Tag Archives: comfort food

chiktay stuffed plantain cups

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.

Arabic lentil soup in white bowls

This Classic Arabic Lentil Soup is Perfect for Ramadan

Ramadan is a month celebrated by Muslims across the globe — and it requires fasting from food and water from sunrise to sunset. Most Muslims wake up before sunrise to have a small meal and then break their fast with a few dates and this Arabic lentil soup at sunset. Breaking the fast with soup helps to prepare the stomach for the meal to follow and it includes a lot of nutrients. Soup is also rich in fluids, which are much needed after a long day of fasting. This specific recipe uses a few simple ingredients that add a depth of flavour — and it only requires a few minutes of hands-on time.

Arabic lentil soup in white bowls

Arabic Lentil Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

4 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp turmeric
½ tsp black pepper
1 ½ cups split red lentils
7-8 cups water
Lemon juice (optional)

Arabic lentil soup ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. In a soup pot, add the vegetable oil along with the onions, potatoes and salt. Cook for a few minutes until they soften.

2. Add the cumin, turmeric and black pepper to the onions and potatoes and continue to cook for a few minutes to toast the spices.

Related: Healthy and Hearty Soup Recipes

3. Wash and drain the lentils several times until clean. Add the lentils along with the water to the pot. Mix well, then cover and simmer on medium heat for 40-60 minutes. (Halfway through, taste and adjust the salt. Also, add more water if required, depending on the consistency you prefer).

Arabic lentil soup cooking in pot

4. Remove from the heat once the vegetables have softened and serve with a squeeze of lemon on top.

Arabic lentil soup cooking in pot

Like Amina’s Arabic lentil soup? Try her Middle Eastern eggplant casserole or her curried Brussels sprouts.

Turkey tortellini in white bowl

Turkey Tortellini is the Perfect Special Occasion Dinner for Two

Thomas Keller’s recipe for pasta dough (from his important 1999 cookbook, The French Laundry) is the first pasta recipe I ever learned and the only one I’ve used since then. The only alteration I’ve made is to use canola oil instead of olive oil — because it’s from the Canadian Prairies. Of course, the turkey tortellini filling and the wild rice are my own Indigenous spins. And since tortellini is so late-1990s, I just had to go with a rich cream sauce!

Turkey tortellini in white bowl

Turkey Tortellini With Creamed Wild Rice

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Rest Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 6

Ingredients:

Pasta
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg
6 large egg yolks
1 ½ tsp canola oil
1 Tbsp milk (2% or 3.25%)

Filling
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 cup diced onion
6 oz / 170 g ground turkey
6 fresh sage leaves, finely minced
1 large egg
¼ cup whipping (35%) cream
¼ tsp salt (or to taste)
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)

Wild Rice
1 ½ cups water
½ cup wild rice, rinsed and drained
½ cup whipping (35%) cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional), for serving

Equipment:

Pasta Roller

Directions:

1. Make the pasta dough: on a clean, non-porous surface or a large wooden cutting board, shape the flour into a mound with a 6-inch crater in the centre. Put the egg and yolks, oil and milk in the centre. Using your fingers, break the yolks and start to swirl the wet ingredients with your fingers, but don’t let the inside of the crater break through the flour sides. As you continue to swirl, the flour will very slowly incorporate into the eggs. Be patient and keep swirling. You can start to use your other hand to shore up the sides and move some of the flour into the egg mixture. As the mixture thickens, the dough will start to become shaggy. Once you can’t swirl any more flour in this way, use a pastry scraper to start to fold the flour into the dough and knead it with the heels of your hands. Keep kneading and incorporating as much flour and parts that have broken off into the main dough ball. This will take a good 10 to 15 minutes. The dough will eventually start to soften and become smooth and elastic. Keep kneading for another 10 minutes. You can’t overdo the kneading.

Related: Easy Stuffed Pasta Recipes That Start With Store-Bought Noodles

2. Form a tight dough ball and wrap it in plastic wrap. Let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour. (You can make the dough the day before and keep it tightly wrapped in the refrigerator. Bring it back to room temperature before you roll it out).

3. Make the filling: heat the oil in a cast iron or heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sautee until they start to turn brown at the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, until it’s cooked through and becomes crumbly in texture, about 5 minutes. Add the minced sage leaves and continue to cook, stirring often, until the mixture becomes fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in the egg and the cream and cook just until the filling comes together, about 3 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper.

4. Make the rice: meanwhile, combine the water, a pinch of salt and rice in a pot. Stir well, cover with a lid, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until most of the rice kernels have opened fully, showing the white inside. Drain well, cover and set aside.

Related: Romantic Date Night Recipes to Make at Home

5. Make the tortellini: divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Lightly flour a clean work surface or a cutting board. Set your pasta roller to the thickest setting. Flatten a portion of dough into a disc (keep the rest of the dough covered so it doesn’t dry out) and send it through the pasta roller. Repeat, rolling and gradually reducing the setting on the pasta roller to its thinnest setting, until you get the pasta sheet as thin as you can. Place the pasta sheet on a floured surface, cover with a cloth, and repeat with the remaining dough portions.

6. Cut each pasta sheet into 2-inch squares. Place 1 tsp of turkey filling in the centre of each square. With slightly wetted fingers, bring two opposite corners of each filled square together to form a triangle. Press the edges together to seal the tortellini. Then bring two points of the triangle together and press to seal (it should now resemble a tortellini). One point will remain. Repeat with the remaining squares.

7. Fill a large soup pot with 8 to 12 cups of water and salt it generously (about a Tbsp). Bring to a rolling boil. Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan, drop in the tortellini and cook for about 4 minutes, just until the dough is fluffy and cooked all the way through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl and cover. Set aside and keep warm. If the pasta starts to stick together, gently toss it in a drizzle of oil.

8. Assemble the dish: in a large skillet over medium heat, combine the cooked wild rice and the cream. Cook for about 3 minutes, just to warm through. Add the cooked tortellini and gently toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot with grated Parmesan (if using).

tawaw cookbook coverExcerpted from tawâw Progressive Indigenous Cuisine by Shane M. Chartrand with Jennifer Cockrall-King. Copyright © 2019 Shane Mederic Chartrand and Jennifer Cockrall-King. Reproduced with permission from House of Anansi Press Inc., Toronto. All rights reserved. www.houseofanansi.com


tawâw Progressive Indigenous Cuisine, Amazon, $35.

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

Tangy Sauce and Sofrito Are a Tasty Team With These Puerto Rican Skewers

Do certain aromas transport you back to another time and place in the most delicious way? For Yimara “Yia” Medina, the scent of grilled pinchos — marinated chunks of pork or chicken on a stick, traditionally served with a slice of warm bread — is like a passport to happy childhood days in Puerto Rico.

“It’s one of the island’s most popular street foods — and some of my favourite childhood memories are of sitting and talking or dancing around by my cousin’s roadside pinchos stand,” Yia says. “There are lots of versions of pinchos, but what I think makes this recipe especially good is the use of sofrito, the magical Puerto Rican blend of herbs and aromatics that’s the base of some of our tastiest dishes. Sofrito is easy to make yourself or you can buy it premade.”

Related: The Very Best Ways to Devour Street Food Around The World

Pinchos

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Rest Time: 12 hours
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 12 hours, 20 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

½ cup sofrito
⅓ cup olive oil
1 ½ Tbsp sazon
1 ½ Tbsp adobo seasoning
1 ½ tsp onion powder
1 ½ tsp granulated garlic
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 ½ lbs pork tenderloin, cut into 2-inch cubes
¼ cup BBQ sauce
1 loaf bread, sliced 1 ½-inch thick

Equipment:

12- to 14-inch skewers

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

Directions:

1. Combine the sofrito, oil, sazon, adobo, onion powder, granulated garlic and black pepper in a large bowl. Add the pork and toss to coat. Marinate the meat at least overnight or 12 hours for best results.

2. When ready to cook, remove the meat from the refrigerator. Drain off and discard the marinade. Preheat a grill to 450ºF or medium-high heat. Thread the meat onto 12- or 14-inch skewers, leaving a 3-inch space at the bottom of each skewer.

3. Place the skewers on the grill and grill for 3 minutes. Carefully flip the skewers and grill the other side for 3 minutes. Flip the skewers again and cook for an additional 2 minutes on the other side, then brush the pinchos with BBQ sauce. Flip once more and cook until the pinchos are browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the pork registers 145ºF, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the grill, brush again with BBQ sauce and rest 5 minutes before serving. Toast the slices of bread on the grill; skewer one slice onto the top of each pincho.

Are you a newbie to the grill? This guide to the perfect grilling times and temperatures is a great place to start!

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

When it comes to quick and easy meals, you can rely on a comfort food classic like mac and cheese to satisfy all your cravings. And who better to provide inspiration for a scrumptious feast? The one and only Ree Drummond, naturally. With macaroni, jalapenos, hot sauce and a variety of cheeses, this spicy one-pot wonder from The Pioneer Woman is everything you need on a busy weeknight.

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

Super Spicy Mac and Cheese

Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

1 lb macaroni
2 Tbsp salted butter
1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cups whole milk, plus more if needed
8 oz queso blanco-style processed cheese, cubed
1 cup grated Monterey Jack
1 cup grated pepper jack
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
Hot sauce, as desired

Related: Ree Drummond’s 30-Minute Vegetarian Pasta Makes Peppers the Star

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the crushed red pepper, jalapeno, garlic and onion and cook, stirring, until the veggies have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the milk and heat until starting to bubble around the edges. Add the processed cheese and stir until melted. Add the Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheeses, pepper, kosher salt, seasoned salt and hot sauce to taste. Stir until the cheese is melted. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add a splash of milk if the sauce seems too thick. Fold in the cooked macaroni and serve.

3. Reheating instructions: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put the mac and cheese in a baking dish, cover with foil and heat until warmed through, about 25 minutes.

Related: This Bold 5-Ingredient Sheet Pan Steak Supper From The Pioneer Woman Will Brighten Your Table

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.

Eggplant "Meat"ball Sandwiches from Katie Lee's new cookbook, It's Not Complicated

You Won’t Believe These Eggplant “Meat”Ball Sandwiches Are Vegetarian

I love a meatball. In my quest to add plant-based recipes to my diet, I tried making meatballs out of a mixture of eggplant and mushrooms, with great results. I like adding cashews for texture as well as a little protein. These meatball sandwiches taste really indulgent (hello, melted provolone!), but I also love using the eggplant balls on spaghetti with marinara. Even your pickiest meat-eater will be very happy. Promise.

Eggplant "Meat"ball Sandwiches from Katie Lee's new cookbook, It's Not Complicated

Eggplant “Meat”Ball Sandwiches

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

6 cups (490 g) diced eggplant, peel left on (about 1 medium eggplant)
2 Tbsp, plus 1 tsp olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz (225 g) cremini mushrooms, quartered
1/2 cup (60 g) unsalted raw cashews
1/2 cup (40 g) panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup (25 g) grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 Tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 large egg, lightly whisked
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
4 kaiser rolls
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) marinara sauce (your favorite store-bought or homemade)
4 slices provolone cheese
4 fresh basil leaves
Pickled banana peppers (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).

2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Put the eggplant in a large bowl and slowly drizzle with 1 Tbsp of the oil. Stir and drizzle in an additional tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Spread out on a prepared baking sheet.

3. Combine the mushrooms and the remaining 1 tsp oil and spread on the second baking sheet. Bake the eggplant and mushrooms for 10 minutes, then stir and bake for an additional 10 minutes. (Reserve one baking sheet with parchment paper to use again to bake the meatballs.)

4. Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F (205°C). Pulse the eggplant a few times in a food processor until coarse in texture. Transfer to a large bowl. Pulse the mushrooms until coarse and add to the same bowl. Pulse the cashews until coarse and transfer to the bowl. (Processing everything together will make the mixture too mushy; be sure to take the time to process the ingredients one by one.) Add the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic, parsley, egg, 1/2 tsp salt, and a little pepper. Stir to combine. Use an ice cream scoop or your hands to scoop the eggplant mixture into 12 balls and arrange them on the reserved lined baking sheet. Bake until crispy and browned, about 20 minutes.

5. Spread butter onto the kaiser rolls and toast in the oven until lightly golden brown. Toss the eggplant balls with marinara and place 3 on the bottom piece of each roll. Top with provolone and bake until the cheese melts, about 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and top each with a torn basil leaf and the top roll. Serve with banana peppers and grated Parmesan, if desired.

Find this and more great recipes in Katie Lee Biegel’s new cookbook It’s Not Complicated: Simple Recipes for Every Day available March 23.

Katie Lee Biegel's new cookbook It's Not Complicated

All products featured on Food Network Canada are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy through links in this article, we earn an affiliate commission.

Moroccon-style stuffed artichokes

You Will *Heart* These Moroccan Stuffed Artichokes

These stuffed artichoke hearts take me back to festive Shabbat dinners and Passover seders with my family. My Moroccan mother makes this dish with frozen artichoke hearts (found at Middle Eastern grocery stores), but you can also use fresh artichokes if you’re up to the task of peeling and cutting them. If you’re short on time, skip the step of dredging and frying — both ways are classic — but I like the texture it adds. If you’re making this dish for Passover, you can swap regular flour for matzo meal. For a gluten-free option, you can also use chickpea flour.

Moroccon-style stuffed artichokes

Moroccan Stuffed Artichokes

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Servings: 16 stuffed artichokes

Ingredients:

Sauce
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp turmeric
1 lemon, halved and juiced, reserving both juice and peel
3 cups chicken broth
½ cup chopped cilantro
4 or 5 inner celery stalks, cut into 3-inch chunks (can substitute with cardoon stalks or anise)

Stuffed Artichokes

½ lb of ground beef (can substitute with chicken, turkey, lamb or a mix)
1 cup cilantro, chopped
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp cracked black pepper (or ground white pepper)
1 egg, beaten
1 potato, grated (with peel if it’s thin-skinned)
1 onion, grated
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp ras el hanout
½ tsp turmeric
2 14-oz bags of frozen artichoke hearts (also known as artichoke bottoms), defrosted or 16 fresh artichokes (peeled and cleaned into hearts by removing leaves, fuzzy choke and stem)

Dredging (optional)
3 eggs, beaten, seasoned with sea salt
1 cup flour, seasoned with sea salt (can substitute flour with matzo meal or gluten-free chickpea flour)
Canola oil

Moroccon-style stuffed artichokes ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Make the sauce. You’ll need an extra-large saute pan with a lid or a tagine. Heat olive oil on medium heat, add garlic, sauteing for about 30 seconds, then add turmeric right before adding lemon juice and chicken broth. Add lemon peels and cilantro. Reduce to simmer. (Keep celery chunks aside to be added later).

Related: Traditional Jewish Comfort Food Recipes to Try

2. Make the meat filling for the artichokes. In a bowl, mix the meat with the cilantro, sea salt, black pepper, egg, potato, onion, garlic, ras el hanout and turmeric. Mound mixture into artichoke hearts.

Moroccon-style stuffed artichokes ready to stuff

3. Prepare for dredging and frying (optional). Place beaten eggs in one bowl and flour in another. Lightly cover the stuffed artichokes in flour, dusting off excess and then dip in egg mixture and set aside. When you’re done coating half of them, heat a large skillet with about an inch of canola oil on medium to medium-high. Finish coating the remainder of the stuffed artichokes and then begin frying, handling gently with a large slotted spoon. The stuffed artichokes should be golden on both sides, about one minute per side. Work in batches so you don’t overcrowd them.

Moroccon-style stuffed artichokes ready to cook

4. Place the celery chunks in the sauce pan, covering most of the bottom of the pan. Place the stuffed artichokes, meat side up, over the celery pieces and the sauce. (If your pan isn’t large enough to fit all 16 stuffed artichokes side by side, divide sauce and celery between two medium-sized pans).

5. Cover and simmer for one hour until artichokes are tender, meat is fully cooked and sauce is reduced. Serve with the sauce and enjoy with crusty bread, rice or matzah.

Moroccon-style stuffed artichokes

Like Claire’s stuffed artichokes recipe? Try her comforting mujadara or sfenj AKA Moroccan doughnuts.

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

We love a heaping pile of nachos as much as the next person — but if you’re looking to up your meal planning game and get adventurous in the kitchen, make this mouth-watering crispy Buffalo chicken– and tater tot-friendly version from The Pioneer Woman herself.

One pound of potato tots and chunks of boneless chicken breasts are are seasoned and crisped. Although it might take a little longer than a traditional nacho platter, you’ll still savour every last bite of this comfort food mash-up you’ll want to make on repeat.

Related: Ree Drummond’s 30-Minute Vegetarian Pasta Makes Peppers the Star

The Pioneer Woman’s Buffalo Chicken Totchos

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

1 lb frozen potato tots
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp salted butter
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ribs celery, sliced thin, leaves reserved
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, sliced thin
1 1/2 cups cayenne hot sauce, such as Frank’s RedHot
1 1/2 cups shredded pepper jack
Blue Cheese Ranch, recipe follows

Blue Cheese Ranch:
2 cups ranch dressing
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Close-up of Buffalo Chicken Tatchos

Related: Your New Favourite Fish Dish: The Pioneer Woman’s Crispy Cerveza Battered Cod

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

2. Toss the tots with the chili powder and cumin in a large mixing bowl until evenly coated. Arrange the seasoned tots on a baking sheet. Bake until golden and crisp, about 35 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Melt the butter in the skillet and add the chicken pieces. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Add the celery, garlic and half of the green onions. Continue to cook, stirring, until the chicken is cooked through, another 2 minutes. Add the hot sauce and allow to simmer and thicken slightly, 1 additional minute.

4. When the tots are crisp, remove from the oven and set the oven to broil. Top the tots with half of the cheese. Spoon the chicken over the tots. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the chicken. Place the baking sheet under the broiler and broil until the cheese has melted and begun to brown, about 3 minutes.

5. Carefully remove the pan from the broiler. Drizzle over the Blue Cheese Ranch and any remaining sauce from the skillet. Garnish with the celery leaves and remaining green onions. Serve on the baking sheet.

6. Add the ranch dressing and blue cheese crumbles to a bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper and stir until combined.

For more inspiration, check out The Pioneer Woman’s 16-minute dinners.

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.
Buffalo stew in a boat next to bread

This Buffalo Beef Stew is Classic Comfort Food in a Bowl

This warm and hearty stew filled with chunks of buffalo stew meat, vegetables, potatoes, corn and peas will fill you up and keep you happy! A Dutch oven or heavy saucepan is the best way to cook this buffalo beef stew: which is classic comfort food served in a bowl.

Buffalo stew in a boat next to bread

Buffalo Beef Stew

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

¼ cup canola oil or olive oil
¼ cup butter
2 lb(s) buffalo stew meat, cubed
1 splash red wine
2 onions, chunky slices
2 clove garlic, diced
4 cups beef broth
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp steak spice
Few sprigs fresh thyme and rosemary
1 bay leaf
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced chunky
4 stalks celery, diced
2 cup corn
2 cup peas
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Using a large pan, heat oil and butter.

2. Add the buffalo meat and brown the meat on all sides.

3. Add red wine, onions and garlic and cook until translucent.

Related: Warm and Comforting Beef Stew Recipes

4. Add beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, steak spice, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and bring to a boil.

5. Add carrots, potatoes, celery, corn and peas.

6. Continue to simmer until vegetables are tender, approximately 1-2 hours.

Related: Canadian First Nations Recipes You’ll Love

7. Remove bay leaf.

Tip: To thicken the stew, shake 1 part flour to 1 part cold water in a covered shaker. Add slowly into the buffalo stew until desired thickness is reached.

8. Serve with fresh hot baked bannock or buns of your choice!

Buffalo stew in a boat next to bread

This recipe was originally featured on You Gotta Eat Here! Check out more of John Catucci’s foodie adventures on Big Food Bucket List.

Fresh Northern Thai papaya salad and crispy fried pork belly

Fried Pork Belly Pairs Perfectly With Crunchy Papaya Salad in This Traditional Thai Dish

We may not be able to travel right now, but you can still send your taste buds on a flight to northern Thailand with this Taste Of recipe from Lakana Sopajan-Trubiana. Spicy, crunchy and full of flavour, this papaya salad pairs perfectly with salty fried pork belly.

“This is the style of papaya salad we make at home on our family rice farm in Isaan in northeastern Thailand,” says Lakana. “It’s different from the Bangkok ‘big city’ version: it’s funkier and more pungent from the addition of fermented fish sauce and salted crab. Traditionally, the salad is eaten with grilled or fried meat. Here we pair it with pork belly; the crunch and tang of the salad cuts the heaviness of the pork and balances out the dish.”

Related: Delicious Thai Takeout Recipe to Try This Week

Isaan Papaya Salad With Fried Pork Belly

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Som Tom (Papaya Salad)
4 to 10 fresh Thai bird chiles, depending on taste
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp palm sugar
½ cup halved grape tomatoes
3 Tbsp fermented fish sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp tamarind juice
2 slices lime
2 cups shredded young green papaya
¼ cup shredded carrot
¼ cup salted crab

Fried Pork Belly
¼ cup fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 ¼ lbs pork belly, cut crossways into ½-inch-thick slices
2 ½ cups tempura flour
Canola oil, for frying

Equipment:

Large mortar and pestle (optional)

Fresh Northern Thai papaya salad and crispy fried pork belly

Related: Ground Pork Recipes You’ll Make On Repeat

Directions:

1. For the som tom (papaya salad): combine the chiles, garlic and palm sugar in a large mortar and bash with a pestle until it forms a coarse paste, 2 to 5 minutes. (You can also combine the ingredients in a medium bowl and use gloved hands to break, shred and mash the ingredients together). Add the tomatoes, fermented fish sauce, fish sauce, tamarind juice and limes and mix well. Add the papaya, carrot and salted crab and mix gently.

2. For the fried pork belly: combine the fish sauce, sugar and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Add the pork and massage the ingredients into the meat. Refrigerate 15 to 30 minutes to marinate.

3. Place the tempura flour in a large bowl. Coat the pork belly in the flour and place on a sheet pan fitted with a cooling rack. Pour oil to the depth of 1 to 2 inches into a large heavy skillet and place over medium to low heat. When hot, gently place the pork belly in the skillet and cook until golden brown and crispy, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Drain the pork briefly on a clean wire rack set over a sheet pan. Serve with the papaya salad.

Cook’s Note: Hand-shredding with a large sharp knife, not with a box grater, is the traditional way to prepare the papaya for this salad and will give you a crunchier texture. You can tweak the flavours in this recipe to your preference: add more palm sugar for a sweeter dish, more chiles for spicier one and so on.

Looking for even more salad recipes? These hearty salads will brighten up any winter meal.

Beauty shot of Molly Yeh's Kung Pao Chicken, as seen on Girl Meets Farm, Season 6.

Skip Takeout With Molly Yeh’s Saucy and Spicy Kung Pao Chicken

Whether it’s scrumptious chicken shawarma tacos or a hearty zucchini pizza, Molly Yeh is an expert when it comes to comfort food classics. This is why it’s no surprise that we’re obsessed with the Girl Meets Farm star’s saucy, spicy twist on this Chinese takeout staple.

Boneless chicken thighs are cut into cubes, seasoned and mixed together with garlic, ginger, hoisin sauce, bell peppers, green beans, dried red chile peppers and Sichuan peppercorn powder for a hot and delicious one-dish meal you’ll want to eat on repeat.

Related: Molly Yeh’s Zucchini Pizza With Fresh Pesto Will Be Your New Go-To Pie

Beauty shot of Molly Yeh's Kung Pao Chicken, as seen on Girl Meets Farm, Season 6.

Molly Yeh’s Kung Pao Chicken

Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

2 tsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 cloves garlic
One 2-inch piece ginger
2 Tbsp neutral oil
2 to 3 dried red chile peppers
1/2 lb green beans or Chinese long beans, sliced on a diagonal into 1-inch pieces
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1/2 bunch scallions, trimmed and sliced on a diagonal
1/2 tsp Sichuan peppercorn powder or crushed black peppercorns and coriander seeds
1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, plus more for garnish
Cooked white rice, for serving

Beauty shot of Molly Yeh's Kung Pao Chicken, as seen on Girl Meets Farm, Season 6.

Related: 25 Tasty Chinese Takeout Dishes You Can Master at Home

Directions

1. Whisk together the cornstarch, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 tablespoon rice vinegar in a medium bowl. Add the chicken, then toss to coat and let marinate at room temperature, 20 minutes.

2. Combine the hoisin, sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, remaining 2 tablespoons rice vinegar and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Grate the garlic and ginger into the sauce. Stir and set aside.

3. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then add the chicken. Stir-fry until browned on the outside, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chiles, green beans, red pepper, scallions whites, Sichuan peppercorn powder and peanuts. Stir-fry until fragrant and the veggies are crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the sauce and simmer until thickened slightly and the chicken is completely cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes. Garnish with the scallion greens and additional peanuts. Serve with the rice.

Related: 15 Recipes From Around the World That’ll Help Fill Your Travelling Void

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.

Watch the how-to video here.


Three cheesy jerk pork sandwiches with a homemade Jamaican coleslaw sit on a wooden board

Creamy Havarti Cheese and Spicy Jerk Pork Make for the Perfect Sandwich

Jerk sandwiches are a staple in Jamaican cuisine, and it’s no surprise why that’s the case. The flavourful jerk marinade is spicy, garlicky and zesty all at once, making it a delight to the taste buds. The addition of Armstrong Natural Havarti Cheese slices takes this sandwich recipe, developed by chef Roger Mooking, from takeout favourite to stand-out comfort food classic that’s totally achievable to make on the BBQ at home.

Related: Our 75 Best Sandwich Recipes

Three cheesy jerk pork sandwiches with a homemade Jamaican coleslaw sit on a wooden board

Cheesy Jerk Pork Sandwich

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes, plus 24-48 hours marinating time
Total Time: 45 minutes, plus marinating time
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Jerk Marinade
1 cup roughly chopped green onions
1 cup chopped white onion
2 Scotch bonnet peppers, stemmed and roughly chopped
1 tsp roughly chopped garlic
1/4 cup fresh picked thyme
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp ground allspice
2 Tbsp minced ginger
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

*Note: Use a pre-made jerk marinade of your choice to simplify this recipe (optional).

Sandwiches
4 boneless pork butt steaks (3/4-inch thick)
4-8 slices Armstrong Natural Havarti Cheese
4 large burger buns
1/4 cup finely sliced chives, divided

Coleslaw
1 cup finely sliced green cabbage
1 cup julienned carrot
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Overhead shot of a cheesy jerk pork sandwich with homemade coleslaw, a toasted bun and two slices of Armstrong Havarti cheese

See More: Crispy Cheese Cup Recipe

Directions:

1. For the jerk marinade, combine green onions, white onions, Scotch bonnet peppers, garlic, thyme, lime juice, ground allspice, ginger, soy sauce and black pepper in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Place marinade in a resealable bag. Add pork steaks and turn so they are well coated in marinade. Place in the fridge to marinate for 24-48 hours.

2. For the coleslaw, combine white wine vinegar, lime juice, mayonnaise, honey, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Mix to combine. Mix in finely sliced green cabbage and julienned carrot. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

3. Heat BBQ to medium-high heat. Butter the inside and the top of each bun. Remove pork steaks from the marinade and grill until they reach an internal temperature of 145ºF-150ºF, about 4-5 minutes per side. Place 1-2 slices of Armstrong Natural Havarti Cheese on top of each pork steak and let melt. Toast all sides of the buttered buns on the grill.

4. Place pork steak on the grilled bottom bun. Shake off excess dressing and evenly divide coleslaw on top of steaks. Sprinkle with chopped chives and top with bun.

Angus beef burgers topped with Armstrong Medium Cheddar Cheese, fresh herbs and pickled daikon radish and carrots

These Easy Banh Mi Cheeseburgers Come Together in Just 30 Minutes

Grilling shouldn’t be reserved for summer. Need proof? This delicious Vietnamese-inspired cheeseburger recipe by chef Roger Mooking is here to improve dinner menus everywhere. Quick pickled daikon radish and carrots together with fresh herbs (choose cilantro or basil based on your preference, or a mix of both!) balance the richness of Angus beef patties, creamy mayonnaise and perfectly melted slices of Armstrong Medium Cheddar Cheese. Throw on your winter boots, heat up your backyard BBQ and get cooking!


See More: Our 80 Most Popular Burger Recipes

Banh Mi Burger

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients: 

Daikon Radish and Carrot Pickle
1 cup water
1 cup white vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp kosher salt
3/4 cup daikon radish batonettes, about 3-inches long
3/4 cup carrot batonettes, about 3-inches long

Burgers
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 tsp finely grated garlic
1/2 tsp five-spice powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
4 slices Armstrong Natural Medium Cheddar Cheese
4 buns
1/2 cup mayonnaise, divided
2 Persian cucumbers, ends trimmed, thinly sliced lengthways with a peeler
1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro and/or basil

Related: Vegetarian Cauliflower Cheese Quesadilla With Salsa

Two beef burgers with a slice of Armstrong Medium Cheddar Cheese, fresh herbs and quick pickles sit on a wooden board, a package of Armstong Cheese beside them

Directions:

1. Start by making the daikon radish and carrot pickle. Combine water, vinegar, sugar and salt in a small pot. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add daikon radish and carrot pieces. Remove from heat. Set aside until daikon radish and carrots soften, become pickled, and are room temperature, about 20 minutes.

2. In a large bowl combine ground beef, grated garlic and five-spice powder. Mix well to combine. Divide the burger mixture into four 6oz patties. Make sure the patties are at least 25% larger than the buns as they will shrink during cooking.

3. Heat BBQ to medium-high heat. Season the burgers on both sides with salt. Place burgers on the grill and cook 4-5 minutes per side, until the internal temperature reads 145ºF on a thermometer. During the last minute of cooking, place a slice of Armstrong Natural Medium Cheddar Cheese on top of each burger and close the BBQ lid to melt cheese, about 1 minute.

4. Slice each bun open. Hollow out the top of each bun. Butter buns and toast on the grill. Spread mayonnaise on the top and bottom of each grilled bun. Place burger on top of each bun. Top with drained daikon radish and carrot pickles, cucumber slices, jalapeno slices, and fresh cilantro or basil leaves.

Carolina Smothered Chicken with Creamy Mustard Sauce, as Seen on Delicious Miss Brown, Season 3.

This Kardea Brown Creamy Carolina Smothered Chicken Recipe is a Must-Try

As Kardea Brown has proven time and again on Delicious Miss Brown, truly crave-worthy comfort food involves a familiar favourite (chicken, chicken and more chicken) combined with a thick, mouth-watering sauce that will make you want to lick your plate clean. Trust us, you’ll want to introduce this hearty dish into your regular meal rotation.

Related: Kardea Brown’s Beef and Okra Stew is the Warming Dinner You Didn’t Know You Were Craving

Kardea Brown’s Carolina Smothered Chicken with Creamy Mustard Sauce

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

Chicken:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp House Seasoning, recipe follows
4 bone-in chicken thighs
1 cup canola oil

Sauce:
1 medium onion, diced
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken stock or broth
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 tsp ground mustard
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

House Seasoning:
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup onion powder
1/4 cup sweet paprika
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper

Related: Kardea Brown’s Pan Fried Collard Greens Are the Garlicky, Bacon-y Vegetable Side Dish of Your Dreams

Host Kardea Brown, Carolina Smothered Chicken with Creamy Mustard Sauce, Roasted Broccoli Salad with Bacon Dressing, as Seen on Delicious Miss Brown, Season 3.

Directions

1. For the chicken: Whisk together the flour and House Seasoning in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat.

2. Add the oil to a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the flour mixture, shaking to remove any excess, and add to the hot oil. Fry until the chicken is golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and set aside.

3. For the sauce: Add the diced onions to the hot oil in the skillet and cook until the onions are slightly softened and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the butter, garlic, thyme and rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Whisk in the stock, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in the cream, Dijon and ground mustard and bring to a simmer again until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken, turning to coat with the gravy. Cover and cook, turning the chicken occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley before serving.

4. House Seasoning: Yields 1 1/4 cups. Stir together the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Keep in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Related: Skip the Drive-Thru With Kardea Brown’s 30-Minute Fish Fillet Sandwich

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.

Watch the how-to video here:


Two grilled tuna tacos filled with a mix of veggies and fresh salsa sit atop a crispy homemade corn tortilla

The Best Tacos in North America in 2021: John Catucci’s Bucket List Picks

Originating in Mexico sometime in the 18th century, today’s taco craze proves these simple tortilla snacks have serious lasting power. And with good reason; tacos are cheap, versatile and undeniably delicious. This hand-held street food packs intense flavour in just one bite and boasts the ability of entirely new tastes depending on your salsa of choice.  Whether you’re grabbing some late-night eats off the street corner or indulging in the diverse flavours at a high-end restaurant,  a taco simply never disappoints.  Why not make your New Year’s resolution to try the best tacos with one of food expert John Catucci’s picks of 2021!


See More: Browse the Restaurants Featured on Big Food Bucket List

Al Pastor Tacos with refried beans and a salad

Based on the lamb Shwarma brought to Mexico by Lebanese immigrants, the Al Pastor taco combines aromatic Middle Eastern spices with those indigenous to South America. A mainstay staple, this beef or pork-based taco can be found at just about any authentic taqueria, but for the ultimate plant-based take you’ll want to head to Tumerico in Tucson, AZ.  Prepared with smashed jackfruit, deep-fried then sauteed with pineapple for a sweet, caramelized finish. Top it all off with fresh corn, pico de gallo, onion, cilantro, a drizzle of cashew cream, and restaurant signature – a dusting of Tumeric. Beloved by meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike for it’s spicy, smokey flavour.

Get the recipe for Al Pastor Tacos

 

Over at Tacos Chiwas, Chef Nadia Holguin shares the flavours of her families home state of Chihuahua, Mexico. The smoked brisket Deshebrada Roja Gorditas is the supreme hand-held food; slow-cooked shredded beef and refried beans fill a homemade flour tortilla pocket. Chef Nadia makes the 12-hour trip home each month to bring in the dried red hatch chile used to make the savoury Roja sauce, so you know she is passionate about bringing her guests the absolute best.

Related: 50 Tasty Taco Recipes You’ll Crave Every Day of the Week

 

John Catucci and Chef Nick Liu smile at one another while cooking in the kitchen at DaiLo

At the height of their popularity, the traditional taco took on a whole new delicious dimension when chefs began cooking them in a fusion style. At Toronto, Ontario’s Dailo, Chef Nick Liu creates predominantly Chinese fare with signature flair, including his exquisite Crispy Octopus Tacos.  The self-titled Ninja Chef begins by substituting your standard corn tortilla with thin slices of crunchy, sweet jicama and follows up with layers of salty pork belly, crispy fried octopus and an Asian vegetable garnish. The result, as John demonstrates, is a bite worthy of three first pumps of pure joy.

 

Related: From Competitor to Judge: Nick Liu Returns to Food Network Canada on Wall of Chefs

If you’re intrigued by a new blending of flavours but aren’t ready to give up a corn base, Primal Kitchen & Bar has you covered with their Tuna Tacos.  This Halifax kitchen fills their tortilla with a seared, pink tuna steak, topped with avocado crema, pickled vegetables and delicate shavings of dried seaweed.  Not that it needs selling, but John Catucci does call it “the best fish taco” he’s ever had.

Get the recipe for Tuna Tacos

 

Now that you’ve dipped your toes in the experimental side of things, it’s time to up the ante with a true original; Abe Fisher’s Veal Schnitzel Taco, found in the heart of Philadelphia. These decadent tacos are uniquely prepared with chunks of braised veal, which are then breaded and deep-fried. Finished with a salty anchovy mayo and sweet and spicy pickled red cabbage for the perfect bite every time.

Get the recipe for Veal Schnitzel Tacos

 

If you’re looking to really surprise your taste buds, Hamilton’s own Rapscallion Rogue Eatery is slinging sweetbread tacos, made with a less conventional, but seriously amazing, buttermilk fried pancreas. This buttery, rich meat is complemented by a drizzle of smokey, poblano aioli, spicy mango salsa and garnish with pickled red onion and fresh cilantro. Meat lovers everywhere- add this to your bucket list!

Watch full episodes of Big Food Bucket List onlineYou can also stream 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.

Close-up of Mashed Potato with Goats Cheese, as seen on Barefoot Contessa: Back to the Basics, Season 15.

How to Make Ina Garten’s Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

It really doesn’t matter whether you serve turkey, ham, a turducken or even a tofurky — for many, the real star of a holiday meal is the mashed potato. Nothing beats the side dish’s creamy texture and buttery flavour, which is why we’re always looking to up our mashed potato game with cheese, buttermilk, bacon and other delightfully decadent toppings.

Close-up of Mashed Potato with Goats Cheese, as seen on Barefoot Contessa: Back to the Basics, Season 15.

Related: Ina Garten’s Coziest Holiday Brunch Recipes

Ina Garten’s stress-free, goat cheese-filled make-ahead mashed potatoes recipe will certainly become a winner at your festive table this year. These spuds are one of those amazing dishes you can make ahead, and then heat up on the day to give them a crunchy Parmesan crust. Because who doesn’t want to check off another item on your to-do list before the big day? The only real trick will be not eating them all yourself. Simple, laid back and delicious — exactly how Ina Garten believes gatherings with friends and family should be.

Ina Garten’s Make-Ahead Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:

3 lbs large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut in 3/4-inch chunks
5 large garlic cloves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
7 to 8 oz garlic-and-herb goat cheese, at room temperature, such as Montrachet
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup half-and-half or milk
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the potatoes, garlic and 1 tablespoon salt in a large pot with enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until very tender.

2. Drain the potatoes and garlic and process them together through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade set on top of a bowl. While the potatoes are still hot, stir in the goat cheese, butter, sour cream, half-and-half, 4 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons pepper until smooth.

See More: Ina Garten’s Vegetable Sides That Will Steal the Show 

3. Pour the mixture into a 9-by-12-by-2-inch oval baking dish, smoothing the top. Sprinkle the Parmesan on top and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until lightly browned. Serve hot.

4. Make it ahead: Assemble the dish, including the parmesan, and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Bake before serving.

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.

We Tried the KFC Cinnabon Dessert Biscuits — Are They Worth the Hype?

Is it possible that two popular food chains have crafted the dessert pairing we didn’t know we needed? KFC Canada has joined fast-food forces with Cinnabon for a dessert that is so 2020 — chaotic.

As of December 2, KFC Cinnabon Dessert Biscuits are available across Canada while quantities last. It’s the perfect holiday treat for those who love trying the latest food crazes — or simply want to travel back (in their minds) to warm weather and carnival eats.

So, is this dessert mashup worth the buzz? You needed answers, so we gave it a try on your behalf. (You can thank us later).

Related: We Tried Popeyes’ Famous Chicken Sandwich That Finally Arrived in Canada – Is It Worth the Hype?

So, what exactly are KFC Cinnabon Dessert Biscuits?

This savoury treat is essentially a Frankenstein’s monster of a dessert (which is totally on-trend), combining KFC’s signature buttermilk biscuits with Cinnabon’s cinnamon brown sugar glaze, cream cheese frosting and chocolate bow tie toppers. To be honest, it reminds us of must-try summer carnival foods, like the ones that garner headlines at the CNE every year.

Customers can order them individually ($1.99), as a four-pack ($6.99) or as part of KFC’s Festive Buckets — the Festive Mighty Bucket for One ($11.99) and the Festive Double Bucket ($35.99).

Related: Meatball Fans Rejoice! IKEA Canada Restaurant Now Offers Takeout

First Look

“Soggy” is the first word that comes to mind. We opened a box of the four-pack and were met with gooey, melted chocolate on top — and maybe it’s just us, but we’re not really fans of desserts that look super… wet? But we’re going into this with entirely open minds. Sure, it doesn’t exactly look appetizing, but it can’t be that bad, right?

Related: We Tested 4 Popular Canadian Meal Delivery Kits. Here’s How They Compared

Digging In

At first bite, the dessert biscuits taste exactly how they look: soggy. The biscuit is mediocre at best — it was a lot more crumbly and dense than we would have expected and it had a weird aftertaste.

The silver lining in all this: it’s worth noting that the little chocolate bow ties on the top (which actually resemble little melted stick figures, don’t you think?) were the least offensive part of the entire dessert — so chocolate fans can rejoice in that part, we suppose?

The Verdict

Honestly, if you’re craving KFC’s fan-favourite biscuits, just straight-up buy one of them, sans goopy cinnamon sugar and chocolate stick figures/bow ties. If you’re craving Cinnabon, just go to Cinnabon — and the two shall never meet.

KFC Cinnabon Dessert Biscuits are available exclusively at KFCs across Canada.

Here are some famous recipes we’re making at home — from McDs hash browns to IKEA meatballs. You can also check out these recipes from hit movies and our favourite songs!

Canadians Now Ordering Food Online in Record Numbers, Survey Reveals

It’s been an unusual year, to say the least. From adjusting to our makeshift home offices to recalibrating our kitchen routines, our work-life balance has never looked more different. One of the biggest changes in 2020? The eating habits of Canadians.

This week, the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University in Halifax released their report on the impact of COVID-19 on the food industry and e-commerce. For the study, researchers surveyed 7,290 Canadians about their eating habits in the last six months.

Related: Meatball Fans Rejoice! IKEA Canada Restaurant Now Offers Takeout

The findings reveal that a total of 31.3 per cent of Canadians have used curbside pickup or home delivery services from grocery stores in recent months, while 28.6 per cent used an online service to get food delivered from a restaurant. Another 26.3 per cent specifically used a phone application to order food (think: UberEats and Skip the Dishes) with 12.8 per cent opting for make-it-yourself meal kits. In summary, 63.8 per cent of Canadians have ordered food online in some form in the preceding six months.

A quick breakdown of the most popular food types ordered by Canucks, according to the survey, reveals the following:

— fast food (33.1 per cent)
— fruits and vegetables (22 per cent)
— dairy products (21.5 per cent)
— baked goods (20.6 per cent)
— alcoholic beverages (8.7 per cent)

Related: Famous Recipes We’re Making at Home, From McD’s Hash Browns to IKEA Meatballs

When asked the reasoning behind their scrumptious purchases, respondents revealed that convenience by and large was the most popular reason, coming in at 33.8 per cent. Second place were concerns about the virus and leaving the house at 13.8 per cent. For 6.9 per cent of Canadians, mandatory self-isolation was the driving factor behind ordering food online or via app.

Related: We Tested 4 Popular Canadian Meal Delivery Kits. Here’s How They Compared

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, 29.6 per cent of Canadians averaged food orders (grocery or takeout) at least once a week. In the last six months, however, that percentage has skyrocketed to 45.4 per cent.

In conclusion, the Agri-Food Analytics Lab estimates that 4.2 million more Canadians are ordering food online at least once a week than the pre-pandemic average.

Other than takeout, wonder what we’ve all been purchasing since March? Spoiler alert: it’s not just toilet paper! Here’s what Canadians have been buying since COVID started, according to Statistics Canada.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

IKEA meatballs on serving tray inside restaurant

Meatball Fans Rejoice! IKEA Canada Restaurant Now Offers Takeout

Raise your hand if you’ve ever experienced a sudden, overwhelming hankering for IKEA meatballs. (*waves both hands*) If this describes you to a T, we’ve got some great news for you: as of today – November 9 – IKEA Canada is offering restaurant takeout so you can gorge on those iconic Swedish meatballs (and some new budget-friendly family meals) from the comfort of your own home. We don’t know about you, but this is the type of feel-good foodie news we need more of in 2020.

IKEA meatballs on serving tray

Related: Famous Recipes We’re Making at Home, From McD’s Hash Browns to IKEA Meatballs

Due to provincial COVID-19 restrictions, many IKEA locations across the nation have had to shutter their dine-in spaces, leaving bereft customers out of luck when it came to enjoying fan-favourites such as the veggie balls, butter chicken and the fish and chips duo.

Thankfully, the new takeout process is easy as 1-2-3: simply place your order at an IKEA kiosk in the designated bistro area and you’re all set to pick it up once it’s ready.

Related: We Tried Popeyes’ Famous Chicken Sandwich That Finally Came to Canada – Is it Worth the Hype?

IKEA has also introduced new affordable family meals, which includes a Swedish meatball family meal ($30) and a Swedish veggie ball family meal ($20). Each order contains 24 meatballs (or veggie balls) with a choice of two sides, plus additional sauces and a family-sized chocolate DAIM cake for dessert.

Related: We Tested 4 Popular Canadian Meal Delivery Kits. Here’s How They Compared

Takeout is now available at all IKEA Canada stores nationwide, including those which have temporarily closed dine-in areas due to provincial regulations.

Find more information on IKEA’s takeout policy here.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

Pot of Valerie Bertinelli's chicken cacciatore with olives, capers and tender chicken thighs

Celebrate Fall With Valerie Bertinelli’s Cozy Chicken Cacciatore

Valerie Bertinelli is always excited to share treasured family recipes for classic Italian meals.  Over the years on Valerie’s Home Cooking,  viewers have joined her in the kitchen as she prepared dishes passed down from her mother, Nancy. A standout is this chicken cacciatore, or hunter-style chicken, made with plump chicken thighs, earthy cremini mushrooms, and a double shot of briny goodness from black olives and capers, all finished with a rich tomato sauce. It’s a simple, comforting dish that can be served with creamy polenta, mashed potatoes, or a bed of egg noodles. Once you’ve tried it, don’t be surprised if you keep returning to it whenever you’re looking for hearty, warming fare this fall.

Related: Valerie Bertinelli’s 20 Best Chicken Recipes

Valerie Bertinelli’s Mom’s Chicken Cacciatore

Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Serves:
4 to 6

Ingredients:
6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, skin removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 lb sliced cremini mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp finely chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes, cut up with kitchen shears
3/4 cup halved black olives
2 Tbsp drained capers
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves

Related: 50 Cozy Comfort Food Recipes to Warm You Up This Fall

Directions:
1. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, then toss them in a bowl with the flour to lightly coat.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large, wide pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the thighs and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the thighs to a plate.

3. Add the onion and mushrooms to the pot and cook, stirring, until the onion is softened and the mushrooms are lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and bell peppers and cook, stirring, until the peppers are just starting to soften, about 1 minute. Add the wine and bring to a boil, then cook, scraping up any brown bits, until reduced by about half. Add the oregano and rosemary. Add the tomatoes and their juice and bring to a simmer. Add the olives and capers. Return the chicken to the pot, nestling in the sauce. Reduce the heat to keep the sauce at a gentle simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes.

4. Sprinkle with the basil. Serve immediately.

Want to add more cozy homestyle dishes to your rotation? Look no further than Valerie Bertinelli’s Best Italian Recipes, From Lasagna to Cannoli.

Watch Valerie’s Home Cooking and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Just another msblogs site