Jeremy Croqefort & Onion Quiche

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

Previously on Survivor the Goliath tribe struggled to deal with Queen Natalie’s attitude while Jeremy tried to play a sneaky game, going through people’s possessions, eventually finding Dan’s idol. Meanwhile the David’s once again lost the immunity challenge, while this time they made it to tribal things didn’t go as Jessica, Bi, Davie and Carl planned, blindsiding Jessica and sending her from the game.

Back at camp things were pretty tense, with Davie thankful that he had his idol as a back-up though felt betrayed by Christian and Nick who he was aligned with. As such, he went to chat the Christian and see what happened before he threw Gabby straight under the bus, and put the entire move on her while realistically Elizabeth kinda orchestrated to save her bestie Lyrsa. In any event, Nick was feeling powerful as his alliance – stop trying to make Mason Dixon happen – was brilliantly – on day 6 – playing the middle and ultimately controlling things on the tribe. Which feels like foreshadowing of a blow-up or a swap pretty soon. Meanwhile poor Carl was lamenting Jess’ loss and broke down about how difficult this game can be.. Though being a David, he knew that he could persevere and make it to the end.

The next day Carl approached Bi to find out what happened, with her saying that Davie flipped on them. Well until she caught up with Nick, who explained that it was actually Gabby who flipped things. She then complained about Gabby for being selfish and emotional, which is pretty unfair given when Gabby approached her last episode, she and Jess completely dismissed her which led to her flipping.

Meanwhile over at the Goliath tribe the George Bushy of Tushy caught a fish and filled everyone with joy, feeling confident about how he came across as John and felt that he was growing. Fucking swoon. Sadly Natalie doesn’t seem to be learning anything, continuing to sass and boss people which felt like a problem for John as he feels like he can trust her. Also emerging as a bossy boots, Jeremy and his beta Mike were bonding whilst fishing. Though Mike pretty much only likes him for bossing him around. Jeremy however was showing a softer side, sharing a story about everything his father gave him and how he wanted to make him proud. While Mike felt that connection, he is worried that Jeremy is quickly going to become a target and needs to keep himself safe by creating some distance.

Over at the David camp, Christian and Gabby started debating what it takes to be a citizen of Slamtown, where it is, the infrastructure and damn I love them. And thankfully, they are loving each other, nerding out and making each other life. Bi however is still not loving Gabby, going from person to person trying to organise a vote against her at the next tribal council, making me wonder, have we missed the immunity challenge?

We returned to the Goliath tribe where John and Kara were talking about the ratio of size to brain in the fish world. Jeremy however noticed it wasn’t just them pairing up for conversations, which made him super nervous. So nervous in fact, he started calling them out individually and then as an entire tribe, making everyone start to think, maybe Queen Natalie isn’t the worst person for morale. Right on cue, John and Angelina caught up to talk about how his little outburst made them realise that he is more of a threat than Natalie and as such, should go soon. Meanwhile Jeremy was having side conversations to get people to target Dan or Kara, hoping to break up the showmance and flush the idol. Sadly for him, the fact that he went through Dan’s bag only made them skeptical.

This next day Probst returned with a shit tonne of sideways rain for this week’s challenge – for soggy hammocks, chairs, pillows, blankets and immunity – where a person from each tribe was required to untangle themselves from an obstacle, while three were required to untie themselves from ropes before catching a sled, pull it back to them and then solve a puzzle with the pieces on board. Alec got the Goliaths out to an early lead, though Bi closed the gap leading to the next three from each tribe to start untangling together. While the Goliaths had a slight lead towards the end, both tribes kicked off the sled pull at the same time and essentially got the puzzle back at the same time, leaving Natalie and Alison to face off against Christian and Gabby. And as such, the Davids finally won a challenge since Christian and Gabby are both geniuses.

Despite their victory we followed the Davids back to camp and I started to panic that we were about to see another Pat situation with Bi. Thankfully it didn’t appear to take her out, getting it wrapped instead but begging the question, is she doomed?

We returned to the Goliath tribe where the tribe started to scramble with Natalia desperate to vote out Natalie since she demanded to play in the challenge despite Angelina knowing how to solve it. Natalie approached Jeremy to share that she has never felt any support from him, though was hoping to change his mind. He had zero interest in that and as such they went their separate ways. Alison and Angelina were catching up, with Alison sure that Natalie’s challenge fail was the final nail in her coffin. Angelina however had other ideas, deciding that Jeremy is the bigger threat given Natalie is an easy second boot.

Sadly no one seemed to be buying it as Mike and Alison both countered that Natalie was a drain on morale and can’t do anything in challenges, so is the safest vote. Angelina then went to Alec, Dan, Natalia and Kara to float the idea, with them nervous about swapping soon and Natalie punishing everyone. Angelina however countered that Jeremy would also do that and given he is less abrasive, would do it better. Natalia obvi hates Natalie and just wants her gone no matter what. Speaking of Natalie, she approached John and Kara to discuss options before Jeremy refused to leave and give her privacy. Instead of scrambling, Jeremy and Natalie then commenced bickering in front of them, leading to Jeremy gloating about how overconfident Natalie is and how it is going to bite her at tribal.

On that note, the Goliath tribe arrived at the beautiful tribal council with John’s beautiful side-nip on full display. The tribe spoke about how difficult the conditions are this season, with Mike terrified about how low his standards have gotten. Jeremy quickly started throwing barbs, saying that nine of them have been getting along and Natalie is just the worst. Given she is queen, she didn’t really seem to care and stayed relatively quiet. Jeremy then continued to rant about Natalie, appearing wilder and wilder, which started to make him look bad, rather than her. Natalie though did start returning barbs, but given he started saying no one would attend her funeral which sounds pretty bad. Dan, Alec, Alison and Angelina did echo Jeremy’s sentiments, though explained it in a kinder manner that lead to Natalie agreeing to take on constructive criticism which is shade from a Queen, FYI.

She then hoped that a blindside may occur, pointing out she is not a threat at all while Jeremy is a threat. Jeremy told them that Natalie will flip, however she pledged to be Goliath strong and told them that she won’t flip on her tribe. With that the tribe voted – Natalie bringing a tonne of sass, obvi – and the Queen got her wish as Jeremy was blindsided from the game.

Despite the fact he was already feeling pretty terrible after being booted, I opted to go the Tyra route and scream at him about angry I was given how I was rooting for him. I mean, he was hot, went nude in an episode and is gay; he was my dream winner – outside of Gabby, Natalie and Elizabeth, obvi – and now my heart is broken. During a rare moment of humility, I explained that to him, stopped lashing out and apologised as we smashed a Jeremy Croqefort & Onion Quiche.

 

 

A little bit salty – like his post-game press, for instance – earthy, creamy and sweet all at once, this quiche is near perfection. Plus it is super simple yet super delicious, and as such you always look like a winner. Maybe don’t mention winner in front of Jeremy?

Enjoy!

 

 

Jeremy Croqefort & Onion Quiche
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
2 sheets frozen shortcrust pastry, defrosted
4 eggs, whisked
300ml cream
a couple of sprigs fresh thyme leaves
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup caramelised onions
½-1 cup roquefort, crumbled

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C and press the pastry into two quiche dishes. Line with baking paper, fill with baking weights and blind bake for fifteen minutes. Remove the weights and baking paper and cook for a further five minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

Meanwhile whisk the eggs, cream, salt and pepper and thyme to combine in a large bowl. Scatter the caramelised onion and roquefort over the bases, pour over the egg mixture return to the oven to bake for 45 minutes, or until browned and just set.

Allow to rest for fifteen minutes before devouring.

 

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Spinach and Jessicartichoke Peetzza

Main, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor my boy Probst met 20 new castaways in the middle of the Fijian for a biblical battle, with the underdog David tribe taking out the first reward of the season. Meanwhile over on the overachieving Goliath tribe hot cop Dan and Kara met each other and instantly fell in love because they are beautiful. Their luck continued, with Dan then finding the first idol of the season. Meanwhile over at the David tribe things were looking bad for Nick, who was left right out and set to be the first boot after they lost immunity. Thankfully for him – and horrifically for everyone – there was a freak accident in the boat after the challenge, doing such a number on Pat that he was evacuated as the first boot.

That night back at camp things continued to be miserable as the weather took its toll on everyone, unable to start a fire or stay dry and TBH. Things were just as bad, if not worse, at the Goliath tribe they too were pelted with rain and their tribe flag was lucky not to blow away. Things were no better the next day as everyone shivered and started to break down as they desperately tried for a fire. Thankfully there were glimmers of hope as Christian and Nick went out in the wet to try and find something to find something to start fire with and/or eat. That obviously led to them talking strategy and lamenting being out of the loop on the potential last vote, and as such quickly aligned. And while I’m already loving this underdog story, Nick then spoke about the fact he was probably meant to be voted out last night and as such he is going to fight to win or die trying and damn there is something likeable about him. Probably his eyes. They then geeked out finding bamboo to reinforce the shelter and naming their alliance, unaware this isn’t Survivor. They arrived back at camp to discover that Bi had dropped by treemail where they discovered a fire making kit and tarp to ensure nobody dies.

The Goliaths too, recieved said kit and tarp and the mood appeared to champ instantly. Dan and Kara took a moment to discuss finding the idol and partake in some generic flirting. Which did not go unnoticed – much to Kara’s chagrin – with Jeremy and Alec plotting to split them up and Natalie warning her to tone it down for her safety. Wanting to work around the situation, Kara approached Angelina and Natalia to assure them that she is interested in forming a black-widow brigade, stringing their respective men along and taking them out one after the other. After taking out Queen Natalie and Mike, obvi. Speaking of Mike, he was keeping watch as Jeremy rifled through peoples drying clothes and found Dan’s idol, which Kara had warned him to be more careful with. As such, Natalia and Kara are not the only two other people that know and as such, Mike and Jeremy’s stock just went up.

Things were looking up at the David tribe too, where Davie had decided to continue providing for the tribe after his epic octopus catch.  Whilst hunting for more food, he inadvertently found a hidden immunity idol and bless him, he deserves it. Particularly for saying this smells like authentic idol leather, begging the question, is that what my couch smells like? Meanwhile Carl was lamenting the loss of Pat and decided that the no longer can afford to lose Nick, instead wanting to take out Lyrsa, who he decided was the weakest. While Nick loved that idea, Elizabeth was pissed that her best buddies name was being thrown about. As was Lyrsa who desperately wanted to scream them all down, explaining she is the reason they won the first challenge.

Over at the Goliaths Jeremy and Alec continued to look sexy in their underwear before Jeremy instantly became my favourite by stripping down. And hot damn, I need a minute. Back in the camp Natalia was getting a nose and teeth booger check from Angelina, under the watchful eye of Natalie who obviously thought it was fucking stupid. Boogers in your teeth? Childish. Queen Natalie continued to lay low, watching everyone work and sassing them as much as possible. Sadly for her, people did actually notice her and were growing tired of her bullshit. Except for King John, the George Bushy of Tushy, who thought she was a great person to work with. John pulled Natalie aside to warn her about her attitude, leading to her approaching people one at a time and questioning their decision to target her, given she is a non-threat. While everyone decided the drama was too much for them, Jeremy pulled her aside to tell her some hard truths about her lack of self-awareness. Which she refused to accept, driving Jeremy mad and locking in his resolve to get rid of her.

Dear Jeffrey finally returned to screen for the immunity challenge where he explained to the Goliath tribe that Pat was injured after the last challenge, and therefore, someone is still potentially going to be the first one out. Anyway, the challenge. One person from each tribe was required to climb up a ladder to release a key, which would be used to retrieve a bag of puzzle pieces before solving said puzzle on a wobbly table. Given that in addition to immunity they would get a huge fishing kit, Davie the provider was totally pumped. Alec got the Goliaths out to a huge lead over Bi and the David tribe, allowing they to go out and grab the puzzle pieces and return to shore before Bi reached the top of the ladder. The Goliaths continued to work on the puzzle while Bi was abandoned at the dock collecting puzzle pieces while their boat drifted away. Given the puzzle seems insanely hard the Davids quickly caught up as everyone dropped their platforms and destroyed their work. Thankfully the Goliaths put everyone out of their misery after an hour, solving their puzzle and snatching immunity much to everyone’s exhausted relief.

Back at camp the Davids lamented their loss before Bi desperately gave them all a peptalk to get their head in the game. Bi and Jessica locked in their vote for Lyrsa, though given how cagey they were being when Gabby approached them to discuss tribal, she decided to go and find a plan she feels safer with. Speaking of feeling safe, besties Elizabeth and Lyrsa desperately tried to find some for the latter, identifying Jessica as the better target. They then approached Gabby who was concerned they wanted to target her, so was all in when they suggested getting rid of Jess instead and taking out Bi and Carl’s closest ally. Elizabeth pulled Christian in with a hug – literally – and locked him in for the vote against Jessica. Christian and Gabby discussed the plan and locked in their alliance together, before Christian approached Nick. Who tragically wasn’t interested and would prefer to take out Lyrsa.

With that we obviously arrived at the insanely beautiful, grand tribal council where Jeff questioned how they could handle the cyclonic weather, which they all said brought them together. Elizabeth admitted that those bonds would make the upcoming votes more difficult, though Lyrsa admitted that you can cut the tension with a knife back at camp. She then spoke about having heard her name for being a weak link, which made Jessica sass her for not playing the game hard enough if that is the case. Gabby suggested people shouldn’t underestimate anyone, Bi said she was voting on performance despite bombing the immunity challenge, Christian spoke about the votes all being organised and Nick admitted that the game was built on deceit so that they need to build trust where they can. After a discussion of the battle between playing a tribal vs individual game, everyone shared our nervous they were though Jessica did admit that it was exhilarating. With that, they voted and it turns out tribal wasn’t as exhilarating as she would have hoped, becoming the second – slash technically first – boot.

To be honest, I shouldn’t be shocked by the turn of events that led to her demise. Despite such a strong start last episode, I had menu-planned for her to be devouring pizza in Ponderosa and as such, she would be doomed to be a pre-juror because of my curse. I held her in my arms while I cried uncontrollably while repeating sorry, which let’s be honest would have been a terrifying experience for our child contestant. Thankfully she took her boot in her stride – no doubt thanks to the extreme pity she felt for me post meltdown – and said that while the curse definitely doomed her, she couldn’t be grumpy when it is delicious as my Spinach and Jessicartichoke Peetzza.

 

 

Just like the majestic Scot Pollartichoke Dip before her, there is no greater culinary pairing that spinach and artichoke. Particularly when in the company of cheese. Add in the glory of fresh, pillowy pizza dough, and it is hard not to be in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Spinach and Jessicartichoke Peetzza
Serves: a sad second boot and her best-o.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
½ cup mayonnaise
⅓ cup sour cream
¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
zest of a lemon
1-2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
200g marinated artichokes, drained and roughly chopped
½ cup parmesan
mozzarella, to taste

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

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the mayo, sour cream, parsley, garlic and lemon in a bowl and generously smear over the pizza bases. Top with spinach, artichokes and parmesan before adding some mozzarella for good measure.

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

Devour immediately, hoping not to burn our mouth with some scalding cheese. Because that would just add too much unwanted salt in your wounds.

 

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Patty Melt Cusack

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

Previously on Austra … hang on. The weather is miserable, Shonella aren’t playing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in the background and Shane Gould isn’t around to not be fucked with. It’s original flavour Survivor, with less cursed objects – though I did line-up some pizzas this season, so maybe that one will continue – and hopefully more excitement and blindsides. Oh and no more final four fire challenge. But enough with dreaming, Probst is on a boat with 20 people who are split into two tribes that I assume were named by Roma Downey after years of wearing down Tom Arnold’s nemesis Mark Burnett; David and Goliath. This season a tribe of bosses will battle with ten underdogs, and hopefully we aren’t swept up in a religious fever dream like Sophie in South Pacific.

We met the first David, Christian who is a total nerd, Elizabeth who is the country icon who flipped the bird on the cast photo and Pat who is big, burly and looks to be a total sweetheart. Who knows not to trust a book by its cover. They’re up against the Goliaths who include publisher and CEO Natalie – who is an icon – and Angelina loves all that comes with being a Goliath.

Anyway the two tribes converged on a barge with Probst and the Goliaths quickly realised that the cards are definitely in their favour when they saw the Davids rolling in. Probst confirmed their suspicions, announcing that this year’s theme is a battle of the privileged versus the underdogs. The David tribe were thrilled to be the underdogs, knowing they are instantly the favoured tribe for a decent narrative. We met Nick, who grew up poor in the south and fought tooth and nail to achieve his dreams of being a lawyer – public defender now – and on Survivor. Swoon. Gabby too was feeling her underdog roots, knowing the Goliaths can only fall while they are destined to rise.

The Goliaths however were quick to try and deflect from being labelled a Goliath, except for pre wrestler John, who knows he is a boss … though just wants to find himself and downplay his intelligence. Swoon. Allison was the most vocal to oppose the label, saying she worked hard from her upper-middle class family to follow in her father’s footsteps. Probst, the shady bitch, asked to hear about Pat’s upbringing, with him talking about living paycheque to paycheque, without even the option of going to get an education. She was pretty cool to stick with the Goliath label after that.

Wanting to get the bad blood brewing like Taylor Swift keeping control on her squad, Probst got the Goliaths to pick two people from each tribe to compete in a reward challenge. With Enlightened creator Mike White selecting Lyrsa and Christian, who he deemed Big Bang Theory in a moment of corporate synergy that made CBS beam. Lyrsa knew she was selected because she is tiny, a little chunky and stands out, while Christian was cool to be labelled the weakest. They then selected Allison and John, who are huge and look strong. To even things up, Probst gave the weakest peeps – sorry, allegedly Christian – the chance to pick the route each pair took to get to a giant shelter making kit. Obviously Lyrsa and Christian got out to a huge lead, almost finishing the second stage before Allison and John finished the first. Being Goliaths however, they caught up at the puzzle leaving a bat … nope, Christian is a genius, solving the puzzle in five seconds and snatching the kit for the underdogs. While it was impressive, Christian admitted it really wasn’t a fair fight as he had written algorithms for solving slide puzzles at uni, which he tried to explain in great detail and completely lost me.

We followed the Goliaths back to their tribe where Mike was feeling completely out of place as he isn’t as buff as the rest of the tribe, and is a nerdy Hollywood type. Dan and Natalia immediately gravitated to him, knowing that he looked familiar before he shared that he was a two-time Amazing Race contestant and completely neglected to mention School of Rock and the greatest show of all time, Enlightened. Have I mentioned I love Enlightened? Dan continued to make friends, sharing that while he is a babe now he used to be bigger and he put on a tonne of weight while working as a cop, though worked hard to lose weight to join the SWAT team. Natalie applauded him on looking fine and hot damn, I already love her. Speaking of love Dan and Kara bonded over Supergirl and the fact he named his dog Kara. She swooned, as did I when I saw his lycra pants. He was smarter though, knowing it was dangerous and hoped to downplay their bond.

Meanwhile over at the Davids, Pat was quick to take charge of the tribe and got everyone to split up tasks and work together while he leads them in building the shelter. Everyone seemed to be extremely cohesive, trusting Pat’s knowledge, laying foundations and weaving fronds for shelter. Sadly he started getting a bit too strong, shouting at Christian, making awkward jokes and generally frustrating the hell out of his tribe. Which will haunt him, once it is done.

Alec was trying to bring a bit of light to the tribe, knowing how difficult it is to build a shelter with only a machete to help. Natalie however was bringing some doom and gloom, bossing Natalia and the rest of the tribe around whilst worrying about having nothing in common with her tribemates.

Back at the David tribe Elizabeth was worried Pat was going to die as he leaned out of a tree with the machete. Jessica and Bi started to bond while weaving the roof of the shelter, wanting to lie about being 19. She then floated an alliance which Bi was into, as was Carl. Not to be outdone, Elizabeth and Lyrsa got a quiet moment in the jungle and bonded over being super different and wanted to align, as nobody would expect it. And just like that, Natalie is dropped and Lyrsa is my number two to Elizabeth. Lastly Gabby and Christian bonded over being insecure nerds – their words – and hot damn, they are in the lead to be my third and fourth.

John and Mike got together by the tribe flag and bonded over their fame and I assume, all the different nicknames or characters they’ve played. Natalie continued to lose friends and alienate people, as Natalia complained to Dan and someone else – first episode, don’t judge – about her not doing anything and bossing people around. Not wanting to leave her alone as a target, Mike went searching for an idol and was super obvious which immediately made people paranoid. We then met Jeremy who looks delightful in his jocks, while the tribe spoke about Mike being sketchy. Natalie went out to find Mike and warn him to pull his head in, which he vowed to knowing that he was hunting for an idol because he wanted it and now he needs to find it because he needs it.

The next day the rain started to drive in as the Davids worked tirelessly to finish their shelter and find some sort of relief. Elizabeth spoke about how they are instantly at an advantage, because they have grown up with adversity and that makes them fight harder and care for others more than their rivals would. While everyone work, Nick disappeared to try and reserve his energy slash avoid it. He then sidled up to Christian and Elizabeth to form alliances and then come up with names for said alliances. Meanwhile back at camp, Pat put the finishing touches on the shelter much to the delight of Carl who was proud of his hard work. And pissed by Nick’s lack of.

The Goliaths however weren’t as lucky, with no shelter and freezing. Not to be deterred Allison and Angelina got together by the well where Angelina suggested they go find the idol before Mike does and even the historic gender spill of idol ownership. Sadly for them, Mike was still working hard which then made Jeremy and Alec – swoon x 2 – go searching, followed by John, Natalie and Dan, who shared that the idol is in his pants. Oh and no, he isn’t talking about his penis. He was out searching for the idol with Kara and Natalia, and found the idol earlier that day and he was storing it in his pants.

The Davids were less interested about idols, though maybe that had something to do with Davie finding a huge octopus which they will be able to smash ahead of the upcoming immunity challenge. Davie shared that people will likely underestimate him, given he is a total blerd and was proud of himself. Jessica then started to break down on day two, upset about how her mum was in a domestic violence situation and she feels like she has left her alone and she has been responsible for her her entire life. Bi too spoke about the fact she had been in a domestic violence situation and encouraged Jessica that she saved her mum’s life, and she should be proud. Later that night, Nick decided to share that he has troubles opening up with people and wasn’t brave enough to share the fact his mum died of an overdose a couple of years ago earning the support and trust of his tribe. That made him feel like he has had a relief and has truly bonded with his tribe, potentially negating the fact he did shit all at the challenge.

By day three the cyclone had well and truly hit and the sea swelled and the rain pelted on the tribes as they arrived at their first immunity challenge. Each tribe would sprint through an obstacle before someone would dig under a log and chop a rope to release a ladder, with the second place tribe penalised and forced to release their ladder by untying knots. Each tribe would then ascend a platform and use a pole vault to leap to another before completing a puzzle. Carl got out to a huge lead while John and Pat focused on wrestling in the obstacle. Carl and Alec worked on the log, Alec quickly getting under and releasing the Goliath ladder. Things only got worse for the Davids from there as the Goliaths started working on the puzzle before they even got to the pole vault. Allison led the tribe through the puzzle, before Christian desperately started to call instructions in the hope of catching up. The rain started to pour while Allison screamed instructions to her tribe, securing immunity just before the Davids. Who were all cohesive and supportive of each other and I love that.

Well except for Lyrsa, who was planning on voting out Nick before even leaving the challenge. Out of nowhere however, the tribe were back at the challenge beach as Pat was stretchered off the boat in extreme pain, unable to see. Dr Joe and the team swarmed around him as Gabby broke down, worried about Pat as all she heard was a giant crack when they hit a giant wave when they were on a boat back to camp. Probst arrived to figure out what happened, with medical worried about the extent of his injury. As it became evident that he would be medevaced from the game, Pat begged them to allow him to stay while sobbing whilst sucking down oxygen in pain.

As the helicopter flew in, his tribemates started to breakdown and worried about his injury. When given the ok, they all rushed around and told him how much love they had for him and how their hearts are with him. Jessica hoped that he was still grateful for the experience as they were grateful for him and dammit, now I’m crying. Throw in Gabby’s guilt about misjudging him at first and I’m sobbing. Probst checked in with the tribe, with Jessica saying she feels like they just keep getting kicked down. Clearly feeling sorry for them, Probst cancelled tribal council and told them a flint would await them back at camp.

It honestly was one of the most heartbreakingly cruel exits up their with Wanda and Jonathan, and just below Queen Kourtney Moon who was at least medevaced for an ingame incident. Even more cruel, knowing that Pat is the one that inspired this year’s theme, worked like a boss around camp and was someone that you’d really just want to succeed in life. Given I have a messiah complex, I obviously went into full nurse mode – paging future healer tribe member – and ushered him back to health within a couple of days, in no small part thanks to the sustenance provided by my Patty Melt Cusack.

 

 

Now I must confess – not anything about my loneliness, or its potential to kill me – that the idea of patty melt used to disgust me. I mean, why wouldn’t I just have a burger or a toastie? One night, I woke up in the middle of the night, slapped myself repeatedly over the head like Leo in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and realised how stupid I had been. A patty melt is perfection! Dripping cheese, a thick juicy patty and the addition of sweet, buttery onions? Swoon.

Enjoy!

 

 

Patty Melt Cusack
Serves: 2-4, broken-back-ed people.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Sriracha Sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
butter
2 onions, sliced
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
8 slices white bread
8 slices American Cheese

Method
Combine the beef, Worcestershire, sriracha and garlic in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Divide into four, shape into patties, cover with cling and place in the fridge to chill while you work on the onions.

Melt a small lug of butter in a small saucepan or medium heat until foamy and sweat the onions for ten minutes or so, or until soft and golden. Add the muscovado, balsamic and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a further five minutes, after which they should be sticky and glorious.

Heat a skillet over low heat and when nice and piping, add the patties and cook for a couple of minutes each side until they are cooked through. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper, and wipe the skillet clean.

To assemble, place a slice of cheese on four slices of bread, top each with caramelised onions, followed by the patty, the remaining cheese and the last slices of bread.

Melt another knob of butter in the skillet and fry the sandies on each side for a couple of minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour immediately, filled with boundless joy. Despite a major back injury.

 

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Battle for the ages

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

As Shane Gould is hurtling Australian Survivor towards a conclusion not to be fucked with, Jiffy Pop and the gang are returning to our screens for a season of biblical proportions.

No, gay Jesus JVN is not on the cast – though could you believe? – the yanks have taken our Champions vs. Contenders theme and raised us the Old Testament for a battle between Davids and Goliaths.

Does the name sound like Survivor as jumped the shark? Yes. Did Ghost Island kinda suck? Sure. Am I annoyed Survivor blurs nude scenes while Australian Survivor doesn’t? Abso-fucking-lutely. But when Probst asked me to swing by Fiji and help commiserate his castaways, I can’t bring myself to say no.

So buckle in, because we’ve got a first boot joining us on Saturday. Who do you think it’ll be?

Image source: Monty Brinton/CBS.

 

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Rob Pastramianon Rye

Main, Survivor, Survivor: All Stars, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, Survivor: Marquesas, Survivor: Redemption Island

There is less than a week until Survivor makes it hopefully-triumphant return to our screens with David vs. Goliath … after a couple of, how do I say, lacklustre seasons. But I have high hopes! I mean, Mike White is great, Elizabeth Olson is an icon and Natalie seems to be a dominant force of nature. And if they made the final three, I could die happy.

But not everything always goes your way, and someone that knows that better than anyone else is my dear friend Rob Mariano.

While he gets a lot of hate for only winning on his fourth attempt to very impressionable competition, you can’t deny the man is a legend of the game. And plus, Russell bombed on his fourth attempt, so it isn’t a guaranteed win.

I’ve been friends with Rob for years, after falling in love with him in Marquesas. I found my in with him through Vecepia, we became best buds and I even introduced him to Amber in preparation for All Stars. And given how that worked out for them, it should come as no surprise that our friendship has never faltered after that.

While he is yet to spoil whether there is a tribe expansion and the merge colour via his adorable daughters’ pre-season celebration pics, he was very excited to spoil how delicious my Rob Pastramianon Rye is.

 

 

If you ever have the opportunity to go and have a legit pastrami on rye at Katz’s, run don’t walk. And well, if you don’t, just make this and know that while it is great … Katz’s is better. No shade to my fresh Pastrami Malek, nutty Swiss Cheese and crunchy pickles.

I promise, you’ll enjoy it. So enjoy!

 

 

Rob Pastramianon Rye
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
4 slices Ryan Ulrich Bread
1 tbsp seeded mustard
2 dill pickles, sliced
4-6 slices Pastrami Malek, warmed in a frying pan
4 slices Swiss cheese

Method
Toast the rye and smear with seeded mustard.

Top with pickles, pastrami and swiss cheese.

Devour, greedily.

 

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Pumpkim Spradlinguine Carbonara

Main, Pasta, Survivor, Survivor: One World

Given we’ve had a string of alpha-male dominated seasons, I decided that Liz Olson and Natalie need to dominate this season. And as such, I needed to pull out (one of) the most dominant winners Kim Spradlin to bring some good juju as we continued our countdown.

Say what you will about how awful and insufferable Colton made One World – and Kourtney’s broken arm didn’t help either – Kim had an absolute stranglehold on that game and is one of the best winners we have seen. Actually, her dominance probably didn’t help the excitement levels of the game … but I thoroughly enjoyed watching her string everyone along and dominate the game.

Sadly we haven’t had a return from Kim on account of her having multiple children since her killer game, but I am hopeful we will see her again for a legends season where she, Cirie and Sandra run the game.

Could you imagine?

Anyway like me, Kim has high hopes for the success of icons like Natalie, Elizabeth and Mike White who we can stan for creating Enlightened. Bonus points for thinking Gabby could go well, if only for her being a superfan.

With our David vs. Goliath chat out of the way, we caught up on what we’d been up to in the last couple of years, and while she rebuffed my offer to help tee up the legends alliance – though to be fair, she probs don’t need my help – she more than earned a big bowl of Pumpkim Spradlinguine Carbonara to celebrate the impending premiere.

 

 

Let’s quickly run through everything; pasta? Delicious. Pumpkin? Glorious. Cheese? YAS. Bacon? Hot damn. Put them together and I damn near cream my shorts. In layman’s terms, this dish is perfect.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pumpkim Spradlinguine Carbonara
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
a good knob of unsalted butter
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
6 shallots, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry vermouth
600g butternut pumpkin, roughly chopped
1 ½ cups chicken stock
1 cup cream
½ cup pecorino, grated
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
500g linguine

Method
Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and once foaming, add the bacon and cook for five minutes or so. Once crisp, add the shallots and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes or until fragant and soft. Add the vermouth and cook, bubbling, for five minutes or so.

In another pan, bring the pumpkin and stock to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the pumpkin is soft. Blitz with a stick blender until smooth and add to the bacon and shallot mixture. Stir through the cream, pecorino and nutmeg and stir until combined.

Cook linguine as per packet instructions. Drain, reserving ½ a cup of cooking liquid. Stir the pasta through the sauce and loosen with some pasta water if needed.

Serve, slathered with additional pecorino and then devour.

 

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Jud Beerza Battered Fries

Side, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Nicaragua

Finally! We have a cast – complete with icon Elizabeth ‘flip da ma’fuckin’ bird’ Olson – and we can truly get to countdown to Survivor: David vs. Goliath. And TBH, there is no better way to mark the occasion than by hanging out with my dear friend and ex-lover Fabio.

Cast your mind back to 2010, riding high on the post Heroes vs. Villains wave, Survivor was a hit again, Sandra became the Queen, Parvati was an icon, Russell was an iconic mess … and Nicaragua landed with a thud.

Yes, we can all agree that the Medallion of Power was a joke and the double quit episode a week out from the end destroyed the pace … but I actually kinda loved the season. I mean, it was a trainwreck but that is part of the charm. Holly breaking down, burying shoes and rising from the ashes of her own creation to almost make it to the end was a thing of beauty. As was Jane’s tantrum upon finding out she was about to be booted and a loveable, ditzy underdog being verbally abused by an eventual quitter, only to outlast the rest and secure her vote for the victory.

And I am lucky enough to call said victor my dear friend Fabio aka Jud Birza.

I first met Jud in 2009 when I was searching for someone with the last name Benjamin or the first name Judd, so that we could marry and become either Benjamin Benjamin or Judd Judd like Brady Brady of SATC fame. While he was missing a D, he more than made up for it with another one and we fell into a quick love affair.

While we eventually broke up due to one of my deportations, I suggested Probst give him a chance to carry on Sandy’s legacy. And carry it he did. In my opinion.

Obviously all we could talk about was the iconic Elizabeth Olson and how if there is any justice in the world, she will be out victor. I mean, the cowboy hat, the shit eating grin and the knowledge that if anyone sees it, a team of interns of Sonia Morgan quantities will lose their jobs – this woman needs to win AND be the breakout character of the season.

Well, as far as we were concerned whilst smashing a tonne of Jud Beerza Battered Fries.

 

 

Super crispy on the outside, light and crispy on the inside, these are the most fun you can have with beer while cooking off the alcohol. Well, as well as Lucy’s balls obvi. Which reminds me, I need to watch Jud’s post-Survivor film …

Enjoy!

 

 

Jud Beerza Battered Fries
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1kg russet potatoes, cut into fries
1 cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
375ml beer
vegetable oil, for fryin’

Method
Place the cut potatoes into cold water and leave to sit for ten minutes or so. Drain and dry completely.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the beer until you’ve got a smooth, thickish batter.

Place the oil into a dutch oven until it is about 10 centimetres deep and and bring to 160C on a fry thermometer. Once at temperature, place a handful of potatoes in the oil at a time and cook until lightly golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow to dry on kitchen towels.

Raise the temperature to 180C, dip the par-cooked fries into the batter and cook a few at a time for a couple of minutes, or until golden and crisp. Transfer to kitchen towel and repeat until done.

Sprinkle with kosher salt and devour, immediately.

 

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Natalie White Sangria

Drink, Survivor, Survivor: Samoa

For some reason we are still without an official cast list, but onwards and upwards have long been my mottos – which sound hella suss when you say it like that, no? – so we will keep on trucking with our countdown to Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders with an aggressively religious name.

Given the theme is pretty much the same as Australian Survivor, I decided to continue to rub salt in the wounds of my nemesis Russell Hantz and catch-up with the first person that played him like a fiddle and laughed her way to the bank, Natalie White.

My girl Nat gets a lot of shit – mainly because of Russell’s delusion that he should have won Samoa (AmerICa ShoUlD gEt A PeRCentAgE oF ThE VotE!?) – but let’s be honest, without her he is just another flameout that can find idols.

What he, Rob and Tony have taught us, aggressive players need someone that can win people over and smooth over any issues that they may cause. While they may have dominated their losing seasons – well winning for Tony, but Trish wasn’t there – they never would have made it to the end without the calm, social nature of their eventual victors.

Oh and let’s not forget that it was Natalie who worked the Galu tribe members and got them to spill information and convinced them to blindside Erik. You can get distracted by Russell’s ego however I know that Natalie well and truly deserved her win.

Given the drama surrounding her win, Nat dropped off the radar in Survivor circles so it was such a treat to reconnect and see where her life is now … over a long tall glass of Natalie White Sangria.

 

 

Sweet, fruity and packing a boozy bunch, this is the perfect drink to share with your bestie as your wait for the latest cast release. Or to celebrate your well deserved win over Russell. Whichever you prefer.

Enjoy!

 

 

Natalie White Sangria
Serves: 4-8.

Ingredients
700ml white wine
½ cup brandy
½ cup blueberries
1 apple, cored and sliced
1 orange, sliced
1 tbsp raw caster sugar
soda water and ice, to serve

Method
Combine the booze, fruit and sugar in a large jug and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Top up with soda water and ice.

Down immediately.

 

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John Coq Au Ransling

Main, Poultry, Survivor: Caramoan - Fans vs. Favourites, Survivor: South Pacific

While I kind of dropped off the radar – which as you know, I will strike from memory in the coming weeks – as soon as Wendell defeated Domenick thanks to Laurel breaking the tie on Ghost Island, I am super pumped by the fact that in sub five weeks Survivor: David vs. Goliath will be back and all will be right in the world.

Because let’s be honest, no matter how terrible a season can be any survivor is better than no Survivor because there will also be a Michael or Brendan to thirst over.

As has become the tradition, I decided to reach out to some of my dearest Sole Survivor friends to countdown to the latest season … and since they were all unavailable, I decided to invite John Cochran.

I joke, I joke! I love Cochran and he is my dearest friend … now. But damn did I hate him during the horror that was South Pacific. The self-deprecating humour, the inability to fit in with the jocks and not wanting to get naked in the water – it was like watching myself on screen and I just couldn’t handle it.

Thankfully his flip to Coach and Co’s side led to a glorious Sophie victory, so I apologised to him for my heavy use of voodoo during the season and we slowly, tentatively became the best of friends. A friendship so strong, I couldn’t even bring myself to hate him when he voted against my lover Malcolm in his winning season.

Say what you will about the season being terrible and made for him, Caramoan had some killer moments – the TEETH, Malcolm losing his pants, Dawn seething about missing out on the family reward – and Cochran ran the game, well and truly deserving his victory.

While we couldn’t run the odds since the cast is yet to be released, we do agree that Probst’s friend, creator of Enlightened and The Amazing Race contestant Mike White – who was clearly visible in the preview at the end of Ghost Island – should become an icon of the game … and the hot cop will most likely be my number one thirst trap. Though maybe those opinions were just the John Coq Au Ransling talking.

 

 

Like his oft joked about daughter – with Sophie, obvi – Aubry Bracco, I can’t bring myself to see him without the sweet flavour or bacon, mushrooms, chicken and sweet, sweet wine. This time, however, the wine is white and hot damn does it still taste amazing. Rich and creamy, Coq au Riesling is all the fun of Coq Au Vin but with a lightness … that is removed by addition of cream. But it’s cream, so you know what, so what, who cares.

Enjoy!

 

 

John Coq Au Ransling
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter
2 onions, diced
6 rashers of streaky bacon, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
500g chicken thighs, diced
250g mushrooms, sliced
750ml Riesling
1 cup cream
salt & pepper, to taste
handful parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Melt the butter in a large pan and sweat the onions over medium-low heat for five minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add the bacon and cook until the fat has rendered before adding the garlic and cooking for a further minute or so.

Reduce heat to low, add the mushrooms and cook for five minutes or until browned and glorious. Add the chicken and cook for a minute to brown the sides before drowning, giddily, in wine. Crank up the heat and bring to the boil before reducing to a simmer and cooking, covered for half an hour.

Remove the lid and stir in the cream and cook for a further five minutes, or until slightly reduced. Season, sprinkle with parsley and remove from the heat. Serve immediately, and devour with a generous hunk of French Sourdough. Like a Paige de Keragne, for instance.

 

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