Loadesiree Potatafuye

Main, Side, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the end of the Chris v. Dom feud led to a unified Naviti splitting the vote between Michael and Libby to continue the desolation of Malolo. While Ozzy’s glowed up stick – not this NSFW one – saved Michael, poor Libby found herself heading out of the game and straight to the jury.

Given it was a rather straightforward tribal, we joined Lavita the next day with Dom telling Laurel about his dream from the previous night which featured a cameo from Martin Sheen – or maybe Michael TBH, I can’t remember – and a killer bacon and egg roll. While I would have loved to hear more about the dream and the BER, Des joined us to share that while the food situation is dire her experience being homeless set her up to deal with it. I’m a terrible person for caring more about the dream story, aren’t I? Des then joined Laurel, Donathand and Jenna to tell them that she was looking to make a move, put an end to Kellyn’s Naviti strong and take her out, followed by Wendell and Dom. While that is the best idea, she is telling Wendell and Dom’s closest ally and therefore it seems doomed to backfire.

Before we can hear more about her BIG MOOOOOVEEEESSSS, Probst returned to lord over yet another team reward challenge where they were required to have two people rescue the remaining members of their team, collect puzzle pieces and then, obvi, assemble said puzzle. Sebastian and Michael got the orange team out to an early lead and I noticed that Michael is once again wearing shorts instead of his holey jocks, making me yearn to see how large the holes are now. Anyway, Wendell is still rocking the jocks and I’m moister than an oyster. So anyway, the orange team of Sebastian, Michael, Chelsea, Kellyn and Jenna dominated while Donathan – who wasn’t selected – looked on and purple languished at sea. While purple did their best to close the gap, boy wonder Michael lead his team through the puzzle and to victory of a chopper ride and picnic. Once again, the victors couldn’t come to consensus about who to send to Ghost Island leaving the Survivor Gods to send Angela for a trip while they headed to the chopper.

Michael and Co arrived at the reward site, struggling to comprehend how epic their victory was and gave Michael the chance to find cracks in the majority. Which I hope for my lust’s sake, they listen to. While Chelsea and Sebastian were making him feel better, Kellyn was confident it was all a rouse and they were still – wait for it – Naviti strong. Meanwhile over at Ghost Island Angela was given the opportunity to play for an advantage and given she has the majority without her vote, she went for it. Sadly for her, she picked badly and finished with no vote at the next tribal which could screw her if a flip does happen.

Back at camp Laurel and Donathan decided they were better off sticking with Dom and Wendell, so went to them to share that the people on the bottom of the Naviti alliance were planning to flip on them ASAP. While Dom admitted it was in their best interests, he made quick work of putting out the fire by telling Kellyn that her closest allies wanted to kick her out at the next tribal council. She was mildly concerned that it was true, she felt confident enough to trust her gut that they would never turn on her.

Laurel and Donathan continued their dominance, encouraging Michael to go searching for yet another idol to try and ensure his safety. While Michael was a man on a mission, Donathan wanted to join him and then snatched it out from beneath him. Said idol was Scot’s Kaoh Rong idol which was cursed when Tai refused to join it with his idol to save him. As such, said idol was powerless unless Donathan could get the idol under the middle of the shelter to restore its power. He then returned to the shelter and with Laurel, Michael and Jenna’s help was able to distract the tribe long enough to make the grab and reverse the, yep, curse.

Probst returned for the next immunity challenge where the tribe was required to balance a ball on a disc suspended like two ropes, so you know Probst is going to have fun with ball puns. Wendell dropped almost instantly, I assume because his balls were covered by shorts. He was quickly followed by Jenna, Laurel, Des and Angela, before Michael proved adept at ball play and could keep it up. Not long after Donathan and Dom dropped out, followed by Michael just before the next section of the challenge. While the final three looked solid, Kellyn dropped soon after getting to the next stage before Sebastian couldn’t keep up his luck, dropping the ball and handing Chelsea victory. I think, since she is barely on screen.

After briefly congratulating Chelsea, Des celebrated the fact Kellyn didn’t win and got to work rallying the troops to take her out. Sadly Kellyn confronted Des and Chelsea about their potential flip assuming it was just a lie Laurel told Dom rather than the truth. Des then approached Laurel and the remaining Malolo members about her alleged lies to Dom to cover her tracks. Sadly for her, Donathan was also present for the conversation and quickly pointed out that it happened. Laurel and Dom reconvened, vowing the strong need to stick together and take Des out on the defensive. Dom then pulled in Michael, while Laurel and Jenna went to convince Kellyn that the conversation actually happened. Which she kinda did, despite still feeling it was too early to destroy the OG Naviti tribe. She then confronted Dom and accused him of starting an all male alliance with Michael which made me extremely confused as they headed off to tribal council.

At tribal council Des was quick to throw Des under the bus for causing all of the drama at camp. While she tried to deflect and make it seem like Laurel was making things up, Laurel, Donathan and Jenna joined Michael in completely dominating tribals and read Des for filth and called her out for all of her lies. While Chelsea was concerned about being thrown under the bus by Des’ plan, she had immunity and was kinda blase about the sitch. Michael was still feeling nervous about the upcoming vote since he is still on the bottom – I wish – while Donathan seethed about the fact no one was trusting them when it came to Des. Kellyn tried to channel her inner Jessica Jones and get to the truth while Des just seemed over sorting it out and just wanted to vote. Tragically for her that was a mistake as said vote resulted in her becoming the third member of the jury.

Poor Des was hella exasperated by the time she arrived at Ponderosa, though given the fact she was the one that spent the last 24 hours lying to save herself I was kinda confused. I mean, sure, be disappointed … but exasperation at people not buying your lie. I call sour grapes. Obvi I didn’t tell her this to her face, instead opting to hold her tight, let her cry through the pain and then cheer her back up with a Loadesiree Potatafuye.

 

 

While my primary school tuckshop referred to them as stuffed potatoes, there is nothing better than a loaded potato. I mean, how can you go wrong with a bed of gloriously baked potato stuffed full o’ – wait for it, waaaaaaiiiiit for iiiiiiit – all the fixin’s?

Enjoy!

 

 

Loadesiree Potatafuye
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 large potatoes
¼ cup sour cream
2 tbsp butter
¼ tsp smoked paprika
small handful of chives, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
4 shallots, roughly chopped
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
1 cup vintage cheddar cheese, grated

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Prick potatoes with mental skewer, wrap tightly in foil and place on a lined baking tray. Transfer to the oven and bake for an hour or so, or until soft.

Unwrap the potatoes and slice off the tops. Scoop out the flesh and mash in a large bowl with the sour cream, butter, paprika, chives and a good whack of salt and pepper. Stir through half the shallots, bacon and cheese and spoon the mixture back into the potatoes. Sprinkle with the remaining shallots, bacon and cheese, and transfer to the oven to bake for a further ten minutes, or until the cheese is golden and crisp.

Devour immediately. Full of glee.

 

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Lindsay Lohand Fries

Main, Side, Snack, Street Food

Don’t you just love a good comeback story? And no. I’m not referring to the sublime TV show The Comeback based on an unnamed friend of mine – Mickey was modelled after me – I’m talking about the upcoming resurgence of my dear friend la Lohan.

As you could probs surmise, I first met Linds on the set of The Parent Trap. You see, I had convinced my dear friend Nance Myers to do an updated version to one-up the Olsen Twins and It Takes Two – it was during a brief feud – but was bested in the audition process by Lohan. Thus telling her it was the inferior movie, despite it being a modern classic and her performance – no doubt – inspiring Tatiana Maslany’s brave performances in Orphan Black.

Anyway, Nance offered to become my kitchen designer to soften the blow and that defused the on-set tension enough for Linds and I to realise that we’re essentially the same person, and as such would make the best of friends. Ever.

As an apology for being quite vicious early on in filming, I got Linds cast opposite my girl Tyra in Life-Size … then Freaky Friday with Jamie, followed by Mean Girls with Ames and Teens, after which, she became the star she was destined to be.

It was such a delight to finally have Linds over and to celebrate her reaching the halfway point of our career rehab plan. While I don’t want to spoil much of what is ahead for Queen LiLo, I can say that my Lindsay Lohand Fries aren’t the only bright point in her future.

 

 

Are loaded fries hella basic? Yes. But let’s be real, I am a basic bitch, Linds loves me for it, and the combination of bacon, shallots, cheese and piping hot fries are something that never fails. Ever.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lindsay Lohand Fries
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
4 washed potatoes, cut into fries
olive oil
4 rashers streaky bacon, diced
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1 cup vintage cheddar, grated
salt, sour cream and/or sriracha, to serve … optionally

Method
Preheat oven to 200C.

Toss the freshly cut fries through olive oil and place on a lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for twenty minutes, turning halfway through cooking.

While the fries are baking, bring a skillet to heat. Once piping, reduce heat to medium and add the bacon. Cook, stirring, until crispy and glorious.

When the fries are done, lightly salt them and transfer to a bowl before topping with the cooked bacon, shallots and a generous helping of cheese. Sour cream and sriracha are optional extras, but come highly recommended when you’re ready to devour.

 

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Jacob Dipwin

Bread, Condiment, Dip, Party Food, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, thirty-five seasons of bad decisions culminated in a new island chain popping up in Fiji known as (the) Ghost Island(s). Twenty new Americans were marooned on the island, challenged with one task … reverse the curse of these epic fails. Oh … and the usual battle each other until only three are left to fight for the chance to become the sole Survivor. After forming two tribes, Naviti and Malolo, they competed in a reward challenge. Well, until leader Chris from the Naviti tribe felt they were going to lose, making the Malolo tribe rich by Survivor standards. Tragically that didn’t translate to victory in the immunity challenge, after which Jacob saved himself by becoming the first inhabitant of Ghost Island and Gonzalez made a speedy exit from the game.

Over at Naviti, Dom was staying awake and creepily watched over his tribe as they slept. Feeling paranoid and on the outs, he used his alone time to search for idols which he miraculously did. Well he thinks, since he couldn’t read the note in the middle of the night. The next day however, he discovered it was authentic. In fact, it was authentically the idol that Andrea was blindsided with in Caramoan.

Feeling a little bit more secure, Dom used the time to get to know Morgan, Sea Bass and Bradley, while they discussed Ghost Island and how best to play it. Morgan excused herself to find the legacy advantage that Jacob willed to her during his stay on the aforementioned island.

Speaking of which, Jacob was using his solo time to do some arts and crafts to fashion a hidden immunity idol that he could use to bluff his way through the next tribal council, should he attend. He returned to camp where Donathan looked adorably happy to see him, and he was shocked to discover that Gonzalez had become the first boot. He then got to work sharing news of his (fake) idol with the tribe. Obviously no one believed his story that he lost the note that accompanied said idol on Ghost Island, with Brendan and Jenna leading the charge to take him out ASAP. Stephanie however, bless her, decided that him knowingly being on the bottom provided her with the opportunity to add him to her brood of reliant allies.

Over at Naviti Dom was showing the tribe his power snatch – no joke – and used his new found safety to continue forming bonds. Further still, he decided to pull Chris aside to clear the air and wipe the slate clean between them. Chris asked if he had found the idol, which he quickly bought. Wanting to solidify their keep your enemies closer alliance, Dominic made a fake idol, hid it with his real note and showed it to Chris. Surprisingly Chris did not buy it, though I think was more concerned about him lying about not having it earlier more so than realising it is fake.

Wanting to keep things moving, Jiffy Pop returned for the second immunity challenge of the season where they would be required to race through some watersport obstacles, release some balls and shoot them into a basket. Sounds fun, no? In addition, the victors would win a tonne of comfort items, which I assume Wendell has already fashioned for his tribe from reeds and grass as he is the best.

Once again, Naviti got off to an early lead and continued to extend it bit by bit. To the point where poor James was left to struggle to release Malolo’s finally batch of buoys, while Naviti started shoots their hoops. Donathan was beckoned back to at least try to release the balls for his tribe and after a motivational pep talk from Probst, pulled it out and got Malolo back into the challenge. Tragically though it wasn’t enough, as Naviti continued to shoot their baskets and secure immunity before Malolo even got one. After his heroic moment, Naviti opted to send Donathan to experience Ghost Island … which is good, since his defeatist attitude could have bitten him and he is too cute.

At Ghost Island, Donathan smashed the second urn to discover there would be no chance for him to win an advantage today. He then shared about his upbringing and being an outcast as an out gay man in the south, though he was proud for people to see his performance in the challenge and living alone on Ghost Island.

Meanwhile over at Malolo, James was quick to own the fact he blew the challenge for everyone and hoped that people would be able to look past it. Stephanie, Brendan and Michael discussed the merits of voting out Jacob or James, ultimately deciding to throw votes on the latter to protect against Jacob’s potential idol. Wanting to play the game, Stephanie approached Jacob about mixing things up, with Jacob throwing out Michael as potential boot to protect against a potential tribe swap. Jacob was confident that he had found an allie, so then spilled all the tea to Stephanie – the idol was fake, he found a legacy advantage and gifted it to Morgan. So now, Stephanie is all powerful and while he trusts her and that is good for her, being the only other person to know about the legacy advantage would be good for her.

Stephanie then floated the Jacob alliance with Jenna, who was open to the idea if that is what she wants but would rather keep strength, rather than booting Michael. Meanwhile Jacob approached Laurel and James who seemed open to taking out the beautiful people, while Michael, Brendan and Libby noticed all the talk and started to get anxious before heading off for tribal.

Once there Jacob received his torch and then got confused about which show he was on, lip syncing for his life to Probst’s introduction. James quickly took the chance to own his challenge loss again before Jacob continued to talk about his advantage he was trying to pass off as an idol. While James didn’t love the information imbalance – like Jiff, I loved the phrase – he was glad it was his tribe that held the knowledge and not Navitit. Jacob still believed his tribe where the greatest, earning an eye roll from Michael, before they started to talk about the shifting alliances.

Jacob, unwittingly or not, spoke about feeling like the tribe could have conspired before he returned to camp to make him feel good and blindside him, which appeared to make Stephanie feel guilty. Meanwhile Brendan said he wasn’t feeling safe despite being BUILT, and Michael just wanted to reverse the curse that is fast becoming their tribe. As the votes rolled in, Jacob elected not to play his fake idol … and tragically found himself becoming the second boot.

While Jacob was completely bummed to be out of the game so soon, as a super fan he was thrilled to be living out his dream of having me whip up a commiseratory meal. Seeing me, obviously, perked him right up. Though maybe it was the sight of the Jacob Dipwin.

 

 

There is no way that any cob would ever be perceived as terrible, so this is no shade to the others. But hands down, this is the best you will ever eat. Creamy, rich and tangy, this is the perfect way to sop up your post boot pain.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jacob Dipwin
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
250g cream cheese
300ml sour cream
500g frozen spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed of all moisture
1 packet French Onion Soup Mix
1 cup tasty cheese, grated
1 cob, hollowed out
1 breadstick, sliced

Method
Put the cream cheese, sour cream, spinach, soup mix and tasty cheese in a large saucepan over low heat and cook until thick and juicysludgey.

While that is cooking, hollow out the cob and slice the breadstick.

Pour the dip into the hollowed cob, scatter the chunks of bread around it and devour, greedily. Thankful no socks were harmed in the making of this cob.

 

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Jimmychangas Fallon

Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Goldenade, Main, Street Food

To be honest, this marathon month of celebration is really starting to exhaust me and I’m feeling desperate to just relax and have a laugh while celebrating this year’s Grammys. And no tea, no shade to Whits, Burt, Tom or Madge, but there is no friend funnier than my fave chum Jimmy Fallon.

Well no one funnier that had won a Grammy. And was available, at least.

I first met Jimmy whilst loitering around 30 Rock to try and get Lorne Michaels to forgive me and let me join the cast of SNL finally. Whilst that obviously did not occur, I did befriend Jim when he was walking in and out of the studio. Did he mistake me for a beggar for the first six months of our friendship? Yes … but it showed that we truly did have a lovely relationship.

As is oft the case, i made his career my top priority and vowed to make him a star. I started by getting him to dip his toe in the cinematic pond, before making him quit SNL to defend my honour … and ultimately, release a comedy album that would go on to bag him a Grammy.

Since that is his winning category, he was thrilled to sit down and run the odds with me. He agreed that it is Jerry Seinfeld’s Grammy to lose … though can’t bring himself to count out Dave Chappelle. When it came to spoken word, however, we knew that there was no one beating my girl Carrie Fisher. Fuck I miss Caz.

Talking about Carrie got me feeling hella emotional, so it was fortuitous timing that I was already balls deep on making some Jimmychangas Fallon.

 

 

Hot and spicy, fresh and comforting, this usually fried delight is just as perfect when oven baked. But I guess, can you go wrong with something slathered in cheese, sour cream, guac and chilli?

You can’t, so enjoy!

 

 

Jimmychangas Fallon
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 red chillies
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
½ tsp ground white pepper
2 tsp dried oregano
2 shallots, sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1kg brisket
olive oil
1 tbsp ground chilli
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp turmeric
pinch of cinnamon
1L beef stock
12 flour tortillas
grated cheese, to serve
sour cream, to serve
guacamole, to serve
sriracha, to serve

Method
Place the chilli, cumin, coriander seeds, pepper, oregano, shallots and garlic in a food processor and blitz until it forms a paste. Blitz in a good lug of olive oil and transfer to bowl. Add the brisket and rub to coat, cover and place in the fridge to marinate overnight.

The next day, heat a lug of oil in a large skillet seal the meat for a minute or two on each side. Add the chilli, smoked paprika, turmeric and cinnamon and cook for another minute before adding the stock and bringing to the boil. Once rollicking, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for three to four hours.

Remove beef from the pan and rest before bringing the heat back up to reduce the liquid. After about ten minutes of rest, shred the brisket with a couple of forks and return to the sauce. Continue to cook until the liquid is mostly evaporated. Remove from the heat and allow to chill completely.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

To assemble, place a couple of tablespoons of the brisket along one edge of the tortilla. Fold in the sides and roll to form a small burrito and tie in the centre with kitchen string. Repeat the process until done. Brush with olive oil, place on a lined baking sheet and bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and remove the string from each. Top with some grated cheese and bake for a further five minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

Serve immediately, slathered with sour cream, guac and sriracha. Though be careful when devouring, since they’ll be bloody hot.

 

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Jerry Festillervus Cake

12 days of Festivus for the rest of us, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

We nearing the end of our 12 days of Festivus celebrations – after, wait for it, catching up with Jase, Heid, Barn, Liz, Wayne, Mike, Pat, John, J-Lou and Estelle – and as such, it is time to unleash the one-two Jerry punch. Since Seiny is obvi atop the Festivus pole, that means today is all about the king and creator of Festivus, my dear friend Jerry Stiller.

I’ve known Jez the longest of the Seinfeld bunch, having met in the early ‘50s.

You see I was working in a bridal shop in flushing … sorry, wrong show. I was working at a diner in Midtown and Jez came in with a nice young lady for a cup of coffee after he agent was rude to her. The young lady, his beautiful future wife Anne Meara  and it goes without saying that my service played a huge role in their eventual relationship.

I was the Best Man of Honour at their wedding in ‘54, am godfather to little Ben – who was named after, obviously – and was integral in getting the role of Frank recast because I knew that it truly was the role Jez was born to play.

I am ashamed to admit it, but I haven’t seen much of Jez since Anne passed away in 2015, so it was so wonderful to see him doing so, so well. There was a lot of laughter, plenty of tears and even a few grievances aired – his, most notably, was how little we see of each other – as we sat down to devour a traditional, hallowed Jerry Festillervus Cake.

 

 

While the TV Festivus dinner never featured the Festivus cake, this delight is a tradition of the real celebration. A light, moist chocolate cake, slathered in sweet chocolate buttercream and dotted with M&M’s? Sign me up … and yourselves.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jerry Festillervus Cake
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
200g raw caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, softened
3 tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ cup cocoa powder
2 eggs
275ml sour cream
200g dark chocolate, chopped
300g icing sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
M&M’s

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Cream the caster sugar with 175g of unsalted butter and 2 tsp of the vanilla until light and fluffy. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, bicarb and cocoa. And then … in a third bowl, whisk the eggs and 150ml of the sour cream. Add the second and third bowls, alternating in thirds, until it is all combined.

Pour the batter into a 30 x 30cm cake tin and bake for 30 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.

To make this icing, melt the remaining butter and chocolate in a medium bowl in a microwave until just melted and easily combined. Sieve in the icing sugar and stir through the golden syrup and remaining sour cream and vanilla until just combined. Ice the cake immediately, smoothing the edges half-assedly as you go.

Spell ‘Happy Festivus’ with M&M’s as best as your skills will take you … before carving up and devouring. Like a monster.

 

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Sylvia Jafflies

Main, Snack

Let me tell you, the phrase contractually obligated has never made me feel better! While my lunch date with Sylvia started off quite awkwardly – on account of my epic over-the-phone tantrum – she sat me down, and in her calmest newsreader voice, explained that she only hosted the greatest annual Christmas program on Australian television with my ex because it was contractually obligated.

Contractually obligated. Who would have thought that phrase could sound so good? Particularly after contractual obligations have forced me into appearing in questionable programs overseas and being the face of Spam for the entirety of the ‘90s.

Now I know that I would normally launch into an epic tirade and stir up a feud if they tried to use contracts to explain their actions, but Sylvia is honestly one of the nicest, most genuine people I’ve ever met and as such, I didn’t question the pain it caused her to buddy up with Curt.

As I mentioned, Sylvs and I were thrust together in 2006 after missing the first day of Spanish class at UQ and were required to sit a make-up class. As is oft the case, I realised that her grasp of the language was far superior to mine, so hitched my wagon to hers and became study buddies slash friends. I mean, sure, most of our study dates at Wordies were spoken in English but that made for a fun ride in class and helped me receive so many disappointed sighs from our Colombian teacher.

When we weren’t downing arancini – not Arianna’s – while learning our pluscuamperfecto, I did my best to culturally appropriate – is that a way I can use it, probs not, but you get what I mean – Latin American cuisine to further our education. Which is how I invented the Sylvia Jafflies.

 

 

Jaffles are probably the greatest invention for uni students – cheap, quick and easy, and oh so comforting when you’re wanting to die at the end of semester. Add the additional comfort of chilli and guac, and you’ve got the ultimate study food. Scrap that, just food. It is the ultimate food.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sylvia Jafflies
Serves: 2 distracted Spanish students.

Ingredients
4 slices white bread
butter
1 cup Chilli con Kim Carnes
100g sliced Mexican manchego
1 avocado, mashed
sour cream, to taste
Sriracha, to taste

Method
Now this is harder than an end of semester entrevista, so pay attention.

Start by turning on a jaffle iron and buttering the bread.

Divide the chilli across two slices, top each with manchego and close the sandwiches with the remaining bread.

Butter the top of the bread and place butter-side down on the jaffle iron.

Butter the remaining pieces of bread and close the machine.

Cook until the red light turns green … aka five minutes or so, and the bread golden and the cheese is gooey.

Slather in avo, sour cream and sriracha before devouring, carefully, on account of the piping hot cheese.

 

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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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Karl Stroganovic

Main, Pasta

While he didn’t explicitly say it, my boy Karl desperately needed a cuddle and a catch-up to pick him up and get him through the final few weeks of the year. Given the stress he’s been under, he hasn’t been the breakfast mainstay that we’ve come to know and love this last year, and I am heartbroken to admit, that that has really gotten him down.

“Ben, my dearest best Ben-friend after Fordo. I just feel like I’ve let my Today family, and everyone, down.”

Gaaaahhhh, how heartbreaking is that?

I held him close and told him that everything would be ok and the public would soon be distracted by another shiny scandal … and that he is beautiful, looks like a model, like Linda Evangelista. Look at that smile etc. While he was confused about that little outburst before I explained that Stan, part of the Nine stable, is Australia’s RPDR champion, he held me for a few moments, soaking in the unconditional love of his dear friend. And surprisingly, that soaking is figuratively. For once.

I’ve known Karl for years, after meeting in the Nine News Brisbane newsroom in the early ‘00s. While the fact we both had the generic appearance of a young Ray Martin pitted us as competition, our sense(s?) of humour brought us together. We’ve been friends ever since and I’ve proudly celebrated his achievements after all these years.

After working through the darker parts of our years – did I ever tell you about the time someone tried to act offended that I didn’t want to attend a work lunch when I hate crowds/people? – we got to work bringing joy back to our lives. And there is nothing more joyful than my Karl Stroganovic.

 

 

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I used to have some serious hang-ups about strog due to my mother. While she always tries her best, particularly in the kitchen, ‘90s Tweed Heads was not good for beef strips, nor did she help the sitch with strog. My dear, sweet grandmother used to tell her that me regurgitating the meat was ok because I was masticating the goodness from it, but I wish she just suggested cooking the meat in a manner that made it tender. Like this.

After submerging the beef in the sweet, sweet stroganoff sauce, the meat starts to melt away and make me wish the culinary memories of the ‘90s ent with it. Delicate, tender and oh-so-comforting, this is the perfect dish to get you excited for 2017’s end.

Enjoy!

 

 

Karl Stroganovic
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
75g butter
2 onions, diced
3 cloves garlic
250g white mushrooms, finely sliced
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
½ cup beef stock
⅔ cup brandy
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
500g beef fillet, cut into strips
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup sour cream
small handful parsley, finely chopped

Method
Melt half the butter in a large skillet over medium heat until nice and foamy before adding the onion and garlic, and cooking for three minutes, or until soft. Add the mushrooms and cook for a couple of extra minutes. Add the paste, mustard and paprika and cook for a further minute, before stirring through the stock, brandy and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil and simmer for about five minutes.

Add the beef strips to the bubbling sauce, reduce heat to low and simmer for about ten minutes, or until the meat is cooked through. Season, add the sour cream and stir to combine.

Remove from the heat, stir through the parsley and serve on a bed of buttered pasta. Then devour, obvi.

 

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Ali Pastelliott Chicken Tacos

Main, Party Food, Poultry, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, new Levu was divided two-two after Alan was idoled from the game, while dinner-plate nips Cole replaces Patrick’s place in Lauren’s heart, driving her mental with his poor manners. Meanwhile over at new Soko, Ryan was caught between his OG ally Ali and her newer ally Chrissy, siding with the latter to send Roark from the game.

Back at camp Ali confronted Ryan about what happened and asked why he never told her about the vote, upset as she would have been willing to take out Roark. While he admitted that he was concerned about how close she and Roark had become, she got emotional and couldn’t see any logic. This also upset Ryan who had hoped that he’d be able to work with Ali into the future, though that was clearly out of the picture.

The next day, Mike the dick doctor became the provider at Yawa … and boy was he proud of himself. Tragically he then dropped his entire haul in the fire – like a combination of Sandra’s first two sabotage attempts – though was kind enough to give everyone some of his charred fish. Ben was then compared this to Cole, who had cooked a couple of his larger fish and not shared them. This coupled with the fact Lauren tried – and failed – to explain why they needed to share to better the team, started putting more nails in his rapidly growing coffin. Cole then went for a walk to calm down with Jessica, leaving Mike, Ben and Lauren to strategise, talk smack and align to take them out.

My main man Jiffy Pop returned for a pizza reward – which is hopefully for Snickers, for grumpy Cole – where the tribes were required to balance their ball with a big, hard rod and release a boat before rowing out and shooting their loadballs at a target. Soko got out to an early lead, thanks to JP and Ali’s ball-handling skills, quickly getting out to their boat before the others complete the course. That is until Chrissy forgot to undo the second knot, resulting in Yawa catching up. Ben and JP both struggled to aim their balls, allowing Levu to catch-up just as they each hit their first. Mother nature then decided to make it a little tougher, whipping the waves up and making the targets even harder to hit … though JP and Ben prevailed, securing reward for Yawa and Soko.

We then got a killer crotch shot as JP exited, though sadly he was still wearing pants. Sigh.

Soko were thrilled to return to camp with their pizzas thanks to JP’s physical prowess. That, obviously, made Ryan nervous given the merge is imminent. Add to that the fact he is quiet and doesn’t really bother talking about strategy made things seem safer for Ali. Meanwhile over at the losing Levu, Ashley and Devon solidified their alliance and debated whether they felt Joe or Desi would be willing to go for rocks for the other. Devon then took Joe for a walk, allowing Ashley to get to work on Desi who in fact, was more than willing to get rid of Joe as she know his loyalty is all on his terms. He then found the idol despite being babysat, this time without anyone – with a huge fucking mouth (swoon) – knowing.

Meanwhile over at Yawa, Cole started to get the shakes before passing out while Mike was offering him worms. Doctor Mike and nurse Jessica went straight into action, with Jessica cooking up her portion of rice to give him sustenance. While it made her realise how much she wanted to keep him in the game, Mike and Ben saw it as a liability, vowing to take him out if they head to the next tribal.

With all targets identified, Jeff returned for immunity where the tribes would all have to suspend a disc using four ropes … and then spell immunity vertically on said disc using blocks, from the bottom – kween – to the top. RIP Joe Del Campo. Levu and Yawa both appeared extremely strong, while poor Soko struggled and restarted after only a couple of blocks. Then out of nowhere Levu dropped, followed again by Soko … and then Yawa as they were two steps from immunity. Levu and Soko then battled it out for immunity before Yawa came out from behind – my favourite – with a new strategy, overtaking the others and taking out immunity as Soko dropped again and Levu snatched second place.

Back at camp, JP was confident that Ali would be the next one out the door while Ryan was still questioning whether it was better to take out JP, the man that has literally carried him through a challenge. Knowing that Ali is key to his plan working, he went and apologised to her and to try convince her to take out JP. That was obviously an easy task, with Ali offering to talk to Chrissy about getting JP out … which is probably the worst plan for them, given she trusts Ryan and not Ali. Chrissy then pulled Ryan aside to discuss who was the better option, with them only vowing allegiance to each other before heading off to tribal.

They arrived to some light shade from Jeff before Ryan and Ali spoke about getting past their post-last tribal drama. JP then gave a smug look, either meaning he knows something we don’t or is heading for a downfall. Jeff then called him out for being hella laid back, and acknowledging why he could be voted out rather than why he shouldn’t. Jeff gave him a backhanded compliment – dude and dem nips, I clearly like nips, really is made from granite – before he acknowledged that this was a wake-up call and he needs to be more social. While I’d argue her needs to be more naked, potato, po-tar-toe. They then went to vote where once again, Ryan flipped on Ali … and sent her from the game and one of the biggest physical threats to the merge.

Given Al’s career as a celebrity assistant, it should come as no shock that we’ve known each other for years. On account of my many, legitimate celebrity friendships, remember? While I won’t spill on her employer – they’re one of my best friends, obvi – I will say that Ali is the sweetest and like Roark, will dominate the next Second Chances. Particularly if she lives on a diet of only my Ali Pastelliott Chicken Tacos until then.

 

 

Spicy and sweet, these babies go a long way in proving the importance of pineapple in cooking. I mean, why they get so much hate? Like iceberg lettuce, they aren’t classy, but in the right place are true perfection. And the right place is here with the smoky chicken tacos.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ali Pastelliott Chicken Tacos
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
500g chicken mince
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp hot paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp dried oregano
1 orange, juiced
1 cup chicken stock
200g pineapple chunks
2 chipotle chillies in adobo, roughly chopped
12 corn tortillas
iceberg lettuce, shredded
shredded cheese, ladies choice … you being the lady, obvi
2 avocados, mashed
coriander, to taste
sour cream, to taste

Method

Heat a good lug of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and sweat the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes, or until soft, fragrant and sweet. Add the chicken, paprikas, cumin, coriander and oregano and cook, breaking up with the wooden spoon, for a couple of minutes, or until cooked through. Add the juice, stock, pineapple and chillies, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and cook until reduced.

 

When you’re ready to devour, heat the tortillas in a hot, dry frying pan, thirty seconds per side, top with lettuce, chicken mixture, cheese, avocado, a sprinkle of coriander and dollop with sour cream. Devour.

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