Arun Bowla

Main, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, eighteen Kiwis were marooned in a small chain of islands in Thailand and were divided into two tribes by first boot Jose. She started off a string of strong females getting the boot before the swap turned everything on its head and the men found themselves sitting ducks. In that time Brad and Dave secured immunity idols – after Eve misplayed her’s – cross tribal alliances were made and broken – by Josh – before JT the snake was felled by illness which I assume is extreme gastrointestinal distress. After both tribes attempted to throw the immunity challenge, Chani found themselves returning to tribal council where Dylan was voted out against all reason and Renee’s better judgement.

Back at camp the tribe were shocked about being called sneaky pricks on Dylan’s way out the door, despite blindsiding him against the Chani’s best wishes. Adam on the other hand was thrilled to finally best his nemesis, while Renee lamented the fact it has probably screwed them as there is no way Matt is sticking with them. As long as queen Renee is safe, I don’t really mind though TBH.

We dropped by Khangkhaw the next day where Tess was rolled up within a bamboo mat … before she explained that it was because she heard a critter trying to attack the chickens throughout the night, and at that point, I felt a deep and profound connection with her. Lisa was feeling thankful that the cage saved their chickens, sad that JT mede-quit and hopeful that the merge was right around the corner and she could throw of the shackles of her persona and own the fact she is about to school anybody and everybody on her way to the win. Meanwhile over at Chani Adam was back to being entertaining and friendly without his hatred for Dylan ruining his edit. Renee continued to worry about her alliance with Dave and Arun, concerned they don’t value her opinion and nor do they make logical decisions. As such, she pulled Adam aside to size up a potential alliance and by george, I think she has got him … on the hook and may have a fighting chance. The kiwi queen stays kiwi queen, adios.

Shocking everyone that was expecting the merge, Matt returned to lord over another reward challenge and allow Adam to celebrate Dylan’s untimely demise at the last tribal council. The challenge involved each tribe shooting balls at a target and knocking out a line of tiles … for an unknown reward, which Matt promised was a beauty. But sadly, avoided saying in the drink or old mate idol. Tess got Khangkhaw out to an early lead and set off a pattern of the men bombing the challenge and the women schooling them. Since Khangkhaw was dominated by the remaining female castaways, they took out victory … which tragically didn’t matter because, psych, this is a merge after all.

The remaining castaways celebrated their accomplishments, with Lisa giddy about having her vote steal in play for the first merge tribal council to guarantee Adam and Matt would stay true. Before heading back to camp, Matt shared how happy he was to make the merge after promising his girlfriend her would before leaving for the game. He then broke down about missing her and went straight to the top of my faves (behind Renee). Particularly when you remember he flashed his but in episode two. Host Matt then sent the castaways back to camp for their merge feast and surprised the reward winners that they will in fact have a reward awaiting them at tree mail.

Tess was giddy arriving back at the merge camp, particularly since she was reunited with Adam and Matt. Thankfully Matt too was thrilled to be reunited with his allies, while Arun started to have the first glimmer of regretting taking out Dylan at the last tribal council as her felt like an outsider. But there isn’t time to dwell on that as the castaways discovered the feast and then got to work gorging on everything in sight. None more so than Dave who fluctuated between close to vomming and continuing to eat. Lisa then likened melted butter on a burger to the love for a child, and TBH, I don’t see how that could be wrong. Oh and Dave continued to teeter on the edge of vomtown before smashing some dessert.

Adam then questioned whether they were even a tribe anymore since it is now an individual game and Tess confirmed that Eve and Arun screwed themselves out of any potential alliance with the OG Khangkhaw tribe. The besties then reconnected by the shore and Adam used the time to focus his Dylan rage on Arun and continue to paint the target on his back. He did explain that he was planning to lie to make people look bad as a strategy which goes some way to explaining why he bullied Dylan.

Dave was feeling hopeful that he and his school friend will be able to work an alliance out while Brad and Tess spent some time to complain about Tess being boring as shit and like talking to a brick wall. She then went to treemail to collect her reward – maybe the producers are trying to make her interesting – which allowed everyone from the winning team to select a luxury item. Brad went with a toothbrush, Lisa went with toilet paper, Tara grabbed a towel, Eve went with a pillow and ever resourceful Tess went with a chocolate bar.

After the excitement Brad dropped by Adam to hear about how awful Arun was to him during the swap, as a way to chop the head off the Chani snake. The word bully was thrown around and damn is that hypocritical. Matt and Tess were reconnecting themselves, with Tess thrilled Matt survived the last tribal council against all odds. Matt however was realising that the swap brought Brad and Tess closer and as such, he wasn’t sure how long their alliance would last. While the reward winners collected their loot, Dave rallied Arun, Renee, Matt and Adam to lock in the vote for Lisa at the upcoming tribal … which will really test where those new alliances rest. Brad then brushed his teeth and was filled with joy, except when it came to Arun opting to ignore him at Adam words rather than trying to forge any sort of bomb.

Matt returned for the first individual immunity challenge where old mate idol was decommissioned and a huge ma’fuckin’ individual immunity necklace was born. Matt then announced that they would be playing the house of cards immunity challenge, where they each need to use tiles to build a 3m high tower. Lisa proved her superfan cred by building straight up, while everyone else focused on building solid foundations without realising that there are a finite number of tiles. Tess was the first person to drop, followed by Lisa which handed Matt the lead. Arun closed the gap before dropping his tower while Matt stopped building and decided to try and run out the clock and snatch victory. Which he did. Despite Lisa’s best efforts. He then slayed the runway, werked his immunity necklace and I am moister than an oyster.

Phsan returned to camp and got straight down to scrambling – after the requisite minute of congratulating the victor – with Arun gutted by his loss and concerned about whether he can truly trust Matt. Brad on the other hand was concerned about who to target, since he hates Arun and sees Dave as a threat. Matt and Adam took some time to debate which side to align with before deciding to check who Lisa is planning to use her vote steal on and just working with that. She told them both to vote Arun and it looks like Lisa and Arun will be joining in trying to get Arun out. Though given her confidence and it is one of the most cursed advantages, I’m not sure it will play out. Dave then checked in with Matt and got the distinct vibe he wouldn’t be joining the OG Chanis to take out Lisa, despite the fact Matt assured him that he has his back. The OG Chani members reconnected in the shelter and assured each other that they’d be voting for Lisa, though Renee was itching to make a move and I am prone to trusting her.

At tribal council Matt spoke about his relief in snatching immunity before host Matt congratulated everyone on making the jury and final three before reminding them their actions will now come back to bite them. Arun vowed to vote for the person who plays the best game, Brad didn’t seem phased about ignoring Arun back at camp, Tess wasn’t sure if anyone made new alliances post swap before Tara tried to downplay her alliance and say she did her usual rounds before tribal. Before the Chanis savaged her by pointing out that that was untrue and one by one said she didn’t talk to them. So essentially, Tara is Regina George and they are all feeling victimised. With that Matt went straight to … hold up, Lisa is holding up the vote like an older Hali, announcing that she will in fact be voting twice tonight, while Arun wouldn’t vote at all. Which tragically sealed his fate as Arun was sent out of the game to become the king of the jury.

Poor Arun was pretty cut up to find himself booted from the game, however wasn’t really surprised given how screwed Chani were after booting Dylan and Lisa stole his vote. Sure he didn’t love me rubbing it in like that – did I mention I berated him about that – but he couldn’t stay mad when he saw I came packing a big ol’ Arun Bowla.

 

 

What is a bowl-a? Isn’t a bowl a food receptacle, not a meal? To that I say, shut up. If Lukas Volger can dedicate an entire cookbook to bowl food – which is amazing, FYI – I should be afforded the chance to have a little bowl of goodness, ok? And yes, it may look like a mess, it is delicious. So please, leave me alone like ‘07 Britney.

Enjoy!

 

 

Arun Bowla
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
3 limes, zested and juiced
¼ cup hoisin sauce
3 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sriracha
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 red chillies, sliced
200g rice stick noodles
vegetable oil
4 shallots, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
500g turkey mince
2 carrots, grated
small handful mint, roughly chopped
1 cup bean sprouts, trimmed
¼ cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped roasted peanuts

Method
Combine the lime juice and zest with the hoisin, tamari, fish sauce, sriracha, sugar and chilli in a jug and stir until combined.

Cook the noodles as per packet drain and allow to rest.

Meanwhile heat a lug of oil in a wok over high heat and cook the turkey, onion, garlic and ginger for 5 minutes, or until the mince has browned. Pour over the sauce and noodles, and stir fry for a minute.

Divide the mixture between four bowls and top with carrot, mint, sprouts and peanuts. And hell, add another swig of sriracha for good measure. Then devour.

 

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Turkey Tom Westyum

Main, Poultry, Soup, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, Survivor: Palau

So I’m going to start by going a little off topic, which is so on brand for me that I really shouldn’t have had to say anything. Anyway I was already hitting peak excitement for Survivor’s return in less than three weeks, particularly given I got to reconnect with my dear friend Tom Westman today … and then I started listening to Josh Wigler’s First One Out, and now I’m surprised I haven’t had an aneurysm in anticipation.

Anyway … if you love Survivor, listen to it. If not, ignore the above par and continue on.

I’ve known Tom for years, meeting not long after 9-11. I was starting to fetishise all first responders following their bravery during the attacks, and was working my way through the ladder companies to find me a mans. While Tom ultimately wasn’t won over by my charm and sexuality, he did grow to love me and guided me like a big brother.

As is oft the case, he failed at turning me into a decent person but for some reason, never gave up on me. I repaid the favour by getting him cast on Palau … which earned him a mill, so technically I was a good investment. Fun fact: if he had made it farther on Heroes vs. Villains, I would have been his loved one visit.

Like me, he is hella excited for the new season and hopes that the cursed Stephenie LaGrossa doesn’t have to spend the entire time on Ghost Island, and can at least enjoy some tropical delights while sucking the life – literally – out of one of the tribes.

Was it a kind of dark way for our conversation to go? Sure. But when it comes with a side of Turkey Tom Westyum, how can you be mad?

 

 

Spicy, fresh and healthy – for the sole reason that turkey is healthy, duh – this tom yum, is the tom yum to beat all tom yums. Sorry Tom Yum Everett Scott, this is a winner.

Have I mentioned, tom yum? Enjoy!

 

 

Turkey Tom Westyum
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g turkey mince
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 tsp ground ginger
handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
vegetable oil
1 bunch of shallots, trimmed and sliced
1 tbsp tom yum paste
1L chicken stock
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 birdseye chillies, halved
1 tsp muscovado sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
salt and pepper

Method
Combine the turkey mince in a bowl with a clove of garlic, lime zest, ginger and a tablespoon of chopped coriander. Form into balls and place on a lined baking sheet in the fridge to semi-set.

Heat a lug of oil in a large deep frying pan and cook the shallots and remaining garlic for a minute or so. Add the tom yum paste and cook for a further minute. Stir in the stock, lime leaves and chilli and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, gently place the balls in and simmer for fifteen minutes.

Stir through the sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, remaining coriander leaves and a good whack of salt and pepper. Serve immediately and devour, piping hot.

 

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Turkey and Brie Larson Pizza

Main, Party Food, Snack

Seriously – is there anyone sweeter than Brie Larson?

Obviously that question is rhetorical since I’m her friend and you’re not, but I swear Brie Larson is a damn saint. I mean, just look through her post-Trumpotus-elect Instagram feed – she is a damn angel that we don’t deserve.

Brie and I have been close friends for more than a decade after meeting on the set of 13 Going on 30. I could tell immediately that she was destined for greatest and made it my life’s work to help her succeed … which I have, so look at me being a success!

Anywho, I contacted my friend Toni and got Brie cast in the hit show United States of Tara, which led to Short Term 12 which, of course, led to Room … and her Oscar. As you can imagine, I haven’t let her forget that I am integral to all her success.

Given the post-Oscar spike – not enjoyed by my friend Halle Berry or frenemy Nicole Kidman – Brie and I haven’t been able to get together to celebrate her victory / discuss my involvement in the Captain Marvel movie (or as a love interest for Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy – I’m not picky).

It was so wonderful to be able to join together to celebrate our – yes our – wonderful achievements in Room over a rich, festively appropriate Turkey and Brie Larson Pizza.

 

turkey-brie-larson-pizza-1

 

This pizza originally came about due to me needing to work through an over abundance of post-Thanksgiving turkey but after training myself to become a competitive eater, it grew into its own delightful, meatbally delight.

That is a word.

Spicy, tart and a little bit decadent, this is the perfect meal for bridging the gap between holidays and / or eating your feelings.

Enjoy!

 

turkey-brie-larson-pizza-2

 

Turkey and Brie Larson Pizza
Serves: 2-6.

Ingredients
pizza dough (I used the one from Pizsa Zsa Gabor)
passata or tomato paste, with a combination of herbs
500g turkey mince
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
½ cup cranberry sauce
a couple of sage leaves, roughly chopped
100g(ish, no judgement if you want more) brie, roughly sliced

Method
Follow the dough recipe on Zsa Zsa’s recipe.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Combine the mince, cinnamon and garlic in a bowl, and heat a lug of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Pinch out small chunks of meat and add to the pan, not worrying too much about forming them into perfect balls, and cook until completely browned. Add in the cranberry sauce and cook for a further minute and remove from heat.

Once you’ve rolled out the dough and covered it in your herby passata, sprinkle with sage leaves, top generously with meatballs and top with brie.

Pop it straight into the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until the cheese is melted and crisp.

Devour.

 

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