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.

Ree Drummond’s Rustic Strawberry Tart is the Perfect Way to Celebrate Canada Day

Baking doesn’t always require hours in a hot kitchen, especially if you try something as quick and simple as The Pioneer Woman‘s rustic strawberry tart. Ree Drummond skips the homemade pastry and opts for store-bought pie crusts to cut down on prep time, then she fills it with ripe summer strawberries and bakes the tart for 30 minutes until golden. Topped with sweetened whipped cream, it’s the perfect dessert for your Canada Day celebration at home.

Related: Ina Garten’s Easy Recipes That Start with Store-Bought Ingredients

The Pioneer Woman’s Rustic Strawberry Tart and Sweetened Whipped Cream

Total Time: 1 hour (plus cooling time)
Serves:
6

Ingredients:
4 cups strawberries, halved
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting your work surface
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
2 store-bought pie dough crusts, thawed if frozen
1 large egg
1 Tbsp water plus a splash
1/3 cup apricot preserves
Sweetened Whipped Cream, for serving, recipe follows

Sweetened Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp granulated white sugar

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s Best Summer Grilling Recipes

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. Add the strawberries to a bowl along with the sugar, flour, vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon juice and toss together until well combined. Set aside while you prepare the crust.

3. Lightly flour your work surface so the crust doesn’t stick. Unroll the pie crusts and lay one on the other, overlapping about halfway. Use a rolling pin and roll the crusts in the center to join them together and to spread them out slightly. It should be about 19 inches by 11 inches and fit on a sheet pan.

4. Use a knife to round the top and bottom edges slightly and along the sides to neaten up the edges; no more than 1/2-inch of dough should be cut away. (Discard the extra dough.) Transfer to a parchment-lined sheet pan.

5. Spoon the strawberry mixture into the center of the dough leaving a 1-inch border around all sides. (Be sure they aren’t too mounded so they bake evenly in the oven.) Working carefully, fold edges of the dough up and over the strawberries, pleating them as you go.

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s 30 Most Popular Cake and Pie Recipes

6. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and 1 tablespoon water together. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat only the folded edge of the dough.

7. Place the sheet pan into the oven and bake the tart for 30 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through the bake to make sure it bakes evenly. While it is baking, heat the apricot preserves in a small pan with a splash of water until warmed through.

8. When the crust is golden brown, remove it from the oven. Brush the strawberries gently with the warmed apricot preserves and cool completely before cutting and serving with the Sweetened Whipped Cream.

Sweetened Whipped Cream:

1. With a whisk, a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream and white sugar until it has formed soft peaks.

Related: Red and White Desserts to Celebrate Canada Day

If you’re looking for more of Ree Drummond’s kitchen shortcuts, check out The Pioneer Woman’s Top Cooking Tips for Easier Weeknight Dinners.

Watch The Pioneer Woman 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.

Celebrate Canada Day With These Mini Bagels (and Epic BLT Bagel Board!)

When you think of Canadian cuisine, you likely think of poutine, maple syrup, smoked salmon, bannock — and Montreal-style bagels. And with Canada Day quickly approaching, I wanted to share a fun way to get the family involved to create these delicious mini bagels and an epic BLT bagel board. These Baking Therapy mini bagels are covered in white and black sesame seeds and perfectly chewy on the inside. Once you try your hand at homemade bagels, you’ll be making them every single weekend!

Mini Bagels

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Rest Time: 10 hours (or overnight) plus 10 minutes
Bake Time: 13-15 minutes
Total Time: 11 hours
Servings: 15 mini bagels

Ingredients:

Dough
250ml warm water
2 tsp honey
2 tsp active dry yeast
3 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp neutral oil
1 ½ tsp salt
¼ cup white sesame seeds (optional)
¼ cup black sesame seeds (optional)

Boil
1 Tbsp baking soda
2 Tbsp honey

Directions:
1. In a small bowl, mix together the water, honey and yeast. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy.

2. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the bread flour, oil and salt. Mix on medium-low for 10 minutes until dough is soft, smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball, cover with a bowl and rest for 10 minutes.

Related: 12 Canadian First Nations Recipes to Make for National Indigenous Peoples Month

3. Portion the dough into equal portions (15 x 45-50 gram balls). Roll each piece of dough against a non-floured surface to create smooth, round dough balls. Place the dough balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet, cover with plastic and chill in fridge for at least 10 hours or overnight.

4. Remove the tray from the fridge and let come to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the baking soda and honey.

Related: Snack Plates Are the Easy Dinner Option You Need This Week

6. To shape the bagels, grab a piece of dough, slightly flatten. Grab the edge furthest from you and fold the dough over itself and continue to roll the dough over into a log. Roll to about 6 inches long, wrap around your finger as though tying a knot. Pinch the seams together to seal. Give it one last roll to smooth everything out. Place on a parchment-lined sheet.

7. Turn the heat down to medium and keep at a rolling boil. Drop the bagels in (5-6 at a time), boil for 1 minute per side. Transfer to a cooling rack and while the bagels are still hot and sticky, press them into the sesame seeds. Place the bagels back on the parchment lined sheet and bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes until lightly golden brown.

8. Enjoy as a breakfast sandwich, as part of a BLT bagel board or simply with a little cream cheese. Bagel board suggestions include: crispy bacon, boiled eggs, tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, avocado, cucumbers, red onion, cream cheese and dijon mustard.

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.

What is Food Insecurity? FoodShare’s Paul Taylor Explains (Plus What Canadians Can Do About It)

If you want to know what food insecurity is, Paul Taylor is the man to answer that question. He is the executive director of FoodShare, a Toronto-based non-profit that advocates that everyone have access to affordable, fresh and nutritious food. His personal experience has informed his life’s work: he was raised by a single mother on Ontario’s welfare system. He has worked as a teacher, in a Toronto homeless youth shelter and the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver. We chatted with Paul about what food insecurity is, the link between racism and food insecurity and how Canadians can take action.

What is food insecurity? And what does FoodShare do to work toward making change?

Food insecurity is inconsistent or uncertain access to food due to financial constraints. There are 4.4 million people living in food insecure households in Canada. It’s a problem that is only getting worse. Since the 1980s, Canada’s default response to food insecurity has been food banking and food-based charity. Instead of dealing with this growing public health crisis, a number of politicians seem to prefer photo-ops of sorting food at food charities, instead of sorting the policies that allow households to experience food insecurity.

At FoodShare, we recognize that we can’t position our work as a solution to wicked problems like food insecurity or poverty. FoodShare’s work includes working with communities across the city of Toronto to co-create community-led food assets, such as urban farms and fresh produce markets, but our work cannot solve food insecurity. We publicly acknowledge that reality, while also recognizing the potential impact that public policy can have on food insecurity. Disappointed with the provincial government’s decision to roll back the planned increase to minimum wage, FoodShare openly challenged the Premier to live on $14/hour for the remainder of his term. More and more food charities recognize the limited role that we can play in challenging food insecurity, so we continue to advocate for a political commitment followed by a public policy approach to address this crisis.

Can you explain the link between racism and food insecurity?

The research that we conducted in partnership with PROOF, an interdisciplinary research group, looks at food insecurity in Canada. We found that anti-Black racism had much more of an impact on who gets to eat than we had imagined.

To be Black in Canada means that you’re 3.5 times more likely to live in a food insecure household than if you’re white. We also found that while 12% of white children live in food insecure households, that skyrockets to 36% for Black children.

We also looked at home ownership, which has generally been understood to correlate with lower levels of food insecurity. Unfortunately, this is only true for white households. The percentage of Black homeowners experiencing food insecurity (14.5%) is almost equal to the percentage of white renters who experience food insecurity (14.3%).

The ubiquity of anti-Black racism doesn’t end there. When it comes to immigration status, it doesn’t matter if Black people are born in Canada or abroad — the risk of food insecurity remains consistently high.

Aggregate food insecurity statistics suggest that single parent households are more likely to experience food insecurity, but for Black households it doesn’t matter how many parents are in the home, there remains a significantly higher probability of food insecurity.

Related: 10 Facts That Will Shock You About Racial Injustice in Canada

How has food insecurity been impacted by COVID?

Physical distancing and other restrictions brought on by the pandemic meant that people needed to take fewer trips to the grocery store and began to stockpile food and toilet paper. Doing this was near impossible for those who were already food insecure. As the pandemic went on, we saw unprecedented job losses. All of these people suddenly had to figure out how they were going to afford to pay for rent and food.

At FoodShare we immediately pivoted so that we could deliver free Emergency Good Food Boxes filled with fresh produce to households across the city. We provided a $4/hour increase and additional paid sick days to all of the FoodShare staff involved in our pandemic response. We quickly partnered with 80 community-based groups to help identify people that were especially vulnerable. The free Good Food Boxes are being delivered to undocumented workers, survival sex workers and other individuals made vulnerable by our current system. So far we’ve provided over 26,000 free Good Food Boxes.

What is the biggest misconception people often make about food insecurity in our country?

Food insecurity will not be solved by casseroles made in community kitchens, the repurposing of two-legged carrots, donated cranberry sauce or even the current government approach of hopes and prayers. Food insecurity is an income issue that requires income based interventions. 62% of Canadians living in food insecure households derive their income from paid employment, which means that their jobs don’t lift them out of food insecurity, but instead trap them in it.

How can Canadians take action? How can we help?

You can donate (www.foodshare.net), order a Good Food Box online (it’ll be delivered straight to your home) and get involved in $15 and Fairness. We need to remind our elected officials that we have the right to food in Canada — and that it’s long overdue for food insecurity to be something that we talk about in our history books.

Related: Ranking Canadian Retailers Offering Grocery Delivery Right Now, by Price

What is one of your favourite things you’ve cooked from your Good Food Box delivery?

I’ve signed up for a weekly subscription of the Good Food Box and I’ve added on the whole-wheat sourdough bread and the organic fair trade coffee that we sell. My breakfasts are usually 100% inspired by the Good Food Box. Most recently I’ve been enjoying my oven-roasted tofu sandwich. I marinate the tofu for 24 hours in some Frank’s Hot Sauce, olive oil and smoked paprika. I roast it for 20 minutes and then throw it on some sourdough bread with sliced cucumbers, mayo, a slice of tomato and then stuff it with the living pea shoots that came in this week’s box. On the side, I chop up fresh carrot sticks and celery.

Related: 35 Sweet and Savoury Tofu Recipes for Every Meal

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Photo of Paul Taylor courtesy of Daniel Neuhaus; remaining photos courtesy of FoodShare

Casting Call: Apply Now for Top Chef Canada

Canada’s biggest and most prestigious culinary competition is back! Top Chef Canada is searching for the country’s best and brightest professional chefs to compete for the title of Canada’s Top Chef.

Related: Watch Full Episodes of Top Chef Canada

We are looking for chefs showcasing a broad range of cooking styles with a passion for food and a desire to compete. You’ve persevered through the current challenges of the culinary industry and now we want you to bring that dedication and determination to the Top Chef Canada​ kitchen!

CLICK HERE TO APPLY NOW

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

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.

Grilled Stuffed Zucchini Boats With Roasted Cherry Tomatoes is the Vegan Summer Recipe You Need

Grilling isn’t just for carnivores. And this grilled stuffed zucchini boats with roasted cherry tomatoes recipe proves it. It’s not only healthy, it’s a visually gorgeous dish that has a hearty, yet summery vibe. The recipe incorporates vibrant red cherry tomatoes, dark green zucchini and mineral-packed lentils and rice. We promise — this is certainly the summertime vegan recipe you need right now.

Grilled Stuffed Zucchini Boats With Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 75 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Shallots
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Tomatoes
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tsp sea salt
A few cracks of pepper

Mixture
¼ cup green lentils
½ cup brown rice
1 ½ cups water
4 Tbsp parsley, divided and roughly chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Zucchini
4 zucchinis
3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp sea salt
A few cracks of pepper
¼ cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Thinly slice the shallots. Place a pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add oil and once it’s hot, toss in the shallots, salt and pepper. Let them cook for 7-8 minutes until they get browned and crispy, then transfer them to a towel or paper towel.

3. Place the cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, toss with oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes until blistered and bubbling.

Related: Grilled Za’atar Carrots with Halloumi & Mint

4. While the cherry tomatoes are roasting, place the lentils, rice, water and a pinch of salt in a pot, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Once cooked, toss the lentils and rice with 2 Tbsp of parsley, lemon juice, salt, pepper and ½ of the crispy shallots.

6. Turn your grill to medium heat or if you’re using a grill pan over the stove, wait until the zucchinis are prepped then turn to medium heat.

7. Slice the zucchinis in half lengthwise, then scoop out the seeds using a spoon to create a hollowed out well down the middle.

Related: 10 Veggie-Forward Grilled Skewers and Kebabs to Try This Summer

8. Rub the zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill hollowed side down for 5-7 minutes, then flip and grill for another 5-7 minutes.

9. Stuff the zucchini with the lentils and rice mixture, topped with the roasted cherry tomatoes, crispy shallots, chopped parsley and walnuts.

Want more summertime recipes? These vegan sloppy Joe sliders and strawberry chia frozen yogurt pops will surely be a hit.

Ina Garten’s Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken is a Game Changer for Weeknight Meals

Roast chicken isn’t just for Sunday dinners any more thanks to this easy recipe from The Barefoot Contessa. Using a cast-iron pan, nestle an herb-marinated, butterflied chicken on a bed of lemon slices, onion and garlic and roast at a high temperature. In just under an hour, you’ll have perfectly tender chicken with golden, crispy skin. With a little help from Ina Garten, you’ll be channelling your inner chef in no time at all!

Related: Ina Garten’s Quick Recipes Using Store-Bought Ingredients

Ina Garten’s Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken

Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes (includes resting time)
Serves:
3

Ingredients:
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp whole fennel seeds
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup good olive oil
1 lemon, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 yellow onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 (4-lb) chicken, backbone removed and butterflied
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
Juice of 1 lemon

Related: Ina Garten’s Best Chicken Recipes: From Roast Chicken to Pot Pie

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

2. Place the thyme, fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a mini food processor and process until ground. Pour the olive oil into a small glass measuring cup, stir in the herb mixture, and set aside.

3. Distribute the lemon slices in a 12-inch cast iron skillet and distribute the onion and garlic on top. Place the chicken, skin side down, on top of the onion and brush with about half the oil and herb mixture. Turn the chicken skin side up, pat it dry with paper towels (very important!), and brush it all over with the rest of the oil and herb mixture.

4. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes. Pour the wine into the pan (not on the chicken!) and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 155 to 160°F.

5. Remove the chicken from the oven, sprinkle it with the lemon juice, cover the skillet tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Cut the chicken in quarters or eighths, sprinkle with salt, and serve hot with the pan juices, cooked lemon, and onion.

Related: Any Hour is Cocktail Hour Thanks to Ina Garten’s Classic Cosmopolitan

For more kitchen inspiration from The Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics, check out the 15 Cooking Techniques That Ina Garten Wants You to Know.

Watch Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics 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.

Every Food Network Canada Show You Can Binge Watch Right Now

As we settle in for an extended period of time at home, we’re brainstorming fun activities we can do in the comfort of our own abodes. One great way to relax? Binge-watching all your favourite Food Network Canada shows, of course. From Buddy vs. Duff to Top Chef Canada here are all the shows you can watch either on Foodnetwork.ca, STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels or the Global TV app. You can also check out Food Network Canada daily on TV with your cable package for delicious marathons that the whole family can enjoy.


And now, while Canadians are #HomeTogether, we’re inviting you to vote on your favourite binge-worthy series! Three fan-favourite series will compete for the #FanFavouriteFriday marathon spot each week. Check back each weekend and vote for your fave on @FoodNetworkCanada’s Twitter account. The winning series will air with back-to-back episodes the following Friday from 11AM to 7PM.

Vote all weekend and check back on Monday to see the winner. #FanFavouriteFriday runs on Food Network Canada until June 26.

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

Watch Your Binge-Worthy Favourites on STACK TV or the Global TV App

Watch Food Network Canada Classics Online on Foodnetwork.ca

Related: Every HGTV Canada Show You Can Binge-Watch Right Now

 

These Easy Sourdough Discard Crackers Come Together With Just 5 Ingredients

Cheese, meet your new BFF: sourdough discard crackers. With just a few ingredients, you can turn your sourdough discard into crispy, buttery, delicious crackers to enjoy with literally everything. Make these crackers, throw together a cheeseboard, you can thank me later.

Sourdough Discard Crackers

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 32 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Servings: 1 cup crackers

Ingredients:

½ cup sourdough discard
2 Tbsp butter, melted
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp sesame seeds

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the sourdough discard, melted butter, salt and pepper.

3. Spread the discard onto the parchment paper in one thin layer. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

4. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, pull out the pan and cut into pieces with a knife or pizza cutter. Continue to bake in the oven for another 20 to 24 minutes until golden on the edges.

5. Cool completely on a wire rack.

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.

How to Cook the Perfect Grilled Chicken Every Time

Moo-ve along burgers and other beef cuts, crowd-pleasing chicken is the perfect protein for grilling.

What is the best way to grill chicken?

Different cuts, myriad marinades and lots of cooking styles mean you’re never at a loss for ideas about what to make. With all these options, though, can come many questions. Dark meat or light, can you treat them the same? (Short answer, no.) What do I need to beware of before I get started? And how long does it need to cook
for?

A few simple tips and tricks will serve you well when it comes to grilling chicken, ensuring a delicious meal every time.

The Pioneer Woman Perfect Grilled Chicken
Get the Recipe: The Pioneer Woman’s Perfect Grilled Chicken

How long do you cook chicken on the grill?

Just as some people prefer barbecued chicken thighs over drumsticks or breasts, the grill doesn’t treat all these cuts equally either. The size and thickness of the pieces and whether they’re boneless or not affect both the cooking time and the minimum safe internal temperature that indicates when the chicken is fully cooked and ready to eat.

Using an instant-read meat thermometer is the only way to know for sure if it’s time to take your chicken off the heat. But there are some rules of thumb when it comes to gauging just how long that should take.

Related: You’ll Love These BBQ Side Dishes

Grilled Chicken Breast with Spicy Peach Glaze
Try it: Grilled Chicken Breasts with Spicy Peach Glaze

Bone-in cuts need to cook longer than boneless breasts or thighs. If you’re looking to save some time, feel free to opt for cuts without the bone. Those with them, though, will stay juicier throughout grilling.

Boneless chicken breasts — a blank canvas for all sorts of dishes and flavours— are ready to eat the fastest. They need only about five or six minutes per side and you’ll want to pull them off just before they’re cooked all the way through. The residual heat from the grill will continue to cook them as they rest. Their internal temperature should be between 160°F and 165°F.

The dark meat of chicken thighs doesn’t dry out as quickly, making it your juiciest (and, arguably, most flavourful) option for grilling. Boneless thighs are as fast to cook as breasts — give them about five minutes on each side. You’re looking for an internal temperature of 165°F.

Grilled Chicken Wings with Spicy Chipotle Hot Sauce and Blue Cheese-Yogurt Dipping Sauce
Get the Recipe: Grilled Chicken Wings with Spicy Chipotle Hot Sauce and Blue Cheese-Yogurt Dipping Sauce

A snacking and game day favourite, chicken wings need to be turned a few times while they’re on the grill and you’ll want to plan a little further ahead because they take between 25 and 30 minutes to fully cook. They’re ready to go — maybe after a little toss in some buffalo sauce or spices — when an instant-read thermometer indicates 165°F.

For drumsticks and bone-in thighs or breasts, patience is needed. Turn them occasionally over their 40 to 50-minute cooking time and watch for an internal temperature of 160°F to 165°F.

Of course, you’re not limited to pieces alone. The perennial crowd favourite, Beer Can Chicken and similar recipes are popular for a reason. A whole chicken should take about an hour on the grill —
depending on its size, of course.

Bobby Flay's Beer Can Chicken
Get the Recipe: Bobby Flay’s Beer Can Chicken

How do you marinate chicken?

Infinitely adaptable chicken does well on the grill after it has been marinated in any number of saucy options. These can be as simple as oil and some summery herbs or more complicated versions using dairy products like yogurt or buttermilk and spices.

Related: Flavour-Packed BBQ Sauces, Marinades and Condiments

No matter what the recipe, keep the chicken in the fridge, for as little as 30 minutes or, even better, up to overnight, while it soaks up the flavours. Don’t forget the salt!

How do you grill chicken?

Once you’re ready to go, pull the chicken from the fridge so it has time to come up to room temperature before it hits the grill. This ensures the meat cooks evenly. Use that time to preheat your grill to medium — the ideal temperature for cooking the chicken through without drying it out. (Nothing spoils a meal like chewy chicken!) Also, prepare your grill by cleaning and oiling the grates to keep the meat from sticking or tearing during the cooking process.

See More: 65 Drool-Worthy Grilled Chicken Recipes

Do you close the grill when cooking chicken?

Just as steaks are better when they’ve been grilled with the lid open, chicken benefits from a closed lid. This creates an oven effect inside the grill, which helps cook the chicken all the way through. If you still want nice grill marks — and who doesn’t? — start by searing the cuts on both sides before closing the lid to finish cooking.

Your patience will be tested, but avoid opening that lid to see what’s happening. Every time you do, heat escapes, which could make the cooking uneven or take longer.

Barbecue Grilled Chicken
Get the Recipe: Valerie Bertinelli’s Barbecue Grilled Chicken

When do you add sauce to chicken?

Tangy barbecue sauce is truly the taste of summer. Apply it too early, though, and you’ll end up with a sticky, burnt mess. Since most barbecue sauces, especially those from the grocery store, are high in sugar, they tend to burn quickly.

Save the sauce for close to the end — about 10 minutes before the chicken is ready to come off the grill — to get it nice and caramelized. And, of course, you can always get even saucier once the chicken is ready to eat.

How long do you let chicken rest?

Don’t sit down to the table just yet! Letting your cooked meat rest for 10 to 15 minutes means juicier chicken from the first bite to last. While you wait, all those juices redistribute and that’s what’s going to keep it moist and tasty.

For even more great grilled recipes, check out 10 Easy Grilled Dinners That Go Beyond Burgers and 12 Tantalizing Grilled Chicken Thigh Recipes.

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.

Your New Favourite Dish Starring Avocado: Molly Yeh’s Guacamole Salad

With all the glorious warm weather in recent weeks, we’re seriously craving more light, healthy summer recipes that will curb our hunger pangs without leaving us feeling overheated. So, if you’re looking for something quick and easy – and that doesn’t require an oven – try this unique guacamole-inspired salad straight from Molly Yeh‘s kitchen.

Diced avocados, cucumber, red onion and roughly chopped garlic are drizzled with a homemade dressing that boasts the complementary flavours of paprika, oregano and lime. It’s definitely one of our new favourite ways to eat avocados.

Related: Molly Yeh’s Bagel Salad Recipe is an Instant Brunch Classic

Molly Yeh’s Guacamole Salad Recipe

Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

3 avocados, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 English cucumber, seeded and finely diced
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 lime, juiced
Hot sauce, as desired
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Related: Molly Yeh’s Chicken Shawarma Tacos

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, combine the avocado, garlic, cucumber, cilantro and red onion.

2. In a separate small bowl, stir together the olive oil, paprika, oregano, lime juice and some hot sauce, salt and pepper.

3. Drizzle the dressing on top of the vegetables and fold to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

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 Always Make the Perfect Veggie Burger (Plus One Easy Recipe!)

Regardless if you’re vegetarian or not, veggie burgers are the perfect main to accompany any side dish (especially french fries!). They can usually be made with pantry staples you already have on hand and are filled with whole ingredients. But, there is an art — or rather a science — to making a good veggie burger. You’ve likely eaten or made a veggie burger before that was too mushy or fell apart immediately after taking a bite. Or maybe it was too dry or completely bland and flavourless (read: cardboard patty). Veggie burgers require more thought than typical beef burgers, because you need to consider texture and flavour that much more. So we’re offering up tips to crafting the perfect patty, as well as one of our favourite recipes: The Southwest Burger! We also adore the Crunchy Sunshine Burger and Cashew Mushroom Slider.

Veggie Burger Rules

1. You Need a “Binder” and a “Dry” Component
● If you want a veggie burger that holds together, use binding agents like cooked grains (rice, quinoa, millet), eggs, flax eggs, bread crumbs, oats, flour or nut/seed flours like almond flour.
● The amount of grains or flour will depend on the recipe, but it’s usually anywhere from ¼ to 1 cup.

2. Any Bean Will Do
● Truly any bean you use will be great, whether it’s chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, white beans, mung beans, lentils or a melange of beans.

Related: Dinners That Start With Frozen Veggies (But Don’t Taste Like It)

3. Choose the “Right” Veggies
● Water and excess moisture will drown your burger in mushy sorrows, so choose veggies that have a low water content, like sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets, broccoli or cauliflower.
● If you choose veggies like zucchini, grate them first, then squeeze out the excess water. This is a must!
● Or if using mushrooms, cook them first to release the moisture.
● It’s always good to start a veggie burger with onion and garlic as the flavour-base.

4. Make it Flavourful
● It’s really easy to wind up with a bland veggie burger. Beans don’t have a high fat content, like ground beef, which is where most of the flavour comes from in a traditional burger.
● It’s important to rely on flavour-bombs like:
– Spices (cumin, coriander, garam masala, curry powder, chili powder, paprika, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, turmeric).
– Fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, mint, dill, thyme, rosemary, basil).
– Nut or seed butters (tahini, almond butter, pumpkin seed butter).
– Condiments (balsamic vinegar, tamari, hot sauce, mustard). Tip: use these sparingly if liquid so you don’t add more moisture.
– Others (sun-dried tomatoes, olives, feta, nutritional yeast, roasted red pepper).

Related: 10 Veggie-Forward Grilled Skewers and Kebabs to Try This Summer

5. Resting and Cooking
●  Once shaped into patties, let the burgers rest in the fridge, if only for a few minutes, this will help them stick together.
● Most veggie burgers are not grill-able, because their texture is fragile. They may fall through the grates, so we recommend baking or pan-frying. If you desperately want to grill, bake them first then finish them on the BBQ once they’re a bit more solid.

6. Toppings
● Of course, toppings only add more flavour, crunch and excitement.
● Obvious ones are pickles, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, mustard and ketchup.
● Not as obvious ones are avocado, guacamole, BBQ sauce, cashew mayo, salsa, sprouts, sauerkraut and caramelized onions.

Related: 20 High-Protein Vegan Meals That Are Beyond Tasty

The Southwest Burger

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Rest Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 75 minutes
Servings: 4 burgers

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp ground flax
2 Tbsp water
½ yellow or red onion, roughly sliced (about ½ cup)
1 garlic clove
1 small sweet potato (about 1 cup chopped)
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp granulated garlic
1 x 19 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or 2 cups cooked beans)
½ cup cooked brown rice
3 Tbsp oat flour
Olive oil for brushing the burgers

Directions:

1. Combine the ground flax with water to make a vegan “egg.” Let it sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients so it congeals.

2. Using the S-blade of a food processor, run the onion through. Then move it to one side or take it out and squeeze it to release excess liquid. If there is liquid pooled in the food processor, gently pour it out without losing any onion.

3. Turn the processor back on and run the garlic and sweet potato through. Pulse it a few times until the sweet potato resembles little rice kernels.

4. Next, add the spices, beans, rice, oat flour and flax egg. Pulse until everything is combined. If you like a more “textured” burger, then you can leave some of the beans unprocessed and whole.

5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take out 4 equal parts of the burger mixture and shape them into 4 patties.

6. Place the uncooked burgers in the fridge for a minimum of 15 minutes. During this time, preheat the oven to 375°F.

7. Brush the tops of the burgers with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes, then flip, brush the other side with oil and bake for another 15 minutes.

8. Let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes so they can harden. Top with your favourite toppings.

Want more summertime recipes? These vegan sloppy Joe sliders and strawberry chia frozen yogurt pops will surely be a hit.

Celebrate Summertime With These Creative S’mores Butter Tarts

What do you get when you combine two classic Canadian desserts? The ultimate summertime treat: s’mores butter tarts! These feature a classic butter tart filling along with the three components of a s’more: milk chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows. Get the campfire songs ready — this dessert doesn’t disappoint.

S’mores Butter Tarts Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 50 minutes
Servings: 18 s’mores butter tarts

Ingredients:

Crust
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
¼ cup graham cracker crumbs
¼ tsp fine salt
½ cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
¼ cup ice water

Filling
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
½ cup corn syrup
1 large egg, whisked
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch fine salt
½ cup chopped milk chocolate, plus more for topping
1 cup mini marshmallows
Graham cracker crumbs, for topping

Directions:

Crust
1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs and salt. Using your hands, work in the butter until a crumbly mixture is formed.

2. Add the ice water and mix until dough comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a disc.

3. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.

Related: Our Best Great Canadian Butter Tart Recipes

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter, cut dough into 18 circles and shape into a muffin pan. If using a larger muffin pan, cut dough into 12 circles. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

Filling
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the butter, sugar, corn syrup, egg, vanilla and salt until well blended. Transfer to a pourable measuring cup.

3. Sprinkle a few pieces of chocolate in each tart shell. Evenly divide filling amongst the shells. The tarts should be ¾ of the way full.

4. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and crust is golden.

5. Remove from the oven and top with marshmallows. Just before serving, broil the tarts for 30 seconds or until marshmallows are toasted. Top with a sprinkle of graham crackers and shaved chocolate. Enjoy!

Want more fun summertime treats? These Nanaimo bar popsicles and strawberry rhubarb cheesecake pastry pockets are so delish.

Celebrate Pride Month With This Colourful Rainbow Crepe Cake

While celebrating Pride may look a little different this year, you can still live it up at home with this colourful rainbow crepe cake. In this Baking Therapy recipe, there are 24 layers of soft crepes between layers of light whipped cream. It may look intimidating at first, but once you’ve mastered making crepes, stacking it into a cake is pretty easy (and fun)!

Rainbow Crepe Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours, 55 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8 pieces of cake

Related: 25 Yummy Rainbow Foods to Celebrate Pride

Ingredients:

6 eggs
3 ¼ cups whole milk
3 Tbsp oil
1 ¼ tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
Gel food colouring
4 Tbsp butter, melted
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup your favourite jam, plus extra for topping
Fresh berries (optional)

Related: LGBTQ+ Terms You Keep Hearing and What They Mean

Directions:

Crepes
1. In a blender, mix together the eggs, milk, oil, salt and sugar. Add the flour and pulse until just combined. Chill in fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight.

2. Divide the crepe batter into 6 bowls/cups, mix in the gel food colouring to your desired pigment.

3. Heat a 9-inch non-stick frying or crepe pan over medium-low heat. Brush lightly with melted butter, pour in ¼ cup of batter at a time, swirling the batter around to cover the pan with one thin layer. Cook for 30-45 seconds. Flip and cook for another 15-30 seconds. Transfer to a tea towel to cool. Continue until you’ve cooked all the crepes. Set crepes aside to cool completely.


Filling

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, whip together the cream, icing sugar and vanilla until medium peaks, making sure not to over-whip.

2. Divide the whipped cream in half and fold in your favourite jam into one half.

Assembly
1. Layer the crepe cake on the dish you’ll be serving it on. Start with one crepe, spread on about 2 Tbsp of the whipped cream, layer another crepe on top, again with the cream (alternating between the plain and jam-flavoured cream) until you’ve used up all the crepes.

2. Let set in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set before slicing.

3. For the final touch, spread a thin layer (about 2 Tbsp) of your favourite jam on the top of the cake, layer on fresh berries and dust with icing sugar.

Tip: For a completely flat top, halfway through chilling the cake, invert the cake onto a flat dish or plate. When you’re ready to serve, invert the cake back onto your desired dish.

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.

These Crunchy Salad Ideas Are Perfect for When You’re Running Low on Greens

It’s finally summer and that means we’re craving all that fresh produce and seasonal salads. But what happens when you run out of greens mid-week and you can’t bare another stress-inducing trip to the grocery store? Maybe it’s time to turn your attention to some of the overlooked, heartier vegetables in your refrigerator. Almost all of the produce we think of as “winter” vegetables can be turned into a salad with nothing more than a sharp chef’s knife and a tangy dressing. We’ve created three crunchy salads starring celery, carrots and cabbage, but you can use this template for celeriac, beets, mushrooms… pretty much any vegetable you’d normally eat in the middle of January. The key points to remember are: slice your veg thinly, season aggressively and have fun with the add ons (cheese and nuts are always welcome!).

Celery Salad
In a medium bowl, whisk 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar with 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil and ½ tsp kosher salt (or ¼ tsp fine sea salt). Thinly slice 4 stalks of celery on the diagonal (you should have about 2 cups), then add to bowl with dressing. Toss with 2 Tbsp chopped and toasted walnuts or pecans and 2 Tbsp golden raisins. Transfer to a serving platter or individual plates, then drizzle with olive oil and top with as much shaved ricotta salata or Pecorino Romano as you like. Serves 2 as a side dish.

Carrot Salad
In a medium bowl, whisk 1 Tbsp lemon juice with 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tsp honey and ½ tsp kosher salt (or ¼ tsp fine sea salt). Thinly slice 1 bunch of heirloom carrots on the diagonal (you should have about 2 cups) then add to bowl with dressing. Toss with 2 pitted and finely chopped dates and ¼ tsp sumac. Transfer to a serving platter or individual plates, then sprinkle with ¼ tsp more sumac and 2 Tbsp crumbled feta. Drizzle with more olive oil, if desired. Serves 2 as a side dish.

Cabbage Salad
In a medium bowl, whisk 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar with 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, ½ tsp kosher salt (or ¼ tsp fine sea salt) and half a small garlic clove (about 1/8 tsp) finely grated. Tear the leaves of a napa cabbage into bite-sized pieces and thinly slice the stems until you have about 6 cups. Add to bowl with dressing. Toss with ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan and as much freshly ground pepper as you’d like. Transfer to a serving platter or individual plates, then top with more Parmesan and 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds. Serves 2 as a side dish.

Craving more summertime meals? Try this baked salmon with spicy mango avocado salsa and mint and lemon pearl couscous salad.

Strawberry Rhubarb Dessert Empanadas with Quick Salsa

Strawberry Rhubarb Dessert Empanadas With a Quick Fruit Salsa

Empanadas are those wildly popular half-moon shaped pastries seen throughout Latin America, and commonly stuffed with savoury ingredients like seafood, meat and cheese, and that’s just the beginning. These portable pies are the original “hot pockets”, and can also be filled with beautiful seasonal fruit and enjoyed on-the-go.

Strawberry Rhubarb Dessert Empanadas with Quick Salsa

Strawberry Rhubarb Dessert Empanadas with Quick Salsa

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours (accounts for chill time)
Servings: 10

Ingredients:

Dough
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
tsp salt
½ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
⅓ cup 2% Greek yogurt or Balkan-style yogurt
2-3 Tbsp ice water
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp water

Filling
1 ¼ cups chopped rhubarb, cut in ½-inch pieces
½ cup hulled strawberries, cut in ½-inch pieces
½ cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp granulated sugar (optional)

Rhubarb Strawberry Salsa
⅓ cup finely chopped rhubarb
3 strawberries, hulled and finely chopped
1 Tbsp finely chopped mint
1 tsp granulated sugar

Kitchen Tip: To freeze your overflowing rhubarb bounty, peel off excess tough fibres and trim the ends. Wash, dry and cut in 1-inch pieces and freeze on a tray. Store in small resealable freezer bags, removing excess air for up to 6 months, and enjoy the blushing fruit throughout the year.

Directions:

Dough
1. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar and salt. Add butter; using hands, rub together until coarse crumbs form. Stir in yogurt and cold water until ragged dough forms.
2. Transfer to a floured surface; gather and lightly knead into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and flatten into disc. Refrigerate until firm, 1 hour or up to 2 days.
3. On a floured surface, roll out dough to ¼-inch thickness. Using a 5-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 10 rounds, re-rolling scraps. Refrigerate until firm, if needed.
4. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Filling
1. In a bowl, toss rhubarb, strawberries, sugar and cornstarch until combined.
2. Spoon 2 rounded Tbsp of the rhubarb mixture onto centre of each round. Fold dough over the filling to form a half moon, starting at pointed edges, pressing well to seal.
3. Crimp edge with a fork; return to prepared baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
4. Cut steam vents on top of each pie. Whisk together egg and water to make egg wash; brush over empanada and sprinkle with sugar (if using).
5. Bake until puffed up and golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool on a rack.

Rhubarb Strawberry Salsa
Meanwhile, stir together rhubarb, strawberries, mint and sugar in a small bowl. Serve with empanadas.

Kitchen Tip: Don’t worry if the filling bubbles out during the cooking process, it’s the nature of fruit pies to generously drip out, and it’s a good indicator that the thickener is thoroughly cooked.

Strawberry and rhubarb are an unbeatable summer duo, and these 20 Spectacular Strawberry Rhubarb Desserts are here to prove it.

Recreate the Winning Dish From Junior Chef Showdown

While the sumptuous Wagyu beef needs no introduction, it does require mouth-watering sidekicks to accompany it for a properly balanced – and extra-flavourful – meal. Luckily for us, this season’s Junior Chef Showdown winner, Audrey, has got us covered.

Don’t be deterred by the amount of ingredients and steps required – you don’t have to be an insanely talented kid chef to make this meal at home. This is a deceptively simple dish packed with complex flavours and textures that are sure to satisfy. Bon appétit!

Watch: Junior Chef Showdown Judges Sound Off on How to Get Your Kids to Cook

Junior Chef Audrey’s Wagyu Steak with Grilled Veggie Salad, Garlic Scape Pesto and Potato Crisps

Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes, plus 1 hour soaking time for potatoes
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

Fingerling Potato Chips
2 fingerling or small Yukon gold potatoes, sliced very thin
Salt
Oil for frying

Garlic Scape Pesto
6 garlic scapes
5 Tbsp olive oil, divided
½ cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup packed arugula
1 Tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp salt
1 to 2 Tbsp water

Steak
1 Wagyu strip steak, about ¾-inch thick**
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, peeled and slice in half
2 sprigs thyme

Grilled Veggie and Peach Medley
8 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and discarded
2 king oyster mushrooms, sliced lengthwise about ¼-inch thick
1 peach, stoned and cut into 8 wedges
1 bunch of multicoloured radishes, trimmed and cut in half
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

To serve
2 cups loosely packed arugula

Related: Jordan Andino’s Quick and Comforting Chinese Broccoli & Shrimp Stir-Fry

Directions:

**Remove steak from your fridge 30 minutes to one hour before cooking. This will allow the meat to cook more evenly, yielding a tastier result.

Fingerling Potato Chips
1. Soak potato slices in cold water for 1 hour (optional: if you don’t have time for this step, simply rinse the potatoes once or twice before drying them). Drain, rinse and pat dry thoroughly with a clean kitchen towel.

2. Fit a wire cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. Heat an inch of oil in a medium heavy-bottomed pot or deep fryer until a thermometer reads 325°F.

3. Add potatoes in batches and fry until golden and crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon onto prepared sheet. Sprinkle with salt immediately.

Related: Lynn Crawford’s Bacon and Egg Ramen Soup is the Comfort Food You Didn’t Know You Needed

Garlic Scape Pesto
1. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Toss scapes with 1 Tbsp olive oil in a medium bowl. Add to pan and cook until charred and tender, about 5 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from grill and set aside to cool slightly.

3. Roughly chop the scapes and place into the bowl of a food processor. Add remaining ingredients except for the water and pulse until blended. Add water to loosen, if desired. Taste and season with more salt and lemon juice, if desired.

Steak
1. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Pat steak dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.

3. Add oil to pan and heat until shimmering. Add steak with the fat cap facing towards you and cook until crusted and browned, about 3 minutes per side. Add butter, garlic and thyme in the last minute of cooking; tilt pan gently towards yourself and quickly spoon butter repeatedly over steak to baste. Remove steak from pan, cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest for 8 to 10 minutes. Slice right before serving.

Related: Anna Olson’s Herbed Avocado Dip Will Take Your Sandwiches and Veggies to the Next Level

Grilled Veggie Medley
1. Heat a cast iron grill pan over medium-high heat.

2. Toss veggies and peach with oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

3. Add to grill pan and cook until charred and tender, about 5 to 7 minutes, turning occasionally.

4. To serve, spread some pesto onto two plates (reserve any remaining pesto to toss with your favourite pasta and cherry tomatoes for a delicious meal). Top with a handful of arugula, followed by the grilled veggies and peach. Top with the steak and potatoes. Enjoy!

Watch Junior Chef Showdown 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.

Snack Plates Are the Easy Dinner Option You Need This Week

We’ve been at home for months now. We’ve brushed up on our cooking skills, baked enough to open a bakery (are you also a banana bread connoisseur?) — but, some days, the thought of cooking one more meal that ends in a mountain of dishes is too much to handle. And as the weather gets warmer, we’d rather be spending our time outside and not chained to a hot oven. So, here’s the solution: make snack plates for dinner a thing every week.

Snack plates are essentially the way toddlers eat (not a bad thing!) and make perfect sense for adults as a simple, vibrant and ultimately exciting meal option that promises a myriad of flavours, textures, colours and nutrients. Start by selecting items that already live in your fridge or pantry. Remember: the plate is still supposed to resemble a meal, so even though it’s snack-style, ensure there’s colourful fibrous veggies and fruit, protein and healthy fats.

Related: How to Prep Slow Cooker Freezer Meals to Get Through the Week

What to Put on Your Snack Plate

Veggies:
● Choose veggies that have texture (good crunch), colour and can be grabbed easily.
● Some great examples are carrots, cucumbers, celery, radishes, fennel, bell peppers and snap peas.
● You can also BBQ, roast or saute veggies like onion, zucchini, eggplant, broccoli , cauliflower and Brussel sprouts.

Fruit:
● It’s officially the season for fresh fruit, so add it generously.
● Use fresh mixed berries, sliced apples and pears, pineapple, peaches, nectarines — the list goes on!
● Cut everything small enough so it’s easy and quick to grab.

Dips:
● If there are dips in the fridge, use them; if they’re half finished or need a little bit of love, drizzle some oil on top, add toasted seeds or nuts, mix in fresh herbs and even sprinkle some spices on top.
● For example, a half eaten hummus container in the fridge can easily be revived by adding some chickpeas, sesame seeds, parsley, tahini, lemon and za’atar on top.
● Or make dips like pesto, roasted red pepper and beet hummus.

Protein:
● You can keep it vegetarian or use animal proteins (the snack plate is yours to design).
● Ideas include crispy chickpeas, grilled skewers, hard-boiled eggs, sausages, sliders, cooked chicken or fish, lox, tofu or tempeh.

Grains:
● When choosing a grain, try to find one that’s rich in fibre.
● You may want something that acts as a vessel for dip, stuffed with other ingredients or just added for carby-deliciousness.
● Think: crackers, sliced bread, pita, tortillas, chips, cornbread or savoury muffins.

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

Extras and Bonuses:
● These are little delicious bonuses that add punchy flavour or satisfying crunch.
● Things like olives, pickles, toasted cashews, tamari almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, dates or raisins.
● You can also add sweetness with dessert-inspired bites like chocolate chips, truffle balls and brownies.

Plate Themes:
● You can theme your plate based on cuisines you love or based on leftovers that need to be revived.
● For example, if you already have leftover falafel or chicken shawarma, you can make a Middle Eastern plate and add hummus, pitas, pickled veggies and crudite with drizzles of tahini and fresh parsley on top.
● Or if you have leftover ginger soy salmon, you can create an Asian-style theme and add nori chips, steamed dumplings, kimchi, sesame crackers, edamame and lettuce leaf wraps.

Related: Middle Eastern Sumac Chicken With Date Syrup, Lemon and Pecans

How to Assemble It:
● Depending on how many mouths are being fed, choose the size of your plate accordingly. It can be a big platter, a few platters or just a normal size dinner plate.
● This doesn’t need to be Instagram- or Pinterest-worthy, but bonus points if it is!
● Start by adding one item at a time, placing each item either in a few different spots on the platter or in one dedicated spot.
● Your snack plate can be as elaborate or as simple as your heart desires. Then, enjoy yourself an easy, clean-up friendly dinner!

Want some more easy dinner ideas? Try this baked salmon with spicy mango avocado salsa and mint and lemon pearl couscous salad.

This Impressive 12-Layer Chocolate Cake is Made With a Single Pan

Would you believe that this 12-layer chocolate cake was made with a single 9-inch cake pan? You better believe it! Rich layers of buttercream sandwiched between moist chocolate cake, my Baking Therapy dessert is a chocolate lover’s dream. Plus, making it is a piece of cake!

12-Layer Chocolate Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Rest Time: 30 to 60 minutes
Bake Time: 38 to 42 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes to 2 hours
Servings: 6 to 8

Ingredients:

Cake
2/3 cup cocoa powder
¾ cup freshly brewed coffee
½ cup whole milk
¼ cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk

Buttercream
2 ½ cups icing sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
Pinch salt
1 ¼ cup (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
2 to 3 Tbsp heavy cream
¾ tsp vanilla extract

Milk Soak
¼ cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line and grease a 9-inch round cake pan, dust with cocoa powder, set aside.

2. In a bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and hot coffee. Let sit for a couple minutes. Stir in milk, sour cream, vanilla extract and salt.

3. Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda.

Related: 25 Sinful Chocolate Desserts That Are Worth the Indulgence

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until creamy and light. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to mix well after each addition. With the mixer on low, add the wet ingredients and dry ingredients in two additions, ending with the dry. Making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

5. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan. Bake for 38 to 42 minutes until a toothpick, when inserted, comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Then invert, remove from pan and let cool completely.

Buttercream

1. Sift together the icing sugar, cocoa powder and salt.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the butter for 2 minutes until light and creamy. On low speed, add the icing sugar mixture in two batches. Add the melted chocolate, cream and vanilla. Whip on medium-high for 1-2 minutes until light and creamy.

Tip: You can make the buttercream ahead of time and store in the fridge. Before you’re ready to use, bring the buttercream to room temperature, rewhip for 1-2 minutes until light and creamy.

Related: This Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Will Change Your Life

Assembly

1. Prepare the milk soak by mixing the milk and vanilla extract. Transfer the chocolate buttercream to a piping bag, with or without a tip works.

2. Using a cake leveler or serrated knife, level off the top of the cake. Cut the cake in half and then cut each half into three even layers. Finally, cut the cake into quarters, this will give you 12 layers/triangles.

3. Start with one layer, brush on the milk soak, pipe on one even layer of chocolate buttercream and layer on the next layer of cake. Continue layering cake, milk soak, buttercream, ending with the cake layer. Chill in the fridge for 15 to 30 minutes to firm up the buttercream. With the remaining buttercream, ice the outside of the cake. Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes to set. 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.

Restaurant-Worthy Chinese Scallion Pancakes You Can Make at Home

We’re all spending more time indoors (and in the kitchen) these days, so it would come as no surprise if you’re missing restaurant-worthy cuisine. And the secret ingredient to making these savoury Chinese scallion pancakes worthy of appearing on a menu? Boiling water! It creates the softest, forgiving dough. Plus, the beauty of this recipe lies within a super easy, double roll and coil technique to produce endless, flaky layers, that are so crispy — we’re obsessed!

Chinese Scallion Pancakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:

Dough
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cake and pastry flour or all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup boiling water
¼ cup cold water
6 Tbsp vegetable oil for frying (approx.)

Filling
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
¼ cup melted lard or melted shortening
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
6 scallions (green onions), finely chopped
1 tsp crushed Szechuan peppercorns or hot pepper flakes (optional)

Dipping Sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Chinkiang vinegar or rice wine vinegar
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds or julienned ginger (optional)
Pinch granulated sugar
1 scallion (green onion), finely chopped


Directions:

1. To make the dough: stir together the all-purpose flour, pastry flour and salt in a large bowl. Using a fork, gradually mix in the boiling water in a circular motion. Stir in the cold water to form a shaggy, wet dough. Turn out onto work surface; knead, scraping and dusting with additional flour until smooth and very soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Place on floured surface and loosely cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel to prevent crust from forming. Let it rest for 30 minutes.

Note: The combination of boiling water produces a soft, easy to roll pancake, while the cold water creates a chewy texture, while also cooling the mixture for easy handling.

Related: This is How to Make The Perfect Chinese Hot Pot at Home

2. Meanwhile, make the filling: in a small bowl, stir the flour, lard, oil and salt until combined. Gently warm in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds to loosen if mixture solidifies. While you’re waiting for the dough to rest, you can also make the dipping sauce: in a ramekin, stir together soy sauce, vinegar, sesame seeds, sugar and scallion.

3. Divide dough into 6 even pieces and roll each into a ball, tucking at the bottom and then covering with a kitchen towel. Roll one ball into an 8 to 9-inch circle, dusting with flour to prevent sticking. Using a pastry brush, paint a thin layer of the filling. Roll up like a jelly roll and twist into a tight spiral, tucking the end underneath. Flatten with hand then roll again into 8-inch circle. Cover with kitchen towel. Repeat with remaining dough.

Tip: To prevent drying out, be sure to cover each rolled dough with a damp cloth or plastic and don’t layer each on top of each other, they will stick together.

4. Working with one rolled dough, brush a thin layer of the filling and sprinkle with 1/6 of the scallions and Szechuan pepper (if using). Roll up like a jelly roll and twist into a tight spiral, tucking the end underneath. Flatten with hand then roll into 6-inch circle and cover with a kitchen towel. This is now ready for frying. Repeat with remaining dough.

Tip: If you want to make these ahead of time, you can freeze uncooked rolled pancakes for up to 1 month. Defrost, pat dry with paper towel and cook with the following instructions.

5. Heat a skillet over medium heat; add 1 Tbsp of the vegetable oil. Carefully add one pancake and cook, swirling to distribute oil until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip, swirling pancake to absorb oil and cover with a lid. Cook until second side is an even golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, adding more oil as needed. Transfer to a paper-towel lined serving plate and repeat with remaining dough and cooking oil.

6. To serve, don’t cut into wedges, these pancakes need to be torn to fully enjoy the flaky coating. Don’t forget the dipping sauce.

Tip: Reheat pancakes in a skillet with a drizzle of oil and enjoy with a sunny-side up egg, a popular Chinese breakfast.

Craving more comfort food? This asparagus and mushroom yaki udon or this one-pot pasta and chickpea stew might just do the trick.

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