Chinese Handsay Dolapiewich

Main, Pie, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the final six grew more and more nervous about making it to the end, as everyone sized up who would make the easiest opponents in the final three. With Omar outed as a strategic mastermind at the previous tribal council, Maryanne was also focused on usurping his power and concocted a plan to take him out using her extra vote to swing a 3-2-2 vote. And while everyone continued to panic about her plan and who to take out should it fail, she stood firm and held everyone together to perfectly execute it and take Omar out of the game. In a very iconic fashion.

We followed the final five not back to camp, but instead to a new rain soaked beach to set up a new camp for the remaining days. Tarpless and with nothing, let’s just say the final five were well and truly gagged. Ultimately though, nothing could bring Maryanne down after taking out Omar with a massive move. Sadly she was the only one as Romeo was annoyed to have received votes, while Jonathan sassed out Lindsay for voting for him, despite the fact they both turned on each other. And ugh, this isn’t a good look for Jonathan.

Romeo meanwhile was an icon and interrupted the fight to announce that since they’re all being honest with each other, he has an idol and will be playing it at the next tribal council. So yeah, good luck to the rest of ya’s. Essentially.

The next day Jonathan was still focused on getting rid of Lindsay with the boys, while Maryanne was busy assuring Lindsay that Mike would be playing his idol for her at tribal council and as such, they would both find a way to keep going. Mike and Lindsay then caught up, with Mike assuring Lindsay that he will totally play the idol for her at tribal council and while it is the same promise he gave Maryanne, it was the only glimmer of hope she had, so she took it.

The tribe then received treemail, complete with a clue for an advantage at the upcoming immunity challenge. And while Lindsay was first to solve it, she could not find the advantage while the rest of the tribe worked together to solve the clue to block her. While Maryanne desperately tried to undermine the boys so that Lindsay could find the advantage before anyone else, guaranteeing the girls make it to the final four together. And what do you know, Queen Maryanne was successful, as Lindsay snatched the advantage and was that much closer to the end. Much to her and Maryanne’s delight.

While Jonathan looked to be boiling with rage.

The final five met up with Probst in the middle of a clearing for an epic immunity challenge where they would each have to race out to six stations to collect puzzle pieces before solving said puzzle. And while it sounds easy, the stations were guarded by obstacles and the pieces tied up by multiple knots. For Lindsay, she would only have to untie a single knot at each station, while the rest would have to work through six. Oh and the victor would also win a huge dinner of pasta, garlic bread, salad, cake and wine. So yeah, they were all very pumped.

Despite Lindsay’s advantage, she spent most of the challenge nipping at Jonathan’s heels as he absolutely destroyed the obstacles. While it is always hard to keep track of who is in the lead, Jonathan was the first to start working on the puzzle with Lindsay in a very close second place. Mike quickly joined them, while Romeo and Maryanne closed out the pack. While Jonathan and Lindsay were piece for piece at the start, Mike quickly closed the gap as he and Lindsay battled for first place. He continued to methodically work through the puzzle and despite a late-breaking push from Lindsay, he managed to snatch immunity. And tragically, doom one of our queens.

Mike started to break down over his win, overwhelmed to finally jag individual immunity and make his kids proud. Oh and then Jeffrey gave Mike a chance to fuel one of his competitors, with him stupidly opting to give Jonathan food which is a wild choice given he is the biggest competition to win final immunity challenge, assuming he survives the night. Even if they are aligned. 

Back at camp the boys went off to smash their feast, pledging their undying loyalty to each other while Lindsay spat fire about how terrible Jonathan is to Maryanne and Romeo. As the boys ate, Mike meanwhile was debating who he should play his idol for at the upcoming tribal to stack the final four with the people he wants. As such, he assured Jonathan he would be playing his idol for him too and just like that, he has now pissed off two potential jurors. The hungry trio meanwhile were busy locking in their votes for Jonathan, with Maryanne assuring them both that there is no way Mike would go back on his word to her. Despite knowing for a fact he also gave his word to Lindsay.

Lindsay meanwhile caught up with Mike to play on his emotions, begging him to stick to his word and not betray her, and while her argument was compelling – and frankly, so great – the fact that she can talk her way into anything, shows how big of a threat she is. Mike then caught up with Maryanne, with her trying to convince Mike to stick to his word to her so that she could protect Lindsay. Though when she caught up with Romeo, he cautioned her that both Jonathan and Lindsay are threats. Leaving Maryanne to worry who Mike would be playing his idol for, given everything hinges on his decision. And could make or break all of their games.

At tribal council Lindsay caught the jury up on her final advantage, while Jonathan spoke about how much they were all struggling. Lindsay admitted to knowing she is likely to go home tonight due to her allegiance to Omar, while Jonathan tried to downplay how much everyone wants Lindsay to go. Maryanne spoke about trying to find the balance between her emotions and playing intelligently, while Lindsay shared how she spent the entire afternoon scrambling and pleading her case, before a quick pivot as she tried to downplay her threat level. 

Jonathan stepped up to praise Lindsay for the game she played, while Lindsay said she is continuing to fight for her place in the game until the moment her torch is snuffed. Jonathan spoke about finding the balance between playing a good game and minimising your threat level, with Mike assuring everyone that if you have a solid alliance, it makes working around that a lot easier. Maryanne opened up about her need to not only find people she thinks she can beat to face off against at the end, but that also think they could beat her. And well, Lindsay was just happy that if she is getting booted for being unbeatable, that is the best way to go out.

With that the tribe voted, Mike made a big show of playing his hidden immunity for Maryanne for being so loyal to him. Romeo then announced that he would not be playing his fake idol and instead, threw it into the fire while Maryanne quietly sat on her hidden immunity idol. Jeffrey then finally read the votes with poor Lindsay tragically felled by a united tribe for being too much of a threat.

As she promised at tribal council, she was super chill and excited to be taken out for being too much of a threat, as the other option is making it to the end, getting no votes and having a shocking legacy. I pulled her in for a massive hug and assured her that she left a massive mark on the seasons and truly did play out of the best games this season and as such, is a shoe in for another go. But until then, she always has Chinese Handsay Dolapiewich.

I bet you thought I was going to take the easy route with a cheeky sandwich, but surprise, I pivoted! And when the pivot tastes as good as a slightly tweaked version of Brendan Pang’s Chinese Hand Pies, you really can’t go wrong. Spicy, warming and packing a kick, these are, in a word, perfection.

Enjoy!

Chinese Handsay Dolapiewich
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp kosher salt, plus extra
1 cup water
500g beef mince
3 celery stalks, finely sliced
4 spring onions, finely sliced
a large handful of coriander, finely chopped
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine
1 tsp ground white pepper
½ tsp raw caster sugar
½ tsp sesame oil
½ tsp Chinese five spice
vegetable oil, to fry

Method
Combine the flour and salt in a bowl and slowly mix in the water with a fork until combined. Dust the bench with a little bit of extra flour and turn out the dough and knead until nice and elastic. Oil a bowl and pop in the dough, cover with some cling and leave to rest for half an hour or so.

Pop all the other ingredients in a large bowl with a good pinch of salt and scrunch with your hands – or use a wooden spoon, I don’t mind – until well combined. Cover and pop in the fridge for the flavours to meld until the dough is ready.

To assemble, divide the dough into 8 equal parts and roll out until they are 15cm rounds and divide the filling between each disc. To close, gently stretch the dough around to seal at the top, pleat into a circle to give the look of a money bag.

Heat a couple of tablespoons in a large frying pan over medium heat and once nice and hot, add four to the pan, pleated side down and press with a spatula to flatten. Cook for five minutes or until nice and golden before flipping and cooking for a further five minutes. Remove from the pan and leave to rest on some paper towel while you cook the others.

Serve immediately, dripping in Sechuanyx Chilli Oil and devour.


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Jujubeef Dim Sims

Main, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World 1, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs the World the final four stomped the runway alongside their fallen queens, showing off their Grand Finale Eleganza. As Cheryl, Jimbo, Pangina and Janey took their seats side of stage, Lemon gave us her best game show assistant and spun the wheel to kick off the lip sync smackdown for the crown. As soon as Mo was selected, she knew she wanted to face off against Baga and while the latter served her best camp fun, she was no match for Mo and was eliminated from the competition in third/fourth place.

With Mo backstage to prepare for the final lip sync, Blu and Juju took their places at the front of the stage to face off to The Reflex by Duran Duran and well, it was a damn fight. Blu had all the energy, working the stage and giving a diverse, hilarious performance. Juju meanwhile was feeling her ‘80s oats, giving all the swagger and serving full Duran Duran realness. Which is the highest compliment I could bestow on anyone, since they are a total pack of babes.

Despite giving us a very fun performance, it was Blu who progressed to the final lip sync while Juju was tragically eliminated. Once again, in third/fourth place. Like the consistent icon that she is.

As the crew once again ushered everyone aside to prepare the set for the final showdown, I tapped Juju on the shoulder as she happily jumped into my arms for a hug. “I’m so glad you’re back to cook for me again! You truly make every sense for me, now,” she said. Which honestly is the highest praise I could receive from the ultimate bridesmaid of the franchise. Which was enough for me to try my hand at whipping her up a batch of Jujubeef Dim Sims (and start thinking of other recipes I can whip out for her next appearance).

Maybe it is the ‘90s nostalgia of the kinda dim sims we used to get at the local Chinese restaurant of my youth, but there is honestly nothing better than a dim sim. I mean, these are a tonne of dumplings I’d pick first, but these have such a soothing joy. Plus, if they pack heat, I eat – so win.

Enjoy!

Jujubeef Dim Sims
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 tbsp vegetable oil
8 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 wombok, thinly sliced
500g beef mince
1 egg
4 shallots, finely chopped
2 tsp minced ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp white pepper
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
30 round wonton wrappers
olive oil spray, to grease

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok over medium-high heat and cook the mushrooms for a couple of minutes. Add in the cabbage and cook for a further two minutes, or until just wilted. Transfer to a large bowl and mix with the beef mince, egg, shallots, ginger, garlic, white pepper, salt, soy sauce and sesame oil until well combined.

To assemble, place the wonton wrappers on the bench and place a heaped spoon of filling in the centre of each. Working one at a time, brush the edges of the dough with water and holding in the palm of your hand, push the dough up around the edges, pinching around the opening to firmly hug the filling with an opening at the end.

That was a bad way to describe folding a dim sim, wasn’t it?

While steaming is the healthier – and arguably best – way to cook the dumps, place the dim sim on a baking tray, exposed end up, and repeat the process until done. Spray with cooking spray and pop in the oven to bake for fifteen minutes, or until cooked through and crunchy.

Then devour, like a consistent icon.


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Janey Ducké Dumplings

Main, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World 1, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs the World, the top six were finally tasked with playing Snatch Game. Now, in a Family Feud format! While Ru encouraged her to go with the riskier character, Janey missed the opportunity and shrunk away. Pangina meanwhile gave a full Mariah illusion, though wasn’t very funny. Though that be because she was on a panel with Juju giving the most demented Cher ever and Baga who gave an acting masterclass as Kathy Bates in Misery. She ultimately landed in the top with Blu, who gave a hilarious one-two Mike Myers punch before she won her first ever solo challenge after demolishing the lip sync. Then things took a hard pivot as she went full Naomi Smalls, eliminating Pangina who then sobbed with heartache. While Blu was literally shaking with shock based on her actions.

Backstage the dolls were well and truly shell shocked about Pangina’s elimination and her reaction to it, while Blu apologised and admitted even she didn’t think it would go like that. While Blu worried about whether she will have a career ever again, Mo encouraged her that she will and people will move on since it is a game, after all. While Baga meanwhile was focused on wanting some of Pangina’s outfit, with Mo joking she won’t fit into it.

The dolls sat down to kiki and congratulated both the girls on their lip sync before Juju questioned why Blu did what she did, with her admitting that she voted Pangina for being the biggest competition. Since that is what she did with Jimbo, and her now being a winner left her at risk should Pangina win another challenge. Baga then gagged the dolls with the news that she was also going to get rid of Pangina, with her motive being like Scream 2’s Mrs Loomis, good old fashioned revenge. As Mo and Blu caught up, Mo admitted that she would probably have done the same thing if she was in the top. And assured her that she will still be honouring their alliance should she make it to the top this week.

The girls had processed their trauma the next day with Blu proudly reminding the girls it was her first solo win ever. While Juju assured them that while Thailand would have been rooting for Pangina and they will be super disappointed, they still have a sister in Pangina. While Blu admitted that being a little villainous was quite fun and she didn’t really feel bad anymore. Talk turned to whether the final five is what everyone was expecting with Mo admitting that she is not surprised she is there, though is still shocked Janey made it past day one. Oh and promised them that it is finally time for the US girls to shine.

Ru dropped by to announce this week’s Maxi Challenge, where the dolls would rework Ru’s song Living My Life (in London), putting a spin on the verse in honour of their hometowns. And after writing their verses, will join Little Mix’s Jade Thriwall to record their songs. And then choreograph a routine and perform it on the mainstage.

The dolls sat down to talk about their towns with Juju doing Boston while Baga will focus on Soho. And then did a Toni Braxton impersonation, which was a vibe. Mo then suggested that to decide the order of verses, they should go alphabetically meaning Baga goes first, Blu next, followed by Janey, Juju and then Mo. Which Juju correctly identified as a smart move, given it guaranteed Mo could be the closer to the end and leave a lasting impression with the judges. They moved on to writing their lyrics with Mo going the heart route about growing up poor and seeing the world thanks to Ru, while the girls dragged Juju for her lyrics. Which I thought were good?

When it came time to record their verse with Jade Thirwell, Baga was praised for being 100% her and absolutely knocking it out of the park. Blu continued to feel her oats for eliminating Pangina, and was solid in her record while poor Janey admitted she is not the strongest singer. But bless her, she tried. To quote Coco, find a key girl. As Jujubee was busy knocking it out of the park, Janey was whispering with her sisters, worried about how bad she was while sweet Mo just encouraged her to do some sick choreography.

Oh and trust and believe, Mo was also near perfection.

The group moved on to choreographing their performance with Mo terrified by the very different skill levels amongst her sisters. As such, she took control and told Janey she could do the end and she’d take the start. But while both of the dolls were trying to keep things simple, Baga already looked like she was ready to throw up. Until Blu asked when she would be contributing to the moves, leading to Juju suggesting they invent the Baga Chipz, much betta, move to help out. Poor Juju tried to get Mo and Janey to simplify the choreo, but given they only managed one verse in rehearsal, this is either going to be one big mess or a glorious triumph, and this is all a fake out.

Elimination Day arrived with Baga exhausted after a night working through the choreography before she and Juju caught up, with Baga admitting that Drag Race saved her life because she was an alcoholic before cutting back when on the show. When she admitted to drinking litres of gin a day, Juju noticed a lot of parallels in their journeys. Baga admitted that she can still have a drink but no longer considers herself an alcoholic while Juju opened up about needing to be completely sober. She explained that sobriety changed her entire life, leading to her leaving a 13 year relationship and completely changing her life for the better. And is this the beginning of Juju winner’s edit?

Yeah, yeah – insert the butterfly meme. I’m desperate for her to become Drag Race’s Boston Rob. I mean, she is from Boston after all.

Blu meanwhile was opening up about how much she loves her hometown despite how conservative it is, with Janey opening up about also growing up in a very conservative village and her parents sending her to school in Amsterdam to let her live freely. Because as she said, she was a very, very gay child. Which, relatable. Mo opened up about her very religious upbringing, conversion therapy and even a stint as a Minister. She spoke about how they are all constantly taught to be ashamed, before reminding all of them and us, that we are enough. And ugh, I love them all. 

Ru, Michelle – fresh from Party City, where she belongs – and Graham were joined on the judges panel by Jade Thirwell for the premiere of the Living My Life (In London) rumix. And damn, they were good. Even with Baga’s old lady dancing. The engineer did wonders with Janey’s record, Baga was fun, Blu was feisty but as predicted, this was truly the US girls time to shine. Juju was pitch perfect and looked absolutely stunning while Mo was spitting fire and giving absolute rockstar vibes.

On the Work of Art runway, Baga Chipz looked cute as Vincent Van Gough’s sunflowers but in a plot. Blu was perfection as a Picasso, Janey was Warhol’s Marilyn brought to life, and was stunning from head to toe. Juju looked gorgeous in a nude gown, channelling a stunning Miami art deco building, geddit. While Mo stole the show as a Dali rose and bleeding heart.

Baga received praise for bringing herself to the performance despite her lack of ability and for giving a glammed up version of a Baga look on the runway. Blu was praised for taking the shot at Pangina by Michelle while everyone loved her performance but felt her runway was a bit overwhelming. Ru then questioned Blu’s decision, who doubled down on only doing what Pangina did the week before which Ru congratulated her on. Janey was then read for blending into the background throughout the performance despite looking like a star. Both in the challenge and especially on the runway. Juju was praised for completely arriving, knocking the challenge out of the park and looking like perfection both times. Despite Graham not appreciating the art deco vibes on the runway. And well, the judges all lived for everything Mo did this week because she is a star. And her runway is just beautiful.

Ultimately and very deservedly, Juju and Mo were named the top two queens, meaning the remaining girls were all up for elimination. Backstage the dolls grabbed their drinks and toasted to Mo and Juju finally jagging a win, with Mo opening up about how good it feels to get that well earned praise. She then admitted it feels like a tougher choice than last week, given Mo would have totally cut Pangina if she survived. Baga asked about their judging criteria with neither being sure, making Blu nervous her alliance with Mo won’t stand. And she was worried about skiddies.

Mo pulled Baga aside with the latter telling her how much she loves Mo and wants to compete against her, quickly charming Mo into saving her. Blu meanwhile reminded Juju that she wasn’t the weakest in the challenge and as such she should be saved, using Juju’s criteria for Blu saving her the week before, against her. While she admitted Pangina’s wails are playing on a loop in her head and as such, she was tempted to take out a threat. Janey assured Mo she wants to be here and she feels she has grown throughout the competition and been given the opportunity to succeed. Baga assured Juju she wouldn’t be sending her home if the tables were turned before suggesting Juju should just eliminate her, given everyone did well and deserves to be there. With Juju admitting she knows what Baga is doing by downplaying herself as a threat. But isn’t even mad. Mo assured Blu their alliance stands while Janey and Juju spoke about the fact Janey had pulled her lip stick once but also saved her the time earlier.

Mo and Juju took their places on the mainstage, assuring us we were in for a show and well, a show they did give us. As soon as Toy by Netta kicked off, both of them gave it their all. Juju was cute and demented, Mo was all energy and fierce and well, it was definitely a fight. Ultimately though it was Juju who finally jagged her second win of the franchise, before she tearfully eliminated the iconic Janey Jacké.

Given Janey is just iconic and totally down to earth, she was totally fine with her elimination, accepting that she did the worst in the challenge. That being said, it is easier to feel zen when you know you were one of the three people to dominate the season, none of which are in the final. Meaning she also joined the robbed goddess club! I fell in love with Janey while watching her on Holland, so I was thrilled to be able to catch up with her and finally give her the culinary comfort she deserves, in the form of Janey Ducké Dumplings.

I feel like I’m on a bit of a dumpling kick at the moment and honestly, when they taste this good, I don’t even care. The rich duck is sweetly spiced by a little bit of hoisin to create the easiest, most decadent dump’ you could think of.

Enjoy!

Janey Ducké Dumplings
Serves: 2 dear friends, who I guess could now be lovers. Because as they say, how can we be lovers if we can’t be friends.

Ingredients
300g duck breast, minced
3 spring onions, sliced
1 tsp minced ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
½ tsp sriracha
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp white pepper
40 gow gee wrappers

Method
Combine the duck minced, spring onions, garlic, ginger, hoisin, sriracha, salt and pepper and mix until well combined. Cover and pop in the fridge to chill for a good half an hour or so.

When the flavours have come together like the queens from across the globe, place the wrappers on a clean board and cover with a damp cloth. Working one-by-one, spoon a teaspoon of mixture into the centre of your dumpling wrappers and crimp or fold as desired. You know I go for the old easy pleat option to cover my bad joins.

Once they’re all done, heat a lug of oil in a large frying pan with a lid over medium heat. Cooking 6-8 at a time, pop the dumplings in the hot oil to fry on the bottom and cook for a few minutes. Add about ½ a cup of water and immediately pop on the lid, cooking for a further five minutes or until cooked through.

Repeat the process until they are all done – they can be frozen uncooked, but I am greedy – before devouring. With either some Nam Jimbo or extra hoisin. Or sriracha. Pretty much, you do you boo!


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Thai Chickhanh Dumplongs

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Main, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, while Blood and Water were still battling it out, Jonathan switched things up and offered an individual immunity for each tribe. As both of them were attending tribal council, meaning hijinks were guaranteed to ensue. On the Water Tribe, things came down to Khanh and Sam, with the former promising his necklace to Sam, who quickly fainted when stepping out of the challenge. On Blood meanwhile, Shay completely dominated her tribe while Jordie tried valiantly to bring her down. With their main target immune, the sausage fest opted to take out Mel over on Blood, while Sam and Jesse were owning Water and ready to finally get rid of Ben. Sadly for them, he had one last shot at redemption as Mel and Ben were able to battle in a fire challenge to return to the game. With Mel ultimately smoking the competition and sending Ben home. For realsies, this time.

The next day the Blood tribe were thrilled to be waking up on Day 26, particularly Mel since she had suceesfully won her way back into the game. Jordie spoke about how great the last 26 days have been, exhausted and overwhelmed but so happy to have made it this far. He encouraged everyone to celebrate their successes given everything could change in a minute and oh God, my newly minted villain king is going, isn’t he? Shay meanwhile was missing Ben though thrilled he is getting some breakfast sausage – OMG, swoon – while Jordie was more focused than ever to get to the end with his brother.

And again, Jordie is toast, isn’t he?

Both tribes joined Jonathan in the middle of the bush where he quickly announced that their tribes are no longer as they have officially merged. Which is convenient as Sam literally brought all her belongings, including a fishing rod like it was 6 year-old me taking my maths book in a fire drill. But I’ve digressed. After everyone hugged and traded out their rancid buffs for fresh, clean numbers, Shay shared she was ready to kick things into overdrive, while Jordie was thrilled to actually be hanging with his bro and Sam was just grateful that she and Mark finally made it to the merge. I assume because it means they can stay together.

With that out of the way, they were tasked with competing in their first individual reward challenge where they would each have to balance a table using a rope and then walk back and forth to collect blocks which they would use to build a pyramid on the balancing board. Oh and the winner would score $60k. Like, what?! That is more than Sharn won over two seasons as the runner-up. Madness!

Madness, but also lols.

In any event, this sort of challenge is never exciting to read about, so I will spare you the they dropped, they dropped commentary and instead will tell you that while Mark got out to an early lead, Shay was playing it fast and loose while Chrissy was surprisingly dominant. Though none of them were competition for Khanh and his steady chef hands, who defied everyone dropping around him and jagged the mega-jackpot reward without dropping once. And sadly made that target on his back just that little bit bigger.

The newly merged tribe arrived at a sandbank in the middle of the river – which TBH, is a bit triggering in Brisbane ATM – for a celebratory feast where they quickly congratulated Khanh on taking out his massive prize, which he was thrilled about despite now being the foremost challenge beast of the season. He was thrilled to be a single in the newly merged tribe, given he doesn’t have to worry about anyone else when playing his game. While everyone was thrilled to be smashing their food, Jordie pulled his brother aside to focus on the game, looping him in on Mark’s idol and catching him up on his sausage fest alliance.

The tribe ventured back to the camp formerly home to the Water Tribe where we finally met Mel and Michelle, who are iconic identical twins who are ready to come and dominate the game. By putting their twin powers to good use, obvi. Sam and Mark too were thrilled to finally redeem their first runs, ready to get some idols and take some names. While Mark oddly stayed quiet about his idol, despite the fact they are straight up married. Sadly for him, Jordie and Sam then caught up by the shelter with Jordie telling Sam about her husband’s idol and well, let’s just say she was pissed. And while Survivor may have brought them together, it may also be the reason for their divorce.

Sam eventually confronted her husband, who thought it was absolutely hilarious she found out from someone else. Giving his mate a smirk on the way out of camp to fight about it. While Sam was happy that Mark’s little snafu had proven himself loyal to Jordie, I can’t help but feel like it makes him look like he has some hardcore trust issues. But whatever.

The tribe reconvened at the shelter to come up with the merge tribe name with both Glitter and Bin Chicken thrown around before they settled on the even worse option of Lava. Which, yuck! Thankfully though Chrissy was well and truly ready to fight for her place in the game, which makes the shit name feel better. Mark caught up with his alliance of five men – the four J names and him – thrilled that with the addition of his wife as their sixth member, they can take control. And with Sam, comes Khanh meaning they should be unstoppable. But you best believe that while Mark was willing to use Khanh, he was still focused on getting him out ASAP. Meaning, maybe not?

The Lava tribe joined Jonathan by a dam for the first individual immunity challenge of the season, the iconic ‘When it Rains it Pours’, most famously won by Shi Ann in All Stars as she briefly blocked Romber’s dominance. You know they one, they hold on to a rope tethered to a bucket of water with the last one standing, dry, winning immunity. Out of nowhere Chrissy was the first to drop out of the challenge, quickly followed by Michelle while Jordie was talking shit at everyone before he and Khanh dropped together, followed by Mark. 

After ten minutes, Mel and Josh dropped back-to-back, leaving the rest to battle it out. Five minutes later, KJ fishing for compliments led to Shay dropping out of the challenge, followed by Jordan, while Mark and Jordie grew bored as they waited around and started strategising, debating the merits of voting either Khanh or Shay out. Sam and Dave were next to drop, leaving Jesse and KJ to fight for immunity. Despite putting up a strong effort, poor KJ couldn’t hold on any longer, dropping her rope after 50 minutes and handing immunity to Jesse.

Back at camp Jesse was well and truly feeling his oats, thrilled to be immune though definitely concerned about how exactly he would be taking control of the tribe. He caught up with his former tribemates, with Sam, Mel and Michelle thrilled to band together as the couples to take out the singles. Sam’s husband Mark meanwhile was still solely focused on blindsiding Khanh. He and the boys were thrilled to lock in the vote split between him and Mel, given they can eliminate another pair at worst case. Meanwhile Sam and Jesse were focused on getting rid of Shay instead, locking in their plans and ready to dominate the tribe. After Khanh was looped in, he pulled KJ aside to lock her in as a number against Shay before moving on to Mel and Michelle.

The latter then approached Sam back at camp, with Sam assuring her the plan is still to get rid of Shay though she did think she should check in with Mark. Who then straight up shat all over her plan when they caught up. Mark then went in on Sam’s loyalty to Khanh, ignoring the fact Mark and his alphas are all the more threatening than Khanh and leaving him as a target could help their longevity. Their bickering was interrupted by the arrival of Khanh, who quickly pointed out they were having a domestic and offered to help counsel them. Sadly unaware that Sam was fighting to protect him, while Mark was stubbornly wanting to get him out.

Sam moved on to Jordie to question why nobody is considering Shay as a viable boot option, with Jordie admitting that turning the tribe off voting out Khanh simply seems near impossible. But boy did Sam continue to fight, bless her. Jesse meanwhile had given up fighting Khanh, approaching his brother with each agreeing to stay loyal to their alliances to get the maximum amount of information for them as a pair. And maybe they will be a formidable duo after all?

At tribal council Shay spoke about how difficult it already is to navigate the merged tribe given she hasn’t even had a chance to talk to everyone before firmly calling all the pairs out as threats. KJ agreed that being outnumbered by the pairs is scary, particularly since they’re all so strong. Jesse tried to downplay their advantage, talking about the fact there are so many ways the tribe could split things. Mark spoke about how he and Sam have not seen eye to eye so far, but out of the spirited discussions, the best ideas have risen to the top. Aka his, in his mind. While Sam tried to downplay the fact they were having a domestic and assured everyone she will stick to who she is loyal to. Mark agreed that tonight is a big vote for everyone to prove their loyalty.

Khanh fully accepted the fact he is a massive target, particularly since he just won $60k in a challenge. While he wasn’t sure he could truly trust anyone in his tribe, he opened up to Jonathan about how trust is always a risk in life and sometimes you just have to take the risks to build something great. Shay meanwhile wasn’t having much faith in the tryibe though reminded everyone that she is a safe single vote that can be added to any alliance. Which led to Mark continuing to gloat about how much better his alliance and plans are than Sam’s and ugh, yuck. Khanh meanwhile was just hoping his trust wasn’t blind.

With that the tribe voted and Khanh held on to his idol while Sam tragically sided with her husband’s alliance and booted him from the game. Thankfully to become the King of Jury, which honestly is the only worthy finish for him if he couldn’t take out the win.

As he arrived at the fresh, clean and very empty Jury Villa, Khanh was still taking his shocking blindside in his stride but given he will be the person taking home the second biggest prize of the season, how could you not be happy? Given we’re both highly respected members of the queer cooking community, Khanh and I have long been the best of friends so he was thrilled to see me waiting for him. While normally my meals are a step down from what he makes for himself, after a month in the bush, he was thrilled to see me whipping up something other than rice and beans. This time in the form of my – Diana Chan inspired – Thai Chickhanh Dumplongs.

As you’ve probably noticed (or definitely will have by the end of the season), I am almost as obsessed with dumplings as I am about burgers. I don’t know if it is the fact they are essentially little mouthfuls packed with flavour, but these babies are so good you’ll forget you just got booted and are now responsible for the entire jury.

Enjoy!

Thai Chickhanh Dumplongs
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
500g chicken mince
7 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, finely sliced
2 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
6 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
2 tsp cornflour
2 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp ground chilli
½ tsp ground white pepper
½ tsp muscovado sugar
40 gow gee wrappers
vegetable oil, for frying

Method
Combine the chicken mince through muscovado sugar in a bowl and stir until well combined. Cover and pop in the fridge for an hour to rest.

Once things are nice and chill, place the wrappers on a clean board and cover with a damp cloth. Working one-by-one, spoon a teaspoon of mixture into the centre of your dumpling wrappers and crimp and fold as desired. Given my lack of skills, I try and hide behind a pleat to cover my bad joins.

Once they’re all done, heat a lug of oil in a large frying pan with a lid over medium heat. Cooking 6-8 at a time, pop the dumplings in the hot oil to fry on the bottom and cook for a few minutes. Add about ½ a cup of water and immediately pop on the lid, cooking for a further five minutes or until cooked through.

Repeat the process until they are all done – they can be frozen uncooked, but I am greedy – before devouring. Ideally with some Nam Jimbo Dressing.


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Triple Pork, Corndra Cheeaz-Twine

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Main, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Sophie was feeling her oats as the cockroach of the season, despite the fact she only miraculously dodged the boot twice in a row due to a twist and Alex quitting rather than skill or gameplay. Identifying Khanh as a big threat, she realised aligning with him could be mutually beneficial and approached him about aligning. Which he sadly had zero interest in. With Sophie gone from the tribe, the alphas were outnumbered on Blood, though after losing the immunity challenge miraculously were able to make some new friends. After Amy found an idol, she was ready to make a strike on Sandra and take control, however the Queen had already sadly scooped them up as they banded together to boot Amy’s bestie Jay.

The next day things were very zen over at the Water tribe as Nina shared how well positioned she was in the tribe and how she was excelling at the game. While I would have loved to hear more from Nina, I was just as distracted as the cameraperson was when her ally Jordie started to repeatedly flash his bum. And just like that, I was back to stanning our overall king. Despite the excitement and the joy of hearing how well Nina is playing, I couldn’t help but become filled with dread as she opened up about being confident in her chances of making it to the end.

The two tribes reconvened with Jonathan where Sam spoke about how united their tribe was, which perfectly cued up JLP to tell them to drop their buffs. Yep, it’s tribe swap time! Given there were 19 people remaining, Sandra, Amy, Dave and Jordan were joined by Shay, Nina, Jordie, Josh and Mel on Blood, while Khanh, Chrissy, KJ and Sophie welcomed Sam, Michelle, Croc, Ben and Jesse on Water, leaving poor Mark tribeless. Well, for a moment, as he was given the right to choose which tribe to join, ultimately selecting to join Blood. Much to the absolute rage of his wife Sam, who was SO ready to play with him. Not wanting to play with their loved one however was Nina, who was heartbroken to be on a tribe with her mother given she now has a huge target on her back. And once again, dread.

Before we could enjoy any drama, Jonathan explained that to take out the reward four people at a time from each tribe would battle in a boat tug-o-war competition to capture a flag, with the first new tribe to three scoring a reward of hot dogs and soda, so you know I would have died to win if I was out there. First up Ben, Croc, Chrissy and Sophie faced off against Mark, Jordan, Mel and Sandra, with the new Water tribe quickly scoring the first point. Josh, Mark, David and Jordie methodically then worked together to tie things up over Croc, Khanh, Jesse and Ben. Sandra, Mel, Shay and Nina worked hard on the third round though were eventually overpowered by Sophie, Sam, KJ and Michelle who scored the second point. Oh and then Ben, Sophie, Croc and Chrissy blitzed through the next round, jagging reward for their tribe. And most importantly, we got to see Ben cheering in his speedo, so everyone is truly a winner.

Back at camp the new Water tribe were delighted to find their hot dog cart, quickly getting to work smashing their snacks and soft drinks. While Sam was thrilled they proved themselves as a new tribe, Chrissy was just thrilled to finally have Croc by her side before talk turned to the fact that Mark was given a choice to join the tribe with Sam and instead opted to keep themselves separated a little longer. Which Sam admitted was a strong strategic decision, despite it hurting. After Croc spoke about feeling bad for those that couldn’t reunite with their pair, Sam and Sophie went for a walk to clear the air and while Sophie promised there were no hard feelings, Sam was very sure that she couldn’t be trusted.

Chrissy interrupted the calm celebrations when she noticed a clue hidden in the side of the cart, quickly rushing to it to snatch it without anyone noticing as she shoved it up her pants. Successfully managing to keep it there, unlike Sharn. Well, until she and Croc awkwardly hugged and she handed it off to him. Back at camp, they went for a walk together where they read their clue and upon Chrissy figuring out where their idol would be, darted off to the river to jag it without anyone noticing. With Croc planning to keep it secret, given that is the advice Sandra gave him and ugh, I now love Croc.

We finally checked in on the new Blood tribe where Jordie was thrilled by how the swap played out for him, keeping him with all of his closest allies and in the majority on the new tribe. And well, to say he was confident is an understatement. Jordie immediately identified Sandra as the biggest threat and vowed to get rid of her ASAP. Essentially. Mark opened up about deciding to stay away from Sam, knowing it was the safest option for them, despite it not being what he truly wanted. As everyone washed off in the water and formed quick bonds, poor Sandra was left alone with Dave back at camp and attempted to try and start over with him, given it is her only option. While she was hopeful Nina’s strong bonds and likability would be able to help her out, she was still very nervous.

Speaking of Nina, she was thrilled to still be on a tribe with all of her allies but sadly – though wisely for her – she approached them to assure them that should they want to vote out her mum, she will be ok with it. While she quietly wondered to us whether she could really bring herself to break her mum’s trust, she also felt it would be hard to cross her allies too.

The tribes reconvened for the immunity challenge where Jonathan explained they would chop through a rope to release a net, climb said net to cross a tower, collect some boxes on balance beams, climb up another tower where they would drop the boxes over the side in an attempt to release a ball. And then use said ball to solve a table maze. Josh got Blood out to the earliest of leads, though they were quickly overtaken by Water who whipped up the nets. After Michelle fell on the balance beams, Blood managed to pull ahead again. Well until they struggled to smash their boxes, giving Water a huge lead while solving their table maze. Sadly, they couldn’t get it together as Nina started to talk her tribe through the puzzle. Though not quickly enough, as Water narrowly took out immunity.

And left Sandra to contend with her Day 16 curse. Much to my mildly simmering rage.

Back at camp Nina quickly apologised for choking while calling the challenge while the rest of the tribe tried to rally and raise her up. Sandra meanwhile stressed about having to go to tribal council on Day 16, though she was hopeful Nina’s connections may be able to keep around for another few days and break said curse. Not wanting to rest on her laurels though, Sandra caught up with Mark and pointed out she has issues with Dave should they be looking for a target, while Dave, Jordie and the cousins hung out to lock in the vote for Mel. Nina went for a walk with Shay and Josh with them filling Nina in on the plan to get rid of Mel, given she is clumsy and may be a liability in future challenges. Which was music to Nina’s, and importantly my ears. 

Sandra meanwhile was back in the water with Jordan, Dave and Amy, with them shocked by the fact Water are willing to get rid of one of their own despite being in the minority. Sadly it was at that moment that Jordie decided they really should have some fun with the vote and instead take out one of the weaker OG Blood women in the form of Sandra, and then at a whisper, Amy.

Jordie, Josh and Mark giddily locked in the vote for Sandra given she is not only weaker and from the rival tribe but most importantly, a massive threat. While Jordie and Josh wanted to give Nina a heads up, Mark assured them it was too dangerous given she could get Shay to play her idol to save her mother and ruin not only their plans but their alliance. Speaking of which, Nina, Sandra and Shay were catching up and well, this better end with an idol play otherwise I’ll be heartbroken. While the trio felt the vote was still going Mel’s way, Sandra worried about what would happen after that given there is nowhere else for her to hide. Even though she isn’t even hiding anymore.

Mark, Jordie and Josh caught up with the other former OG Blood members and Mel to float the Sandra plan and tragically everyone seemed thrilled to jump on board. Thankfully though Nina could tell that Mark and Mel were acting weird with her and as such, felt like something was up. While Jordie caught up with Sandra and assured him the plan was still on Mel, desperate to claim the scalp of Sandra in a blindside.

At tribal council Sandra spoke about being happy with the new tribe, reiterating how proud she is to still be in the game. Mel opened up about being nervous about the upcoming vote, while Mark tried to downplay the fact the original Water tribe hold the majority in this new tribe. Which Jordie reiterated, though far less eloquently. Shay mentioned that she would be voting on strength, given she is desperate for some food and to get another win. This got Sandra fired up, announcing that is not how Survivor works or how it is played, given one person is not a deciding factor in losing a challenge. Sandra then doubled down and pointed out that alliances are more important because come merge, the weak will outnumber the strong and once the strong people start losing immunity, they are immediately booted. Unless they have allies willing to protect them.

This speech spooked Shay, given she thought she knew what would be playing out while Jordie spoke about every season being a clean slate and kinda pretending like Sandra isn’t a damn icon that could wash each and every one of them any day of the week. And well, he better moon us tomorrow if he gets his way tonight because I am growing tired. Nina admitted she is nervous about the upcoming vote, with Jordie pretty much saying he isn’t looking forward to facing a loved one back at camp which narrows down the boot to one of four people, but really only Sandra. Speaking of the Queen, she admitted that she is definitely expecting to receive a couple of votes at tribal council, though continued to speak strongly, reiterating that being a pair is strong and as such, made Josh and Jordan nervous about potentially being the only pair left in the tribe.

Jonathan then asked Nina whether she felt being a pair was important and when Sandra tried to look her in the eye, she told her to look at Jonathan instead as her eyes welled up. This well and truly got Sandra nervous as she spoke about knowing what she signed up for, though she still looked gutted. Before reminding us that the queen stays queen.

With that the tribe voted and tragically, there were no miracles as Shay played her idol for herself – not sure why, though – and Queen Sandra was unanimously booted from the tribe. Once again swap-screwed on Day 16. Which is why I threw the most epic tantrum Charters Towers had ever seen when I got word that Sandra’s curse had completed its hat trick before she claimed her triple crown. 

My tantrum wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t nice and it wasn’t cute, though I would argue it was completely justified.

Sandra is a complete and utter icon and if her new tribes would only stop losing the first challenge after a swap, she should be a lock for the merge after enough time to endear herself with her new people. Instead, we’re left with the brutal tragedy that one again, Sandra is not on a jury at the worst but more ideally addressing one.

While I was heartbroken by her placement on paper, her run on Australian Survivor has only managed to cement her status as the best to ever play the game. Her strategy is simple and logical, but one that not many people could pull off season after season with her finesse.

As soon as I saw her enter the Pre-Jury Villa – no Loser Lodge for MY queen – I immediately started sobbing and ran into her arms. While she wasn’t receptive to my ideas for her to disown Nina and adopt me in her place, or to find Jonathan and production and force them to re-shoot tribal council, or even add a new version of Redemption Rock where Sandra is automatically given the win; she was grateful for my enduring love and support and glad that I was once again by her side on Day 16 to eat our feelings, this time with a Triple Pork, Corndra Cheeaz-Twine. A meal I had tragically thought would manifest the third win, rather than enacting her curse for a third time.

Now I can not take ownership of this recipe – that is Jock Zonfrillo, with some minor tweaks for my preferences – I knew Sandra’s return from retirement needed to be marked with something decadent and regal, worthy of her legacy. This very baconny, very cheesy number is near perfection – smokey and umami, sweet and salty, it is the only glorious meal worthy of someone as glorious as the Survivor GOAT.

Enjoy!

Triple Pork, Corndra Cheeaz-Twine
Jock Zonfrillo’s original recipe
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
50g thinly sliced smoked pancetta
25g smoked salt
25g dark muscovado sugar
10g ground black pepper, to season
10g hot smoked paprika
10g ground star anise
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1.2kg pork belly
1 cup cloudy apple juice
150g sourdough, blitzed to form crumbs
230g sharp aged smoked cheddar, coarsely grated
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
120g unsalted butter, diced
60g flour
2 ½ cups milk
130g blue cheese, diced
130g Fontina, coarsely grated
130g Talleggio, coarsely grated
salt and white pepper, to taste
400g smoked bacon lardons
1 bunch shallots, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
5 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
3 x 400g cans sweetcorn, drained
¼ cup sour cream

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Start by working on your bacon rub by placing the pancetta on a lined baking sheet and cooking in the oven for fifteen minutes, or until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel to remove grease and allow it to cool. Once chill, combine the pancetta with the smoked salt, muscovado sugar, black pepper, paprika and star anise in a food processor or blender and blitz until crumbed.

Next, score the skin of your pork belly and rub it with oil followed by all but 2 tbsp of the bacon rub, getting it on the meat and skin until it is gorgeously marooned. Pop the pork belly on a rack in a baking dish, skin side up, and pour the apple juice into the dish. Transfer to the oven and cook for 15 minutes, before reducing the heat to 180C and cooking for a further hour. Keeping an eye on the apple juice in the pan and topping up with more, or water, should it run dry. Remove from the oven and leave to rest.

While the pork is getting gorgeously browned, combine the bread crumbs, 100g of the smoked cheddar, parsley and the remaining bacon rub in a bowl until combined.

Next step – FYI, there are a lot of steps and it is what Sandra deserves, so deal – melt half the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until foamy. Add the flour, whisk and cook for a minute or so. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the milk to combine before returning to the heat and bringing to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the remaining cheeses and cooking for a further couple of minutes, or until well combined. Season and keep warm.

In another saucepan, melt the remaining butter over medium heat and cook the lardons for five minutes or until starting to caramelise. Add the shallots, garlic and thyme and cook for further five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the corn and stir until warmed through.

When the smells have you more than ready to eat, cut the pork belly into a dice, reserving the crackling for a side or to top. Combine the corn and lardon mixture with the cheese sauce, before folding through the pork belly and sour cream.

Transfer to a baking dish, top with the crumb and pop in the oven to cook for 15 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Serve immediately and devour, eating all your feelings away before the next episode.

And remember, the Queen will always stay Queen. Day 16 curse be damned!


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Scarlett HarGowlett

Main, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 3, Snack, Street Food, Tapas, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the top seven finally faced up to the challenge of the season  – Snatch Game! As is oft the case, Snatch Game – which I still think should be called Skankety Skanks in the UK and Down Under, but I digress – saw some queens rise to the top of the pack with Ella finally shutting down the dolls who called her boring, slaying as Nigella. Kitty too dominated as the GC – her ‘I’m all gamed out’ lives rent free in my mind forevermore – and Scarlett screamed her way into Ru’s heart, though as a twink, that is never hard. At the other end, River and Choriza were the weakest and were both eliminated.

Shut it the fuck down. I am heartbroken.

The top five returned to the Werk Room absolutely shook to the core to have lost the two fan favourites in one damn lip sync. Scarlett asked what the rest of the dolls felt about the lip sync with Krystal summing it up, apologising on behalf of their fallen sisters for bombing and embarrassing them all. As Ella cleaned off their messages, she admitted to being shocked to have taken out Snatch Game. Particularly because the girls didn’t believe she had it in her. 

Kitty meanwhile was gagged about the fact Ru told River to step her pussy up or go home before sending her home, and then admitted that being so close to taking a win was bittersweet, though was thrilled for Ella. Despite being ready for her damn badge. Scarlett meanwhile went in on Ella for not making Ru laugh as much as she did in Snatch Game and again for not having a personality, which fired Ella up to point out that by winning Snatch Game and the Girl Groups challenge, she is kinda the front runner and as such, they need to step their bussies up.

Things were far less combative the next day with Scarlett feeling less nasty as Ella and Krystal were busy milking their double badges. Kitty meanwhile reminded them that she doesn’t need a badge given she is sure to get the crown, though isn’t afraid of pushing Ella down the stairs should it be needed. Oh and she wants Vanity to not wear a synthetic wig. Despite all of them kind of rocking synthetic wigs throughout the season.

Before we can get to the bottom of things, Ru arrived to announce that this week the dolls will need to serve it in a Fugly Ball. Which apparently stands for, ‘Friend, U Gotta Love Yourself’! And to make things interesting – has Ru been dabbling in Jeff’s closet of twists – this year’s ball would be timed, with the queens having short bursts of time to get ready, walk the mainstage and then lather, rinse and repeat the process. Twice.

The Fugly Swimwear runway was up first with the dolls given 69 minutes to split up and get into their sexy best with everyone rightly bricking it as they beat their mugs. Kitty asked the dolls whether they’ve experienced any trolling as ‘known’ people, with Ella admitting she only gets more thirst messages – of course – while Kitty explained that she doesn’t really care about people’s opinions, so has never let it get to her. Krystal opened up about drag giving her her confidence, given she isn’t really comfortable as a man before sharing that she is a virgin. Which gagged everyone as they rallied around and encouraged her to be confident in herself, because she is such a sweet, kind person.

Ru then jumped on the loudspeaker announcing they have ten minutes until the runway leading to the dolls running around looking for wigs and outfits before heading to the mainstage to meet Ru, Michelle, Alan and the stunning Alesha Dixon. Up first was Vanity Milan looking gorgeous in an ugly, ill-fitting, quilted bathing suit. Kitty was demented in a frilly, garishing one-piece with buck teeth and frizzy hair. Scarlett was a messed up pussy in the craziest way while Ella looked like a drunk MILF in the background of Mad Men going to the Country Club and Krystal was stunning as a sea wench, complete with chocolate starfish!

The dolls assembled on the runway to learn that the second category was Charity Shop Chic where they will need to whip up a runway using five Charity Shop leftovers. Oh and in the 60 minutes it takes to get ready, they also get to kiki with Charity Shop Sue much to the delight slash horror of Krystal. Who was triggered given she bombed Snatch Game as her. Sue was dementedly on brand as she introduced the leftovers they would choose from before eventually letting the dolls have at it. Hangers were flying through the air and getting stuck in wigs while Sue was nervous about them making an absolute mess in her pristine shop. Poor Krystal had to take her prosthetics off in the short 45 minutes remaining while Kitty was worried about getting something to fit as Ella was popping a tit, but making it glam. Vanity somehow looked stunning in her orange while Scarlett was a clash of the savannah animals before switching to duelling LBDs with Krystal.

With that, they headed to the runway where, ultimately, Kitty slayed in a clash of pastel and fluro outfits channelling Daphne Blake. Krystal was flawless in a black, shimmering number, Ella was gorgeous in pastel, granny chic while Vanity was gorgeous in her orange number with Ts of my girl Nene Leakes before Scarlett closed the show as drunk, naughty Sandy Dee.

Finally the girls were tasked with rocking a Fugly but Fashionable look which they were given 30 minutes to pull together. And well, things were bedlam in the Werk Room as they ran around flailing. Kitty meanwhile was confident in her ability to throw something together quicker than the rest of the girls while Krystal opted to start her mug from scratch. Again. Talk turned to onstage mishaps with Vanity sharing that she lost a wig during a Queen Bey performance though thankfully it happened at the end of the number and she made it work. Scarlett admitted she kicked a shoe at someone while Kitty lip synced against a customer who’s tit fell out. AT BRUNCH.

Rounding out the Miss Fugly Pageant 2021, Ella Vaday looked like a stunner in her plaid, fluro chaps and ugh, she is feeling her oats and I LOVE her. Vanity meanwhile was stunning in a black, quilted gown, Krystal was a stunning monster mash complete with poodle wig, while Scarlett was a trashy, fluro mess – in all the right ways – while Kitty stole the show in a knitted maxi gown reveal, complete with kitten heels.

Kitty received universal praise for her looks, with Michelle thrilled that she was clearly having the best damn time on the runways. Please, don’t let this be a fake out because she has had a damn good night! Vanity’s swimwear was read for its poor fit, though they loved how great she looked in her final two looks and lived for her killer mug. Scarlett was praised for bringing the fun in her swimsuit though the other looks were read for not exactly hitting the mark, despite how much fun she was having. Once again, Ella received universal praise, despite not having the best fitting swimsuit. While rounding out critiques, Krystal received universal praise for her first and last looks, though the judges felt she didn’t go far enough in her Charity Shop look.

Ru asked the girls to identify their favourite final looks, with Kitty loving Scarlett’s look, Vanity loving Kitty’s and I think Scarlett lived for Kitty too, though read Krystal for looking like Anubis. Ella meanwhile lived for Vanity’s final runway while Krystal thought Ella‘s was the best.

As the dolls untucked they were well and truly shell shocked by the sheer pace of the challenge. Scarlett likened things to ready, steady, cook while Krystal was in her feelings about nobody loving her final outfit. Nor did she appreciate Scarlett reading her wig as Anubis. Vanity meanwhile was nervous about landing in the bottom, due to her track record while Ella felt Scarlett would be lip syncing because of her final two outfits. Which somehow, didn’t bother her. Kitty then made a toast to the dolls and ugh, if she doesn’t get her damn badge, I will be ropeable.

Ultimately Kitty did take out her first victory of the season, much to her giddy, screaming delight and ugh, I’m so damn happy. Ella and Krystal were quickly sent to safety, leaving Vanity and Scarlett to face off to Scandalous by Mis-Teeq and damn, this is a bounce back from last week’s lacklustre performance. Vanity quickly served a reveal and owned the damn stage and while Scarlett was giving camp and hitting all the letters, Vanity was flipping, spinning and bouncing across the stage and well, she was a damn star. As Alesha was living her best life watching on from the judges panel.

Sadly though, there must be a loser and my dear, poor Scarlett found herself booted from the competition. As she entered the Werk Room, I gave her a stern look for all of five seconds as I tried to be mad at her for being catty the last few weeks. Then I remembered, COVID is still a thing, the competition is intense and I love her, so I pulled her into my arms, gave her a big hug and told her how damn proud of her I am.

While she was disappointed to not make it all the way to the top, I reminded her that she is funny, beautiful and can turn a look. And is oozing talent. And charisma. And Ru loves her, so she will be well and truly fine – hello All Stars! With that, I told her to always believe in herself and then shoved a plate of Scarlett HarGowlett in front of her and told her to eat, damn it.

There is nothing more satisfying that a big ol’ dump(ling), and while I usually don’t like to partake in seafood, these little prawn numbers have always delighted me. Light and sweet, with a kick of ginger, they’re the perfect way to work through your post-boot trauma.

Enjoy!

Scarlett HarGowlett
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
250g raw prawns, peeled, deveined and finely chopped
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp vegetable oil
¼  tsp white pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp raw caster sugar
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup bamboo shoots, minced
40 gow gee wrappers

Method
Combine the prawns, oyster sauce, oils, pepper, salt, sugar, ginger, garlic and bamboo shoots in a bowl and mix until well combined.

Get a steamer on while you get to work making the dumps. Lay out your gow gee wrappers and place a scant teaspoon of filling into the middle. Fold in to form a triangle and crimp the edges to seal. Repeat the process until they’re all done.

Once the steamer is like a sauna in Queer as Folk, place the dumplings in and steam for 6-8 minutes, or until cooked through and piping hot.

Devour immediately with some chinese chilli oil or, you know, whatever you like with your dumplings.


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Jason Porkstein Chow Mein

Main, Street Food, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island, TV, TV Recap

After the longest, darkest off season Survivor is back. No not the Jiffy Pop brand of Survivor but a Survivor, and since Nico my love is super hot, you’re going to buckle in. Whether you like it or not, ok? Because this is Survivor SA.

We opened with my dear Nico, perilously close to a cliff face on the southern tip of Africa, filling me with fear and dread since we’ve all lived through enough in the last 18 months. I mean, that was worse than the Game of Thrones series finale. Anyway, my mood perked up when we met Tyson who is a babe and just like that, I love him. We followed him with Jason who is thrilled to have a homeground advantage being in SA, despite everyone having the same advantage. Though it turns out Amy kinda proved Jason may actually be correct, since she has no idea what to fear IN HER OWN COUNTRY.

Though maybe that is because in Australia, we just assume all bugs and snakes will kill you.

My hair twin Qieän was living for lady Rupert who we learnt is called Santoni. She in turn is scared by how built Marisha is and Anesu was intimidated by a shirtless old zaddy called Shaun. Nicole is looking forward to being underestimated, shirtless zaddy was shirtless so I didn’t absorb much information aside from his passion for backstabbing while sweet Pinty was pumped to be honest – no Queen Pinty. Nico then introduced us to the conceptImmunity Island which appears to be the same as Island of Secrets, which was fun and not overpowered, so I’ll let it slide.

Oh and Thoriso is ready to win, Wardah is ready to practice her mindfulness and Renier is excited to prove himself. And Tyson swung back around to tell us he will win. So I’m going to say he actually will win. As much as I love most of the cast.

The castaways finally joined Nico for an official welcome to the game where Santoni spoke about her weird and whimsical ways and damn, I love her. Tyson again reminded us he is here to win and again, I’ll listen. Until I realised Chappies was showing off his beautiful gams because now he has won something. My heart. Oh and Marisha the strong was charming and iconic, and I feel deep within my waters that I’m really going to enjoy her.

Nico explained that someone will head to Immunity Island after losing an immunity challenge. Once there they will be faced with a challenge offering them advantages and disadvantages. But that is all he was willing to share at this stage.

Nico instead announced that they would be split into two tribes based on random draw with Amy, Anela, Dino, Jason, Marisha, Nicole, Qieän, Renier, Shaun and Thoriso landing on Zamba and Vuna made up of Anesu, Carla, Chappies, Kiran, Mike, Pinty, Paul, Santoni, Tyson and Wardah. Nicole was thrilled to be on the tribe with buff queen Marisha, while Paul was annoyed to be the only buff guy on the weaker looking Vuna tribe. Though Anesu thinks orange is a colour of abundance and therefore, didn’t care. And now, I vote for her to win. Oh and Thoriso was annoyed to be with the buff squad while Amy was thrilled to be with them, as Wardah was loving the energetics of her tribe. And then Jason talked smack about his rivals’ chill ways.

But enough set-up, the tribes were immediately tasked with running into the jungle to grab as many supplies as possible in two minutes. Oh and to make things more complicated, there were two immunity necklaces for each tribe that are good for their first tribal. As they ran off Renier knew not to go for immunity and instead to look out for an advantage amongst the loot, while everyone ran around like mad for the fruit and snacks. While Dino it turns out, was the one to make a run for his tribe’s immunity necklace. And nobody from Vuna snagged one. Dino was thrilled to not become the first boot, though was nervous about what it could potentially mean for his game. Nico then announced that there was also a brown envelope with a tribe advantage in it, but the person had to reveal who they were to receive it. With Renier thrilling his tribe by the fact that he grabbed it, but I can’t help but feel the secrecy may come back to bite him. And you guessed it, I love him.

Particularly since Nico told them that Renier is a game player. Though he did win the tribe camp comfort supplies, so maybe they won’t worry too much.

With that the tribes grabbed their maps and headed off to their camps, ready to start the game. We first checked in with Zamba where Dino was apologising for grabbing the immunity necklace before the tribe went on a group trip through the jungle to get water and to get to know each other. Meanwhile at Vuna they was far more chill about things as they got to work and hanging as a pack, talking about not working too hard and just doing a temporary shelter to get them going. Chappies meanwhile was wooing me as he rubbed two sticks together in his undies to try and make fire.

We bounced back to Zamba where Renier was happy to let other people take a leadership role in the tribe and paint a target on their backs. And given how the tribe grew more and more frustrated as they attempted to build their shelter, Jason girl, you’re in trouble. Well other than Shaun and Qieän who were desperately searching through the supplies for a flint or an idol. Which Amy noticed and immediately reported to Renier, Dino, Jason and Anela. And all of them were thrilled to have a target on someone else’s back. Oh and during the conversation we learnt that Nicole and Marisha were also aligned, apparently.

At Vuna Pinty and Chappie waded in the shores and quickly aligned, Kiran and Anesu aligned in the shrubs due to attending the same university before Kiran roped Carla, Mike and Tyson into their alliance. Oh and Anesu was quick to align with Wardah, given they are both influencers and Wardah thinks Anesu should keep her career as a doctor secret. And then Wardah caught up with Tyson and aligned with him too as Chappies and Pinty tried to recruit Anseu. But let’s be honest the main take away is that everyone wants to align with Anesu. And who wouldn’t because she is now my winner’s pick.

That night Zamba were sleeping under their shelter on the ground while Vuna struggled to stay dry in the rain. Though Carla proved herself to be a damn icon and that truly matters to me.

Zamba woke up dry and comfortable on day two, ready to finish their shelter and make things more comfortable while Thoriso worried about getting herself up from the bottom of the totem pole. As such, she set her sights on Shaun and his brash lack of people skills and turning people against him.

Before she could get to that, treemail arrived tasking each tribe with sending one champion to go and battle creating fire using a flint, with the winner securing a fire making kit for their tribe. Chappies and Jason were each nominated, with Thoriso quickly surmising that by nominating Jason the tribe appear to trust him and as such, she had another target in her sights. In any event, Jason and Chappies joined Nico with the latter trying to intimidate Jason by pretending they already have fire. Which Jason rightly called bullshit on. But more importantly, I think they should date. In any event, both of the boys were quick to get a flame but Chappie ultimately smoked the competition and secured reward for his tribe.

Oh and then Nico gave them diplomatic immunity, meaning both of them now have the power to mutiny from their tribe after losing immunity but only before the merge. Which could be really interesting.

Back at camp Chappies was quick to share his victory with the tribe though wisely kept quiet about his power to defect, should he need it. While Mike pondered whether something else happened at the challenge, Chappies invoked Zaddy John and got naked and ran into the water as a dick-straction. So basically, I love Chappies and would die for him. Meanwhile at Zamba, Jason was heartbroken to have lost and he too kept his mouth shut about his immutinity. Queen Thoriso meanwhile was frustrated by the fact the loss won’t really change anything for Jason and right on cue, he wandered off to align with Shaun.

That night at Vuna, the tribe joyously gathered around fire and basked in the warmth and victory as they roasted their veggies.

The next day Nico returned for the first immunity challenge of the season where the tribes would swim out to retrieve rope rungs from buoys before using them to build a rope ladder to get to a second level of a tower where they would need to solve a rope ladder puzzle and then venture to the top floor and wait wait wait, I’ve missed this, solve a puzzle. Renier got Zamba off to a slight lead over Chappies, which Paul quickly closed as Jason was felled by knots. Vuna continued to hold on to their lead, building their ladder while Zamba desperately tried to close the gap. Until Santoni struggled and the tribes became neck and neck. Zamba got their start on the second ladder first, getting to the final level while Vuna languished on the second. But then the puzzle happened, as Vuna smoked them and snatched the first immunity thanks to Queen Anesu. As Dino begged Paul to save him and send him to immunity island.

Sadly for him, the tribe went with my Queen Thoriso. Which is the only answer I was willing for them to make.

We followed Thoriso off to Immunity Island where she learnt that she had earned immunity for herself, as well as food, shelter and fire. But obviously there was a cost, where she could face a challenge for another advantage and risk losing her vote at the next tribal. Though if she doesn’t play, she has to return to the tribe and hand over the immunity necklace to someone else. Obviously she opted for the challenge and got digging in a sandpit to find a red ball within a couple of minutes, which she sadly failed at and ended up losing her vote.

Back at camp Shaun was annoyed by Dino trying to align with the other tribe while Amy languished over being the reason they lost the challenge. Dino acknowledged that he was trying to woo the other tribe and Rinna it (aka owning it) to his advantage. Thankfully for him, Amy, Nicole and Marisha didn’t care as they desperately wanted Qieän gone first and were willing to join him. Meanwhile Jason and Anela – aka Smash – were catching up about who best to target and focused on the scramblers, which made Jason nervous given he is aligned with Shaun. In fact, it made Jason so nervous while trying to protect Shaun that Anela started to think Jason needed to go. 

Shaun meanwhile was busy searching everywhere for the idol.

Renier joined Jason to talk plans and while they were aligned, Renier grew nervous about Jason’s unpredictability. And immediately got to work turning the vote on Jason. The girls quickly got on board, but only if Smash was willing to join them. Then Jason and Renier spoke to Dino about the vote, with Renier earning icon status by pointing at Jason to let Dino know to vote for him. While Jason was confused as to why he was holding his hand up the entire conversation. Meanwhile Shaun was desperately trying to get Anela to protect him, surmising that since nobody has given him a name, he is clearly the name. Which really upset Qieän, given it was a sign that she will be an early boot.

At tribal council Thoriso rejoined her tribe, completely unaware that even without immunity she would have been safe tonight. Shaun spoke about the nervousness caused by the backstabbing of the previous day as people were looking to build their alliances. Jason spoke about the beautiful friendships they are already forming, before Shaun cut in to tell them that friendship is nothing and they need strength to make it to the merge. Amy spoke about focusing on trust as her deciding factor while Shaun continued to try and cut in, this time talking about working hard and being above board with everything. With Anela cutting him off to point out the target was on his back because he was searching through the food for an advantage.

Shaun said he was actually trying to find bad fruit to dispose of it before it ruins the rest of their food. Shaun told them that if they felt he had an idol, they should have gone through his bags or at least asked him. Because that is how you build trust. Thoriso was thrilled to have immunity amongst such uncertainty, while Shaun pointed out that he would always be the target. And then instead opted to remind everyone that Dino is trying to build bonds with people on the other tribe. Thankfully that was brushed over as Thoriso was forced to announce that she doesn’t have a vote at tribal, which didn’t bother Jason because one vote doesn’t really matter should you have the numbers.

Which he tragically learnt he didn’t as he was blindsided – genuinely, I might add – as the first boot. Much to the shock and delight of Shaun, who didn’t receive a single vote. He was gutted but delightful, given he is such a babe and as such, I was thrilled to fill me, hard, to the brim with some Jason Porkstein Chow Mein.

Spicy, sticky and oh so sweet, these noodles are near perfection. A little bit of hit, full of fresh veggies and packed with my other other favourite white meat. Noodles and stir fry are always a winner, particularly if you’re the first boot.

Enjoy!

Jason Porkstein Chow Mein
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp minced ginger
¼ cup shao hsing
⅓ cup oyster sauce
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ tsp ground white pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
500g pork mince
1 onion, sliced
1 red capsicum, sliced
400g tin baby corn
1 cup snow peas, trimmed
2 tbsp minced chilli
440g fresh chow mein noodles
1 cup wombok, sliced
4 shallots, sliced green

Method
Mix the garlic, ginger, shao hsing, oyster sauce, soy sauce and pepper together in a jug and leave to rest.

Place a wok over medium-high heat and add half the vegetable oil and quickly stir fry the mince until cooked through. Add half the sauce and cook until sticky and browned. Transfer to a bowl to cook.

Heat the rest of the oil in the wok and add literally everything but the noodles, wombok and shallots. Stir fry for a couple of minutes and then add the remaining ingredients and cook for a few minutes.

Remove from heat, serve immediately and devour. Joyously. Because a Survivor is back and Jason is as gorgeous as a stir fry.


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Bobcorn Chicken Crowley

Main, Poultry, Side, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Gabon

We’re less than two weeks away from someone joining the Francesca Hogi Memorial First Boot Club – well technically, who knows with extinction in play – and as such it is high time to corral another Sole Survivor to drop by and celebrate.

Side note: can you believe I am one victor away from completing the winner’s circle? Well, two given Brian Heidik shoots puppies and will never appear here.

Anyway, given that our best shot is for this season to be an epic disaster that manages to be entertaining, I thought it was finally time to catch up with my dear friend Bob Crowley. Aka victor of one of the most chaotic and beautifully entertaining seasons of all time, Gabon.

While I didn’t know Bob until after his win, we became the best of friends as soon as Sugar introduced us. Some may say it was his out of the box buff wearing that saw him snatch my heart, and well, they are totally right. And that is why we’ve never fought a day after our beautiful friendship.

Despite being one vote away from being bested by Susie, Bob’s win is one of the greatest possible outcomes for a season as insane as Gabon. I mean, it would be like Angelina winning David vs. Goliath. Sure Matty dominated physically, the onions were nasty and Sugar controlled the game, Bob managed to find his footing against all odds, made a stunning fake idol and leveraged Sugar’s emotions to get to the end.

And if that isn’t worthy of a bowl of Bobcorn Chicken Crowley, I don’t know what is.

 

 

You know I love me some fried chicken slash take-away copycats, so this baby pretty much has it all. Spicy, crunchy itty-bitty pieces of chicken – the perfect way to feel like you’ve eaten less, while getting optimal batter to meat quantity. Perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Bobcorn Chicken Crowley
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 cups flour
⅔ tsp salt
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp basil
⅓ tsp oregano
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp mustard powder
4 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp white pepper
500g chicken breast, cut into popcorn sized chunks
1 cup buttermilk
vegetable oil, for fryin’

Method
Combine the flour through white pepper in a large bowl and place the buttermilk in another. Toss the chicken through the buttermilk, then in the flour mixture to coat thoroughly.

Bring 1 inch deep oil to heat – around 180°C – in a large pot. Once shimmering with heat, add the chicken a handful of pieces at a time – size, not literally with your hands since the oil – and fry for about five minutes, or until golden, crisp and cooked through. Transfer to kitchen paper to drain slightly and repeat the process until done.

Devour immediately. With or without your fave sauce.

 

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Richard Linkslater

Breakfast, Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldy Bird, Main, Snack

Holy hell, can you believe I’ve made it four posts without disappearing from the internet without a word? New year, new me, same old bullshit it seems.

After zigging over to the television side of the globes with Katey yesterday, I decided to zag back to the Motion Picture side of the runsheet – which we kicked off with Ry, remember – for day three of my Golden Globe Gold: Goldy Bird celebrations by having a date with the divine Richard Linklater.

I first met Rich in the ‘90s when I was hired as a paddling consultant on Dazed and Confused – a role I also held on the set of the hit Jerry O’Connell vehicle, Tomcats. While our relationship started off as boss-employee, we fast became friends and I encouraged him to make collaborate with my friend Julie Delpy and the rest, as I do like to say, is history.

Given my gentle nudge lead him down the award circuit path, Rich has always felt that part of his success is due to me – while I obviously think that too, I don’t tell him that given we’re the dearest friends) – and as such, was honoured to be showcased this year.

Since he has all the writing, directing and producing cred, we focused on those races with him backing The Favourite for screenplay – while I believe it is Roma’s to take. We agree that the HFPA will honour Bradley Cooper as Best Director – rather than Actor – Roma will win Best Foreign Film and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse will take Animation, however that is where our consensus ended. He sees A Star is Born sweeping Best Drama while I think Black Panther will surprise, while Blackkklansman deserves it. Rich thinks The Favourite will win Best Comedy or Musical, while I think Vice has it in the bag. While we disagreed more than we agreed, we finished with a hug and sat down to a hearty plate of Richard Linkslater.

 

 

Given my passion for all things sausage, I had always wanted to try my hand at making my own but never had the courage. Until this year, and I couldn’t be happier. Bursting with flavour and melt in your mouth, these little babies – which is a minimally tweaked recipe I found – prove that there really is nothing better than homemade.

Enjoy!

 

 

Richard Linkslater
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
2.5kg boneless pork butt
¼ cup sage, roughly chopped
5 tsp thyme, roughly chopped
2 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp chilli flakes
2 tsp freshly ground white pepper
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
ice water
4.5m natural sheep casings, soaked and thoroughly rinsed

Method
Cut the pork into 1/2 inch chunks and freeze them for about 45 minutes to get them to a temperature 0°C. Chill a large bowl of the stand mixer during this time.

Grind the pork using a 6mm die directly into the bowl, and then put it through a second time.

Combine the mince with the herbs and spices and mix using the paddle attachment of the stand mixer for five minutes or so, or until you pull a clump of meat apart and threads appear as you pull them. You may need to had a tablespoon or two of ice cold water, though use your judgement.

Chill the mixture in the fridge while you set up the sausage stuffer and thread the casings on the end. Place the chilled mixture in the stuffer and fill the casings to avoid an air gaps forming, but making sure not to overstuff them. Twist the sausages into links and prick any air bubbles with the end of a sharp knife.

You can then either cook the sausages in a frying pan – that is scorching and then immediately reduced to the lowest heat – until browned through, poach in lightly salted water or bake in the oven.

Then devour.

 

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