Kristie Belette

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2016), Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap

Say what you will about Kristie’s game, her journey from a paranoid Abi-Maria-lite meltdown on day two, to Samoan sea-witch that laid low to dodge the vote at twenty tribal councils is an impressive feat.

I mean sure, a game littered with big moves is far more exciting for the audience at home – amirite Ciera? – but Kristie was playing with a group largely dominated by castaways like Lee who had barely seen the show and labelled anyone that was actually playing a snake and immediately turned on them. Her only real option was to ride it out being underestimated for as long as should could before making the moves she needed to end up in the Final Two.

And given that she ended up in the Final Two, you’ve got to give her credit despite the large amount of luck involved in her game.

Plus, what she did with her slot in the finals was fascinating to watch. As Lee fumbled and was unsure of what to do, Kristie put her 16 years of watching the show to good use and took responsibility for her game and was assertive and eloquent in explaining why she played the best game given the cards she was dealt.

And thankfully the jury – minus El, obviously – rewarded her for the effort as she was crowned Sole Survivor.

Obviously I have been friends with Kristie for a couple of years, after meeting at an occult convention and eventually starting a wildly unsuccessful witches coven. But maybe that is because I was serving us ritualistic Kristie Belettes which are far more fitting as a victory dessert, rather than an offering to the gods.

 

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Like island living, this dessert is the perfect, rustic treat to serve to someone who would need to acclimate back into real life. You can pretty much make this using any combination of fruit you like or switching out the nuts but there is something I love about the earthy pecans, working with the sweet apple and tart blueberry.

It almost feels, triumphant – enjoy!

 

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Kristie Belette
Serves: 1 Sole Survivor, or 6-8 normal peeps.

Ingredients
½ cup pecans, lightly toasted
1 cup plain flour
2 tsp raw caster sugar for dough, ¼ cup for fruit mixture, plus more for dusting
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 cups blueberries
1 apple, peeled, cored and finely diced
1 tbsp cornflour
1½ tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp milk

Method
Blitz pecans in a food processor to make a coarse meal. Add in the flour, 2 tsp sugar, salt and cinnamon and blitz briefly to mix. Then add butter and you guessed it, blitz again until it resembles wet sand. Kinda like Aganoa after the wave washed out their camp on night one?

Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add in some ice cold water – a tablespoon at a time – and mix until it just comes together. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling wrap and chill for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

While the oven is adding some heat to your life, combine the blueberries, apple, cornflour, lemon juice and ¼ cup sugar in a large bowl. Set aside.

Roll out the dough between two layers of baking paper until it is about a half a centimetre thick disc. Transfer to a lined baking sheet – or you know, flip one of the baking sheets you used to roll the dough over onto said sheet – mound the blueberry-apple mixture in the centre of the dough, leaving a 5cm edge which you then fold over in a rustic fashion, to ensure Kristie isn’t too uncomfortable by the high class of my baking after just escaping the jungle.

Brush said rustic fold with milk, sprinkle with sugar and bake until it is browned and crisp, with a molten berry centre aka 40 minutes. And I say browned, rather than golden because I clearly burnt this. What are you gonna do when you’re sipping mai tais while baking every other day in paradise?

Allow to cool slightly and devour. If it is warm, devour with ice cream – why not, she is our winner after all?

 

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Ham Webb & Pineapple Pizza

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2016), Main, Party Food, Side, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, the alliance annoyed the shit out of Australia for a couple of weeks before Flick dominated, won back my heart and joined with OG Aganoa to vote out Brooke and bring some drama back to the game. Then, of course, we had a non-elimination episode which brought back the boredom. Oh and apparently Sam enjoyed watching El and Lee fall in love on exile and Matt, Flick and Kristie enjoyed the luxury spa reward, though I legit don’t think that was shown.

Anyway, we opened back at the aforementioned spa where the trio plotted the exile crew’s downfall over bruschetta. Considering I made Brookechetta but a few days ago, I assume they are leftovers.

Matt thankfully made himself disappear, allowing Kristie and Flick to cement their twosome and plot the best way for them to play the middle and snag the win. Honestly, how awful would any of the others be as winners? Exactly.

Over on exile, Sam and Lee were very wet before Lee then grabbed Sam’s butt. I mean I hate them as players, but this is the love story I want to see slash would pay a lot of money to watch on the internet.

Sadly they took a break from forcing El to third wheel and went to the seventeenth straight reward challenge where the exile throuple were completely fine having slept on the sand in the rain, thanks for asking and Kristie felt strange about waking up in a bed.

Thankfully the challenge was a smutty dream, with the castaways split into teams and having to pour coconut water into each other’s mouth and spit it into a jar. As you’d expect, Sam was able to fill Lee’s hungry mouth, time and time again, with him never wasting a drop of Sam’s sweet nectar … securing them and El an advantage at the next immunity challenge.

The tribe returned to camp where Lee and El started talking about their relationship, breaking both my and Sam’s heart in the process. I’m obviously not bitter but El is dead to me. I just can’t. Not even. No.

While they were off canoodling, Matt decided to make himself useful and spoke to Sam about voting out one of the duo. Which if Sam is as jealous as I am, and we know he is, he will. After the Bachelor segment ended, we checked in with Kristie who was confused and anxious about who to go with, without realising she would beat anyone left at final tribal. She then broke down and got the pep talk Lee gives me in my dreams. Flick then channelled Kylie by spilling all the goss to El and Lee, however unlike Kylie, Flick was using this as leverage rather being a pawn.

Again, she or Kristie need to win.

We then dropped by the immunity challenge where the castaways had to balance on a triangle in the ocean, with Sam and the lovers getting to start the challenge ten minutes later after winning reward. After a lengthy battle – well, excluding Queen Flick – Lee was able to outlast his ex-boyfriend and current squeeze to win immunity.

They returned to camp where Matt continued to display a lack of awareness but at least knew to target El, Sam continued to quietly follow Matt’s lead – I assume trying to process what exactly the plan was. Meanwhile Lee and El plotted to split the vote with the girls to get out Sam, while the girls then tried to weigh up which was their best option. Kristie and Lee then went for one of their delightful odd couple discussions, where she threw Flick and Matt under the bus, spooking Lee and causing him to – can it truly be – play the game a little bit.

Lee then ran to El, who ran to Flick confusing me as they headed off to tribal where Brooke was looking well pissed from the jury. Matt then opened up tribal giving JoJo a rundown of the schedule for the rest of the game before El stepped up and announced that she would be voting for Sam, who then briefly touched on the fact he had finally started to do what he voted that villainous Nick out of the game for.

After a lengthy back and forth, Lee finally realised he still had his advantage and blocked Sam’s vote – once and for all ending their romance – before the girls ultimately stuck with Leel / Ellee and sent Sam out of the game.

While I question whether Sam had any idea about the game he was playing, we are actually close friends in the real world … where I obviously take advantage of his good nature and skim money from his charity.

The one upside of him not have a great understanding of Survivor, is that he arrived at the Jury Villa with a positive mood. So positive I wasn’t sure if he understood that he had been voted out. Thankfully I had a fresh Ham Webb & Pineapple Pizza on hand for us to devour while I explained to him that he was no longer in the competition.

 

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You may draw conclusions from the fact that I’ve made Sam a pizza that is usually the favourite of children and his intelligence in the game – but we are friends, so I won’t make that inference … just leave you to make it.

At the end of the day though, ham and pineapple pizza is pretty damn amazing, particularly with the addition of chilli. If this is what you get for being dim, sign me up for a lobotomy.

Enjoy!

 

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Ham Webb & Pineapple Pizza
Serves: 1, maybe 2 in a pinch.

Ingredients
1 pizza base, use Zsa Zsa’s recipe darling
4 pineapple rings
1 tbsp chilli flakes
250g leg ham, roughly sliced
½ cup grated mozzarella

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Heat a skillet over high heat and fry the pineapple rings on both sides until caramelised, a couple of minutes maximum. Remove from heat and roughly chop up into caramelised chunks of wonder.

Prepare the base as per the Zsa Zsa recipe, sprinkle over the chilli flakes and top generously with the ham and pineapple. Sprinkle over the cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes or until it is golden and molten. Devour quickly to eat your feelings.

 

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JL Salkeld Caramel

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2016), Condiment, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, the alliance continued to be led by a dominant trio while Matt lacked the self awareness/respect to see that JL was speaking the truth and that he was well and truly on the bottom – not in a good way – before poor Sue found her way out of the game and into the jury.

We arrived back at camp where Matt continued to be deluded, JL scared for her ever more precarious position and Kristie pissed to have received 4/9 votes. Surely that means we are in for a blindside tonight, right?!

Lol – the ads said it, so no.

In the words of my dear Celine Dion, a new day has come and we opened up with the contingent who have never seen an episode going fishing before Lee opened up to Kristie that he was forced to write her name down because that is what his alliance wanted. Thankfully Kristie is aware that this is a game for half a million dollars and knew that this was a possibility and stayed quiet.

At this point, if anyone other than Kristie wins (or Brooke, as the most likeable of the trio), the season is a waste.

Kristie then approached JL, knowing that since they are the only two – outside of Brooke – with a brain, that they need to make a move and convince the idiots to do something – ANYTHING – to save what started out as a promising season.

Thankfully the power trio then started talking to JL about the fact that they would have to start turning on people – aka the basic premise of Survivor – giving me hope. Misplaced hope probably, but hope nonetheless.

Sam then decide to take a leaf out of that evil snake Nick’s book and commenced plotting the downfall of El and Lee, aka two of his four closest allies … leading to old Saanapu proclaiming that literally doing the bare minimum, is the biggest move of Survivor in all time.

Remember when Craig, Phoebe and even – I hate myself – Andrew were in the game? Who would have thought Andrew was part of the gold old days era?!

We arrived at the immunity challenge where Flick acknowledged that they have to vote people out and JL noted she is fucked if she doesn’t win. So obviously, she didn’t win – Brooke did – but more shockingly Dim Sam was smart enough to do well in an intelligence/memory challenge.

Sam.

Sam Webb with a half-sleeve tattoo of a web like it is witty.

Yep.

The tribe arrived back at camp to commence scrambling, however considering the dominant alliance all applauded and congratulated Brooke upon her victory, it was looking more likely that JL’s promise to not go down without a fight, will still end up with her going down.

Aside, remember Kat? So great. Her hat was more strategic than half the remaining cast.

Two that were smarter than her hat, JL and Kristie, went to find a way out of their hole by playing up their pawn status, Flick and Brooke were feeling bad about having to turn on El and Lee to win – although highly likely, NOT TODAY – and JL told El that she needed to do something if she wants to win.

We then arrived at tribal where JL continued to call out the tribal dynamics and position herself as a valuable number. Lee and Brooke then scoffed at the money, begging the question why the hell do you play if you don’t want to win? Matt then pretended he knows about strategy, El made me pray for that blindside and Lee edged towards losing my love completely and Flick took JL’s bait and announced that their is a smaller alliance within the boring alliance, hopefully waking up El and Lee.

Sadly, despite all of her hard work and Flick’s massive misstep, JL found her way out of the game and into my loving arms.

As we are both Queensland based writers, JL and I have enjoyed a close relationship for many years after meeting at law school where I was mock Annalise-ing my way through a scam. Yes I was found out, but JL is kind, loyal and knows that building friendships with story generators is good for a writer, so we remained very close. The only thing sweeter than our friendship is my Jennah-Louise aka JL Salkeld Caramel … which is coincidentally, what I made her to dull the pain of joining the jury and celebrate her status as the last remaining Vavau.

 

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There is truly nothing better than a salted caramel. I mean, pause, think about it …

Welcome back! How amazing is it? Sweet, salty and smooth – it is life affirming and delicious and uplifts everything it touches.

Hyperbole? Never – try it and see for yourself. Enjoy!

 

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JL Salkeld Caramel
Makes: 500mL … ish. Well technically I guessed the size of the jar, it could be a tablespoon given my spacial awareness.

Ingredients
2 cups raw caster sugar
180g unsalted butter, at room temperature and diced
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tbsp maldon salt

Method
Melt the sugar over medium-high heat in a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan, stirring minimally. Every recipe calls for something different at this stage, but I get too paranoid it will burn if I don’t stir, so do what feels right?

Once the sugar has dissolved, let it bubble away until it turns an amber colour, at which point add the butter and whisk like crazy. It will steam, spit and get angry – kind of like me at any given moment – but in the words of Dory, just keep whisking … until all the butter is combined.

Remove the caramel from the heat, slowly adding the cream – again while whisking, avoiding the rage of the caramel. Stir until combined before whisking in the salt.

Set aside to cool for about half an hour before decanting into a jar / your mouth.

No judgement.

If you refrigerate, you’ll need to heat it – very carefully – before use.

 

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Tomato Soup Clarke

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2016), Main, Side, Snack, Soup, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, the tribe were paranoid after Nick pointed out the bleedingly obvious except for Kylie who blindly followed Brooke and Flick who got more cocky by the second and JL returned from her six week absence to win immunity before Kylie found her trust misplaced and herself out of the game.

To the joy of everyone, who did not miss her despite the fact she was a loving lapdog for the last 40 days.

Thankfully JL is making the most of her return and is reiterating what Kate and Nick said on their way out days ago – it is time to make a move and fight the power. Or something, I’m not getting my hopes up as the last six episodes have been about someone fighting the dominant alliance … only for nothing to happen.

The next day the unholy trinity met in the water for Flick and Brooke to strategise about getting rid of the boys while El did her thing and agreed with everything that was said. JL, meanwhile continued to make the most of her second chance and went to Kristie to turn the tide against the girls and actually play for herself. Then – wait for it – she approached Sue and Sam in front of everyone at camp, while Flick stared at her with more anger than my resting bitch face.

While I was hopeful that with Kylie gone the girls wouldn’t have a snitch, Matt took everything that JL had then told him – which was true and he knew it – back to Brooke. After such a triumphant episode yesterday, I’m back to hating him. Obviously this annoyed the girls and they set their sights on JL, but more importantly Brooke allowed El to tell the story and feel like she was contributing to life. Their arrogance then went overboard and I’m back to wishing for their downfalls, even though they’re the only people that have played consistently the entire game.

I’m looking at you, disappearing JL.

Finally JoJo arrived to give us some more ball action for a spitSunday roast. Sue was given the joy of sitting out of the reward and gambling for the win. Given one team had an ex-cricketer who is also experienced with my balls, she rightfully backed the winning team and got to reap the rewards of their hard work.

While the cool kids and Sue were enjoying their reward, JL got to work on wooing the sole cool kid left at camp, Flick, to consider booting Brooke, who let’s be honest will beat both her and El. The next day, JL was further on the outs with the girls now straight up ignoring her after Matt continued his assault on my sanity after telling the girls everything she had said to Flick while they were away on reward. Seriously Matt, your actions make me feel bipolar – stop.

We arrived at the next immunity challenge where the tribe had to stand on their toes and keep a block balanced between their head and a plank above – sounds boring, looks boring, genuinely difficult. Thankfully JL, the one most in need of immunity won the challenge meaning the girls had to find a new target heading into tribal.

The tribes returned to camp with the absolute shits due to JL’s victory before focusing on voting out their alliance member Matt, while JL and Sue took the time to talk smack about Matt and mock his game. Sadly, obviously, making him safe. Right on cue, the alliance then had a change of heart and decided, quite rightfully, that Sue was the next biggest threat and needed to go, and opted to split the vote between her and Kristie.

Matt then continued to show his mentalist abilities and pressed his alliance to split the vote, repeatedly, in front of Kristie … despite knowing that they were splitting the vote on her. Unless we later learn this was his move to save Kristie, this was moronic. Thankfully JL and Sue continued to show that they were the true brains, planning to throw their votes on Kristie in the hope that split happens and they can force her out of the game.

We finally made it to tribal for JoJo to put us out of our misery. Well JL actually did the job, when she opened tribal by reading Matt for absolute filth and then berated him in front of the entire tribe, impressing the jury and making him look like a dweeb.

Yes, I say dweeb now.

Wanting in on the action, JoJo then jumped on the bandwagon and started to help JL twist the knife in and rub his face in it. JLP, you beautiful bastard – finally your heavy handed approach to tribal is paying off. Flick then admitted she would need to flip to get to the end, then said she doesn’t want anyone to flip, then Sue jumped in and commenced reading the trio of girls, pointed out the entire pecking order and questioned their every refute. Thankfully Sam was still around to make no sense and not understand the game. Sadly his presence was to the detriment of Sue’s game, who made her way out of the game into my loving/frustrated arms.

I first met Sue while she was working in customs – she broke up my budgie smuggling ring and sent me to prison for a decade. Being kind, Sue responded to my prison letters and we developed a bond while she tried to help me get my life back on track.

Obviously that all occurred over a piping hot bowl of Tomato Soup Clarke, my prison weapon of choice.

 

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While I’m a huge fan of some Big Red, I’d always wanted to try making my own tomato soup and thankfully the warmth of Sue’s kitchen showed me the light and gave me the confidence to try. Warm, rich and everything Big Red isn’t, in the best way possible.

No shade to Big Red though, I love it and would be their spokesperson in a heartbeat. Enjoy!

 

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Tomato Soup Clark
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1.5kg Roma tomatoes, halved
pinch of raw caster sugar
olive oil
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
50g unsalted butter
2 onions, roughly diced
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped, roughly
4 garlic cloves, bruised and chopped in half
400g can – chopped – tomatoes, how much do I love chopped things in this recipe
2 tbsp sundried tomato paste
2 bay leaves
small bunch of basil, leaves removed with some kept aside to garnish
4 cups vegetable stock
handful small buffalo mozzarella, torn

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Place the Roma tomatoes, cut-side up, on a baking tray like they are going to sunbake in the oven, rather than die. Top with sugar, drizzle with oil and season with a good whack of salt and pepper before roasting for half an hour or so, or until softened and starting to caramelise.

Remove from the oven and add their children  – aka cherry tomatoes – to the tray and bake for a further 15 minutes to ensure you’ve wiped the entire family from existence. Remove from the oven and allow to cook.

While the tomato corpses are chilling, melt the butter over medium heat in a large pan with a good lug of olive oil. Cook the remaining vegetables for a couple of minutes, until softened. Stir through the canned tomatoes and paste before adding the bay leaves, basil, stock and cooked – read, dead – tomatoes.

Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for half an hour or until tender.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before blitzing. Once as smooth as Santana feat. Rob Thomas, return to the heat and cook  for a couple of minutes before adjusting the seasoning.

Generously serve amongst the bowls and top with the torn mozzarella and reserved basil. Devour.

 

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Nick Iadanzipasto Platter

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2016), Main, Party Food, Side, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, the minority alliance once again tried to overcome the supermajority, El won immunity and Kate put in a dominant tribal council performance before ultimately being eliminated as the final pre-jury player.

Can we agreed that losing the last four boots just plain sucked?

We opened back up with the three leaders – El, Brooke and Flick – irritated by Sam for stepping out of line at last night’s tribal before Nick tried to throw himself a pity party, annoying Sam and Lee further. The next day Nick continued to drown in his self-pity while Flick continued to stew in her rage. So yeah, they’re really fun this episode.

Thankfully Brooke was more rational and spoke to Sam – oh wait, she too is not over it – before the El comforted Nick who was now painting tribal council as a series of personal attacks.

After a brief and – at the risk of sounding out of character – sweet, genuine emotional display from Nick, we then arrived at a reward challenge involving a series of rings and pegging – no joke – for letters from home.

Despite squandering the lead for his team, Nick secured victory before Kristie and El gave up their reward for Matt and Flick respectively. Kristie made sense, given she is playing the middle to perfection … and considering the fact that she won her letter simply by backing the winning team but El’s selflessness seemed pointless as Flick would stick with her anyway.

The victors then arrive at their reward for a cup of tea and their love where Sam started out by sounding like he was reading for the first time ever, Matt was endearing, Flick sweet, Kylie heartwarming, Lee babin’ / heartbreakin’ and Nick – again, shudder – genuine.

Guess I’ll keep waiting for that damn blindside, right?

They then joined the losers where Matt pledged to stick by Kristie due to her kindness – well played Kristie. Nick then approached Lee to sort through their issues, finishing with Lee apologising, while Nick then confronted Sam who seemed less into buying what Nick was selling.

Finally we made our way to the much touted record breaking challenge, made famous by Ozzy Lusth, where they all had to hold onto a big pole. Seriously, are they just trying to win me over with challenges with smutty connotations?

Anyway after almost six hours on the pole, Brooke bartered with JoJo for her letter from home before stepping off and giving Kylie immunity … sending Nick into panic mode.

They returned to camp where Brooke took the opportunity to read her letter, giving off a hint of a winner edit … meaning I’ve now claimed a winner edit for most of the people left in the game meaning I should be correct, once. Maybe.

After the brief emotional interlude, the scrambling began with Nick telling Matt and Kylie to split the vote between Sue and Kristie, while Sam again lead the charge to get rid of Nick before confusing everyone with who would be throwing votes on Sue in case of an idol.

The tribe then arrived at tribal confused as to what their plans were before JoJo made Brooke feel awkward for proclaiming she was 90% safe, then Matt offered up that he was feeling 99% confident making Nick paranoid enough to call out his closest allies before Sam once again started laying into Nick … and then Nick commenced echoing Kate, calling out the alliance and outlining the hierarchy. Like Kate, it was all for nought as Nick was booted from the tribe to become the first member of the jury.

Now I know I have been hard on Nick these last couple of weeks but he is actually a dear, dear friend of mine after we met at university where – you guessed it – I was running a scam as a lecturer. Fun fact, my teaching methods actually inspired the character of Mr G.

Nick could see through my scam and worked with me to sort out my life. He is a really great guy and despite being labelled a snake on the show, he couldn’t be sweeter – he was playing hard and it was easier for people to label him as a villain to get ahead.

While he was disappointed to exit the game, making the jury was more than enough for him to get down celebrating over a big Nick Iadanzipasto Platter.

 

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Less a recipe and more of a guide, an antipasto should be packed full of delicious meats, cheeses and vegetables that you love, eaten greedily with a generous glass of wine.

Or bottle. Enjoy!

 

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Nick Iadanzipasto Platter
Serves: 4-6, greed dependent.

Ingredients
buffalo mozzarella balls, torn in chunks
sliced prosciutto
jarred – not judgement – roasted artichokes, drained
sundried tomatoes, drained
chargrilled peppers, drained
mixed olives
cherry tomatoes, quartered
fresh basil, leaves picked
clove garlic, cut in half
ciabatta, sliced

chilli flakes

Method
Place the ingredients around the board based on your preferred aesthetic, sprinkle with the basil leaves and chilli.

Toast the ciabatta, rub with the cut garlic and drizzle with oil.

Add the toast to the board and devour. Or you know, just devour.

 

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Stuffed Kate Campbell Peppers

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2016), Main, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, the tribes merged forming the new Fia Fia tribe before Brooke dominated at the first individual immunity challenge and Sue told her fellow minority members that they’d be safe if they stuck together. They then all literally voted for a different person and Conner went home.

We opened back up with Flick and Brooke feeling confident after tribal thanks to being in the mega-majority of nine – let’s hope you’re on the right side within that group … and the group within that one, girls – while Kate and Sue were rightfully feeling screwed.

To quote Keith Nale, maybe you should have stuck to the plan and Kylie/Sam may have switched?

The next day the tribe opted to undertake some camp renovations, I assume to eat into the audience of their rival – the terribleThe Block.

Either way, sweet Kate then cornered Kylie and tried to commence a good old fashioned battle between good and evil, deciding that the key to her safety was pulling in the kind, good sports. Yeah it could be boring, but wouldn’t another Nick blindside be delightful?

To help thicken the plot, Brooke and Flick dragged El into their confidence as they plotted the downfall of the minority. Just putting it out there, 9 vs. 3 shouldn’t really call for this much plotting. While Kate continued her fight, going to Sam and Lee and became a less arrogant version of Spencer and drew out the hierarchy in the sand in the hope they’ll buy that they are at the bottom and will flip.

Sorry, where was I? I just said Sam, Lee, bottom and flip, and now I’m distracted.

Anyway, we were then treated to a delightful display of gender stereotyping while the girls primped and preened before Sam and Lee finally started earning their keep and got to work wooing Kristie to their side to blindside Nick. Meanwhile out in the water Nick, Flick, JL and Brooke continued plotting to get out Kate. Though is it plotting if that is the plan every time we check in? I guess it takes time to get to your entire alliance when it is most of the tribe.

Finally JoJo arrived for the next immunity challenge to change the narrative. While it is good that it is about balls, it looks really difficult and has a menacing sound and is making me anxious. After a surprisingly long and gripping challenge – shit, am I Probst? – El continued the female dominance, taking out the ball challenge over a former professional cricketer.

Back at camp, shit started to hit the fan in earnest with the majority applauding El’s immunity win before they quickly locked in their votes on Kate and Sue while Sam’s winner edit finally kicked in as he worked hard to axe Nick and take control of his own game.

Then Kylie happened and spilled all to Brooke … who ran to Flick, turning the girls against Sam. While I truly want Nick out, that is a surprisingly good move on Kylie’s part. The girls then confronted Sam – changing their mind from earlier – before storming away from the conversation as they headed out to tribal.

JoJo had barely started to question the castaways before all hell started to break loose with Flick calling out the scrambling, Kate calling out the majority, Kylie trying to diffuse the situation and Kate taking a leaf out of Ciera’s book, calling out the majority and telling the passive players to start playing the game … before ultimately calling out Nick. Then Sam jumped on board, calling Nick a snake, Nick was passive aggressive about people being pious while Lee started groaning and was over the drama.

After all the drama, Kate had a shit eating grin as they headed out to vote however after everyone laid into Nick, he played his idol and guaranteed that is was Kate going out of the game and just missing the jury.

I’ve known Kate for years – as you can probably guess, I was involved in the boating accident so can’t really talk about the early days of our friendship – and she has always had such a wonderful attitude and never gives up. Despite not getting to experience the joy of making the jury – like a young, female Andrew Savage – she did get to experience my Stuffed Kate Campbell Peppers, and that was a win for her.

 

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Spicy, sweet and hearty – these babies are everything you need to eat through the pain of just missing the final stage of the game.

Enjoy!

 

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Stuffed Kate Campbell Peppers
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 large red capsicums
extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
500g lean beef mince
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp chilli flakes
2 tsp cumin
½ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
½ cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
400g can chopped tomatoes
½ cup long grain white rice
200g feta, crumbled

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Cut the tops off the capsicums – reserving for later – and remove the seeds and membrane, and stand on a baking paper-lined baking dish.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened – about five minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or so and it is nice and fragrant.

Add the mince and cook for five minutes, breaking up with a wooden spoon as you go. Add the herbs, tomato, rice, ½ cup of cold water and a good whack of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken. Remove from heat and stir through the feta.

Divide the mixture between capsicums, top with the capsicum lids, drizzle with oil and bake for 45 minutes or until capsicums have softened and skins start to get rich and blistered.

 

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Arroz Conner Pollo Bethune

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2016), Main, Poultry, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor – yes, I have to stipulate that now – Vavau neared extinction after the tribes absorbed resulting in major casualties in sweet, angel Craig and Aganoan goddess Phoebe.

We opened up right on schedule with the melancholic Vavau tribe, now down to three comparing their level of skeletal-ness. I literally can not pick a winner of this competition though.

Thankfully the tribes convened for what they thought was their next challenge where the Vavauns were surprised to discover they’ve been saved from themselves as the tribes actually merged and were treated to the Survivor Auction.

Conner walked away with the first two items, blowing all his money in the process, Sam bought some mediocre looking nachos, Brooke got a very cheap bath – why did no one bid against her? – while Lee got the ultimate prize – an advantage – for only $80, before Nick paid $440 for a covered item … which also turned out to be an advantage in the game.

The tribe arrived at their new camp, the former Vavau tribe, which made the old Saanapuans wistful for their days of opulence over at their camp. Instead they were stuck in the Survivor slums which Kristie and Phoebe attempted to burn to the ground but a week ago.

They immediately got to work scrambling as one tribe, with Flick leading the charge against Conner while Sue rallied the counter alliance to topple Saanapu. I’m not sure who should tell them the immunity challenge hadn’t even occurred yet?

Lee then disappeared to the well to discover his advantage, which is to block someone voting at tribal council.

Nick then disappeared to the well, at a different time, where he discovered he paid $360 more than Lee for an idol clue rather than a guaranteed advantage. Thankfully he found the idol … however sadly it was just after being sprung by Lee who is now wary of him.

The dominant alliance then found a pink piece of cloth and decided friendship bracelets were the best way to highlight the pecking order before they arrived at their first individual immunity challenge.

Sadly I was not competing as I would have dominated, I’ve never met someone that grips a pole quite like me!

After what seemed like an eternity, the poles got wet and slippery – according to JoJo, I didn’t actually see rain and think he was just feeling inspired by Probsty – before Kylie’s memory lapsed and Brooke took out immunity.

We returned to camp for the actual scrambling where we were reintroduced to Flick who seems to struggle with pronunciation before Nick got to work over-explaining a vote split, Sam worked his way into my good books by trying to turn it on Nick and Sue got to work dominating with a plan to screw Nick’s split vote.

The tribe – oh did I mention they called themselves Fia Fia? They did – arrived at tribal with me quite confused as to what would happen. Flick was confident, Nick was quietly confident and Conner was trying his best to throw the target on to someone else.

Anyone.

JoJo then opted to call out the friendship bracelets and attempted to throw them all under the bus as we headed into the vote, however poor Conner ran out of luck and found himself voted out.

While I’m sad that Sue’s plan didn’t come to fruition just for Nick’s tantrum alone, Conner was a legitimate threat and made sense however telling him how much of a scrappy underdog he was, isn’t what he wanted to hear as he stepped out of the game.

I’ve recently been teaching law in Canberra which is where I connected with Conner – seriously, why universities continue to hire me is beyond puzzling. As you can tell from the game, Conner is perceptive and could pick up on the fact I was not a qualified lawyer or professor. Despite this, his kind heart got in the way and we started a friendship despite his better judgement.

Thankfully for him though, that friendship meant I knew exactly what he needed as he exited the game – his favourite, my Arroz Conner Pollo Bethune.

 

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Hearty, warm, spicy and soothing – this dish is the epitome of comfort food while also packing a punch. Delicate saffron, a kick of cumin and the tart olives? Enjoy!

 

arroz-conner-pollo-bethune-2

 

Arroz Conner Pollo Bethune
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
½ cup white wine, or as much as your drinking allows
pinch of saffron threads
6 chicken thighs fillets, diced
1 onion, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground sweet paprika
400g can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 dried bay leaves
1 ½ cups short-grain rice
3 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed
1 cup pitted green olives, rinsed and drained
½ cup chargrilled capsicum, drained and roughly chopped
¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Combine the wine and saffron in a bowl and allow to steep.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat and add the onion and garlic and sweat for a couple of minutes before adding the chicken with a good whack of salt and pepper and cook until browned.

Reduce the heat to low and add the tinned tomatoes and paste and cook stirring for a minute. Add the wine/saffron and bay leaves and cook until reduced slightly, about five-ten minutes.

Stir in the rice and stock, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and cover, cooking for about half an hour stirring occasionally. Or until the liquid has all absorbed.

Remove from the heat, stir through the olives and capsicum and leave to stand for about ten minutes.

Then serve and devour.

 

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Phoebe Gratimmins

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2016), Side, Snack, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor, Phoebe and Kristie pulled off a killer blindside on Craig – for which Kristie was robbed of an Emmy – before Phoebe attempted to throw her only ally under the bus after Vavau lost immunity. Again. Thankfully for our budding actress instead of voting out a tribe member in front of a Saanapuan, their rival was able to kidnap a tribe member, making the battle now four to ten after Brooke took Sue.

We opened up back at Saanapu where Brooke filled the tribe in on all the Phoebe intel – which JoJo kindly threw out there at tribal – while Sue tried to find her footing despite knowing she was the taken to be an easy boot if they lost.

Remember the good old days of triumphant, happy Vavau? The feels. Current flailing, sad Vavau arrived back from tribal where Kristie was relieved to still be in the game thanks to the twist, though lacked the awareness to know that Phoebe well and truly does not have her back.

The next day Phoebe checked in with Kristie to make sure she was buying her loyalty before the camp literally caught on fire. Kristie – this is a sign from the island. Surprisingly it was Kristie that put it out, despite the fact she is oft edited to appear like a serial killer.

Over on Saanapu poor Sue woke up to her new reality, hanging clothes and clearing the air with her fellow ex-Vavauns. Well, Nick – she and Jennah-Louise didn’t have beef. Nick had his cranky pants on and Sue tried to calm him but didn’t seem to really give a shit about his tude. She may not be very visible but I love her.

The tribes then reconvened with JoJo for the immunity challenge where Vavau were emulating the great Aitu Four, mainly due to the fact that they are grossly outnumbered and soon to become Twolong.

In addition to immunity, the tribes were competing for the Hungry Jack’s breakfast menu by a waterfall.

After a tight battle – where the tribes had to rub (around) a pole, navigate a beam, tease another pole and work some hard stumps – Sam hurt his pole but not his pride with Saanapu pulling out a come from behind victory.

While at this point we are normally treated to a dejected Vavau, we trundled off to reward with Saanapu to ensure that we all knew that the burgers truly are better at Hungry Jack’s. Now with real coffee. Corporate sponsorship aside, Sue was happy, so I’m happy. Of course Nick continued to play the loudest, tiny violin and promised her downfall. Which obviously ain’t happening.

Finally we get to see Vavau return to camp for their annual scramble where Conner and Kate mixed things up and exchanged trust. Despite the scene being extremely corny, it warmed my cold heart and makes me want them to become the Australian Romber.

With the pleasantries out of the way, they connected with Phoebe and reconfirmed last night’s plan to boot Kristie. Obviously that gave Phoebe the opportunity to once again attempt to keep Kristie from getting paranoid, except this time it made her paranoid. She then approached Kate who threw Phoebe under the bus, igniting a fire in Kristie like the one she and Phoebe lit at camp earlier.

After working Kate and Conner to her side and giving another award winning performance with Phoebe, Kristie cryptically danced around JoJo’s questions at tribal before taking out – finally – Phoebe.

I first connected with Phoebe while she was attending Law School where I was, obviously, in the midst of one of my institutional lecturing scams. Despite running the course like a young, less interesting – and surprisingly, less murdery – Annalise Keating, Phoebe and I grew close.

I assume she was fascinated by my complex mind and she is treating me like a study, but alas, that is a story for another time. Phebs was in good spirits upon arriving at loser lodge, despite just being the victim of a blindside AND just missing the actual merge and now risks losing her boyfriend.

I don’t want to oversell it now, but I completely put her positive mood down to my Phoebe Gratimmins.

 

phoebe-gratimmins-1

 

Creamy, warm and soothing, it is everything you need to lift your spirits after exiting the game you’ve dominated – completely – for a month.

Well played Phebs, you’ll be missed while on the loser vacay.

Enjoy!

 

phoebe-gratimmins-2

 

Phoebe Gratimmins
Serves: 4-6, as a side. 1 after finding out you just missed the merge.

Ingredients
1kg potatoes, washed
300ml milk
300ml double cream
4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed
1 onion, finely diced
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
⅓ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C.

Combine the milk and cream in a large saucepan, add the garlic, thyme and onion, and slowly cook over low heat. When it is about to reach boiling point, remove it from the heat, add the nutmeg and keep warm.

Thinly slice the potatoes and layer in a medium baking, slightly overlapping around the edges. Lightly season and repeat until half the potato is gone. Top with half the fragrant dairy mix, spreading out the chunks of garlic and herbs as you go.

Layer the rest of the potatoes, top with the rest of the cream/milk, scatter over the cheese and bake for an hour or so. Or until the potatoes are golden and tender.

Leave to stand for five/ten minutes before devouring.

 

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Craig I’Anson-in-law Eggs

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2016), Main, Party Food, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, after Vavau lost yet another immunity challenge Kate and Craig flipped sending deadweight Andrew and his white male privilege / self-importance out of the game.

For once we opened up at Saanapu where, to be honest, I have no idea what was happening. Kylie wanted to sleep with the tribe, Matt got upset and I wish Probst was here to provide some smutty commentary. The next day we continued to buck tradition and continued with Saanapu where Matt explained that Kylie chucked a shit for trying to sleep in the shelter for the first time in 26 days. While I wouldn’t exactly call it a crime, she was playing the victim so I get why people were irritated.

Finally we caught up with Vavau after the triumphant outsing of King Douche where Conner was freaking out about Kate’s flip, despite it being a move that both she and Craig made. Thankfully they had a chat and Kate was able to smooth things over with the help of some – I assume – crocodile tears. Well played Kate. With that they reaffirmed that Phoebe was the target, while she reaffirmed that she’s playing hard to stay and would find a crack to get the numbers.

Phoebe and Kristie then took to playing with machete while Craig went searching for the non-existent idol, much to their delight. It felt a bit American Psycho of them, to be honest. After the casual gloating, Phoebe then started working on Conner to get him to spill to her if she was ever the target. What is with Conner falling for the girls’ stories?

Over on Saanapu Lee and Sam attempted to channel Rupert Boneham / Ozzy (althought less porn-y) with the Hawaiian sling … with the success of say, Cochran. Thankfully the girls turned the scene around by lecherously watching Lee fish before Matt slut-shamed Brooke and caused another rift in the tribe.

Call me crazy but Vavau may win a challenge tonight with this Saanapu shit? Also, is Nick alive or did I miss something?

And just like that JoJo puts in some face time at the immunity challenge, proving that Nick is still alive and giving me the chance to launch my celebrity psychic career.

With that, they started flicking balls at each other before working a pole while avoiding low-hanging, swinging sacks and lining up balls on a wall. Probst would have had a field day.

Sadly my psychic career ended as quickly as it began with Vavau losing the challenge and returning to their second favourite place, tribal council.

Back at camp Conner took responsibility for the loss, while Phoebe and Kristie got to work planning for tribal council and figuring out how best to play the idol. Conner then made a great decision and told Phoebe she was the target, making her job a whole lot easier. I mean, he is sure she doesn’t have the idol, so that’s cool! Kristie then gave a great performance lamenting the loss of Phoebe to Vavau, knowing that she and Phoebe had again pulled off the impossible.

They arrived at tribal without us knowing who Phoebe and Kristie were targeting, meaning their plan is guaranteed to work. Add to that the emotional music when Craig started talking and I’m starting to get worried for their only challenge asset.

After polling the tribe about whether they were confident they knew who would be going tonight  – to which they all agreed – they went to vote, Phoebe played her idol and Craig found his way to my warm embrace in loser lodge, surprising everyone.

His boot, not my lecherous hold obviously.

As we’re both from Australia’s largest small town, Brisbane, I’ve known Craig for years and have enjoyed a very close friendship despite his passion for Pokémon. Call me crazy, I’m far more interested in poking a man – given we share that interest, we were able to remain the best of friends despite … Pokémon.

Craig was heartbroken to find himself idoled out of the game but as a fan of the game, he was able to appreciate that his boot was special and his outsing would cause a national outrage. Wanting to cheer him up I got to work whipping up a batch of my Craig I’Anson-in-law Eggs.

 

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While these babies are – and to be honest, I think they are – from Thailand and I’m guessing Pokémon is Japanese, I thought these were throwing Craig enough of a bone to keep him happy.

Not that way sickos. Although these eggs are sticky, sweet, salty and spicy … so yep, enjoy!

 

craig-i-anson-in-law-eggs-2

 

Craig I’Anson-in-law Eggs
Serves: 2 as a main with rice, 6-12 as yum cha.

Ingredients
6 eggs, at room temperature
½ cup vegetable oil, to fry
¼ cup shallots, thinly sliced on an angle
handful Thai basil leaves
handful coriander leaves
2 tbs fried shallots
1 long fresh red chilli, thinly sliced diagonally

Caramel
1 cup muscovado sugar, I have an aversion to palm oil and assume the sugar is just as bad
½ cup water
2 tbsp tamarind concentrate
1 tbsp tamari
1 stem lemongrass, bruised, cut into 5cm pieces
thumb piece of ginger, finely grated
1 tsp dried chilli flakes

Method

Boil the eggs in a saucepan of boiling water until soft boiled aka about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water for five minutes before peeling carefully and setting aside to rest on a paper towel.

Meanwhile, get cracking on the caramel by dissolving the sugar in the water over medium heat, obviously in a saucepan. Cook for a couple of minutes before adding the tamarind, tamari, lemongrass and ginger. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and allow to boil away from about five minutes or until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat, stir in chilli flakes and keep warm.

Now start work on the eggs – I mean, seriously this feels like a lot of work but it isn’t – heat the oil in a wok over high heat and fry each for a few minutes until golden, crisp and delightful. Drain on paper towel and repeat until done.

Slice the eggs in half, scatter on a plate and drizzle with copious amounts of the caramel. Garnish with the shallots done two ways, the herbs and chilli before devouring with rice.

 

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Parmesandrew Torrens Crisps

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2016), Party Food, Side, Snack

Previously on Survivor, Phoebe found her second idol of the game before Andrew continued to butcher colloquialisms and gave up on the challenge sending Vavau back to tribal council where my dear, sweet angel Kat went home.

We opened back up with Andrew gloating about surviving tribal council and then proceeded to throw a Hantz-esque tantrum over the two votes – out of eight – cast against him and be altogether terrible.

The next morning Kate woke up the tribe and once again channelled OG-angel Joe and led the team in some yoga in the hope that the could find that spark to win a challenge.

Obviously that pissed off Andrew, though being smarter than the rest of the castaways he knew to play along and be a team player. Being Andrew, he did a terrible job and Kate could see through his shit.

Over on Saanapu, the tribe worked overtime to keep Heinz from ever considering sponsoring the program, before Matt led the charge to save the chicken. So he is the second coming of Tai, I guess. This obviously pissed off Nick – who in his defence made some great points like how can a man that once had 65 kilos of chicken nuggets in their fridge now be morally opposed to chicken … particularly when starving – who set about trying to turn one of Matt’s closest allies against him.

I lack confidence. Not as little confidence as I have in Andy being tolerable, but I still don’t like his chances.

We then arrived at the reward challenge where Saanapu tried to follow in the hallowed San Juan Del Sur tradition by attempting to trade out their egg laying chickens for some bananas and rice. Sadly JoJo said no to their moronic offer before heading into the challenge, where the tribes have to chase each other around a ring until one catches the other.

Despite Kate and Craig’s best efforts – oh and Andy’s useful strategic support from the sidelines – Vavau once again lost the challenge. Thankfully though Lee didn’t lose his life when Sam started dragging him around by his neck.

Saanapu returned to camp to devour their chocolate reward and thankfully offered proof that Lee did not suffer major spinal injuries. After downing a shit tonne of chocolate the tribe then decided now was the time to free two of their three chickens. This is the point where people need to remember not to make any major decisions while on a sugar high.

Back on Vavau Andrew continued to be insufferable as the tribe complained about their losing ways. While they were sick of losing, Andrew apparently loves attending tribal, hopefully, surely – PLEASE – setting up his impending downfall.

We quickly arrived at the immunity challenge where two members of each tribe had to hold a net the longest, while the other tried filled them with coconuts. So as much as I need Andy gone, it is finally a challenge Vavau can win as he is barely involved. Right?

Oh wait, spoke too soon. After dawdling his way around the course while everyone else ran around to get coconuts to up the weight, Craig and Sue were unable to hold on. Considering Flick’s basket was empty on account of Andy’s slow saunter and terrible throws, you’d hope she is able to take it out.

Back at camp, Vavau did what they do best and scrambled hard. Obviously Andrew is still confident in his control, making him safe as he thrust the target firmly upon Kristie. Kate then pulled Craig aside to try and flip the vote on Andrew while he slinked about in the shrubs like a less physical Sandra Diaz-Twine. Andrew then ran to Connor to firm up his allegiance on the Kristie vote and before going to Kristie to try and flip the vote on Kate.

Thankfully he gave yet another grab about being the puppetmaster filling me with hope for his downfall as the heading to tribal. Sadly for the NRA he only used one gun reference.

At tribal Jonathan seemed to be as disappointed with Andrew as the rest of the country, while Phoebe and Kristie seemed oddly comfortable, Sue pleaded for loyalty and Kate said some things that made Andy nervous…and I assume arrogant. Thankfully the fall finally followed his pride as Kate and Craig flipped and sent him into my cold arms at loser lodge.

As you can probably tell, Andy and I are not close, having been feuding non-stop for the past decade or so after he bought the last fedora in the shop while we were friends. Jason Mraz was big at the time and I regretfully was into that sort of stupidity, so cursed the day he was born for taking that hat away from me.

In the end, it worked out given that those hats make you look like a complete douche but I was too far gone in my feud to change my mind on him.

Despite this, I was still kind enough to throw my leftover Parmesandrew Torrens Crisps at him as he entered loser lodge.

 

parmesandrew-torrens-crisps-1

 

Unlike Andrew these babies are warm, not into gun talk and contribute to things around camp.

I’m of course referring to the unbridled joy they bring given that they are golden shards of crisp cheese, but I’m fairly confident that they’d also do more in a challenge.

Enjoy (my crumbs Andy)!

 

parmesandrew-torrens-crisps-2

 

Parmesandrew Torrens Crisps
Makes: A fuckload, depending on your ability to portion control.

Ingredients
½ cup grated parmesan

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Line a couple of sheet pans with baking paper. Places mounds of about a tablespoon of cheese on the tray, a couple of centimetres apart.

Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until golden.

Remove from the oven, cool slightly, loosen with a spatula and devour once they’ve gone crisp. If you can wait.

 

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