Tue, 8 January 2013
In this episode, I have the pleasure of chatting with comedian/writer/actress Tess Rafferty. Tess is a hilarious lady that you've probably seen performing in countless sketches on "The Soup" or you may have seen her discussing pop culture on the TV Guide Channel or VH1. Besides writing for and performing on TV, Tess recently wrote her first book, "Recipes for Disaster: A Memoir." We talk about everything from her inspiration for her book to playing a dancing maxi pad on TV to the importance of a beehive.
Also, in honor of the Golden Globes coming up next weekend, Tess was kind enough to allow us to share an excerpt from "Recipes For Disaster: A Memoir" with some great ideas/recipes for throwing an awards show party (which I am pasting below).
TESS RAFFERTY'S BIO
For 7 ½ years Tess Rafferty wrote on the cult comedy show The Soup, where she skewered pop culture, parodied celebrities and helped her co-workers pick out gifts for their wives. She was frequently seen on camera as herself, Posh Spice, a Succubus, a “Guidette” from Jersey Shore, and perhaps most notably The Dancing Maxi Pad. Her first feature film, Thicker Than Water, is scheduled to begin filming in early 2013.
While at Emerson College, Tess started performing stand-up comedy at the clubs and Chinese restaurants around Boston, and, when not holding herself to ridiculous standards at dinner parties or learning to speak Italian, continues to perform stand up in Los Angeles. She is also a regular performer at the storytelling show, Public School, and frequently reads her essays at the Pez show. She can also be seen discussing pop culture on the TV Guide Channel and VH1.
A drinking “enthusiast,” Tess enjoys wine, specifically good wine. She’s tasted wine from the Napa Valley to Long Island to the island of Ischia, and at every airport bar in between. Her travels have led to an appreciation of good food, which she attempts to bring home and recreate for her friends, with varying degrees of success.
She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, their three ungrateful cats, a modest wine collection and a pool. So nothing bad can happen here.
FYI: Tess will be participating in a book signing in Santa Clarita on February 7th at 7:00pm at the Santa Clarita Public Library.
EXCERPT FROM "RECIPES FOR DISASTER: A MEMOIR" - AWARDS SHOW PARTIES
Awards show parties are difficult to plan food for and your guests will need to eat The broadcast lasts as long as a flight to Europe and at least there people get 2 meals and a snack. Only it’s not a sit down event and everyone will want to eat at a different time or at least find a distraction from the categories they find particularly uninteresting. We’ve frequently served The Husband’s Chili (Formerly The Boyfriend’s Chili) during the Oscars as you can keep it hot in a crock pot or on the stove top and set up a buffet of cheeses, sour cream, hot sauces, tomatoes, raw onion, jalapenos…whatever you think people might like on their chili. Put out some bowls and spoons and let people help themselves whenever it’s convenient for them.
Likewise, the grilled cheese bar works well for the event.It’s not like you and your guests have to worry about fitting into those dresses.
The Husband’s Chili – The Colonic You Can Drink With
1 large onion
2 lbs ground beef
2 hot sausage links
2 cups water
1 12 oz. beer
4 tsp paprika
2 tablespoons plus 2 tsp cumin
1 cup chili powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper
8 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
About 2 inches of pepperoni, cut into small pieces
Salt, pepper, and Tabasco to taste
Chopped tomatoes (optional)
The Husband has been making this recipe for years, largely by heart, which means he often changes things up and doesn’t measure accurately, preferring to adjust his spices to taste. So, if you are worried about it being too spicy, use only half or so of the spices at first, adding as you go along to your own desired flavor.
Heat oil in a large stew pot. Dice the onion, then sauté it for five minutes over medium heat in the pot. When the onion starts to brown, add the ground beef. Keep “chopping” the beef with a wooden spoon so the beef breaks up into little pieces, which is how The Husband likes it best, just tiny granules of beef. Once the beef is browned and chopped into the preferred consistency, add water, beer, beans, paprika, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, vinegar and garlic. In a separate pan, sauté the sausage and then add that to the chili pot, as well. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 2 hours, stirring it every so often so it doesn’t stick to the bottom and making sure the liquid isn’t boiling off. If it does, add more beer or water.
At the start of the second hour, dice up the pepperoni into 1/4”-1/2” cubes. “Don’t be anal about it,” says The Husband, “They don’t have to be perfect cubes, Just don’t make them too big.” Sear the pepperoni in a pan with a little oil and add pepperoni to chili. Now’s a good time to start tasting and adjusting the spices, too. If it’s too hot, add more water. If it’s not hot enough, add Tabasco or more cayenne pepper. Continue to simmer for the second hour.
Serve with cheese, sour cream and chopped tomatoes.
When we want to be healthy we substitute dark ground turkey instead of beef. You could use ground white turkey, but it’s dryer and we don’t want to be that healthy. Conversely, when we want to just stop our hearts for an afternoon we use only 1 1/2 lbs of ground meat and 1/2 a pound of stewing beef, which we let cook until it starts to fall apart. Also, you can add an 8 oz can of tomato sauce or tomato paste to thicken your chili, but we don’t since I can’t eat tomatoes.
Setting Up A Grilled Cheese Station or How to Make Your Guests Cook Their Own Food
This is so easy, you’re going to feel guilty. You’re going to feel guilty hell as you merely decant bread from its bag or simply stick a spoon into an open jar of mustard. And if you feel guilty then, you will feel Single-Mom-Leaving-For-Business-Trip guilty when your friends rave about it and ask for seconds and tell you it’s the best thing they’ve ever eaten.
But you know what else you will feel? Relaxed. And probably pleasantly buzzed.
All you need is one or more panini makers and lots of counter or table space for your sandwich station. Then all you have to do is go to the store and use your imagination. Start with your bread and your cheese. Choose some basics: a hearty white or sourdough bread for purists; a neutral cheese like a mild cheddar or provolone. You want something for less adventurous eaters, however that doesn’t mean this is the time for cheese that comes individually wrapped. (It is never the time for individually wrapped slices of cheese!) After that’s out of the way, get some blue cheese, some goat, some sharp cheddar, some Gouda. You can buy this whole and slice or grate yourself or you may be able to find gourmet cheeses such as these already sliced, at places like Trader Joe’s. Get some wheat breads, something a little eccentric like olive bread or cinnamon. Remember to buy the appropriate amount for your guests. There may be six loaves at the store you’re dying to try, but if you’re only serving 12 people that may be overkill. What are you going to do with the leftovers, besides create the biggest flock of foodie pigeons on your block?
Next, if you want, you can always add different meats like prosciutto or salami or braised short ribs. But braised short ribs take work so you may want to skip this. Or do as we do, and next time you braise some short ribs, throw a little meat and gravy into the freezer for days like this.
After that, pick some spreads: mustards, honeys, aiolis, tapenades. The gourmet food section at the grocery story is your oyster! Raid the gift baskets you got last Christmas for those condiments you never thought you’d use. Depending on how much work you personally want to do, you could slice up some tomatoes, fry some bacon or carmelize some onions. Pick up a few things like walnuts or currants or raisins. Put a bowl of potato chips out so that people can crush up potato chips on their sandwich like they’re five again. Remember, if it sounds good to you, it will probably sound good to others as well. And if it doesn’t, it still sounds good to you, so who cares?
Arrange everything in some semblance of easy to get to order and try to have a separate spoon or fork for everything for people who are allergic to half of those things, such as myself. Then just plug in the panini makers and you’re all ready to go! I know, it’s so simple but so delicious, people won’t even mind that you’re making them cook their own food.
Direct download: 2_Degrees_Ep_23_Tess_Rafferty_FIXED.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 1:00am PST