Aerial shot of Korean fried chicken and tater tots

10 Best Budget-Friendly Eats in Halifax, Nova Scotia

The best restaurants in Halifax aren’t always fancy seafood spots that’ll cost you a huge chunk of your paycheque (although there’s a time and place for that too!). Some of the best eats in this beautiful Atlantic province have a price tag of less than $20 a person. From standard East Coast grub like donair and fish and chips to Caribbean food, fried chicken and beyond, we got you covered.

CHKN SHOP

This cozy spot on North Street offers fried chicken sammies (try their McCHKN!), yummy sides like roasted potatoes and Brussels sprouts, as well as family combo packs. The two-person combo will cost you $27 and it comes with ½ chicken, two sides, coleslaw, gravy and hot sauce.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by CHKNCHOP (@chknchop)

Cafe Aroma Latino

This Latin American cafe at the corner of North and Agricola serves delish eats like quesadillas, empanadas, tacos (note: their shrimp tacos are popular for a reason!) and much more. A meal will cost you between $10 to $15 and they have a few tables outside for socially distanced eats.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Cafe Aroma Latino (@cafearomalatino)

Sushi Shige

This small resto on Almon is arguably the best sushi spot in Halifax. How much you spend is really up to you. The salmon teriyaki dinner is $18, but you can also mix and match with your favourite Japanese eats — from agedashi tofu ($6) and nigiri ($6) to a variety of maki rolls.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Sushi Shige (@sushi_shige_halifax)

Backoos

This restaurant on Birmingham, close to the Halifax Public Gardens and the waterfront, has all your favourite Korean dishes: Korean fried chicken ($13 for chicken bites plus rice and dumplings), vegetarian or beef bibimbap ($11), kimchi fried rice ($12), japchae ($16) and more.

Willman’s Fish and Chips

You didn’t think we’d get through a list on Halifax best restos without including a fish and chips joint, did you? This spot at Isleville and Kane has been serving up East Cost comfort fare since the ‘40s. Their single-piece fish and chips will cost you $11, three pieces will set you back $17.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by @skyelhark

Chef Abod

This Middle Eastern resto on Kempt Road offers oh-so delish dishes like falafel, kebab, Moroccan lentil soup and more. The special appetizer plate includes hummus, baba ganoush, red lentil kofta, roasted red pepper dip, falafels, grape leaves and warm pita and is only $15.

Jessy’s Pizza

Jessy’s is the largest locally owned pizza franchise in Nova Scotia, with 12 locations across the province and three locations in other major Canadian cities. Operating since the early ‘90s, they serve pizza of course, along with East Coast faves like garlic fingers ($10) and donair ($7 to $13).

Italian Market

Italian Market is a small cafe and grocer located on Young Street. They offer a variety of soups, sandwiches, pizza, pasta and famous deli sandwiches (all the sammies are less than $11). While you’re waiting for your Italian sandwich to get made, browse the grocery and gift sections of the store.

Jamaica Lee

This Caribbean food truck specializes in jerk chicken, curry, oxtail, rice and peas, beef patties and festivals, all which cost $16 or less. Order on your favourite food delivery app or head to the corner of Main Street and Tacoma Drive in Dartmouth to get your fill of Caribbean fare.

Adda Indian Eatery

Located on Spring Garden Road, Adda (which means hangout spot) is serving A+ Indian food like dosas and vada pav. There isn’t a single thing on their menu pricier than $13. Know your dollars are going to a resto with a heart: they’ve raised money to support Palestine and COVID-19 in India.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Adda Indian Eatery (@addahfx)

Feature image courtesy of Backoos

Beef tenderloin with festival

The Winning Dish From Junior Chef Showdown Will Become a Family-Favourite Meal in No Time

Finding a balanced, hearty meal that your whole family will enjoy isn’t always easy. But thanks to this season’s Junior Chef Showdown winner, Nazaree, this juicy, melt-in-your-mouth beef tenderloin recipe paired with three appetizing sides will have everyone at the table feeling full and happy.

Although the classic beef tenderloin is the star of the recipe, it’s the trio of sides that make this a truly unforgettable meal. Even if you’re not an extraordinarily talented young chef, making this show-stopping meal will leave you feeling like a gourmet cook in no time.

Junior Chef Nazaree’s Beef Tenderloin with Festival Bread

Prep time: 40 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Yields: 4 Servings

Plate of Beef Tenderloin with Festival

Ingredients:

Roasted Squash Ajvar Puree
2 cups butternut squash (cut into 1-inch cubes)
1 shallot, peeled, quartered
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove
½ cup roasted red pepper
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar

Jus
1 cup beef demi-glace
2 cloves garlic
3 sprigs thyme

Festival
¾ cup flour
¼ cup cornmeal
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp butter, melted
½ cup milk
Oil for frying

Beef Tenderloin
4 beef tenderloins, about 1-¼-inch thick
1 Tbsp canola oil
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

Charred Broccoli Rabe
12 stalks broccoli rabe
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chili flakes
1 clove garlic, smashed
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Related: Double-Stacked Patties + Secret Sauce Make for Jordan Andino’s Perfect Burger

Directions:

Roasted Squash Ajvar Puree

1. Heat oven to 425°F.

2. Combine squash, shallots, thyme, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne and 1 tablespoon of oil on a large rimmed baking sheet.

3. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, until squash is golden and tender, stirring and adding garlic clove after 20 minutes.

4. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor and add roasted red peppers, remaining tablespoon oil and vinegar. Pulse until blended and smooth.

Jus
1. Combine demi-glace, garlic and thyme in a small saucepan.

2. Cook, covered over medium-low for 30 minutes to infuse the demi-glace.

3. Discard garlic and thyme before serving.

See More: 3 Classic Sauces From Lynn Crawford That Will Be Instant Staples (Plus Recipes!)

Festival Bread 
1. Heat 1-½ inches oil to 350°F in a heavy-bottomed pot or fill a deep fryer. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a wire cooling rack.

2. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add butter, stir to coat. Add milk gradually, stirring until combined.

3. Spoon two tablespoon portions of batter into oil and fry until deep golden, for about 3 minutes. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet to cool slightly.

Beef Tenderloin
1. Season steaks liberally with salt and pepper.

2. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and steaks and cook for 4 to 6 minutes per side, until deep golden and medium-rare. (Note: If you’re using an instant-read thermometer, the centre of the steak will read 130°F).

4. Set steak aside to rest for 10 minutes.

Charred Broccoli Rabe
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add broccoli rabe, chili flakes, garlic, salt and pepper into the skillet.

2. Stir occasionally until the broccoli rabe is charred and tender, about 5 minutes.

3. Divide the puree, festival, broccoli rabe and steaks among four plates. Spoon demi glace over the beef, and serve!

Watch Junior Chef Showdown Sundays at 9ep 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.

Cookies and candy spilling over countertop

The Owner of Toronto’s Craig’s Cookies Shares His Secrets to Sweet Success

Cookies make everything better. Craig’s Cookies though? Those treat-stuffed morsels are a stamped, pink box of downright joy. It’s not just that they’re crammed with nostalgic childhood treats like peanut butter cups, shortbread or Snickers. It’s that each cookie is crafted with feel-good principles: love, inclusivity and the power of putting yourself out there. It’s no surprise that people are eating it up.

Craig Pike, the founder and namesake behind the famous Toronto cookie empire, epitomizes those traits. This sweet journey wasn’t his original life plan, but it grew organically — first from wanting to pay his phone bill and then from the unexpected joy it brought him.

“I saw how happy people got when their cookies were delivered to the door,” he says. “I’m a queer man who owns a business. My ethics and my morals and what I stand for are mirrored in the business. So while I was building the company and the brand, it was a no-brainer to try my best to make sure that it is a representation of who I am.”

The Early Days

The base of that business started five or six years ago when the actor and musician was out of work. To foot the bills he asked if anyone on Facebook wanted some of his potluck-famous cookies delivered. He fired up his Parkdale oven, busted out a top-secret version of his mom’s cookie recipe and hopped on his bike.

“One day I was at FreshCo in Parkdale buying butter for cookies and Pop Tarts were on sale. I thought that might be fun to put in a cookie. So I bought some Pop Tarts, put them in a cookie and it worked out,” he says. “So then I thought, well maybe if that works then anything would work. So we started with the Mars Bar and the peanut butter cup and the brownie — and now the sky’s the limit.”

Related: No-Bake Recipes Starring Peanut Butter, From Cookies to Cheesecake

Before Pike knew it, he was pumping out a dozen cookies every 12 minutes, selling his goods at local markets and eventually, at a six-month pop-up partnership with William Sonoma at Yorkdale Shopping Centre. “From there I had enough confidence to take a risk and open my first brick and mortar in 2018,” Pike says. “At that time, there were two employees: myself and one other person. The goal was a two-year lease and just go sell some cookies.”

Pike’s shop in Parkdale is a space inspired by his grandmother’s home in St. John’s, Newfoundland, a place where he grew up. Pike chose simple blue tiling to represent the Atlantic Ocean (customers have since pointed out it’s also the perfect Cookie Monster blue) and he hand-picked all of the art on the walls. “It feels like you’re going your grandmother’s or your grandfather’s or your loved ones’ home,” he says. “And you get to have a cookie, you get to meet somebody who’s going to give you the cookie, have a little chat with them. The only difference is that you pay for it.”

For the Love of Cookies

Not even three weeks after launch, a local news outlet shared a video featuring Craig’s Cookies that exploded with 1.4 million views in a single week. Suddenly Pike went from selling $360 worth of cookies a day to more than $1,000 a day. He eventually opened up a location in The Village, followed by locations in Leaside and Leslieville during the pandemic. Now, Pike says he has 86 employees, he ships goods to all corners of the country and he is on track to sell $10 to $12 million worth of cookies in the next four years.

Today, there are more than 100 types of cookies to sample at Craig’s Cookies, all made from that same base recipe he learned in his mom’s kitchen. Pike unabashedly uses familiar products that are fun and delicious to stuff those cookies with, rather than coming up with recipes for fillings. Even the shortbread-stuffed cookies are made with chocolate shortbread cookies from Cookie it Up, which Pike first fell in love with on a flight at Billy Bishop Airport.

Pike also regularly hosts creativity sessions where employees can come into the kitchen and just experiment with whatever they want. It was during one such session that they may have finally cracked a birthday cake cookie, something he says customers have been asking for. Sour Cherry Blasters, Mini Eggs, Nutella, apple pie and a slew of other options can also be found on the rotating menu and of course there is a Pride cookie, which is available year-round and is a featured item during Pride Toronto.

Related: Steve Hodge Shares His Best Tips on How to Run a Successful Bakery

“There’s maybe one trained baker in our entire company,” Pike says of his employees and overall philosophy. “It’s a group of amazing, incredible people — a lot of them work in the arts — who love home baking, who just want to be part of a community that is inclusive and who just celebrate the joy and happiness of what a cookie can bring to somebody.”

An Artful Future

Looking back, Pike isn’t sure he would have grown Craig’s Cookies the way he did had the pandemic not forced him to. It wasn’t just that he had to find ways to pivot, it was also that his first loves, theatre and music, were also shut down. So he doubled down with cookies and looked into how far he could push the business while exploring wholesale opportunities, a frozen cookie dough and other potential ventures.

Pike says there’s a lot of room for growth, but he’s also at the point where he wants to ensure he has a grasp on the business and not the other way around. He’s an entrepreneur with no formal business training (one of his project managers recently insisted he learn about profit margins, for example) and he feels the company is at a point where he needs someone else to help him explore future potential. Until then, he’s not in a rush.

Related: Our Top Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes for a Better Week Ahead

Instead, he finally feels as though he’s in a place where he can fund other passion projects and give back to the community while exploring some of the other things he loves. That includes kicking off an arts organization in the fall and producing a play, expanding the Toronto choir he conducts and creating a youth program where underprivileged kids in the city can express themselves through theatre and music.

“Five years ago, when I was baking by myself in my apartment in Parkdale, exhausted, baking like a dozen cookies every 12 minutes for nine hours, to try to get some cookies to sell on the sidewalk, I was like, ‘There has to be a means to an end here,’” he recalls. “Because I’m an artist. I’m an actor. I’m a musician. Now the pandemic is kind of shifting and we’re seeing light at the end of the tunnel. But these initiatives are all possible because of Craig’s Cookies. All the hard work is coming to fruition in a really great way.”

Photos courtesy of Craig’s Cookies

Steve Hodge on the set of Project Bakeover

What Baking Ingredients Are Best to Buy for Home Bakers

In today’s competitive home baking world, where aspiring pastry chefs think nothing of churning out macarons or elaborate, gilded creations traditionally bought in a bakery, there’s a certain sort of bragging rights in doing it all yourself—right down to the core ingredients. Sometimes, however, using those ingredients involve complicated methods, access to specialized equipment or a level of expertise that comes through years of tradition and are best left to the professionals.

Let’s take a look at some of these things that home bakers can buy from a local bakery (such as the ones on Project Bakeover) or grocery store, and a couple of items that are easy to make in your own kitchen.

Pastry Chef Steve Hodge on the set of Project Bakeover

See More: Expert Food Photography Tips for Baked Goods

Phyllo Pastry

Watching professionals produce phyllo by hand is a mesmerizing experience—achieving those gossamer-thin sheets without breakage requires a light touch and nerves of steel. Although there are recipes to make phyllo at home, it requires a fair amount of space and a knowledge of texture and timing that can be tricky. Buy a high-quality phyllo pastry instead, either frozen or fresh from a local Greek or Middle Eastern bakery or even a large chain supermarket. Be warned that phyllo dough dries out in a snap, so keep it covered as you work, and try to work quickly.

Deconstructed Baklava Butter Tart with fresh berries and mint

Get the recipe for Baklava Butter Tart Bake

Puff Pastry

Much like phyllo, flaky, multilayered puff pastry is a delight, and the basis for many last-minute appetizers, desserts or tarts. Achieving those layers, however, depends on a multi-step process where you fold and roll dough around butter repeatedly—a simple but time-intensive process that varies depending on the heat of your kitchen and your rolling speed. The freezer case at your local grocery store will hold puff pastry options, from flat sheets to pre-formed tarts, ready to bake with your best homemade fillings

Fondant

Although hacks abound to make fondant with melted marshmallows, the real deal involves a gelatin-based dough with glycerine and glucose that involves kneading and resting for rolled fondant or a candy thermometer and bain marie for poured fondant. Save yourself some time and effort, buy ready-made fondant and spend your energy making pretty hearts, delicate flowers or perfect petit fours.

Cookie Dough That Requires Specialized Presses or Decorating Equipment

If visions of ornately decorated cookies dance through your head, spurred on by Spring Baking Championship and images of a benevolent judge beaming at you, take a moment and consider how often you’re actually going to use this equipment. The best-laid plans to make pressed or extruded cookies and finish them off with a decorating kit more involved than a surgeon’s array of tools can go awry, especially in the heat of holiday planning. Consider borrowing these tools from a friend, buying a set to share with family or adding to this collection over the years rather than purchasing a complete kit with all the options right off the bat. And unless you’ve got very steady hands, icing that elaborate piping or calligraphy onto your cake might be best left to a local baker.

Steve Hodge on the set of Project Bakeover

Vanilla Extract

Homemade vanilla extract is far from difficult—it’s a basic method of pouring spirits over vanilla beans and letting time do the rest—but it’s included on this list due to the cost of ingredients versus buying a bottle in the store. For most people, a smaller amount of vanilla extract will last for months through the most frenzied of baking booms, so making it in bulk may not make sense for your household. Plus, once you factor in buying the alcohol and the vanilla beans, it may be worth spending your money on a high-quality store bought extract or paste (look for versions that contain real vanilla bean from reputable manufacturers, rather than “flavoured” extracts that can contain filler).

Vanilla and Calamansi Macaron stacked on a white tray

Related: Try These Vanilla Calamansi Macaron

“Handle With Care” Ingredients

If you’ve got little ones around or working in a cramped space, consider outsourcing some of your components to the pros. Heating sugar for caramels or candy creates a molten, sticky substance that requires vigilance and precise movements to avoid spills or spatters. The liquid nitrogen so beloved by cooking show contestants for instant ice cream requires knowledge of how to handle it and protective gear. You know your space (and yourself) best – if there’s a risk of injury when working with these items, think about buying a quality pre-made caramel, dulce de leche or candy for your baked goods.  

Watch Project Bakeover Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Watch 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.

Afrim Pristine's Stinky Cheese Bread recipe from For The Love of Cheese

This Jalapeno Appenzeller Bread is a Cheese Lover’s Dream

I love using Appenzeller cheese when cooking because of its melting properties and the distinctive aroma it gives off when it’s melted. Image a beautiful summer day on a dairy farm in Appenzell, Switzerland. Flowers are blossoming, and the lush vegetation all around you is waving in a slight breeze. There’s a beautiful scent in the air and then a cow comes along and passes some gas. That’s exactly what your house will smell like after you make this recipe. I call that “pleasant pungeantness”.

Related: Irresistible Grilled Cheese Recipes

Afrim Pristine's Stinky Cheese Bread recipe from For The Love of Cheese

Embrace the Stinky Bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 (or 1 hungry Afrim)

Ingredients:

1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
½ small white onion, coarsely chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded
½ cup (125 mL) cilantro
1 can (28oz/796 mL) whole tomatillos, drained
Juice from 1 fresh lime
Fine sea salt
1 ½ lb (700g) round loaf or sourdough rye bread
10 oz (285g) grated Appenzeller cheese

See More: Get to Know Afrim Pristine

Directions: 

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. To make the salsa verde, combine the garlic, onion, jalapeno and cilantro in a food processor. Process the ingredients until finely chopped. Add the tomatillos, and pulse until combined, but don’t pulse the living daylights out of it; be sure to leave some texture. Mix in the lime juice and season to taste with salt. Should you have any leftover salsa verde, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 5 days.

3. To assemble, place the loaf of bread on the prepared baking sheet.

Related: BC Wines You Need On Your Radar (Plus Drink Pairings)

4. Using a knife, make cuts 2 inches (5 cm) deep and 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart in the loaf. Rotate the loaf a quarter-turn and make the same cuts again to create 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes.

5. Pour some salsa verde into each of the cuts. Then take the cheese and stuff it into each of the cuts. Cover the loaf with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 7 minutes or until golden brown and cheese has melted.

6. Serve hot and tear this cheesy bread to shreds.

Excerpted from For the Love of Cheese: Recipes and Wisdom From the Cheese Boutique by Afrim Pristine. Copyright© 2018 Afrim Pristine. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

For the Love of Cheese: Recipes and Wisdom From the Cheese Boutique, Amazon, $30.

All products featured on Food Network Canada are independently selected by our editors. For more products handpicked by our editorial team, visit Food Network Canada’s Amazon storefront. However, when you buy through links in this article or on our storefront, we earn an affiliate commission.

Watch Cheese: A Love Story with Afrim Pristine 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.

Sweet chili chicken wings on white plate

The Only Air Fryer Recipe You Need in Your Life (Sweet Chili Chicken Wings!)

These lip-smacking, finger-licking chicken wings are a quick and simple way to win over your meat-loving dad this Father’s Day. Plus, it’s perfect for the health-conscious individual because it all comes together in an air fryer and is perfectly crispy with every single bite.

Sweet chili chicken wings on white plate

Sesame Garlic Sweet Chili Chicken Wings

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12 chicken wings

Ingredients:

Chicken Wings
12 chicken wings
½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp paprika
1 Tbsp baking powder

Sweet Chili Sauce
1 Tbsp coconut aminos
2 Tbsp stir-fry sauce
3 Tbsp Sriracha
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp melted honey
1 ½ Tbsp garlic powder
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp kosher salt
Juice from one lime
¼ cup warm water
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1-2 scallions, chopped

Sweet chili chicken wing ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Add chicken wings to a large bowl and dab with a paper towel. Add in salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika and baking powder and toss until the wings are coated. Line a basket of the air fryer with parchment paper and add wings. You may have to fry it in batches depending on how big your air fryer basket is.

2. Fry the wings in the air fryer at 400°F for 20 minutes, flipping the wings half way through. Make sure they’re fully cooked by checking with a food thermometer.

Related: Easy Air Fryer Recipes That Are Simply Delish

3. In the meantime, set your oven settings to broil and line a baking sheet with foil. Set aside.

4. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add in coconut aminos, stir-fry sauce, Sriracha, vinegar, sesame oil, honey, garlic powder, ginger, salt, lime juice and water. Simmer the sauce until reduced and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the sauce to a large bowl and keep warm.

5. Place the cooked chicken wings in the large bowl with the sauce. Toss the chicken wings until fully coated in the sauce. Place coated chicken wings on the lined baking sheet and broil for about 4 minutes so that the sauce sticks to the chicken wings.

Sweet chili chicken wings on baking tray

6. Remove the wings from the oven and transfer to a serving plate. Top with sesame seeds and scallions.

Sweet chili chicken wings on white plate

Like Valerie’s air fryer chicken wings? Try her air fryer corn “ribs” (popular on TikTok) or her healthy Sriracha-honey oven-fried chicken.

Top Chef Canada season 9 final four wait for the winner to be announced

Top Chef Canada Winner: Exclusive Interview With the Season 9 Winner

From the moment Erica Karbelnik stepped into the Top Chef Canada kitchen, she was a force to be reckoned with. The Toronto-based executive chef came in hot with the season’s first Quickfire win, and she continued to impress in a series of tough challenges throughout the entire season.

Of course, it probably helped that one of her fellow competitors was her husband, Josh Karbelnik, a chef de cuisine in Toronto. The duo supported each other through thick and thin throughout their season 9 run, and as a result, they proved to be among the best of the best. No one was really surprised when they both made it to the top 4.

Unfortunately though, Josh stumbled with the amuse bouche and appetizer during the last cook, and he was eliminated alongside fellow top 4 finalist Andrea Alridge in the finale. The good news was that Josh got to stay behind to help Erica finish her menu against Kym Nguyen (and their new sous chef Andrea).

It all led up to one of the closest calls ever on Top Chef Canada, but in the end judges Mark McEwan, Chris Nuttall-Smith, Mijune Pak and Janet Zuccarini awarded Erica $100,000, a Lexus RX Hybrid Electric SUV, and the title of Top Chef Canada.

Following Erica’s big win we caught up with the chef to get her hot take on this year’s competition, working with her husband, and what’s next for the winning couple with a baby on the way.

Chefs often say doing this show is harder than they expected, but what was the hardest part for you?

I’d say not knowing what to expect when you get there and what’s going to come your way. I’ve been a huge fan of Top Chef and Top Chef Canada for over 15 years, and I’ve watched every episode. But it doesn’t really prepare you for what it’s like when you’re actually there and how real it is. When the judges say you’ve got 30 minutes on the clock, you have 30 minutes on the clock, and you want to make the best things that you possibly can make. There’s no room for error and that puts a lot of pressure on everybody.

On the flip side of that, what was the most rewarding part—other than winning!?

It was really finding myself and finding who I am as a chef and as a person. I’m classically French, Italian trained. But going on the show, I was pulling out things from my backgrounds and cooking with a lot of Moroccan flavours, which I don’t normally do. So it’s definitely helped me find my stride in who I am as a chef.

What was it like to do all of that alongside your husband?

Honestly, it was amazing. We’re each other’s biggest support system. Being there together, this is something that both of us have always wanted to do. So to make it on the show together is a huge accomplishment. Like we never thought in a million years that would happen. It was really cool. It’s an accomplishment for us. And it’s something that we both get to look back on years down the road and have the laughs about, have some cringes about. But honestly, I loved every minute.

You two shared such a positive rapport on the series, with each other and with your competitors. Does that speak to how we’re maybe moving away from some of the negative perceptions of all kitchens being this pressure-cooker environment?

Not necessarily, I think Top Chef Canada really wants to show everybody in their best light. They do a good job in that. I had some rough times in that kitchen, and they definitely showed a few moments of weakness for me… I guess you can say not my best moments. But that’s what it is to be a chef. Nowadays, we want things to be a lot calmer in the kitchen than they once were, a lot nicer. And I guess I could say things are a little bit more sugar-coated. But at the end of the day, our kitchen is the kitchen, it’s a high-stress environment, it’s a tough industry, and you have to have a really tough backbone to be able to do this job.

The judges and Top 4 contestants cheers to the winner of Top Chef Canada season 9

Related: The Season 9 Chefs Talk Eating Local

In nine seasons, you’re the second female to win Top Chef Canada (Nicole Gomes was the first). What is it like to be a female working in the industry these days?

I’m so proud to be the second female to win Top Chef Canada. I really am. But I’m also the person that, when I walk into a kitchen, I don’t see gender, I don’t see colour, I see food. And food is what matters at the end of the day. And whether you’re male or female. It’s about if you can cook, and how you cook, and how you represent yourself. The food is what speaks for itself.

I’m extremely happy to represent women in the kitchen. We do have a hard time because of that reputation. So that makes us have to work harder. Let’s show them that there is no difference. We are just as good. We can do the exact same job. I’m currently four and a half months pregnant and I’m still working every day. Still pulling 12-hour shifts sometimes to try and kick butt in a kitchen because I don’t think that being a female should get in the way of that. It’s something to be very proud of. But it doesn’t matter whether I’m male or female. One of my favourite chefs, Dominique Crenn, [who is] one of the most respected women in the industry, says, “I am not a female Chef. I am just a Chef.”

Related: Mijune Pak Reflects On Reinventing Her Career

Congrats on the pregnancy! Have you and Josh thought about what you’ll do if your kid winds up being a picky eater?

I really don’t think the kid will have a choice in the matter! I don’t think it’ll be a picky eater though, because I have to say my cravings are like left, right and center. I’ve been eating everything and anything under the sun. So I think we’ll be okay.

Erica and Josh Karbelnik on the set of Top Chef Canada

You watched every episode of Top Chef Canada leading up to your season, so of the former competitors who would you say is your inspiration?

Dale Mackay from Season 1 is the one who really struck my nerve to want to be on this show. And to put my best foot forward and to be that competitive person… and to go for it and just do you. He’s an extremely talented chef. He’s very accomplished. And his food was spectacular on the show. When he was on Top Chef Canada I was an apprentice, so he opened so many doors for so many chefs for us to say, “Hey, we can do that, too!”

How much did your knowledge of previous seasons help you out when it came time to plan and execute your final menu?

Watching the show previously definitely had an advantage. You do learn what the judges are looking for. But at the end of the day, when we’re doing challenges, there’s a box that we’re placed in and there’s restrictions. You have to follow guidelines on exactly what the judges are looking for in that dish. So you don’t really have free rein to kind of create whatever you want to create.

Going into the finale menu, I said it in the semifinals: “If you let me into the finals, you’ll be able to read me like an open book. Let me show you who I am in my cooking.” At the end of the day, that’s what I do every day. I want people to understand me through food. I am not always able to express myself fully in words. And a lot of people misunderstand me. So food has always been my go-to, it’s always been like my voice. But I really wanted to showcase myself in that menu. Those dishes are dishes that I would put forward over and over and over again. I’m so insanely proud of who they represented. Each dish represented something that was extremely close to my heart and really told the story of who I am and who my family is and where I come from.

Other than Josh, who else did you originally expect to go all the way to the finale?

To the honest, Galasa. From the moment Galasa started cooking, just the way he carried himself in the kitchen, the way he understood flavours. I think that dude is a force to be reckoned with. He’s going to do really great things in his future culinary career. He was definitely one that I was a little scared of.

See More: Top Chef Canada Judge Janet Zuccarini Talks Resilience in the Restaurant Industry

You and Josh have been doing catering while your current gig with Elmwood Spa is on hold because of COVID. And you talked about opening up your own place if you won. Is that still the plan?

We would love to have our own restaurant, we really would. We would love to also have our own catering company. With COVID, a lot of chefs had to rethink and pivot their ideas and their future plans. Unfortunately, restaurants at the moment really have an unforeseen future and we don’t know what’s coming our way. So it’s always good to have a backup plan. That’s been our backup plan for now and it’s been working really well for us. And, as I said, we did get pregnant. So, our little sous chef has a nice college fund started. We’d like to use that money to create a stable home and a future for us and for the baby.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Competing on Top Chef Canada was awesome and I’m very happy with the outcome and to be able to do it with my husband. I’d like to thank him for being my support system there, and for helping me through the finale. And also just for being an amazing partner. There’s nobody else I would have rather have done this with.

Watch Top Chef Canada 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.

Vegan bubbat on kitchen countertop

Traditional Mennonite Bubbat Recipe Gets a Vegan Makeover

Traditional bubbat can be made with raisins, to be more of a bread you would have with tea. My brother-in-law Brian — who was raised in Regina, Saskatchewan — ate it this way. But you can also make it like this, with plant-based sausage, and serve alongside a meal. This is a great side to a hearty salad with lots of fresh veggies in it. Or for breakfast! Some traditions even put the bubbat inside of a turkey. Don’t worry too much about what it looks like, it will taste great.

Vegan bubbat on kitchen countertop

Vegan Bubbat

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Rest Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

2 cups unsweetened soy milk
1 Tbsp dry active yeast
½ cup warm water
3 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp plant-based butter, melted
1 Tbsp salt
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 package (4 links) of your choice of plant-based sausage (both Gusta and Field Roast are readily available in grocery stores)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Scald soy milk and then pour it into a large mixing bowl and set aside and let it cool to a lukewarm temperature.

3. Dissolve yeast into warm water.

4. Once soy milk is at the right temperature (warm to the touch), add sugar and plant-based butter, as well as the yeast.

Related: Homemade Bread Recipes You’ll Want to Make Again and Again

5. Add salt and flour to wet ingredients. This should be a soft dough. Give it a good stir. Add a little more liquid as needed or flour, depending on how it feels. You should be able to stir the dough with a wooden spoon, but it should be tough.

6. Dice up sausage into bite-sized pieces and stir it into the dough.
Transfer it into an 8 x 8 greased baking pan.

7. Cover pan with a tea towel or a beeswax wrap and let it rise for one hour. Then bake for 45 minutes. Keep an eye on it after 35 minutes.

Vegan Mennonite Kitchen cookbook
Reprinted with permission from The Vegan Mennonite Kitchen by Jo Snyder, Pandora Press Co 2021, photo credit Sarah Pflug

Vegan Mennonite Kitchen, Pandora Press, $33.

Mexican-inspired taco burger on wood cutting board

These Mexican-Inspired Taco Burgers Are Bringing the Heat

Inspired by the short rib tacos from Toronto’s Playa Cabana, our Dining In Mexican-inspired taco burger boasts fiery flavours using ancho chili, guajillo peppers and jalapeno peppers for an intense and irresistible bite. It starts with a spiced beef patty topped with jalapeno guacamole, guajillo sauce and a handful of tortilla chips, between two burger buns and is the ultimate summer dish bringing all the heat. Say hello to your absolute new favourite BBQ burger!

Mexican-inspired taco burger on wood cutting board

Taco Burger With Guajillo Ketchup and Jalapeno Guacamole

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

6 guajillo peppers
3 cloves garlic
2 avocados, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 ½ tsp salt, divided
2 Tbsp chopped onion
1 cup water
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 ancho chili, toasted and ground (or chili powder)
1 lb ground beef
1 tsp pepper
8 slices queso fresco
4 burger buns
Tortilla chips
4 slices tomato
4 slices onion

Mexican-inspired taco burger ingredients

Directions:

1. Heat a skillet on medium-high. Add guajillo peppers and toast for 5 minutes. Remove peppers and set aside. Place garlic in the pan, with skin still intact and toast on both sides until lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.

2. Cut the stems off the guajillo peppers and discard seeds. Use scissors to cut the peppers into small pieces in a medium bowl. Pour boiling water over top until the peppers are covered and set aside to rehydrate for 15 minutes.

Related: Vegan Mexican Recipes to Spice up Your Weeknights

3. Meanwhile, make the jalapeno guacamole by mashing together the avocado, lime juice, diced jalapeno, cilantro and ¼ tsp salt. Set aside until serving.

Ingredient for guacamole on countertop

4. Once the guajillo peppers are rehydrated, remove the skins from the garlic and place in the container of a blender. Add chopped onion, water, brown sugar, tomato paste, cider vinegar and ¼ tsp salt. Strain the guajillo peppers and add them to the blender. Pulse on high until smooth, then pass the guajillo ketchup through a sieve. Discard the seeds and skin, and reserve the ketchup for serving.

5. Preheat BBQ on high heat. Form the ground beef into 4 patties and season with ancho chili, remaining salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cook for 5 minutes per side or until medium-well. Add queso fresco once the burgers are flipped. Toast the buns for the final minute of cooking. Remove the buns and burgers and allow to rest for 3 minutes.

6. To assemble, spread a spoonful of jalapeno guacamole on the bottom bun. Top with a handful of tortilla chips and place burger on top. Spoon guajillo ketchup on the burger, then top with one slice of tomato and onion. Smother in additional guajillo ketchup and finish with the top bun.

Mexican-inspired taco burger being assembled

Like Philip and Mystique’s Mexican-inspired Burgers? Try their leftover fried chicken nachos or their gluten-free eggplant Parm dip.

Watch the how-to video here:


Captains Bobby Flay, Michael Symon, and Eddie Jackson, as seen on BBQ Brawl, Season 2.

4 Hot New Releases to Binge on Amazon Prime This Summer

Ahh, summer. The warm sunshine is on your skin, the smell of BBQ in the air and great shows from Food Network Canada playing on your device with STACKTV on Amazon Prime. 

Whether you’re enjoying a cool air-conditioned day at home with the family in front of the television or catching up on your favourite series while lounging in your backyard, cool drink in hand, these are the shows you’ll want on repeat to inspire your summer eating.

Related: Food Network Canada Announces the Return of Six Favourites, Plus a Mouth-Watering New Series

BBQ Brawl

When to Watch: New season begins Monday June 14 at 10 PM ET/PT

Bobby Flay, Michael Symon and Eddie Jackson on the set of BBQ Brawl

The grills are preheated for a new season of BBQ battle! This season, Eddie Jackson (Fire Masters, The Big Bake) joins chef-BFFs Michael Symon and Bobby Flay as team captains battling it out for their team and the title of Master of ‘Cue. The three face off, mentoring some of the most talented pitmasters who are fighting for a starring role on a Food Network digital series.

See More: Grilling Tools You Need This BBQ Season

Cheese: A Love Story

When to Watch: Series premiere Wednesday June 9 at 8 PM ET/PT

Afrim Pristine on the set of Cheese: A Love Story

Afrim Pristine, the world’s youngest Cheese Master, knows a thing or two about cheese, having grown up in a family cheese business. Now he’s hitting the road, journeying around the globe to meet some of the world’s greatest cheese experts and share their love of fromage.

Fire Masters

When to Watch: New episodes continue Thursdays at 11 PM ET/PT

Dylan Benoit and the judges on set of Fire Masters

New flame-packed episodes of this fiery favourite hosted by Dylan Benoit continue all summer long. Watch as three talented chefs take on rounds of hot competition and create the most mouth-watering meals that will inspire your 2021 grilling season.

Project Bakeover

When to Watch: Thursdays at 9 PM ET/PT

Steven Hodge and Tiffany Pratt on the set of Project Bakeover

Steve Hodge and Tiffany Pratt are back to help transform struggling bakeries on the brink of losing it all. Tiffany handles the design, breathing life into the spaces, while entrepreneur Steve helps revamp the menu and get the business owners on the road to success.

Related: Expert Photography Tips to Show Off Your Baked Goods

Cedar planked salmon

Indigenous Chefs Come Together to Cook for Kamloops Community in Mourning

Time and time again, we have been shown how food can be used for good — from raising money to fight anti-Asian racism to honouring the history of racialized trans people. And now, it is here to help heal.

Last week, the remains of 215 children were found in Kamloops at the site of Canada’s largest residential school via a ground-penetrating radar survey. Some of the remains belonged to children as young as three. There have been many gestures of solidarity across the country, including from a group of Indigenous chefs.

Cedar planked salmon

Get the recipe for West Coast Cedar-Planked Salmon

“It’s really, really saddening to see something like this,” says Paul Natrall, a BC-based chef and owner of Mr. Bannock Indigenous Cuisine.  “I have a very big, young family. I just couldn’t imagine something like that happening to any of my kids… it’s close to home. My grandfather was in residential schools, my grandmother too.”

Related: Canadian Restaurants Boycotting Lobster in Support of Mi’kmaq Fisheries

Paul’s old instructor Ben Genaille got in touch over the weekend and came up with an idea to go cook for the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation to support their community. “I was like ‘yeah, let’s do it,’ and with my connections in the Indigenous culinary world, we got a bunch of things together and just trying hard to make it all gel together and go up to Merritt and Kamloops,” Paul said this morning on a call before he took the three-hour drive to BC’s Interior.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by MrBannockFoodtm (@mrbannockfood)

Approximately eight chefs will be volunteering their time to cook for four days, from June 1 to 4. They’re hoping to serve 250 people a day, for a total of 1,000 meals served. On the menu? Bison, deer, bannock tacos, potato salad, bacon and corn soup with squash and beans, as well as candied salmon and 20 pounds of regular salmon.

There have been calls for action to investigate all former residential schools sites. “I’m pretty sure all our other communities will need the same kind of assistance that we’re doing here,” Paul said.

To learn more and/or to donate, check out the Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations (both Paul and Food Network Canada’s Christa Bruneau-Guenther from Wall of Chefs are on the board of directors), as well as the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.

Matcha and raspberry mochi doughnuts

10 Canadian Doughnut Shops That’ll Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Did you know? Canada has more doughnut shops per capita than any other nation in the world! And what better thing to do during a pandemic than try a new flavour or two? In celebration of National Doughnut Day on June 4th, we decided to take a look inside the best doughnut shops across Canada. Whether you’re up for something new and fun or a good ol’ cinnamon sugar, here are the best spots to pick up the most scrumptious doughnuts across this big ol’ country.

Holy Cow Gelato & Donuts, Calgary, AB

HOLY COW is right! This small shop in Calgary is the definition of innovative. They started out as gelato shop, expanded to doughnuts and are now offering burgers too. With this shop offering six new doughnuts options per month, there is never a shortage of flavours (like everything bagel, lemon meringue and orange blossom).

Daddy O Doughnuts, Mississauga, ON

Whether it’s old-fashioned doughnut, something vegan or an entirely creative and new sweet treat, Daddy O Doughnuts has it all. Their secret? An old family recipe passed down from generation to generation and only the finest, wholesome ingredients. Better get there early because rain or shine, they always sell out quick!

Trou de Beigne, Montreal, QC

Trou de Beigne doughnuts are hand-rolled, fried and glazed every morning, ensuring customers are getting the finest, fluffiest and most flavourful bite in each doughnut. They go above and beyond when creating flavours, whether it’s Nutella and banana, cookie dough, bourbon lemonade (yes, you heard that right) alongside vegan or gluten-free options. This doughnut shop never disappoints.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by TROU DE BEIGNE (@troudebeigne)

Related: Nostalgic Desserts That Will Take You Down Memory Lane

Cops Doughnuts, Toronto, ON

Cops Doughnuts has gone viral on multiple social media outlets. Their slogan “too many options is a prison“ means that they have three flavours including original, cinnamon sugar and original sour cream glaze, along with a rotating selection each week. Let me tell you: the Oreo left me with a full tummy of happiness. Friendly staff!

Grandads Donuts, Hamilton, ON

This family-owned doughnut shop has been operating since the early 2000s. They use the best ingredients possible to create the freshest doughnuts — the same way grandad did — to keep you coming back for more. A must-stop if you’re ever in Hamilton. Hot tip: go on an empty stomach so you can try as many as you can!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Grandads Donuts (@grandadsdonuts)

Related: Gourmet Cookie Recipes Perfect for Any Special Occasion

Cartems Donuts, Vancouver, BC

Almost 2,000 Google reviews will tell you this is the best place in Vancouver to fill your doughnuts cravings. They make doughnuts from scratch every day. Flavours include vanilla bean, smoked maple walnut, Earl Grey, as well as many vegan and gluten-free options.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Cartems Donuts (@cartemsdonuts)

Glory Hole Doughnuts, Toronto, ON

With almost 40,000 Instagram followers, this local Toronto shop is the trendsetter for everything doughnuts. With two locations in Parkdale and on Gerrard, the award-winning Glory Hole does not fail to please. From cake doughnuts to yeast doughnuts and beyond.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Glory Hole Doughnuts (@ghdoughnuts)

Donut Monster, Hamilton ON

This shop’s 45,000+ followers on Instagram can’t be wrong! They have every flavour you can imagine, from butter tart pecan to whiskey sour. They even have a doughnut ice cream sandwich. Their light, airy dough will unquestionably make your summer sweeter!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Donut Monster (@donutmonsterhamilton)

Bronuts, Winnipeg, MB

Your friendly neighbourhood doughnut shop has captured the attention of many worldwide by naming their doughnuts after people, like Max, Debbie, Margot or Arthur. Flavours range from salted chocolate, pistachio white chocolate and caramel blondie.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Bronuts Donuts + Coffee (@bronutswpg)

Fortune Doughnut, Halifax, NS

Considered one of best shops to grab doughnuts on the East Coast, Fortune makes a variety of fun flavours and has plenty of vegan options too. Their vegan flavours are stellar — from Boston cream and maple bacon to raspberry gummy bears and chocolate Oreo.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Fortune Doughnut (@fortunedoughnut)

Want to try making doughnuts at home? Try these matcha and raspberry mochi doughnuts (they require just 10 ingredients!).

Anna Olson image over a beauty of her Dutch baby recipe

Sunday Brunch Just Got Better With Anna Olson’s Easy Dutch Baby

Start your weekend right with an extra special breakfast that will make you feel like you’re at one of the most popular brunch spots in town. A Dutch baby is baked in the oven instead of on the stovetop and is best described as part souffle pancake and part turnover. The best part? A Dutch baby can be easily customized with your favourite toppings—Anna likes to add orange zest in hers. If you’re feeling extra indulgent, add a dollop of whip cream or a scoop of ice cream once it’s cooled from the oven —we promise not to tell!

Made using baking staples you likely already have at home, this easy and fluffy Dutch Baby pancake from Junior Chef Showdown judge and mentor Anna Olson will become one of your go-to brunch dishes after the first bite.

See More: Indulge in Dessert for Breakfast With Anna Olson’s Chocolate Banana Pancake

Anna Olson’s Dutch Baby

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minute
Yields: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:

Pancake
¼ cup flour
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
⅛ tsp salt
⅔ cup 10% cream
3 eggs
¼ tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp melted butter

For Serving
Icing sugar
Maple syrup
Fresh berries

Related: Anna Olson’s Apple Cannoli Tart is the Best New Dessert Mashup

Dutch baby in cast iron skillet topped with berries

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 450°F and place a 9-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven to heat while you prepare the batter.

2. Whisk the flour, sugar, orange zest and salt in a bowl. Add the cream, eggs and vanilla and whisk well. Then, whisk in the melted butter.

3. Pour batter into the heated pan and return to the oven. Bake until puffed and deep golden for approximately 16 to 18 minutes.

4. Serve warm, topped with dusted icing sugar and drizzled with maple syrup and berries.

Watch Junior Chef Showdown Sundays at 9ep 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.

Egg curry and roti on kitchen countertop

Eat Leftovers for Days With This West Indian Egg Curry and Roti

This recipe holds a very special place in my heart. It’s another West Indian dish like channa that encourages breakfast ingredients for dinner and is a play on all five senses. But what makes it stand out is the memory of my extended family gathered together while egg curry with potato was cooking on the stove. Truly made for a crowd or big batches with plenty of leftovers, the process of cooking egg curry is how we cooked from the heart — a dish enjoyed with our hands, honouring my dad’s recipe, paired with my grandmother’s roti recipe. It’s our family’s version of a labour of love. And if there was ever a meal to bring us together, it’s this.

Egg curry and roti on kitchen countertop

West Indian Egg Curry With Roti

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

12 eggs, room temperature
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
3 scallions, thinly sliced, plus additional for serving (optional)
1 tsp chopped thyme
1 Scotch bonnet pepper, stem removed
2 Tbsp curry powder
1½ Tbsp garam masala
1½ Tbsp geera
¼ cup olive oil, divided
2 large yellow-fleshed potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tsp salt, plus additional for seasoning
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 cups chicken stock
Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving (optional)
Roti, for serving

Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lay the eggs in the water. Cook for 7 minutes, then immediately drain the water and transfer eggs to a large bowl of ice water. Crack each egg and return to the ice water. Once cool enough to handle, peel the eggs, rinse any bits of remaining shells off and place the eggs on a paper towel to dry.

2. Place the onion, garlic, scallions, thyme and Scotch bonnet in a food processor and blend until it forms a smooth, thick paste, adding a splash of water if necessary.

Related: The Best Ways to Prepare Eggs Around the World, From France to Japan

3. In a small bowl, combine curry powder, garam masala and geera, then set aside.

4. Heat 3 Tbsp of oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to smoke, pour in the seasoning mixture. Fry for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant and starting to brown. Sprinkle in the spice mix and continue to fry, stirring frequently, for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Add small splashes of water as the seasoning sticks the bottom of the pan to prevent it from burning.

5. Add the potatoes, season with salt and stir until coated in the curry. If the curry is sticking to the bottom of the pan, add a splash of chicken stock or water to loosen it. Lower the heat to medium and cover the pot for 5 minutes, stirring the potatoes halfway through. Stir in the tomato paste until combined, then pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover and cook until potatoes are fork-tender, about 10 minutes.

Related: Slow Cooker Curry Recipes That Deliver All the Comfort

6. Heat a cast-iron skillet on medium-high, then pour in remaining oil. Ensure the eggs are completely dry, then cut four 1-inch lengthwise slits in each, just through the egg white, and place them in the oil. Fry the eggs for 2 to 3 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned and blistered on all sides. Using tongs, place the fried eggs into the curry and lightly boil, uncovered, until the curry has thickened to a gravy consistency, about 8 to 10 more minutes. Serve
in a bowl with roti on the side.

Tip: Cutting slits into the eggs allows them to soak up some of the curry sauce and prevents them from exploding while frying.

Cover of cookbook 'Eat With Us'Excerpted from Eat With Us: Mindful Recipes to Make Every Meal an Experience by Philip Lago and Mystique Mattai. Copyright © 2021 Philip Lago and Mystique Mattai. Photography by Mystique Mattai. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Eat With Us: Mindful Recipes to Make Every Meal an Experience, Amazon, $25.

All products featured on Food Network Canada are independently selected by our editors. For more products handpicked by our editorial team, visit Food Network Canada’s Amazon storefront. However, when you buy through links in this article or on our storefront, we earn an affiliate commission.

Fried ice cream on brown plate

This No-Fry Fried Ice Cream Needs Just 5 Ingredients (Yes, Really!)

One of the easiest (and delicious) cool treats to try this summer is this Baking Therapy no-fry fried ice cream that uses just 5 ingredients: corn flakes, cinnamon, brown butter, salt and your favourite ice cream, although I’m partial to this vanilla, chocolate, peanut butter swirl. It’s crunchy, creamy, sweet, salty all in one bite — and without all the mess of frying!

Fried ice cream on brown plate

No-Fry Fried Ice Cream

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Rest Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

1 pint of ice cream
5 cups corn flakes, crushed
6 Tbsp butter, browned
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
Caramel sauce for topping (optional)

Fried ice cream ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Scoop 2-inch balls of ice cream onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place into the freezer.

2. Place the corn flakes in a plastic bag and crush into small bits.

Related: This Dreamy No-Churn Ice Cream Cake Requires Less Than 10 Ingredients

3. In large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Continue to cook and stir the butter for 8-10 minutes until the milk solids begin the turn a golden brown colour. Add in the crushed corn flakes, cinnamon and salt and continue to cook for another 5 minutes until the corn flakes are well coated and golden. Remove from heat and transfer to a cookie sheet to cool, about 10-15 minutes.

4. Roll the ice cream balls in the corn flakes, making sure to cover the entire surface. Serve immediately as-is or with a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Ice cream being rolled in corn flakes

Fried ice cream with caramel sauce on top

Like Sabrina’s no-fry fried ice cream? Try her lemon poppy seed coconut buns or her Vietnamese coffee popsicles.

Sweet and sour shrimp and tofu in two bowls

This Sweet and Sour Shrimp and Tofu Recipe is Better Than Takeout

I love home-cooked meals, but believe me when I say I don’t love spending all my time in the kitchen! Efficient cooking is key and nothing is more easy than a “one and done” meal where all the protein and veggies are cooked in one vessel. In this Kindred Kitchen sweet and sour shrimp and tofu recipe, most of the work is upfront prepping the ingredients — and then everything gets cooked in very quick succession all in one wok or pan. It’s one of my back pocket weeknight meals and so delicious served over rice or noodles.

Sweet and sour shrimp and tofu in two bowls

Sweet and Sour Shrimp and Tofu

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

1 lb jumbo shrimp, shells removed and deveined
¾ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp roasted sesame oil
3-4 dashes white pepper powder
3 scallions, cut into 1 ½” segments + 1 scallion chopped for garnish
2 slices fresh ginger
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 sweet bell pepper, cut into ¾” pieces
1 large or 2 small mangoes, cut into ¾” pieces (or pineapple)
1 package extra-firm tofu, cut into ¾” cubes
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
2 Tbsp arrowroot starch (or cornstarch)
1 Tbsp Chinese cooking rice wine (or dry cooking sherry or Japanese mirin)
3 Tbsp Japanese rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
3 Tbsp honey
4 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
High-heat neutral oil for stir-frying
Toasted cashews for garnish

Sweet and sour shrimp and tofu ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. In a bowl, toss shrimp with the salt, sesame oil and white pepper power. Set aside to marinade while you prep and cut the scallions, ginger, garlic, pepper, mangoes and tofu according to directions above.

2. In a separate bowl or large jar, whisk together broth, arrowroot starch, Chinese cooking wine, Japanese rice vinegar, honey and tamari. Set aside, keeping the whisk to give it a quick stir just before using.

Related: These Simple Stir-Fry Recipes Will Convince You to Cook More

3. Heat wok or large pan over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of oil and the shrimp. Saute until shrimp just turn fully pink, ensuring not to overcook. They get reheated again at the end. Scoop them out and set aside.

Sweet and sour shrimp and tofu being cooked in wok

4. To the same wok or pan, add another drizzle of oil and the ginger slices, moving them around with your spatula for 5 seconds. Add scallions and cook 10 seconds. Add minced garlic and cook another 10 seconds.

5. Add bell peppers to the wok, sauteing briefly until tender, but still crisp. Add tofu and saute until heated through. Sprinkle kosher salt all over.

6. Whisk prepared sauce and pour in, bring it to a gentle simmer to thicken.

Sweet and sour shrimp and tofu being cooked in wok

7. Once visibly thickened, add mangoes as well as the cooked shrimp. Cook briefly only to heat them through. You’ll want the mangoes to retain their shape and most of the texture, and the shrimp to still be juicy. Taste and do a final seasoning with salt as needed.

8. Serve over steamed rice or noodles, with a sprinkle of scallions and/or toasted cashews to garnish.

Sweet and sour shrimp and tofu in one bowl

Like Sonia’s sweet and sour shrimp and tofu recipe? Try her hot dog fried rice or her three-ingredient kimchi chicken patties.

lobster rolls on wood cutting board

This 7-Ingredient PEI Lobster Roll is an East Coast Classic

Lobster is truly at the heart of Prince Edward Island — and there is no better recipe than a lobster roll to let this local delicacy shine. If you’re unsure how to cook it, this nutritious 7-ingredient recipe proves how easy it really is, while also being high in protein (win- win!). For this recipe, you simply boil the lobster for a few minutes, de-shell and then voila, it’s done! Or make it even easier and purchase lobster meat that’s ready-to-be eaten, no boiling or de-shelling necessary. We combine the tender lobster meat with creamy mayo, zesty lemon and crunchy celery to elevate the flavours and highlight its freshness. So load up your toasted, buttery buns with this delicious mixture and be prepared to enjoy every bite.

lobster rolls on wood cutting board

7-Ingredient PEI Lobster Rolls

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-20 minutes (depending on size of lobster)
Total Time: 20-30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb cooked lobster meat (from 4 whole lobsters or 2 lbs of tails, knuckles and claws)
2 Tbsp mayo
2 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp lemon zest
1 celery stalk, finely diced
2 Tbsp finely chopped green onions, just the greens
¼ tsp sea salt and a few cracks of pepper to taste
1 tsp butter
4 hot dog style buns or Bibb/Boston lettuce wraps
Bibb or Boston lettuce

Directions:

1. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. If you don’t have access to seawater, salt the water well with sea salt (not regular salt) and be very generous with it!

2. Add the whole lobster or if you’re just using the tails, knuckles or claws, place them in the boiling water and cover. If the lobster has bands on it, remember to remove them first.

3. Depending on the size of the whole lobster, it will take anywhere from 15-20 minutes to cook. If you’re just using the tails, claws and knuckles, it will take between 10-12 minutes.

4. While the lobster is cooking, combine the mayo, lemon juice, lemon zest, celery, green onion, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Related: Top Pescatarian Dinner Ideas That Make Seafood the Star

5. Once the lobster is cooked, place it on a tray to cool. You could also use an ice bath to stop the cooking (I don’t). Once it’s cooled, de-shell the lobster using kitchen shears. This is the fun part!

6. Cut the lobster meat into ½ to 1-inch pieces.

7. Combine the lobster in the bowl with mayo, celery, lemon and green onions and mix well.

8. Now it’s time to prep the buns. Melt butter in a wide saucepan over medium heat.

Related: Our Best Sandwich Recipes

9. If you don’t have hot dog brioche buns, slice the sides off, but only enough to make them flat, then place the flat side in the pan, and once it’s browned after a minute, flip to the other side to brown. Do this with each bun.

10. Place the buns on a tray, lay the lettuce leaves on the centre of each bun and fill with the lobster mixture. Top with extra green onion and a squeeze of lemon.

Noah Cappe on the set of Wall of Chefs

Food Network Canada Announces the Return of Six Favourites, Plus a Mouth-Watering New Series

This news is hot off the panini press! Food Network Canada welcomes seven new and returning Corus Studios Originals as part of its 2021-2022 schedule. Get ready for the return of your most delicious favourite Canadian shows, as well as an exciting new spin-off!

Noah Cappe on set of Wall of Chefs, Cynthia Stroud, Anna Olson and Steven Hodge on set of Great Chocolate Showdown and Dylan Benoit on set of Fire Masters

 

 

Get ready to face The Wall! Wall of Chefs is back for an exhilarating new season as home cooks face off in front of a group of 12 of the country’s most respected culinary icons. Want even more delicious competition? Corus Studios is turning up the heat with the new spin-off series, Wall of Bakers.  Adding to that sweet slate is the return of baking favourites, The Big Bake and Great Chocolate Showdown. Funnyman John Catucci is back on the road hitting up irresistible restos across the country on Big Food Bucket List while Steven Hodge and Tiffany Pratt give bakery owners a new lease on life on Project Bakeover. Finally, flame tamers do fiery battle against the best in grilling on a new season of Fire Masters.

Related: HGTV Canada Announces Four New Series and Six Returning Favourites

Think you’ve got what it takes to be on a Food Network Canada show? Head to our casting page for details on how to apply.

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.

Indigenous frybread tacos on white plate

Make Indigenous BBQ Chicken Frybread Tacos for Dinner Tonight

These tacos are crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside. You can use any style of meat and toppings, but one of our favourites is caramelized grilled BBQ chicken. There’s an art to layering these tasty tacos. Start with your fresh frybread, shredded lettuce, grilled BBQ chicken, topped with your own quick homemade pebre (salsa, Chilean style) adapted from our Indigenous friends of Chile.

Indigenous frybread tacos on white plate

BBQ Chicken Frybread Tacos

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Rest Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

Frybread
3 cups flour
2 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ cup sugar
3 cups milk or water (approx.)

Pebre
2 cups finely diced fresh field tomatoes
½ cup finely diced red onions
½ bunch cilantro, finely chopped
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp lime juice (about ½ fresh squeezed lime)
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 pinch salt

BBQ Chicken
8 5-oz cage-free chicken breasts
3 Tbsp butter and cooking oil, for frying
1 cup BBQ sauce

Toppings 
1 head lettuce, shredded
8 oz sour cream
1 cup shredded cheese

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the centre, slowly add milk or water to the well and gently stir and fold until just combined. Dough will be slightly sticky. Let dough rest for 15 minutes.

2. In a large cast iron pan, heat cooking oil to 350ºF.

3. Lightly flour your work surface and turn the dough onto floured surface. Sprinkle dough with flour and pat dough lightly until flour is absorbed. Cut off a piece of dough, flour lightly and pat piece of dough into a 4-inch diameter circle. Flatten and stretch between your hands to about ½ inch thick.

Related: Grilled Chicken Recipes Your Dinner Table Needs Right Now

4. Gently place flattened dough into hot oil, cooking until golden brown, about 1 to 1 ½ minutes per side, turning only once. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

5. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the pebre and let rest for the flavours to meld.

6. Thinly slice chicken breast lengthwise into ½ inch strips.

Related: Metis Herbalist Shares Edible Plants and Weeds Found in Canada

7. In a large cast iron pan, heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add sliced chicken, season with salt and pepper. Cook until no pink remains and internal temperature reaches 165ºF. Lightly brush with your favourite BBQ sauce. Grill until slightly caramelized and golden brown.

8. For each taco, place a piece of frybread on your plate, start with a handful of shredded lettuce, add strips of the caramelized chicken breast on top, dollop of sour cream, a few Tbsp of shredded cheese and top it off with a tablespoon of Pebre salsa.

Like Sharon’s BBQ chicken frybread tacos? Try her buffalo beef stew.

Jordan Andino Photo with Fresh Chopped Salad

Jordan Andino’s Pantry Staple Salad Makes for a Fuss-Free Summer Lunch

Summer is on the horizon, and with more time spent enjoying the beautiful weather, the last thing you want to do is go grocery shopping or eat a heavy takeout meal.  Make the most out of the longer days by opting for light, no-cook meals that are budget-friendly and will be ready to serve in no time. As an easy lunch or picnic side dish, this easy chopped salad recipe is made with pantry staples like luncheon meat, black beans and canned corn.

Topped with a healthy and light four-ingredient vinaigrette, this pantry chopped salad recipe from Junior Chef Showdown judge and mentor Jordan Andino is a great make-ahead meal for busy summer days.

See More: 3 Crowd-Pleasing Appetizers From Lynn Crawford 

Jordan Andino’s Pantry Staple Chopped Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:

Salad
½ cup luncheon meat, chopped into ½ inch cubes
1 avocado, chopped
½ jalapeno, seeded and diced
1-½ Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
2 Tbsp chopped red onion
¼ cup black beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup corn kernels

Vinaigrette
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp lime juice, divided
1 Tbsp honey
Salt and pepper, to taste

Related:  Jordan Andino’s Perfect Burger Recipe

Directions:

1. Heat a non-stick pan to medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon oil along with canned meat and cook for approximately 7 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden brown. Set aside to cool slightly.

2. Then, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 1 tablespoon lime juice and honey in a small bowl.

3. Place avocado in a large bowl and toss with the remaining tablespoon of lime juice. Add jalapeno, cilantro, tomatoes, red onion, beans, corn and cooled luncheon meat.

4. Season with salt and pepper. Lastly, pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.

Watch Junior Chef Showdown Sundays at 9ep 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.

Just another msblogs site