Ina Garten’s Greek Salad is a Classic Dinner Recipe For a Reason

You’ve probably made more than your fair share of meal-sized salads over the years, but leave it to Ina Garten to perfect the craft of salad-making. That’s right: forget everything you thought you knew about whipping up a classic Mediterranean salad and recreate this must-try Greek variation from The Barefoot Contessa.

Crunchy cucumbers, ripe tomatoes, plump olives and creamy feta cheese pair beautifully with Ina’s mouth-watering homemade vinaigrette made up of garlic, Dijon mustard, oregano, olive oil and red wine vinegar. We guarantee you’ll make this simple show-stopper on repeat. Bon appetit!

Related: Ina Garten’s Easiest Weeknight Dinner Recipes to Try This Week

Ina Garten’s Greek Salad

Total Time: 50 minutes
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients:
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, large-diced
1 yellow bell pepper, large-diced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, sliced in half-rounds
1/2 lb feta cheese, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled)
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

Related: These Caesar Salad Recipes Will Be the Star of Your Dinner Plate

For the vinaigrette:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup good red wine vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good olive oil

Related: Any Hour is Cocktail House With Ina Garten’s Classic Cosmopolitan

Directions:

1. Place the cucumber, peppers, tomatoes and red onion in a large bowl.

2. For the vinaigrette, whisk together the garlic, oregano, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Still whisking, slowly add the olive oil to make an emulsion. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables. Add the feta and olives and toss lightly. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature.

Watch Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

These No-Churn Rose-Pistachio Ice Cream Sandwiches Need Just 8 Ingredients

There are times for ice cream made with a custard base that’s cooked over the stove and churned in an ice cream maker, but there are also times for a simple no-churn ice cream that comes together with few ingredients and tools. In this recipe, a simple no-churn rose ice cream studded with raspberries and pistachios is sandwiched between two cookies of your choice. I like using less-sweet and simpler cookies like speculoos cookies or sugar cookies to sandwich the ice cream.

No-Churn Rose-Pistachio Ice Cream Sandwiches

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Rest Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours, 20 minutes
Servings: 10 to 12 ice cream sandwiches

Ingredients:

9 oz (266 ml) sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp culinary-grade rose water
¼ tsp salt
2 cups (480 ml) heavy cream
1 ½ cups (160 g) fresh raspberries, divided
½ cup (60 g) roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
20 to 24 cookies of choice

Directions:

1. Line a 9 x 13–inch (23 x 33–cm) baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some parchment paper hanging over both sides. Set the baking pan aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the condensed milk, vanilla, rose water, and salt. Set the milk mixture aside.

Related: 20 Easy Baking Recipes for Kids (All Less Than 10 Ingredients!)

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the heavy cream on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until medium-stiff peaks form.

4. Fold about 1 cup (60 g) of the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture to lighten the milk mixture. Then fold in the remaining whipped cream.

5. In a small bowl, mash ¾ cup (80 g) of the raspberries with a fork. Fold the mashed raspberries and their juices, the remaining ¾ cup (80 g) of raspberries and the pistachios into the ice cream mixture.

Related: This No-Bake S’mores Cheesecake Was Made for Summer

6. Transfer the ice cream mixture into the prepared baking pan and cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap. Freeze the ice cream for 4 to 5 hours (or preferably overnight) until it is firm.

7. Lift the ice cream from the baking pan and use a large knife or cookie cutter to cut out 10 to 12 portions roughly the same size as the cookies you are using.

8. To assemble the ice cream cookies, top a cookie with the ice cream, then place another cookie on top. Serve immediately.


Reprinted with permission from Blooms and Baking by Amy Ho, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Amy Ho

Love Amy’s beautiful baking creations? Try your hand at her Nanaimo bar popsicles or sweet honeycomb cake.

BBQ These 30-Minute Low-Carb Mint Lamb Burgers for Dinner Tonight

“This heavenly, satisfying burger is one of the many reasons I look forward to eating dinner at your house.” A true quote from my dear mother, who is also happy being my guinea pig whenever I’m testing meat recipes. These juicy, hot off the grill, zesty mint lamb burgers will have your mouth watering before they even hit your plate. Added bonus: they’re low-carb and can be made in 30 minutes!

Related: Satisfying Weeknight Recipes Where Veggies Replace Carbs

Zesty Mint Lettuce Lamb Burgers

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 burgers

Ingredients:

Burger
1 lb (454 g) ground lamb
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp (6 g) chopped mint leaves
1 shallot, minced
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch kosher salt and ground black pepper

For Serving
1 head butter lettuce
1 red pepper, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
2 cups (400 g) store-bought zucchini chips (optional)

Related: Our 80 Most Popular Burger Recipes

1. To make the burgers, fire up the grill or grill pan to medium heat. I used a grill pan for this recipe. While the grill pan is heating up, mix the ground lamb with garlic, mint, shallot, lime juice, salt and pepper. Form 4 equal-sized lamb patties.

2. Now comes the fun step: grill the lamb burgers for approximately 4 minutes per side, making sure to only turn them once. You can also enjoy listening to the lovely sizzle in the pan while these burgers are cooking.

3. When the burgers are ready, it’s building time. Layer the lamb burgers on the lettuce leaves with red peppers and onions. Serve with zucchini chips, if desired.

Want more summertime grilling recipes? These pork banh mi burgers and grilled stuffed zucchini boats are sure to impress.

Reprinted with permission from 30-Minute Low-Carb Dinners by Valerie Azinge, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Valerie Azinge, Yasaman Shafiei and Kabir Ali.

This is the Right Way to Freeze Vegetables and Fresh Herbs

Whether you stocked up on too many fresh vegetables at the market or your summer vegetable garden is growing wild, I am here to show you how to properly freeze your vegetables and herbs. There are a few simple steps you have to take to ensure they will stay vibrant, fresh and full of flavour. It will also give them a much longer shelf life than if you just placed the veggies and herbs straight into the freezer. Just be sure to use ripe produce. OK — let’s get freezing!

Related: Can I Freeze This? How to Freeze Fruit, Cheese, Leftovers and More

Step 1: Chop Vegetables and Herbs

If you’re planning to use the veggies or herbs straight from the freezer as a side dish or stirred right into your pot or pan, I recommend chopping them into bite-sized pieces first.

Step 2: Blanch Vegetables

Blanching is an important step to freezing fresh vegetables as it will stop enzyme actions that result in a loss of colour and flavour. This will also clean the vegetables. This step is not required for herbs. To blanch, simply bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil and drop in the vegetables for 2 to 4 minutes. The timing will depend on the type of vegetable being blanched. For example broccoli and asparagus will be on the shorter end, whereas carrots will take a bit longer.

Related: Time for a Pasta Maker? (And 9 Other Kitchen Essentials You Deserve Right Now)

Step 3: Shock Vegetables

Once the vegetables are blanched, immediately strain and submerge them into an ice bath. This will halt the cooking process so the vegetables do not cook any further and it’ll keep them vibrant. This step is not required for herbs.

Step 4: Dry and Portion Vegetables and Herbs

Strain the vegetables from the ice bath and transfer them onto a kitchen towel to dry. Place them on a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze for 60 minutes. Portion them into desired freezer bags and label with the packaged date. Transfer back to the freezer and use when needed! Vegetables will stay fresh for up to 12 months. For herbs, transfer them to an ice cube tray and fill with water. This way they are ready to go for soups, sauces and stews.

Related: The Ultimate Herb Guide: Varieties and Best Uses

Looking for more sanity-saving kitchen tips? Here’s how to organize your Tupperware drawer once and for all, plus the best way to prevent freezer burn for good.

We’ve Actually Tried These Kid-Friendly Recipes — Our Honest Opinion

As a parent of two children, one of the things that is constantly on my mind is food. What should we have for dinner? Do I need to go grocery shopping today? I really hope the kids will eat this. These are the thoughts that are swirling around my brain. I chase down awesome kid-friendly recipes as if they are Pokémon GO characters – hard to come across and once captured, oh-so rewarding. I’ve learned over the years that the key to any great family meal is modification. Choosing meals that can be simplified for your picky eaters and fancied up for the adventurous palates. If you’re looking for easy meal ideas, I’ve actually tried the below kid-friendly recipes — here’s my honest opinion.

Related: How I Cooked for My Family of 4 for a Week on Less Than $100

Triple Pepperoni Pizza

Pizza is high on the list of kid-friendly recipes because this meal is so easy and versatile. Purchase store-bought pizza dough, pizza sauce, cheese to grate (or pre-shredded), whichever toppings to suit your kids’ tastes and voila! You’re good to go. My kids especially love to roll up their sleeves and make their own personal pizza, so they’re getting a cooking class plus making their own meal – it’s a big win for dinner time. You can also take this opportunity to introduce toppings that your kids have never tried like prosciutto instead of pepperoni or black olives over green ones. And if you have a picky eater on your hands, go the double-cheese route (or no cheese and only veggies, I’ve seen it happen).

Best part of this recipe: the kids get to help!

Get the recipe for The Pioneer Woman’s Triple Pepperoni Pizza

Spaghetti and Meatballs

The great thing about spaghetti and meatballs is that you can serve up just the pasta, just the meatballs or mix it all together and everyone in your family is happy. Also, spaghetti is a long and stringy pasta, which creates loads of fun opportunities during dinner time – let your kids play! We created some fun to see who can slurp up the longest strand of spaghetti or who can make the better spaghetti mustache. Chances are, if your kids are in a happy mood, they are more willing to try new things. Pro tip from this parent: if you have a young child who isn’t keen on eating meatballs due to texture, place a very small piece of meatball on a fork and wrap a lot of spaghetti around it. Trust me, it works every time.

Best part of this recipe: quick and easy meal, kids can have fun, yields plenty of leftovers.

Get the recipe for Mom’s Spaghetti and Meatballs

Fajitas

When I introduced fajitas to my kids, it was an utter failure and I spent the evening reading about the nutritional value of eating just plain tortillas. It was the saucy meat, grilled peppers and new tastes that were generally off-putting to them (as most kids love plain foods). But as soon as I changed my thinking and stopped expecting my kids to eat this meal how it is usually done (which is ingredients wrapped in a soft tortilla shell) my kids were more willing to try. I placed the tortilla on the side, cooked up some meat without the sauce  and cut a bunch of uncooked veggies for them to enjoy.

Best part of this recipe: healthy, delicious and quick to prepare (hopefully one day my kids will try fajitas they way they are truly intended!).

Get the recipe for Tyler Florence’s Grilled Steak Fajitas

Pasta Salad

This is more of a meal for lunch rather than dinner and I’m glad to report it was a success! It was not only easy to make, but I could use whichever veggies I already had in my fridge (yay for modifying!) and hide ingredients in it that my kids would not normally eat. We decided to add bacon, cherry tomatoes and cubed cheese. I also threw in cucumbers to suit my kids’ taste, while leaving the green onions out.  With a pasta salad, each bite offers your child something new to eat. I noticed they consume whichever ingredient they like most first (one ate all the cherry tomatoes first, while the other devoured all the cubed cheese).

Best part of this recipe: simple to make, easy to customize.

Get the recipe for The Pioneer Women’s Kid-Friendly Pasta Salad

Another fun way to get your kiddos to enjoy their food? Bento lunch boxes! Here’s how to make colourful back-to-school meals your kids will devour.

Ina Garten Best Meatloaf Recipes

Meatloaf Doesn’t Have to Be Boring With Ina Garten’s 3 Best Recipes

For too long meatloaf has gotten the reputation as a boring dinner, or worse, a grey mystery meat concoction to be avoided in cafeterias. Throw all that out the window because Ina Garten has three flavourful meatloaf recipes that are worth adding to your weeknight dinner rotation.

Meatloaf makes for a versatile recipe that can be enjoyed as a main, as leftovers on a sandwich, even on spaghetti or in a soup. With The Barefoot Contessa’s three best meatloaf recipes, from her classic tried-and-true beef meatloaf to individual meatloaves to a healthier turkey variation, there’s a meatloaf recipe for everyone’s taste buds.

Ina Garten’s Classic Meatloaf

Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles: Transform Your Favourite Drink Into a Cool Treat!

Vietnamese coffee is traditionally made with two ingredients: strong drip coffee and sweetened condensed milk, served hot or cold. With summer in full swing, I wanted to transform one of my favourite drinks into a fun and cool treat. These Vietnamese coffee popsicles are creamy, sweet and perfect when you need a little caffeine kick!

Related: Our Best 5-Ingredient Popsicle Recipes (From Fruity to Fudgy Chocolate!)

Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Freeze Time: 7 hours (or overnight)
Total Time: 7 hours, 10 minutes
Servings: 10 popsicles

Ingredients:

Base Layer
1 cup freshly brewed strong coffee or espresso
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp espresso powder (optional)

Top Layer
¾ cup heavy cream
¼ cup condensed milk

Directions:

1. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the freshly brewed coffee, heavy cream and condensed milk. Pour the mixture into a 10-popsicle mold about ¾ of the way full. Cover and freeze for an hour until set.

2. Mix together the heavy cream and condensed milk for the top layer. Carefully pour the mixture on top of the coffee layer, cover and insert popsicle sticks and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.

3. Run the mold under warm water to release and enjoy!

Love Sabrina’s baking? Check out her no-bake key lime pie icebox cake, these pastel-happy fruity cheesecake pastry pockets and white chocolate funfetti cookies.

Make The Most of Your BBQ With Dylan Benoit’s Best Recipes and Tips

Whether you’re a grill guru or a complete BBQ novice, there’s always ways to up your grilling game — and Fire Masters host Dylan Benoit can help you fan your culinary sparks into a flame. Read on for the best ways to get a perfect BBQ chicken, the tastiest grilled corn or a sumptuous sauce for your next cookout with these handy tips.

Seasoning and Searing

Seasoning meat is an essential part of successful grilling, and Dylan recommends a heavy dose of salt to ensure that flavours are well rounded. You can stick with plain salt and pepper, or spice up your life with a rub, either dry (containing only dried or powdered ingredients) or wet (adding a liquid component). These mixtures are based on spices, herbs and salt, as well as other ingredients, and are rubbed on the outside of the meat and allowed to sit for a period of time — anywhere from half an hour to overnight.

Dylan’s Pro Tip: the longer your meat sits in the rub, the better it tastes.

Related: Marinating 101: How to Flavour Your Meat, Seafood and Vegetables

Searing involves cooking it over a high heat to give your meat or vegetables that golden, delicious crust— a great way to add texture and added flavour. When meat is cooked first at a lower temperature to the desired doneness, and then put into a smoking hot grill or pan to get a crust on the outside, this technique is known as reverse searing.

Dylan’s Pro Tip: Use reverse searing to cook thick pieces of meat. This technique is Dylan’s favourite way to achieve a perfect medium-rare.


Adding Bold Flavour 

Rubs can be purchased or made to your own individual tastes — the only limit is your creativity. Here’s a look at three of Dylan’s best wet rubs to get you started.  

Mediterranean Rub For Pork Chops

When it comes to the tenderest pork chops, turn to the dairy case to make sure your meat stays moist on the grill. Plain supermarket yogurt (use the full fat, Greek variety) can impart great flavour and texture, due to the lactic acid that helps break down the meat protein, while tenderizing at the same time.

Get the recipe: Dylan’s Mediterranean Rub

Dylan’s Pro Tip: Mixing the yogurt with aromatics such as dried herbs, lemon zest and honey will add great flavour, especially if you let the pork chops marinate overnight.

Butter Rub For BBQ Chicken

Based on a kitchen staple, a butter rub for the perfect BBQ chicken can be blended together in no time. Starting with softened butter, add whatever aromatics strike your fancy — Dylan likes a combination of sage, oregano, thyme, rosemary, lemon zest and dry mustard. Rub it all on the surface of the chicken and don’t forget to get under the skin — the butter that gets trapped there will help really season the meat.

Get the recipe: Dylan’s Butter Rubbed Grilled Chicken

Dylan’s Pro Tip: Chill the chicken prior to cooking to firm up the rub before grilling, and keep it on indirect heat to prevent flareups from the butter dripping onto the flames.

Related: The 10 Best Ways to Use Your Grill in 2020

Jerk Paste Rub For Spicy Chicken Or Pork

For those grill masters who can stand a little heat, Dylan’s best jerk paste recipe (inspired by the time he spends in the Cayman Islands) makes an excellent rub for either chicken or pork. This paste is redolent with ginger, plenty of garlic, a hit of allspice and scotch bonnet or habanero pepper for heat and plenty of brown sugar for sweetness and balance. Fresh cilantro and parsley add herbal freshness to counter the spice. Blend all ingredients into a paste, rub it liberally into the meat and let it sit, preferably overnight.

Get the recipe: Dylan’s Jerk Spice Rub

Dylan’s Pro Tip: Cook your jerk chicken or pork low and slow indirectly over mesquite charcoal for the best smoky flavour.

Give it a Rest

When you’ve finished cooking, it may be tempting to dive right into that juicy steak, pork chop or chicken — but waiting for a few minutes will get you even better results. A critical part of cooking meat, resting involves setting the meat aside after pulling it off the grill to allow the juices to redistribute rather than pooling onto the plate when you make that first cut. Remember, that meat will keep cooking after it comes off the heat (a process called carry over), so if you want your steak to be medium-rare, Dylan recommends taking it off the heat just after rare and let the carry over do the rest.

Dylan’s Pro Tip: Let your meat rest for up to half the amount of time that it cooked, and tent it with tinfoil to retain heat.

Related: Here’s why Dylan recommends Resting Meat.

BBQ Sides

Once you’re done planning the main event, don’t forget the sides. Dylan’s got you covered with a sweet and seasonal corn on the cob and a perky chimichurri sauce to keep things fresh.

Grilled Corn On The Cob

Grilling corn in its husks prevents the outside of the corn from burning, but also steams the inside, cooking it perfectly. Soak corn, husks and all, in warm water for half an hour (this technique will soften the husks and also keep the corn moist while grilling). Peel the softened husks back and be sure to remove all the silks from the top to avoid getting them in your teeth. Make a compound butter (check out Dylan’s pro tip below) and rub the butter liberally all over the kernels of the corn. Rewrap the corn with the husks and char it over medium-high heat on the grill until charred — the corn takes on the smokiness of the charred husks, enhancing the flavour.

Get the recipe:  Dylan’s Grilled Corn On The Cob

Dylan’s Pro Tip: A compound butter can be as simple as a garlic and herb combination, or much more complex — Dylan likes using a combination of chili, lime and maple.

Chimichurri

Whip up a batch of Dylan’s favourite condiment, made with a base of fresh herbs and garlic — bright with acidity and a bit of heat, chimichurri goes well with grilled meats and fish.

Although the traditional mixture is made mostly with parsley and a bit of cilantro, Dylan flips those ratios for a cilantro-forward and super simple sauce that just requires a few pulses of a blender.

Get the recipe: Dylan’s Bright Chimichurri Sauce

Dylan’s Pro Tips: Don’t get too carried away when blending — leaving it a little chunky adds more textural variation than a smooth paste. And be sure to budget time to allow the sauce to sit for 30 minutes to release the flavours. 

Watch Fire Masters Thursdays at 11ep and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Casting Call: Does Your Bakery Need a Makeover?

CALLING ALL BAKERIES IN NEED OF AN INTERVENTION

Is your bakery in need of fresh ideas to help pull in the dough?  Are your pastry sales a little stale right now?  Are you searching for that secret ingredient to help turn your bakery around?

See More: What is Bread Flour and 14 Other Baking Questions Answered

Food Network Canada’s new bakery makeover show is searching for great bakeries across the country that need a fresh direction.

Tell us why we should pick YOUR bakery for our show, and you could get the chance to spend a week with pastry chef Steve Hodge and  designer Tiffany Pratt. Steve is the mastermind behind Vancouver’s Temper Pastry and an expert judge on Great Chocolate Showdown, and Tiffany has designed residential and commercial spaces all over North America and has appeared on numerous HGTV Canada shows. Together, this talented duo will revamp your menu and your retail space to help you bolster your bottom line.

Related: 10 Things You Need to Know About Steven Hodge

Top priority will be given to bakeries that have real challenges to overcome, and a great story to share.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

For more casting opportunities, check out the Food Network Canada casting page.

You’ve Been Making Couscous All Wrong. Here’s the Right Way to Prepare It

Couscous is a staple of North African cuisine and it’s undeniably Morocco’s most recognized dish around the world — yet chances are that until now, you’ve been eating and serving it all wrong. The following is my mother’s recipe for seven-vegetable Moroccan couscous. She grew up in Casablanca and learned the traditional technique from her own mother. Note that while many authentic versions of couscous use smen (a fermented butter), our Sephardic Jewish family makes a kosher version with olive oil instead.

Seven-Vegetable Moroccan Couscous Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 90 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

8 chicken thighs or 4 whole legs or substitute with a homemade chicken or vegetable broth
1 large onion, peeled
1 cup dried chickpeas (soaked overnight) or 1 can of chickpeas
1 small butternut squash, seeded and cut into large wedges (no need to peel)
6-8 celery stalks, quartered
5 medium to large carrots, peeled, cut in half lengthwise
1 green bell pepper, seeded and quartered
1-2 ripe tomatoes, whole
1 bunch of parsley and/or cilantro, tied with cooking twine (reserve and chop 2-3 Tbsp for garnish)
¼ cup saffron water (dry out ½ tsp crushed saffron threads in a warm skillet, crush again and add to 1 cup of hot water, not boiling)
1 ½ Tbsp of coarse salt
¾ tsp turmeric, divided
2-3 zucchinis, half peeled, cut in half lengthwise
1 large sweet potato
2 turnips, cut in large chunks
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 pound dried, medium-grain couscous
1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
½ cup of blanched almonds, sliced

If you want to know how to make real couscous, you’re going to have to forget everything you know about the quick-cooking and soaking method. Authentic Moroccan couscous involves slowly and lovingly steaming it to fluffy (never clumpy) perfection in a couscoussier, the North African cookware which looks like a double boiler or stackable steamer. The lower pot is used to make the broth that will both steam the couscous and be served on top of it. The perforated upper pot is for the couscous grains. If you can’t get a couscoussier, you can use a metal colander or perforated steamer that fits snugly over a stock pot. You’ll want to line it with a later of cheesecloth.



Directions:

Broth
1. In the bottom vessel of a couscoussier or a stock pot, add the chicken, onion, soaked chickpeas (if using), squash, celery, carrots, green pepper, tomatoes, parsley/cilantro bouquet, saffron water, salt and ½ tsp turmeric.

2. Fill with water to cover the vegetables and chicken, leaving room at the top for the broth to bubble up.

3. Cover pot and bring to a rapid boil, then simmer for about 30-45 minutes until the vegetables soften and the chicken is fully cooked through, skimming any impurities from the broth as it cooks.

Related: From Homemade Bread to Pickles, 20 Recipes to Master While Indoors

4. Add zucchini, sweet potato and turnips to the broth and canned chickpeas (if using). Cook for another 15-20 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender. Add black pepper to taste.

Couscous
1. While the broth is cooking, dump the couscous grains in a wide and shallow pan, cover with two cups of water and let stand for 1 minute. Stir and then pour out any excess water. Let sit for about 15 minutes for the grains to dry out a bit.

2. With wet hands, lift the grains while rubbing them gently between your fingers and the palms of the hand to release any clumps, letting the couscous fall back into the bowl, 2-3 times.

3. Drizzle the couscous with olive oil (or rub the oil on your hands) and sprinkle the grains with ¼ tsp of turmeric and season with salt. Start to separate and gently work the grains again until the turmeric, olive oil and salt are well incorporated and the couscous is uniformly golden, about 1-2 minutes. Then rake the couscous with your fingers, which will plump up the grains. (This is how the couscous gets soft and fluffy).

4. Gently place the couscous grains in the top vessel of the couscoussier or colander. Place it over the bubbling soup and let it steam for 15 minutes, uncovered, making sure that the broth in the bottom pot doesn’t come into direct contact with the couscous grains while steaming. To help the couscous steam evenly and prevent it from clumping, toss with two forks every 5 minutes.

5. Now, transfer the steamed couscous back into the pan and spread grains out evenly. Pour a couple ladles of the hot broth over the couscous and gently mix with two forks. Let stand for 10 minutes.

6. Transfer couscous grains back to the top of the couscoussier or colander for its second steaming for another 5-10 minutes until light, fluffy and heated through.

7. Dump the finished grains directly from the couscoussier or colander onto a large, shallow dish or serving platter. Discard herb bouquet, onion, tomatoes and green pepper that were added for flavour. Top the grains with remaining cooked vegetables from the broth. Optional to include the cooked chicken, separated from any bones.

Related: This Mint and Lemon Pearl Couscous Salad is What Every Dinner Table Needs

8. Garnish with sliced almonds and chopped cilantro/parsley. You can also serve with a side of broth, so guests can moisten as desired.

Optional: Make a quick North African red pepper sauce by combining 1-2 tsp of prepared or homemade harissa paste with 1 cup of the broth, a couple pinches of cumin and fresh lemon juice and olive oil to taste. In Morocco, this is a classic and delicious accompaniment to spoon over the couscous.

Besseha!

Craving more? Here are some recipes that prove harissa paste belongs in all your meals.  You might want to try these top food trends for 2020, too.

Halifax Donair

The Delicious History of the Halifax Donair

The next time you’re in Halifax, skip the lobster boil and go straight to the pizza shop instead. After all, that’s where you’ll find the city’s official snack: the Halifax donair.

Unless you’re a native Bluenoser, you may never have tasted this popular late-night snack, and experienced the unavoidable drip of garlicky donair sauce down your chin. The sloppy sandwich is a pita filled with spit roasted shaved beef, served with tomatoes and onions, slathered in the signature sauce.

“It’s spicy, eaten normally at midnight,” says Alain Bossé, a top chef from Pictou, Nova Scotia and ambassador of all things culinary in Atlantic Canada. “After a long night out, you line up at a pizza corner in Halifax. It’s a great hangover food!”

Related: 10+ Canadian First Nations Recipes to Make at Home

Halifax Donair

As the story goes, the Halifax donair was first invented in the 1970s by Peter Gamoulakos. Originally from Greece, he started selling Greek gyros (a pita stuffed with grilled lamb and tzatziki) from his restaurant located off the Bedford Highway. But the sandwich just didn’t jive with the East Coast’s “meat and potatoes” palate.

Swapping lamb for beef, the brothers whipped up a sweet “donair sauce” and tried again. This time, however, a feeding frenzy erupted and Halifax’s signature dish was born. The late-night favourite has become so popular that in 2015, Halifax city council voted to make it the city’s official food.

Related: The Sticky-Sweet History of the Butter Tart

“There’s something about this dish that’s unique to Atlantic Canada,” says Chef Alain Bossé. “People will drive miles for a donair!”

Today, almost every pizza place in the province sells the sloppy and sumptuous late-night eat, some even selling more donairs than pies. Every East Coaster has a favourite spot, but The King of Donair and Tony’s Donair have long been local favourites. Both spots have been serving the snack since the 1970s. Recently though, donair-mania has infiltrated swankier eateries.

Garlic Fingers with Donair SauceGet the recipe for Garlic Fingers with Donair Sauce

“Now that Halifax has proclaimed the donair as the food of choice, restaurants and hotels are serving donairs,” says Chef Alain. “Some are serving miniature canapés with donair meat.”

Playful renditions aside, there are traditional techniques to making the beloved sandwich. First, spiced ground beef is moulded into an elongated log that’s roasted on a spit. The donair meat is then shaved, sautéed and stuffed into a pita, along with fresh tomatoes, raw onions, and a special sweet sauce made with sweetened condensed milk, vinegar and garlic powder. As Chef Alain says, it’s adding the donair sauce that makes it.

“The sweet sauce is what makes a difference between a donair and a gyro,” he says. “My favourite? Sam’s Pizza in New Glasgow. They make their own pita, so it’s always fresh and soft.”

Related: You Haven’t Lived Until You’ve Tasted Butter Tart Cinnamon Buns

For decades, the Halifax donair largely remained a hidden treasure, scarcely found on menus outside Nova Scotia. But as more Nova Scotians started settling across the country and with the advent social media, there’s a growing appetite for this late-night nosh outside of the province. Canadian chefs are incorporating this trendy food item onto their menus and even getting creative with the recipe.

Donair PizzaGet the recipe for Donair Pizza

“The donair sauce is being used as an add-on,” says Chef Alain. “A lot of burger places are making burgers with donair sauce. There’s also pepperoni pizza with donair sauce.”

If you’re looking to truly replicate the original recipe, Mr. Donair — once the Gamoulakos brothers’ company — sells a do-it-yourself Halifax Donair kit, complete with pita bread, donair sauce and a pound of donair meat. The kits are sold in grocery stores, frequently used by chefs, and are gaining popularity in every nook and cranny of Canada.

“Those kits are really starting to infiltrate the camps in Fort McMurray!” says Chef Alain. “With the kit, sauté the meat in a frying pan, crisping it. Then stuff your pita and just eat away.”

Once the key ingredients are ready to go, get busy adding your own influence to this classic Canadian dish. However, Chef Alain says to stick with some of the core ingredients: “It’s not a donair unless there are onions and tomatoes. And make sure to grill your pita!”

This Black Sesame Coconut Cream Pie Will Be Your New Favourite Make-Ahead Dessert

Cool off this summer with a large slice of black sesame coconut cream pie. It has an intense nutty flavour thanks to the black sesame, and is layered with a dreamy coconut filling before being topped off with lots and lots of whipped cream. Long story short: this pie will be your new favourite make-ahead dessert!

Black Sesame Coconut Cream Pie

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Rest Time: 4 hours
Bake Time: 25 to 28 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours, 10 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8 slices

Ingredients:

Pie Dough
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
4-5 Tbsp ice cold water

Black Sesame Paste
½ cup black sesame seeds
3 Tbsp honey

Coconut Cream
1/3 cup cornstarch
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 ¼ cup half-and-half
4 large egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
¾ cup sweetened shredded coconut

Topping
1 ½ cups heavy cream
4 Tbsp icing sugar

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and rub between your fingers to break into small pea-sized pieces.

2. Create a well in the centre and add 4 Tbsp of ice cold water. With your hands, toss the flour until the dough starts to come together. If there are dry bits, add an additional tsp at a time. Form into a disc, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.

Related: Which Pie Are You, According to Your Zodiac Sign?

3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into circle about 1 ½ -inch larger than your pie dish. Tuck the edges under itself and crimp the edges to create a scalloped edge.

4. Dock the crust all over with a fork to create vents, cover with a sheet of parchment and add your pie weights (you can use beans or rice). Bake for 25-28, removing the pie weights after 15 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

5. Grind the black sesame seeds in a spice grinder or food processor until finely ground. Mix in the honey.

6. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch, sugar and salt to break up any clumps. Add the coconut milk, half-and-half, eggs and whisk to combine. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture bubbles and thickens, about 5 minutes.

7. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and butter. Strain through a fine sieve and fold in the shredded coconut.

Related: Molly Yeh’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake is Your New Favourite Birthday Treat

8. Divide the coconut cream in half. To one-half add 3 Tbsp of black sesame paste and mix until well incorporated. Wrap with plastic directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in fridge for at least 2 hours.

9. Layer both halves of the coconut cream into the bottom of the cooled pie crust. Add the black sesame cream on top, cover with plastic and chill for another hour.

10. When ready to serve, whip the heavy cream and icing sugar together until firm peaks. Spoon or pipe on top of the pie, sprinkle with toasted coconut and enjoy!

Love Sabrina’s baking? Check out her easy recipe for soft rolls, along with her gooey overnight cinnamon buns and fudgy gluten-free sweet potato brownies.

One Humble Can of Black Beans, Six Different Meals to Remember

With summer in full swing, grab a can of black beans from your pantry and make these six super simple recipes for your next barbecue night. Black beans are loaded with nutrients and are oh-so versatile. From grilled black bean burgers to a seasonal black bean salad, I am sharing a variety of recipes you can create with a humble can of beans. Just be sure to rinse and drain the can of beans before using to remove any excess liquid or sodium. OK — here we go!

Related: One Humble Can of Chickpeas, Six Different Meals to Remember

Spicy Black Bean Nachos
Nachos are the ultimate snack food: you can keep them as simple as you’d like or load them up with ingredients and flavour. Next time you whip up a skillet of nachos, try sprinkling them with smoked cheddar cheese, diced corn, black beans, taco seasoned ground meat (optional) and sliced jalapeños. Don’t forget to serve them with a side of salsa, guacamole and/or sour cream for dipping.

Black Beans and Rice
Rice is a staple side dish for just about any meal, but instead of serving plain white rice, why don’t we jazz it up a little bit? Mix steamed rice with black beans, olive oil, grated garlic, chopped cilantro and fresh lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. This will pair wonderfully with grilled chicken, pork or beef.

Fried Egg With Black Beans and Toast
This quick toast is one of my go-to recipes for breakfast or an afternoon snack. A fried egg served with pureed black beans, diced tomatoes and cilantro. Serve over a taco shell or slice of toast.

Related: The Tastiest Things You Can Put on Toast (That Isn’t Avocado)

Black Bean and Corn Salad
Nothing says barbecue season like a colourful bean salad. It can be made a day ahead of time and travels really well for a picnic in the park. This one features black beans as the base with diced tomatoes, diced corn, minced red onion, grated garlic, olive oil and freshly squeezed lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Black Bean Burger
In my house, burgers are on high rotation during the summer months. If you are looking to reduce your meat intake, turn a can of black beans into homemade veggie burgers! You can mash just about any flavour into these burgers. Start by sautéing minced garlic, onion and peppers until softened. Add them to a food processor with a can of black beans, cup of panko bread crumbs, two eggs, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. For extra flavour, add paprika, cumin and a pinch of cayenne. Pulse until mixture comes together and shape into patties. Chill for 30 minutes to firm before pan frying or grilling.

Related: These Vegan Burger Recipes are Perfect for Grilling Season

Black Bean Dip
Turn a can of black beans into a flavourful summer dip to serve with tortilla chips. To make, simply blend a can of black beans with minced garlic, olive oil, jalapeño (seeds removed), cumin, fresh lime juice, salt and pepper. Add a splash of water until desired consistency is reached. Garnish with tomato, mango or corn salsa if desired.

Want to cook with more pantry staples? These canned salmon recipes and tortilla recipes might do the trick!

Molly Yeh’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake is a Birthday Treat to Remember

Many of us have elevated our at-home baking game in recent months, seeking solace in the nostalgia that comes with revisiting quintessential desserts. But what happens when you combine two sweet tooth classics – chocolate chip cookies and cake? Well, it’s a whole new level of dessert that you’ll want to add to your repertoire ASAP, birthday or not.

Almond flour, brown sugar, hazelnut flour, chocolate chips and colourful homemade buttercream frosting come together beautifully in this mouth-watering dessert that comes straight from Molly Yeh‘s oven. It’s as delicious as it is gorgeous and can be enjoyed year-round.

Related: Molly Yeh’s Show-Stopping Carrot Cake With Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

Molly Yeh’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Yields: one 8-inch cookie cake

Ingredients:

Cookie Cake
Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan
1 cup almond flour
1 cup hazelnut flour
1/2 cup lightly-packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Buttercream
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp kosher salt
3 Tbsp heavy cream

Related: Our Best No-Bake Desserts That Won’t Let You Down

Directions:

1. For the cookie cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and line it with parchment. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the almond and hazelnut flours, brown and granulated sugars, salt and baking soda. In a small bowl, combine the vanilla and almond extracts and egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, add the chocolate chips and stir to combine. It may seem dry at first but keep on stirring. Pat the dough out evenly in the prepared cake pan.

3. Bake until golden brown on top; begin checking for doneness at 22 minutes. Let the cake cool fully in the pan.

4. For the buttercream: In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and salt. Once combined, beat in the heavy cream until smooth.

5. Remove the cake from the pan. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag and decorate the cake as desired (or spread on the cake to decorate).

Special Equipment: a piping bag, optional

Get to know the cookbook author and blogger behind Girl Meets Farm with 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Molly Yeh.

Watch Girl Meets Farm and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

How to Cook for One Without Eating the Same Meal All Week Long

No matter how much you love to create in the kitchen, cooking for one can be a bit of a challenge. It can be hard to figure out how to shop and cook for yourself without eating the same darned thing until you’re blue in the face (or until your leftovers are green with mould). Sometimes it seems that creating a satisfying meal for one is more work than it’s worth. When I lived solo I certainly reached for a few pickles and scoops of hummus on occasion. And sure, sometimes a dinner like that is exactly what you need. But if you’re looking for more than a snack plate for dinner, here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years to help make things easier – not to mention more fun.

Plan Some Meals

Planning out all your meals isn’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find some semblance of meal planning that works for you. Are you the kind of person who loves slotting in every single meal for the entire week on a giant chalkboard wall and sticking to a plan? (Guilty!). Go for it. Does that seem like way too much work? No problem. Start by scribbling down a few meals that you want to cook in a notebook or on your phone and then go with the flow each day. The important part is to think about what you’re going to eat in advance, so that you’re not blankly staring into the fridge come 5 p.m. and turning to delivery instead.

Related: 9 Easy Weekly Meal Plan Ideas That Really Work

Consider Your Schedule

Figuring out the kinds of food you plan on eating isn’t the only part of meal planning — deciding what you eat depends on how busy you are too. When I was living solo and I knew I’d be swamped with work, I’d roast up a chicken and some grains on Sunday and repurpose that all week long — into salads, sandwiches, tacos, etc. On the opposite side, if I had a lighter week, I’d plan to simmer up some soups, casseroles or other larger dishes that I could then portion out and freeze for later. Knowing your schedule is an essential component when it comes to successfully cooking for one.

Get the recipe for Ina Garten’s Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken

Shop Accordingly

It may seem obvious, but when you’re cooking for one you’ve got to shop for one too. Otherwise your fridge will start to rot from the inside out. Shopping for one means not giving into several fresh fruits and veggies and sticking to a few you know that you’ll consume instead. It means buying the two-pack of chicken breasts instead of the value size (unless you plan on dividing and freezing). And it means making friends with the people at the deli, meat and cheese counters, because odds are you can get a small portion of what you want from one of those helpful folks (hi Catherine!). Last but not least, always try to have a list and never shop hungry, because that’s when impulse or bulk buying is always at its worst.

Stock up on Staples

Just because you need to be careful about how much fresh food that you select, doesn’t mean you can’t stock up on things that will keep for a long time in the fridge or cupboard. Eggs have a long shelf life and I love how ridiculously versatile they are. Oatmeal and grains can last me for months and canned beans are the perfect thing for a last-minute salad, chili or taco night. Bulk stores are great too because you can pick up the portions you need for basically the same price or cheaper than at the regular grocery store, so maybe consider investing in some airtight containers and giving your pantry a makeover. For me, when I have more options to choose from, I always feel less bored with what I’m eating and making for myself.


Get the recipe for Pinto Bean Salsa Salad

Related: Budget-Friendly Pantry Staples You Should Always Have on Hand

Halve Your Recipes

One of the most frustrating things about cooking for one is when you come across a recipe you want to try out and realize that it inevitably serves two to four people. Because no thanks, I don’t want to gamble on having to eat a new dish that I might not like for the next four days. Luckily, it’s a problem that can be easily solved by learning to halve your recipes. Know your basics (there are three teaspoons in a tablespoon; a quarter cup has four tablespoons) or do what I do and turn to good old Google when you’re stuck. Need to halve an egg? Put it in a container, whisk it, and save half for later.

Make Meals You Can Repurpose

I seriously love roasting up whole chickens. You get more bang for your buck, they’re delicious and most importantly, they can be transformed into so many other dishes throughout the rest of the week. Tacos, power bowls, salads, a chicken pasta, soup… the possibilities are endless. Think beyond chicken though. Cook up a batch of quinoa that can be transformed into bowls, patties or even sushi, roast some beef for a variety of meaty dishes or steam up a big bowl of rice to be made into some creative mains… or even dessert.


Get the recipe for The Pioneer Woman’s Red Wine Pot Roast

Organize the Freezer

The freezer is your friend, especially when you’re trying to portion out meals for one. Veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and peppers can be saved for later by washing, cutting and flash-freezing them on a parchment-lined baking sheet before transferring them to a freezer-friendly container or bag. Herbs can be saved by dividing them into ice-cube trays and freezing them with some water or stock. And anytime you make a soup, casserole or other freezer-friendly offering, portion it out and freeze it so that you can have your own “microwave dinners” whenever you need something quick. I’ve learned that this works well for desserts too. Divide and freeze pies and cakes or whip up some cookie dough and portion it out onto trays. You can flash-freeze and store them, so that you can pop a cookie or two into the oven whenever the sugar craving strikes.

Related: 35 Easy Freezer Meals You Can Make Ahead (And Devour Later)

Have a Go-To List of Single-Serving Recipes

We’ve agreed that the two to four serving recipe struggle is real, but that doesn’t mean all recipes are the single-person’s devil. Mug cakes are a delicious way to microwave your way to a quick dessert after a long day, for example. Or a quick omelette with a salad is the perfect mid-week meal. Take note of any recipes you make (bookmark them, print them out or file them away in the old memory bank if you prefer) and refer back to them when you need a little inspiration.

Find a Support System and Share

One of the less glamorous parts about eating and cooking alone is that you can never quite participate in bulk purchases, family meal packages or organic produce boxes. The good news is that you probably aren’t the only one feeling like you’re missing out on those deals, so why not grab a fellow singleton and go in together to reap those rewards? Splitting a grocery bill or bulk shop with a friend, family member or even roommate lets you fill your fridge and pantry with a wider variety of options of things that (hopefully!) won’t go bad, while keeping you on track with your budget and dietary needs.

Related: How to Host a Successful Freezer Meal Swap

Let Go of the Idea of “Traditional” Meals

Cooking for one doesn’t need to be bleak, but it also doesn’t have to be fancy. Before you feel guilty for not breaking out the fine china or cloth napkins for yourself, remember that any balanced diet is a good diet. So if that means grilled cheese for dinner or a simple salad, you do you. In my days of cooking for one I was just as likely to whip myself up a New York striploin or master a new recipe as I was to throw a tuna melt in the toaster oven or put a hunk of cheese and a few veggies on a plate and call it a day. That’s the beauty of cooking for one: anything goes. By embracing that mentality, then suddenly all of the pressure is off. And for me, that not only means that I have more fun in the kitchen, but I’m more likely to try new things too.

Need more inspiration? Here are 40 quick and easy meals for one.

Ree Drummond Tomato Soup 2.0

Ree Drummond’s Tomato Soup 2.0 is a Feel-Good Pantry Staple Lunch

In her Staying Home special, Ree Drummond turns canned tomato soup on its head in this easy at-home recipe that’s comforting, simple and can be made with ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. Golden croutons made from thick-cut garlic-parmesan Texas toast make for the perfect accompaniment to this hearty lunchtime soup. The pantry-friendly dish starts with store-bought pesto, condensed tomato soup and dried herbs before Ree adds a large splash of heavy cream (if you have it on hand) to make for a creamy, velvety finish.

Related: Ree Drummond’s Easiest Dinner Recipes to Make This Week

The Pioneer Woman’s Tomato Soup 2.0

Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves:
6

Ingredients:

Garlic Bread Croutons
6 pieces store-bought frozen garlic cheese bread, cut into large cubes (about 1 inch)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Tomato Soup
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp jarred pesto, plus more for serving
About 50 oz condensed tomato soup (I’m using one 26-oz can and two 10.75-oz cans)
One 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
2 Tbsp sherry cooking wine
1 Tbsp dried parsley leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 Tbsp heavy cream

Directions:

1. For the garlic bread croutons: Preheat the oven to 425°F.

2. Toss the cubed garlic bread with the Parmesan and place on a baking sheet. Bake until golden and crisp, 7 to 8 minutes. Set aside.

3. For the soup: In a saucepot over medium heat, add the olive oil and jarred pesto. Cook the pesto for a couple minutes to allow the flavours to come out. Add the tomato soup, diced tomatoes, Parmesan, sherry, dried parsley and about half the amount of water listed in the soup can instructions. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and simmer until heated through. Stir in the cream.

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s Cheesiest Recipes

4. Serve the soup in bowls and top with the garlic bread croutons. Sprinkle over some additional Parmesan and drizzle with pesto. Serve extra croutons on the side.

Want to finish off with something sweet? Try Ree Drummond’s rustic strawberry tart.

These Freezer-Friendly Russian Pelmeni Dumplings Are the Perfect At-Home Cooking Project

If you’ve ever visited a Russian restaurant, you’re probably familiar with pelmeni. Pelmeni are savoury dumplings stuffed with ground meat and onion. They can be served in a broth or on their own with a healthy helping of butter or sour cream. Regardless of how you choose to serve them, these dumplings make for a great cooking project. Make a big batch and split among friends or store in the freezer for those times when you’re running low on groceries.

Russian Pelmeni Dumplings

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Servings: Approx. 50 pelmeni

Ingredients:

Dough
1 large egg
¾ cup lukewarm water
2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp fine sea salt

Filling
1/3 cup grated onion, about ½ medium onion
100 grams ground pork
100 grams ground beef
¾ tsp fine sea salt
¼ cup ice water

1 bay leaf (optional)

Directions:

1. Whisk egg and water in a large bowl. Add flour and salt, stirring with a wooden spoon until dough comes together. Knead the dough either in the bowl or on a clean surface lightly dusted with flour, until it is smooth, about 5 minutes. Form into a disc then wrap tightly in plastic and transfer to the refrigerator to let rest for 30 minutes.

2. In the meantime, combine the onion, pork, beef and salt in a large bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed. Add 1 tablespoon of ice water and stir vigorously until absorbed. Repeat this process with the remaining 3 tablespoons until no liquid remains.

Related: 15 Perogie Recipes That Are Pure Comfort

3. Lightly sprinkle a sheet tray with flour. Divide dough into two halves. Wrap one half and set aside. Roll out dough until it measures 1/16-inch thick. Using a 2 3/4 or 3-inch cutter (or overturned glass) cut out circles.

4. Place a generous teaspoon of filling in the centre of each circle. Fold the dough over itself to create a half moon. Press the edges tightly with your fingertips (if the dough does not stick to itself lightly brush the edges with water) then fold the edge upwards. Grab both ends of the half moon and draw them towards each other so they overlap. Press firmly to seal. Transfer to prepared tray. Repeat with remaining dough. Scraps can be rerolled to use up excess filling, but the resulting pelmeni will be tougher.

5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the bay leaf, if desired. Cook pelmeni in boiling water until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Pelmeni can be frozen on prepared sheet tray, then transferred to a tightly sealed zip top bag for storage. To cook from frozen, boil for 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Want more at-home cooking projects? These mini bagels and 12-layer chocolate cake will surely impress.

This No-Bake Key Lime Pie Icebox Cake is the Perfect Summer Treat

As the weather gets warmer, all I want is ice cream and sweet treats that will keep me cool. This Baking Therapy key lime pie icebox cake is made up of layers of creamy vanilla ice cream, a tangy lime curd and graham crackers that soften to the perfect cake-like texture. The best part is, you won’t even have to turn on the oven!

Key Lime Pie Icebox Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 8 hours or overnight
Total Time: 8 hours, 30 minutes
Servings: 8 to 10 pieces of cake

Ingredients:

2 cups white sugar
4 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1 ¼ cup fresh lime and lemon juice (6 limes, 2 lemons)
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups heavy cream
150 mL condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
16-20 graham cracker sheets

Directions:

1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, eggs, yolks, lime and lemon juice and salt. Heat over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until hot to the touch. Whisk in 1 Tbsp of butter at a time until the curd begins to thicken. Bring back to a boil, then remove from heat.

2. Strain the lime curd through a fine sieve and into a bowl or shallow dish. Cover with plastic directly on the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Place in the freezer for 20-30 minutes to chill.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the heavy cream and condensed milk until medium peaks, add the vanilla and whip until stiff peaks. Make sure not to over-whip.

Related: No-Bake Cookies You Can’t Mess Up (Because Ovens Are Overrated)

4. Line a 10-inch loaf pan with parchment paper with a 1-inch overhang to easily lift the icebox cake out of the pan once its’ frozen. To help the parchment paper adhere to the loaf pan, lightly grease with vegetable oil.

5. Layer one layer of graham cracker on the bottom of the pan. Spread about ½ cup of the ice cream followed by the lime curd, about 1/3 cup. Continue layering until you fill the loaf pan. You should have about 4-5 layers.

6. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight until completely firm.

7. When you are ready to serve, run the outside of the pan under warm water for 10 seconds to loosen the parchment. Using the parchment paper overhang, pull the icebox cake out of the pan. Slice and enjoy!

Like Sabrina’s baking? Check out her easy recipe for soft rolls, along with her gooey overnight cinnamon buns and fudgy gluten-free sweet potato brownies.

Watch out for Sabrina’s baking videos on the Food Network Canada Instagram account.

Famous Recipes We’re Making at Home, From McDs Hash Browns to IKEA Meatballs

Full disclaimer: I cook. Like, a lot. I’m the type of person who tries not to order too much takeout, I’ll meal plan with my kids and in the pre-coronavirus days, grocery shopping was basically my sanctuary. But you know how when the option to do something is taken away and that just makes you want to do it even more? Enter me and my current obsession with greasy, sweet or downright indulgent fast food. So I decided to pull off a weekend of copycat recipes, in which I replicated some favourite famous recipes from the pre-coronavirus days. Call it a (not-so) fast food culinary marathon, if you will…

McDonald’s Hash Browns

When I first heard that McDonald’s had released their recipes for sausage McMuffins and hash browns I did a freaking happy dance — my kids are obsessed with those golden fried potato parcels. And honestly, even though I typically pass on them, I’ve been imagining biting into those warm, oily things myself. It was a no-brainer to make hash browns my first order of business on a sleepy Saturday morning when everyone was up before 6AM and I had had one too many glasses of mom juice the night before to celebrate the weekend. (While catching up on Real Housewives, naturally).

Ease of Recipe: Honestly? This seemed suspiciously easy. The recipe I found called for one grated potato, one egg, oil and salt and pepper to taste. It didn’t say which type of oil to use or how much salt is ideal. Heck, I didn’t even know how many hash browns one potato would actually make. So I decided that for our family of four I’d go with three potatoes, two eggs and vegetable oil.

The Curveball: You know how McDonald’s hash browns come in those perfect little oval shapes so that they can fit into those grease-catching sleeves? Yeah, mine did not pour out like that. Instead I was spooning bits of potato and trying to shape them into log-like blobs while dancing around, listening to whining kids and trying to avoid all of that splattering hot oil. I’m kind of pumped that my hands are still intact and unburnt so that I can tell this tale today.

Related: From Homemade Bread to Pickles, 20 Recipes to Master While Indoors

“Chef” Notes: In my head, McDonald’s hash browns look like they’re made of little potato squares, not grated spuds. So I tried to replicate that by using the slice function on my food processor and then putting the slices a second time through using the grate function. I still didn’t have chunks, but at least the shavings were small. Then, because I’m well aware water and oil don’t mix when you’re looking for a crispy texture, I rung out the grated taters with a cloth towel to try and remove as much water as possible before mixing them with the eggs. 

Results: Misshapen and under-salted final product aside, these went over quite well with the whole family. I put out a plate of them for breakfast and even though the responsible adult in me wondered if I should cut all that grease with some fruit or something, I got lazy. Kids have had worse than just a plate of hash browns for breakfast before, right? Anyhow, my eldest ate four (FOUR!) of them and asked if we could eat them again the next day, while my picky youngest, who had been clamouring for pancakes, had two. (Probably because I told him they were potato pancakes, which technically isn’t a lie.) Needless to say I’ll be making these again, 100 per cent.

Canada’s Wonderland Funnel Cake

If you’ve ever been to Canada’s Wonderland, then you know that everywhere you look someone is devouring a funnel cake. Like, you almost feel the pressure to eat one as soon as you enter the park because everyone else is walking around with one. Yeah, you came for the rides and atmosphere, but let’s be honest: you also came for that perfectly crispy pastry topped with fruity sauce and a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream. So Wonderland was doing the world at large a favour when it released its iconic funnel cake recipe for everyone in quarantine to make at home. Naturally that was next up on my weekend of indulgences.

Ease of Recipe: If you looked at the expansive ingredient list and walked away, I don’t think you’d be alone. You definitely have to plan out making these because the sauce calls for things like strawberry extract, modified corn starch and strawberry glaze, three things I didn’t have, couldn’t find and ultimately decided to omit. The recipe does state that you can use regular old corn starch, although the instructions aren’t very clear on how to make that substitution. I definitely had a moment where I was scooping out gross white chunks of the thickening agent where I thought I may have to start again because my guesswork was off. But I’m happy to report that I eventually figured it out and made a decent, if not a touch starchy, sauce.

The Curveball: Not only do you need a specific list of ingredients to pull off these at-home funnel cakes, but you actually need some sort of a funnel with which to pour out and fry the batter. I didn’t have a squeeze bottle handy so I used a clean watering can with a long spout, which… kind of worked. At least the spout was long enough that I wasn’t scared I was going to burn myself around all of that hot oil. And speaking of the hot oil… once those cakes were fried on one side, flipping them over was akin to a death-defying stunt. Even with my creative use of spatula, flipper and tongs that I had going on, I definitely broke more than one cake while shooing the kids back outside for fear they’d be burnt.

Related: I Tried “Beyond Meat” Meals at 5 Popular Canadian Chains. Here’s How They Stacked Up

“Chef” Notes: The most annoying part about this recipe (other than the length of time it took to make that sauce) is that some measurements are in grams, some are in millimetres and others are in teaspoons. So for example, instead of knowing you need about three cups of flour you have to actually measure how many grams you’re putting into the batter. Luckily I have a kitchen scale so I was able to figure all of that out, but if I were trying to recreate this recipe without one I honestly would have given up. I wondered more than once if they made it hard on purpose so that you would still go to the park for one of these fried cakes if and when it opens back up. This recipe can definitely be simplified.

Results: This recipe was supposed to make 3-4 large funnel cakes or 5-7 smaller ones, but because I had to pour the batter a bit thicker than the park does, I actually used less per batch. I wound up with 12. Some family had stopped by for a (social distant) visit, so they each got to try one. My father-in-law said it was “better than the EX” (apparently they serve them there?) and my brother-in-law ate three, so that’s a win. The kids were just lukewarm on them though and I found pieces of one floating in the dogs’ water bowl a couple of hours later courtesy of my son. Meanwhile, because we had so many extra, my husband also ran one over to our neighbours, but he came back right away for another after they apparently “fought” over the first one. For the record our neighbours are awesome (AND they’re quarantining with young kids), so they definitely deserved a cake each. Long story short? I would probably make these again, but only for a very special occasion. And next time I’ll most likely just throw some jam and ice cream over them and call it a day on the sauce.

IKEA Meatballs

The last time I made Swedish meatballs was when I was still pregnant with my second kid. At the time, my daughter devoured about eight of them and my husband licked the plate clean, so I’m not really sure why I haven’t made them since. Needless to say when I was coming up with famous recipes to recreate at home, including this recipe for Almost Famous Swedish Meatballs was a no-brainer. As in, I was immediately craving them as soon as I decided to make them.

Ease of Recipe: If you’ve ever made meatballs or gravy, then you already know what to expect from this pretty straightforward dish. The only real thing to consider is the amount of ground pork and beef that you’re picking up at the store, because unless you’re going to a butcher then finding a ½ pound packet of pork or a ¾ pound packet of beef can be tough. In my case I just decided to double up on the recipe because leftover meatballs freeze pretty well.

The Curveball: Here’s the thing… if you’re going to make hash browns and funnel cakes on the same day, maybe you don’t want to plan on having these delicious (but heavy) meatballs for dinner. By the time I had prepped them and placed them in the fridge (all 58 of them thanks to my doubling the recipe), I was too full and tired to cook them. Luckily they held up in the fridge pretty well until Sunday night.

Related: Our Fave Food Trends to Come out of Quarantine, From Pancake Cereal to Bread Art

“Chef” Notes: I didn’t actually have two cups of breadcrumbs, so I improvised by throwing a box of crackers in the food processor and mixing them with panko. Had I also cooked the meatballs that same day and not saved them I think it would have been a fine substitution. But because I waited, I think the meatballs were slightly more moist inside than intended, but really we were all fine with it. Because…

The Results: Holy heck I’m genuinely still full of meatballs. Remember how I said I made 58 of them? There are only 16 left in the fridge — forget freezing them. And of those 42 meatballs that we devoured, the kids only had four. They were more interested in the rice and veggie sticks I provided, mostly because the meatballs had a bit of a gray colour from the sauce. (Parsley garnish is pretty for adults, but a real turnoff for tots). My husband and I though? LONG after we were full we sat at the kitchen table sipping some white wine and picking at the tray eating more. And more. And more. It was all kinds of glorious, even as the kids ran around us and we avoided thinking about the dishes that had piled up in the sink. For that memory alone I’ll probably make more of these in the very near future. I do have some extra cream and beef stock to use up, after all…

Starbucks Iced Coffee

If this experiment happened in the fall, putting a pumpkin spice latte on my list would have made total sense. But because the days are super hot and it’s nice to feel like you’re having a cool treat, I went on the hunt for a reasonable iced coffee recipe that would make me feel like I was having some expensive Starbucks concoction. Enter Molly Yeh and her inventive Fresh Mint Iced Coffee.

Ease of Recipe: Honestly the hardest part about this was making the simple syrup, but even that was as simple as it sounds. I did half of the suggested amount because I figured the fridge would be full of meatballs, but it was so freaking good that I’ll probably be making more of it next week to put in my iced coffees all summer long.

The Curveball: This recipe calls for one tablespoon of heavy cream and one tablespoon of simple syrup, but I knew that wouldn’t be enough for my husband, who typically likes his coffee on the lighter and sweeter side. Luckily all I needed to do to fix that was to just add one more tablespoon of each. Easy peasy. It honestly gave me vacation vibes and made me feel like we were at a café, rather than chilling in the yard while the kids drew over all the patio furniture with chalk.

Related: Which Canadian Comfort Food Are You, According to Your Zodiac Sign?

“Chef” Notes: Was I fan of the mint flavour in my coffee? Surprisingly, yes. I actually wasn’t sure if I would be. Did I enjoy when that fresh mint got caught in my straw? Not so much. Next time I may consider playing with the fresh mint by infusing it in the simple syrup and then straining it or else I’ll just skip on using a straw. (But I mean, using a straw is half the fun of an iced coffee in my books).

Results: I feel like there’s a whole new world of iced coffee creations to try out now that I know just how easy this simple syrup business is to pull off. Whenever I’ve made “iced coffee” in the past I’ve always added sugar and the grains are just gross. This was easy, delicious and I didn’t need to invest in a cold brew coffee maker to get it. I’m going to be saving a lot of money on expensive beverages for the rest of the summer, that’s for sure — and I can’t wait to experiment with more flavour combinations. Salted caramel, vanilla swirl, here I come.

All in all it was a successful weekend of “new” recipes that reinvigorated my groove in the kitchen and I wouldn’t write off plotting out another weekend of making at-home favourites in the near future. Except maybe this time, I’ll pick some recipes with a little less hot oil.

Feeling ambitious? Try your hand at these mini bagels and 12-layer chocolate cake to expand your cooking repertoire (and impress anyone at the table).

Pork Banh Mi Burgers With Grilled Pineapple Will Be Your Go-To Summer Recipe

The ingredients and flavours in a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich is an umami and sensory dream: a light and crispy mini baguette loaded with richly marinated meat, tangy and crunchy pickled veggies, fragrant and fresh cilantro, creamy mayo and pate. We’ve added our own twist of caramelized pineapple and a squishy bun to complement the patty, while honouring the original ingredients. Canada: this juicy burger is your summertime BBQ must-try.

Grilled Pork Banh Mi Burgers With Grilled Pineapple

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Rest Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 90 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Pickles
1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
¼ daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ cup warm water
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
½ cup distilled white vinegar or rice vinegar
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced and divided

Burger
3 slices bacon, roughly chopped
1 cup of cilantro leaves and tender stems
1/3 cup chopped shallots or onion
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 ½ Tbsp fish sauce
1 ½ Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed, pounded and minced
1 pound medium or lean ground pork

Other
4 thick pineapple ring slices
4 hamburger buns, halved horizontally
2 mini cucumbers, thinly sliced
Cilantro
Mayonnaise (optional)

Directions:

1. In large bowl, toss together the carrots, daikon and salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain in colander and squeeze excess liquid.

Tip: To cut carrots and daikon into long, even matchsticks, a Japanese mandoline (benriner) is an affordable secret tool favoured by home cooks and professional chefs.

Related: Vietnamese Dishes to Make at Home, From Pho to Banh Mi

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the warm water and sugar until dissolved, then stir in the vinegar. Add reserved carrot mixture and half of the jalapeño; let pickle for 30 to 60 minutes and refrigerate.

Tip: You can store your pickled carrots and daikon in a covered jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

3. Meanwhile, you can make the burger patties. In a food processor, combine the bacon, cilantro leaves and tender stems, shallots, sugar, fish sauce, garlic, soy sauce, pepper and lemongrass. Pulse to combine. In a large bowl, add the pork and bacon mixture until combined.

Tip: To use lemongrass, trim the base and top. Remove the outer woody and dry layers and crush 4 inches from the bottom using the base of a chef’s knife to release the oils. Cut into 1-inch pieces and use in marinades and pastes.

4. Divide patty mixture into 4 equal portions and form each into 4 ½-inch rounds; place on squares of parchment paper and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

5. Preheat grill to medium-high; brush and oil grill. Press centre of each patty with thumb to make a shallow indent to help keep their shape during cooking. BBQ the patties with lid closed until browned and cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Grill pineapple until slightly charred and caramelized, 1 to 2 minute per side.

6. To assemble, top bun with patty, pineapple, pickled vegetables, cucumbers and cilantro. Serve with mayo if desired.

Want more summertime grilling recipes? These stuffed zucchini boats and grilled salmon recipes will surely do the trick.

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