face, she got a fire going and I quickly whipped her up an Amber Marinara Sauce for the road.

 

 

Rich, robust and versatile – am I describing the perfect man or a simply beautiful marinara sauce. Por que no los dos, amirite? Smooth and lightly herbed, this marinara is the basis for all that is good in Italian cooking – from pizza to pasta, this baby has your back.

Enjoy!

 

 

Amber Marinara Sauce
Serves: 4-6 in a Dolognese, or about 1L if chugging.

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
10 garlic cloves, peeled and slivered
2 tsp chilli flakes
800g can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper, ground
½ tsp raw caster sugar
¼ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
2 tbsp fresh oregano, roughly chopped

Method
Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat and sweat the garlic for a couple of minutes, or until fragrant and starting to catch on the bottom. Add the chilli and cook, stirring, for a further minute.

Add the tomatoes, and a cup of water that has been swilled around the can to get every last drop of ruby, delicious goodness. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes.

Add the salt, pepper, sugar and herbs and cook – stirring occasionally still, FYI – for a further 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat to cool completely, before bottling.

 

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Christina Applegate Sauce

Condiment, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Golden Family, Sauce

As you know, most of my time celebrating an Award Show is dedicated to finding someone that will take me as their plus one when the relevant academy chooses yet again, not to invite me. So since my dear Christina Applegate is nominated again this year and co-starred opposite Ed O’Neil, I couldn’t go past kicking off this year’s celebration with her.

I’ve known Chris for decades, after meeting on the set of Married. While I was employed as part of Kate’s entourage, I was drawn to Chris due to our similar sense of humour and we quickly developed a strong, unbreakable bond.

Given how busy she is, I haven’t caught up with Christina in close to 12 months, so it was such a joy to swing by her pad and toast her success on Dead to Me. While she wouldn’t give away any spoilers on season 2, she did assure me that should Linda agree to end her feud with me she could find a way to work me in to the season.

And I assume, finally get me my elusive first Emmy nomination.

Speaking of Emmy nominees, we sat down to run the odds in the Comedy Game. Despite both loving her performance in Dead to Me, we agreed that JLD will take Best Actress despite Catherine O’Hara deserving it. Best Actor she thinks will go to Bill Hader, while I think Ted Danson will make his triumphant return to the stage. While I am hopeful Anna Chlumsky will finally take out an Emmy for her role in Veep, Chris thinks it will go to Olivia Colman. When both obviously agree that Henry Winkler will take out Best Supporting Actor once again.

With that I wished her luck and toasted to her ongoing success with a big pot of sweet, spiced Christina Applegate Sauce.

 

 

While most people would argue that apple sauce is apple sauce and it isn’t anything special, I urge you to try this and then try to go back to store bought. Because you can’t. Lightly spiced with a caramelly hint, this smooth sauce is the perfect accompaniment to a big, salty slab of pork. Or great to shot.

Enjoy!

 

 

Christina Applegate Sauce
Serves: 1 saucy nominee and her inspiration.

Ingredients
5 granny smith apples, peeled and cored
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 cinnamon quill

Method
Place everything in a saucepan with two tablespoons of water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, covered, and cook until apples are very soft. About ten minutes should be enough.

Remove the cinnamon quill and blitz the sauce until smooth and serve immediately.

 

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Sosie Bacon Jam

Condiment, Gravy, Sauce

Wellity wellity, look who is back for some Sunday sauciness! Wait, no, shit, like Patty Hogg, I’ve said too much, I’ve said too much. Let me backpedal, I was on the phone to my love Kev last weekend – it was Daddy’s day, after all – and my god-daughter Sosie yelled out to send her love and talk about how much she missed me.

After Kev and I were done letting each other know how much we love each other, I got him to put Sose on the line and told her to get out here and visit with me some time. Ten minutes later she told me the flights were booked and to get baking.

So obviously I have known Sosie for her entire life and as her godfather have always tried to help her out when she needed it. I then got her cast in the Scream TV show, in an HBO vehicle and opposite three of my boyfriends in 13 Reasons Why, so I think you would agree I’ve been quite successful.

I was feeling super nostalgic spending time with Sosie, so told her how proud I am of her ad nauseum. Before whipping her up a vat of Sosie Bacon Jam.

 

 

Sticky, sweet and with a gloriously salty kick, bacon jam is quite possibly one of my favourite things. Chuck it on a burger, a sandy, with some cheese, in a quiche, hell even a shoe Old Gregg style, I will eat it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sosie Bacon Jam
Serves: 1-2 cups.

Ingredients
olive oil
500g streaky bacon, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
⅓ cup bourbon
⅔ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup muscovado sugar
2 tbsp thyme leaves
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Heat a small lug of olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the bacon over medium heat for about fifteen minutes, or until crispy, caramelised and straight up glorious. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Add the bourbon and cook the alcohol off for a minute before stirring through the apple cider, muscovado and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and leave to simmer, stirring semi-frequently, for 20 minutes, or until thick and sticky.

Season to taste and transfer to a sterilised jar. Or just eat with a spoon like a true member of the Bacon clan would.

It can keep for a week or so refrigerated, but I don’t think you’ll have any left over. Just sayin’.

 

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Passjohnfruit Hennigan Butter

Condiment, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the Goliaths entered the merge with a 7-5 advantage, with the Mayor of Slamtown – aka my bae-town – tragically channelling Kellyn for some Goliath Strong votes ahead. Unaware Christian, Nick, Gabby, Alec, Mike and Alison launched a new majority alliance – well almost – vowing to lay low for a couple of votes before taking control of the game. Everyone had locked in a vote against Elizabeth, however Angelina was desperate to start securing jury votes and took that information back to her, allowing she and Gabby to blow up Angelina’s game at tribal. Sure Elizabeth was still voted out, but there is no way Angelina can win. The final three however? I pray.

Back at camp Angelina was feeling the heat and desperately got to work pretending she wasn’t caught out trying to win over the Queen of the Jury. While she lied her arse off, nobody believed her – nobody – but damn I love her and need her to stay as long as possible.

The next day Christian and Mike got together to spill the tea on tribal and while they admitted Angelina lost all her power, they still used the time to reconfirm the new 6-person alliance. Well until Mike mentioned that Gabby’s performance at tribal gave him doubts about her loyalty. Meanwhile Nick was expanding his list of allies, wandering the camp with Davie to find an idol to help them take control. Sadly they didn’t find an idol, though they did find a clue and set off down the beach to hunt. Carl joined them in the hunt before they realised the entire tribe was sitting near the tree where it was hidden. Davie literally did interpretive dance on a rock to distract the rest of their tribe while Nick quickly pocketed a vote steal – which is still hella cursed, FYI – and Carl spilled the fact he own an idol nullifier. Between those and Davie’s idol – which he kept secret – I can smell a comeback.

My boy Probst interrupted the excitement for this week’s reward challenge where the tribe would be split into two teams and forced to hold weighted bags tethered to a trough of water over their heads. Aka the Australian Survivor challenge where Robbie, Benji and Zach postured and lost. It was for 12 pizzas between six people and hot damn, that is worth playing for. Gabby selected Nick, Alec, John, Alison and Christian for her team – no doubt to Mike’s chagrin – despite the fact he too was a captain. To be honest the cast has less toxic masculinity and as such it isn’t really exciting to write about, so Gabby’s team took out reward. But damn, Kara is a beast and I love her. Particularly since she wasn’t cocky about hold three bags while Dan was, forcing him to drop one and lose the challenge for his team.

Kalokalo returned to camp where Gabby’s team sat down to devour their feast in front of the rest of the tribe. Which made them all hella salty, well, except Mike who just wants to make it to the end. He went for a walk down the beach to reflect on his many alliances and figure which is his best option. He went to discuss voting out Angelina with Alec, concerned that she is a non-threat and he is more interested in getting rid of Christian. Thankfully Alec agreed that Christian was a threat but was way more interested in keeping his options open, which getting rid of him would eliminate. Mike went and spoke to the rest of the Goliaths with all of them thrilled to jump on board with the Christian vote, driving Angelina crazy since she threw it out last week and got shut down by all of them. Rubbing salt in that wound, she was told that she would be this week’s decoy.

Jeffrey returned for this week’s reward challenge where the castaways would balance on a narrow perch while trying to keep their ball up between two rods, which sounds counterintuitive TBH if you ask me. Kara quickly dropped out – unlike Probst’s boyfie fuck you Brad Culpepper – followed closely by Christian, Alison, Davie, my bae John, Gabby and Carl. Only minutes later Alec and Mike dropped, leaving Angelina, Nick and Dan to battle it out to win immunity and beat Culpepper’s record. Nick dropped as I got distracted by Dan’s package before Angelina dropped and handed Dan his first immunity win.

Things quickly descended into chaos back at camp as the Goliaths told the Davids that Angelina will be voted out tonight, despite the fact they plan to take out Christian. Angelina was still smarting about being the decoy vote, complaining to Dan and Kara about potentially being idoled out. Dan started to chastise her, much to her clear rage. He then disappeared to talk to Alec and Kara and floated the idea of potentially letting her get idolled out, rather than protect her like her promised. Alec then took the information that Mike was considering flipping to Nick, encouraging him to flip the script if they can. Nick looped in Christian as the poor nerd started to panic, while Nick set off to figure out a way to use his advantage to protect his buddy. Davie continued to keep his idol a secret, however started to consider whether it was worth using to snatch a majority.

At tribal council Elizabeth looked completely adorable while Angelina acknowledged how destroyed she was at tribal council. Nick admitted that turning on Angelina could be their best shot at survival, Mike spoke about sticking Goliath strong being an easy move, Davie praised Elizabeth for highlighting cracks at the last tribal and Carl admitted he wasn’t sure about anything until the votes are read. John – bae – spoke about getting what you give, while Alec said that isn’t always the safest move and Nick started to ramp things up, pledging his allegiance to his allies. The biggest guy here John spoke about the importance of taking out threats, Christian seemed confused about how large a threat he has become before sharing how great he is at forging bonds. Which Queen Angelina pointed out and then acknowledged that there are bound to be fireworks when they get back to camp.

With that the tribe voted and Davie decided it was worth it playing his idol for Christian. This terrified Angelina who immediately went to Natalie and the jacket mode, begging Dan to play one of his idols for her. Which he did. Sadly for the Goliaths and my eyes, Davie clearly had looped some fellow Davids in on the idol as they loaded up a couple of vote on John and the Mayor of Slamtown was sent out of the game and to the jury. Given he is a total sweet babe, he laughed it off and praised everyone on a game well played, not even firing Christian from the role of Slamtown Comptroller.

Obviously I threw myself at him as soon as he walked in to Ponderosa, holding him tight and promising everything will be ok. I mean, I knew he was ok, but I just wanted to hug him … to make sure, you know? I’ve know John since my days on the wrestling circuit – I coached the Rock, no biggie – and we’ve been the best of friends for years, so after a quick catch-up I knew that my Passjohnfruit Hennigan Butter would be the only thing worthy of toasting a game well played. And a tushy of gold.

 

 

Now it is confession time. I normally hate passionfruit, most likely because I convinced myself they would crack my teeth and I’ll look like Cletus from The Simpsons. Why that fear stop me from passionfruit and not the sugar balls is a mystery for another time …

Anyway, this baby is the only way to eat passion fruit. I mean, how do you go wrong by adding butter and sugar to something? The question is rhetorical, so don’t disappoint me by answering in the comments.

Enjoy!

 

 

Passjohnfruit Hennigan Butter
Serves: 8-12. TBH, I have no idea.

Ingredients
250g chilled butter, chopped
300g raw caster sugar
1 ½ cups fresh passionfruit pulp
6 egg yolks

Method
Combine everything in a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring, for fifteen minutes.

Transfer to a sterilised jar.

Chill overnight.

Devour.

 

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Blu Cancheese Dressing

Condiment, Dip

Today marks our fourth anniversary on the interwebs and I feel like I’ve taken to quoting Jonathan Van Ness more and more frequently but … can you believe? Anyway, given it is a birthday that means I needed to organise a little party, so I decided to reach out to my girl Blu Cantrell and asked her to hit me up style and help celebrate.

Which she obviously said yes to, otherwise this would be a total waste of a post, no?

I’ve known Blu for years after meeting while auditioning Puff’s back-up singers for him in the mid ‘90s. I was completely blown away by her talent and told Diddy that he’d be mad not to take her on, whilst secretly working to make her a star.

Fast forward a few years, Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops!) became a hit, earned her two Grammy noms and once again, I succeeded. Maybe my lot in life is to elevate people to fame rather than snag an EGOT of my own while winning America’s Next Top Model after losing weight on Survivor in full Drag?

JK, I deserve an EGOT.

As you can imagine, Blu was honoured to be selected to drop by for our anniversary celebrations. And while some people would argue that she is a left-field choice, she has had a rough couple of years and as a dear, sweet friend, I wanted her to feel special.

We laughed, we cried, we reconnected, and most importantly, came up with a way to thrust us both firmly into the spotlight. Though that, my non-famous friends, is a story for another time. While you wait, why not whip up some Blu Cancheese Dressing and see if you come up with the same idea we did whilst gulping it down?

 

 

Smooth, creamy and packing a hell of a punch of pungent blue cheese, this dressing is truly the best. Well, to accompany Buffalec Baldwin Chicken Meatball Poppers or any form of buffalo flavoured things.

Buffalo as in chilli wings, not the animal. We’re not Jessica Simpson, though she is a dear friend.

Enjoy!

 

 

Blu Cancheese Dressing
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
150g blue cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup buttermilk
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Combine the blue cheese, garlic, sour cream, mayo and buttermilk in a food processor with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Decant and down.

 

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Mahersharaspberry Coulis

Condiment, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XC: The Goldfather, Sauce, Sweets

Can you feel the excitement in the air? It is Oscars weekend (well, in Australia) and in addition to the media just realising that Australia has more than two nominees this year – go Josh Lawson, bring it home for Brisbane – we’ve reached the biggest categories of this year’s Oscar Gold.

After running the writing with Diabs, reflecting on the music on the way to visit Mancini, to the directing with Kath and Best Piccie yesterday with Brad, we’ve made it to the acting categories –  and Best Animated feature, which should just be a formality – and I’m so excited to have reigning champ and my dear friend Mahershala Ali over to help.

While he tragically isn’t taking me as his date this year, we’re still the best of friends. Though, given we’ve known each other for a decade, that one small slight won’t end our friendship. I was obviously part of Brad’s entourage when we met on the set of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but was taken by the insane talent of Mahershala and vowed to make him a star and get him a damn Oscar.

Ten years later, and you’re all welcome. From House of Cards to Luke Cage and his Oscar winning turn in Moonlight, Mahershala’s quiet commanding, dignified performances are nothing short of revelatory and I love him. Maybe that is why I haven’t vowed to ruin his career for not inviting me on Sunday?

Anyway, after a quick catch-up and the assurance that True Detective will be good again in season 3, we got down to the important business at hand, who will win the male acting gongs. But first, Coco is winning Best Animated Feature and if it doesn’t, it will be a worse robbing than those committed by Ernesto De La Cruz. That being said though, the artistry of Loving Vincent is impressive. Just the movie was rather dull.

Anyway, succeeding Mahersh as Best Supporting Actor will be Sam Rockwell, though I feel it should be going to Michael Stuhlbarg for Call Me by Your Name and he feels Willem more than earnt it for The Florida Project. Best Actor has given us a similar dilemma, while we feel Gary Oldman has it on lock, Timothée Chalamet was a revelation in a more understated role. Plus – the final scene as Sufjan plays? Heartbreaking. For those playing along, that is now 30 awards I would have handed to Call Me by Your Name but feel it won’t win.

That bitter taste could only be washed away by something sweet, and there is nothing sweet than my Mahersharaspberry Coulis.

 

 

I know it seems hella improbable every time I have a celebrity friend drop by and they only request a condiment, but Mahersh just can’t get enough of this. Lightly sweet, perfectly taste and with the velvety smoothness of the vanilla? I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mahersharaspberry Coulis
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
500g frozen raspberries
¾ cup raw caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method
Combine the sugar and berries with half a cup of water in a saucepan over medium heat, and bring to the boil. Once rollicking, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring sparingly, for about ten minutes or until sticky and thickened. Remove from the heat, stir through vanilla and allow to cool completely.

Once cool, blitz with a stick blender until completely smooth before straining into a container. And then serve – preferably on a Peach Idris Melba – or in a shot glass, before devouring.

 

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Joe Manngo Chutney

Condiment, Dip, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the Mike and Joe frantically searched for cracks in the alliance of seven. While they were successful in finding an in, it was in know way to their credit, as Ben, Lauren, Devon and Ashley hatched a plan to blindside Ryan and Chrissy and take control. While I’m still confused how inserting someone into the game on day 28 only to blindside them is a power move, farewell JP. We barely knew ye!

Things were hella awkward back at camp after the blindside, with Ben pretending to be upset and Chrissy pretending to be cool with the vote … as her voice got higher and higher with each sentence. Ryan was mildly more successful pretending to be gracious about the blindside, though was still hella pissed about the vote. Though it appears not as personally attacked as Chrissy. In any event, Ben should play the Glenn Close role in the reboot of Fatal Attraction.

Ben went for a walk with Lauren and Ashley to discuss their success under the guise of making nice, while Ryan and Devon got together to clear the air. While Ryan tried to argue the semantics of his idol lie, Devon pretended they were ok despite being completely unmoved.

The next day Devon entered the winner’s edit fray, giving some nice personal content before meeting up with Ben for some breakfast, thankful that after one vote, their majority will be on lock and Ben can come out of the closet. The alliance closet, tragically. In any event, Devon’s cockiness seems far more likeable, making me feel like it won’t bite him in the butt. Yet.

My boy Probst arrived for a spa reward challenge, where the tribes would be split into teams and required to swim to a boat before rowing to the shore, collecting blocks along the way. They then need to use the blocks to push puzzle pieces out of a tunnel before, obvi, building said puzzle. Ashley, Ben, Devon and Joe got out to an early lead before stranding Ben with the second puzzle pieces and allowing Chrissy, Ryan, Mike and Lauren to catch-up. Sadly, that wasn’t enough as Ashley, Ben, Devon and Joe’s brute strength returned their lead while releasing the puzzle pieces, giving them victory before Mike and Chrissy could claw back.

At the reward, Joe was feeling better about his place in the game after surviving the last tribal and getting a shower. Devon’s stocks continued to rise, grateful for a shower … and Ben’s skillful portrayal as a blindsidee scorned. While the boys showered – in separate showers, sadly – Devon and Ashley gloated about the move, with the latter also realising that Ben will need to be legit blindsided soon.

Back at camp Ryan was feeling nervous, pulling Mike aside to try and find some common ground to form an alliance. Poor Mike was feeling super confidence in his new alliance of five – which is made up of three aligned people with two patsies – so quickly shut him down. Sadly Chrissy was having as much luck trying to win Lauren over by starting to discuss strategy on day 28. Chrissy’s mood continued to plummet as the rain rolled in the next day, taking some time alone in the shelter to wallow by herself. Thankfully Mike was on hand with some rice and comfort to perk her up.

Jiffy Pop returned for what looks to be a huge immunity challenge, where they were required to wheel a key through an obstacle course, unlock some puzzle pieces and, wait, build said puzzle. So yeah, not actually that huge. Ben, Devon and Joe got out to an early lead with Chrissy and Ashley close behind. Aka, Mike, Ryan and Lauren are total non-events. Devon was first across with all the puzzle pieces, followed closely by Ashley and Ben. thankfully for everyone else, the puzzle proved extremely difficult allowing Chrissy to catch up and snag immunity, despite everyone trying to cheat off her answers.

The tribe quickly commenced scrambling with the secret final four alliance of Ashley, Ben, Devon and Lauren sneaking away to lock in a vote against Joe. Ben then exited, allowing the three to tell Mike and Joe that the five of them will be splitting the votes between Ben and Ryan. With them busy, Ben joined Chrissy and Ryan to discuss who they should target, tossing up between Devon and Ashley, while Ben encouraged Ryan to save himself by playing his idol. To add a little confusion to the mix, Lauren and Ashley hooked up to discuss the issue of getting rid of Ben. While they agreed he will need to go eventually, they aren’t quite sure if it is the right time. Ashley then took the plan to Devon, who wasn’t convinced that it was a good idea just yet.

At tribal council Cole and JP continued to wear clothes, while Mike seemed pretty happy with himself, as too was Chrissy which makes more sense given she has immunity. Joe started to gloat about successfully taking advantage of the people at the bottom of Ben’s broken alliance, which to reiterate, nobody knows isn’t broken given he continues to get a Meryl-worthy performance. Mike joined in the gloating act, highlighting that neither he nor Joe are very self-aware. Vague talked turned to trusting your alliance and the ebbs and flows of the game before Joe announced that he was the safest he has felt even without an idol, thanks to his alliance. Sadly for him, that trust was misplaced as Ryan needlessly played his idol on himself, allowing the votes to roll in for Ashley before sending Joe out of the game.

What I didn’t mention when filling you in on JP, is that our relationship broke down after he discovered I was the firebug destroying his town all to assemble a life-calendar in my boudoir. I was arrested and since I’m a celeb, quickly put on parole … which is where I met and befriended Joe. While I gave him a decent amount of shit for the way he played the game, Joe is an absolute sweetheart out of the game and I wholeheartedly credit him for turning my life around. And for that, he’ll get aw many vats of my Joe Manngo Chutney whenever he is down.

 

 

The strong kick of chilli mixed with the hint of curry work perfectly with the sweetness of my juicy, juicy mangoes, leaving you with a condiment you want to drink by the jugful. Which Joe coincidentally does.

Enjoy!

 

 

Joe Manngo Chutney
Serves: 500ml-1L.

Ingredients
2kg mangoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
sea salt
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 onions, diced
2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh red chilli
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups muscovado sugar
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground clove
¼ cup sultanas

Method
Put the mangoes in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Cover and leave overnight to rest. In the morning, drain off the juice and rinse the fruit thoroughly.

Combine the apple, garlic, chilli, vinegar, sugar, ginger, cumin, coriander, mixed spice, cloves and sultanas in a large saucepan over a low heat, and cook until the sugar just dissolves.

Add the mangoes, bring to the boil and add simmer for an hour, or until the chutney is thick and syrupy.

Spoon into sterilised jars and seal … or devour immediately with cold meat and sharp cheeses. Or use it in the Jacken Thomas & Avocado Pizza.

 

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