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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Earl Colecano

Baking, Main, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Fiji

Guys, guys, guys, guys, guys, guys, guys, we have a cast! I know we’ve officially known that Aubry, David, Kelley and Joe were Shangela-ing their ways back to the Island known Extinction for a couple of months, but we know who will be joining them!

Can I tell the difference between Chris, Dan or Eric despite one of them being bald? Nope. Do I care and love them all based on nothing else? Sure. Do I want Victoria’s hair? Of course. Are Julie and Reem going to be my fave newbies? Duh. Do I hope that Aubry and Kelley pair up like Aubry, Sandra and Cirie should have in Game Changers? Unequivocally.

Anyway, I have a lot of strong opinions about everything, so it was convenient that I had my dearest friend Earl Cole – the undisputed King of Fiji – drop by to join me and listen. While he wasn’t as opinionated as I was, he did agree that the winner is likely going to be someone that gets voted out pre-merge and manages to woo everyone whilst struggling on the Island Of Extinction.

While I am blindly hoping Aubry finally snatches a win, unless Joe channels Pearl Islands-era Savage, Hatch, Tyson, Locky or the Contenders boys and goes nude. In which case I am all in on him winning.

Given I quickly got thirsty, I needed something bready to sop everything up and distract me with a different kinda of joy. As such I whipped out a Milk Bar – third time this year, I know – Volcano, convenient rebranded as an Earl Colecano.

 

PHOTO 1

 

Like Bagel Bombs and Crack Pie before them, Milk Bar’s volcanoes are insanely addictive and delicious and can warm your soul even through the most brutal of polar vortexes. Creamy, herbed potatoes, sweet onion and a punch of gruyere are all you need to wash your troubles away.

Enjoy!

 

PHOTO 2

 

Earl Colecano
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 recipe Mother Dough, from Katey Sagal Bombs
3 garlic cloves
½ cup double cream
⅓ cup milk
1 bay leaf
1 tsp rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
black pepper
100g streaky bacon, diced and fried until crispy
2 potatoes
vegetable oil
2 red onions, thinly sliced
1 egg, whisked
1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese

Method
Prepare the Mother Dough as per Katey’s recipe – which is totally Christina Tosi’s – and leave to prove.

Meanwhile crush the garlic with a knife and chuck into a saucepan with the cream, milk, bay leaf, rosemary, ½ tsp of salt and a good whack of pepper. Bring it to the boil over medium heat before turning off, covering and leaving to steep for half an hour.

Thinly slice the potatoes and cover with iced water.

Preheat oven to 160C.

Layer the potatoes in a small baking dish, sprinkling with bacon as you go, until you’re out of both. Strain the steeped cream, pour over the potato and transfer to the oven to bake for 45 minutes, or until golden on top and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before covering with foil, topping with weights – aka cans – and transferring to the fridge to set for a couple of hours.

While the potatoes are setting heat a lug of vegetable oil in a small saucepan and add the onions and leave in the pan for a couple of minutes without stirring. After that, reduce heat to low, add the remaining salt and cook for about half an hour, or until soft and caramelly.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Divide the dough into four equal pieces and flatten to form 20cm discs. Split the onions amongst the discs and top with a square of the potatoes. Oh, cut the gratin into squares – there will be left overs and on behalf on Christina, you’re welcome. Fold up the edges and pinch to enclose before rolling into a ball and placing on a lined baking sheet.

Brush the dough with egg and cut a deep X in the top of each. Fill each with a quarter of the cheese, leaving excess to erupt out the top. Transfer to the oven and bake for half an hour, or until golden, brown and the cheese is crispy.

Leave to rest for ten minutes before devouring. If you can.

 

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Lemon Chrisotta Daughertynuts

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Vanuatu - Islands of Fire, Sweets

Another week, another painful wait for a cast announcement. I mean, since the season has already been filmed – not to mention my ability to time travel – I’m totally all over the cast of Edge of Extinction, I feel bad that you’re not in the know. And I can’t give you my sassy hot takes.

I will tease the fact there are three guys, all of whom I love, that I can not tell apart.

A lack of cast however will still not deter me from counting down – and trying to push through my concerns slash the general negative sentiment – to the upcoming season however, so I called my dear friend Chris Daugherty to drop by.

And hot damn, I just realised that this year’s countdown features dates with victors from controversial or low-rated seasons?!

Anyway despite an apparent dislike for Vanuatu as a whole, it is up there with one of the best turnarounds by a winner. Chris went from potentially being the first boot to find himself the last man standing at the final seven before joining with three other outcasts to take control of the game, slaying his biggest threats and taking out victory.

While I was rooting for Eliza when it aired – who I really need to catch one day soon – since she was young and scrappy and I was a teen, there is no denying that Chris deserved victory after overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds.

With that, I finally told him that I was proud of the game he played, asked him to help me figure out a way to identify the three identical strangers of Edge of Extinction and smashed a few Lemon Chrisotta Daughertynuts.

 

 

You know how much I love a creamy filled bun, and these babies sure don’t disappoint. Pillowy dough, tart lemony cheese and a sweet and sour crust? I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lemon Chrisotta Daughertynuts
Serves: 24.

Ingredients
750g flour
150g raw caster sugar, plus ¼ cup for filling
7g dried yeast
1 cup lukewarm milk
⅓ cup buttermilk
3 eggs, at room temperature
30g melted butter, plus extra to coat the ‘nuts
250g ricotta
3 lemons
1 cup caster sugar

Method
Combine flour, 150g raw caster sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook, stir in the milk, buttermilk, 2 eggs, and 30g of melted butter. Attach the hook and knead for five minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove for two hours.

When proving is half an hour from being done, blitz the ricotta with the remaining egg and the juice and zest of two lemons. Chill in a bowl until you’re ready to go.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Knock back the dough, turn onto a lightly floured surface and roll to 3mm thick. Cut into 24 rounds and place a dollop of the ricotta mixture in the centre of each. Fold to enclose, roll into balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Repeat until done, cover and leave to prove for a further hour. Once puffed, transfer to the oven to bake for 10 minutes.

While they’re baking, combine the regular caster sugar with the zest of the remaining lemon.

While the doughnuts are still hot, dip in the butter and toss through the lemon sugar. Then devour.

 

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Jane Crackpieski

Baking, Dessert, Hashbrown: The End, Pie, Sweets

Like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt itself, we’ve reached the end of the road of our farewell celebration – Hashbrown: The End – and I am starting to get a bit misty, which is inappropriate when you’re meant to be honouring a hilarious show. But after catching up with Carol, Dylan, Ellie and Tituss I was too emotional, so I reached out to my dear friend and icon Jane Krakowski to see if she was free to drop by.

And she obviously was, since you’re ready this.

As you know I met future EGOT Jane in the 80s while co-starring in Starlight Express until my before I was callously cut. Thankfully it was Jane’s undying love and support that saw we through the tragic loss of my role of a lifetime.

Given Jane is a damn comedy icon, I try to see her as much as possible however it has tragically been well over two years since we last got together. As soon as she walked through customs I ran into her arms and started sobbing – some say it was because I missed her so, but we both knew that it was because at the close of today Jacqueline Voorhees will go the way of Jenna Maroney. And that is hard for me to deal with.

Unless Teens does reboot 30 Rock, I guess.

Somehow I managed to pull myself together long enough to drive home, go to the fridge and pull out the ultimate comfort food in the form of a Jane Crackpieski.

 

 

I feel like I am on a bit of a Milk Bar kick at the moment, but you know, when it’s right, it’s right. Any everything they do is right, even when it is a mistake. If you don’t know the story, Christina Tosi made the pie for staff dinner and while it was undercooked and she felt it was a dud, they couldn’t stop eating it and an sweet, addictive icon was born – the Crack Pie®.

And if that doesn’t offer you hope in a post-Kimmy Schmidt world, I don’t know what does.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jane Crackpieski
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
Oat Cookie
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
75g muscovado sugar
40g raw caster sugar
1 egg yolk
½ cup flour
120g rolled oats
⅛ tsp baking powder
pinch of baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt

Assembly and filling
180g muscovado sugar, plus 1 tbsp for the base
1 tsp kosher salt, plus ¼ tsp for the base
280g butter, melted – 55g for the base, the rest for the filling
300g raw caster sugar
20g milk powder
24g corn powder
¾ cup double cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
8 egg yolks, separated with military precision
icing sugar, for dusting

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Kick things off by working on the oat cookie. Cream the butter and sugars using the paddle attachment on a stand-mixer on medium-high for 3 minutes or so, or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and add the egg, before increasing speed and beat for a further couple of minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients and using the paddle, mix by hand until moist enough to return to the mixer to beat on low until just combined.

Dollop the mixture onto a lined baking sheet and flatten into a 1cm thick splat. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until caramelised, puffed and firmly set. Allow to cool completely.

When you’re ready to get to work on the final product, preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the cookie in a food processor with a tablespoon of muscovado sugar and ¼ tsp of salt, and blitz until it is the consistency of wet sand. Add 55g of melted butter and blitz until it comes together as a ball. Transfer the ball into a pie dish and firmly pack to cover the edges in an even thickness.

To make the filling, combine the remaining sugars, with the milk powder, corn powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until evenly blended. Still going, add the remaining butter and mix for 3 minutes or until all the ingredients are moist. Add the double cream and vanilla and continuing mixing for 3 minutes, or until completely combined. Scrape down the side and add the egg yolks, mixing on low speed until it is glossy and combined.

Pour the filling into the pie dish and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown but still jiggly.

Open the oven door and reduce the oven temperature to 160°C and close the door once it has cooled to that temperature. Cook for a further ten minutes, or until firming around the edge but jiggly in the centre.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before covering in cling and transferring to the freezer to set. Remove to defrost a couple of hours before you’re ready to serve.

When you’re ready for your mind to be blown, dust with icing sugar, grab a spoon and devour. Greedily. Thankful that we exist at the same time that Milk Bar does.

 

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Tituss Burizo & Chicken Rolls

Hashbrown: The End, Main, Side, Snack, Street Food

Now I know I said I don’t have favourites when I caught up with Carol way back when – you know, before Dylan and Ellie – but there is no denying that Titus is he true heart and soul of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. From scamming Kimmy in the early episodes, to lemonading and fighting with High Schoolers, Titus has my heart. And that is because of the iconic work of my dear friend Tituss.

Oh and it doesn’t help that he was based off me. Thanks Teens!

While I didn’t meet Tituss until he appeared on 30 Rock, I was blown away by his hilarious performance and immediately attached myself to him. And vowed to get him a damn Emmy one of these days.

Despite not making that a reality – yet – Tituss never throws shade at me when we have our monthly catch up to gossip and gulp down as much pinot noir as humanly possible. Which we obvs just refer to as the gossip and gulp date.

In any event, Tituss was thrilled to add another date to our busy dance card, particularly in light of the end of him playing me. As is oft the case, we laughed, we cried – which is becoming more and more prevalent as the end approaches – and gorged on as much comfort food as possible. Like some Tituss Burizo & Chicken Rolls.

 

 

Bet you thought I was going to make a red wine themed meal, no? Well instead of going with the literal interpretation, I instead opted to take another phallic symbol and form it into something just as comforting. And how do you go past smokey sausage wrapped in warm, doughy pastry? You can’t.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tituss Burizo & Chicken Rolls
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
300g raw chorizo, casing removed
300g chicken mince
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 zucchini, grated
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 rosemary sprig, leaves finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
2 sheets puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp sesame seeds

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Combine the chorizo, chicken, onion, garlic, zucchini, carrot and rosemary in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and scrunch with your hands into it comes together in a cohesive ball.

Cut each piece of puff pastry in half and divide the dough into four. Shape into long sausages and place close to a long edge of each piece of pastry. Tightly roll and cut each into 4-6 pieces and transfer to a lined baking sheet, seam side down.

Brush with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until golden, flaky and cooked.

 

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Ellie Kemparmigana Rissoles

Hashbrown: The End, Main

After kicking off my celebration of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Hashbrown: The End –  catching up with Carol and Dylan, I realised that I needed to circle back to the point and celebrate the titular Kimmy. Aka my dear friend Ellie Kemper.

While I haven’t known Ellie as long as some of the other cast members – I met her in 2011 while visiting Melissa on the set of Bridesmaids – we quickly bonded over our passion for writing and became the best of friends.

Despite being a close personal friend of Tina, I shockingly didn’t organise the casting. It was such a delight to pick up the phone from Tina who was giddy to have found her Kimmy, only to discover it was my dearest friend.

I haven’t seen Ellie since the last Emmys – where I refused to believe the news that Kimmy’s end was nigh – so it was wonderful to spend some time together and absorb the fact that this delightful, quirky show is ending and the world will never be the same.

And our hearts will become a blackened void.

Though I guess that’s where my Ellie Kemparmigana Rissoles come into play.

 

 

Chargrilled eggplant topped with a juicy, braised rissole, covered in tomato sauce and cheese? You can’t go wrong, even for the staunchest of anti-eggplanters – the veggie only, obvs – like me.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ellie Kemparmigana Rissoles
Serves: 6-8, depending on the size of your eggplant.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 large eggplant, cut into 1cm slices
1kg beef mince
1 tbsp oregano, chopped
1 tbsp basil, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
⅓ cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups passata
½ cup – or more, obvi – mozzarella cheese, grated

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Place the slices of eggplant on a lined baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Transfer to the oven and bake for half an hour, flipping once. Remove and drain on some kitchen towel.

Reduce oven to 180°C.

Combine the mince, oregano, basil, garlic and parmesan in a bowl and shape into 16 rissoles.

Place the eggplant slices in the bottom of a baking dish and top each with a rissole. Pour over the passata and sprinkle with the mozzarella. Transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until the cheese is golden and the rissoles cooked through.

Serve immediately with a big heaping of Gabriel Mash or on their own. Or with salad. I don’t mind, the most important thing is you devour.

 

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 and Tumblr.