Enchilada Nicodemou

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Oh Ada, how you fill my heart with so much love!

Ada was thankfully given the night off from her relentless Home and Away filming schedule – the only reason I have never taken up one of the many offers to appear on the show – to drop by, gab and devour something as nourishing as our friendship is for our souls.

I mean yes, as with most of my friendships we had our rough patches like when I forced her off Heartbreak High and onto my new series Breakers where I was casting Alex Dimitriades look alikes to fill the void that he left after finally getting a restraining order. Thankfully after the show tanked, she got Home and Away though and I got her a role in The Matrix, so she eventually had to forgive me.

I mean, she got to marry Ryan Kwanten … she couldn’t hold a grudge.

Despite the many lawsuits Channel 7 have brought against me in her past 16 years on Home and Away – the daily death threats to Kochie and Grant Denyer (back in the day – I forgive him after he tanked people I knew on Family Feud), the aggressive trolling of Tara Dennis’ design skills and my lecherous courting of Bruce McAvaney caused but a few – she has always demanded my presence on set to provide her with love and guidance.

Given how busy I’ve been the last year, travelling the globe to provide culinary coverage of multiple Survivor seasons while managing HRC’s campaign, hosting brunch with the All Stars of Drag Race and my usual weekly guests, our relationship has regretfully been on the backburner. Thankfully Ada jumped at the chance to come up and reconnect – but really, who would want to miss out on a batch of my Enchiladas Nicodemou.

 

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Make no mistake, these enchiladas are less Mexican than Tex Mex but to a Australian Greek Cypriot and an Australian of questionable origins it does the trick – smokey, sweet and packing a nice kick of heat, they keep you coming back for more despite the complete bastardisation of a culinary history.

Enjoy!

 

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Enchilada Nicodemou
Serves: 4, heartily.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
800g chicken breast, diced
1 capsicum, diced
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 ½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground coriander seeds
½ tsp turmeric
400g can chopped tomatoes
400g can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp tomato paste
hot sauce, to taste
salt and pepper, to season
8 tortillas
1 cup tasty cheese
guacamole, extra hot sauce and sour cream, to serve

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Sweat the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes before adding the chicken and cooking, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes. Add the capsicum and the shit tonne of spices and cook for a minute to release the flavours before stirring in the tin tomatoes and kidney beans, tomato paste and hot sauce. Season to taste and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, half covered and stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes.

Preheat the oven 180°C.

Once the mixture is ready, get out a large baking dish – one you’d use for lasagne etc. – and layer out your tortillas. Place about a half a cup of mixture on the middle of the tortilla, tightly roll up and place into the pan. Repeat the process until the tortillas are gone and the pan burst with deliciousness.

Pour any remaining meat mixture over the top of the enchiladas, top with the cheese and bake for about half an hour, or until golden, bubbly and moreish.

Allow to rest for ten minutes before devouring, slathered in gauc, hot sauce and sour cream.

 

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You’re my guiding star

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Stone the flamin’ crows and get lil VJ on the blower, my dear friend Ada Nicodemou is dropping by!

With all of the Australiana action thanks to Australian Survivor – which thanks to the non-elimination episode gave me the night off from cooking – I’ve been feeling quite patriotic so wanted to get in touch with one of my closest friends, national treasure and Gold Logie winner in 2023.

We first met in the mid-90s while working on Heartbreak High – and by working, I was stalking Alex Dimitriades. Needing a way to get closer to the set without spooking him, I needed to befriend a cast member and Ada seemed as good as any. I mean, we’ve been friends ever since so I clearly made the right choice.

What says thanks for unwittingly helping me get closer to Al all those years ago, be he at home or away?

Picture source: Mamamia.com.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.

Keanachu Reeves

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I tell you, Keanu is like a fine red wine – and no I don’t mean he stains my teeth if I’m dehydrated – he just gets better and better with age.

While he has had more misses than hits since The Matrix saga concluded, Keanu has never once held that against me despite the fact I am his closest, unpaid advisor. That being said, he decided to co-star again with Sandy fucking Bullock against my judgement and that is definitely his worst film of the 00s and obviously I argue that is the reason for the slowing of decent offers.

I guess it is hard to hold my other terrible advice against me, given I’ve been making questionable choices for the entire duration of our friendship. From getting him expelled, to forcing him into taking pay cuts to bump up the wages of my other friends Gene and Al or robbing banks with Lori Petty and inspiring both Point Break and her stint in Orange is the New Black, my choices have never been great.

But Keanu always stands behind me, although only figuratively after Speed.

Despite our love affair ending after the meddling of Bitchy McBullfuck, I always try to keep my options open with him by keeping the spice in our relationship … which is where my Keanachu Reeves comes into play.

 

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I’ve oft spoken about my love of spice and melt your insides hot chilli – and if you’ve missed it, your homework is to re-read every article. Actually, while you’re there can you proof all my past posts and point out all my sausage-finger typos and drunken grammatical errors – I just, kind of can’t be bothered doing it myself but know that I should, you know?

Anyway … way off course. Keanachu is a gangbang (I wish) of my George Takeios, Chilli con Kim Carnes, Chipotlenny Kravitz Burritos and Candace Cameron Bure-ito Bowls because, full disclosure, I just throw any and all spices, chillis and beans into a pot when cooking Mexican and hope for the best.

It is yet to fail me, so enjoy – Keanachu is as delicious as its namesake.

 

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Keanachu Reeves
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
500g beef mince
½ red capsicum, diced
½ green capsicum diced
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 chipotles in adobo, finely minced
400g can crushed tomatoes
400g can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper, to season
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
f-loads of corn/tortilla chips
guac, to serve – you don’t have to pay extra though
sour cream, to serve

Method
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Reduce to low and add the onion and the garlic, sweating until they are soft, translucent and smell glorious. Add the mince, breaking up with the back of a spoon, until it is starting to brown.

Increase to a medium heat and add the capsicum and spices, stirring to combine and release the flavours. Add the chipotles, tomatoes, kidney beans and a good whack of salt and pepper and, again, stir to combine. If it is too thick, add a bit of water and reduce to a low heat, again, and leave to simmer, half-cockedcovered for 15-20 minutes.

Preheat oven 180°C.

Layer chips, be them corn or tortilla, on the base of a large baking dish, top with balls-hot chilli and a good layer of cheese and bake in the oven for about ten minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly … and hot enough to give third degree burns.

Serve generously or eat from the dish with copious amounts of guac and sour cream.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.

My Own Private Guytablow

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Talk about a blast from the past! I was heading back from rigging the Rip Curl Pro for Matty Wilkinson in Bells Beach, when I thought, damn my life has been lacking drama lately so I picked up the phone and called my dear friend Keanu Reeves.

As you would be aware, Keanu is 100% pure adrenaline meaning, obviously, we had a torrid love affair which may or may not have lead to his expulsion from the Etobicoke School of the Arts. While he was bummed to be expelled from ESA, the incident bonded us for life and loosely inspired three of his latter films: Speed, My Own Private Idaho and The Devil’s Advocate.

While to commoners it may appear that Keanu has fallen off the face of the earth in recent years, we try to stay in touch every couple of months when we get together to read scripts and make smart career decisions … like avoiding working with my nemesis / evil shrew, Sandra Bullock.

Yep – sorry Jason Patric, I’m the reason Speed 2 became available.

What says thanks for finally letting me share our beautiful love story?

Picture source: Screen cap from Point Break.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.