Patty Melt Cusack

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

Previously on Austra … hang on. The weather is miserable, Shonella aren’t playing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in the background and Shane Gould isn’t around to not be fucked with. It’s original flavour Survivor, with less cursed objects – though I did line-up some pizzas this season, so maybe that one will continue – and hopefully more excitement and blindsides. Oh and no more final four fire challenge. But enough with dreaming, Probst is on a boat with 20 people who are split into two tribes that I assume were named by Roma Downey after years of wearing down Tom Arnold’s nemesis Mark Burnett; David and Goliath. This season a tribe of bosses will battle with ten underdogs, and hopefully we aren’t swept up in a religious fever dream like Sophie in South Pacific.

We met the first David, Christian who is a total nerd, Elizabeth who is the country icon who flipped the bird on the cast photo and Pat who is big, burly and looks to be a total sweetheart. Who knows not to trust a book by its cover. They’re up against the Goliaths who include publisher and CEO Natalie – who is an icon – and Angelina loves all that comes with being a Goliath.

Anyway the two tribes converged on a barge with Probst and the Goliaths quickly realised that the cards are definitely in their favour when they saw the Davids rolling in. Probst confirmed their suspicions, announcing that this year’s theme is a battle of the privileged versus the underdogs. The David tribe were thrilled to be the underdogs, knowing they are instantly the favoured tribe for a decent narrative. We met Nick, who grew up poor in the south and fought tooth and nail to achieve his dreams of being a lawyer – public defender now – and on Survivor. Swoon. Gabby too was feeling her underdog roots, knowing the Goliaths can only fall while they are destined to rise.

The Goliaths however were quick to try and deflect from being labelled a Goliath, except for pre wrestler John, who knows he is a boss … though just wants to find himself and downplay his intelligence. Swoon. Allison was the most vocal to oppose the label, saying she worked hard from her upper-middle class family to follow in her father’s footsteps. Probst, the shady bitch, asked to hear about Pat’s upbringing, with him talking about living paycheque to paycheque, without even the option of going to get an education. She was pretty cool to stick with the Goliath label after that.

Wanting to get the bad blood brewing like Taylor Swift keeping control on her squad, Probst got the Goliaths to pick two people from each tribe to compete in a reward challenge. With Enlightened creator Mike White selecting Lyrsa and Christian, who he deemed Big Bang Theory in a moment of corporate synergy that made CBS beam. Lyrsa knew she was selected because she is tiny, a little chunky and stands out, while Christian was cool to be labelled the weakest. They then selected Allison and John, who are huge and look strong. To even things up, Probst gave the weakest peeps – sorry, allegedly Christian – the chance to pick the route each pair took to get to a giant shelter making kit. Obviously Lyrsa and Christian got out to a huge lead, almost finishing the second stage before Allison and John finished the first. Being Goliaths however, they caught up at the puzzle leaving a bat … nope, Christian is a genius, solving the puzzle in five seconds and snatching the kit for the underdogs. While it was impressive, Christian admitted it really wasn’t a fair fight as he had written algorithms for solving slide puzzles at uni, which he tried to explain in great detail and completely lost me.

We followed the Goliaths back to their tribe where Mike was feeling completely out of place as he isn’t as buff as the rest of the tribe, and is a nerdy Hollywood type. Dan and Natalia immediately gravitated to him, knowing that he looked familiar before he shared that he was a two-time Amazing Race contestant and completely neglected to mention School of Rock and the greatest show of all time, Enlightened. Have I mentioned I love Enlightened? Dan continued to make friends, sharing that while he is a babe now he used to be bigger and he put on a tonne of weight while working as a cop, though worked hard to lose weight to join the SWAT team. Natalie applauded him on looking fine and hot damn, I already love her. Speaking of love Dan and Kara bonded over Supergirl and the fact he named his dog Kara. She swooned, as did I when I saw his lycra pants. He was smarter though, knowing it was dangerous and hoped to downplay their bond.

Meanwhile over at the Davids, Pat was quick to take charge of the tribe and got everyone to split up tasks and work together while he leads them in building the shelter. Everyone seemed to be extremely cohesive, trusting Pat’s knowledge, laying foundations and weaving fronds for shelter. Sadly he started getting a bit too strong, shouting at Christian, making awkward jokes and generally frustrating the hell out of his tribe. Which will haunt him, once it is done.

Alec was trying to bring a bit of light to the tribe, knowing how difficult it is to build a shelter with only a machete to help. Natalie however was bringing some doom and gloom, bossing Natalia and the rest of the tribe around whilst worrying about having nothing in common with her tribemates.

Back at the David tribe Elizabeth was worried Pat was going to die as he leaned out of a tree with the machete. Jessica and Bi started to bond while weaving the roof of the shelter, wanting to lie about being 19. She then floated an alliance which Bi was into, as was Carl. Not to be outdone, Elizabeth and Lyrsa got a quiet moment in the jungle and bonded over being super different and wanted to align, as nobody would expect it. And just like that, Natalie is dropped and Lyrsa is my number two to Elizabeth. Lastly Gabby and Christian bonded over being insecure nerds – their words – and hot damn, they are in the lead to be my third and fourth.

John and Mike got together by the tribe flag and bonded over their fame and I assume, all the different nicknames or characters they’ve played. Natalie continued to lose friends and alienate people, as Natalia complained to Dan and someone else – first episode, don’t judge – about her not doing anything and bossing people around. Not wanting to leave her alone as a target, Mike went searching for an idol and was super obvious which immediately made people paranoid. We then met Jeremy who looks delightful in his jocks, while the tribe spoke about Mike being sketchy. Natalie went out to find Mike and warn him to pull his head in, which he vowed to knowing that he was hunting for an idol because he wanted it and now he needs to find it because he needs it.

The next day the rain started to drive in as the Davids worked tirelessly to finish their shelter and find some sort of relief. Elizabeth spoke about how they are instantly at an advantage, because they have grown up with adversity and that makes them fight harder and care for others more than their rivals would. While everyone work, Nick disappeared to try and reserve his energy slash avoid it. He then sidled up to Christian and Elizabeth to form alliances and then come up with names for said alliances. Meanwhile back at camp, Pat put the finishing touches on the shelter much to the delight of Carl who was proud of his hard work. And pissed by Nick’s lack of.

The Goliaths however weren’t as lucky, with no shelter and freezing. Not to be deterred Allison and Angelina got together by the well where Angelina suggested they go find the idol before Mike does and even the historic gender spill of idol ownership. Sadly for them, Mike was still working hard which then made Jeremy and Alec – swoon x 2 – go searching, followed by John, Natalie and Dan, who shared that the idol is in his pants. Oh and no, he isn’t talking about his penis. He was out searching for the idol with Kara and Natalia, and found the idol earlier that day and he was storing it in his pants.

The Davids were less interested about idols, though maybe that had something to do with Davie finding a huge octopus which they will be able to smash ahead of the upcoming immunity challenge. Davie shared that people will likely underestimate him, given he is a total blerd and was proud of himself. Jessica then started to break down on day two, upset about how her mum was in a domestic violence situation and she feels like she has left her alone and she has been responsible for her her entire life. Bi too spoke about the fact she had been in a domestic violence situation and encouraged Jessica that she saved her mum’s life, and she should be proud. Later that night, Nick decided to share that he has troubles opening up with people and wasn’t brave enough to share the fact his mum died of an overdose a couple of years ago earning the support and trust of his tribe. That made him feel like he has had a relief and has truly bonded with his tribe, potentially negating the fact he did shit all at the challenge.

By day three the cyclone had well and truly hit and the sea swelled and the rain pelted on the tribes as they arrived at their first immunity challenge. Each tribe would sprint through an obstacle before someone would dig under a log and chop a rope to release a ladder, with the second place tribe penalised and forced to release their ladder by untying knots. Each tribe would then ascend a platform and use a pole vault to leap to another before completing a puzzle. Carl got out to a huge lead while John and Pat focused on wrestling in the obstacle. Carl and Alec worked on the log, Alec quickly getting under and releasing the Goliath ladder. Things only got worse for the Davids from there as the Goliaths started working on the puzzle before they even got to the pole vault. Allison led the tribe through the puzzle, before Christian desperately started to call instructions in the hope of catching up. The rain started to pour while Allison screamed instructions to her tribe, securing immunity just before the Davids. Who were all cohesive and supportive of each other and I love that.

Well except for Lyrsa, who was planning on voting out Nick before even leaving the challenge. Out of nowhere however, the tribe were back at the challenge beach as Pat was stretchered off the boat in extreme pain, unable to see. Dr Joe and the team swarmed around him as Gabby broke down, worried about Pat as all she heard was a giant crack when they hit a giant wave when they were on a boat back to camp. Probst arrived to figure out what happened, with medical worried about the extent of his injury. As it became evident that he would be medevaced from the game, Pat begged them to allow him to stay while sobbing whilst sucking down oxygen in pain.

As the helicopter flew in, his tribemates started to breakdown and worried about his injury. When given the ok, they all rushed around and told him how much love they had for him and how their hearts are with him. Jessica hoped that he was still grateful for the experience as they were grateful for him and dammit, now I’m crying. Throw in Gabby’s guilt about misjudging him at first and I’m sobbing. Probst checked in with the tribe, with Jessica saying she feels like they just keep getting kicked down. Clearly feeling sorry for them, Probst cancelled tribal council and told them a flint would await them back at camp.

It honestly was one of the most heartbreakingly cruel exits up their with Wanda and Jonathan, and just below Queen Kourtney Moon who was at least medevaced for an ingame incident. Even more cruel, knowing that Pat is the one that inspired this year’s theme, worked like a boss around camp and was someone that you’d really just want to succeed in life. Given I have a messiah complex, I obviously went into full nurse mode – paging future healer tribe member – and ushered him back to health within a couple of days, in no small part thanks to the sustenance provided by my Patty Melt Cusack.

 

 

Now I must confess – not anything about my loneliness, or its potential to kill me – that the idea of patty melt used to disgust me. I mean, why wouldn’t I just have a burger or a toastie? One night, I woke up in the middle of the night, slapped myself repeatedly over the head like Leo in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and realised how stupid I had been. A patty melt is perfection! Dripping cheese, a thick juicy patty and the addition of sweet, buttery onions? Swoon.

Enjoy!

 

 

Patty Melt Cusack
Serves: 2-4, broken-back-ed people.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Sriracha Sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
butter
2 onions, sliced
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
8 slices white bread
8 slices American Cheese

Method
Combine the beef, Worcestershire, sriracha and garlic in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Divide into four, shape into patties, cover with cling and place in the fridge to chill while you work on the onions.

Melt a small lug of butter in a small saucepan or medium heat until foamy and sweat the onions for ten minutes or so, or until soft and golden. Add the muscovado, balsamic and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a further five minutes, after which they should be sticky and glorious.

Heat a skillet over low heat and when nice and piping, add the patties and cook for a couple of minutes each side until they are cooked through. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper, and wipe the skillet clean.

To assemble, place a slice of cheese on four slices of bread, top each with caramelised onions, followed by the patty, the remaining cheese and the last slices of bread.

Melt another knob of butter in the skillet and fry the sandies on each side for a couple of minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour immediately, filled with boundless joy. Despite a major back injury.

 

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Carameliseien Thonionson & Goats Cheese Tarts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To reiterate, Moana is Queen.

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Carameliseien Thonionson & Goats Cheese Tarts
Serves: 6.

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

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

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

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

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

Devour, immediately scattered with thyme leaves.

 

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Joe Manngo Chutney

Condiment, Dip, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the Mike and Joe frantically searched for cracks in the alliance of seven. While they were successful in finding an in, it was in know way to their credit, as Ben, Lauren, Devon and Ashley hatched a plan to blindside Ryan and Chrissy and take control. While I’m still confused how inserting someone into the game on day 28 only to blindside them is a power move, farewell JP. We barely knew ye!

Things were hella awkward back at camp after the blindside, with Ben pretending to be upset and Chrissy pretending to be cool with the vote … as her voice got higher and higher with each sentence. Ryan was mildly more successful pretending to be gracious about the blindside, though was still hella pissed about the vote. Though it appears not as personally attacked as Chrissy. In any event, Ben should play the Glenn Close role in the reboot of Fatal Attraction.

Ben went for a walk with Lauren and Ashley to discuss their success under the guise of making nice, while Ryan and Devon got together to clear the air. While Ryan tried to argue the semantics of his idol lie, Devon pretended they were ok despite being completely unmoved.

The next day Devon entered the winner’s edit fray, giving some nice personal content before meeting up with Ben for some breakfast, thankful that after one vote, their majority will be on lock and Ben can come out of the closet. The alliance closet, tragically. In any event, Devon’s cockiness seems far more likeable, making me feel like it won’t bite him in the butt. Yet.

My boy Probst arrived for a spa reward challenge, where the tribes would be split into teams and required to swim to a boat before rowing to the shore, collecting blocks along the way. They then need to use the blocks to push puzzle pieces out of a tunnel before, obvi, building said puzzle. Ashley, Ben, Devon and Joe got out to an early lead before stranding Ben with the second puzzle pieces and allowing Chrissy, Ryan, Mike and Lauren to catch-up. Sadly, that wasn’t enough as Ashley, Ben, Devon and Joe’s brute strength returned their lead while releasing the puzzle pieces, giving them victory before Mike and Chrissy could claw back.

At the reward, Joe was feeling better about his place in the game after surviving the last tribal and getting a shower. Devon’s stocks continued to rise, grateful for a shower … and Ben’s skillful portrayal as a blindsidee scorned. While the boys showered – in separate showers, sadly – Devon and Ashley gloated about the move, with the latter also realising that Ben will need to be legit blindsided soon.

Back at camp Ryan was feeling nervous, pulling Mike aside to try and find some common ground to form an alliance. Poor Mike was feeling super confidence in his new alliance of five – which is made up of three aligned people with two patsies – so quickly shut him down. Sadly Chrissy was having as much luck trying to win Lauren over by starting to discuss strategy on day 28. Chrissy’s mood continued to plummet as the rain rolled in the next day, taking some time alone in the shelter to wallow by herself. Thankfully Mike was on hand with some rice and comfort to perk her up.

Jiffy Pop returned for what looks to be a huge immunity challenge, where they were required to wheel a key through an obstacle course, unlock some puzzle pieces and, wait, build said puzzle. So yeah, not actually that huge. Ben, Devon and Joe got out to an early lead with Chrissy and Ashley close behind. Aka, Mike, Ryan and Lauren are total non-events. Devon was first across with all the puzzle pieces, followed closely by Ashley and Ben. thankfully for everyone else, the puzzle proved extremely difficult allowing Chrissy to catch up and snag immunity, despite everyone trying to cheat off her answers.

The tribe quickly commenced scrambling with the secret final four alliance of Ashley, Ben, Devon and Lauren sneaking away to lock in a vote against Joe. Ben then exited, allowing the three to tell Mike and Joe that the five of them will be splitting the votes between Ben and Ryan. With them busy, Ben joined Chrissy and Ryan to discuss who they should target, tossing up between Devon and Ashley, while Ben encouraged Ryan to save himself by playing his idol. To add a little confusion to the mix, Lauren and Ashley hooked up to discuss the issue of getting rid of Ben. While they agreed he will need to go eventually, they aren’t quite sure if it is the right time. Ashley then took the plan to Devon, who wasn’t convinced that it was a good idea just yet.

At tribal council Cole and JP continued to wear clothes, while Mike seemed pretty happy with himself, as too was Chrissy which makes more sense given she has immunity. Joe started to gloat about successfully taking advantage of the people at the bottom of Ben’s broken alliance, which to reiterate, nobody knows isn’t broken given he continues to get a Meryl-worthy performance. Mike joined in the gloating act, highlighting that neither he nor Joe are very self-aware. Vague talked turned to trusting your alliance and the ebbs and flows of the game before Joe announced that he was the safest he has felt even without an idol, thanks to his alliance. Sadly for him, that trust was misplaced as Ryan needlessly played his idol on himself, allowing the votes to roll in for Ashley before sending Joe out of the game.

What I didn’t mention when filling you in on JP, is that our relationship broke down after he discovered I was the firebug destroying his town all to assemble a life-calendar in my boudoir. I was arrested and since I’m a celeb, quickly put on parole … which is where I met and befriended Joe. While I gave him a decent amount of shit for the way he played the game, Joe is an absolute sweetheart out of the game and I wholeheartedly credit him for turning my life around. And for that, he’ll get aw many vats of my Joe Manngo Chutney whenever he is down.

 

 

The strong kick of chilli mixed with the hint of curry work perfectly with the sweetness of my juicy, juicy mangoes, leaving you with a condiment you want to drink by the jugful. Which Joe coincidentally does.

Enjoy!

 

 

Joe Manngo Chutney
Serves: 500ml-1L.

Ingredients
2kg mangoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
sea salt
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 onions, diced
2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh red chilli
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups muscovado sugar
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground clove
¼ cup sultanas

Method
Put the mangoes in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Cover and leave overnight to rest. In the morning, drain off the juice and rinse the fruit thoroughly.

Combine the apple, garlic, chilli, vinegar, sugar, ginger, cumin, coriander, mixed spice, cloves and sultanas in a large saucepan over a low heat, and cook until the sugar just dissolves.

Add the mangoes, bring to the boil and add simmer for an hour, or until the chutney is thick and syrupy.

Spoon into sterilised jars and seal … or devour immediately with cold meat and sharp cheeses. Or use it in the Jacken Thomas & Avocado Pizza.

 

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Feter Confit Tomato Crostini

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Party Food, Side, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, 24 new Australians were cast into the Samoan wilderness – for the second season of the third attempt of Australian Survivor – before whittling the numbers down to the final three after 53. While they weren’t as flashy as Luke, Henry, Locky or Queens Michelle and Jacqui, Peter, Tara and Jericho have fought hard to make it to the end and survive through a very unpredictable season.

We opened up with our final three commencing the fallen comrades – which needs to be brought back on OG Survivor – where Tara and Peter awkwardly had to dance around Joan, while Jericho tried to pretend he knew something about Adam, Kate and Tarzan. We then paid our respects to Aimee – aye – and lovebirds Sam and Mark, before being reminded by how much of a Queen Jacqui is. Tragically she was followed by Kent, then (thankfully) AK, Ben and Odette, the latter two who got more airtime now, than they did during the game. Jarrad then kicked off the jury portion, followed by super-idol victim Anneliese, before they all praised Henry for his game and fauxgi spirit. They then (awkwardly for Jericho) spoke about ex-juror Tessa’s logical, methodical approach to the game, Sarah’s ability to get down and dirty while playing the game and providing for the tribe. Jericho then described Luke as his other half which is a term I absolutely hate given that it implies people are not whole unless they’re in a relationship. We honoured Olympic powerhouse Ziggy, b-b-b-banging Locky – sadly no rehash of the nudity – and the true Queen of the season, Michelle.

Seriously, they flew through that.

The end of their walk led them to the same cliff Kristie dominated Lee and El last year for the final immunity challenge of the season. Tara was shocked to still be in the game, while Peter knew it was do or die and I assume, Jericho was thinking about kittens and puppies being washed out to sea. Jonathan hyped the challenge, telling them that unlike last year’s challenge, this year it will be conducted under the cover of darkness, making it even colder and miserable…r.

Jonathan spent the early stages of the challenge baiting the contestants to remember how uncomfortable the challenge would be, which truly is savage. Darkness fell by the hour mark where Tara took one in the face – I assume she was referring to a wave – before giving the blunt answer that she was feeling completely shit. Jericho then commenced gloating and playing mind-games with Tara and Pete. The latter then tried to channel Kristie, speaking about how much he loved Survivor and wanted to make it to the end.

To distract from the pain and to add some interest, Tara spoke about how diverse all of the castaways are before her emotions started to get the better of her. Showing true kindness and, shudder, mateship, Jericho and Peter tried to give her a pep talk and motivate her to not give up. She tried to talk through the pain while the boys came up with ways to distract her from the pain – and Jericho got some spelling tips – before she ta-ragically couldn’t hold any longer and stepped down from the challenge at the 3 hour mark. The boys managed to last an extra two hours which seemed not to have phased Jericho at all, while Peter was hunched over like a dead body on The Ring. Try as he might, Peter was in too much pain and asked for JLP to help him out of the challenge, handing Jericho immunity … and by the look on his face, the win. While Peter broke down, Jericho and Tara joined him and all sat, hugged together, comforting him by the fire. Then nature proved to be savage, and threw out a huge wave that wiped out their warmth.

Not wanting to waste any time, we lost the entirety of day 54 as the final three arrived at tribal council where Jericho was daunted by the decision in front of him. Jonathan then led the jury in a round of applause for the final three’s effort in the challenge before Jericho was forced to sit between Tara and Peter as they fought for their place in the game. Or to vote them out, I honestly can’t tell, as both their arguments were that they were not the easy one to take out … which is exactly what you want to do to win the game. Tara then proved she is saavier than I gave her credit for, throwing Peter’s logic to get rid of Jericho three days ago against him.

Peter then went all in for Tara’s game, outlining why she is a goat … and again, that is meant to be his case for getting rid of her. A fired up Tara then tore into Pete’s game, saying him winning is disrespectful to the game which is a better pitch when highlighting how easy someone is to beat. With that, Jericho cast his sole vote and sent Peter out of the game as the final juror.

While he was feeling pretty salty when he arrived at tribal council, he freely ran into the arms of his dear friend – me, we’re both totes homo in communications, of course we know each other – and lamented what could have been. I joined him in crying, though thinking about the tragic loss of Michelle at the previous tribal council. Thankfully I cooked through the pain and whipped him up a big, comforting batch of my Feter Confit Tomato Crostini.

 

 

Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of bruschetta … but this is where its at. I love tomatoes, but have always struggled with them in their raw state, so this is the perfect fix to the Italian classic. Rich and caramelised tomato, tart creamy feta and sweet basil? Sign me up!

Enjoy!

 

 

Feter Confit Tomato Crostini
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
¼ cup olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed
1 tsp raw caster sugar
1 tsp champagne vinegar
500g cherry tomatoes, halved
salt and pepper, to taste
small handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped
200g feta, whipped
12 thick slices sourdough

Method
Preheat oven to 130°C.

Combine the oil, garlic, fennel, sugar, vinegar and tomato in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. And when I say good, I mean good. Ok? Transfer to a lined baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes to an hour, or until soft and caramelised. Fold through the basil leaves.

Grill the sourdough, spread with the whipped feta and top with the confit tomatoes … before devouring.

 

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Annelicoise Wilson Salad

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Main, Salad, Side, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, the tribes followed the lead of Spice Girls as two became one. While the remaining Asagans looked to be screwed given their numbers disadvantage, they systematically pulled in Henry, Michelle and Locky, one by one, to take control which tragically sent Jarrad out of the game.

Though again, in the words of Abi-Maria, at least he made the jury.

The tribe returned from tribal council where the former majority were reeling from J-Rad’s departure, quickly banding together to find out who flipped on them. While Tessa, Ziggy and Pete assumed it was Locky that flipped, my king did some next level lying and bamboozled them to the point where it felt like they couldn’t even be bothered to find the rat.

The next day Anneliese was still reeling from the vote and Locky’s ability to lie to her face, which made her feel uneasy about him. She then decided that he needed to go, and got to work deciding who best for them to target. Meanwhile Henry and Jericho went for a walk to find Henry’s idol from day four, using the useless clue that he gave to Jericho at the reward challenge a couple of weeks ago. He then pretended to find his own idol again, solidifying Jericho’s loyalty to him.

Anneliese meanwhile continued her assault on my man, approaching Sarah to join with her to get rid of Locky. On the flipside, Henry continued to solidify his alliance with Luke and Jericho by stealing the rest of the jam while everyone slept. It makes as much sense as it sounds, given it will not end well. As expected, JamGate erupted the next morning when Anneliese and Locky discovered the jam was gone.

In the post-jam world of Asatoa, Henry and Locky met up with Sarah and Michelle to discuss their next move, deciding that it was most important to get rid of Anneliese. They also decided that she was the one to eat the jam, just to really confirm the alliance. Ziggy and Pete then reconnected to discuss their next steps, with the latter wanting to go down swinging with his current alliance while Ziggy was willing to shop around for answers.

On the walk to the immunity challenge, Anneliese told us she didn’t want Locky to win, while Henry mentioned Anneliese couldn’t win meaning, in all likelihood, one of them is about to win the challenge. Jonathan gave us a quick rundown – after Henry flagged JamGate again – with the challenge broken up into three stages. The first six people to hook their ring on a pole – my favourite pastime – moved through to the second round, where they had to work through a rope tangled on an obstacle. The top three moving on to the last phase where they each had to land three balls on a ledge at the top of a ramp.

Doing the LGBT community proud, Pete quickly landed his ring, followed by Tara, Henry, Locky, Tessa and Jericho. Henry took an early lead on the second stage, before being overtaken by Locky who became the first person moving on to the final stage. Thankfully Henry wasn’t too far behind, with Jericho rounding out the top three. Locky got out to an early lead, before Henry and Jericho each landed a ball. Henry landed his second, followed by Jericho before Henry just took out immunity. Oh and yeah, neither Locky nor Anneliese won immunity like predicted. Whatevs.

After a brief interlude of pleasantries while everyone congratulated Henry on his victory, shit started to get real. Henry, Luke, Locky and Michelle confirmed the vote for Anneliese, though Michelle and Luke would pretend they were onboard with getting out Locky. Locky then tried to work the idol out of Anneliese’s hands, though given the fact she knows they’re both targeting each other it wasn’t very successful. Anneliese then approached Tessa and Pete to see what the plan was, with them telling her that it is likely her. She then admitted that she had the idol and vowed to play it and stick together.

Tessa and Pete then approached Ziggy to lock in the plan, which she agreed with before running directly to Locky and Henry to keep Locky – another potential meatshield for Ziggy – in the game over Anneliese. While Locky and Henry were feeling confident, Tara and Luke weren’t buying it and were extremely nervous as they headed off to tribal.

At tribal, Jarrad watched on from the jury as the first five minutes revolved around JamGate. While Sarah correctly guessed Luke was involved, Jericho alluded to the fact that it may have influenced the vote which shows he is probs smarter than I give him credit for. Finally we got to some vague statements about the numbers, with Michelle pointing out that despite believing she had the numbers after the last tribal council, the line in the sand was washed away the very next day. Ziggy mentioned she was planning to take out a threat tonight, while Tara and Henry spoke about how dangerous flippers are in the game. Michelle spoke about idols being out there followed by Ziggy mentioning that tonight is the night to make a move, making me even more anxious than I thought possible today … AND I was at the Emmys but a few hours ago!

The votes rolled in between Locky and Anneliese – well I assume, we only saw two – before Anneliese decided to play her idol to save herself from becoming the scapegoat. Sadly for her though, Ziggy opted to play her super idol negating Anneliese’s idol and sending her out of the game as the second juror. While I would have burnt the jury villa to the ground if it happened to me, Anneliese was as gracious as always upon arrival and warmly embraced me as I put the finishing touches on her Annelicoise Wilson Salad.

 

 

I’m actually a lecturer at Anneliese’s university – obviously, I’m still into running uni scams – and I truly have a soft spot for her. Hell, I’d go as far as to say she is my favourite student … which explains why I was willing to cook seafood for her. Well … serve it. While the idea of tuna makes me sick, nicoise is actually pretty amazing. Though I assume that all comes down to the potato and eggs? In any event, enjoy!

 

 

Annelicoise Wilson Salad
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 eggs
150g potatoes
150g green beans, trimmed, halved
2 tbsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
pinch of muscovado sugar
¼ cup olive oil
2 baby cos lettuces, leaves torn and rinsed
200g tinned tuna, drained
12 small black olives, halved
small handful parsley, diced

Method
Place the eggs in a pot of cold water. Place over medium heat, bring to the boil and cook for five minutes. Drain the eggs, submerge in cold water, peel and half.

While the eggs are cooking, place the potato into a second pot of water with a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Cook for five to ten minutes, or until tender. Add the beans and cook for a further minute. Drain, run under cold water to refresh and allow to drain for a couple of minutes.

Combine the vinegar, dijon, garlic, muscovado and olive oil in a jug and whisk until well combined.

To serve, place the lettuce in a bowl, top with potato, beans and eggs. Drizzle with the dressing, add tuna and olives, sprinkle over parsley … and add more dressing, because who doesn’t wanna get saucy.

Then, obviously, devour.

 

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Eggs Benedict Burgan

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Breakfast, Burgers, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, we were reminded that there were three idols in play – two normal, one super – and after a tribal switch, they all landed on the same tribe. Meanwhile new Asaga featured a battle-royale between Tara and AK, with Luke joining with Tara to help her exact her revenge and finally send him out of the game.

Back at camp Tara was as giddy as a schoolgirl, while Luke was yacking it up before letting us know that witnesses would be the first to go, and as such totes homo Pete, would be the next to go. This once again, obviously, makes me hopeful that we’re leading to back-to-back falls of the cocky male players.

I’m also hopeful Locky will break his 11 episode nudity drought.

When we checked in with Samatau, I assumed my dreams were coming true as Locky, Henry and Ziggy went for a swim. While I was crestfallen to see both the boys fully clothed, I was thrilled to see that their positions were looking up as they formed an alliance as the three strongest people in the game. She then had a lapse of judgement and told them that she had an idol – leaving out the super aspect – which obviously led to the boys plotting to get rid of her.

Tara was still loving life at AK-less Asaga and Luke was still extremely overconfident, referring to himself as the King. He then reaffirmed that getting out Pete is the priority, which thankfully Sarah disagrees with. She then approached him by the shore and broached the idea of taking out Luke, to both eliminate a batshit insane, erratic player and to cement connections with those at Samatau. The girl is playing hard, no one notices and I love it.

We returned to Samatau where Locky was quick to approach Anneliese with Henry about joining them and Ziggy in an alliance. Sadly, she assumed he had the original Samatau idol and that he gave his clue to Jericho. Being another queen, she decided to ask him if it were true pointblank … which he then denied. Thankfully they went to meditate where sanity prevailed and Henry decided to trust someone in the game and told her the truth. Anneliese then told him about her idol, they secured each other’s trust and went to loop Locky in to solidify the final three we deserve.

Michelle, who is essentially how I would be on the island, told us that while she isn’t really built for island life, she is built for the quarter of a million dollars that could build her dream home. With that, she got to work trying to find the cracks in the tribe and vowed to turn things around on Ben. She then approached Ben – which I admit, doesn’t make any sense – who speculated at her about the super idol and told her he would vote out Locky next. It now makes sense, given he gave her a shit tonne of powerful information and screwed himself.

Little JoJo arrived for the immunity challenge where Luke and Tara were proudly sporting a pair of shit eating grins as Samatau discovered AK’s demise. After some shady chat, JLP explained the challenge where each tribe member would have to hold a sandbag tether to a trough of water. Essentially it is the icon Teresa Cooper / Shi-Ann Huang / Parvati Shallow memorial challenge, but in tribe format. After about five minutes Michelle tapped out and handed her bag off to Henry and Locky. Jarrad soon followed, leaving Locky and Henry to struggle with two bags each while everyone from Asaga remained in the challenge with their sole sacks. Tragically Locky and Henry’s bag sack handling skills weren’t up to pass, dropping the bags and handing Asaga their first immunity win in fuck-knows how long.

Samatau returned to camp to commence scrambling, with Michelle vowing not to go home without a fight. Sadly for Mich, Henry and Locky decided that getting rid of her was the smarter option given Ben was more easily manipulated … and a goat for Henry. Tessa agreed Michelle was more dangerous, as did Jarrad who decided he wanted to keep Ben around given the fact he has him wrapped around his little finger. There is a pattern emerging, and it isn’t saying much about Ben’s intelligence.

Despite the fact that she is apparently fucked, Michelle got to work putting Ben’s intel to use. She hightailed it over to Anneliese and Locky, telling them that Ben was planning on taking out the latter with his arm of one. They ate this shit up as she continued to point out that Luke also wants Locky out and Ben would flip to help him achieve that goal as soon as the merge hit. This convinced Locky that Ben definitely needs to go.

While Henry and Jarrad tried to convince him that Ben didn’t have any friends to flip said vote, Locky was seemingly resolute. He then spoke to Ziggy and Anneliese by the beach, before Ben approached to throw a spanner in the chat. Hilariously, they seemed unfazed, and continued to plot about flipping the vote on the unaware Ben. Anneliese they included him in the conversation to see what his plans were post-merge, to which he replied it probs, maybs, is to stick with Samatau.

The kid is doing Michelle’s job for her .. though his apparently questionable intelligence is kind of a reason to keep him and maybe this is all a rouse?

At tribal, JLP was quick to check-in with Michelle about how she was feeling post-swap fucked. While she handled the question with ease, Ben stumbled as Jonathan asked how he was feeling, pointing out that he felt like he was on the bottom. Everything continued to go to shit for Ben, with Locky admitting that while he feels close to Henry, he struggles to make a connection with Ben. The latter of which tried to work his way into a deeper hole, causing Anneliese and Locky to talk about needing to get word to Henry that Ben needs to go.

JoJo noticed the discussion, giving Michelle the opportunity to campaign, HARD, against Ben, and air all of his dirty laundry and spilt tea. While it was glorious to watch – GLORIOUS – I almost felt bad to the kid as he awkwardly tried to dance out of the shit-storm and she kept pulling him back in. Michelle is the new queen and she is a queen that we don’t deserve. The tribe then voted and amazingly, Michelle saved herself – though highlighted herself as a threat in the process – sending Ben out of the game.

I immediately took him under my wing when the poor thing arrived at loser lodge, completely gobsmacked and full of praise for Michelle. She may have outplayed him, but he was impressed and that goes to show what a nice kid he truly is. I mean, he even forgave me when I asked to speak to his manager and tried to get him fired from Grill’d. Given the fact it eventually became a personal joke between us, I knew I had to whip him up a nice fat Eggs Benedict Burgan.

 

 

If I were to narrow down to my two greatest culinary loves, they’d have to be burgers and breakfast … and this little baby has the privilege of falling into both categories. Juicy, spiced patties, tangy hollandaise and salty bacon, BETWEEN BREAD? You had me at the tribe has spoken.

Enjoy!

 

 

Eggs Benedict Burgan
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
250g beef mince
1 tsp chilli flakes
½ ground sage
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
white vinegar
4 rashers streaky bacon
2 eggs
½ batch Hollandaise Taylor
2 Jon English Muffins

Method
Combine the mince, chilli, sage and a pinch of salt and pepper. Scrunch to combine and form two, thin patties.

Get a saucepan of water with a lug of vinegar on the boil over high heat.

Heat a lug of olive oil in small frying pan over medium heat. Add the patties and cook for three minutes each side. Remove from the pan and add the bacon, cooking until crisp.

The water should be well and truly boiling at this time, so reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, swirl the water and crack the eggs in. Cook until the white is just cooked, and the yolks are gooey.

Quickly whip up the Hollandaise Taylor and toast two Jon English Muffins.

To assemble, place two rasher of bacon on the base of the muffin, top with the patty and poached egg and drown with hollandaise. Top with the other half of the muffin and devour.

 

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Shayonnaise Swain

Condiment, Sauce, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Shay and Tom buried the hatchet before Shay quickly unburied it, played dirty and tried to get him. They then all got dirty in a very sensual, muddy challenge which led to Tom winning over Barb whilst sharing Avi’s reward before returning to watch Shannon permanently eliminate herself from redemption.

Jak and Mike returned to redemption island, shocked to still be in the game on no man’s land. They then threw some shade at Shannon and were generally a bit obnoxious. Meanwhile back in the actual game, the tribe were feeling bad for Shannon’s loss and were being nice about the boy’s skills … though they all admitted to not caring for either of their returns.

Oh and Tom has decided Shay needs to go as Shannon has already promised to vote for her if she makes it to final tribal. I honestly can’t keep up with those two.

Nate and Shay took a leaf out of Barb’s book and discussed strategy and the threat Tom and Avi’s relationship poses – particularly given the potential returnees – all whilst reclining. Avi broke up the plotting and tried to reaffirm his alliance with Shay but did admit that Tom is having doubts her.

Shay then did the rounds, sidling up to Barb and her nemesis Tom to see where their heads were at and try and place a target on anyone but her. Less than a minute later, Tom floated getting rid of Shay with Nate and Avi, which the latter was not onboard with at all. Though he really had no option given no one trusts her, nor wants her around.

Nate then got word that Shay spoke about him being homesick and decided she was hoping people would boot him for that, despite the fact we all know that he’d go to redemption … and then the jury and could not possibly go home before the end of the game anyway. So yeah, I’m not actually buying that it’s a nefarious plot.

Wanting to get in on the action Matt returned for the next immunity challenge, involving beams, poles and balls, which is right up my alley. Despite starting strong and throwing the kitchen sink at it, Avi was first out of the challenge. Shay and Tom miraculously survived the second round of the challenge before Nate and Shay quickly dropped out when moving to the last section, followed by Barb, handed Tom his fourth immunity in a row, firmly painting a target on his back.

Back at camp the tribe were chatting about the challenge before out of nowhere, Avi took off running down the beach for no reason. He returned later and downplayed his minor breakdown before Tom pulled him aside to continue trying to turn him against Shay. Meanwhile Nate talked about getting rid of Avi given his likeability and the fact that anyone would beat Shay.

Avi continued to try and save Shay but TBH, it seemed more like lip service given the fact he didn’t really talk to anyone else about saving her. Nate floated an Avi blindside with Barb and while she seemed open to the idea, was ultimately non-committal. Which she confirmed by running straight back to Avi.

Meanwhile on redemption, Jak continued to tell unfunny jokes while he and Mike speculated who would be joining them that night.

Back at camp Nate and Avi went for a walk to where Nate quickly covered his tracks, telling Avi that he tested Barb’s loyalty for him. While Avi didn’t buy it at all, it was a nice try. Barb filled Tom in on what was going down, which made Tom annoyed by Nate. Tom then quickly tried to convince Avi that getting rid of Shay was still the best idea before heading off to tribal.

At tribal, Matt made quick work of making Nate cry by reminding him about the game. He then asked Avi about flipping and set him up for a massive case of the guilts. Avi said he felt it was important not to turn on your own, before Nate pointing out they’ve already had to do that in the game and Shay mentioned that she has a clear conscience and isn’t responsible for sending anyone to the jury … and reconfirmed how much she trusts Avi.

But it turns out she shouldn’t as Avi joined the rest of the tribe to vote her out of the game, again. While she was clearly bummed, she told her tribemates there were no hard feelings … until she got to redemption island that is, where she joined Jak and Mike to talk smack about Avi. Who Mike is still referring to as RV.

The next day at camp Avi continued to go full Blanche Dubois, having dreams about abandonment whilst realising he is now taking after the villainous Shannon … who is only a villain to herself and a passive aggressive Mike. At the other end of the spectrum, Tom was loving life with Shay out of the game and Barb Marley – who is now the last surviving female and really wants to win an immunity – appearing thrice daily.

Avi then started to foreshadow his downfall talking about how shocked and betrayed he would feel to be voted out next, which is how Shay felt when he flipped on her last night.

Back on redemption Shay explained that despite him flipping on her last night, she was working Jak and Mike overtime to help save Avi if they return by painting him as a non-threat.

After a brief interlude of Tom and Avi discussing how to play Mike if/when he returns, Matt returned to the screen for a paired off reward challenge for nuts. NUTS. I mean, I love we some nut but damn, on day 33 I’d want a fucking steak. Anyway, there was some kind of noughts and crosses style game for an island pick and mix, which Avi and Nate quickly took out thanks to an early mistake from Tom. But again, it was just for nuts … so who really cares.

Thankfully for Avi, it meant they were able to take their full sacks of nuts to a secluded section of the beach to bond and see where things go. Sadly Avi wasn’t able to lock in Nate’s trust or talk any strategy, so instead he reclined and tried to win him over with his masculine wiles.

Upon returning to camp, the final four (now) joined together on the shore to watch the sunrise and start black-market crab racing. After her crab turned out to be a rock, Barb reaffirmed her commitment to giving up on the game to focus on getting Avi and Tom to the final three … when she is by far the best remaining winner.

Talk once again turned to redemption island and the potential returnees, with Barb coaching Avi on how to win the game and the best way forwards depending on who comes back. Avi then joined Tom who made it obvious he was far more deserving of taking out the victory, given he actually seems to understand the game.

Finally we got a reprieve from all the talk, with the redemption island dwellers destroying the place on their way out to the battle … expecting it to be the last, which it clearly is not. Oh my, the fucking lols. Before we get to see their hilarious reactions when they realise they have to return to their mess, Shay, Mike and Jak competed in the Crystal Cox memorial challenge where they have to keep to poles balanced between the back of their hands and a beam.

Despite going better than stripped Olympic medalist Crystal Cox, Shay wasn’t able to outlast the boys and found herself out of the game, for realsies. While the boys were more heartbroken to discover they’d be going back to their destroyed camp and not returning to the game, yet.

While I had to explain to Shay that she wouldn’t be able to call her husband and smash any brownies after being eliminated, she was ok with the booby prize – my Shayonnaise Swain.

 

 

I mean, sure, mayo is a condiment and not a meal on its own. But when has that ever bothered me? Plus … it is pretty delicious, so shotting it isn’t that far outside the realm of possibility.

Enjoy!

 

 

Shayonnaise Swain
Makes: 1 cup(ish).

Ingredients
1 egg yolk
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
¾ cup canola oil

Method
Combine everything but the oil in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

Either whisking by hand, using a stick blender or the whisk attachment of a stand mixer – the latter being my preference – constantly whisk the mixture, while slowing adding the oil, allowing it to come together before adding more oil. Continue whisk on medium until the mayo has come together and it thick and glorious.

Cover and chill for a few hours before devouring … within two days. I feel it is too icky to keep it any longer.

 

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Ben Whishawbi Peas

Party Food, Side, Snack

Let’s start with the best news – despite my mad science skillz, I did not accidentally engineer a way for two men to procreate meaning that Benny Whish wasn’t dropping by to spring a decade’s worth of child support payments on me.

The bad news is that he isn’t still curled up in a ball pining over me … which is just odd and kind of rude, TBH.

I first met the other Ben while he was starring in Hamlet in 2004. I played the roles of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and let’s just say I spied action on and off the stage. Oh the action off stage …

Our torrid dressing room affair quickly blossomed into love and I vowed to make him a star, and us a power couple … fulfilling my fantasy to date someone that looked similar and shared my name given it didn’t work out so well with Batfleck.

After I purchased the rights to Perfume to try and snag my first Oscar, he brutally stole the role out from under me. We went through an extremely messy break-up that even the divine Cate Blanchett could not fix, despite her best attempts on the set of I’m Not There.

I’ve utilised the following decade to tear him down at any opportunity, so was super surprised to hear that he wanted to reconnect. Needless to say, I was extremely wary when he arrived … but shock of all shocks, he wanted to apologise for the Perfume slight.

While it doesn’t bring me back the Oscar I was robbed of, the fact that he could admit that I would have done better with the part is enough for me to forgive him. Plus – it is pride month and since we’re both married gay men, I was softened by the idea to double date. I’m a sucker for the community.


He on the other hand is a
sucker for my Ben Whishawbi Peas.

 

 

While this used to be our go to post-coital snack, there was something oddly pleasant about sitting down with a beer and the spicy snacks, to work through our issues and celebrate actual happy relationships as adults.

Seriously, being this mature makes me sick … but these babies don’t – enjoy!

 

 

Ben Whishawbi Peas
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
2 cups frozen peas, defrosted and drained
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp onion salt
1 clove of garlic, minced
¼ cup wasabi
1 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard

Method
Preheat oven to 100°C.

Place the peas on a lined baking sheet with the olive oil, toss to coat and bake for about three hours, or until they are well dried.

While they are baking, combine everything in a jug.

Remove the peas from the oven and transfer to a bowl and toss through the wasabi coating. Return to the baking tray and bake for a further 15 minutes, or until dry and crisp.

Devour.

 

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Meggs Benedict Ryan

13th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Breakfast

I know I came off like a sad sack on Saturday, but it just breaks my heart so completely to think that Megs hasn’t returned to her 80s-90s glory. The woman is a damn saint and deserves it … more than anyone!

Any
one.

I was so sure that Ithaca would be her ticket back last year but sadly it barely registered on anyone’s radars. I’m not saying it deserved to be the third movie involved in the Best Picture brouhaha of 2017 … but I’m not not saying it either.

Once again, Megs was an absolute delight and downplayed the necessity of the catch-up.

“Ben – you don’t have to do this, honestly, you’ve tried. Maybe I’m not meant to be on the A-list anymore.”

Um … over my dead body Megs!

“Plus my dear, sweet Ben – I can’t be the first person to have a hat trick of dates on your highly-lauded, prestigious, future-award-winning and meaningful anthropological documentation of your close, personal relationships with celebrities told in a culinary fashion.”

Again, it took a few hours and our wine went warm before she finally agreed to give the Meggstravaganza another shot!

But honestly, who could refuse a freshly cooked Meggs Benedict Ryan?

 

 

I know the ritual only calls for five celebs, but I figured whipping up a gang bang of celebrity recipes to make Eggs Benedict could not hurt.

Plus there is nothing than a fresh benny served on Jon English Muffins with a tart heaping of Hollandaise Taylor.

To Meg, her career and the perfectly poached chicken period – enjoy!

 

 

Meggs Benedict Ryan
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
a dash of white vinegar
4 rashers of streaky bacon
handful of baby spinach
2 Jon English Muffins
avocado, mashed
1 quantity of Hollandaise Taylor
4 eggs

Method
Place a large pot of water and a dash of vinegar over high heat and bring to the boil.

While that is getting hot hot hot, heat a skillet over medium heat and fry the bacon until crispy. Remove to some paper towel and keep warm. Quickly wilt the baby spinach in the same pan, removing from the heat when done.

Split the muffins and toast and smear with avocado. You could use butter … but why? Top with some wilted spinach and bacon and leave to rest.

Also, whip up the Hollandaise Taylor as per the recipe.

When the water is boiling, reduce to a simmer and carefully crack the eggs into the water, folding the whites around the yolk with a slotted spoon to keep them beautiful and together. Cook until your desired doneness – which should be just completely cooked whites, FYI – and remove with a slotted spoon. Place on top of the bacon and drown the entire thing in hollandaise before devouring.

 

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