Alan Pastarkin

14th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Pasta

After kicking things off with Megs, a drop-in from the delightful Shirley Bassey and catching up with Gabourey Sidibe yesterday, I’m thrilled to arrive at my favourite day of the Meggstravaganza – seeing a shockingly still living legend. And no tea no shade … but there is no one more worthy of the honour than my dear Alan Arkin.

While we didn’t meet until relatively late in his career, we’ve grown to become the best of friends. Making it so exciting every time I realise he isn’t close to death.

I first met Al on the set of Edward Scissorhands through my gal-pal Winona, but we didn’t solidify our relationship until the best-friend party that became Glengarry Glen Ross with Jack, Al Pac and Alec Baldy. After that, I was hooked and I made it my duty to become his muse.

My crowning achievement, obviously, was convincing him to join Little Miss Sunshine and finally snagging him an Oscar.

He was thrilled to drop by and see me again, particularly when it came with a side order of helping a fellow thespian make a good comeback. I ran straight into his arms as soon as I saw him at the arrivals gate and don’t think I let go until it was time to pop on our Meggstravaganza robes and make some Alan Pastarkin.

 

 

Making pasta at home is probably the easiest thing you’ve been too terrified to try. And let me promise you, it is so worth the effort. Which is minimal. Light, delicate and fresh – it is perfect for any and all occasions.

Enjoy!

 

 

Alan Pastarkin
Serves: 1-.

Ingredients
400g 00 flour, plus extra for dusting
4 eggs
salt, to taste
*So yeah, basically to make pasta 1 egg to 100g of flour, ok?

Method
Chuck the flour and eggs into a food processor with a pinch of salt, and blitz until a dough forms. Transfer to a floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Form into a disc, wrap with cling and leave to rest for an hour. Oh, at room temp, FYI.

When you’re ready, cut the dough into four and working one at a time, feed it through a pasta roller, working from the thickest to thinnest, dusting with flour as you go. Fold in half and the half again, then feed through the shortest end at the widest setting and work to your desired thickness.

Once it is at your desired consistency, cut to shape – if required – and cook immediately. Or devour raw like us. Though don’t, because of food poisoning.

 

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El Diablo Cody

Drink, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XC: The Goldfather

The last year has been an exciting time for cinema – and I’m not just talking about the peach scene that I will never stop talking about from Call Me By Your Name – and it feels like there is an electricity in the air. Though maybe that has something to do with the fact I’m kicking off this year’s Oscar Gold celebration – The Goldfather, FYI – with the delightful Diablo Cody.

Despite the fact I’m yet to win a screenwriting Oscar, or well, even be credited as writing a screenplay, Diablo and I are essentially the same person. She studied media, I studied journalism in the same class as Sylvia Jeffreys. She got her start on blogs, I am the only person willing to publish my work. She quit her job to become a fulltime stripper, I am a fulltime, unpaid stipper (you say flasher, I say stripper).

On and on and on the similarities go. I mean, when I have a blog turn into a book – just let that marinate – I am two years off an Oscar.

Anyway, circling back – I met Diablo while working together at The Skyway Lounge and while I wasn’t able to parlay my appearance on the ameteur night into a paying gig, we became the best of friends. And I would argue that I played an integral part in pushing her to write the majesty that would become Juno and inspired the Meryl starring Ricki and The Flash.

Anywho, enough about D and my best friendship, which is what it is. You came here for the running of the Oscar odds and bi George, you’re going to get it, gurl … (sorry, I was possessed by Jonathan Van Ness).

Given she won an Oscar on her first attempt at a screenplay we’re obviously tackling the screenwriting portion of the show. There is no doubt in either of our minds that James Ivory deservedly has the Adapted Screenplay gong on lock for Call Me by Your Name because the movie truly does the book justice, captures all the long and removes the distractions … not including cutting out eating the peach which should have stayed put. My apologies to my dear friend Sorki, obvi.

The OG Screenplay category is where we ran into trouble. McDonogh took the Globe and BAFTA while Peele took the WAG and Critic’s Choice Award. While I’d love Gerwig to pull out a surprise victory, I feel like her best shot is as a director … so I settled on Jordan Peele. D, thankfully is tipping Gerwig to triumph and with it, give me the opportunity to pretend I was letting her have it. It being victory in the non-existent tipping competition.

As is oft the case, it was some thirsty work which made it super convenient when I sidled up to the bar and whipped us up a pair of my El Diablo Cody.

 

 

Like me, Diablo likes a devilishly good time and with it, a devilishly good drink. And well, as the name suggests, this baby fits the bill perfectly. Spicy and tart with a bit of a kick, its everything I like, TBH.

Enjoy!

 

 

El Diablo Cody
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
ice
2 shots tequila
4 shots ginger ale
1 tsp crème de cassis
1 lime wedge

Method
Combine ice and tequila in a highball.

Add the ginger ale and crème de cassis, and stir to combine.

Add a wedge of lime and down.

Lather, rinse and repeat.

 

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Naomi Fonerdue Gyllenhaal

Condiment, Dip, Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldhood, Party Food, Side, Snack

After hanging out with two of my newer friends – hey Rach and Az! – to kick off my Golden Globe Gold celebrations, I decided it was high-time I reconnected with one of my oldest friends and ex-mother-in-law, Golden Globe winner Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal.

Yes, I was secretly married to Jake Gyllenhaal for a decade before splitting amicably. Extremely out of character for me I know, but the Foner Gyllenhaals are old friends and I didn’t want to lose them.

Anyway, I first met Naomi through my dear friend and Jake’s godmother Jamie Lee Curtis – she gave my away at the aforementioned wedding to Jake – and our bond was instant. We would talk at length about our lives, loves and in my case scandals, with one of the latter where I blew up a lab inspired her Globe winning screenplay for Running On Empty.

It has been a couple of years since I caught up with Nay, on account of Jake and my divorce, so it was wonderful to reconnect and chill as friends again … before running the odds. With that, Nay and I both agreed that Greta Gerwig is a lock for Best Screenplay after her egregious snubbing for Best Director. Given I don’t have enough suitably nominated friends, I also got her to give me a hand with the Best OG Song and Best Foreign Film. As such, she was tipping that song from Jakey’s friend Michelle’s musical (The Greatest Showman, FYI) – fuck, do I ever need to catch-up with Michelle … – will take out Song, though I find it hard to go past Remember Me from Coco. We both agreed that First They Killed My Father would win Foreign Film for no other reason than this is the Golden Globes and as such, Angelina Jolie is enough to get it over the line.

It was a gruelling couple of hours debating the merits – Michelle is such a sweetheart, she should win! – of each nominee, so it was lucky I had a hella huge and hella hearty Naomi Fonerdue Gyllenhaal to keep us going.

 

 

This fondue is by no means healthy – though I guess no fondue really is – but damn if it’s not delicious. The cheesy tomato sauce is the perfect punch of pizza perfection – add in the dippers made from the best toppings and you’re in heaven. Though maybe that is just because you could die from the excess of cheesy cheesy goodness.

In any event, enjoy!

 

 

Naomi Fonerdue Gyllenhaal
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
¼ cup dry cinzano
700ml passata
3 cups grated mozzarella
1 cup grated cheddar
1 cup grated parmesan
small handful fresh basil, roughly chopped
small handful fresh oregano, roughly chopped
sliced salami, olives, sliced mushrooms, sliced capsicum, Karlic Lagerbread and anything else you could use for dippin’

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a saucepan over medium heat and sweat the garlic and onion for a couple of minutes. Add the cinzano and cook off a couple of seconds before reducing heat to low and stirring through the passata. Once piping hot, stir through the cheeses and cook until melted. Add the basil and oregano with a good whack of salt and pepper and cook for a further minute.

Pour into a serving dish and devour, piping hot, with your dippers.

 

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Caramelised Connieon Stevens Dip

Dip, Party Food, Side, Snack

My time back in, time, got me thinking about all of my old Hollywood friends. That in turn reminded me of the rapidly approaching double anniversary of doom of Deb and Carrie, reminding me that I really need to put in more of an effort with my dear friend Connie Stevens.

While my relationship with Joely was so adversarial – in a friendly way though – enough to inspire the hit film Drop Dead Gorgeous, my bond with Con has been nothing with diamonds. Though sans rosé, that is reserved for the VanderpumpTodds.

Anywho, I first met Con in ‘69 – giggity – while touring with the Bob Hope USO tour to Guam and Southeast Asia. While my sexually aggressive boylesque wasn’t as well received as it would be today, Con took me under her wing and we became the best of friends.

Despite the fact it was my affair with Eddie that ruined her marriage.

Thankfully Con is hella forgiving, and currently hella available, so forgave me and continued our dear friendship … meaning she was super keen to reconnect post-thanksgiving slash pre-Christmas.

While we had a huge falling out in the late noughties – since she refused to cast me in her directorial debut – our mutual losses of the last year melted away the ice between us. Enough to reconcile this holiday season. And boy am I thankful for that.

We laughed, we cried, we lamented why we let such petty things get in the way of our friendship – particularly when me wrecking her home didn’t ruin it – over a big fat bowl of my Caramelised Connieon Stevens Dip.

 

 

While it may not be the best for my gastroenterological system, caramelised onion is damned near perfection. Sweet, tart and earthy, this dip is the perfect accompaniment for a mournful, or triumphant day. Aka it is versatile, which is what everyone wants in a date.

Enjoy!

 

 

Caramelised Connieon Stevens Dip
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Sriracha
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp sage leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 ½ cups sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Method
Heat  a good lug of oil in a frying pan over low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 15 minutes. Stir through the sugar, Worcestershire, Sriracha, paprika, sage and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.

When cool, combine everything in a bowl together and chill for an hour or so before devouring.

 

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Ginnifer Saunders

Ab Fab’s 25th Birthday, Drink

I’m sure it comes as absolutely no surprise that we’re kicking off Ab Fab’s 25th Birthday Party by catching up with the Queen of Ab Fab slash my dearest friend of all, Jennifer Saunders.

I’ve known Jen for years, after meeting in college and living together with our mutual friend Dawn. Fun fact: I actually introduced the girls, helped them sort through their issues AND encouraged them to pursue a career in comedy.

Long story short, you’re fucking welcome.

In addition to inspiring, arguably, the greatest comedy duo of all time, I also inspired Jen and Dawn to write the sketch that inspired Ab Fab. And once more with feeling, inspired.

In. Spir. Ed.

While I was, egregiously, never invited to guest in the show, Jen made it up to me eventually by casting me as Kate Moss in the movie. Yes – I played Kate Moss. Not, Kate Moss.

Jen and I have both been super busy over the last year, so it was great to be able to take the time to mark her special occasion, reconnect and down a dickload of Ginnifer Saunders.

 

 

Technically just a gin and tonic, I always find a way to inject some fruit into the festivities and have all cups run over. With joy. Sweet, sweet, voluminous, joy.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ginnifer Saunders
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
60ml gin
120ml tonic
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
lemon slices, for garnish
2 tbsp raspberries
2 tbsp blueberries
dash of bitters
couple of ice cubes

Method
Combine everything in a shaker.

Shake.

Pour.

Drink.

 

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Chicken Cormac McCarthy

Main, Poultry

Full disclosure, Cormac is one of those celebs that I’ve always assumed has died and I’ve got the time machine half way out of the garage, before I realise that just because his beautiful prose is timeless does not mean the man is dead.

And boy doesn’t he remind me in the kindest, most elegant of ways. Every. Damn. Time. We’re. Together.

As I mentioned, Cormac and I connected in the 50s at a writing workshop and I was brought to tears by the beauty of his words. I mean, it completely took my breath away and I knew that I was just what he needed to go from unrefined talent, to the literary icon he is today.

I’m sure that Cors would have a different take on our early years together – he’d downplay his talent, or something … I’m sure he is aware the my mentorship was the key to his success – our friendship has always been consistently strong.

Despite never being asked to write a foreword or a blurb for a novel, not that I’m bitter or anything like that!

Given that Cors is getting on, I met him at the airport and drove him straight to my home for a 4PM dinner. I mean, yes, we reconnected, caught up and chin-wagged the early afternoon away but by 4 we were well and truly done, so sat down for his favourite writing food, my Chicken Cormac McCarthy, and toasted to our beautiful friendship.

 

 

Fun fact: all the pretty horses was actually named after my original version of this dish … which he didn’t realise I actually made using horsemeat. Upon discovering that horrid little secret, he implored me to change over to chicken and this smooth, spicy delight was born.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Cormac McCarthy
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
800g chicken breasts, diced
50g natural yoghurt
sunflower oil
2 onions, diced
5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp grated ginger
12 cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp hot chilli powder
1 bay leaf
4 whole cloves
1 tbsp plain flour
small pinch of saffron
2 tsp muscovado sugar
1 cup cold water
¼ cup double cream
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Chuck the chicken in a bowl with the natural yoghurt and a good whack of salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large pot and sweat the onions, garlic and ginger over low heat for about fifteen minutes or so, or until your kitchen is so fragrant you just can’t control yourself anymore. Add the crushed cardamom seeds, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli, bay leaves and the end of the cloves – throw away the stalks, I hate them – and cook for a further five minutes.

Stir in the flour, saffron, sugar and a good whack of salt, then slowly pour in the water while stirring. Cook for a further ten minutes before removing from the pan, removing the bay leaf and blitzing the mixture until smooth.

Return the pan to the heat and add the chicken and yoghurt, and cook over low heat, stirring, for about half an hour, or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir through the cream and cook for about ten minutes.

Season to taste and serve immediately with some freshly cooked rice … to help with the devouring.

 

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My country’s for old men

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

I have oft been described as an octogenarian in a thirty year old’s body, which I admit was super offensive until my last birthday on account of me still being in my 20s.

But anyway, now that i’m actually a senior stuck in a 30 year old’s body, I’m completely embracing my daddy-dom – as the kids say – growing out my Mr Sheffield streaks and hanging out with my distinguished peers, like the divine Cormac McCarthy.

I first met Cors at a writing workshop while attending the University of Tennessee in the 50s, where we bonded over our passion for (Phil) Olivetti typewriters, as was the style of the time.

I gave him a call on the wireless the other day and thankfully his dance card was free for latter this week. What says we’re going to the jitterbug and do the Charleston like a brutal piece of western American literature?

Image source: Unknown.

 

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Chicken Kiev Schreiber

Main, Poultry

Oh how I have missed my dear friend Liev! Thankfully while we haven’t seen each other in a couple of years, it’s always like no time has passed at all when we do – the power of best friendships, I guess.

As you know, I met Li on the set of Scream and despite only having the briefest of cameos, his talent caught my eye and we became the dearest of friends. I fostered his talent and wisely navigated the earlier stages of his career, landing him the role of Orson Welles in RKO 281 which resulted in his first Golden Globe and Emmy nominations.

Li was super thankful for my help and despite not agreeing to marry me to secure my green card, he did agree to give back to the Australian film industry … of which I am obviously at the heart.

FYI, that explains him agreeing to star in Mental.

We haven’t caught up since he separated from Naomi, so he was really happy to finally be able to talk to me about how he was feeling and the boys are handling everything. The cynic in me also thought that maybe he was hoping to guilt me into watching Ray Donovan, but not even concern for my friend can move past that accent.

Given that the break-up is still so recent, I knew he would need something warm and lovely to cheer him up, so quickly whipped up a Chicken Kiev Schreiber as we caught up.

 

 

Now you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I love flavour to smack me harder than a donkey punch, so this little baby is packed to the brim with garlic. Add in the smokiness of the bacon, the fresh herbs and the zing of the lemon and everything just sings.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Kiev Schreiber
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
small handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
zest of a lemon
80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
olive oil
4 chicken breasts
plain flour, for dredging
2 eggs, whisked
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Place the garlic, parsley, zest and butter in a bowl, and mix until well combined. Transfer to some cling wrap and wrap into a neat, long tube and transfer to the freezer while you prepare the rest.

Fry the bacon in a pan over medium heat until lightly crisped. Remove to kitchen towel and allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Working one breast at a time, pull back the loose fillet on the bottom of the breast and slice a lengthways pocket.

Remove the butter from the freezer and cut into 4 equal pieces.

Open the pockets in the chicken and insert a piece of bacon and butter in each, cover the whole with the loose fillet. Place flour, eggs and seasoned breadcrumbs in three separate bowls. Coat each Kiev in flour, dust off, coat in egg and then – you guessed it – coat in the breadcrumbs before transferring to a lined baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Serve immediately, with copious amounts of mashed potato for maximum comfort.

 

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The killer is Cotton fucking Weary

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Oh my poor sweet, dear Liev Schreiber – he and is namesake Cotton were not in fact the killer in any of the Scream movies … but didn’t he play a beautiful anti-hero?

Now i’m going to share a dark part of my history with you, so please be kind – I am actually the inspiration for Sidney Prescott. You see, while a teen in the ‘80s I was targeted by multiple killers and became known as the scream queen of Tweed (aka Porpoise Spit).

I sold my story to Tracy Grimshaw as a Grimmer’s exclusive, who in turn sold the rights off to Kevin Williamson leading to the franchise we’ve come to know as Scream.

While I became close friends with all of the cast while working on set as a consultant, I quickly bonded with my boy Liev Schreiber due to the beautiful way he toed the line between framed creep and innocent victim.

Plus, I heard he was into Australians and was keen to for a green card.

Anyway, he gave me a buzz over the weekend and sounded desperate to reconnect. What says I’m not loving Ray Donovan … but if you play your cards right, I could be convinced to keep going with it?

Image source: FOX.

 

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Sofia Coppo’boyla

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVII: Gold with the Wind, Snack

Another day of our Oscar Gold celebrations, another catch-up with a Best OG Screenplay winner. But I mean, my girl Sofia is Hollywood royalty and really should have some Best Director and Best Picture wins under her belt … so she is pretty much the perfect person to run most of the outstanding odds.

As you know, I am a dear, close personal friend of the Coppola-Schwartzman-Cage Dynasty and as such have known Sof since she was knee high to a pig’s eye!

I was even the one to suggest to Fran-Ford to cast her in The Godfather Part III, which in retrospect I should apologise to all involved … but that is beside the point, you know.

Thankfully Sof was quick to bounce back from my (horrific) career advice and quickly turned herself into the auteur we know now. I mean, between The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette, she creates beautiful languid films of substance, lead by strong women.

Basically, I love her. So damn much. And that isn’t just because she made a movie about my crime spree in Bev Hills back in the day.

I’m pretty sure I mentioned being part of The Bling Ring before, right?

That being said, my girl has been hella busy with The Beguiled so we haven’t been able to connect recently so it was such a treat to get together and discuss the Oscars … which we are hopeful she will have a strong showing at next year.

Anywho, I know you came for the odds so let’s get to them first. Sof agrees that the Screenplay gongs will go to Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea … because La La Land’s best writing came in the form of its music which will take Best Score and Original Song along with Cinematography, Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Production Design, Director and Actress on its way to Best Picture.

Oh and obviously if we are wrong about the technical categories … it is fake news, ok? Because let’s be honest Arrival will probably take most of those. Maybe it isn’t fake news if I hedge my bets?

Ok – I’m hella confused, so I’m off to prep for tomorrow’s big guest, so why not head to the kitchen and whip up a delicious Sofia Coppo’boyla while you wait.

 

sofia-coppoboyla-1

 

Spicy, warm and delicious with the addition of the comfort of bread, these Po’Boys are everything I want from those creole creations without the addition of the mucus of the sea.

Because oysters are grosse, long live chicken ok!

Enjoy!

 

sofia-coppoboyla-2

 

Sofia Coppo’boyla
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g chicken breast
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp Cajun seasoning, plus ½ tsp extra for the sauce
1 egg, whisked
1 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp hot sauce
1 tbsp sweet pickle juice
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp prepared horseradish
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
4 small baguettes, sliced in half leaving a join at the edge
half a small iceberg lettuce, shredded
3 tomatoes, sliced
4 hot and spicy pickles, thinly sliced

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C and cut up the chicken into bite sized pieces.

Combine the breadcrumbs with a good whack of salt and pepper and the tablespoon of cajun seasoning. Dip the chicken into the egg and toss through the spiced breadcrumbs to thoroughly coat. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and cook for twenty minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

While the chicken is baking, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, pickle juice, paprika, horseradish, garlic cloves and remaining cajun seasoning in a jug. Add salt and pepper to taste and leave to chill in the fridge and let the flavours mature.

When the chicken is done, brush the inside of the bread with some butter or oil and place in the oven to crisp for a couple of minutes.

Remove the rolls, smear generously with sauce, top with lettuce, tomato, pickles, chicken and another drizzle of sauce.

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, Tumblr and Google+.