Allibacon Janndeluxe

Burgers, Fame Hungry's American Teen Princess Pageant

With our Drop Dead Gorgeous celebrations over, I knew I needed to pull out the big guns as we move into the Fourth of July. And there truly is no big gun, of acting, than seven-time Emmy winner and five-time SAG Award winner – and most importantly, one of my closest friends – Allison Janney.

Speaking of Al, I have a major confession to make that even she doesn’t know – I’ve never seen The West Wing aka the show that won her first four Emmys. While it is super awkward for me to pretend like I’ve seen it all the damn time, I do it for her because I love her … and I will eventually get to it, you know?

I first met Ali while attending Kenyon College together, where we studied under the tutelage of Paul Newman who encouraged us both to continue with the craft. While I left her around the late 80s/early 90s to work on Bev Hills 90210, she caught my eye again in Miracle on 34th Street and I made it my job to get her an EGOT.

While the Oscar eluded her for her performance in Ang’s The Ice Storm, I assumed DDG would finally snatch her the gold for her hilarious performance as Loretta. It was not have panned out, but I did introduce her to Sorki and get her those Es, so it worked out.

We haven’t been able to hang out in a while thanks to her busy schedule with Mom, so it was perfect that our celebrations coincided with the Summer break. She is such a doll and we had the best time – that’s not even including the fact she asked me to play her long lost son / Anna Faris’ brother on the show – reconnecting. Particularly since I made her favourite burgs – my Allibacon Janndeluxe.

 

 

Does the name flow off the tongue? Fuck no. Does it even resemble a pun? Of course not … but this burger is legit. Based on one of two reasons to venture to Hungry Jack’s, the Bacon Deluxe – the other being the onion rings – is quite possibly the best Australian fast-food burger. Crispy bacon, creamy mayo, melting cheese and a kick of onion? Perfection.

Now I guess you’re only got one reason to head to Hungry Jack’s … soz guys! Enjoy!

 

 

Allibacon Janndeluxe
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
salt and pepper, to taste
8 rashers bacon
4 Kirsten Bunst
8 slices American cheese
iceberg lettuce, roughly chopped
2 tomatoes, sliced
mayonnaise

Method
Squeeze out as much liquid from the mince as possible and transfer to a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch it all together and divide into 8 balls, shaping each into patties.

Heat a large skillet over high heat, reducing to low when scorching. Fry each patty for about 10 minutes, flipping once. At the same time, cook the bacon until crisp.

To assemble the burgers, split the buns and place a patty on the bottom. Top with a slice of cheese, a second patty and the remaining cheese. Add the bacon, tomato, lettuce and a dickload of mayo. Then, devour … if you can wait that long.

 

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Chicken Philo Seymour Hoffman

Main, Poultry

Now that I’m 30, I feel that I have unlocked a new depth to my emotional intelligence that allows me to share my rawest of emotions. As such I feel completely comfortable (and brave) to share, oy how my heart breaks from losing Phil so soon.

While it was such a treat to go back, catch-up and share a meaningful – albeit extremely puzzling for him – goodbye on the set of the Hunger Games, it was painful knowing that I couldn’t help him or change his fate.

Lest I risk setting off a chain reaction worse where Ashton Kutcher becomes a celebrated actor and Donald Trump becomes … actually, it probably couldn’t get worse.

I first met Phil whilst Annelie and I were working as Jami Gertz’s assistants on the set of Twister. While Hellraiser Hunt was the only person that could keep us from ruining production – it is rumoured our feud was being eyed as the first season of Ryan Murphy’s latest anthology – it was sweet, kind Phil that truly took us under his wing and attempted to help us find a sense of calm belonging and help us process life in an appropriate manner.

I didn’t even realise how fitting it was that I visited him to aid my transition to adulthood.

Given that I didn’t want to let me grief spook him, I stuck with whipping up our celebratory Chicken Filo Seymour Hoffman.

 

 

While it was our traditional celebratory dish, I love it so much that it was the perfect cover for my tears – “they’re happy Philly!”

As it should be clear by now, I love anything hot enough to liquify my organs and I love buffalo chicken. This little parcel is a bit of a posh update of the spicy wings, all the better from the lack of bones and the addition of pastry.

Who ever would have thought I’d prefer something without the bone? Old age, I guess.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Philo Seymour Hoffman
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 chicken breasts
8 sheets filo pastry
100g blue cheese, crumbled
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup hot sauce
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Using the back of a heavy based frying pan, bash each of the chicken breasts until an even 1cm-ish thick.

Combine the blue cheese, carrots, celery, shallots, garlic and hot sauce in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Divide the mixture into four and line across the centre of the chicken breasts and wrap/roll to enclose.

Place two sheets of filo on a bench and place a rolled breast at the centre at one end. Gently roll the breast and pastry to just enclose. Fold both sides in and then continue rolling to enclose. Place on a lined baking sheet, repeat until done and top with a little bit of extra blue cheese.

Place the chicken in the oven and bake for about half an hour, or until golden and cooked through. Remove and allow to rest for five minutes … before devouring with mash and/or veggies.

 

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Along Came Philly

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

So I have something to share – I am turning 30 this week. Yes, I know, I am getting old – thank god I’m a man and aging as a male is accepted in Hollywood!

Given it is such a milestone, I thought it best to take the old time machine out for a spin and to visit one of my dearly departed best friends.

Philip Seymour Hoffman – or Philly as I, his bestie, called him – left the world way too soon and I was so heartbroken that I never got to say goodbye. As I want to enter my 30s with minimal regrets, I felt that going back and having a meaningful goodbye would be something of an easy fix.

What says I miss and love you, without giving away the future and setting off a butterfly effect that results in another Butterfly Effect movie for which Ashton Kutcher wins an Oscar … or something equally horrific?

Image source: Chris Weeks / WireImage.

 

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Braised Briskarmack

12 Days of Chrismukkah, Main

At the risk of sounding like the whore of Chrismukkah, my dear friend Chris and I started off as lovers – he put the Chris in my mukkah, if you will – which makes me extremely thankful, a little surprised and at the same time disappointed, that none of the cast fought over me on set.

Our love quickly blossomed when he guested on my dear friend Amy Sedaris’ classic Stranger’s with Candy but after a few torrid months we realised we were better off as friends and parted ways.

A few years later and fresh out of rehab, I wanted to show him how much I had grown and how mature I now was and pushed for him to be welcomed to The O.C.

Bitch.

Despite being the first to leave the series, Chris’ career went from strength to strength co-starring in the hit Amanda Bynes film Love Wrecked, the TV movie Beauty & the Briefcase, an episode of Desperate Housewives and more recently, a starring role in Nashville.

Which is actually good.

Given his commitments to the latter, Chris and I haven’t been able to spend much time together lately. It was such a treat to reconnect and get the inside scoop on what will become of Rayna and her hair … and celebrate the more -mukkah side of Chrismukkah with my Braised Briskarmack.

 

braised-briskarmack-1

 

To be honest, I have no idea if this meal comes close to being kosher … but I assume if you’re celebrating a hybrid holiday, you probably aren’t too staunch on eating kosher. I did avoid cooking the delicate brisket and sweet, creamy mushrooms together though.

That counts for something, right? RIGHT?

Oy – enjoy!

 

braised-briskarmack-2

 

Braised Briskarmack
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
10 cloves garlic
4 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed and roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
1.5kg beef brisket
a couple each of celery stalks, onions and carrots, roughly chopped\
2 cups red wine
800g canned chopped tomatoes
small handful of parsley
small bunch of thyme, a few sprigs reserved for the mushrooms
500g button mushrooms, quartered
1 cup beef stock
3 tbsp horseradish cream
½ cup sour cream

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Place half the garlic and all the rosemary in a mortar and pestle with a good pinch of salt and pepper and crush until a paste forms. Transfer to a bowl, combine with a generous lug of oil and rub over both sides of the brisket.

Heat a lug of oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat and sear either side of the meat for a few minutes. Chuck in the veggies, wine, canned tomatoes and herbs and stir gently to combine.

Place the lid on firmly and transfer to the oven, baking for about 4 hours. Check every hour or so to ensure there is enough liquid and to keep the meat covered – which I rarely would support. Once the meat is tender, transfer it to a board and leave to rest for 20 minutes.

While it is resting, get to work on the mushrooms by heating a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Reduce to low and add the remaining garlic – which you will have minced but I forgot to tell you – mushrooms and the leaves from the extra thyme sprigs and cook for about five minutes, or until browned and soft. Add the stock, turn the heat up to medium-high and simmer for about ten minutes, or until reduced and slightly thickened. Add the horseradish, sour cream and cooking liquid and cook, stirring, for five minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste.

Slice the brisket into diagonal slices and serve with some latkes, topped with the mushrooms.

 

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