Dan Rengingering Beef

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

Previously on Survivor, Carl and Nick each collected an advantage and shared their intel in an attempt to find a way out of the David minority. That being said, Alison and Alec weren’t so sure they wanted to stay loyal to their fellow Goliaths though did agree to stick with them to get rid of the biggest threat in Christian. At tribal council however the Davids played into Probst’s wet dreams, using the right tool at the right time to save Christian with an idol, make Dan blow – one of – his on Angelina and tragically albeit wisely blindside my love, the George Bushy of Tushy John from the game.

Back at camp things weren’t as tense as predicted with Davie asking everyone to respect game and not take things personally. However he then delighted in inheriting John’s jacket which I assume Angelina would be none to pleased about.

Natalie. Natalie? … Natalie?

Alec, Alison and Kara removed themselves to the beach to discuss how they bounce back from the blindside, vowing to find the next advantage before it blows up in their face. Again. Alison in particular was feeling nervous, given she keeps telling the Davids she is going to flip but hasn’t, and their window for flipping is rapidly closing. Dan wasn’t taking the blindside well, given he lost one of his closest allies while saving Angelina. Worse still Kara went to have a pow wow without him and as such, he was extremely upset and felt like their showmance didn’t mean as much to her as it does him. Kara thankfully realised that now is the point to cut ties with him, given he is the albatross around her neck.

The next day my boy Jeff returned for this week’s reward challenge where the tribe would be split into two teams – Angelina, Christian, Alison, Gabby and Nick vs. Mike, Davie, Dan, Alec and Kara – to run through an obstacle course retrieving bags of numbers, which they will use to unlock puzzle pieces before solving a puzzle. It was for burgers and beers, so you know I think it is worth playing for! As is oft the case, Alec got his team out to an early lead – and looked beautiful doing it – until Mike didn’t cover the numbers to release their key, allowing Alison to cheat and close the gap. It was all for nought however as Alec and Kara dominated the puzzle and snatched the burgers for their team.

Back at camp Angelina was feeling quite emotional to have lost the burgs, forced to slum it with the Davids and Alison whilst smashing some rice. Gabby used the emptier camp to discuss working together with Alison, playing into her desire for big moves and encouraging her to forget about taking out Angelina and instead set her sights on getting rid of Dan. While she was trying to keep her options open, Mike was working to shut his down by using the reward to push the Goliath strong mentality. Dan encouraged them to return their focus to getting rid of Christian, begging the question – where is Davie? Did they kick him out of the reward? After finishing their lunch, Kara and Alec caught up with Alison to discuss their options with Kara sharing that Dan actually has a second idol. And then they all locked in a plan to blindside Dan. Well Kara and Alec at least, as Alison is still scared to get rid of her Goliath security blanket.

The next morning the Davids awoke early and went hunting for what they assumed was a newly hidden immunity idol. While everyone slowly gave up and returned to camp for breakfast, Christian applied his analytic robotics mind and segmented up the island and methodically searched until he successfully found the idol.

Jeffrey returned for this week’s immunity challenge where everyone was required to walk through an obstacle, retrieve balls, balance said balls on a disc, carry it over an obstacle and then maneuver them down a track. Alec, obviously, and Dan got out to an early lead before Carl, Angelina, Alison and Kara caught up at the track. However none of them were a match for Alec, who snatched immunity and TBH my heart. The man is fine and proved adept at ballplay.

Back at camp Kara started to panic about turning on Dan, unsure whether it is too soon. She and Alison approached Gabby and Nick about joining them to split the vote on Dan and Angelina and while they were all in, Alison started to worry that the Davids were planning to pull a fast one over them. Alison shared her worries with Alec who agreed it may be safest to stick with voting out Christian, much to Kara’s frustration. Much to Nick’s frustration, the Goliaths disappeared to the beach one by one despite having the majority. Sadly for them, this gave the Davids the opportunity to get together, share knowledge of all their advantages and hatch the best possible way to use them and snatch the majority whether the Goliaths are onboard or not.

At tribal council Alison spoke about being awoken by the previous tribal council while Gabby admitted she was relieved to take them down a notch. Christian started to play the downtrodden underdog with no options, while Dan gloated about his impressive majority and sticking with it. Mike admitted no one wants to be seen as the first person to flip and Alec spoke about blurred lines in the alliances, which frustrated Gabby who near-screamed that they aren’t asking to know who is getting voted, only that they want to help whoever is on the bottom. Dan continued to be salty, sassing her that going from being one alliance’s bottom to anothers doesn’t sound good – little does he know. This in turn drew the ire of the wider David tribe with Davie, Carl and Christian jumping in to explain how wrong Dan is and how great riding the bottom can be.

Nick pointed out everyone agreed to get rid of Elizabeth but the Goliaths reneged on their deal to take out Angelina next, labeling the Goliaths liars and saying they keep blowing the chances to shake things up. Christian spoke about the game struggling to kick into gear and Carl said that this tribal would be pivotal, given one of the Goliaths are either going to flip or another David will go home. With that the tribe went off to vote, well everyone but Alison who had her vote stolen by Nick as stage one of their plan to snatch control as the Goliaths whispered in panic with Dan wondering who to play his idol for. Dan confidently pulled out his second idol and played it for himself, which sadly (for him) was nullified by Carl’s nullifier, much to the shock of the Goliaths. With that, the votes rolled in for Christian and Angelina before piling up on Dan who looked like he was about to explode in a fit of rage as he was blindsided from the game.

Despite appearing to be filled – swoon – with said rage – less swoon – Dan quickly calmed down and even seemed to take his blindside at the hands of an unprecedented twist in stride. I mean, like Chrissy, there was no way they could navigate around a new element of the game and it cost both of them their spot. Obvi I am not saying that Dan would have won the season, but it still has to hurt. Tragically I said all of this to him and he appeared to fill – again, I wish – with anger, so I quickly had to whip up a big, fat bowl of Dan Rengingering Beef to cheer him up.

 

 

A little bit sweet and packing a spicy surprise, there is no better way I like to take my meat. At the table. Sorry, I’m just going to miss watching him during challenges.

Enjoy!

 

 

Dan Rengingering Beef
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
vegetable oil
500g beef rump steak, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
6 shallots, cut into 1 inch pieces
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tbsp ginger, minced
½ cup cooking sake
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
rice or Stephanie Fried Rice, to serve

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a large frying pan over high heat and stir fry the beef for a couple of minutes, or until browned. Add the onions and cook for a further couple of minutes before adding the shallots, garlic and ginger and cook for a minute.

Add the sauces to the pan and cook for a minute, or until thickened. Serve piping hot on a bed of fluffy rice, or better yet, with a little bit of Steph’s fried rice.

 

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Brian Lakesa

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Main, Soup, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor 11 champions, 1 dud-Survivor player and 12 contenders faced off in an epic battle between underdogs and champions before Matt, Russell, Damien, Steve K, Jenna, Moana, Anita, Zach, Paige, Jackie, Tegan, HeathLydia, Robbie, Mat, Sam, Benji, SteveFenella and Monika were voted out. The final four rejoiced in making it as far as they did, though Brian vowed to get revenge on Shonee. Tragically Brian managed to take out immunity after literally everyone dropped their stack, leaving the Shhhhhhs to turn on each other, and Brian as Shonee’s only hope. Try as she might to convince Shane and Sharn to turn on each other to avoid making fire, the Champion women held strong and poor Queen Shonee was brutally taken from us in fourth place, leaving Brian, Sharn and Shane to battle it out for the win.

The final three kicked off the next day with a walk past the torches of all their fallen comrades, with Shane feeling misty about how well she has played and how much she loves the game. She then reminded us she is an icon, and in lieu of Shonella winning, this has to be Shane’s game. Brian spoke about feeling lost after retiring from AFL and that Survivor gave him the chance to clear his head and find out what is important to him, which hits waaaaaay too close to home. Sharn too was proud of her performance, though desperate to make it to the end and do what she does best, close out the case.

They finally ran into Jonathan on the shore where he announced that they would each get a cheer squad for the final immunity challenge. Sharn broke down as her entire family was brought out to visit before casually introducing them to Shane ‘don’t fuck with me’ Gould and Brian. Shane’s husband swaggered out from behind the bushes and damn, I love him too, as they hugged and Shane simply shared how fucking hard it was and that she wanted to kiss him. Jonathan then made Brian cry, offering him the chance to return his daughter’s bunny to her as he brought her, his son and wife out to visit. He then spoke about having a renewed focus of what is important to him, and damn, my cold dead heart is warming up.

Jonathan then explained that the final three would hold on to an idol on top of a pole, bobbing in the middle of the ocean, with the last person standing without removing a hand or foot, would win final immunity and decide who they’ll face off against at final tribal. Brain, Shane and Sharn made their way out to their perches, mounted the pedestals and grabbed their idols. As is oft the case, this isn’t really the most thrilling challenge to write about so after 78 minutes, Shane opted out of the challenge – I assume to pash her husband – leaving Sharn and Brian to battle it out. Though given Sharn looked like a statue and Brian was clearly struggling, it didn’t seem like much of an even fight. After almost two hours Brian tried to even things up, heckling Sharn and making her so confused he could potentially back her into a final two deal. When that didn’t work, he dared her to take him to final tribal which is sadly his only hope after he let go of the idol to take his hat off, handing Sharn final immunity. Making it even worse for Grub, it was his wife that dobbed him in after Jonathan missed him dropping. Poor Brian then broke down about his lapse in concentration, and damn I am finding him way too relatable tonight.

At tribal council Jonathan praised Sharn on winning her fourth immunity challenge before checking in with the losers, with Mat and Steve delighted in Shane lasting as long as she did in the challenge. Sharn admitted to being unsure who was the better option to take, as sticking with loyalty is less of a guaranteed win than going up against Brian, who the jury appear to hate. Shane reminded Sharn that she fought hard and played a sneaky game, though was loyal and played with integrity. Brian said that he had played the better game and as such, he should be taken to the final two … which is kinda not the best argument, though Sharn is totally the kind of person that would buy into beat the best to be the best. After more back and forth between Shane and Brian, Sharn went to cast the sole vote and sent Brain to the jury.

Poor King Grub was pretty disappointed when he arrived at the Jury Villa after dominating the game following Mat’s blindside. Though given that literally happened to everyone that assumed power of the course of the season, he quickly moved on and happily sat down to a soothing, spicy Brian Lakesa.

 

 

Packing as bigger punch as one may allegedly throw in Japan, this laksa is the perfect thing to take away the burn of becoming the final boot. Creaminess, spice and all things nice, you can help but slurp it down joyfully. Despite being crushed to lose.

Enjoy!

 

 

Brian Lakesa
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
vegetable oil
⅓ cup laksa paste (don’t judge me using the jar, we’re feuding)
2 red chillies, sliced
3 shallots, sliced
400ml coconut milk
1.5L chicken stock
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 kaffir lime leaves
800g chicken breasts, diced
200g flat rice noodles, cooked per packet instructions
coriander leaves, shallots and sliced red chilli, to serve

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a large pan and cook the laksa paste for about five minutes, or until uber fragrant. Add the chillies and shallots, and cook for a further minute before slowing pouring in the coconut milk, while continuously stirring. Once combined, add the stock, fish sauce and kaffir lime leaves, and bring to the boil.

Once rollicking, add the diced chicken, reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

To serve, place a mound of noodles in the bottom of four bowls, spoon over the laksa and garnish with the coriander and extra shallots and chilli.

Slurp it up, immediately.

 

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Aimiso Stanton Soup

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Main, Side, Snack, Soup, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor, Jericho gave into temptation and took a jar of cookies to build his own army, which I still feel is not going to end well for him. On the other hand Tarzan couldn’t bring himself to deceive the tribe. After Asaga took out yet another immunity challenge, Tarzan continued his streak of selflessness by finding and gifting an idol to Tessa, who used it at tribal council, sending Tarzan out of the game as the fourth boot instead of their planned target Locky, who AK told to split the vote.

Back at camp, Tessa was feeling sad about Tarzan going out in the process of saving her, though things quickly turned smug when she realised that she survived the second tribal she shouldn’t have. While everyone tried to stay warm by the fire, AK confirmed that he was planning to flip on the mega-alliance as soon as he could, and intended to use the one person tribe that is Tessa.

Meanwhile at Asaga, Jericho continued to gorge on cookies while everyone slept, like a slightly more likeable version of Taylor Stocker. He then decided that he needed to expand his cookie army beyond Luke and Henry, pulling Sarah into the fold under the guise that she is the only one he could tell. Again, this will come back and bite him in the arse – mark my words!

The next day Samatau struggled to catch fish, while Tessa struggled to make friends. Given the fact that Locky is universally beloved, both AK and Tessa spoke about needing to take him out as quickly as possible. As the weather started to deteriorate, AK approached Ziggy and Jarrad to confirm that they are still tight, and vowed to pull Tessa in to make a move. Tessa, obvi was thrilled to get a second (third, or fourth) chance in the game.

That night Luke and Jericho returned to eating cookies in front of camp while everyone slept, finishing them off and sadly proving my prediction that he’s get screwed wrong. I mean, fuck, even when he went and threw crumbs on his sleeping tribe mates, it didn’t bloody backfire. I was wrong … and I will never say that ever again.

Back at Samatau, AK reminded us that he wants Locky gone at the next possible opportunity. Though Locky wasn’t 100% falling for the stories AK was telling him, he knew it was important to agree with AK before running straight over to Tara to fill her in on AK’s supposed plans. Tara then pulled Aimee aside before AK seemingly got anxious, and joined the girls to confirm he still wants Tessa gone which made Tara start to think that AK needed to go.

It shouldn’t really be a surprise when Samatau lose the next immunity, given the fact Asaga has had two scenes of cookie eating and Samatau has been complete and utter bedlam.

Wanting to see if my predictions have gotten any better, JoJo returned for the next immunity challenge where Asaga were shocked to see Tarzan booted at the last tribal council. The challenge required each tribe to form a chain while holding up discs between the hands of each tribe member, the last tribe with a single disc standing being the winner.

Once again, Henry played his fauxgi role well, coaching his tribe to breathe before Sarah and Kent became the first disc to drop. Peter and Anneliese dropped Samatau’s first disc, followed by Sam and Mark, and Jarrad and Locky, before a rapid chain of drop-outs led to a showdown between Ziggy and AK, and Henry and Mark. After more than an hour and a half of absolute struggle from AK, he and Ziggy finally dropped their disc, handing Asaga immunity and Samatau to their fourth tribal council in a row.

Before even leaving the cliff, Jarrad whispered to Tessa that they had to make a move tonight, making me extremely nervous for my thirst trap Locky. Arriving back at camp did nothing to lessen my fear, as the tribe all locked in their vote for Tessa before AK approached Tessa to float the idea of getting rid of Aimee, with Jarrad and Ziggy.

Thinking that Pete would be the best possible option to get rid of Aimee, Jarrad pulled him aside to float the idea of getting rid of Aimee. Going one further he floated the possibility of getting rid of his friend Tara, who he could see was getting very close with Locky and Aimee. Not to be outdone, Tara then pulled Tessa aside while eating to dinner to float the idea of getting rid of AK at tribal. Seeing AK’s scheming coming together, Tara, Aimee and Locky started to get more and more anxious about the numbers and approached Anneliese to lock her in to help them get rid of him.

At tribal council AK continued to feel bad about losing yet another immunity challenge before Locky pointed out that he was proud of both he and Ziggy for fighting so hard for their tribe. Putting an end to the lovefest, Tessa was asked if she still felt on the outs which she confirmed, she did … though this time, she was strangely quiet about it. The rest of the tribe all danced around how tight the alliance was before Aimee had it with the bullshit and said that the eight wasn’t as tight as they thought.

The reactions ranged from shock, delight and anxiety as the truth floated around tribal before AK tried to get the performance back on track, saying that their are eight people in the alliance and one person to vote for. Tara then decided to join in the truth bomb action, saying that they do need to start thinking of what comes next. Everyone threw out some suitable vague comments before they headed off to vote, while I popped an aspirin to get rid of my confusion induced headache.

The votes quickly started to pile up on AK, before Locky, Tara and Aimee were shocked to see them roll in for the latter, sending her out of the game as the fifth boot. Given the fact she was spewin’ and I had a headache from all the confusion, I thought I’d whip up something soothing for me and my dear friend – and personal plumber – to help us recuperate. Something like my Aimiso Stanton Soup, for instance.

 

 

I mean, sure, it isn’t a pot and a parmie at the local pub like se wanted, but I took her spewin’ comment literally, and felt it my duty to make something nourishing and spicy to help perk her up. Plus – how can you go past miso soup? It is super fresh and tasty. I’ll make you a parmie for All Stars, ok Ames?

Enjoy!

 

 

Aimiso Stanton Soup
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp dried wakame seaweed
1L vegetable stock
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
100g mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 tbsp sriracha
300g silken tofu, cut into 2cm dice
¼ cup white miso
1 shallot, very thinly sliced

Method
Heat the sesame oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the wakame and fry for a minute, or until fragrant. Add the stock, fish and oyster sauces, mushrooms and sriracha, reduce heat to low and cook for twenty minutes.

Add the tofu and miso and cook until miso dissolves.

Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with shallots and down, down, ay.

 

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Leonardo DiCapsicum & Feta Dip

Condiment, Dip, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVII: Gold with the Wind, Party Food, Side, Snack

Once again we’ve come to the end of another glorious Oscar Gold celebration in honour of tomorrow’s big day. Quickly on that note – I know I normally give you live behind the scenes coverage as I walk the red carpet, try and bribe the PWC auditors/steal their briefcase, reconnect with my many ex-lovers and script doctor the hosts efforts … but Jimmy banned me from doing it this year.

Something about my inflamatory way of behaving putting me perilously close from being banned from the Academy for life.

While I am pissed, the show must go on as Hollywood needs me. Plus, you guys need to know tips for your last minute bets.

Now for the moment we’ve been waiting decades for … I was finally able to welcome my dear friend Leo DiCaps to the Oscar Gold party. While it is tragic we will no longer have sad Leo memes at every couple of Oscars, I was ecstatic to be there – live tweeting, thank you Jim – to witness Leo finally snatch the statue after years in the Oscars’ bridesmaid wilderness.

I first met Leo on the set of his first film Critters 3 where we became fast friends of the mutual disappointment we felt for our co-stars. It was on that set that I decided to take him under my wing and help him reach the heights of fame.

I think it is no coincidence that he received his first unsuccessful Oscar nom less than two years later. Leo – and the wider world – you’re welcome.

Being a newly minted Best Actor winner, Leo and I giddily got to work discussing the odds for both the male categories. He agreed that Casey Affleck’s melancholic beauty in Manchester by the Sea deserves the glory … but it extremely concerned that Julia Robert’s will be loving her life again with Denzel pipping him at the post for a loud performance.

To be honest, if anyone is pipping Casey, it should be Viggo … but anyway.

Over in Best Supporting it is essentially a one horse race with there being no way in hell anyone is beating Mahershala Ali. Though I said that about Trump’s Presidency, so who knows?

Given that we both have suits to fit into tomorrow – as Leo asked me to attend as his date – I quickly whipped up a fresh Leonardo DiCapsicum & Feta Dip to mark the first anniversary of him breaking his Oscars drought.

 

leonardo-dicapsicum-feta-dip-1

 

Creamy, tart and completely delicious. This dip is super easy to make and even easier to eat.

Enjoy!

 

leonardo-dicapsicum-feta-dip-2

 

Leonardo DiCapsicum & Feta Dip
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 red capsicums, halved, deseeded, chargrilled and peeled
2 garlic cloves, roasted and thinly sliced
1–2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
250g feta
1 shallot, finely chopped
pinch of chilli flakes
pinch of smoked paprika
salt and black pepper, to taste
crusty baguette, Turkish bread or crackers, to serve

Method
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor.

Blitz.

Devour.

 

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Bret LaBao Buns

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X

Previously on Survivor, we opened the finale with Jay’s killer blindside. Or maybe it wasn’t, I’m still not sure if we were meant to know that the idol was fake and I can’t be bothered rewatching yet.

Not wanting to dwell on the last tribal too much, we arrived at the next immunity involving swimming, traversing a ball through some obstacles, hard poles – yay – and a puzzle, which terrified David on account of his questionable swimming ability.

Ken got out to an early lead thanks to his exquisite ball play, his wet torso glistening beautifully in the sun.  As he lay me down on the sand and leant gently beside me and ki … sorry, tangent.

Sadly Ken wasn’t kissing me, now was he as good with those hard poles – he’ll learn, I have faith – with Bret overtaking him and snatching the lead. Despite Bret’s lead, the rest of the castaways caught up allowing Ken to snatch individual immunity with one of Jeff’s favourite phrases to say to the millennials, “not a participation trophy.

Can we just pause here to enjoy how pretty Ken looks whenever Jeff gives him immunity?

The tribe arrived back at camp where Adam got Bret to run interference for him while he scoured the island for the hidden immunity idol. With Adam away, David went to Hannah and Ken to reconfirm their final three alliance and the plan to boot Adam.

Sadly for David, Adam was successful in finding the actual hidden immunity idol, at least I think … right now.

With Adam busy celebrating his find, David and Ken pulled Bret aside to get him to join the plan to boot Adam. Bret then went to Adam to let him know David and Ken’s plan, while Adam shared his idol secret with Bret and then shared his news with Hannah who announced that she was in control of the outcome at the next tribal council.

Which generally doesn’t bode well for the person that said that.

Vinegar, sorry Vinaka, arrived at tribal and discussed the hunt for the idols, before Bret – this time – sparred with David about their threat status’, statuses, stati?

Whatever the plural of status, Hannah did control the outcome of the tribal and made the worst possible move – at least from the viewers’ perspective – sending Bret out of the game in fifth place as the ninth juror.

Obviously I know Bret, given my love of beer, Boston, bars, bars in Boston and picking up cops who are trying to arrest me for drunk and disorderly behaviour after drinking too much beer in bars in Boston.

The love affair was brief but we remained friends ever since (and I will cherish splitting Ben & Jerry’s after sleeping together through Peter Pan Live!), meaning I knew there was only one thing I could make to dull his post boot pain – Bret LaBao Buns. Emphasis on buns, that foxy minx.

 

bret-labao-buns-1

 

I love pork buns more than life itself. I also love bao buns and David Chang (and The Bun Mobile as well), but i’ve always been scared to try making them at home myself (until Cumberbitch) … but the Momofuku recipe is easy and put my mind at ease.

So yes, this is not my recipe … but I put enough love into it to make Bret happy.

Enjoy!

 

bret-labao-buns-2

 

Bret LaBao Buns
Makes: 12.

Ingredients
hoisin sauce, to serve
sliced shallot, to serve
sriracha, to serve

Steamed buns
7g dry yeast
⅔ cup water, at room temperature
1 cup bread flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp milk powder
1 tbsp kosher salt
pinch of baking powder
pinch of baking soda
30ml vegetable shortening

Pickled cucumbers
2 thick, juicy lebanese cucumbers, cut into thin disks
1 tbsp raw caster sugar
1 tsp kosher salt

Pork
1.5kg slab skinless pork belly
¼ cup kosher salt
¼ cup sugar

Method
To start, place the pork belly into a roasting pan. Combine the salt and sugar and rub all over the meat, erotically if you want but that is a bit weird. Cover in cling and allow to rest overnight.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 225°C and discard any juices – or discharges if you will. Once the oven is piping hot, place the pork in the oven, fat side up and cook for an hour, basting with the rendering fat throughout.

While that is getting as hot as Bret, my husband and I were while Walken sang his heart out, combine the yeast and water in the bowl of a stand mixer outfitted with the dough hook. Add the flour, sugar, milk powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and fat, and mix on the lowest speed possible, just above a stir, for 8–10 minutes. Once it has formed a nice, not-too-sticky ball, turn it out into a lightly lubricated bowl, cover with a wet tea towel and leave to prove in a warm, dry place for an hour or so.

Reduce the pork to 110°C and leave to cook for a further hour and a half, by which point it is tender, pillowy and glorious. Once that is done, remove from the oven, transfer to a plate and allow to rest.

Get back to the buns by punching back the dough. Turn it out onto a clean work surface and divide it in half, and half again and then each piece into three. Roll them into balls, cover in cling and allow to rest for half an hour.

While the dough is proving, prep the cucumbers by combining them in a small mixing bowl with the sugar and salt. Toss to coat and leave to rest – feel free to adjust the sugar and salt levels, to taste.

Then cut out 12 generous squares of baking paper and coat a chopstick in some shortening. When the balls are fully engorged, take them in your hand – and left turn – and flatten them into a long oval shape. Place the chopstick in the middle and fold over to make the bao bun, pulling the chopstick out the end to make the flaps nice and moist and place on the baking paper.

Yes – that sentence was deliberate.

Cover with cling and leave the buns to rest for half an hour.

While taking the final chance to prove themselves, cut the pork belly into 1cm thick slices.

When the buns have proven themselves, get a large pot with a steamer on the stove and bring just enough water to the boil. Working a couple at a time, place the buns in the steamer, cover and steam, for ten minutes or until puffed and beautiful.

To build the bun, place one on your plate, slather with hoisin, top with the pickles and a few slices of pork belly. Top with shallots and sriracha, and devour.

 

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