Bacon, Mushroom and Nataleek Andersotto

Main, Survivor, Survivor: San Juan del Sur - Blood vs. Water

I know I have been a bit of a Debbie Downer when it comes to the twist of the upcoming season of Survivor but I am still excited because, well, it is Survivor. And for every One World or Redemption Island, there is a China or Heroes vs. Villians, which is something I am eternally grateful for. Plus – One World gave us Kim and Redemption Island gave us Russell’s pimpled, ingrown-haired armpits.

But I’ve been waylaid – I am here to celebrate one of my favourite Sole Survivors slash two-time The Amazing Race contestant and the cherry on top of San Juan Del Sur’s twinnie bookends, my girl Natalie Anderson.

Like Bob before her, I didn’t meet Nat until after her first reality TV stint – I am a close, personal friend of the Beekman’s – however the friendship quickly blossomed. And I played a critical role in getting her a spot on San Juan Del Sur and her well deserved win.

While people tire of the constant bartering and handing out rewards as treats, San Juan Del Sur is an unpredictable season and Natalie’s arc from wounded surviving Twinnie to vengeful powerplayer after Jeremy’s boot is one of the greats.

Add to that a beautiful idol play, a masterful ‘accidental’ blindside to save Keith and dragging him along as a meatshield to guarantee a path to the end puts her in my top ten favourite winners. And more than worthy of a hearty Bacon, Mushroom and Nataleek Andersotto whenever she damn wants!

 

 

There is nothing quite as comforting and glorious as a risotto. I don’t know if it is the creamy rice or the liquor, but it always fills me with joy when I’m feeling blue. Add in mushies and bacon, and I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Bacon, Mushroom and Nataleek Andersotto
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1L chicken stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 leek, washed and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
1 ⅓ cups arborio rice
250g mushrooms, thinly sliced
200g baby spinach leaves
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 cup shredded parmesan
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Bring the stock to a simmer over low heat and heat the oil and butter in a large pan. Once nice and foamy, add the leek and garlic and sweat for five minutes. Add the bacon and cook for a further couple of minutes or until the kitchen is fragrant and glorious.

Add the rice to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, or until starting to get translucent around the edges. Working a ladleful at a time, add the stock to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, waiting until the stock has been absorbed before adding the next.

Once all the stock has been used up, add the mushrooms, spinach and thyme, and cook for a further couple of minutes. Stir through the parmesan and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Serve immediately, slathered in more cheese and then devour.

 

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Bobcorn Chicken Crowley

Main, Poultry, Side, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Gabon

We’re less than two weeks away from someone joining the Francesca Hogi Memorial First Boot Club – well technically, who knows with extinction in play – and as such it is high time to corral another Sole Survivor to drop by and celebrate.

Side note: can you believe I am one victor away from completing the winner’s circle? Well, two given Brian Heidik shoots puppies and will never appear here.

Anyway, given that our best shot is for this season to be an epic disaster that manages to be entertaining, I thought it was finally time to catch up with my dear friend Bob Crowley. Aka victor of one of the most chaotic and beautifully entertaining seasons of all time, Gabon.

While I didn’t know Bob until after his win, we became the best of friends as soon as Sugar introduced us. Some may say it was his out of the box buff wearing that saw him snatch my heart, and well, they are totally right. And that is why we’ve never fought a day after our beautiful friendship.

Despite being one vote away from being bested by Susie, Bob’s win is one of the greatest possible outcomes for a season as insane as Gabon. I mean, it would be like Angelina winning David vs. Goliath. Sure Matty dominated physically, the onions were nasty and Sugar controlled the game, Bob managed to find his footing against all odds, made a stunning fake idol and leveraged Sugar’s emotions to get to the end.

And if that isn’t worthy of a bowl of Bobcorn Chicken Crowley, I don’t know what is.

 

 

You know I love me some fried chicken slash take-away copycats, so this baby pretty much has it all. Spicy, crunchy itty-bitty pieces of chicken – the perfect way to feel like you’ve eaten less, while getting optimal batter to meat quantity. Perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Bobcorn Chicken Crowley
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 cups flour
⅔ tsp salt
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp basil
⅓ tsp oregano
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp mustard powder
4 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp white pepper
500g chicken breast, cut into popcorn sized chunks
1 cup buttermilk
vegetable oil, for fryin’

Method
Combine the flour through white pepper in a large bowl and place the buttermilk in another. Toss the chicken through the buttermilk, then in the flour mixture to coat thoroughly.

Bring 1 inch deep oil to heat – around 180°C – in a large pot. Once shimmering with heat, add the chicken a handful of pieces at a time – size, not literally with your hands since the oil – and fry for about five minutes, or until golden, crisp and cooked through. Transfer to kitchen paper to drain slightly and repeat the process until done.

Devour immediately. With or without your fave sauce.

 

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Richard Linkslater

Breakfast, Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldy Bird, Main, Snack

Holy hell, can you believe I’ve made it four posts without disappearing from the internet without a word? New year, new me, same old bullshit it seems.

After zigging over to the television side of the globes with Katey yesterday, I decided to zag back to the Motion Picture side of the runsheet – which we kicked off with Ry, remember – for day three of my Golden Globe Gold: Goldy Bird celebrations by having a date with the divine Richard Linklater.

I first met Rich in the ‘90s when I was hired as a paddling consultant on Dazed and Confused – a role I also held on the set of the hit Jerry O’Connell vehicle, Tomcats. While our relationship started off as boss-employee, we fast became friends and I encouraged him to make collaborate with my friend Julie Delpy and the rest, as I do like to say, is history.

Given my gentle nudge lead him down the award circuit path, Rich has always felt that part of his success is due to me – while I obviously think that too, I don’t tell him that given we’re the dearest friends) – and as such, was honoured to be showcased this year.

Since he has all the writing, directing and producing cred, we focused on those races with him backing The Favourite for screenplay – while I believe it is Roma’s to take. We agree that the HFPA will honour Bradley Cooper as Best Director – rather than Actor – Roma will win Best Foreign Film and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse will take Animation, however that is where our consensus ended. He sees A Star is Born sweeping Best Drama while I think Black Panther will surprise, while Blackkklansman deserves it. Rich thinks The Favourite will win Best Comedy or Musical, while I think Vice has it in the bag. While we disagreed more than we agreed, we finished with a hug and sat down to a hearty plate of Richard Linkslater.

 

 

Given my passion for all things sausage, I had always wanted to try my hand at making my own but never had the courage. Until this year, and I couldn’t be happier. Bursting with flavour and melt in your mouth, these little babies – which is a minimally tweaked recipe I found – prove that there really is nothing better than homemade.

Enjoy!

 

 

Richard Linkslater
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
2.5kg boneless pork butt
¼ cup sage, roughly chopped
5 tsp thyme, roughly chopped
2 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp chilli flakes
2 tsp freshly ground white pepper
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
ice water
4.5m natural sheep casings, soaked and thoroughly rinsed

Method
Cut the pork into 1/2 inch chunks and freeze them for about 45 minutes to get them to a temperature 0°C. Chill a large bowl of the stand mixer during this time.

Grind the pork using a 6mm die directly into the bowl, and then put it through a second time.

Combine the mince with the herbs and spices and mix using the paddle attachment of the stand mixer for five minutes or so, or until you pull a clump of meat apart and threads appear as you pull them. You may need to had a tablespoon or two of ice cold water, though use your judgement.

Chill the mixture in the fridge while you set up the sausage stuffer and thread the casings on the end. Place the chilled mixture in the stuffer and fill the casings to avoid an air gaps forming, but making sure not to overstuff them. Twist the sausages into links and prick any air bubbles with the end of a sharp knife.

You can then either cook the sausages in a frying pan – that is scorching and then immediately reduced to the lowest heat – until browned through, poach in lightly salted water or bake in the oven.

Then devour.

 

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Christian Hubisquie

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

Previously on Survivor four Davids and four Goliaths remained in the game, however Nick and Gabby realised that they needed to turn on fellow David Christian – confusing, no? – if they wanted to have a chance of winning. Sadly for them Davie warned him of the plan allowing him to play his idol and save himself, resulting is Gabby herself being blindsided from the game.

Things were relatively calm when Kalokalo returned to camp with everyone congratulating Christian on his well played idol. Despite voting for him at tribal, Nick went and congratulated him and tried to clear the air – again – and while he was sad the plan failed, he was glad to be able to hide a fake immunity idol in the hopes that he could get them to stop looking and snag himself the rehidden one. However while he, Angelina and Mike caught up with Christian by the raft, he decided to find the fake one. Mike took the intel back to Kara and Davie, and while Kara believed it, Davie didn’t believe that it would be hidden under the raft and figured out Nick was faking it (clearly he’s never heard of Ben)! The next morning Davie went searching for the idol the next morning, hoping to avoid Nick getting a second and powering to the final three. He then pulled in Christian and told him that Nick did have two idols and that they need to deal with him ASAP.

Confused? Same.

My boy Probst returned for this week’s reward challenge – for a helicopter ride to a luxury feast – where the tribe would be required to untangle themselves from a rope, gathering enough to make it through obstacle and throw bags to knock over all their blocks. The challenge was a complete blowout, with Davie knocking off most of his blocks before anyone even started throwing. Sadly for him he didn’t have enough rope, leaving him only two bags to throw with as Nick closed the gap. He and Nick continued to throw with one block remaining each before Davie just snatched victory. As Probst is want to do, he gave Davie the chance to invite one person along with him, paying Nick back for the family visit. He then got a second opportunity, leading to Angelina doing what she does best, begging to come along on reward for giving up her shot at immunity for the tribe’s rice. Sadly Davie gave zero fucks, taking Kara as she protected him during the swap. Much to Angelina’s chagrin.

When the losers returned to camp Angelina continued to seethe and shared her feelings with everyone. She then made a massive pot of rice, and TBH I am scared for Davie’s safety. Meanwhile Davie and his frenemy Nick and bestie Kara arrived at the reward where they quickly got to work smashing a tonne of food. After Nick went to have a food nap, Davie filled Kara in on Nick’s idols and the two vowed to blindside him at the next tribal. They returned to camp well fed, before Kara pulled Alison aside to bring her in on the Nick blindside, bringing joy to Alison as she finally feels safe. Alison then approached Mike to see if he would join them and while he agreed that Nick is a big threat, he isn’t sure he is the most pressing one at this moment.

Davie got up early the next morning to go hunting for the real rehidden idol, which he quickly found. Wait no, it was a note for an advantage which told him to go to the end of the beach where he was greeted by a Ghost Island set up which handed him an idol and gave him the opportunity to risk his vote to extend its power, like the great Chris Noble. Thankfully Davie isn’t an idiot, knowing it is too late in the game to risk his vote, sticking with its single-tribal power.

Probst returned for this week’s reward challenge where everyone would have to stand on a narrow perch and balance a bunch of balls on a disc, which you know is my favourite as I live for Probst ball puns. Everyone survived the single ball round, however Kara and Angelina quickly dropped when they added a second, Davie’s separated – which is uncomfortable – and he soon followed them, as did Christian, leaving Alison, Mike and Nick to battle it out for immunity. Nick dropped just before they moved to the three ball round where they both struggled almost instantly as Alison’s dropped out of nowhere handing Mike individual immunity and continuing the no repeat winners streak.

Back at camp Mike was feeling confident and ready to make a big move and take control of the game. Meanwhile Nick felt taking out Alison is the most pressing issue, while Kara is still pushing to get rid of Nick. And I just remembered that Christian is here since he has been non-existent this episode. Mike must have had the realisation too and decided that it is still critical to target Christian since he doesn’t have immunity nor an idol, trying to convince Alison and Nick to join his cause. Meanwhile Nick and Davie caught up, with Nick admitting his idol find was completely fake and as such, Davie was back being aligned with Nick and was ready to take out Alison. Mike noticed Nick talking to Christian and Davie, and decided it was time to make sure Nick was loyal to him. This led to Mike telling Nick about the plot against him leaving the votes split and hopefully, Mike can rally enough to send Christian home.

At tribal council Nick spoke about the game not slowing down, Angelina admitted to focusing on keeping the right people to take her to the end and Davie was confused about how to figure out who he trusts. Christian worried about who was willing to work with him, rather than whether they’ve voted against him before, while Alison and Davie brought up the fluid nature of the game and needed to adapt tribal to tribal. Mike agreed, hoping that he can play with everyone, Nick praised everyone for playing a good game and Alison tried to deflect being a threat. Which Christian agreed was a difficult label to shake, not wanting to break Laura Morrett’s vote record from Blood vs. Water. Mike admitted that immunity made him confident, making people nervous look around as they headed off to vote.

Before Probst had a chance to tally the votes, Davie played his idol for himself which led to Nick playing an idol. Psyche it was fake, he just wanted to read the room and while Angelina assured him he was safe, he opted to play his real idol as well. Two votes rolled in for Davie – which obvi did not count – while two also fell to Alison and Christian, with Mike’s plan coming together and a third vote ultimately taking Christian out of the game. And burning the remaining idols – YAS!

While he was obviously disappointed to be out of the game, Christian took his loss in stride and was happy to be voted out in a complex manner with vote splits and multiple idols. With that, we laughed, cried and ran some puzzle codes before sitting down to a piping hot bowl of Christian Hubisquie.

 

 

My favourite colour of Nutrimetics lipstick owned by my mother was Lobster Bisque, obviously, because to a four year old, bisque is a hilarious word. In any event I always thought that one day I would have lobster bisque, until I learnt that lobster was seafood. Which is the long way of telling you, lobster is out, tomato is in and all is right so in the world.

Well except for the fact Christian was booted. But enjoy!

 

 

Christian Hubisquie
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, halved and sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 tbsp flour
4 cups chicken stock
800g can diced tomatoes
small handful of parsley, roughly chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 cup cream
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Melt the butter in a dutch oven over medium heat with the oil until well combined and a little foamy. Add the onion and sweat for five minutes, stirring occasionally allowing it to get charred to add to the flavour. Add the garlic, carrot and celery and cook for a further five of minutes.

Add the flour and cook, stirring, for a minute or two, or until it loses its flouriness. Add the stock, tomatoes and herbs and quickly stir to combine. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for half an hour, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat and blitz with a stick blender until smooth. Stir through the cream, season and return to heat until cooked through. Serve immediately with a dash of fresh cream.

 

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Carl Meatballdreaux Sub

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

Previously on Survivor Elizabeth continued to add to her harem of hunks as Dan was idol nullified from the game, I assume to feed her grapes and fan her with palm fronds with John. Which is totally what I dreamed of last night, with me excelling in the role of Liz. Obvi. Anyway – the Davids were firmly in control, Angelina worked to ingratiate herself with them by throwing Alison, Kara and Alec under the bus. Tragically for the latter, he dropped out of the immunity challenge after a hard-fought battle with Christian, leading to the tribe joining together to take the biggest physical threat out of the game.

And hot damn is Liz lucky!

Back at camp Davie thanked the Goliaths for joining them in taking out Alec, given it levels the playing field. Only it didn’t, since the Davids have finally taken control. Poor Alison broke down about Alec’s departure, sad that she was fighting harder for him to stay with Christian pulling her aside and comforting her and damn I love him. I mean, I get why people are struggling to turn on him since he is an absolute sweetheart.

Just like that my boy Jeff appeared for the latest reward challenge where they’d be split into two teams to swim out to a ladder which they would ascend and then jump into the water to release buoys … which they would use to throw into baskets. It was for fried chicken on a speedboat, so you know I’d be all in. Poor Christian wasn’t selected for a team, leaving him time to look for an advantage on the sit-out bench while Mike, yes Mike, got him, Carl, Davie and Kara out to an early lead. Despite closing the gap slightly – and Nick giving us a glimpse of his buoys – the orange team maintained a slight lead, starting to shoot their baskets before the others arrived at the dock. Nick scored the first basket for the purple team, however the orange team finally got their eye in, scoring goal after goal and snatching victory for Carl’s first reward.

The victors jumped on their speedboat, downing beers leading to the drunkest performance on Survivor since Big Tom as he sat on Kara’s lap and promised that they were good. He shared that Alison is the next best target as it would only upset Gabby. They arrived at their feast on an abandoned island with Davie joining Carl in tipsy-dom, excitedly talking about how proud he was to prove himself as an athlete. Carl continued to run his mouth as Mike and Kara continued to play him and talk about his plans, giving Kara enough power to hopefully make a move. Meanwhile back at camp Gabby was kicking off the move against Carl, approaching Christian to make a move and reclaim their games as Carl looks to be in control. And that won’t win them the game. Gabby pulled in Alison, who was thrilled to jump on board and given she suggested they asked Kara and Mike to join them, I smell a blindside.

After sobering up upon his return to camp, Carl pulled his alliance together to lock in his vote for Alison. Angelina shared that she had essentially replaced Gabby’s place within David alliance, leaving her on the outs. Carl locked Angelina in as the decoy boot for Gabby before pulling Mike in to join in the Alison. Which seems likely to be a big mistake. Huge! Carl then beckoned Christian to lock in his vote, pissing off yet another person and solidifying Christian’s plan to get rid of him. Christian and Mike shared their Carl stories, before running the numbers and realising that they are more than ready to get rid of Carl. Wait, no, Mike is admitting to be playing the middle. AND IS THIS GOING TO BACKFIRE? I can’t stop overthinking things.

The next morning Gabby and Christian got together to watch the sunset and discuss the fact that she has been completely pushed out of the David alliance. This obviously – and fairly – annoyed the hell out of Gabby, who vowed to turn on them and take control. Meanwhile the rest of the tribe discovered that their rice was near empty with Angelina, bless, naively suggesting that they should negotiate with Jeff for more. Which she should know will not end well. Particularly since her Tracey Flick mentality was annoying the shit out of Mike.

At the immunity challenge the tribe would be required to race over an obstacle, spin on a pole and traverse a balance beam collect while collecting puzzle pieces along the way, which they would use to solve a word puzzle. But before that, Angelina continued with her plan to put her Yale education to use bartering with Jeff to get more rice. She essentially listed everything around the camp, which Jeff shadily called a low ball offer before saying all it will take is one person giving up their shot at immunity for additional rice, with Angelina – obviously – sitting out to add to her resume. Anyway the challenge was fairly neck and neck, with everyone working on the puzzle at the same time. Carl was the first to come up with a word – perceptions – which was wrong but triggered Alison and Davie, leaving them to battle it out for immunity. With the latter snagging immunity.

Angelina was proud of her negotiations when they discovered the rice back at camp. While everyone praised her, she tried to play humble as they cooked up some rice and prepared to lock in their plans. Carl continued to rub people the wrong way, locking in his plan with anyone and everyone. Meanwhile knowing she is on the block, Alison and Kara joined together to figure out how to lock in Mike. With Mike playing the middle and proving his acting chops, buying him enough time to decide whether Alison being a threat was more painful than Carl’s overconfidence. Sadly for him Christian recognised his acting prowess and debated whether he could trust Mike at tribal. Christian joined Gabby and they locked in their vote, with Gabby vowing that tonight would be the tonight people started recognising her as a player.

At tribal council Elizabeth and her hunks arrived before Kara spoke about the ever changing lines and needing to show trust to earn trust. Nick spoke about scrambled eggs, Christian moved it to poaching and Angelina spoke about gladiators. Just to confirm, I’m not joking. Mike admitting to feeling more comfortable voting people out as the game went along, Alison felt nervous and Nick circled back to the eggs. Carl chimed in and came across super arrogant, annoying Gabby and TBH everyone. Probst congratulated Mike on being the last male Goliath standing, Angelina quoted Friday Night Lights and praised herself for getting the rice for everyone and Alison admitting to having a plan but being unsure whether she can trust said plan. With that the tribe voted and hot damn Mike swung to Gabby’s side, ending her feud with Carl and sending him to the jury.

I was completely expecting Carl to be irate to have found himself arriving at Ponderosa but he took his boot in his stride – maybe he was still tipsy from the reward, who knows? – and held me close, thrilled to see his best trucking friend. Fun fact: my time as a trucker inspired me to write the hit horror film Joy Ride starring Paul Walker, may he rest in peace. Anyway, we laughed, we cried, we lamented him letting the power go to his head … and then smashed a big fat Carl Meatballdreaux Sub.

 

 

I used to be a fiend for this Subway classic, until a tragic encounter at the one next to Studio 54. Alan and Em were starring in Cabaret and were desperate for me to swing by, however being so important and in demand I was in a rush and needed a bite, lest I faint on stage after Showgirls-ing someone out of their role. Anyway, the post-mix was running out of syrup and something whackadoodle was going on with the food.

But this one, I assure you, will sit right – striking the balance between saucy Italian meat and fresh capsi, like only Subway can muster. Well, Subway and me.

Enjoy!

 

 

Carl Meatballdreaux Sub
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 garlic cloves
800g canned crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried sage
4 Hulk Hogies
8 slices Swiss cheese
1-2 tomatoes, sliced
1 cup iceberg lettuce, washed, dried and shredded
1 green capsicum, sliced

Method
Combine the mince with a good whack of salt and pepper in a bowl and scrunch to combine.

Heat a good lug of oil in a dutch oven over low heat and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and herbs and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and grabbing golf ball-sized chunks, shape balls out of the mince and add to the pot until gone. Cover and leave to simmer for fifteen minutes, or until the balls are cooked through.

To serve, slice you hoagies and top with slices of cheese. Spoon in a couple of balls and a heap of sauce before topping with the tomato, lettuce, capsicum.

And devouring, messily.

 

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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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Duck Risottozryski

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Main, Poultry, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, we witnessed the rise of the previously invisible who orchestrated a blindside of Tegan to break-up the power couple. Sadly for him, she wasn’t eliminated from the game and was instead sent to Exile Beach to await the next boot with them battling out to return to the game. Once again the Contenders lost the challenge, with Benji leading the charge to take out Tegan’s ally Heath and guarantee one of them leaves the game. Sadly for him, Heath played his idol negating all votes but his and sending Anita to Exile where she cleared the air with Tegan and was swiftly beaten at the challenge and sent from the game for good. Upon winning her way back into the game, Tegan was heartbroken to have kicked Anita out of the game though the departing Anita gave her a peptalk to get her revenge, and hot damn, I’d be terrified to have her back at camp if I were Benji.

The Contenders returned to camp where Tegan quickly got to work making everyone feel awkward as hell before letting them simmer in their guilt and getting water with Heath. Back at camp, Paige told the rest of the tribe they needed to own up to things and clear the air with Tegan if they wanted to last. They then all shared the stories that led to Tegan’s boot, with Benji’s lie outed without Tegan even needing to get her hands dirty. Though obvi, Benji wasn’t concerned. Meanwhile back at the well, Tegan filled Heath in on everything she learnt from Anita and told him that they both need to stop playing Mr & Mrs Nice Guy and go for the jugular.

Jonathan arrived on the scene for the immunity challenge where Tegan and Zach assured him that the Contenders hashed everything out and were ready to win, however given the fact we haven’t seen the Champions at all this episode, it isn’t looking likely. Anyway the challenge required sick people to run up a slippery slope to fill buckets full of holes with water and fill up a tube to release a box filled with a ball, which two people will use to complete a wall maze. As is oft the case, Mat got the Champions out to an early lead however Benji closed the gap and got the Contenders out in front. Well, until the Champions stripped down – damn boys and their speedos! Mat, Brian, Steve … swoon! – and overtook the Contenders, giving Jackie and Sam the lead for the maze. After narrowly missing the hole on their first attempt, the Contenders managed to catch up. Well until Zach and Robbie choked and Jackie and Sam secured victory for the Champions. Again.

As Tegan promised, she returned back to camp ready to out all of Benji’s lies and scorch the earth, so to speak until Fenella spoke up and outed the reason why she turned on Tegan. This set her off, saying he was a bullshitter and everyone needed to know who they were playing with. Benji then straight up lied to everyone, saying how he simply pointed out that they were a pair, then trying to say Heath planned to turn on the girls. This then lead to an epic moment where Heath and Tegan went full mum and dad mode, chastising him for lying and pointing out that the bromance are far more dangerous than their pair.

Benji then ran off to the shore to hide his tears by washing his face before pulling Zach aside to reaffirm they need to put enough doubt in their tribemates mind. While Paige didn’t buy his bullshit a second time, he was confident that he’d be able to convince Shonee and Fenella he never lied. While they looked to be all in with his story, they also seemed genuine when Tegan pulled them aside to clear the air and build their relationship back up. All was forgiven and they were ready to join Tegan in the next vote, though only if they vote out Zach instead of Benji since he is far more dislikable. While Tegan felt uncomfortable not taking Benji out, Shonee shared with us that she needed to keep her options open and felt Zach was more expendable to her game.

At tribal council Jonathan was quick to shade their string of losses and Tegan for previously being booted from the game. Tegan admitted that she had been floating through the game prior to her boot, and vowed to fight hard for the rest of the game. Jonathan asked Benji for his opinion, with him once again trying to dance around the truth with very much conviction. Tegan called him out for lying about her targeting the girls to get them to turn on her, saying that Anita told her that Robbie and Benji instigated it despite their denials. Shonee confirmed that it was all true, with Benji attempting to stutter out a defence before being schooled by Tegan like she is the Michelle to his Purple Ben.

Zach tried to jump in and defend Benji, saying Tegan lied and planned to take him out with her pointing out that she never actually spoke to him and he knew that she targeted him since he voted her out. Zach admitted that he was nervous about the upcoming vote, with Tegan pointing out that the boys strengths haven’t really been helping them and the girls are far stronger than he gives them credit for. Zach continued to shrink the target on Benji’s back, saying the girls were letting down the team much to the disgust of all the women on the tribe. You could see them completely shut down as he tried to dig himself out of the hole, with the girls all jumping in to talk why he is useless and failing the tribe and Robbie and Benji looking more and more defeated.

Which was well placed as Heath and the girls joined together … with the help of Benji and Robbie, to take out Zach, despite the fact that Benji completely had his game blown up by the Exile Beach twist. While Zach had been rehabbing his image over the last couple of episodes, he was letting his misogynistic flag fly when he walked into Loser Lodge. Thankfully like a leftie woman, I don’t tolerate white heterosexual male privilege, nor do I take kindly to fragile masculinity. As such, I went to town on him for all his shitty statements throughout his ten episodes on television and proceeding to roll him the tapes of real man Steve Willis, breaking down about his desire to be loved. Real men cry, bitch.

Anyway, I went on such a rage filled tangent that I made Cate Blanchett’s Elizabeth II hurricane speech look like a children’s story … so then I whipped him up a delightfully salty Duck Risottozryski to apologise for going so hard when I know that every good show needs a good villain.

 

 

I love Duck Risotto. It is amazing – deliciously gamey, sweet, creamy and packing a punch, it is near perfection. And while some would say his statements about women made him less than deserving of such a beautiful dish, I made him promise to do better in the future.

To quote Melania Trump, when they go low, we go high. She said that, right?

Enjoy!

 

 

Duck Risottozryski
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 duck breasts, skin on
1L vegetable stock
1 onion, diced
3 garlic clove, minced
1 ½ cups arborio rice
⅔ cup white wine
500g swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
small handful of parsley, roughly chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
a couple of sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup parmesan, grated
100g Goats Cheese, crumbled

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a skillet over medium heat until scorching. Add the duck breasts, skin down and cook for about five minutes, or until super crispy. Flip and cook for a further five minutes or so, or until cooked through. Remove from heat and leave to rest for five ten minutes before slicing into 5mm thick … slices. Keep warm.

Meanwhile place the stock in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and keep warm.

Finally heat another lug of oil in a dutch oven and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes or so, or until translucent. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for a minute or two, or until well coated and starting to lose their colour at the end. Add the wine and stir until it is almost absorbed before adding the stock, one ladleful at a time, stirring until each additional has almost absorbed. This will take about fifteen minutes total.

While you’re cooking the rice, place the fatty duck pan back on the heat and cook the mushrooms until browned and glorious. Add the parsley, stir and remove from heat.

When the stock has all been used up, add the lemon juice and zest, thyme, mushrooms and parmesan, and a good whack of salt and pepper before stirring to combine. Crumble over the Goats Cheese and cooked duck, and serve immediately.

Then devour and wash the dishes like Zach would want. Well, if you’re a dislikable, leftie female.

 

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Carameliseien Thonionson & Goats Cheese Tarts

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Party Food, Pie, Side, Snack, Tapas, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the Contenders were smarting from losing the first immunity challenge and booting out misogynistic Matt, with Robbie leading the way to try and prove themselves against the Champions. While it was another epic fail at reward, Heath lead them to victory in the immunity challenge which sent the Champions into chaos as they prepared for tribal. Russell pulled out his idol, desperately scraped together an alliance and caused so much confusion that he somehow caused a tie between him and Jackie. Sadly for him, Sharn and Moana were not willing to take his crap, called his bluff and sent him from the game with an idol around his neck.

Things were decidedly less dramatic the neck day at the Champions camp, no, no, there was screaming and drama as a huge chicken miraculously wandered into camp. Thankfully it led to some of the best slapstick I’ve seen in years, as Sam madly ran around the camp trying to capture it. It wasn’t calm, but there was comedy and for that, I am grateful. Meanwhile Sharn and Moana – or Shaoana … Moarn – were thrilled to have taken out Russell, calling his bluff and I assume, claiming my heart. The two Queens then went for a walk down the beach and Moana shared about her experiences as a full time carer for her sister Livinia and oh my god I am crying, give her the damn money. She then locked in Sharn as her ride or die and I am all in, like they’re the nude quadruple on the Contenders.

Speaking of which, the Contenders were sitting down to breakfast, remodelling their camp and altogether loving life. Just tragically clothed.

Almost giving me whiplash, we returned to the Champions camp where Damien was trying to overcome his amputations and prove his worth to the team. Meanwhile Jackie’s poker skills were being put to good use, as she speculated felt everyone was turning against her and she needed to wake up and paint the target against her. She then started to target Damien as he has physical limitations, which can be a liability – her words, not mine – while also not wanting to face him at the end, given he is a freakin’ war hero. In any event, given we’ve seen the Contenders for a minute this episode, we can rule them out of attending tribal council this episode. Well done team!

Speaking of challenges, my love Jonathan returned for this week’s reward challenge where the Contenders were delighted to see that Russell was booted at the last tribal. While some of them were sad to have missed out on meeting him, Lydia assured them that they missed nothing. Anywho – the challenge is essentially a penalty shootout for a huge fishing kit and a fish. Basically the Champions got out to an early lead, never really lost it, Shane Gould is adorable, Damien is a saint and Monika scored the winning goal.

The Champions arrived back at camp to discover their fish had not just been cooked, but also slathered in salsa and looking glorious. Speaking of glorious, Damien was thrilled about playing a huge role in their victory and feeling like he was before his accident. While everyone feasted Moana loitered around awkwardly as she is a vegetarian, but didn’t want to ask them to leave her some veggies.

Meanwhile back at Casa de Contenders, the tribe was feeling defeated and hella hungry. Heath wandered off to grab water and discovered a clue hiding in the well, instructing him that a hidden immunity idol would be placed in the lid of the voting urn at the next tribal council should they attend. So now he is keen to throw the next challenge, particularly since Robbie caught him finding said clue and spread the intel to Benji, throwing their alliance into doubt. Speaking of idol clues, the Champions continued to feast on the fish, completely oblivious to the hidden immunity idol at their feet. Given Moana the vegetarian had zero interest in the food, she noticed and stealthy snatched it out from under their noses.

To reiterate, Moana is Queen.

Cutting me off from Moana’s coronation, Jonathan arrived for the next immunity challenge. Well, after the Champions were done gloating about their fish reward and motivating the Contenders even further. The challenge required seven members of the tribe to wheel a giant wheel around with two tribemates on top who were required to fish puzzle pieces along the way. The last two having to solve said puzzle, obvi. The Champions got out to a slight lead, however the Contenders caught up by the first puzzle pieces. By the third stack of puzzle pieces the Contenders pulled away – in no small part thanks to Shane knocking the Champions puzzles off the shelf – handing Tegan and Fenella a massive lead for solving the puzzle. While Jackie and Monika tried their best to make inroads, it was all for nought as the Contenders dominated and snatch victory before they even had a chance to get started.

Jackie immediately started to panic back at camp, bursting into tears and apologising for choking at the challenge which successfully garnered sympathy from the tribe. She then went for a walk with Monika and decide to flip the game on Damien, in the hope of ‘keeping the tribe strong’. She then approached Moana to try and get her on board, which tragically fell short as Moana sees her as lady Russell and desperately wants her and her crocodile tears out of the game. Moana approached Steve W and Mat to rally troops against Jackie instead, which they were both keen for leaving them to split up and pull in more numbers. Sharn then went to rally troops to take out Damien, pulling in Lydia … before going to Moana and agreeing to take out Jackie as they headed out to tribal council leaving me ridiculously confused.

At tribal Jonathan started by throwing some shade about their loss, with Mat trying to dance around the specifics of why exactly they lost. Jackie tried to garner some more sympathy for losing the challenge, before Damien spoke about the risks associated with the epic spotlight on him whether he performs well or not. Brian appeared to talk in sports metaphors, Steve W completely owned my heart by straight up blaming Jackie for the loss before Mat piled on and tried to convince everyone to keep Damien. Sam spoke about the importance of making alliances to save yourself when you have a run of bad luck, leading to Steve W feeling frustrated by the fact that Russell has rubbed off on them … before admitting he had made alliances. Lydia admitted she planned to vote off a weaker player while Moana evaded the question saying she wants to win challenges but also needs to think about the game.

With that confusing back and forth, the tribe went off to vote, Moana managed to snatch the idol without anyone noticing and poor Damien found himself becoming the third boot for being a liability … despite as Steve W put it, him having no legs because he was blown up helping people in Afghanistan. Speaking of which, that is actually where I first met my dear mate Damo. You see after getting kicked out the USO shows for being too lewd, I decided to try my luck performing tamer routines for the Aussie Army and became quite popular for a brief period.

After his accident, I would visit him daily and sing to him to try and make him feel better. While the doctors banned me from the hospital and got me deported for what they described as cruel and unusual punishment – bitch, I can hit more notes than Mariah you’ve got no idea – Damo knew I was just trying to help and we became the best of friends. That is why I knew my Carameliseien Thonionson & Goats Cheese Tarts would be the perfect way to cure his post boot pain.

 

 

Does the name roll of your tongue? Not really. Should I have gone with Caramelisedamien? Probably. But given how delicious these taste, I think you should cut me a break. The sweet onion melts in your mouth and dances with the earthiness of the cheese and the flaky gloriousness of the pastry.

Just trust me, they’re perfect. And hella moreish.

Enjoy!

 

 

Carameliseien Thonionson & Goats Cheese Tarts
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
4 onions, sliced
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
½ tsp ground chilli
salt and pepper, to taste
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
150g goat’s cheese, crumbled
lemon thyme, to garnish

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the onions, stirring, for fifteen minutes or until soft.

Add the sugar, balsamic, chilli and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a further five minutes or until rich and sticky. Allow to cool for ten minutes or so.

Meanwhile cut each slice of puff pastry into nine equal squares and place on lined baking sheets. Top each with a dollop of onions, crumble over the goat’s cheese and transfer to the over to bake for fifteen minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and golden.

Devour, immediately scattered with thyme leaves.

 

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