All posts by Food Network Canada Editors

Beauty shot of Molly Yeh's carrot cake with spiced cream cheese icing

Molly Yeh’s Carrot Cake With Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting is Simply Show-Stopping

Your carrot cake game will never be the same once you try Molly Yeh’s sensational recipe. The secret ingredient that sets this dessert apart from the other carrot cake recipes you’ve tried in the past? Cardamom-forward hawaij, a warm spice blend from Yemen that Molly adds to both the cake and the creamy frosting. The simple (read: genius!) rainbow carrot rosettes adorning the cake also lend a touch of whimsy. Don’t be surprised if your friends and family ask for a second slice… it really does, dare we say, take the cake as the recipe to bake this season.

Related: Carrot Cake Recipes in Every Form, From Cupcakes to Cookies

Molly Yeh's Carrot Cake with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting, as seen on Girl Meets Farm, Season 3.

Molly Yeh’s Carrot Cake with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Serves:
6-8

Ingredients:

Carrot Cake
Nonstick cooking spray, for the cake pans
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp hawaij (see Cook’s Note)
1 ½ cups neutral oil, such as canola
1 cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste or extract
2 cups shredded carrots
2 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

Spiced Frosting
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1 Tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp hawaij
Pinch of kosher salt
Rainbow carrots, peeled into ribbons with a peeler, to decorate
1 rosemary sprig, leaves picked, to decorate

Cook’s Note: Hawaij is a Yemeni warm spice blend that’s heavy on the cardamom and can be used to flavour baked goods, frosting or even sprinkled in coffee! You can make a substitute by mixing 1 Tbsp ground ginger, 1 Tbsp ground cardamom, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ground cloves and 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon.

Related: Carrot Cake and Cheesecake Combine Into One Glorious Dessert

Directions:

Carrot Cake
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray and line with parchment. Set aside.

2. Combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda and hawaij in a large bowl. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Whisk in the vanilla.

Related: Bright and Beautiful Breakfasts to Get You Excited for Spring

3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, and mix until about 90 per cent incorporated. Add the carrots and sesame seeds, and mix to incorporate (by this time, all of the flour mixture should be incorporated as well).

4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in the pans, and then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Related: Easy Dessert Recipes That Take 15 Minutes or Less

Spiced Frosting
1. Add the butter and cream cheese to a large bowl. Mix with a hand mixer until smooth and combined. Add the powdered sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Then add the heavy cream, vanilla, hawaij and salt. Mix until combined and smooth.

2. Cover the cakes with frosting and stack. Use the carrot ribbons to roll into rose shapes and place on top of the cake. Decorate with the rosemary, and serve!

Looking for more standout dishes from the celebrated food blogger and Girl Meets Farm star? Start your day the Molly Yeh way with these breakfast recipes!

A bowl containing cripsy pasta chips

Meet Your Next Favourite Crunchy Snack: TikTok Pasta Chips

If you’ve spent anytime at all online, you’ve likely seen any number of the recent (and tasty!) recipe hacks circulating on TikTok and beyond. Add an air fryer to the mix, and well, in comes the latest: TikTok pasta  chips.

Crispy pasta chips in a bowl alongside some dip

Serve with your favourite dip, and you’re ready to enjoy this simple and crunchy snack!

Related: Food Network’s Rigatoni Pie is the OG TikTok Honeycomb Pasta (and Now We Want Both!)

TikTok Pasta Chips

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20-24 minutes
Total time: 29 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

200 g rigatoni pasta (or pasta of choice)
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ tsp granulated garlic
¼ tsp granulated onion
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp cayenne (optional)
Kosher salt to taste

Related: This Feta Tomato Pasta Trending on TikTok is as Easy as 1-2-3

Rigatoni in a bowl alongside mixins

Directions:

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Season with salt. Cook the pasta according to package directions.

2. Drain pasta and season with olive oil, grated parmesan cheese, granulated garlic, granulated onion, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Toss until the pasta is well coated.

Cooked rigatoni pasta in a bowl with parmesan on top

3. Place the pasta in one single layer in the air fryer basket, fry in two batches. Air fry at 400F for 10-12 minutes, shaking halfway, until golden and crisp.

Pasta chips in an air fryer basket

4. Serve with your favourite dipping sauce.

Related: I Tried Meghan Markle’s “Filthy, Sexy” Zucchini Pasta Sauce — Here’s How It Stacked Up

Afrim Pristine in France on set of Cheese: A Love Story

Enter to Win a Cheese: A Love Story Prize Pack

To celebrate everyone’s new favourite Food Network Canada show about fromage, Cheese: A Love Story, we’re giving away a cheese lover’s prize pack from host and cheese master Afrim Pristine‘s Cheese Boutique. Enter below for a chance to win this deliciously cheesy prize pack. For more expert tips, check out Afrim Pristine’s perfect Swiss and French cheese boards.

Cheese: A Love Story Prize Pack

What it includes:

-A signed copy of Afrim’s book For the Love of Cheese
-A selection of Afrim’s favourite cheeses
-Acompaniments to create the perfect cheeseboard

Related: Try Afrim Pristine’s Recipe for Jalapeno Cheese Bread

 

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Watch Cheese: A Love Story Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Eggs pesto in carrot hash cups by Molly Yeh

Try Molly Yeh’s Healthy Twist on TikTok’s Latest Pesto and Eggs Breakfast Hack

Dubbed TikTok’s easiest breakfast hack, the pesto and eggs trend has swept the globe and has home cooks everywhere swapping in cooking oil with flavourful pesto instead. Registered dietitian Amy Wilichowski shows how to prep a breakfast toast with ricotta, smashed avocado, along with a pesto-infused sunny-side up egg, complete with salt, red pepper flakes and a little drizzle of honey.

@amywilichowski##eggs ##pestoeggs ##homecook♬ cooking video – cooking

But if you’re looking to keep that distinct fragrant pesto flavour while ditching the dough, look no further than Molly Yeh’s super easy, yet delicious carrot hash with eggs and pesto. While Molly’s breakfast recipe includes a homemade nut-free pesto, you can swap in a pre-made one as well to speed up the process. If you’re making your own, be sure to keep those leafy carrot tops to add to your pesto (not only does this minimize food waste, it adds flavour to the Genoa, Italy-originating sauce). You can also skip the skillet and bake the hash in the oven instead to make it even healthier (Molly recommends a cast-iron biscuit pan but you can use a muffin pan as well). Molly’s recipe serves 8, so it’s also a great long weekend brunch idea that’s easy to make and share with your loved ones.

Molly Yeh's carrot hash with eggs and pesto on a plate

Carrot Hash With Eggs and Pesto

Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 65 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

1 bunch carrots with tops (about 1 lb)
1 large russet potato (about 12.5 oz), peeled
3 scallions, white parts minced and green parts reserved
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup golden raisins
3 Tbsp harissa
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground sumac
5 large eggs
1 ¾ cups plus 1 tbsp olive oil
20 fresh basil leaves
⅓ cup salted sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

2. Grate the carrots (set the tops aside — you will use them later) and potato in a food processor fitted with the shredding attachment. Transfer to a colander set over a large bowl and add the scallion whites and ½ tsp salt. Use your hands or a clean dish towel to squeeze as much moisture out as possible. Discard the liquid in the bowl, then add the carrot mixture to that bowl. Stir in the panko, raisins, harissa, brown sugar, cumin, sumac, 2 eggs, 1 ½ tsp salt and a bunch of grinds of black pepper (I did 20) until well combined.

Related: Our Most Popular Dinner Recipes in 2021 So Far (Feta Pasta Included!)

3. Heat ¼ cup of the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat (see Cook’s Note). Drop a small amount of the carrot mixture into the skillet. When it starts to sizzle, your oil is ready. Add the rest of the carrot mixture to the skillet and press down using the back of a spatula. Let cook, untouched, until the edges of the carrots turn a very deep golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Create 3 small divots in the top of the carrot mixture using the bottom of a measuring cup. Brush 1 Tbsp oil on top and transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake until the carrots are set and the top is a deep golden brown, about 20 minutes.

4. Carefully crack the remaining 3 eggs into the divots and bake until the egg whites are set and the yolks are still runny, about 8 minutes. (Cracking the eggs into a small bowl and pouring them into the divots makes this part a little easier and less messy). Use a spatula to help slide the hash out of the skillet onto a serving platter.

Related: Food Network’s Rigatoni Pie is the OG TikTok Honeycomb Pasta (and Now We Want Both!)

5. Meanwhile, make the pesto. Roughly chop the carrot tops and scallion greens and add to the bowl of a food processor along with the basil, sunflower seeds, vinegar, garlic, 1 tsp salt and a few grinds of pepper. Pulse until everything is very finely chopped. Slowly drizzle in the remaining 1 ½ cups oil and ¼ cup water until smooth and drizzly. Drizzle the pesto over the top of the hash and slice into wedges. Serve with the remaining pesto on the side.

Cook’s Note:
You can also cook the hash using a 7-cavity cast-iron biscuit pan. Preheat it in the oven for 15 minutes, then carefully press the carrot mixture equally into each of the molds, making a large well in the center of each. Brush with 1 Tbsp oil on top and bake until the carrots are set on top and deep golden brown, about 20 minutes. Then carefully crack an egg into each divot and bake until the egg whites are set and the yolks are still runny, about 8 minutes. Serve them from the pan!

Watch the how-to video here:

Photo of Anna Olson beside a close up of an Apple Cannoli Tart

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

When it comes to comforting sweet treats, mouthwatering apple tarts are in a league of their own. Perfect for upcoming summer BBQs, this easy, elevated apple tart recipe is inspired by the traditional cannoli, but it’s the baked apples marinated with maple syrup that really makes this dessert shine.

Paired with a fresh and creamy ricotta cheese filling, this two-in-one dessert mashup from Junior Chef Showdown judge and mentor Anna Olson features an unexpected twist on an all-time favourite dish that brings out the flavours of the classic Italian treat.

See More: Anna Olson’s Best Fixes for Your Biggest Baking Fails 

Anna Olson’s Apple Cannoli Tart

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours
Yields: One 9-inch fluted tart

Ingredients:

Pastry
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp butter, room temperature
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp icing sugar, sifted
1 hard-boiled egg yolk
1 egg yolk
½ tsp vanilla
1-¾ cups pastry flour, sifted
¼ tsp salt

Filling
2-½ cups peeled, cored and thinly sliced apple, like  Cortland or Honeycrisp
3 Tbsp maple syrup or sweet Marsala wine
1-⅓ cups full fat, creamy ricotta cheese
¼ cup plus 1 tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp grated dark chocolate
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Related: The Best Recipes from Junior Chef Showdown 

Cannoli Apple Tart With Ricotta Cheese

Directions:

Pastry
1. Beat the butter and icing sugar together with a hand mixer in a large bowl until smooth.

2. Press the hard-boiled egg yolk through a sieve into a small bowl and stir in the raw egg yolk and vanilla. Add this to the butter mixture and stir until blended.

3. Then, add flour and salt to the butter mixture, stirring until blended.

4. Shape the dough into a disc (it will be very soft) and, wrap in plastic and chill for about 2 hours until firm.

5. On a lightly floured work surface, gently knead the dough just a little soften, then roll it out to a circle about 12 inches across and ¼-inch thick. Line a 9-inch removable-bottom fluted tart pan, pressing the pastry into the bottom and sides.  Be sure to trim away any excess dough.

6. Chill the tart shell for 30 minutes and heat the oven to 325°F.

7. Place the chilled tart shell onto a baking tray and dock the bottom of the pastry with a fork. Bake the tart shell for 20 minutes, until the edges just begin to brown.

8. Cool the tart shell to room temperature.

Filling
1. Heat the oven to 350°F

2. Toss the apple with the maple syrup or Marsala and set aside; stir occasionally.

3. Whisk the ricotta, ¼ cup of the sugar, grated chocolate, egg, egg yolk, lemon zest and nutmeg together. Strain the Marsala from the apples into the ricotta mixture and stir to blend.

Assembly
1. Pour the ricotta filling into the tart shell and arrange the apples over top. Brush the apples with the melted butter and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

2. Bake the tart for 25 minutes or until the apples are tender.

3. Cool the tart to room temperature then chill until ready to serve.

Note: The apple ricotta tart will keep refrigerated for up to two days.

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.

A platter of deviled eggs and tempura cauliflower and a plate of ricotta topped figs

3 Crowd-Pleasing Appetizers From Lynn Crawford That Make the Perfect Snack Board (Plus Recipes!)

Kids aren’t the only ones that like to snack! Grazing platters are an impressive way to plate a variety of appetizers perfect for entertaining when you just can’t decide on one dish. Beyond that, snack platters can make for a special dinner at home that’s casual and delicious.

These three elegant appetizers from Junior Chef Showdown judge and mentor Lynn Crawford are so easy to make and, when plated together, make for a lovely spread of hors d’oeuvres. Featuring classic deviled eggs, lightly crusted tempura cauliflower and ricotta-stuffed figs drizzled with honey, this picturesque and crowd-pleasing grazing platter tastes as good as it looks.

Easy Five-Ingredient Deviled Eggs

Total time: 20 minutes
Yields: 12 devilled eggs

Seven deviled eggs on a wooden platter

Ingredients:

6 eggs, hard boiled and peeled
⅓ cup mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp salmon roe
1 Tbsp minced chives

Directions

1.  First, cut the hard boiled eggs in half. Remove yolks and transfer to a small bowl.

2.  Pass the yolks through a fine mesh sieve or mash well with a fork.

3.  Add mayonnaise and Dijon and stir until creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

4.  Spoon or pipe filling into egg halves evenly and then top evenly with roe and chives. Serve immediately.

Related: Lynn Crawford’s Bacon and Egg Ramen

Better-Than-Takeout  Cauliflower Tempura With Quick and Easy Buttermilk Ranch

Total time: 30 minutes
Yields: 6 servings

Three plates of cauliflower tempura and buttermilk ranch

Ingredients:

Cauliflower Tempura
1 small head cauliflower, cup into medium florets, about 4 cups
1 cup flour, divided
3 egg yolks
1 cup cold club soda
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
Oil for frying

Buttermilk Ranch
Sour Cream
Mayo
Fresh Herbs (Parsley, Dill, Chives)
Buttermilk

Related: BBQ Halibut Collar & Tempura Spot Prawn Salad

Directions:

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a cooling rack and toss cauliflower with ¼ cup flour in a large bowl.

2. Then, whisk together egg yolks and water in a large bowl until foamy. Add remaining flour, cornstarch and salt. Mix until smooth.

3. Heat oil in a deep fryer or heavy-bottomed saucepan to 325°F.

4. Toss cauliflower and flour in the batter. Add in batches to oil and fry for 3 minutes. Transfer to prepared sheet, sprinkle with more salt and cool slightly before serving.

5. Serve with buttermilk ranch (recipe below) or your dipping sauce of choice.

6. For buttermilk ranch, in a small bowl stir sour cream and a little mayo with  fresh herbs such as parsley, dill, and chive. Add buttermilk until desired consistency and salt and pepper. Optional: Add a few dashes of your favourite hot sauce.

Ricotta-Stuffed Figs Drizzled With Honey

Total time: 20 minutes
Yields: 12 stuffed figs

Six figs topped with ricotta and drizzled with honey on a plate

Ingredients:

12 figs
¾ cup ricotta cheese
1 Tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup chopped pistachios
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp lemon zest

Directions:

1. Prepare the figs by cutting 1/2-inch off the steams. Them, score the top of each fig with an “X” about 1/2-inch  deep.

2. Gently separate the cuts and set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, stir cheese with lemon juice. Place the sauce into a small piping bag or sandwich bag.

4. Cut the tip and pipe the cheese mixture into each fig and sprinkle with the crushed pistachios.

5. Stir honey with the lemon zest. Drizzle over the figs before serving.

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

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.

Sunny Anderson’s Easy Chili Cheese Fries Get Major Flavour From a Secret Shortcut

The food experts on The Kitchen are all about making delicious dishes quick, easy and fun — and these super-simple chili cheese fries from co-host Sunny Anderson are like a fast-pass to flavour city.

Sunny’s genius nunya business shortcut? Pre-made marinara sauce makes a hearty chili in a fraction of the time. Once it comes together, the rich, beefy chili teams up with tangy nacho cheese sauce, all poured over a mountain of hot crinkle-cut fries. Why choose crinkle over straight or shoestring varieties? The crinkled ridges are essential for catching all the yummy, saucy goodness. The final result? These fries are the perfect pick for a crowd-pleasing game-day — or any day, really — snack.

Related: Sunny Anderson’s Chicken and Sausage is a One-Pot Wonder

Sunny’s Nunya Business Chili Cheese Fries

Total Time: 1 hour
Prep Time: 25 minutes

Yields: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:
One 28-to-32-oz bag frozen crinkle-cut french fries
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, grated on a rasp
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 lb ground beef (80% meat/20% fat)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups marinara sauce (pick one with personality!)
One 15-oz jar nacho cheese sauce (mild, medium, spicy — your choice)
3 scallions, sliced on the bias
1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapenos

Related: 55 Crowd-Pleasing Chili Recipes

Sunny Anderson holds up her chili cheese fries

Directions:
1. Line a sheet tray with aluminum foil. Arrange the fries on the sheet tray in a single layer. Bake according to the package instructions. Season with salt.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large cast-iron pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder and cumin and cook until the spices are fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the beef, salt and a few grinds of black pepper and cook, breaking the beef into bits while browning, until fully cooked, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the marinara sauce and stir to coat. Let cook for 5 minutes to let the flavours meld.

3. Heat the nacho cheese sauce according to the package instructions. Top the fries with the chili and nacho cheese sauce, then garnish with the scallions and pickled jalapenos.

Can’t get enough of Sunny’s time-saving hacks for comfort food classics? Try her tasty take on late-night mac and cheese — all made in the microwave, in one mug.

Watch The Kitchen 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.

Kardea Brown’s Maple BBQ Chicken and Waffles Put a Sweet Spin on Comfort Food

Inspired by passed-down family recipes and an innate flair for flavour, Kardea Brown does comfort food right with every must-try recipe she shares on Delicious Miss Brown. Her latest spin on a soul-food classic — chicken and waffles — takes your brunch to the next level with the perfect balance of warmth, spice and sweetness.

For the chicken component of the dish, Kardea makes crispy fried chicken wings the same way her grandmother and mother showed her — well-seasoned and shaken up old-school in a brown paper bag. Once golden, the wings are dipped in Kardea’s sweet-and-tangy barbecue sauce. Plain waffles wouldn’t do the finger-licking wings justice, so Kardea created a crave-worthy spin with smashed sweet potatoes and spiced up with cinnamon for a callback to sweet potato pie. Finally, maple syrup is the delicious thread that ties the dish together — it’s the sweetheart of the barbecue sauce and it’s drizzled over the waffles.

Related: These Waffle Recipes Will Make You Jump Right Out of Bed

Maple BBQ Chicken and Sweet Potato Waffles

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Active Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yields: 4 servings (4 sweet potato waffles, 3 cups of Maple BBQ sauce and 5 tsp of seasoning)

Ingredients:

8 whole chicken wings, about 2 lbs. total
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp Miss Brown’s House Seasoning, recipe follows
Canola oil, for frying
About 1 cup Miss Brown’s Maple BBQ Sauce, recipe follows
4 Sweet Potato Waffles, recipe follows
Pickled jalapeno slices, optional
Maple syrup, for serving

Sweet Potato Waffles
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
3/4 cup mashed sweet potato
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature

Miss Brown’s Maple BBQ Sauce
One 14.5-oz can tomato sauce
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Miss Brown’s House Seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Related: Kardea Brown’s Big Apple Crumb Cheesecake is the Dessert You Deserve Right Now

Directions:

1. Pour enough oil into a large Dutch oven to come about one-third of the way up the sides (it should be deep enough to cover the wings) and heat to 350ºF. Preheat the oven to 200ºF. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with a wire rack.

2. Rinse the chicken wings (the water is going to help the flour stick) and place on one of the prepared baking sheets. Season both sides with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place the flour and House Seasoning in a large paper bag and shake to combine. Add the chicken wings, 2 at a time, shaking well to coat. Return the coated wings to the same baking sheet.

3. Fry the wings in batches until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165ºF, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer to the other prepared baking sheet.

4. To serve, toss the wings with the Maple BBQ Sauce. Place two wings on each Sweet Potato Waffle. Top with jalapeno slices, if desired, drizzle with maple syrup and serve warm.

Sweet Potato Waffles:

1. Preheat a Belgian waffle iron.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sweet potato, melted butter, sugar and eggs. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until well combined.

4.. Add a heaping cup of waffle batter to the preheated waffle iron and cook until the outsides of the waffle are lightly browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes, depending on your waffle iron. Remove the waffle and repeat with the remaining batter.

Miss Brown’s Maple BBQ Sauce:

1. Stir together the tomato sauce, maple syrup, brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and onion powder in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes. If the sauce becomes too thick, add up to 1/4 cup water. Season with salt and pepper. Use on poultry, pork, beef or seafood. The sauce will keep, tightly covered in the refrigerator, for up to 2 weeks.

Miss Brown’s House Seasoning:

1. Stir together the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Cook’s Note: Miss Brown’s House Seasoning can be made in a large batch and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about 3 months.

Special Equipment: Belgian waffle iron

Want another delicious chicken idea from Kardea? This creamy smothered chicken will have you licking your plate clean.

Watch Delicious Miss Brown 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.

Lynn Crawford headshot with her Chinese Veggie Stirfry With Black Bean Sauce

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

The secret to elevating any meal from meh to memorable is all in the sauce. A delicious sauce is a sure-fire way to boost flavour and add texture and dimension to any dish. These three classic sauces from Junior Chef Showdown judge and mentor Lynn Crawford are super versatile and can elevate any weeknight dinner from just delicious to simply divine. From a creamy, cheesy Mornay sauce (daughter sauce to the French béchamel) to a simple and fresh Sofrito (a Latin American staple) to a Chinese black bean sauce that’s bursting with salty umami flavour, you’ll be making these staple sauces again and again.

Related: Lynn Crawford’s Comforting Bacon and Egg Ramen Soup

Chinese Veggie Stir Fry With Quick and Easy Black Bean Sauce

Total Time: 35 minutes
Yields: 4 servings + 1 cup of sauce

A healthy veggie stir fry with easy black bean sauce on a bed of rice.

Ingredients:

Black Bean Sauce
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp minced ginger
1 green onion, minced
3 Tbsp fermented beans, soaked in water for one hour, drained and mashed with a fork
½ cup mirin
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp pepper
1 Tbsp water
1-½ tsp cornstarch

Chinese Veggie Stir-Fry
2 heaping Tbsp of Black Bean Sauce
2 Tbsp canola oil, divided
2 cups sliced or torn shiitake mushrooms
½ cup Vidalia onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, sliced into ½ inch strips
2 Tbsp julienned ginger
6 baby bok choy, cut in half lengthwise
6 stems gai lan (Chinese broccoli), stems cut in half lengthwise, cut into 1-inch sections
1 cup sugar snap peas
4 cups cooked jasmine rice
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 finger chili, thinly sliced

Related: Blind Sauce Taste Test With the Junior Chefs

Directions:

1. For the Black Bean Sauce, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger; cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add green onion; cook for 1 minute. Add beans and cook for 1 minute.

2. Add mirin, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and pepper to pan and  bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low.

3. Mix together water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to bean mixture and cook until thickened slightly, about 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Spoon onto a serving platter and sprinkle with pine nuts and cheese.

5. For the stir-fry, heat up 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat in a wok or large non-stick skillet.

6. Place the mushrooms and cook until beginning to brown, 4 to 6 minutes.

7. Then, add the remaining oil, onion and carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Add red pepper and ginger into the wok and continue to cook for another minute.

8. Add bok choy and gai lan; cook until the gai lan is tender crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes.

9. Stir in sauce to combine (add up to two tablespoons of water if needed to help the sauce coat the vegetables).

10. Serve hot over rice sprinkled with green onions, sesame seeds and chilies.

See More: Jordan Andino’s Perfect Burger Recipe

Creamy Mac and Cheese With Classic Mornay Sauce

Total Time: 55 minutes
Yields: 4-6 servings + 3 cups of sauce

Lynn Crawford's creamy mac and cheese with Mornay sauce in a cast iron skillet

Ingredients:

Creamy Mornay Sauce
1 bay leaf
1 clove
1/4 white onion, peeled, root attached
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
⅛ tsp nutmeg
⅛ tsp white pepper
2 cups whole milk
½ cup grated Gruyere cheese
¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Salt, to taste

Mac and Cheese
Classic Mornay Sauce
½ cup diced pancetta
⅓ cup breadcrumbs (seasoned or plain)
8 cups cooked short pasta, such as macaroni or rigatoni
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Related: Macaroni Recipes That Will Satisfy All Your Pasta Cravings 

Directions:

1. For the Creamy Mornay Sauce, first, pin bay leaf to onion with the clove.

2. Then, melt butter in the medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour, nutmeg and pepper; whisk until the mixture is bubbling; cook, whisking constantly for 1 minute.

3. Gradually whisk in milk, add onion and increase heat to medium-high. Bring mixture to a simmer and continue to whisk until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes.

4.  Strain out the onion, bay leaf and clove, reduce heat to medium-low and return mixture to saucepan.

5. Stir in the cheese until melted. Season with salt, to taste.

6. For the mac and cheese, heat oven to 375°F.

7. Cook pancetta in a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat until the fat has rendered and the pancetta is crispy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

8. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan and add breadcrumbs. Cook until toasted, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.

9. Toss pasta with mornay sauce and transfer to a lightly greased 2L casserole dish.

10. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.

11. Bake for 30 minutes until the mixture is bubbling at the sides.

Related: How to Perfectly Crack Eggs With the Junior Chefs

Refreshing Grain Salad With Authentic Sofrito Sauce 

Total Rime: 35 minutes
Yields: 4 servings + 1 cup of sauce

Lynn Crawford's grain salad with refreshing Sofrito sauce on a platter

Ingredients:

Sofrito Sauce
2 cloves garlic,  finely minced
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, minced
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried rosemary
1 small bay leaf
1 cup canned whole tomatoes, drained, seeded and chopped
¼ tsp pepper

Grain Salad
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1-1/2 cups cooked farro
1-1/2 cups cooked barley
1-1/2 cups cooked wild rice
1 small bunch watercress
1 cup breakfast radishes, quartered lengthwise
1 cup chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, chives, mint and cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
½ cup crumbled feta cheese

Related: Fresh, Flavourful Salads to Celebrate Spring 

Directions

1. For the Sofrito sauce, pulverize garlic with salt into a paste using the side of a chef’s knife on a cutting board.

2. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat; add the garlic puree and cook for 1 minute. Add onion and herbs, cook until onion is translucent, for approximately 5 minutes.

3. Add tomatoes to the pan and cook until broken down and sauce has thickened slightly for approximately 4 minutes.

4. For the grain salad, mix together Sofrito, olive oil and lemon juice in a large bowl.

5. Add grains, watercress, radishes and herbs. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Spoon onto a serving platter and sprinkle with pine nuts and cheese.

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.

Jordan Andino's double stacked smash burger with cheese and all the fixings

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

Although burgers are a great way to experiment with different toppings, nothing can beat a classic, flat patty diner burger. This simple smash burger recipe from Junior Chef Showdown judge and mentor Jordan Andino tastes gourmet using everyday ingredients you likely already have in stock.

See more: Our Most Popular Burger Recipes

The Perfect Cheeseburger

Total Time: 50 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 small white onion, divided
2 Tbsp oil, divided
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 Tbsp relish
1 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper
1-1/2 lb (675 g) medium ground beef
2 tsp Dijon mustard
8 slices processed cheese
4 burger buns
1 tomato, sliced
8 leaves Boston bibb lettuce
Additional condiments, as desired

Related: Meaty Burgers That Don’t Contain Any Beef

Jordan Andino's double stacked smash burger with cheese and all the fixings

Directions

1. Slice half the onion into thin rounds and set aside. Slice remaining onion into ½-inch thick strips.

2. Heat a cast iron skillet to high heat. Add 1 tbsp oil and onion strips. Cook until charred, about 5 minutes.

3. Chop onion and add to a small bowl. Stir in mayonnaise, ketchup, parsley, relish, lemon juice and salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

4. Meanwhile, mix ground beef with mustard. Divide into eight, 3 oz portions and place one patty on a plate with a square of waxed paper brushed lightly with a bit of the remaining oil. Flatten the patty to ¼-inch thickness with another plate. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining beef portions.

5. Heat a large cast iron skillet or griddle to high heat. Working in batches, place patties onto pan and cook until dark golden, about 90 seconds per side. After flipping, place cheese onto each patty until melted.

6. Spoon about half of the prepared sauce onto the four bottom buns. Top evenly with lettuce, tomatoes, onion rounds, two burger patties and any additional condiments. Spread bun tops evenly with remaining sauce and place over burgers.

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.

A Hack for Homemade? Ree Drummond’s Shortcut Ravioli is So Easy (and Cheesy)

Let’s face it: nothing beats a warm, cheesy plate of home-cooked pasta at the end of a long day — but who has time to always make it all from scratch? The Pioneer Woman is the master of making mouth-watching comfort food easy and utterly delicious, and Ree does not disappoint with this simple and satisfying twist on homemade ravioli.

What’s Ree’s secret? To save time — without sacrificing that made-by-hand touch — Ree swaps out labour-intensive homemade pasta dough for store-bought wonton wrappers. The premade squares are perfectly sized for ravioli, and just need a little filling and sauce to transform into an incredible pasta dish. Ree’s recipe stars a lemony ricotta filling that brings bright, cheesy flavour to every bite. The best part? You can have this shortcut ravioli on the table in just 30 minutes.

Related: Ree Drummond’s Best-Ever Super Spicy Mac and Cheese

Shortcut ‘Homemade’ Ravioli

Total Time: 30 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon, zested
1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more for the pasta water
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg
48 wonton wrappers
One 24-oz. jar store-bought marinara sauce, warmed
1/4 cup store-bought pesto
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s 25 Cheesiest Recipes Ever

Directions:

1. Place the ricotta, Parmesan, oregano, parsley, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

2. Whisk together the egg with a tablespoon of water in a separate small bowl and set aside.

3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

4. Lay out a few wonton wrappers at a time. Place 1/2 teaspoon of the filling into the centre of each one. Then, working one piece at a time, dab your finger in the egg wash mixture and run it along the edge of a wrapper, then lay a second wrapper on top, lining up the edges as much as possible and gently pressing out any air bubbles. Set aside while you work on the rest.

5. Drop a few ravioli at a time into the boiling water (you will cook them in batches to allow for plenty of room). Stir gently with a spoon so they do not stick together. Let cook until they float to the top, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a platter. Cook the remaining ravioli in the same manner.

6. Spoon a little marinara sauce on each plate and lay 4 to 6 ravioli on top. Spoon more marinara sauce over the ravioli, then spoon over some small dots of pesto. Garnish with the fresh basil leaves and serve.

Related: Ree Drummond’s Buffalo Chicken Totchos Are the Food Mash-Up You Didn’t Know You Needed

Love using wonton wrappers in unexpected (and totally delicious) ways? These sweet fried wontons make an epic dessert with a decadent mix of caramel, apple and cheesecake flavours.

Watch the how-to video here:

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.

Golden gooey monte cristo cut into half

This Clever TikTok Breakfast Hack Now Has Us Craving Monte Cristo Omelette Sandwiches

If you’ve seen the TikTok tortilla fold hack, then the breakfast challenge TikTok sandwich should come as no surprise. Where the wrap hack has @cookingwithayeh showing users how to divvy up a tortilla into quadrants for the ultimate fold, @foodqood‘s breakfast challenge sandwich similarly shows how to make an egg-and-cheese-based sandwich in the pan, with a few clever flips.

While that’s certainly one way to make a decadent, cheesy breakfast sandwich, it isn’t the only way. Known as the more savoury cousin to French toast and little brother to the béchamel-and-Gruyere-based croque monsieur, the Monte Cristo similarly offers delicious crisp on the outside and gooey-melty cheese on the inside. While this recipe includes both confectioners sugar and sliced ham, feel free to forgo or substitute either ingredient. It’s quick to make and easy enough for novice home cooks and pro chefs, alike.

A golden gooey monte cristo sandwich split in half

Related: Molly Yeh’s Bright, Spinach-Packed Spin on Eggs Benedict is Your New Brunch-Time Fave

Monte Cristo Omelette Sandwich

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 sandwich

Ingredients:

3 large eggs
Kosher salt
2 slices Swiss cheese
½ tsp Dijon mustard
½ Tbsp confectioners’ sugar
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 slices sourdough or white bread
2 large slices ham

Directions:

1. Add the eggs, 1 Tbsp water and ¼ tsp salt to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Spread each cheese slice with ¼ tsp of the Dijon and set the slices mustard-side-up on a flat surface. Put the confectioners’ sugar in a small fine-mesh sieve set over a plate.

2. Heat the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until melted and starting to brown around the edges of the pan. Add the egg mixture and swirl the pan to coat the bottom. Working quickly, dip 1 slice of the bread in the eggs, then flip the slice and place it so the top edge of the slice is near the edge of the pan furthest from you. Repeat with the remaining slice of bread, setting it across the pan from the first bread slice. The bottom edges of the two slices should be in a straight line, with eggs all around.

Related: Mother’s Day Breakfast in Bed Recipes You Can Drop Off to Mom

3. Continue to cook the eggs until they are completely set on the bottom and mostly cooked on the top, 1 to 2 minutes more. Slide a large nonstick spatula under the bread and flip the whole omelet in one single motion. Set the cheese mustard-side up on top of the omelet, covering the bread. Lay the ham on top of one of the slices of cheese. Using the spatula, fold one side of the omelet (but not the bread side) over the cheese and ham, then fold over the other side. Fold in half so the bread slices meet and form a sandwich.

Related: Kitchen Skills Parents Should Teach Their Kids By Age 10

4. Cook until the bread on the bottom is golden brown and the cheese is beginning to melt, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat if the bread begins to darken too quickly before the cheese melts. Flip and cook until the other side is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Set the sandwich on a plate and dust with the confectioners’ sugar.

Watch the how-to video here:

Anna Olson's vanilla and caramel birthday cake on a display

5 Classic Cake Recipes & Expert Advice for a Perfect Bake Every Time

Baking a cake from scratch can be easier than you think, especially when armed with professional tips and tricks. Veer too far from a few established rules, however, and you can end up with a cake catastrophe on your hands. Never fear, we’ve got you covered: with these five foolproof tips, we can help you ensure baking success and turn out a perfect, professional-tasting cake every time.

Let’s take a look at five favourites: classic cakes that you can make again and again, from anything-but-basic vanilla to next-level carrot cakes.

Vanilla Cake

Anna Olson's vanilla and caramel birthday cake

This delightfully moist cake is a stellar example of vanilla-flavoured deliciousness that can be used as a base for your favourite frosting. Sifting the flour mixture serves two purposes: it disperses small amounts of crucial ingredients, such as leaveners or salt, throughout the cake and also aerates the flour to make it easier to combine. Two types of pastry cream — vanilla and caramel — are used in different ways to create a multi-layered and hued cake with impressive height and fantastic flavour.

Chef’s Tip: Sift dry ingredients together onto a large piece of parchment paper before adding it to your stand mixer to keep things nice and neat. You can also grab the paper by the corners and use it as a foldable slide to help transfer your dry ingredients around your kitchen and pour into your mixing bowl.

Get the recipe for  Anna Olson’s Classic Vanilla Birthday Cake With Caramel Pastry Cream

Not sure which flour to use for your next big bake? Check out Flour 101: Your Guide to Mastering Holiday Baking and Ardent Mills’ complete flour portfolio including definitions and best-used-for applications.

Chocolate Cake

Six-layer chocolate fudge cake with slice cut out

This tall tower of cake perfection from pastry chef Anna Olson is a spectacular showstopper for any celebration for chocolate lovers. Four layers of fluffy cake (made with cake and pastry flour leavened with baking soda for extra rise) are sandwiched together with creamy, fudge frosting for a confection that’s decadent without being heavy. Using brewed coffee adds balance and depth to the chocolate notes in the cake, while a combination of bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder adds plenty of chocolate-forward flavour to the fudge frosting.

Chef’s Tip: Chocolate flavour intensifies and improves with time. If you can resist the temptation, wrap your cake layers well in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and place in the freezer for a few days before thawing and icing them. Plan ahead for future chocolate cravings and make a double batch to freeze for up to 30 days.

Get the recipe for Anna Olson’s Chocolate Fudge Cake

Sponge Cake

Strawberry sponge cake with whipped cream and fresh fruit

Although all-purpose flour works well for cakes that require some structural integrity for heavier fillings, a soft wheat or cake and pastry flour (can lend the tender yielding quality needed to roll this sponge cake around a simple raspberry jam filling. Vary the filling based on your preference, and use homemade jam for an extra special touch.

Chef’s Tip: When whipping egg whites, your bowl needs to be perfectly clean. Any fat or oil residue in the bowl will keep your egg whites from whipping up and holding a structure no matter how long you beat them. A pinch of cream of tartar can also help to strengthen your whipped egg whites.

Get the recipe for Classic Raspberry Jelly Roll

Carrot Cake

Cream cheese iced carrot cake with heirloom carrot flowers

Keeping carrot cake from being too heavy, while still incorporating plenty of carroty goodness throughout, can be a bit of a challenge. Attempting to get the shredded carrots evenly dispersed in the batter causes some home bakers to over mix and overwork the gluten in the sturdy all-purpose flour, causing a tougher cake. This recipe from Molly Yeh provides some guidance to help counter this common error, including mixing the batter to 90 per cent before incorporating the carrots.

Chef’s Tip: To help your cake bake evenly, rotate the pan in the oven halfway through baking, helping ensure even temperature no matter the placement in the oven. Also, begin checking the cake for doneness about 20 minutes into your bake time to ensure the cake is not overbaked.

Get the recipe for Molly Yeh’s Carrot Cake With Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

Coffee Cake

Ree Drummond's blueberry crumb coffee cake on a plate

An easy coffee cake is a secret weapon for any baker: ready in under an hour with no frosting or decorations necessary, since it comes with its own crunchy and golden topping fortified with all-purpose flour such as Ardent Mills Bakers Hand®. With a cake this simple, the ratio of the ingredients plays a big part in a successful bake. The commonly used scoop and flatten method may unnecessarily compact flour into the measuring cup, adding more than intended to your recipe. A better technique is to simply spoon flour into the cup lightly and level off with a knife.

Chef’s Tip: For a consistent creaming cake batter, take all ingredients out of the fridge ahead of time to ensure they are all at room temperature. Softened butter creams easier and builds more volume. Also, eggs and milk that are at the same temperature ensure a more consistent creaming, and prevents the butter from clumping again.

Get the recipe for Ree Drummond’s Blueberry Coffee Cake

Looking for more classic cake inspirations? Try these birthday cake recipes that are sure to make you a dessert person.

Sponge cake photo courtesy of Ardent Mills

Food Network’s Rigatoni Pie is the OG TikTok Honeycomb Pasta (and Now We Want Both!)

You might’ve seen the honeycomb pasta hack that has gone viral on TikTok, in which Anna Rothfuss AKA @bananalovesyoutoo stuffs string cheese in rigatoni pasta, layering on sauce, ground meat and grated cheese for good measure. We daresay this popular quick meal evokes a Food Network Canada eye-catching favourite: our very own 20-minute, 10-ingredient Rigatoni Pie. While slightly more elevated in flavour (no string cheese here), this vegetarian version is equally melty and gooey and just as straight-forward to make for a quick weeknight meal — all with simple pantry ingredients you likely already have on hand.

rigatoni pie on white plate

Looking to save additional time? Instead of making your own tomato sauce, swap in four cups of store-bought marinara. For meat-lovers, you can mix things up too by adding cooked ground meat to the sauce (just note: you’ll need less of the sauce). This delicious budget-friendly comfort food will be a fan favourite at home, and the good news is the yield is high, so there will be plenty to go around.

Watch the how-to video here:


Rigatoni Pie Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Rest Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
9 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes in juice
1 15-oz can whole peeled tomatoes in juice
1 cup loosely-packed fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb(s) rigatoni
1 lb(s) part-skim mozzarella, grated
⅔ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Heat 4 Tbsp of the olive oil with the garlic in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Once it begins to sizzle, cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is soft and just beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes, then add the tomatoes and 1 ½ cups water. Increase the heat to high and bring the tomato sauce to a boil, crushing the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced and thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper. Let the sauce cool for 10 minutes then puree in a blender until smooth.

Related: This Feta Tomato Pasta Trending on TikTok is as Easy as 1-2-3

2. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with 1 Tbsp olive oil and bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until it is slightly less than al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta, spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil.

3. Stand the rigatoni on their ends in the prepared pan until it is completely filled (you might not use all the pasta). Place the pan on a foil-lined baking sheet to catch drips. Pour the sauce over the noodles, spreading it with the back of a spoon (You might not use all the sauce.) Sprinkle the pasta with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Related: I Tried Meghan Markle’s “Filthy, Sexy” Zucchini Pasta Sauce — Here’s How It Stacked Up

4. Cover the pan with foil, doming it slightly to avoid touching the cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan and continue cooking until the top is golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes more. Let the pasta cool for 10 minutes, then carefully remove the sides of the pan, cut into wedges and serve.

This Smoked Herring and Green Plantains Appetizer is Haiti in One Bite

This vibrant appetizer — full of plenty flavourful ingredients — is “Haiti in one bite,” says Nahika Hillery.  “Smoked herring (aranso) and green plantains are staples in our cuisine. They’re versatile ingredients and found in many other popular Haitian dishes,” Nahika says. “Can’t find smoked herring? No problem. ‘Chiktay’ means to shred and you can shred any cooked fish or meat to use in this recipe (just skip the desalting) and still enjoy the bold Haitian flavours.”


Chiktay Aranso Stuffed Plantain Cups

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

4-6 smoked herring
½ cup olive oil
1 finely diced carrot
1 finely diced red onion
1 cup finely diced green bell pepper
1 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1 cup finely diced orange bell pepper
2 finely chopped Scotch bonnet chiles (including the seeds), plus 1 whole Scotch bonnet chile
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 whole cloves
1 tsp chicken bouillon powder or to taste
½ tsp adobo seasoning (optional based on saltiness of herring)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 sprig fresh thyme
Roughly chopped fresh parsley
3 Tbsp lime juice
3 cups frying oil
2 green plantains
Kosher salt
Finely diced tomato, finely diced avocado and sour cream, for garnish (optional)

Equipment:

Tostonera (plantain press), optional

chiktay stuffed plantain cups

Directions:

1. Remove the saltiness of the herring by placing it in a bowl of cold water and allowing it to soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain the water, then place the herring in a pot of water and boil for 10 to 15 minutes. The herring should taste no more than mildly salty; if it is still salty, boil for another 5 minutes and drain. Shred the herring with 2 forks, removing any large bones.

Tip: Salt is used to preserve smoked herring, so desalting is crucial to avoid an overly salty dish.

2. Pour the olive oil into a large skillet and set over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and red onions and cook, covered, for 2 minutes. Add the green pepper, red pepper, orange pepper and chopped Scotch bonnet chiles and cook, covered, stirring frequently, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook an additional minute.

Related: Last-Minute Party Appetizers That Are Beyond Easy

3. Add the shredded herring. Puncture the whole Scotch bonnet chile with the 2 cloves and add it to the skillet. Add the chicken bouillon, adobo seasoning, garlic powder, thyme, some parsley and lime juice. Mix everything well. Cover and let cook down for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Discard the whole Scotch bonnet and thyme sprig.

4. Pour the frying oil into a large skillet and set over medium-high heat. Peel the plantains and cut each into 4 to 5 pieces. Fry the pieces until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Remove from the pan and press each piece of plantain flat; you can use a plantain press or the bottom of a small heavy pan or a plate. Mold the plantains into cup shapes (you can use a lemon squeezer or a tostonera with a rounded shape). Carefully fry the plantain cups again for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain the cups on a paper towel-lined plate or on a wire rack and sprinkle lightly with salt (optional).

Related: Top Pescatarian Dinner Ideas That Make Seafood the Star

Tip: Green plantains, not ripe ones, are best to use to create sturdy cups.

5. Fill the fried plantain cups with the smoked herring mixture. Garnish with diced tomato, avocado and sour cream if using and enjoy!

Like this recipe? Try this Guyanese roti or Peruvian cebiche.

Anna Olson Chocolate Recipes for Every Skill Level

Anna Olson’s Chocolate Recipes for Every Skill Level: Easy to Advanced

Has Great Chocolate Showdown inspired you to try out some new skills in your kitchen? Not all chocolate recipes are created equal, so we asked Canada’s most beloved baker and Great Chocolate Showdown host Anna Olson to help us break down which of her recipes would be best suited to your skills.

Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro, here are Anna Olson’s best chocolate recipes for bakers of all levels.

Related: Expert Chocolate Techniques to Master Now

Easy Chocolate Recipes for Baking Beginners

If you’re not sure where to start your chocolate baking journey, look no further than this classic bake — cookies. “Chocolate chip cookies are a great basic because it gets you into the chocolate world,” recommended Anna.

Anna Olson's classic chocolate chip cookies cooling on a wooden trayGet the recipe for Anna Olson’s Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

For a serious sweet tooth, fudgy brownies are another great option for new home bakers, and as a bonus, they use items you probably already have in your kitchen. “Brownies take minimal equipment. If you’ve got a pot, a pan, and a whisk, you can make brownies,” said Anna.

See More: Anna Olson’s Top Baking Tools

Anna Olson's fudge brownies studded with a pecanGet the recipe for Anna Olson’s Fudge Brownies

Intermediate Chocolate Recipes if You Have a Few Baking Skills Under Your Belt

For home bakers who have the basic chocolate skills down and want to give themselves a challenge, Anna provided some delightful options.

“You can get into fun things like chocolate crinkle cookies, a good, rich chocolate cake, a flourless chocolate torte, or vegan chocolate cupcakes with fudge frosting,” Anna shared.

Anna Olson's 6-layer chocolate fudge cake with one slice on a plateGet the recipe for Anna Olson’s Chocolate Fudge Cake

Advanced Chocolate Recipes for Baking Masters

If you’re ready to face the ultimate home baking challenge and show off your chocolate technique, Anna had a couple of ideas.

“I have a delicious chocolate mousse cake: chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, and it’s got a dark chocolate mirror glaze, which is really hot right now,” she divulged.

Related: Cynthia Stroud’s Expert Decorating Tips

A slice of Anna Olson's rich chocolate mousse cakeGet the recipe for Anna Olson’s Rich Chocolate Mousse Cake

“[My] chocolate souffle is another very challenging recipe,” she also shared. “It takes confidence, and you have to feel positive that you know how to get it just right.”

Anna Olson's chocolate souffle in a ramekinGet the recipe for Anna Olson’s Chocolate Souffles with Salted Caramel Sauce

Tune into Great Chocolate Showdown on Mondays at 10 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

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