Neneeish Leakes Tart

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Someone call Olivia Pope y’all, because I’ve got a scandal on my hands! Now I don’t mean to take away from my friendship with NeNe – because let’s be honest, I was balls deep on a back catalogue of leeks recipe awaiting her arrival to this patch of cyberspace – but a damned celebrity has taken issue with how I documented our catch-up.

Disrespectful and offensive. Two words that I have never had thrown my way, callously thrown in a jealous rage for showing an untouched photo of post meal euphoria? Nope. No. Hells no, not today satan. I don’t want to name names because I am mature and kind, by Mannie Bonox can go eat a bag of rotten dicks.

Restraining order or not, I called my fave smear artists and decided to exact my ultimate revenge … by doing an even better version of her recipe with a far better celebrity who is way more fun, far more entertaining and actually delightful. Even better, she doesn’t count herself as an Oscar winner for simply riding the LOTR train when it swept the pool like a loser. Let’s be honest, it should have gone to Eug and Cath’s song from A Mighty Wind.

Anyway … this isn’t about the <redacted stupid bitch that didn’t like mock-cream on her face>, it is about the absolute divine friend of mine, with the juiciest peach known to man – my girl NeNe Leakes!

I first met Neens through my dear friend Bey whilst they were filming The Fighting Temptations. While her scenes were cut from the film, she was an absolute laugh riot … and I realised that I want to live a colourful life, rather than a beige one. Because Neens is probably the most exciting person I know.

Aaaaaaaaannnnyyyway, Neens was thrilled to drop by a catch-up, make-up for my turd ex-friends slight and celebrate the fact that for a decade, she has been one of the four queens of the Real Housewives … with Lisa, and two v. obvs others. To her, having a Neneenish Leakes Tart wasn’t a second place, it was a chance to reclaim the recipe from a buzzkillington for a friend that she loves. And that is why NeNe Leakes is the greatest person to ever grace the planet ever.

 

 

As I tried to mention the first damn time I tried this recipe, I have a passionate aversion to mock cream – which is weird, given my love of butter – so this isn’t the most traditional of neenish tarts. But I would argue, that is what makes it so damn good. Sweet and tangy, with a pastry that melts in your mouth. Sign me up to this goodness.

Enjoy!

 

 

Neneeish Leakes Tart
Makes: 12-16 individual tarts.

Ingredients
250g plain flour, plus more for dusting
50g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg, beaten
raspberry jam, to taste
2 cups icing sugar
½ cup condensed milk
⅓ cup butter, at room temperature
lemon, juice and zest
2 tsp cocoa powder, sifted
4 tbsp water
a few drops of pink food colouring

Method
Chuck the flour and icing sugar in a food processor and quickly blitz to remove any lumps. Add the butter and blitz until it just starts to come together. Add the egg and blitz again. If it isn’t coming together, add ice cold water a tablespoon at a time, blitzing after each addition. Once formed, shape into a disc, cover in cling and place in the fridge to chill for half an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Dust a clean bench and a rolling-pin with flour and roll out the pastry until it is 4mm thick. Cut into 12-16 rounds with a cookie cutter, and place into mini-tart pans. Trim off any excess dough and prick the base with a fork. Transfer to the oven and bake for ten-fifteen minutes, or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove to a cooling rack until completely cooled.

Spread about a teaspoon of jam into the base of each tart and place in the fridge while you work on the filling. On that, combine half a cup of icing sugar with the condensed milk, butter and juice and zest of the lemon, mixing until smooth. You could use a stand mixer if you want, but aggressive utilisation of a wooden spoon – which should be an award show category, TBH – will work just as well.

Divide the filling between the tart cases, smooth the surface and return to the fridge for half an hour, to set.

Combine the remaining icing sugar with the water and stir until smooth. Split it between two bowls, adding the cocoa to one and the food colouring to another. If either is too runny, add some more icing sugar until it is a spreadable consistency.

Spread half of each tart with chocolate icing, and return to the fridge to set for fifteen minutes. Spread the other side with the pink icing, return to the fridge and set … before devouring the lot.

 

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Rhiyan Carrackers

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Baking, Side, Snack

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, Liz and Rhiyan spent the episode having emotional breakdowns, with Liz struggling with life in the house and Rhiyan dealing with issues left over from her childhood. That led to her struggling at the photoshoot, as did Coura and Sandra. Liz however didn’t struggle with the shoot, however walked out of the competition due to the drama inside the house.

The remaining girls arrived at panel to discover than Liz had not just left to go sleep elsewhere, instead quitting the competition. While a quit generally mean everyone gets a reprieve, Tyra and Co. were there to inform them that they had no lucky stars to count as they still planned to eliminate someone at panel.

Shanice was first up, praised firstly for her improved attitude. And her ability to ad-lib in the acting challenge. And then for her killer photo, which also featured her new attitude. Poor Sandra’s wig owned the photo, Khrystyana was universally adored … even when trying to learn to say bitch.

Rhiyan shared that she was feeling like the other girls were overtaking her, and the judges felt the photo showed it. Rio looked amazing, Liberty was beautiful, Jeana was NLF – next level fierce, obvi – Erin’s flexibility was praised, Christina looked scary-amazing, Brendi K looked amazing and Kyla looked like she was waiting to be killed but was hella determined to look gorgeous.

Coura then kicked things off by announcing how scared she was during the shoot. Law and Drew smelt that blood in the water, immediately going in and tearing the photo apart.

My girl Khrystyana snatched best photo away from Jeana and Christina, before Coura and Rhiyan found themselves in the bottom two. While Rhiyan arguably had the better photo, Coura had more potential overall, sending Rhiyan out of the competition.

Poor Rhi – she seemed to be doing really well, but seemed to never be able to recover from her hair extensions. Thankfully Rhiyan Carrackers cure all that ails you.

 

 

At the risk of sounding like a moron, I didn’t realise that the water part of water crackers where highlighting that water crackers were essentially made of water. Water. I slotted that away in the back of my mind, and instead focussed on how delicious these little crackers are. Lightly spiced and perfectly fragile, they’re perfect for scoping up any ol’ dip.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rhiyan Carrackers
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
3 cups flour
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 ½ tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup water

Method

Preheat oven to 225°C.

 

Combine the flour, sugar, salt and pepper in the bowl of a stand mixer and make a well in the centre. Add the oil and water, and stir with the dough hook until everything is wet. Transfer to said stand mixer, and mix with the dough hook for five minutes or so, or until coming together. The dough should be soft and sticky, so either add more flour or water, bit by bit, until you get the desired consistency.

 

Split the dough in two, and set one half aside.

 

Sprinkle some flour on a bench and roll the dough into a large 2-3mm thick rectangle. Cut the dough into cracker sized pieces with a sharp knife and place on a lined baking sheet. Prick the tops with a fork. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.

 

Transfer the baking sheets to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until they’re just starting to brown around the edges. Place them on a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely, which will help make them crackier. Then devour, preferably with some Ivana Hummus.

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%^neenish Tart #$!(*&

Baking, Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Goldenade, Party Food, Snack, Sweets

After a long, busy week celebrating the Grammys with this year’s Grammy Gold, Goldenade, and spending time with my dear friends Whits, Burt, Tom, Madge and Jim, we’ve finally reached the end of the road. And there is no one I’d rather mark the grand finale with, than the divine [redacted].

I was meant to have [redacted] over for last year’s Grammy Gold celebrations but ran out of time, so it was wonderful to have the opportunity to make it up to her this year.

I’ve known [redacted] since the late ‘70s, when she and [redacted] were part of [redacted]. After breaking backstage at a concert, I convinced them that they were carrying the others and to leave the band if they wanted to achieve greatness. Cut to a few years later and the [redacted] were a success and they released the hit song [redacted] … which was coincidentally written about me.

As always, you’re welcome. For that, and encouraging her to release a [redacted].

Anyway, we’ve got a lot to cover today so I’m going to jump straight into the odds, lest you miss your bookies. I think Best New Artist will go to Khalid – [redacted], obvs thinks it will go to Alessia Cara. We agree that song of the year will go to Despacito, despite the fact it should have been released the way I wrote it … as a celebration of the great Jennifer Esposito. Album of the Year we’re tipping for Lorde and Record of the Year will go to Childish Gambino, even though it is likely Jay-Z or Kendrick Lamar Odom’s to lose. Donald Glover is just my zaddy.

With all that out of the way, and us well and truly caught up on each other’s lives there was only one thing left to do. And that, obvi, was to smash some [redacted]nenish Tart [redacted].

Now I have a passionate aversion to mock cream – which is weird, given my love of butter – so this isn’t the most traditional of neenish tarts. But I would argue, that is what makes it so damn good. Sweet and tangy, with a pastry that melts in your mouth. Sign me up to this goodness.

Enjoy!

[redacted]neenish Tart [redacted]
Makes: 12-16 individual tarts.

Ingredients
250g plain flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups plus 50g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, cubed plus cup at room temperature
1 egg, beaten
raspberry jam, to taste
½ cup condensed milk
lemon, juice and zest
2 tsp cocoa powder, sifted
4 tbsp water
a few drops of pink food colouring

Method
Chuck the flour and 50g icing sugar in a food processor and quickly blitz to remove any lumps. Add the cubed butter and blitz until it just starts to come together. Add the egg and blitz again. If it isn’t coming together, add ice cold water a tablespoon at a time, blitzing after each addition. Once formed, shape into a disc, cover in cling and place in the fridge to chill for half an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Dust a clean bench and a rolling-pin with flour and roll out the pastry until it is 4mm thick. Cut into 12-16 rounds with a cookie cutter, and place into mini-tart pans. Trim off any excess dough and prick the base with a fork. Transfer to the oven and bake for ten-fifteen minutes, or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove to a cooling rack until completely cooled.

Spread about a teaspoon of jam into the base of each tart and place in the fridge while you work on the filling. On that, combine half a cup of icing sugar with the condensed milk, butter and juice and zest of the lemon, mixing until smooth. You could use a stand mixer if you want, but aggressive utilisation of a wooden spoon – which should be an award show category, TBH – will work just as well.

Divide the filling between the tart cases, smooth the surface and return to the fridge for half an hour, to set.

Combine the remaining icing sugar with the water and stir until smooth. Split it between two bowls, adding the cocoa to one and the food colouring to another. If either is too runny, add some more icing sugar until it is a spreadable consistency.

Spread half of each tart with chocolate icing, and return to the fridge to set for fifteen minutes. Spread the other side with the pink icing, return to the fridge and set … before devouring the lot.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.

Candied Mary Beth Peel

Dawson's Creek 20th Anniversary, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

I can’t believe that I’m already at the halfway point of my Dawson’s Creek anniversary celebration. While that makes me a feel a little bit misty after seeing dreamy Josh and healing with Katie, my girl Mary Beth Peil is the perfect person to elevate my spirits.

I mean, there is a reason she is the only member of the adult cast to get an invite.

Despite having an extensive career on Broad-way, I didn’t meet the divine Mezzy B until she appeared in Reckless with my girl Mia Farrow. Our bond was instantaneous, and we’ve been the best of friends ever since. When they were struggling to cats the role of Grams, I knew that she was the only one worthy of the role.

Mez has been super busy with the one-two punch of Anastasia and Les Liaisons Dangereuses, so it was wonderful that she could take some time out to celebrate her work as the moral compass and heart of Capeside.

Given we’re both old as fuck at heart, I knew that only my Candied Mary Beth Peel would suffice.

 

 

Full disclosure, I hate oranges. And peel. I mean, peel ruins hot cross buns and Christmas cake … but in this form, it sings. Soft and sweet, the peel almost becomes nature’s jube. And who doesn’t love a jube?

Enjoy!

 

 

Candied Mary Beth Peel
Serves: 2 dear, sweet friends.

Ingredients
2 large oranges, top and tailed
1 ½ cups raw caster sugar
1 cups water

Method
Cut each orange into 4 wedges and remove the flesh and pith. Scrape any excess pith from the inside and cut each into long, ½ cm strips. Place the peel in a saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for fifteen minutes before draining and rinsing thoroughly.

Bring a cup of sugar and the water to boil in a saucepan over medium heat. When rollicking, add the peel, reduce heat to low and simmer for an hour, or until nice and soft. Drain.

Toss the drained peel through the remaining sugar to coat and transfer to a wire rack to dry completely – this can take a day or so. Then, obviously, devour … if you managed to wait.

 

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Peach Idris Melba

Dessert, Snack

After catching up with a member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe a couple of days ago – in the form of Az, who I saw in between Rach and Nay, obvi – I decided to reach out to another person that ticked both the superhero and Golden Globe winner boxes … in the form of my dearest friend Idris Elba.

I first met Ids in the mid-90s when he guested on Ab Fab. While I was taken by his talent and beauty, my alcoholism made him a distant memory. Flash forward six years and my dear friend Anna Paquin ‘introduced’ us on the set of Buffalo Soldiers. I had no idea that we had already met, until I started having flashes of memories which culminated in me realising that he is the one that dropped me in to rehab and saved my life.

Upon realising the truth, I ran into his arms and thanked him for believing in me. It was all super heavy and lovely, so I broke up the moment by propositioning him and putting me on a repayment plan.

While this made him wonder whether I’d replaced one addiction with another, I explained that my genuine thanks terrified me and was simply acting out. He bought it, and we’ve been the best of friends ever since.

It was so delightful to spend the afternoon with him, discussing where we want 2018 to take us – Ids gets me getting deep – before we buckled in to run the odds of the remaining TV categories. Obviously we both agree that it goes without saying that my part-time love Skarsy is a lock for Supporting Actor and Big Little Lies will take out Best Miniseries and The Handmaid’s Tale will take Best Drama. That is where our opinions started to differ – he thinks Ewan will win Best Actor in a Miniseries, while I think Kyle MacLachlan will be a spoil. He thinks Kevin Bacon will win Best Actor in a Comedy while I feel this is definitely my boy Aziz’s year, while Ids thinks Sterling K. Brown will take out Drama while I think Freddie Highmore will be a surprise.

Such an exhausting catch-up, both emotionally and mentally – predicting how the HFPA will vote is hard you guys – calls for something to sweeten the deal. And there is nothing sweeter than my Peach Idris Melba.

 

 

Summer is the time for stone fruits AND peaches resemble butts, so I knew there was no better way to honour my friend. Plus – sweet peaches and creamy ice-cream slathered with tart raspberry coulis and dusted with toasted almond flakes. Name something that sounds bad?

I’ll wait.

Enjoy!

 

 

Peach Idris Melba
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 cups water
3 ½ cups raw caster sugar
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp lemon juice
8 peaches, halved and seeded
½ cup flaked almonds, lightly toasted
Raspberry Coulis, to serve
Vanilla Ice Cream, to serve

Method
Combine the water, sugar,vanilla and lemon juice over low heat until the sugar dissolves, Bring to the boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes. Reduce heat to low and submerge the peach halves and poach for a few minutes, or until tender yet retaining their shape.


When the peaches are ready to go, which I assume is being ‘melba’d,’ transfer to a bowl and chill for about ten minutes.

To serve, place a few heaps on ice cream in a bowl with the peaches before topping with Raspberry Coulis and sprinkling with almond flakes … before devouring.

 

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Tyson Apostollen

12 Days of Survivor Christmas, Baking, Bread, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Sweets

While Yul most definitely has the most festive name in Survivor history, my dear friend slash Survivor three-peat Tyson is the most festive person to play the game.

I mean, sure, he had an epic three season arc going from cocky douche, to bumbling babe to dominant champion, but he also had a three season ascension in zaddiness which was decidedly festive.

Yes, I only learnt the word zaddie last Thursday.

From his nude Tocantins tribal twink look, to his animalistic Samoan swimmers to his lovely bunch of Caramoan coconuts, Tyson made me feel things that lay dormant inside for year.

Oh what a lovely ma’ fuckin’ bunch of coconuts.

I first met Tys back in the mid-00s while researching Utah as part of my work writing the little known musical The Book Of Mormon, the hit TV show Big Love AND getting into the cycling world as part of an elaborate scheme to bring down Lance Armstrong. My third least favourite Lance.

While I’m not normally keen on the site of male cyclists in lycra – mainly because they only sit around cafes leaving their ball-sweat on the chairs … which in retrospect, should be my jam – I had a soft spot for Tyson and we fell into a passionate love affair.

Like most of my passionate love affairs, ours fizzled out quite quickly – maybe it would have been different if he listed me as his loved one in Tocantins – we remained close friends. Mainly because he was such a babe and it is super hard for me to find friends that have as much sass as I do, so I have to hold on to them when I find them.

But anyway, we celebrated a Christmas together in Utah during our brief romance and he fell in love with my sweet dough. I mean, all freaking Christmas, his face was buried in it, ravenous. But I guess, who can pass up a Tyson Apostollen.

 

 

Inspired by culinary queen Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar stollen, this baby is delicious enough to convert even the most staunchest of anti-marzipan-ers. Fruity and dense with pockets of gooey sweetness, did I just describe myself. Who knows!? Eat up!

Enjoy!

 

 

Tyson Apostollen
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
1 egg yolk
¼ cup muscovado sugar
1 tbsp glucose
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
7g active dry yeast
5 ½ cup flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp kosher salt
1 ¼ cup warm water
145g butter, cubed, plus extra 115g melted for coating
1 cup raisins
¾ cup craisins
½ cup currants
¼ cup candied lemon
3 tbsp bourbon
250g marzipan, broken into chunks
oil, for brushing
icing sugar, to coat

Method
Whisk the egg yolk, sugar, glucose, vanilla and cinnamon in a medium bowl until fluffy and thick, or about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile combine the yeast, flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the warm water and stir by hand with the dough hook for a minute or so. And by that, holding the dough hook like a wooden spoon. You get it? Anyway, add the yolk mixer, pop the hook in the mixer and knead on medium for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and lump free. Add the cubed butter, piece by piece, allowing the dough to come together after each addition.

Reduce speed to low and add in the mixed fruit, kneading for an additional minute or until combined. Brush a clean large bowl with a flavourless oil, transfer the dough to said bowl, cover with some cling and leave to prove for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Punch back the dough and dot with the marzipan before lightly knead throughout. You could also split the dough in two, roll them out, smear with marzipan and roll up, but I find dotting it throughout haphazardly makes it more cray, like Tys. If you do dot, then split it into two and transfer to a lined baking sheet, shaping like a turkish-bread-esque loaf.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool.

Once cool, brush with the melted butter and press into the icing sugar to seal. Dis is both good – dis real good – and fresh.

Then devour, greedily.

 

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Pita Andre Bread

Baking, Bread, Side, Snack

With Halloween now a distant memory, I’m balls deep in preparations for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, which of course means I’m desperately trying to fit in as many catch-ups as possible. Thankfully, I was able to fit in some time with my dear friend, fellow Gold Coaster and ex-lover Peter Andre.

Pete and I have known each other since the late ‘80s, after I hitched my wagon to his after his appearance on New Faces. I enrolled myself at Benowa State High, became his dearest friend and set him up to become the pop star of the ‘90s that he was destined to be. We also fell into a passionate love affair.

Our relationship was so beautiful and pure – well as pure as it could be – that he wrote a love song for me.

The song? Mysterious Guy.

Our break-up when he succumbed to the record company’s pressure to change the gender of his protagonist? Swift, brutal … and as vitriolic as the vengeful rage of Taylor Swift. For years after I couldn’t go to Thailand – where the film clip was made and we planned to holiday after – or the Gold Coast, as they triggered the painful memory of my broken heart.

Cut to a few years later and Pete, desperate to return to my good graces – flew down under to see me on the Tweed and try and reconcile. While he got lost while we went hiking on Mount Warning, stumbled on the set of I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here and fell in love with Jordan, that few days we spent together before the show healed our wounds. And we’ve been the best of friends ever since.

Pete has been super busy with his young family the last year or so, so it was such a treat for him to take the time to catch-up before we got too busy with festive celebrations. We laughed, we cried and most importantly, devoured a shit tonne of Pita Andre Bread.

 

 

Light, soft and oh so good, these are the perfect thing for when you’re done with eating buns and what a carb alternative. I mean, who doesn’t love to stuff a good Peter?

Enjoy!

 

 

Pita Andre Bread
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
1 ¼ cups lukewarm water
7g dry yeast
1 ½ tsp muscovado sugar
450g flour
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper
⅔ cup olive oil, plus extra for brushing if/as needed

Method
Combine the water, yeast and sugar in a measuring jug and place in a warm spot for about ten minutes, or until foamy.

Combine the flour, salt and pepper in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the yeast mixture and oil and stir with the dough hook until all the flour is wet. Turn the mixer on and knead on medium for about five minutes, or until smooth.

Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with cling and leave to prove for half an hour.

When it’s nice and puffy, heat a frying pan over medium heat. Punch back the dough and divide it into 12 balls. Roll them out into flat thin discs – a few millimetres max. Place a disc on the frying pan and cook for about 20-30 seconds, or until puffed. Flip and cook for another 20-30 seconds or so. Remove from the pan and repeat the process until done.

Then, devour.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.

Coconut Richa

Side, Snack

After spending the last couple of weeks ending feuds and celebrating the finale of Australian Survivor – and the rump of cray Patrick / cray Alan’s strip searched on the OG version – I decided it was well and truly time to lighten things up with one of my sanest, lightest friends, Coco Rocha.

And I’m not just talking about her model figure, she truly is the lightest, sweetest person I possibly know.

While we’ve only know each other since 2011 after meeting on the set of ANTM: All Stars, she truly is one of my dearest friends. She was guest judging and was completely terrified of my frenemy Tyra, so I took her under my wing and acted as her guardian / gave her tips to stay on the right side.

Oh how poor Tiffany could have used those tips …

Given her young family, Cocs has been super busy and we haven’t caught up in the last year or so, so it was such a treat to sit down, relax and reconnect. While I did float the idea of trying to help Tyra and Naomi – her friend from The Face, though not The Face that Sarah ran-up on – heal, we realised it was a stupid move, laughed and devoured our Coconut Richa.

 

 

Now I know it seems dodgy to only feed a model rice … but this is probably the least healthy was to eat it. With a big whack of creamy coconut, how can you go past it? Plus – it is the perfect accompaniment for a Massamanda Peet Curry or some Thai Chicken Meatburrells.

Enjoy!

 

 

Coconut Richa
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 cups jasmine white rice
2 cups coconut milk
1 ¾ cups water
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Chuck everything, bar the seasoning, in a large pot and bring to the boil over a high heat.

Once bubbling, reduce the heat to low, cover tightly with a lid and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or so.

Once most of the liquid has gone, add a whack of salt and pepper, give a good stir, turn off the heat but leave on the for a further ten minutes.

Devour.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.