Just type "celebrity recipe" into Google and there is no shortage of cooking tips from anyone who has at one point has been notable. There are even old recipes from Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne if you look hard enough and celebrities such as Chrissy Teigan have even branched out into food.
So this week, I chose a selection of recipes from celebrities to get the dish on whether they know what's what in the kitchen.
Dwaynne 'The Rock' Johnson's pancakes
Makes 6-7 pancakes
1 1/4 cups plain flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1 tbsp cooking oil
Toppings of your choice
Step one: In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Step two: In a separate bowl, combine the egg, milk, and oil. Add this all to the flour mixture, stirring until blended but still slightly lumpy.
Step three: Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter onto a hot heavy skillet. Cook the pancakes until golden brown, flipping them over when they have a bubbly surface and slightly dry edges.
Step four: Serve with your favourite toppings.
Pancakes are Dwayne Johnson's cheat day food of choice and having made them most Sundays for the last however many years, he is comfortable calling himself the King of Pancakes. To be honest, I don't think he's actually that far off the mark.
These American-style pancakes are not super sweet which I found to be good thing, because you don't have to worry about going overboard with sweetness in the toppings. I opted for berries, whipped cream and crispy bacon. If you're going to go full on Rock with your pancakes, he likes choc chips, banana, peanut butter and maple syrup.
Hugh Jackman's mum's creme caramel
Makes one cake
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons water
3 level tablespoons vanilla sugar
600ml milk, heated
Step one: Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. Make caramel by heating sugar and water in a small pan until it caramelises. Pour into a 1.5L souffle dish and quickly swirl it round the bottom and sides.
Step two: Beat eggs and vanilla sugar together. Stir in heated milk and the cream. Pour into dish. Stand the dish in a roasting tin with cold water. Bake until the custard is set - at least an hour. Cool.
Step three: Chill in fridge. Run a knife round the inside edge and turn out into a serving dish.
For those who watch MasterChef you'll know that creme caramel can be an elusive little dish. Unfortunately I did not know this going in and did not realise how hard this was going to be. First up the caramel kept crystalising on me but halfway through what looked like was going to be a failed third attempt a quick Google found that a squeeze of lemon juice can help out with this.
I also found that when I took the creme caramel out at the hour mark it was slightly overcooked and tasted eggy, so that is something to look out for as well.
But all things considered, this was a good find and it is worth tracking down Hugh Jackman's original Instagram post with the recipe because not only do we get little sweet tips from Mrs Jackman such as "cooking is an act of love" but we find out that Jackman's nickname is actually Hughby.
Dolly Parton's coleslaw
1 medium head cabbage, finely minced
1 medium onion, finely sliced
1 carrot, grated
1/2 capsicum, grated
1/4 cup sweet pickle juice
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tbsp dill pickles, minced
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Chill until it is ready to serve.
If you're like me and you love pickles, then you were probably would have also been excited to see the welcome addition to Dolly Parton's coleslaw recipe. The juice and the pickle pieces add an extra fresh, sourness to the coleslaw and I could see it going really well with something like pulled pork. It was also the only recipe that was likely to change how I made things in the future, which is a good thing.
Meghan Markle's zucchini pasta
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 medium zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup water
1 stock cube
350g rigatoni (or the pasta of your choice)
juice of half lemon
1 cup grated, parmesan
pinch red pepper flakes
Step one: In a large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and cook until soft, about six minutes. Stir in zucchini, water and stock cube. Season with salt and pepper.
Step two: Reduce heat to low and cover pot. Cook for four hours, stirring often, until the zucchini is falling apart. (It will be mushy, and that's good.)
Step three: When the sauce is almost ready, bring a large pot of boiling salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions. Drain.
Step four: Season sauce with salt and pepper, then stir in lemon juice, parmesan and red pepper flakes. Serve immediately.
There's no denying that this recipe takes a lot of time but question is, is it worth it? I would say yes - with a few small changes. Firstly, I would double the amount of water and stock to add a little more flavour and because I found that in the last two hours, it started to dry out. I also found that I wanted to add more chill flakes to the dish as the dish felt slightly under seasoned.
Matt Damon's risotto
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 large pinch of good quality saffron
1 cup Italian parsley, chopped fine for garnish
shaved Parmesan (optional) for garnish
Step one: In a saucepan, heat stock to a slow boil.
Step two: In another saucepan, blanch asparagus, set aside and keep warm.
Step three: In a large saute pan, heat oil, add the onion and cook until translucent. Add arborio rice, wine and saffron and stir until wine is absorbed. Add hot stock, one ladle at a time, stirring constantly until risotto is tender and creamy and all the liquid is absorbed.
Step four: Arrange risotto evenly on a plate. Top with steamed asparagus in a pinwheel fashion and sprinkle with chopped parsley and shaved parmesan.
Matt Damon's risotto is a Milanese risotto which is usually not super strong in flavour, but when paired with the asparagus it was pretty tasty. I would however, wait until after the liquid in the risotto is completely absorbed (and you can afford to stop stirring for a moment) to blanch the asparagus, simply because there is no reason to do it first up. Also, be aware that the serving sizes are small for this one. I would say that it was better suited to two to three people.
Blake Lively's chicken and leek pie
Makes 5-6 individual pies or one large pie
4 sheets puff pastry
4 boneless skinless chicken breast
2 bay leaves
6 whole peppercorns
1 cup unsalted butter, divided
4 large leeks, trimmed, cleaned and chopped
2 large carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 tsp salt
3/4 cup plain flour
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
Pepper, to taste
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Step one: Thaw puff pastry in the fridge on the counter for 30 minutes.
Step two: Preheat oven to 190 degrees. In a large saucepan, combine the chicken, bay leaves and peppercorns and cover with two inches of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and cover the pot. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, 10-14 minutes depending on the thickness of the breasts.
Step three: Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let cool enough to handle. Chop into bite-sized pieces and transfer to a mixing bowl. You should have about 4 cups.
Step four: In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 tbsp butter. Add the leeks, carrots, celery and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook until the leeks are very soft and tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer the leek mixture to the bowl with the chicken.
Step five: In the same saucepan over medium heat, melt the remaining 12 tbsp of butter. Add flour and cook, stirring gently, until thickened. Whisk in the stock, followed by the milk and cream. Stir until the sauce is smooth and thickened, 10-12 minutes. Season with the remaining salt and the pepper.
Step six: Add the chicken and vegetables to the sauce and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt or pepper if desired.
Step seven: Divide the filling evenly between mini pie pans. Cut circles of puff pastry slightly larger than your pie pans. Cover each pan with puff pastry and tuck the excess pastry over the edges. Cut a few slits into the top of the pastry.
Step eight: Place the pie (or pies) on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper to contain drips. Brush the top with beaten egg and bake until the crust is browned and the filling is bubbling, 35-40 minutes. If the crust starts to burn around the edges before the filling is bubbly, tent the pie loosely with foil.
Blake Lively's chicken and leek pie is not a bad base for a pie. It's a fairly easy recipe to follow and the sauce is nice and creamy. If you prefer your carrot and celery to be on the softer side, I would suggest cooking them for a few minutes before adding the leek because they were slightly crunchy when the pie was done. And if I made it again, I would probably add something like rosemary and thyme to the sauce as the pie felt under seasoned.