Birryvie Tacoddly

Main, RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race 11, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race, 14 regular seasons ran their race, alongside 6 All Stars seasons, 3 UK seasons and a single Down Under season. Alongside seasons that we can not mention in Thailand, Holland, Canada and Spain. Because yes, FINALLY, Ru, Michelle, Carson and Ross have granted our wishes, and assembled 8 of Ru’s winner to compete for the ultimate crown. So yeah, yeah, Blu and Willow may already have grown the winner’s circle this reason, we’re about to receive the one queen to rule them all, as the Queen of all Queens. Aka Jinkx Monsoon.

First up we re-met Shea Coulee who is just as damn iconic as always and ugh, I am already overwhelmed by how much I love the dolls. We then got a recap of her two iconic runs, thankfully not having to rehash her crushing heartbreak when Sasha destroyed her in the Charlie Hides induced lip-sync for the crown. Anyways, her entrance paid homage to Coco Montrese, so yeah, I still love her. And love how desperate she is for her second crown. She was quickly joined by the delightful icon, Jaida Essence Hall who thankfully is coming for a victory lap after winning via zoom. Oh and remember how she destroyed Season 12 and charmed us while she did the damn thing?

Yvie Oddly made her triumphant return with a signature cackle and looking like a damn star. Her mug was perfect, her look was perfect, she was magnetic (and perfect). Oh and then she licked her nip, so just like that, she is my frontrunner. Despite her flopping hair. SheDevilByNight herself, Trinity the Tuck returned and once again, despite myself, I can’t help but love her because she truly is born for this race. And ready to uncouple from her twinner, Monet. Speaking of the sponge queen, Monet came in dripping in cash and looking the best she ever looked and ugh, I love her. And hot damn she is ready to come in and fight, you can feel it through the screen.

Continuing working in reverse chronological crowning order, the dolls were joined by the icon herself, Ms Jinkx Monsoon and ugh, I fucking love her so much and am so excited to see her in all her HD glory. I mean, watching the recap of her first season, she is so damn perfect. I mean, Little Edie was just so beautiful. And out of respect for DeLa, Ru should crown her on the spot. Then stop the damn press because Raja is here and ugh, I now am straight up crying. Raja is iconic, beautiful, hilarious and I live for everything she serves. And then wait, we’re jumping out of order and crowwing international borders as The Vivienne crossed the pond to serve UK realness, and well, wasn’t it a pleasant reminder how UK is just the greatest franchise of all time?

They were then joined by a surprise ninth queen, who it turns out was the best non-winner – other than JujuRaven, who returned as a double first alternate. Though given she won an Emmy, I guess she qualifies? Wait, no – it was a long con as Ru dropped by to welcome the dolls, promptly kicking her out, without nary an apology for crowning my nemesis over her in Season 2. 

With the riff-raff kicked out, Ru announced that nobody else will be leaving before the end of the competition as because they are all winners, they won’t be eliminated. Instead, the competition is based on a points system with each episode culminating in a top two, with each earning a star before they lip sync for their legacy. Where the winner would snatch $10k and the power to block another queen from winning a star the following week. And since the four queens with the most stars at the end of the season would compete in a lip sync smackdown for the crown, that is quite the power. Oh and this year the winner will be crowned Queen of all Queens and will score $200k for their troubles.

Oh and if that isn’t enough, the dolls then were put to the test in a good ol’ fashioned reading challenge. Up first was Shea who was hilariously reading Raja for being a drunk, Jinkx for sucking the d and Viv for showing diversity. Jaida was so charmingly aggressive, Yvie was inspired and cute, Trinity was solid, Monet was off the cuff and delightful, Jinkx was on fire from start to finish, with impeccable timing and ugh, good luck girls – because she will slay this competition. Raja then straight up spelt boogers at the girls and left and damn, I love. Oh and then The Viv just destroyed with the roasting skills of a UK queen. Rightly so though, it was Jinkx Monsoon that took out victory.

Oh and then Ru dropped the tea that their first Maxi Challenge would see them write their own verses on Ru’s new track Legends. Oh but not until they meet one final legendary queen. Mother tucking Naomi Campbell and ugh, chuck a phone at me, I’m done. This is the greatest episode of all time. Oh and then Naomi gave them a runway walk masterclass and well, I live.

Naomi loved Jaida’s glide, Raja needed to do nothing new – except to not work with Tyra, I assume. She lived for Jinxk’s silly, fun, drama, loved The Viv’s smoothness and Trinity’s shoulders. Naomi lived for Monet but wanted her to cut out knocking her boots together, while she was delighted by Yvie’s mess and attitude. And then, most importantly, Shea got to receive praise from her teacher Naomi, for doing such a damn good job. Naomi was crying, Shea was crying and well, now I’m crying. This is just too much. STOP IT RIGHT NOW.

The dolls finally got to venture backstage and untuck, with Yvie once again getting fully nude before everyone split up to write their verses. Shea was feeling her oats, Raja was living for her regalness, while Jinkx wanted to share her middle-aged self with everyone and prove she is a front runner. While Jaida considered doing something new, given there is no risk of being sent home. The Viv meanwhile opened up about feeling like she is the underdog given she is representing an entire franchise and NO, Viv, you are a star and you need to believe in yourself.

The dolls returned to the Mainstage to work on their choreography with everyone sharing their ideas, leaving them with a wealth of knowledge to choose from. Thankfully Shea worked through the ensuing chaos, stepping up to give them some clarity, editing everything back and straight up stamping herself as a contender for the crown.

Performance day rolled around with The Viv still nervous about making her US MainStage debut while Jinkx just wandered around being weird and ugh, I love it. Jaida meanwhile thanked Shea for stepping up and choreographing the first challenge, admitting that should she win, she will be worried about her choice of blocking. Though felt it would kinda, sorta be a compliment. That being said, Monet and Trinity were in a corner, locking in an alliance to look out for each other, make sure while everyone is coming for everyone, they can ride through and protect each other. While Jinkx wandered into the scene and asked if they were forming an alliance, like a damn icon.

The dolls opened up about their seasons, with Raja talking about her ugly crying on Season 3 while the queens praised her for being a star on America’s Next Top Model. Remember, that? Jaida meanwhile admitted that her pandemic crowning may have sucked, but she is so thrilled that it led her to this exact point, grateful to have new sisters who love and respect her and ugh, the fact they’re all crying, it is so beautiful. Oh and then Raja offered to make out with her, while Monet promised to block her. So swings and roundabouts or something, I guess?

Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined by the one and only Cameron D – minus Destiny – for the debut All Winners runway and ugh, I live. Cameron. Mother. Tucking. Diaz. I. Can’t. First, the dolls took to the stage for their remix and well, they proved why they won the damn crown. Raja was a star, Jinkx knocked it out of the park, Monet was perfection, Trinity and Yvie were 100% them – in a good way – Viv hit every damn note, Jaida was a charmer and then, well, Shea shut it down. And likely scored her spot in the top two for the week. As she deserves.

On the I’m Crowning runway Raja was straight up perfection serving queer Louis the 14th and oh, it was stunning. Jinkx was stunning a Mary Queen of Scots, before dropping an Angelina leg. Repeatedly. And it was gorgeous. Monet rocked trans tracksuit queen realness and I love it, while Trinity was all drama in a velvet gown that covered the entire stage. Yvie was a. May. Zing. In a dripping crayon gown, while The Viv was gorgeously delightful, in a full body cream earthy gown. Jaida gave all the drama in purple, complete with a baby crown while Shea gave full Nubian queen and yeah, congrats on winning the first challenge.

Raja received universal praise for the detail she brought to her runway and the artistry she brought to the performance. Jinkx’s praise was for giving glamour alongside all the comedy and for being smutty as hell in the performance. Monet was beloved for giving all the energy and selling everything she did, from head to toe. Trinity was praised for the drama she brought to the runway and her magnetism in the performance, the judges loved everything Yvie served and for being her, while the Viv rightly was praised for doing the UK oh-so-proud. They lived for Jaida being so damn delightful, while the judges praised every single thing that Shea gave this week.

Backstage the dolls were gagged to be so exhausted already and having to navigate an entire season together. Yvie joked about slaying Untucked more than any challenge on her first season before everyone rallied around, thanking Shea for carrying them with the choreo. The dolls praised Jinkx for just being Jinkx as she stomped the runway in front of Naomi Campbell, admitting that only Shea can really give runway out of any of them anyway. Raja gave proud aunty, thanking them for giving them everything before Jaida and Yvie thanked her for being such an icon, particularly because she leveled-up her already perfect Marie Antoinette runway.

Oh and then she gave a delightful speech about being an icon and well, I love her. So damn much.

Talk turned to who would be in the top, with everyone narrowing things down to Monet, Shea and Jinkx while they Monet tried to make sense of them. Jinxk pointed out that Monet and Trinity had conveniently created an alliance, annoying the duo but making everyone’s ears prick up. Viv interrupted proceedings to thank them for being so welcoming, admitting she was nervous to cross the pond but was grateful for how welcoming they have all been. 

Oh and then Cameron Diaz arrived and hot damn, I near fainted. She thanked them for being so delightful, giving all the references and ugh, why did she have to retire? She then thanked them for their public service – no joke – while the queens sobbed over how much of a stan she is. Monet then lead the dolls in thanking Cameron for getting all of them and the art, before Cameron admitted she essentially threatens her friends who guest judge to not fuck it up and to learn about what they are charged with doing.

Ultimately it was Monet that joined Shea in the top before they battled for the power to block someone else’s star to Old MacDonald. No tea, all collusion. But since it is the Ella Fitzgerald version, it was kinda perfect. Shea was delightful and hit every lyric, Monet was demented and hilarious from start to finish and ugh, I worry for anyone lip syncing against either of them because it was a damn show. But rightly Shea took out the first win of the season, meaning Monet was immune from the block – werk – before Shea rightly, wisely, blocked Monet’s alliance partner slash twinner, Trinity. Setting the tone for an absolute battle royale. I mean, they are SISTERS?!

Backstage the dolls congratulated Shea on taking out victory, while Trinity was a little bit pressed to have been blocked. Though given Shea explained that she blocked her because she knew she could bounce back and not be phased, she quickly moved on. And ugh, I love how congenial they all are, even if Trinity didn’t realise she essentially got ‘thank you for your patience’-d when you couldn’t be bothered replying to someone at work. 

The next day the dolls were still delightful and charming, while Monet was living for her stunning star. Well, before Viv reminded Trinity she won’t have one next episode, since, you know, she was blocked. Monet meanwhile was glad to have not put a bigger target on her back, while Yvie and Jinkx threatened to block the former top two since they already have stars.

Things were interrupted by Ru who quickly announced that not only will they be playing the Snatch Game this week, they’d also be required to give not just one character but TWO. With Ru disappearing, Viv announced she would do the one-two punch of Joanna Lumley and Catherine Tate before pointing out how most of the dolls have won a Snatch Game before. Speaking of winners, Shea would be playing Miss J from Top Model and Elsa from the Tik Tok. And as a geriatric millennial, I totally know who that is! Monet meanwhile was nervous since she has done both good and bad on Snatch Game, before Jinkx announced she would be playing Judy Garland AND Natasha Lyonne and well, YES. Condragulations, Jinxk! Yvie meanwhile was ready to vom, though since she was playing the Boogeyman and Rico Nasty, I think she has learnt to play to her strengths, rather than butchering Whoopi Goldberg.

Ru arrived to talk Snatch with Trinity first up to announce she’d be playing Leslie Jordan and the devil. So an angel and a devil. Raja opened up about how delighted she was to be back, though a little sore from all the exertion. She then read Ru for not giving her the win on her first Snatch Game before announcing she would be playing puppet icon Madame and Diana Vreeland. So, get out of the uber Robbie Turner because you’re about to be taught a lesson.

For Snatch Game number one, Monet went with Mike Tyson, Raja did Madame, Viv went with Joanna Lumley as Patsy, SheDevil by Night went with the Devil, Jinkx slayed as Natasha Lyonne, Yie unveiled Rico Nasty, Shea went with Elsa Majimbo before Jaida debuted her version Prince. And well, I’m wet. But let’s be fair, this was well and truly Monet and Raja’s panel. Though I did live for Jinkx, who likened Jaida fucking Monet as a toddler moving a couch and well, I live. But yeah, Monet’s pitch-perfect Mike Tyson and Raja being a killer icon as a damn puppet stole the show!

For round two, Viv played Nan from Catherine Tate, Yvie debuted her boogeyman – and fucking flooded my basement – Trinity was an itty bitty Leslie Jordan, Jaida went with Lady Chablis, Shea was a star as Miss J, Raja again slayed as Diana Vreeland, Monet went with drag Martin Lawrence before Jinkx stole the show as Judy Garland. I mean, Renee Zellweger eat your heart out because this was the character study we ALL needed. Though Trinity’s Leslie Jordan wearing a condom as a raincoat was pretty damn perfect.  But since Jinxk referenced the season 5 makeover and Dave the veteran worrying she killed Judy Garland, there is no blocking her star this week. It was perfect.

I mean, is this my camera, Broom? It’s a set Broom, it’s made of cardboard. I. Con. Ic.

Runway Day arrived with Yvie glad to get her redemption, though everyone agreed the top three are clearly Jinxk, Trinity and Raja and well. It is what they deserve. Raja admitted she felt she would be happy to just be safe, though was thrilled to have defied expectations and slay. Trinity was thrilled to maybe get cash and the chance to block someone, though not get a star. While Shea pretended she was not at risk of getting blocked. Jinxk and Monet kikied, with Jinxk admitting her strategy should she win the lip sync would be to block someone with a star and well, Monet was Ner. Vous.

Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined by the iconic Daphne Guinness – and well, wow – for the Pleather Principal runway where Monet gave full guilded, warrior glamour. Yvie was ani-mazing, Raja was a slutty madame – and I LIVE – while Trinity was a pastel, bimbo delight before The Viv was ravishing in red, serving drama and looking PERFECT. Jinkx was perfect as a dominatrix Mary Poppins before Jaida took us to the snake Matrix while Shea cracked the whip as a Basquiat catwoman.

Monet was praised for her Snatch choices, though they lived for Mike Tyson a little bit more. Oh and they felt her runway was perfect. Yvie’s boogeyman was universally beloved, with her runway even more well received. Raja received universal praise for all that she did this week, none more so than how surprisingly dominant she was in the Snatch Game. Trinity once again was beloved for Snatch Game, particularly well received for making such strong damn choices. The Viv was praised for being SO good and looking even better but it was Jinkx that received the best praise of all for just all around knocking everything out of the park. Ev. Er. Ry. THING. Jaida was praised for her stupidity and having fun, while the judges lived for Shea’s runway more than her very solid Snatch Games.

Backstage Yvie was thrilled to get her redemption, while it was Jinkx who was delighted to hit every single note she wanted to. And, I assume, live up to everyone’s very high expectations. Raja meanwhile continued to run away with the joy of the episode, having everyone in hysterics. Monet threw it down, praising Jinkx for being the absolute blueprint for Snatch Game before everyone devolved into madness as they tried to discuss the strategy of blocking, unsure what would be good for them. The dolls then spoke about their Kiki, Kai-Kai and Marry choices before Daphne Guinness dropped backstage and she autographed Jinkx’s wig that she had modeled after Daphne in her Jinkx colours!

Ultimately Jinkx – of course – and blocked queen, Trinity took out victory for Snatch Game. And while Trinity couldn’t take out a star, she would be able to win the lip sync AND block a sister. But as soon as Adele’s Rumour Has It started, while Trinity was coming for two out of the three mocking her plastic surgery, it was Jinxk who well and truly won the lip sync. She was stupid, kooky and oh so fun and rightly earned her star, some coin and well, the chance to hand out the platinum plunger of blockage to Shea. Much to the absolute delight of Trinity. De. LIGHT.

As everyone ventured backstage, I quickly caught them between the mainstage and the Werk Room to explain that I have quotas to meet and since Broom is not eliminating them this season, I’ll be catching up with them in reverse alphabetical order, based on those with the least stars every second week. Super simple to follow, no? In any event, they got it and as such, Yvie was primed and ready as I screamed her name like I was Frau Farbissina and pulled her aside to give her a regal peptalk.

I gushed – both literally and figuratively – about how great her Snatch Games were and that she clearly came back ready to slay the game and have fun doing so. Her confidence glow-up since winning was evident and her energy has already been so much fun to watch, and did I mention her sexy Boogeyman? Anyway, her run thus far more than earnt her a Birryvie Tacoddly to celebrate her strong start and fuel her for the rest of her run.

While some may argue a meal this good could give her an unfair advantage as she progresses through the competition, I don’t really mind. Because it is, so damn good. Hot and spicy, dripping in cheese and packing a sharp punch from the salsa, it is the perfect combination of flavours.

So enjoy!

Birryvie Tacoddly
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2-3 cups Birriana Goodchild, shredded with an equal amount of the braising liquid
⅔ cup coriander, roughly chopped
1 onion, finely diced
1 lime, zested and juiced plus extra to serve
salt and pepper, to taste
12 small tortillas
3 cups shredded Mexican cheese, or regular mild cheese like mozzarella

Method
Prepare your birria as per Brianna’s recipe (or get a store-bought portion, I don’t mind).

Next, combine the coriander, onion and lime zest and juice with a good whack of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Cover and leave to reast for half an hour so the flavours can mingle and the juice cuts through the onion a little bit.

When you’re ready to go, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Dip a tortilla in the braising liquid and pop in the pan to char a little bit. About 30 seconds or so. Flip the tortilla, sprinkle with some cheese, followed by the beef and then close over to form a taco. Cook for a couple of minutes untl the cheese is gooey. Flip and cook for another minute.

Remove from the pan and repeat the process until done, keeping the cooked ones in a light oven to stay warm.

Once they’re all done, serve with a generous spoon of the coriander salsa and some extra braising liquid, for dippin’ and some lime wedges. Then devour, messily. Just like Yvie would like.


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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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Luke Toquinoa Bowl

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Main, Poultry, Side, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, the OG Asaga were the closest alliance in the game until Michelle was left out of the Tessa blindside causing tension between Michelle and Sarah. After a glorious reward of dirty bird, Locky continued his winning streak and took out his first individual immunity. Back at camp, Michelle continued to seethe at Sarah and rallied the tribe to send the strategic model to the jury.

Given Sarah’s boot was unanimous, we returned to camp the next day where the castaways were so delirious you could be forgiven for thinking Australian Idol was rebooted. Michelle was extremely happy to have taken out Sarah and reaffirmed her desire to win, promising us and I assume herself, that she has not lasted 45 days to stumble in the final ten. She then shared that she was in a tight pair with Pete – seriously, when did that happen – and they agreed to go to the end together, plotting to join with Jericho and Luke to take control. The boys, obviously, agreed instantly, without question.

Jericho and Luke then took a turn to the shore to confirm that they will join with Michelle and Pete, though completely believe that they will win out in the end. Locky, Ziggy and Tara however were not to be outdone, seeing that the other four were planning to work together they vowed to join together to try and get further. Sadly Locky’s assertive planning – which was the right idea – irked Tara and she realised that getting rid of Locky is probably in her best interests. Which would piss me off a lot more if he’d been nude since episode 2 (oh to be Mark in this picture!).

After a brief winner-esque scene from Luke about his life back at home and – ugh, obviously – being the king, Locky was feeling down at camp and tried to assure Tara and Ziggy that sticking together was their best chance. Tara then wandered down the beach to think and find allies to take out my babetown when she stumbled upon a moral dilemma, to take two quilts for the comfort of the tribe or a huge ass lolly stash for herself. She then suggested using them to pull people in and I think it has triggered my Jericho-the-cookie-monster six episode arc PTSD.

While on her sugar high, she stumbled upon the aforementioned cookie monster and Luke and got them onboard to take out Locky. She then approached Ziggy about aligning with her, Jericho and Luke to take out Locky, before showing her said lollies to try and secure her loyalty. Thankfully their lolly scene was far less insufferable than Jericho’s epic saga.

Tara then told us that the only thing she needs to worry about, is Locky winning immunity … which is apparently like saying bloody Mary in the mirror three times. Jonathan appeared as summoned for the immunity challenge which is essentially a more complex musical chairs slash memory hybrid where the tribe mates had to collect covered items, with one person eliminated each round until someone takes out immunity. Tara was first out, followed by Pete, Jericho, Ziggy and Michelle, leaving Locky and Luke to battle it out for immunity. JoJo changed it up, requiring the boys to each find five items in order. Locky got out to an early lead, securing two before Luke was on the board. Despite a valiant effort to catch up, Locky powered ahead and secured his second immunity, much to the chagrin of literally everyone.

Everyone was quick to congratulate Locky when they arrived back at camp, despite how furious they were. Tara decided on an as yet undecided Plan B, taking Ziggy into the jungle to figure it out. They decided that strength was needed to beat Locky in challenges, so kind of committed to getting rid of Michelle, I guess. Ziggy approached Luke to raise the idea, which he agreed to instantly, which is oft the way.

Tara and Luke approached Locky to get rid of Michelle, however he thought it was pointless to get rid of Michelle and instead they should get rid of Luke and make a big move in front of the jury. While Ziggy was quick to jump onboard with the plans, Tara wasn’t convinced as Locky went on his merry way to convince Pete to trust him. While that was happening? Oh, Tara went and told Luke their plans which lead Luke, Jericho and Michelle to get rid of Ziggy instead. Jericho then told Pete the Ziggy plan, leading him to discuss who is the better option – Luke or Ziggy – with Michelle.

At tribal council Ziggy announced that everyone was scrambling – which shouldn’t come as a shock except for the fact everyone pretends they don’t – before Pete mentioned that despite desperately wanting immunity, people winning multiple immunities is dangerous and they need to be taken out ASAP. This made Ziggy extremely nervous, though kind of seemed defeated. Michelle, Jericho and Luke all spoke extremely cryptically before Pete and Michelle started whispering about who they should target. While Pete wanted to take out Luke, it seemed like she wanted him to stay leaving me more confused than I was about Jericho’s driving talk … which was more confusing about yesterday’s kitten story. Obviously death was the end result, though.

The votes rolled in and despite her best efforts, Pete got his way and Luke was sent packing to my hot-and-cold embrace at the jury villa. While I have been kind of harsh about Luke – and then extremely supportive in the next breath – we are the dearest of friends, having met while I was working in the mines. I was obviously there to research for the lead role in my upcoming remake of the Coal Miner’s Daughter, so had little interest in doing any work. I noticed Luke’s mammoth work ethic, hitched myself to his wagons and survived as long as I could before they caught me out.

Given his kindness, I repaid him each night the only way I know how – well, one of only two ways I know how – by making him a big, fat Luke Toquinoa Bowl.

 

 

Don’t let the ugliness of my photos fool you – quinoa and I are not a dream team, ok – this meal is delicious. Spicy, fresh and packing a whole lot of heat, the quinoa and veggies almost cancel out the sour cream and dickloads of cheese. Almost.

Enjoy!

 

 

Luke Toquinoa Bowl
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
1 cup white quinoa
salt and pepper, to taste
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp ground coriander seeds
500g chicken breasts, diced
200g canned chipotle chillis in adobo sauce, blitzed
400g can crushed tomatoes
400g can black beans
1 cup corn kernels
avocados
1 lemon, juiced
2 shallots, finely sliced
6-12 tortillas, depending on the size of your bowl
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
sour cream, sriracha and coriander, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Rinse the quinoa under cold water until it runs clear. Transfer into a pan and add two cups of water and a generous pinch of salt. Place over medium heat and bring to the boil. Once rollicking like a night out with Lukey, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until just tender. Drain off any excess liquid and fluff with a fork like you would cous cous.

While the quinoa is getting plump, chuck the sweet potato on a lined baking sheet with a lug of olive oil, the cumin, chilli, coriander seeds and a good whack of salt and pepper, tossing to coat. Place it in the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

After that, heat a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat and brown the chicken breast. Once almost cooked, add the chipotles, tomatoes, black beans and corn and simmer until completely cooked through.

Now for the last semi-difficult bits, mash the avocadoes with the lemon juice and shallots. Press the tortillas into Texan muffin tins or the serving bowls, brush with some olive oil and place under a hot grill for a couple of minutes to crisp.

To serve, put some quinoa in the bottom of the bowl – I mixed it in with the chipotle chicken because I was drunk cooking, thus it looking like a turd – top with some chicken, spiced sweet potato, guacamole, fresh tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, sriracha and coriander.

Then devour, smugly, knowing the quinoa makes it healthy. Right?

 

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Carne Audrada McDonald Tacos

Main, Party Food, Snack, Tony Gold, Tony Gold: Hamilgold

While Ang is an icon of the stage – well, everywhere TBH – Alan’s performance as the M.C. is in a league of its own, Lena perfectly carried Yitzhak to the Broadway stage and Harves is a Broadway legend, none of them hold a candle to my dear friend Audra McDonald.

I mean, not only as she won the most performance awards at six, she is the only person to take out all four performing categories. You can not argue that when it comes to the Tonys, Audra is the queen – she is essentially the Meryl of Broadway.

When I decided to finally include the Tonys in our slate of highly regarded awards show coverage, I just knew that I had to have Auds by my side to add to the gravitas of my predictions. Yes, add to the gravitas.

Given how busy she has been with Beauty and the Beast and returning to Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, I haven’t been able to catch Audra in the last few years so she was thrilled to take a week off sick to fly over and celebrate with her dear friend from Juilliard.

Fun fact: she actually pushed me to apply to Juilliard with her after seeing my star-making turn in the hit, three-performance, high school production of How the West was Warped, where I played the sexy-twin Sheriff. I was amazing, she was sold and together we vowed to take the world by storm.

Since we’ve essentially exhausted all of the acting categories, I instead got her to conduct a thorough audit of all my previous predictions (before taking them to my bookie). Thankfully she agreed with 93.6 percent of my tips, so we could focus solely on reconnecting over Carne Audrada McDonald Tacos.

 

 

It really is no secret that I have a passionate and undying love for all Mexican food – and Tex-Mex – but there is something particularly special about a carne asada taco. The zing of the mojo keeps the meat light and fresh, allowing the guac, lime, lettuce, cheese and salsa to do their thing and make it sing better than Audra.

Don’t worry, she completely agrees – enjoy!

 

 

Carne Audrada McDonald Tacos
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
a handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
3 limes, juiced and zested
2 tbsp champagne vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
750g flank steak
12 corn tortillas
shredded iceberg lettuce
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1 cups grated cheese
Salsa Struthers
2 avocados, mashed
sour cream, to serve
lime wedges, to serve

Method
Combine the garlic, jalapeno, coriander, limes, champagne vinegar, olive oil and a good whack of salt and pepper in a large shallow dish. Add the steaks, toss to coat, cover and place in the fridge for a couple of hours to marinate.

Preheat a griddle over high heat. Once piping, reduce heat to medium, brush with some oil and cook the steaks for a few minutes each side, flipping once. Remove from the pan and allow to rest for a few minutes. After it has rested, transfer to a chopping board and thinly slice against the grain.

To serve, heat the tortillas in a skillet for about 30 second each side and layer with salad, salsa, onion, guac, sour cream, cheese and steak. Then, obvi, devour.

 

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