Maryanne Picoketchutney

Condiment, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor 18 new castaways were marooned on the islands of Fiji, ready to repeat all the tricks of last season. But hot damn did they have more success. Despite tragically losing Jackson before the first immunity challenge, the Ika tribe arrived at tribal council ready to play. Sadly for Zach, that was as far as his game went. More importantly, it also broke Maryanne’s heart as he was the literal embodiment of every white man she has ever loved. We then lost Marya, Jenny and Swati in quick succession, before Daniel blew up his game and set up the demise of Vati post-merge.

Speaking of which, the fake merge cost Lydia her game before Chanelle became the queen of the jury. Ika lost Rocksroy and Tori in a double tribal council before Omar took control by getting rid of Hai and Drea. In turn, that painted a target on his back and got him booted by Maryanne’s epic 3-2-2 play. This then led to Lindsay getting booted before the fire making challenge took out Jonathan, leaving Romeo, Mike and Maryanne to face the jury at final tribal council.

Despite Romeo putting in a strong showing, he came out of the experience with nary a vote while Mike’s subpar performance scored him only one as the jury gave Maryanne a resounding win for not only a game well played, but for dominating final tribal council.

After the cast finished filming the on island reunion, I quickly pulled Maryanne aside to toast her success. While she had a wild yet somehow quiet game at the start, she expertly read the room and was able to reset once she realised how she was being perceived, leading her on a path to greatness. Pulling off some epic moves at the right moments to not only get her to the end, but earn her the win. More importantly, she also was an epic and engaging character that will go down in the pantheon of legends. But for now, we’ll always have Maryanne Picoketchutney.

I always had a fear of the bright yellow pickle that lived in my fridge as a child, but thankfully with time comes wisdom and as an adult, my love affair began. Super tart, a little bit sweet and lightly spice, this is the perfect accompaniment for any occasion. Particularly a win.

Enjoy!

Maryanne Picoketchutney
Makes: 1.5L.

Ingredients
500g cauliflower, cut into small florets
200g zucchini, cut into a fine dice
100g green beans, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 onion, diced
2 tbsp sea salt
600ml malt vinegar
3 tbsp English mustard powder
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
¼ cup plain flour
⅔ cup raw caster sugar
2 bay leaves

Method
Combine the cauliflower, zucchini, beans and onion in a bowl with the salt. Cover and leave to steep at room temperature overnight. In the morning, rinse under cold water and drain.

Whisk 100 ml of vinegar with the mustard powder, coriander, mustard and cumin seeds, turmeric and flour to form a paste.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the mustard mixture and cook for a couple of minutes, or until starting to thicken. Add the drained vegetables and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Ladle the mixture into sterilised jars and seal immediately, storing in a cool dark place until opened. Then devour, immediately.


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Haloumi and Zuckitty Scott-Clauzza

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

Previously on Drag Race UK the top four were tasked with roasting themselves, the panel and their eliminated sisters for a decidedly heavenly roast. Kitty was her usual brand of funny and charming, however it was once again Ella that completely dominated. From dad jokes to her hilariously dragging anyone in sight, she well and truly earned her fourth victory on her way to the finale. At the other end of the pack, Vanity was read for playing it too safe with her jokes,  while Krystal landed in the bottom for her heavy reliance on age jokes. After the duo lip synced however, the assassin was felled as Krystal went through to the finale and Vanity sashayed away.

Backstage the dolls were jubilant to make it to the end, though quickly took pause to toast their fallen sister Vanity. Kitty joked that there is normally a dog in the top three, though was glad that this one only had a bunch of babes. Though did admit that if she can’t spot the ugly queen, maybe it was in fact her. Ella was still on cloud nine about her victory, talking about how great it was to see their sisters and hoping none of them were offended by being dragged. Which was obviously the point that they were all brought in, praising Ella for killing the hell out of the roast. Vanity was accepting of being eliminated, while Krystal agreed she deserved to be in the bottom alongside her, with Elektra shadily agreeing out loud rather than in her head. Choriza rounded out the visit by giving the final three a pep talk for the finale ahead while Kitty just wanted the meet and greet girls to exit so they could celebrate and get their heads in the game.

The next day the queens were feeling festive as fuck to be not only be in the finals but also because Ru popped up some Christmas trees. Ella quickly pointed out that she has the same amount of badges as the other two combined, while Kitty was just thrilled to have proof that her years of hard work are worth it. Ru interrupted their chat to drop by and announce that for this year’s finale, the dolls would be writing their own verse on her holiday hit, Hey Sis, It’s Christmas. And then, you know, perform it live on the mainstage, after a quick Q&A with her and Michelle.

They quickly split up to write their lyrics, with Kitty nervous about how to stand out while Ella wanted to write a bop. And Krystal simply wanted to do better than the Girl Group challenge. After spilling some sample lyrics, Kitty dropped by to catch up with Ru and Michelle, talking about her passion for Christmas and her level of comfort on the stage. She opened up about her time at musical theatre school and how she practised sewing before joining the competition and always tries to keep things positive. And how supportive her sweet family are.

Ella was up next, opening up about how gagged she is to have dominated the competition. Ru asked whether Ella was just a failed actor that came to drag – way harsh, Tai – with her opening up about doing it to re-energise her career and that she initially kept drag separate from the theatre crowd, so that she would be taken seriously in both worlds. She spoke about how she learnt to love herself, got all loved up and reiterated the fact she was so shocked to make it to the end. Krystal meanwhile had Ru and Michelle laughing from the start, joking and giving off a very relaxed vibe. She mocked her name, spoke about her inspirations and how proud her family are. Talk turned to her virginity with Krystal admitting that she would prefer to be doing up a wig than doing a man. Or well, going on a date. Oh and she was fired up for the win.

The dolls then joined Jay Revell to learn the choreography for their final performance with Kitty overwhelmed by how damn hot he is. Which in a word, is relatable. Krystal was up first, wanting to throw in a lot of tricks and flicks to sell herself. Kitty meanwhile was fun and full of pointing, while Ella was the perfect combination of the two – sexy but also pointy. After they were all chill and calm about their verses, Jay told them their group moments are hard as hell and well, poor Krystal arrived at struggle street. As the musical theatre queens quickly picked up the choreo, poor Krystal lagged behind while Kitty knew it was all a ruse as she will definitely slay it, because that is what Krystal does.

Coronation Day finally arrived with Krystal asking them about first impressions, with Ella admitting she was gagged, not about how stunning Krystal’s looks were, but more importantly, that she was also super kind. Kitty meanwhile was nervous upon seeing Ella, praising her for being as handsome as Gaston in drag. While both the dolls were thrilled to have met Kitty and her infectious energy. Kitty then opened up about how great it was to meet Baby Spice, while Ella’s highlight was winning Snatch Game. Which Kitty admitted she was gagged about, given she thought she would win or it would at least be a double. Krystal meanwhile was proud about how she constantly surprised herself.

And then Ella and Kitty did a spot on Veronica Green impersonation. Which means nothing really, but was important to me.

Ru, Michelle, Graham and Alan lined up on the panel for the debut performance of Hey Sis, It’s Christmas! and frankly, Ella’s verse was absolute fire and she sold the hell out of it to boot. Kitty was demented and delightful, as per usual, while Krystal came out all guns blazing. The rest of the queens then joined the performance and things got wild and well, ugh, I just love the dolls.

On the Final Three Eleganza Extravaganza Runway, Ella was a vision in a stunning purple gown, complete with a big old wig to make Michelle happy. She was sparkly, confident and ready to complete it with a crown. Kitty straight up looked like a Southern belle who became a princess, feeling her oats and looking a frosted delight. Krystal meanwhile was perfection in a black velvet mermaid gown, standing out in all the right ways.

Ella received universal praise for her verse, opening herself up and nailing the hell out of the challenge. The judges loved her look, though Graham did question the choice of shoe. Though they all agreed that she dominated the competition and was the one that they could all rely on. Kitty was praised for her magnetism and her demented lyrics in the song before the judges shared how much they loved her look. Alan then likened her to a labrador, with everyone loving her energy from the start and then they learnt she is talented to boot. The judges loved how Krystal challenged herself in the final number, thrilled to see her polish her skills and emerge as an even brighter star. Oh and they lived for her dark and moody final runway.

Ella was first to talk to young Nicholas, reminding him that he is beautiful and perfect and begged him to embrace who he is and silencing all the names and slurs that are thrown his way. Kitty wanted young Lewis to remember how lucky he is and to never take anything for granted. She then suggested he stay happy and kind and most importantly, to wear supportive underwear. Krystal told young Luke – well, younger – to embrace all the love he has around him and to be kind and patient while waiting for people to come around. Oh and to ease up on fillers as a teenager.

Ella shared that she should be the next UK Drag Superstar, admitting that she has all the talent and has thrown everything out there to get the win. Finishing simply by reminding them that she is the best, and they should pick her. Kitty felt that she should win because she is the embodiment of UK drag, with a little camp and a big pair of knockers. Krystal meanwhile wanted to inspire the next generation of drag to try hard and let kids know they can do whatever it is they want.

Backstage the dolls caught up with their eliminated sisters with Elektra thrilled they all got a chance to perform together one last time. Choriza was proud of everyone, while Victoria was shady about Ella finally stepping out of the chorus. Ella meanwhile was proud to dominate, though Kitty suggested it won’t matter in the end. Anubis meanwhile looked stunning as she praised them for a great season, while River joked that the double elimination was the best lip sync. Oh and we learnt that Elektra wasn’t allowed to jump off the stage when she did, while Scarlett joked about not wanting to talk about her walk off.

After the eliminated queens walked the runway, the top three were tasked with lip syncing for the crown to Dusty Springfield’s You Don’t Own Me. Everyone played to their strengths from the start, Kitty was charming as hell and giving all the comedy, Ella was moody and leant into her acting chops while Krystal threw everything at the wall. It was stunning, it was emotional and most importantly, they were stupid and fired up. Tragically though, there can only be one winner and that was young Krystal.

While she was busy getting her crown fitted, I pulled Kitty to the side to toast her killer run and infectious personality. As Kitty said, she truly is the embodiment of UK drag, camp, bawdy and so damn fun, which to me, well and truly earns a victorious Haloumi and Zuckitty Scott-Clauzza!

I know, I know – zucchini isn’t the most exciting vegetable (or is it a fruit?) option in the world, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a place. Like say, this one! Thin strips of juicy goodness work perfectly with the salty haloumi to create a perfect new pizza combination.

Enjoy!

Haloumi and Zuckitty Scott-Clauzza
Serves: 1 iconic queen and her equally iconic bestie.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
⅓ cup Toni Basil Pesto
400g haloumi, sliced
2 zucchinis, thinly sliced lengthways
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
cheddar and mozzarella, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Smear the bases with pesto. Layer with haloumi and zucchini, followed by a dotting of garlic and the cherry tomatoes, then a generous helping of the cheeses.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devour, careful not to burn yourself on the molten hot cheese.


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Biminestrone Bon Boulash

Main, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK 2, Soup, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the top four slayed their final challenge before Ru decided to add one final bit of messiness to the proceedings and eliminated Ellie without a shot at the crown. With that, the newly minted top three took their places on the mainstage and turned out another epic performance as they lip synced for the crown. Despite Tayce obviously slaying from start to finish, however, that was as far as her superior lip syncing skills would take her as she finished as co-runner-up of the season.

Co-runner-up with Bimini, proving to be the gaggiest gag of all the seasons as Lawrence took the crown home to Scotland instead.

By the time Bimini found me backstage, following the sound of my heartbroken tears, I clung to her for dear life, disappointed that her epic run wasn’t rewarded with a crown. She tried to sooth me with assurances that proving herself was more than enough of a win and reminded me I should be as happy for Lawrence as she was.

And well, I am – particularly given you could argue that COVID really killed her momentum and things could have played out if they didn’t have a seven month pause – though that doesn’t take away from the fact Bimini was iconic. And well, if she doesn’t win the first UK All Stars, I will riot.

I have been a friend for Bims for close to a decade now, meeting while studying journalism together so it was so wonderful to see her shine and grow throughout the competition. And while it isn’t the crown that she deserves, a piping hot bowl of Biminestrone Bon Boulash is a close second.

Warming and hearty, this play on Nigella’s green minestrone is delicious. And more importantly, easily converted into a vegan option for our vegan queen. Sweet and fresh, it is the perfect trans-seasonal freshness to get you ready for soup season.

Enjoy!

Biminestrone Bon Boulash
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
3 tbsp garlic oil
1 tsp dried thyme
2 leeks, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 potato, diced
1 celery stalk, finely sliced
3 cups frozen peas
a handful of green beans, trimmed and cut into short lengths
2 zucchinis, half-peeled and diced
1L vegetable stock
salt and pepper, to taste
a handful fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated (or a vegan substitute)
800g canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
500g spinach and ricotta tortellini (or a vegan substitute)

Method
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat and cook the thyme until fragrant. Add the leek, potato and celery, and sweat for about five minutes. Stir in the peas and beans, followed by the zucchini and stock. Pop on a lid, bring to the boil and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the potato is cooked through. Season to taste.

Take out about 2 cups of vegetables and a little liquid and blitz in a blender with the basil and parmesan – being careful to avoid the steam blowing off the lid – and return to the pan alongside the beans and tortellini. Bring back to the boil and cook until the pasta is tender.

Remove from the heat and leave to rest for ten minutes or so before devouring, while manifesting a crown in Bimini’s near future.


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Veronica Green Curry

Main, Poultry, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK 2, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the queens put on a comedy show about life’s grandest of comedie, love. In what is fast becoming tradition Bimini slayed, Lawrence got in her head, Tayce focused on sharing her gold another day and A’Whora was bleeped as quickly as a gay thot is banned from Instagram. More importantly, villain Ellie emerged, desperate to claim a win, scheduling the show to screw over Lawrence and A’Whora and while their rage ended up impacting Ellie’s performance too, it worked as A’Whora landed in the bottom opposite her bestie Tayce. Before Tayce, Tacye’d and eliminated her from the competition.

The queens ventured backstage in utter shock after A’Whora sashayed away with two badges against Tayce, who had only one to go with her three bottoms. Tayce on the flipside was not shocked, given she knows how to turn a lip sync and knows she will always slay. Ellie meanwhile was thrilled that A’Whora didn’t write a nasty message on the mirror to her about the set order. This led Lawrence to continue ranting about Ellie daring to play the game strategically, brutalising Ellie by pointing out that it wasn’t really worth it, given she never won that badge. Much to the delight of Tayce and horror of Bimini, as the two delights congratulated Ellie on having the guts to do it slash made sure she was ok.

Things were still tense the next day as Lawrence continued to shade Ellie’s track record, while Bimini was proud of herself for really cementing herself as a contender. Even more so than last week, when she cemented herself. Tayce meanwhile was more delighted by the fact that Lawrence could not let things with Ellie go, laughing that A’Whora would be over it as soon as she found herself under a cock. The only thing stopping Lawrence’s rage was the arrival of Ru for this week’s mini challenge requiring everyone to indeed love puppets. Yes, it is the puppet gloryhole shadefest. Ellie was first at the whole reaching deep to grab Tayce, Lawrence scored Ellie – oh god – Bimini scored Lawrence, leaving Tayce with the one and only Bimini Bon Boulash.

The dolls split up to drag up their puppets’ lives, before puppet Tayce arrived in her shocking dishrag dress talking a million miles an hour, sounding a bit like Baga Chipz but ultimately being entertaining as hell. Lawrence didn’t destroy Ellie as badly as I thought, being charming and sassy while reading her for filth. Once again Bimini was hilarious, charming and brutal and ugh, give her the crown now, please. I live. Oh and then Tayce was hilarious despite being nothing like Bimini. Once again – again – Bimini took out another well earned victory, this time earning her the right to cast the roles in this week’s Maxi Challenge, acting in the soap opera BeastEnders. Unlike Ellie however, Bimini opted not to be shady – probably because she was not really feeling threatened – and let the queens take the role that they liked after selecting herself the role of Scat Slater.

With that Bimini took Tayce aside to give her her breastplate for the challenge, allowing Ellie and Lawrence time to clear the air. And while Ellie was quick to apologise and explain why she did what she did, Lawrence really couldn’t let it go and Lawrence, you need to move on otherwise you’re only going to hurt yourself. Back over with the duo oozing with charm, Tayce was bouncing her tits and giddily planning not to blend the pale tits to match her skin tone to add more comedy.

Again, I love her.

Before we could see more from my loves, the girls were interrupted by the arrival of Eastenders’ own Natalie Cassidy to give the girls an acting masterclass via Skype. From screaming “Rickay” to working through their emotions saying “Bubbly’s in the fridge,” the take away was to add light and shade which is clearly something unique to British soaps, since Toadie’s mullet never screamed nuance to me. But I digress.

The queens arrived on set to shoot with Michelle Visage who encouraged the girls that this could be a classic … if they nail. Right out of the gate Bimini and Tayce slayed, while poor Lawrence couldn’t even get through the door on her first cue. She and Ellie then caused each other to spiral, missing line after line, even forgetting character names. Meanwhile my loves Bimini and Tayce sat on the sidelines thrilled that this is more likely to be the trainwreck of the scene rather than them. Michelle then stopped filming to give Lawrence a pep talk, reminding her to get out of her head ASAP, less she wants to bomb. Before immediately ending the shoot.

Elimination Day arrived with Ru inspired by Survivor and gifting the girls with letters from home. The top four gathered around to read their letters, with Ellie reading Bimini’s letter resulting in my love breaking down in tears about wanting to make their mum proud. Tayce’s letter was read to her by Bimini, with once again her mother lovingly backing her for the win and proving why parents need to back off their own bullshit and let kids feel their vibes because Tayce and Bimini are thriving because of it. Lawrence and Ellie’s mums were also delightful, loving and supportive, but you don’t need to hear me praise these four women in the same way. Just know that they are all amazing and have done a wonderful job with their children and fostered the environment to let them thrive.

On the Panto Dames runway Lawrence was a delightful sewing machine complete with stunning mint hair. Tayce meanwhile was a gorgeous Tinkerbell in blue, Bimini channelled full panto realness as a gaudy baby doll while Ellie was glorious as a shimmering queen of hearts. As is oft the case, the acting challenge fails proved to be a fake out as the girls all slayed the performance. Bimini was loud and trashy, Ellie was delightfully camp, Lawrence was a scrappy villain and Tayce was totally demented.

Ru praised all the girls for delivering a killer acting challenge before Michelle read Lawrence for getting in her head in the challenge and told her that she needed to trust in herself, because she delivered. That being said, they all lived for her panto inspired runway. Tayce was universally beloved in the acting challenge despite not leaning into the Karen of it all. That being said, Ru didn’t live for her runway given it was panto rather than panto dame. Bimini once again received universal praise for literally everything she did, from the arch of her back scrubbing the floor to her stunning, playful runway that was full panto dame realness. The judges loved everything about Ellie’s performance in the acting challenge and lived for her runway, before Michelle ominously praised everyone for delivering a killer performance and advised that this will well and truly be the most difficult challenge to judge both here and in the US.

Backstage the girls were excited to slay the challenge but slowly started to panic, realising the judges will be splitting hairs and as such, anyone could land in the bottom. Tayce in particular was terrified, given the judges didn’t love her runway given it was lacking the dame and she couldn’t fathom surviving a fourth lip sync ahead of the final. This led to her throwing Ellie and Lawrence under the bus for being under the bus, with Ellie shifting the blame solely on to Lawrence. Which led the Scots to once again start fighting over who was worse and to not start blaming each other.

Ultimately Bimini continued her victorious streak, taking out her record equalling fourth win of the season while Lawrence was deemed safe, leaving Tayce to once again face off, this time against Ellie. And oh did they battle from the very first note of Steps’ Last Thing on My Mind.  Each queen hit every letter of every syllable, Tayce was duck walking, Ellie was cartwheeling into a death drop in a damn fucking hoop skirt. There were splits, flips, kicks, voguing and urgh, I was so grateful when Ru decreed that both queens shantay and stay, because THAT was a lip sync. Meaning all four queens would be progressing to the finale, which is convenient given Veronica finally received a negative COVID test and was able to join me to celebrate the season and her place in the pantheon.

As she walked into the Werk Room, I didn’t give her a traditional hug out of the utmost of caution against catching COVID – hey, I’m paralysed by fear, ok. I’ll get locked out of Australia – I did give her a really warm and loving smile, assuring her that while her momentum was stopped dead in its tracks, I am confident we will see her at the end of Season 3. Which proved to be enough to perk her up, as did the Veronica Green Curry.

Spicy and warming with an aggressive punch of freshness, there is honestly nothing better than a green curry. Which yeah, I say about most things, but I love food, ok?

Enjoy!

Veronica Green Curry
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1kg chicken thighs, diced
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 onion, sliced
½ cup green curry paste
1 cup broccoli florets
2 carrots, peeled and cut into coins
1 red capsicum, sliced
1 zucchini, seeded and sliced
2 cups coconut milk
1 ½ cups chicken stock
5 kaffir lime leaves, bruised
1 red chilli, sliced
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
¼ cup thai basil leaves
jasmine rice and coriander, to serve

Method
Pop the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Toss the chicken through the starch and add to the pan, and cook, stirring, until browned. Remove to a plate and set aside. Add the onions and cook for a couple of minutes, or until soft and sweet before adding the curry paste and cooking off for about five minutes.

Add the vegetables and stir until well coated before stirring in the coconut milk, stock, lime leaves, chilli and the cooked chicken. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until reduced. Remove from the heat and stir in the fish sauce, sugar and basil.

Serve immediately, piping hot before devouring. Galvanised and ready for a triumphant return.


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Rachel Chorizo and Lentil Pie

Main, Snack, Street Food, Tapas

What an absolute joy it is to catch up with someone as dear as Rachel Zoe. While it has been a few years since we’ve last caught up, our relationship is one that is so strong that it feels like no time has passed.

I first met Rach in the late ‘80s-early ‘90s while completing my college professor scam at George Washington University. While I was tiring of the scam, I say young Rach and a man named Roger in one of my classes and vowed to get them together. My scam gave way to my, let’s say fetish, for Fiddling on the Roof, and I set out to make them a match.

While they were both ropeable at the end of semester to discover they learnt less than zero, I pointed out that I brought them together. And having promising to get Rach into fashion, they agreed to forgive me.

Her career then took off and I was on the skids after too much white in the Great White Way – both kinds, FYI – and she took me under her wing and made me her assistant. I then slept with Andy Cohen, got her a reality show and was promptly fired by Andy when we broke up and was replaced by Brad Goreski.

Not that I’m still bitter at Andy about that or anything. I mean, he named his son after me as an apology which is meaningful.

In any event, Rach and I are dear friends and had a fantastic closing Brisbane Fashion Week – which full disclosure, I assumed was an oxymoron – before returning home to gossip and smash a tonne of Rachel Chorizo and Lentil Pies.

 

 

Earthy and lightly spiced, these babies are damned delicious. Little flakey pockets of pastry, with a piping hot fresh filling and a hit of poppy seeds, it is truly delightful.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rachel Chorizo and Lentil Pie
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, grated
1 zucchini, grated
500g chorizo sausages, casings removed
400g lentils, rinsed and drained
1 tsp chilli flakes
¼ tsp smoked paprika
6 sheets puff pastry, thawed
2 eggs, whisked
200g vintage cheddar, grated
small handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 tbsp poppy seeds

Method
Heat a good lug of oil in a frying pan and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes. Add the carrot, zucchini and chorizos and cook, breaking the sausage up with the back of a wooden spoon, for ten minutes, or until cooked through. Add the lentils, chilli and paprika, stir for a couple of minutes and remove from the heat to cool.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Once the filling has cooled, cut each sheet of pastry into 9 squares and press half into muffin tins. Add half the egg to the lentil mixture with the cheese and parsley and stir until well combined. Spoon into each muffin hole. Top with the remaining pastry, crimping to close, and brush with the remaining egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Transfer to the oven and bake for half an hour, or until golden and crisp.

Then devour, giddily.

 

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Tituss Burizo & Chicken Rolls

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Tituss Burizo & Chicken Rolls
Serves: 6-8.

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

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

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

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

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

 

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Erin Green Soup

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Main, Snack, Soup, TV Recap

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, the girls learnt to dance bringing out the worst in Jeana with she and her bestie Rio feeling upset about being on the outs … despite their attitude being the entire cause for it. That wasn’t the only drama going on though, with Brendi K’s inner saboteur getting the best of her and forcing her to walk away from the competition to look after her health. Thankfully though, her quit ended up saving Kyla and, ugh, Jeana.

On the way back to the house Kyla quickly reminded Jeana that they should both be feeling very lucky to still be there. When they arrived Shanice celebrated her best photo win and sympathised with Brendi K and her emotions, since they both came from similar backgrounds and she inherently feels responsible to be the one that makes it from her family. Erin and Kyla joined her for a victory dance, pissing off Jeana who feels that as she has much more experience she should be doing better than a novice. Quick question, does she know what the premise of this show is? She headed upstairs to have a breakdown with Rio and Khrystyana, and share her own shitty upbringing.

Tyra mail arrived teasing the girls with a trip into the outside world – which is totally for go-sees, right? – which made Erin release that she really needs to stop coasting and step up her game. Before she could come up with any tangible ideas, Law arrived to confirm the go-sees with three seperate designers who each had just one slot to fill in their upcoming shows. Law helped the girls get dressed and make sure their heads were in the game. While he was concerned about Rio’s fugly top, Khrystyana’s necklace and Jeana’s height, nothing was worse than Shanice’s walk.

He then brought out Jerrod Blackwell from Next Model Management to present them with their portfolios before they were split into groups – Erin, Kyla and Rio vs. Shanice, Jeana and Khrystyana –  and sent on their merry way. Kyla and Erin were a mixture of nervous and excited, while Shanice wanted to kill Jeana and pretend she wasn’t in her group. Jeana, Khrystyana and Shanice all did well at their first stop, Erin really sold her personality at their groups first stop, much to the annoyance of the designers. The groups switched designers where Jeana’s height was an issue and Rio, sadly, seemed to dominate. At the final stop, Rio, Khrystyana and Jeana slayed, however Rio and Jeana’s attitudes still totally sucked.

Law rejoined the girls to announce that the winning runways were actually happening immediately, with Kyla, Jeana and Rio dominating the castings with Rio ultimately scoring two and Kyla the other. On the flipside, Erin was called out for upsetting the buzz killingtons with zero energy.

Back at the house Jeana tried to help Shanice out with her walk, however since they hate each other it didn’t go down very well. Obviously.

The next day the girls arrived to shoot covers for Paper magazine, making Erin nervous that if she doesn’t perform she is definitely going home after the go-see disaster. Drew assigned each the girls themes – Kyla got Cyber Sexy Beauty, Khrystyana was Dark Slick and Androgynous, Jeana is showing off her Bald Beauty, Erin is channeling 90s Hip-Hop Music Video, Rio got ‘50s Dreamgirl while Shanice will be Red Carpet Ready. Erin went straight into character, though Drew was concerned she was forgetting to model. Rio slayed the shoot, Shanice was thrilled to finally get a wig … though complained about it the entire time. Though since Drew also hated the look, maybe she was right? While her second look was better, her attitude to Drew wasn’t cute and he looked about ready to cut her at any given moment. Lucky for her, she worked her 1970s Hooker look. Khrystyana and Jeana also slayed while Kyla struggled to channel cyber sexy and not give a fuck, angering Drew.

Arriving at panel Erin and Kyla were extremely nervous about their performances, quite rightly since Erin’s couldn’t bring it beyond the character and Kyla didn’t know how to work her features. Jeana’s photo received universal praise though her height issues at the go-sees concerned the judges. The judges loved Khrystyana’s photo however didn’t like her panel look, Rio was deservedly – ugh – beloved and while Shanice’s photo turned out, her attitude on set was called into question leading to Tyra showing off her glorious acting chops.

Backstage Shanice tried to defend her attitude but really didn’t seem to realise how she behaved and Kyla questioned whether she should be here. Thankfully Tyra started handing out places before another person could quit, handing Rio – rightfully, ugh – best photo, followed by Khrystyana, Jeana and Kyla, leaving Shanice and Erin in the bottom two with poor Mama Erin shown the door.

While she – and I, TBH – was disappointed to exit the competition, she was understanding and harboured no anger. Though given I was standing there with a nutritious Erin Green Soup – oldies love healthy food – how could she be angry?

 

 

Based on Sarah Wilson’s sugar free version, this soup is so hearty and warm … but drastically improved by the addition of chilli, garlic and leek. And while it is obvious I would always say that, it truly is near perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Erin Green Soup
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 leek, halved and sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chilli flakes
4 cups broccoli, roughly broken up and stalk sliced
2 zucchinis, roughly chopped
1 green capsicum, roughly chopped
4 celery stalks, roughly chopped
6 cups chicken stock
1 bunch baby spinach
1 bunch basil
1 bunch parsley
salt and pepper, to taste
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup grated vintage cheddar

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large pot and sweat the leek, garlic and chilli flakes for a couple of minutes. Add the broccoli, zucchini, capsicum and celery and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Add the stock and bring to the boil, reducing heat once rollicking and simmering, half covered, for half an hour, or until all the veggies are soft.

Remove the lid, add the spinach, basil, parsley, and a good whack of salt and pepper, and stir for a couple of minutes.

Remove from heat and carefully blitz with a stick blender until smooth. Stir through the lemon zest and juice and cheese until combined.

Serve immediately with warm, fresh sourdough … or with a poached egg for breakfast. Don’t judge, it is amazing.

Oh and obvi, devour.

 

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Julia Meatlouis-Dreyfus

12 days of Festivus for the rest of us, Main

I know it is only day 9 and I know Julia Louis-Dreyfus is neither the inventor of Festivus nor Jerry ma’fucking Seinfeld – but after catching up with Jase, Heids, Barns, Liz, Way-Way, Mick, Pat and John – but today is the jewel in the crown … that is the savoury portion of our 12 days of Festivus celebrations.

Off topic, but did reading that sentence make you picture a big green underline telling me to consider a fragment. Because it felt like it did but I can’t really be bothered dealing with it. So soz.

Despite the ban from Lorne Michaels, I was lucky enough to meet Jules on the set of Saturday Night Live and well, we just clicked. I don’t know it was our foul mouths, our shared sense of humour or the fact we didn’t click with similar people with few exceptions *coughs* Heidi *coughs*, but we quickly became the best of friends and I’ve guided her career from the start all the way through to her record breaking Emmy success on Veep.

Given poor Jules is still undergoing treatment for breast cancer, I made an exception to the ‘everyone comes to me unless it requires time-travel’ rule, and headed over to whip her up a warming festivus dinner in the comfort of her own home. FYI she is doing really well and is a testament to a good attitude making a world of difference.

Now I know I said Jules was the jewel in our festivus crown … but I never actually said the meal was classy. In any way, shape or form. But let’s be honest, how do you have festivus without a traditional Julia Meatlouis-Dreyfus.

 

 

Warmly ensconced in a hug from some fresh iceberg lettuce, this meatloaf is actually hella tasty. And dare I say it, a classy version of the Costanza classic. If meatloaf can ever be considered classy. Which I think it can be.

Enjoy!

 

 

Julia Meatlouis-Dreyfus
Serves: 8 angry family members airing their grievances.

Ingredients
1kg beef mince
1 onion, diced
1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
1 egg, whisked
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 zucchini, grated
2 carrots, peeled, grated
handful baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp, wait for it, chilli flakes
small handful fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
small handful oregano, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup smokey barbecue sauce, for glazing
4 leaves iceberg lettuce, washed and dried, for wrapping the slab of meat

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Combine everything but the sauce and lettuce in a large bowl, scrunching with your hands until well combined. Form into a large loaf-ish shape, place on a lined baking sheet and bake for an hour or so, or until firmed. Brush with the barbecue sauce and return to the oven for fifteen minutes, or until caramelised and delightful.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for fifteen minutes before slicing and serving on a bed of lettuce. Why? Because that is what Estelle Costanza would do … before devouring.

 

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Jay Zucchini Bake

Main, Snack

Gol-ly! You have no idea how much I have missed my boy Jay Z.

As you know, I’m a very close friend of the Knowles-Z clan having met both Jay and Bey in the 90s, suggesting they collaborated in the 00s and leading to the birth of the first family of music. You’re welcome.

Now – full disclosure – my relationship with Jay hasn’t always lead to positive things. Obviously.

We first met in the mid 90s when I tried to jack the car he was selling his CDs out of. While I regret trying to rob him – it was the 90s and I needed to by coke to stay thin while I worked on Models Inc. – the ensuing media coverage of our bitter trial grabbed the attention of Priority Records and lead to the release of his first album.

It was the guilt I felt about my failed robbery that lead to me stabbing Lance Rivera for him in ‘99. Obviously, I expect you to respect my privacy / not tell the authorities the truth. Thanks.

Anyway, after the wild years and a couple of stints in rehab, I introducing Jay and Bey and the rest, is history.

JayBey have been all over the news following the release of her latest opus, Lemonade but thankfully I was able to shy away from the negative publicity despite being Becky and threw that shrew Rachael Ray – she knows what she did – under the bus.

Given the tragic hate-crime that occurred in Orlando over the weekend, our catch-up was a little more somber than usual as it truly hit home to both of us, as we understand what it is like to be persecuted for simply being.

So with hope that America may finally release their balls from the vice-like grip of the NRA / Charlton Heston’s ghost and that everyone across the planet could just learn to be a little bit kinder and let people live, even simply, without fear of judgement or persecution, we sat down to a comforting meal of Jay Zucchini Bake.

 

jay-zucchini-bake-1

 

Like the human race, the bake is a mish mash of vibrant, unique veggies, sharp cheese, delicate eggs and salty bacon that when combined forms a perfectly fluffy dish that proves, once and for all I say, that joining together because of our differences is when magic truly happens.

Enjoy – I promise to not be so heavy next week.

 

jay-zucchini-bake-2

 

Jay Zucchini Bake
Serves: 4-6 for dinner, 8-10 for lunches or snacks.

Ingredients
6 rashers bacon, diced
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen, it doesn’t matter
2 zucchinis, grated
1 large carrot, grated
1 onion, diced
½ red capsicum, diced
250g goat’s cheese
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
6 eggs
⅓ cup oil
⅓ cup freshly grated parmesan

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and fry the bacon until it is just starting to get crispy. Add the corn and cook for a further couple of minutes before removing it from the heat. You can avoid frying the corn if you can’t be bothered, this is more important if you’re using frozen corn as you need to remove as much liquid as possible.

While the bacon and corn are resting, combine the zucchini, carrot, onion and capsicum in a large bowl. Crumble in the goat’s cheese and mix through the cooled bacon / corn mix, flour and baking powder.

At this point I should probably mentioned that the order of this recipe really doesn’t matter at all, but I am kind of anal and this is how I do it … always. Just because.

Anyway, aside over. Whisk the oil and eggs together in a measuring jug or something of the ilk, and add it to the bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Pour the mix into a large baking dish, cover with the parmesan and bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden and set.

 

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