Mortadella Reese

Main

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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Pizza Chrustica Underwood

Main, Pizza, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Edge of Extinction, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the Kama Kama Kama Kama Chameleon tribe were very anti both of their returnee players, while Kelley seemed to be lugging around the target solo on Manu. I assume because everyone has forgotten that David literally dominated five seasons ago. Chris tried to pull Wardog in for a Wentworth blindside, however the artist I wish would stop calling himself Wardog but a kibosh on the plan and, rightly, swung the vote around on Keith. Who really struggled with any and all things physical, which is super relatable … until her pretends they will suck without him.

We opened back up with Keith’s theatrics trying to decide whether he wanted to join Reem at Extinction. Which he obviously did given he was so cut to be eliminated. While he was heartbroken to be out of the game, Reem was thrilled to finally have any company and quickly accepted his apology for taking him out. There was talk about the lack of food and Reem, the icon, announced that while she was close to raising the flag to get the hell out, she now wants to stay to protect her young. The next day they awoke to discover maps by the flag, guiding them to find stairs on their beach, with zero further information. They scoured the island and finally found them which led to a big pot of rice. Well, the pot was big however the supply of rice was meager. And they would have to scale the mountain each day they wanted food.

Probst decided to arrive early in the ep for this week’s reward challenge where the tribes would have to build wheelbarrows to collect sandbag, then deconstruct said wheelbarrow to build a slingshot to shoot said sandbags at targets with the first to eliminate them all would get either chickens or comfort items. Manu somehow got to an early lead – and I softened to Wardog who is babin’ – however Joe and co managed to close the gap at the first station of sandbags. Kama extended their lead throughout the rest of the challenge until they couldn’t build their slingshot, leaving Manu to take back the lead despite Wendy injuring her ankle. My sweet, sexy Chris made quick work of the targets while Gavin struggled, and try as Julia – I think that’s her name, we haven’t heard from her – might, Chris snatched Manu their first victory and damn I love Chris. Oh and I guess I should mention they selected chickens?

Back at camp we learnt how bad Big Wendy’s injury was as her ankle ballooned and she had to be carried up to the camp. She was worried that this would mean the end of her journey, while everyone rallied around to look after her … by giving her space. They then went to discuss how best to cook up the chicken, which made Wendy upset that people were going to kill them. Thankfully the pain wasn’t enough to stop her from thinking about releasing said chickens, and I love her and will call her Big Wendy just because that’s what she wants. She then asked Rick to help her bust the chickens out and while he isn’t into killing them either, he didn’t want to help bust them out.

Over at Kama the tribe were stinging from their first loss, while Joe and Aubry tried to pep them up and reminded them that while it sucked, it wasn’t immunity and they can fight like hell tomorrow. We then heard from Victoria who spoke about them being on the outs with Aurora, and I feel like the tribe wouldn’t actually mind losing an immunity challenge or three. Victoria and Ron went for a chat by the shore to lock in votes against Joe and Aubry, while Joegel was literally creeping behind them. Which is probably my favourite thing to happen in life, unless I am the Victoria in the situation. To his credit, Joe played it lowkey and pretended they weren’t targeting him to their face before finding Aubry and Aurora to discuss how screwed they are. With that Aubry ran off desperately in search of the idol which has eluded her through her two previous seasons. She dug, she scaled trees – not the highest cliff in Fiji, however – and finally, FINALLY, she found her first idol in three seasons, promptly breaking down into tears and hoping that it is the turn-around that her game needs.

We returned to Manu where Wendy was still trying to convince everyone to release the chickens, despite the fact she eats meat which made her plight less endearing and more irritating. Which made Kelley, Lauren and Wardog irate, who couldn’t understand her logic and since she is injured, Kelley hoped it would be enough to get rid of her ASAP.

My manses Probst returned for this week’s immunity challenge where Wendy’s ankle was strapped and the tribes would have to split in two and drag a boat filled with half the tribe to a tower which the boat dwellers would scale and jump off to grab keys. Which obviously unlocked puzzle pieces because every damn challenge has puzzles to keep it interesting. Chris’ BDE got Manu out to an early lead until the puzzle arrived and David, Kelley and Lauren were destroyed by Aubry, Ron and Julia – who I look forward to meeting – no doubt since Aubry has done this puzzle before in Game Changers. Obviously Kama won once again and while Kelley was worried about Wendy letting the tribe down, it turns out she is the one that blew the challenge. Which Alanis may describe as ironic.

Maybe.

David wasn’t too bothered about the loss when they got back to camp, hopeful that Wendy’s injury would provide the perfect cover for a dastardly Wentworth blindside. Wendy was still nervous that her ankle would be the end of her, so decided it was the right time to steal the flint to avoid people eating the chickens should she be booted. Which is chaotic and iconic, but also stupid. Let’s be thankful that Chris is still looking hot in his jocks and I’m about to pass out, or choke, on the dream plane.

That was too far, wasn’t it?

David and RIck went to see if Wendy was aware where the flint was, which she quickly deflected and David turned into a discussion about getting rid of Wentworth. David then approached Chris – praise, more Chris – to see if he’s be into getting rid of Kelley, which he is however he wants to loop Wardog in. Who literally saved her last week. He then took said intel to Wardog who got extremely nervous and instead of pushing him to stick with getting rid of Wentworth, he decided it would be smarter to get rid of Chris since he trusts Kelley more. He took the new plan to Wentworth, who encouraged him to go to Rick to get rid of Chris instead. And let me just say, while I love Wentworth, if Extinction Island didn’t exist, I would destroy her if I don’t get to see Chris beyond this episode. She is very lucky. Rick took the information to David, who was shocked that Big Wendy somehow became safe and they are stuck between getting rid of Chris or Kelley.

At tribal council Probst rubbed in the fact that they a big batch of losers, before Rick added that they’re now flintless and Big Wendy had zero interest in killing the chicken. Despite trying to pretend she had no interest in blocking them killing the chicken, Wardog called bullshit. Rick spoke about reevaluate their plans, given they tried to focus on strength but it has gotten them nowhere. Kelley spoke about shifting to a loyalty based game, while David acknowledged his interests have turned to taking out threats. This made Kelley nervous, which David pretended was just his awkward behaviour, however Probst zeroed in and asked everyone their opinion and left him nowhere to hide. Rick tried to be positive and spoke about how much more time they’ve had to work on their strategy over Kama while Chris admitting that his eyes have been opened to how tough it is since arriving on the island.

With that, the tribe voted and FUCK. It fucking happened again. I made pizza, and ruined my angel Chris’ game. He should not be here. He wasn’t a target, he looked great in his wet jocks and was one of the few athletic people on the tribe, but he is gone. Because of the damn pizza.

Though who knows, maybe Chris will come back and end – or reverse, even – the pizza curse. Though at this point, let’s just feel guilty for me ruining his game like Liz, Nick, Bianca, Sam, Taylor, Lou, Jack, Michelle, Tara, Roark, Jessica, Gonzalez, Brendan, Steph, Karla, Liam, Jess, Natalia and even Drag Race’s Manila Luzon. Though when you’re still technically in with a shot, Chris could focus on the beauty of Pizza Chrustica Underwood as I watch him sashay over to extinction.

 

 

I feel like I say this about every pizza, on the account of the dough and abundance of cheese, but this baby is so, so good. Crispy discs of potatoes, earthy taleggio and sausage as thick and juicy as, well, you know. How can you not stuff it in your gobs?

And the pizza is pretty good too. *Boom tish* I’m here till, well, who knows. Enjoy!

 

 

Pizza Chrustica Underwood
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
⅓ cup passata
oregano, roughly chopped, to taste
2 potatoes, washed, thinly sliced and baked until crisp
3 pork and fennel sausages, skin removed and cooked
1 small handful basil leaves
150g taleggio, grated
mozzarella, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Smear passata over the prepared bases, sprinkle of the herbs, lightly roasted potatoes, cooked sausage, basil and taleggio before coating generously, with mozzarella. Because you can’t tell me that two cheeses aren’t better than one.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devour immediately, hoping not to burn our mouth with some scalding cheese before getting Reemed at Extinction.

 

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Tray Baker

Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Somebody That I Used to Gold, Main

Like Gaga and ONJ before him today’s Somebody That I Used to Gold visitor, my dear friend Trey Parker dabbles in all corners of the entertainment industry. And if it weren’t for my frenemy Phil Collins, who be a proud EGOT recipient.

#JusticeforBlameCanada.

I’ve known Trey for years when I got hired to model a character on South Park. Sure Big Gay Al was controversial – you don’t need me to tell you that my primary school principal felt compelled to write a four page essay about the horror character in place of a newsletter – but he brought so much joy to my life, and gave me the most beautiful friend in Trey.

While I haven’t seen Trey in years, he was thrilled to catch-up and strategise a way to finally snag himself an Oscar – obviously a Big Gay Al spin-off movie, starring me – and help me run the odds on my favourite Grammy categories – musical theatre, comedy and the big one, SPOKEN WORD!!!!!

Sorry – too many exclamation points. I’m like a chain email from your mother!

Obviously we agree that the erstwhile singing voice behind Jasmine and Mulan, Lea Salonga, will take The Book of Mormon’s Best Musical Theatre Crown for Once on This Island. Comedy I’ve gone with Dave Chappelle while Trey thinks Fred Armisen is the hot money. Obviously my boy David Sedaris is going to take out my fave category Spoken Word and I refused to hear any argument to the contrary. Like how Tiffany Haddish is the darling of the entertainment industry and Jimmy Carter is old, which is why Chad Michaels and Raja won their seasons of Drag Race.

JK Kimora, they both slayed and deserved their victories.

Anyway, it was exciting to think that our Big Gay Al movie may sweep the Awards Pool. So much so that we didn’t realise how famished we were until my Tray Barker had filled the house with glorious, happy smells.

 

 

I know I sound like a broken record, but you know I have a passionate love for sausage. You may be surprised to learn, however, that I am just as passionate about apple and sweet potato. Chuck em in a tray, add some booze and you’re in for a glorious meal.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tray Baker
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
extra virgin olive oil
1kg pork sausages
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
250g sweet potato, cut into chunks
2 red apples, sliced thickly into rounds
300ml apple cider
½ cup chicken stock
¼ cup fresh sage leaves
½ parmesan cheese, grated

Method
Preheat oven to 160C.

Heat a decent lug of olive oil in a skillet and cook the sausages until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a baking dish. Add a lug of oil to the frying pan and cook the leek and fennel for five minutes, or until fragrant and soft. Transfer to the aforementioned baking dish.

Add the sweet potato and apple to the baking dish and pour over the stock and cider. Cover with foil and transfer to the oven to bake for half and hour, or until the potato is tender and the liquid reduced.

Sprinkle with sage and parmesan and return to the oven, uncovered, to cook for ten minutes or until the cheese is golden and crisp.

Devour immediately.

 

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Richard Linkslater

Breakfast, Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldy Bird, Main, Snack

Holy hell, can you believe I’ve made it four posts without disappearing from the internet without a word? New year, new me, same old bullshit it seems.

After zigging over to the television side of the globes with Katey yesterday, I decided to zag back to the Motion Picture side of the runsheet – which we kicked off with Ry, remember – for day three of my Golden Globe Gold: Goldy Bird celebrations by having a date with the divine Richard Linklater.

I first met Rich in the ‘90s when I was hired as a paddling consultant on Dazed and Confused – a role I also held on the set of the hit Jerry O’Connell vehicle, Tomcats. While our relationship started off as boss-employee, we fast became friends and I encouraged him to make collaborate with my friend Julie Delpy and the rest, as I do like to say, is history.

Given my gentle nudge lead him down the award circuit path, Rich has always felt that part of his success is due to me – while I obviously think that too, I don’t tell him that given we’re the dearest friends) – and as such, was honoured to be showcased this year.

Since he has all the writing, directing and producing cred, we focused on those races with him backing The Favourite for screenplay – while I believe it is Roma’s to take. We agree that the HFPA will honour Bradley Cooper as Best Director – rather than Actor – Roma will win Best Foreign Film and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse will take Animation, however that is where our consensus ended. He sees A Star is Born sweeping Best Drama while I think Black Panther will surprise, while Blackkklansman deserves it. Rich thinks The Favourite will win Best Comedy or Musical, while I think Vice has it in the bag. While we disagreed more than we agreed, we finished with a hug and sat down to a hearty plate of Richard Linkslater.

 

 

Given my passion for all things sausage, I had always wanted to try my hand at making my own but never had the courage. Until this year, and I couldn’t be happier. Bursting with flavour and melt in your mouth, these little babies – which is a minimally tweaked recipe I found – prove that there really is nothing better than homemade.

Enjoy!

 

 

Richard Linkslater
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
2.5kg boneless pork butt
¼ cup sage, roughly chopped
5 tsp thyme, roughly chopped
2 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp chilli flakes
2 tsp freshly ground white pepper
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
ice water
4.5m natural sheep casings, soaked and thoroughly rinsed

Method
Cut the pork into 1/2 inch chunks and freeze them for about 45 minutes to get them to a temperature 0°C. Chill a large bowl of the stand mixer during this time.

Grind the pork using a 6mm die directly into the bowl, and then put it through a second time.

Combine the mince with the herbs and spices and mix using the paddle attachment of the stand mixer for five minutes or so, or until you pull a clump of meat apart and threads appear as you pull them. You may need to had a tablespoon or two of ice cold water, though use your judgement.

Chill the mixture in the fridge while you set up the sausage stuffer and thread the casings on the end. Place the chilled mixture in the stuffer and fill the casings to avoid an air gaps forming, but making sure not to overstuff them. Twist the sausages into links and prick any air bubbles with the end of a sharp knife.

You can then either cook the sausages in a frying pan – that is scorching and then immediately reduced to the lowest heat – until browned through, poach in lightly salted water or bake in the oven.

Then devour.

 

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The Supremes Pizza

Main, Pizza, Street Food

Who knew lying about a chemical peel and wearing a veil like Samantha in Sex and the City would be the perfect cover for chloroforming your past self so your future self could catch-up with your friends, The Supremes?

It was so exciting to be back in the swinging ‘60s and to see Flo alive and doing what she does best – well second best to Di, if she is around – and to witness the making of magic.

While the girls had their fair share of drama back in the day – which I co-wrote for Broadway before being stricken from the Playbill – they were in a playful, happy mood and were thrilled to gossip and reminisce, despite only thinking we were talking about current events.

Because time travel, remember?

After laying down the vocals for Where did our love go I quickly hurried the girls up – knowing past me would be close to waking – and took them back to my apartment to whip them up a big, hearty The Supremes Pizza.

 

 

I feel like supreme get undeserved shade from people, given it isn’t overly fancy and features controversial pizza ingredient pineapple. Which I am here for, FYI. Sweet, salty and little bit salty, it reads just like my dating bio.

Enjoy!

 

 

The Supremes Pizza
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
½ cup passata
a small handful of fresh Italian herbs, roughly chopped
1 onion, sliced
100g pepperoni
4 rashers streaky bacon, roughly chopped and fried
1 red capsicum, sliced
250g beef mince, lightly browned
2 Italian sausages, fried and sliced
a small handful button mushrooms, sliced
½ cup chopped pineapple
mozzarella, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Smear the bases with passata and herbs. Toss the onion, pepperoni, bacon, capsicum, mince, sausage, mushrooms and pineapple on top, and sprinkle with cheese.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devour.

 

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Lisausage Stanga

Main, Snack, Street Food, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, my dear Matty Chis dropped 18 Kiwis on some islands in the middle of a lake close to the Thai border. After dipping in and out of the drink, debating the merits of peanut butter brands – which I am not shading, I take peanut butter damn seriously – spewing and broken challenges, 15 were voted off one by one from Jose, Karla and Franky to Kaysha, Liam, Josh, JT and Dylan – yes we’re doing this – before the tribes merged and Arun, Brad, Renee, Eve, Matt, Adam and Tara joined the jury, leaving Dave, Tess and Lisa to battle it out at final tribal council.

After Matt threw him under the bus, poor Dave landing in third place leaving superfan Lisa to best Tess, take out the title of Survivor NZ and tick the ultimate thing off her Survivor bucket list.

To be honest, when I saw the cast lined up I assumed that Lisa would be the obvious first boot, however she masterfully downplayed her status as a superfan and hid behind the mum role, to lull people into a false sense of security.

She emerged, coincidentally, at the merge and quickly took control of the game, blindsiding the biggest threats and somehow navigating to the end after she became the biggest threat. Perfectly playing a vote steal and executing a 3-2-1 vote, Lisa’s game was pretty much a masterclass and I am so glad that the was rightfully rewarded.

With the game and a big fat Lisausage Stanga.

 

 

Some may say a sausage sandwich is not worthy of a winner, but to them, I say you’re wrong. Sausage, onion, swiss cheese and mayo on the most nutritionally devoid slice of white bread? Eat your heart out Bunnings, because I’m coming for your game!

Enjoy!

 

 

Lisausage Stanga
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, sliced
8 thick pork sausages
8 slices bread
Shayonnaise Swain, to serve
100g Swiss cheese, grated

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook the onions, stirring, for about twenty minutes, or until nice and caramelised.

In a large frying pan, cook the sausages over medium-low heat for about ten minutes, flipping occasionally, until cooked through.

To assemble, smear some mayo on each slice of bread, top with the onion and the sausages, before sprinkling over the cheese.

Then devour, in honour of a game well-played!

 

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Kylarizo Colemanchego Quesadillas

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Main, Snack, Street Food

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, 15 girls moved into Model Manor in the Hollywood Hills with the hope of following in India Gants’ footsteps and becoming America’s Next Top Model. One by one the girls went home, starting with Maggie and followed by Ivana, Liz, Rhiyan, Coura, Liberty, Christina, Sandra, Brendi K, Erin and Rio.

After once again being saved from getting the chop, Jeana remained in the final four who were then tasked with going to casting with the dastardly Philipp Plein. Despite surviving the casting relatively unscathed – compared to Khrystyana who he likened to a horse and forced to have an emotional breakdown – poor Shanice arrived at the Paper shoot to discover that based on her performance, the judges would be eliminating her immediately.

The girls shon to various degrees during the shoot, progressing to the final runway where poor Khrystyana couldn’t get out of her head. She was better off than the girl that was partnered with Jeana, however, who was abandoned at the end of the runway. In any event, Khrystyana was tragically felled in third – like the robbed-Goddess Shangela before her – and after a brief reading from the judges Jeana was handed the runners-up crown and Kyla proved that nice gals don’t finish last, snatching the title of America’s Next Top Model.

Like Tyra and the judges, Kyla grew on me week after week as she grew, blossomed and routinely stood up for herself against the tyranny of Rio and Jeana. While Khrystyana was obviously my favourite, Kyla hit her stride at exactly the right time, killing the Pantene and Paper shoots which is essentially a ticket to victory. That alone is worthy of a delightful Kylarizo Colemanchego Quesadillas.

 

 

Hot and spicy, deliciously smokey and packing the punch of manchego, these quesadillas are almost as light, sweet and vivacious – not that one – as the new queen that is Kyla.

Enjoy!

 

 

Kylarizo Colemanchego Quesadillas
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
250g hot chorizo sausage, cut into discs
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
300g manchego cheese, grated
12 tortillas
olive oil, for brushin’

Method
Heat a skillet over high heat and cook the chorizos for a minute or two, or until the oil has started to leak out and your kitchen is hella fragrant. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the onion and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

To assemble, place a tortilla on a workspace, sprinkle with cheese, top with the meaty, oniony, mushrooms and top with another sprinkle of cheese before placing another tortilla on top. Repeat the process until you’re out of tortillas.

Bring a clean, dry skillet to heat over a medium heat. Once scorching, brush with some olive oil and fry a quesadilla for a couple of minutes, or until browned and crisp. Flip and cook for a further couple of minutes. Repeat the process until done.

Devour, immediately.

 

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Gaten Ratarisoni

Main, Pasta, Stranger Feasts

You want to know the scariest thing about our Halloween spooktacular, Stranger Feasts? The joy and kindness of the Stranger crew – like Shan and Mil before them – makes me want to be a happier, kinder person.

I mean, it make me feel so violently sick I want to vomit up slugs like Will in the season 1 cliffhanger!

Anyway, my dear friend Gaten Matarazzo is arguably the most infectious happy person you could ever be around, so I knew he was the best person to help me honour premiere day. Plus, he is one of my oldest friends in the cast.

We first met in 2011 when he was starring in the Broadway production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. I was working as a consultant on the show after lying about my involvement in the film – my mum went to school with Sarah Chadwick, so it wasn’t hard to fabricate the work history – and dare I say it, was integral in its success.

And its abrupt closure.

Given that, I felt bad and vowed to help further Gaten’s career. Not that he needed any help landing the role of Dustin, given his killer audition. But once again, I’d love to take full responsibility for his success.

Gats arrived almost bouncing, full of excitement and energy for the wider community – which he didn’t like me referring to as plebs – to see season 2. I’ve already binged the entire season, of course – which I can’t prove, lest I were to spoil things – and wholeheartedly share his excitement for the cracking to get the attention it deserves. Though maybe that was the big bowl of Gaten Ratarisoni talking … because again, that sounds nice.

 

 

Spicy, rich and dotted with ghastly (looking) halloween delights, this rat infested risoni is the perfect comfort food as you buckle in for the return of Stranger Things.

Enjoy!

 

 

Gaten Ratarisoni
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
600g spicy Italian sausages, skins removed and shaped into baby rat-sized
balls (aka, pinch one end)
250g mushrooms, stalks removed and sliced into a bat shape
1 tbsp chilli flakes
⅓ cup pitted black olives, sliced into ghoulish eye balls
⅓ cup sundried tomatoes, left whole to resemble bloody brains
500g risoni
400g can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
250ml cinzano rosso
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup mozzarella

Method
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and sweat the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes before adding the sausage rats to brown for five minutes or so. Add the mushrooms and chilli, and cook for a further couple of minutes before adding the olives, sundried tomatoes and risoni. Give a good stir to coat before adding the tin tomatoes, paste and cinzano, cooking for a couple of minutes.

Add the chicken stock – yes it seems out of place, but beef is too rich for this – reduce heat to low, stir through the spinach and simmer for about ten minutes, or until the liquid has absorbed and the the risoni cooked through.

Remove from the heat, stir through the mozzarella and serve immediately, with the stringy mozzarella creating a mess of cobwebs as you serve. Which I am aware, mine didn’t … I was waiting for a new couch for the show.

In any event, devour.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.