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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!

chocolate sandwich cookies

These Creme-Filled Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches Will Make You Feel Like a Pro Baker

Looking for a quick and easy summer baking idea? Say hello to this simple yet sophisticated homemade version of your favourite creme-filled chocolate cookies. They’re soft, chewy and best served with a cold glass of milk. To get that striking dark chocolate look and feel, try jet-black cocoa powder – don’t worry if you don’t have any though, traditional cocoa powder works great too. The real question is: Will you dunk, twist, or lick them?

chocolate sandwich cookies

Creme-Filled Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 5-8 minutes
Total Time: 15-18 minutes
Servings: 14 sandwich cookies

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cookies

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 Tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
1 large egg

Filling

1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
½ cup coconut oil
2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for chocolate sandwich cookies

Directions:

1. For the chocolate cookies: Preheat oven to 375F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, on medium-high speed, cream together brown sugar and butter until combined. Add egg and mix until fully incorporated, 1 minute. Turn off mixer, add the dry ingredients and start mixing on low, gradually increasing to medium until the dough starts to come together, about 2 minutes.

4. Scoop 1-inch balls of dough, roll between your palms to create a smooth ball and slightly flatten to about 1/2-inch thickness. Space the cookies at least 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets, bake for 5-8 minutes until the edges are set and the tops begin to crack. Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

Assembly for chocolate sandwich cookies

5. For the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and coconut oil. Add the icing sugar and mix until creamy. Finally mix in the vanilla.

6. To assemble: Scoop 1-2 tsp of filling on to the bottoms of half the cookies and top with the remaining cookies.

chocolate sandwich cookies cooling on a wire rack

Like Sabrina’s cookie sandwiches recipe? Try her mochi donuts or her chocolate peanut butter skillet cookie.

keto arancini in white bowl with parsley

Try This Keto Cauliflower Arancini for a Healthy Snack

Yes, you can absolutely enjoy cheesy arancini and wine with a keto twist! Unlike traditional arancini which is often deep-fried, this arancini with a garlic butter wine sauce is a feel-good alternative packed with tons of flavour, texture and of course, good cheese. You can also easily make this vegan by swapping in vegan dairy and eggs.

keto arancini in white bowl with parsley

Keto Cauliflower Arancini

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups riced cauliflower or cauliflower crumbs
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
⅔ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, shredded
2 egg yolks
⅓ cup almond flour
¼ coconut flour (optional)
½ cup almond flour
¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
½ stick of unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ dry white wine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

keto arancini ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a saucepan over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Once the pan is hot, add in cauliflower, oregano, sea salt and pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Related: Keto-Friendly Snacks That Are Simple to Make (and Super Satisfying)

2. Transfer cooked cauliflower into a bowl. Add mozzarella, Parmigiano, egg yolks and almond flour and mix until smooth. Now check the consistency of your batter. If your batter seems a little loose or too sticky, add in coconut flour and adjust as needed. You want to be able to form the shape of a ball without it flattening.

keto arancini ingredients in white bowl

3. Using an ice cream scoop or a ⅓ cup, scoop the batter onto the lined baking sheet until you have 6-8 medium sized balls. In a separate plate, combine almond flour and parmigiano cheese. Roll each arancini ball in the almond-cheese mixture and return to the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.

4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add butter. Once melted, add garlic and saute for about a minute. Add wine and simmer until reduced, about 1 minute. Turn the heat off and stir in fresh parsley. Pour the garlic butter wine sauce over the keto arancini. Top with additional parsley, if desired.

keto arancini in white bowl with parsley

Like Valerie’s keto arancini? Try her air fryer corn “ribs” or healthy oven-fried chicken.

A box of Popeyes nuggets on a wooden tabletop

The New Popeyes Nuggets Have Arrived In Canada — And We Tried Them First

With all of the hype surrounding last year’s game-changing Popeyes’ Chicken Sandwich (so iconic it’s often referred to as just “The Sandwich”), when the Louisiana-style chicken purveyor announced that they were releasing a new version of their chicken nuggets, we knew we had to give them a try. Could their latest menu item revolutionize nuggets as we know them, the same way their sandwich predecessor had? Here’s everything you need to know.

A box of Popeyes' nuggets on a wooden tabletop

Wait, Doesn’t Popeyes Already Have Nuggets in Canada?

They sure do — unlike our American neighbours, Canadians have been able to enjoy Popeyes’ chicken nuggets for years. However, based on the major success of their chicken sandwich, Popeyes decided to revamp and relaunch their nuggets internationally with a brand new recipe that adapts their iconic sandwich into nugget form. In short: if you were a fan of The Sandwich, then you’re in for a treat, because these nuggets are made with the exact same hand-battering technique with Louisiana seasoning and buttermilk breading (read: crispy-on-the-outside, juicy-on-the-inside tender chicken goodness).

So, How Do These Nuggets Stack Up Against Their Competitors?

Texturally, these nuggets do deliver on their lofty promise of “changing the nugget game.” The outside is satisfyingly crispy, and when you bite into them, you’re met with the lightly grained feel of real chicken breast. While it is a somewhat sad state of affairs to note that having the texture of real chicken sets these chicken nuggets apart from their competitors, the hard fact is that seeing the grain of a chicken breast in your nuggets is a new and novel experience. The nuggets also vary in size and shape — because they’re real chicken — so unlike certain competitors that have preset nugget “shapes” (Google it), you know these are the real deal.

A Popeyes' nugget being dipping into buffalo sauce

And What About the Dipping Sauce?

Another factor that sets these nuggets apart: the wide range of sauces you can choose for additional flavour. Popeyes isn’t playing around with their sauce selection: they have one for just about every craving; personal favourites were the Sweet Heat and Blackened Ranch, both Popeyes’ signature sauces that you can’t find elsewhere. The sad packet of sweet and sour sauce in your fridge is quaking!

OK, Where Can I Get Them?

Starting July 27th, Canadians can purchase Popeyes’ Chicken Nuggets at all Popeyes locations across the country. Depending on your province, an 8-piece box of nuggets will set you back about $5.99.

A closeup of a Popeyes' nugget

Anything Else I Need To Know?

Given that Canadians have already had access to Popeyes’ Chicken Nuggets for some time, it’s difficult to imagine that this new recipe will be met with the same long lines and hype-induced frenzy as The Sandwich of yore. That said, it’s undeniable that the team at Popeyes’ has married the best aspects of the signature Chicken Sandwich and adapted them into an extremely poppable nugget form. While we wouldn’t go as far as saying Popeyes’ has revolutionized chicken nuggets entirely, they do scratch an itch we didn’t know we had: chicken nuggets that actually resemble, well, real chicken.

Photos courtesy of Sabrina Stavenjord.

broccoli stems

Don’t Toss ‘Em! 5 Delicious Ways to Use Broccoli Stems

Food waste is a big issue in Canada, yet there are plenty of easy, commonly overlooked things you can do at home to dramatically reduce your own waste footprint. For instance: finding creative (and tasty!) ways to eat the often discarded parts of fruits and veggies. Most people are quick to toss away leaves, peels, stems and stalks, when really, these are delicacies that can lend flavour, texture and vibrancy to so many dishes.

If you often find yourself wondering what to do with broccoli stems, we’ve got you covered: Once peeled, they’re sweet and crunchy, and when cooked, they’re incredibly tender. Broccoli stems are also quite versatile: you can shred them into rice, spiralize them into noodles, blitz them into hummus or pesto, add them to broths, blend them into soups and even roast them into french fries (yes, really!). Read on to learn how it’s done.

1. Broccoli “Rice”

Did you know broccoli rice can be used as a wonderful substitute for white rice, brown rice or cauliflower rice? Use it to make fried rice, add it to mac and cheese or simply add it to a salad.

finely riced broccoli in a food processor

Ingredients:
4 broccoli stems

Directions:
1. Using a paring knife or peeler, peel the tough skin of the stem.
2. Run the stems along a grater, or if using a food processor, install the grating blade and run the stems through the feeder tube.
3. Squeeze out any excess moisture.

2. Broccoli Slaw

You may have seen broccoli slaw in ready-to-go bags at the grocery store, but it’s so easy and quick to make at home. Broccoli stems hold up in a slaw, they’re hearty and retain dressing really well so they don’t get soggy. Like any slaw, you can add whichever veggies you love and make different style dressings to go along with it.

broccoli slaw with shredded carrots and red cabbage in a glass bowl

Ingredients:

Slaw
2 broccoli stems, julienned
2 carrots, julienned
1 cup sliced purple cabbage
½ cup roughly chopped mixed herbs (basil, mint, cilantro, parsley)

Dressing
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp whole-grain mustard
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Using a paring knife or peeler, peel the outer tough skin of the broccoli stem and then thinly julienne it. If using a food processor, install the grating blade and run stems through.
2. Julienne the carrots, thinly slice the purple cabbage and roughly chop the herbs. You can also grate the carrots with the grating blade on the food processor.
3. Toss everything together in a bowl.
4. Whisk the dressing in a separate dish, then pour over the slaw. The slaw can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days.

3. Broccoli Noodles

If you’re looking for low-carb options, broccoli noodles can replace traditional pasta. The best broccoli noodles are made using a spiralizer, but if this isn’t a kitchen gadget you own, opt for a veggie peeler instead!

spiralized broccoli curls on a white plate

Ingredients:
2 broccoli stems

Directions:
1. Using a paring knife or peeler, peel the outer tough skin of the broccoli stem.
2. If using a spiralizer, run it through to create noodles, or use your peeler, and continue to peel until you have flat, long tagliatelle-style noodles.

4. Broccoli Hummus

When broccoli stems are lightly steamed, it takes the bitter edge off. The stems are also milder in flavour than the florets, so the broccoli taste in this hummus recipe isn’t overpowering. Combining with other classic ingredients makes for a unique twist on an already fantastic snack staple. Smear it onto sandwiches, use it to dip fresh veggies and crackers, or have it act as dressing for pasta salad.

broccoli hummus topped with olive oil, paprika and parsley in a pale blue bowl

Ingredients:
3 broccoli stems
¼ cup tahini
½ lemon, juiced
1 garlic clove
¼ cup fresh parsley (optional)
¼ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper
2-3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:
1. Using a paring knife or peeler, peel the outer tough skin of the broccoli stem. Lightly steam until tender.
2. In a food processor, add all ingredients, except olive oil. Begin to blitz, then add 1 Tbsp of oil at a time through the feeder tube until creamy and perfectly blended. If the mixture is too thick, you can add a few spoonfuls of water as needed.

4. Broccoli Fries

This is one of our favourite ways to devour broccoli stems. They have a firm texture, which makes them perfect for roasting into a french fry. When roasted, the stems become slightly sweet, and soften on the outside, while the middle still retains its satisfying crunch. You can eat these as is or dip them into hummus or even ketchup.

crispy broccoli fries on a parchment lined baking sheet

Ingredients:
4 broccoli stems
1 to 2 Tbsp avocado oil
¼ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper
¼ tsp granulated garlic

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Using a paring knife or peeler, peel the outer tough skin of the broccoli stem, then slice into french fry shapes.
3. Place the “fries” on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil and season with salt, pepper and garlic. Ensure the pieces are spread out so they have a chance to crisp.
4. Roast for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned.

Broccoli stems aren’t the only overlooked ingredients to incorporate into your cooking routine! Try these 10 tasty uses for leftover food scraps to reduce food waste. Plus, find out 10 of the most wasteful cooking habits to kick.

Marcella DiLeonardo's strawberry rhubarb spritzer

Savour the Best of the Season With This Strawberry Rhubarb Gin Spritzer

Marcella DiLeonardo's strawberry rhubarb spritzer

Strawberry Rhubarb Gin Spritzer

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Related: Melon Frosé Sangria is Made for Warm Summer Nights

Marcella DiLeonardo's strawberry rhubarb spritz ingredient shot

Strawberry rhubarb pie in a cocktail? Yes please! This That’s the Spirit cocktail is a sweet-and-sour-lover’s dream. It features freshly picked local strawberries and vibrant pink garden rhubarb. However, if you only have frozen fruit on hand, that works too. Just adjust the honey based on the sweetness of the strawberries. Lastly, don’t throw away the leftover fruit compote, enjoy it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or mixed into your morning yogurt. Cheers!

Ingredients:

1 tsp lemon zest
½ cup fresh or frozen rhubarb, diced
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, diced
2 tbsp honey
1 pinch salt
¾ cup water
4 oz gin, divided
Sparkling water, to finish
Sliced lemon, to garnish

Strawberry rhubarb compote

Directions:

  1.     To a saucepan over medium heat add the lemon zest, rhubarb, strawberries, honey, salt and water. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes, until the fruit breaks down.

  1.     Using a fine mesh sieve, strain mixture to release the syrup. Set aside in a glass jar until ready to use. This syrup can be made up to a week in advance. 
  2.     Fill 4 cocktail glasses with ice. Evenly divide the syrup and gin amongst the glasses. Top with a splash of soda water, garnish with lemon and serve!

Related: Melon Frosé Sangria is Made for Warm Summer Nights

No-bake yogurt mango tarts on kitchen countertop

No-Bake Saffron Yogurt Tarts With Mangoes Were Made for Summer

These tarts are quick and super easy to make. What’s more, they don’t require baking and are actually healthy. The shells are made with dates and mixed nuts and yogurt, saffron and mangoes are used to make the filling. They are the perfect dessert to complement your summer meals. Bonus: the recipe only calls for nine ingredients!

No-bake yogurt mango tarts on kitchen countertop

No-Bake Saffron Yogurt Tart With Mangoes

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

8 Medjool dates
1 cup walnuts
½ cup cashews
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp saffron
2 Tbsp mango puree (optional)
½ cup mango, chopped
Few Mint leaves (optional)

No-bake yogurt mango tart ingredients on kitchen countertop

Directions:

1. For the crust: in a food processor pulse the dates, walnuts and cashews until the mixed nuts are coarse and the mixture has combined.

2. Press the mixture into four small tart pans (or one 8-inch tart pan with a removable bottom). Chill in the freezer for at least 1 hour.

Related: No-Bake Desserts You Need to Make This Summer

3. For the filling: in a mixing bowl add the Greek yogurt, honey, saffron and mango puree.

4. Remove the crust from the freezer and carefully remove it from the tart tin, placing each one on to a serving platter or individual plates. Spread the filling on top of the crust, top it with mango pieces, a few saffron strands and mint leaves if you desire.

No-bake yogurt mango tarts being assembled on kitchen countertop

No-bake yogurt mango tarts on kitchen countertop

Like Yakuta’s no-bake tart? Try her one-bowl flowerpot cupcakes.

Falafel sliders on blue serving platter

Summer Feast! Baked Falafel Sliders With Tabbouleh and Tahini Sauce

You’ve probably heard of falafel before — but what about falafel sliders? They are perfectly crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside and they’re shallow fried (or even baked) to make the process easier. Serve them on flat breads with tangy tabbouleh salad and a lot of tahini sauce, and you have the perfect summer feast.

Falafel sliders on blue serving platter

Baked Falafel Sliders With Tabbouleh and Tahini

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 10 falafel patties

Ingredients:

Falafel
¼ yellow onion
3 large garlic cloves
1 cup dry chickpeas (approx. 2 ½ cups after soaking)
1 cup parsley, packed
¼ cup cilantro, packed
1 ½ Tbsp olive oil + ¼ cup for frying/baking
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
¼ tsp black pepper

Tabbouleh
½ cup fine bulgur (can substitute with couscous)
2 cups parsley, packed
1 tomato, finely chopped
¼ cup green onions, finely chopped
¼ cup mint leaves, loosely packed
½ cup lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp chilli powder

Tahini Sauce
½ cup tahini paste
Juice of ½ lemon
½ tsp salt

Falafel slider ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Make the falafel: add onion and garlic to a food processor and process for a minute. Next add the chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, olive oil, baking soda, salt, cumin and black pepper and process for a few minutes until well combined and the mixture holds together well.

Falafel slider mixture in food processor

2. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour. Once they’ve rested, form the patties ensuring they are not too thin (approx. ½ – ¾ inch thick).

3. Shallow fry the falafel for 1 minute on each side until golden brown. You can also bake them at 400°F for 25 minutes, flip, then bake for a further 15 minutes.

Falafel sliders being baked on baking tray

4. Make the tabbouleh: soak the fine bulgur in ½ cup of hot water and cover. Let stand for a few minutes, then fluff.

Related: Healthy Middle Eastern Recipes You’ll Make on Repeat

5. Finely chop the parsley, tomato, green onions and mint. In a bowl, mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and chili powder. Mix the bulgur, parsley mixture and dressing together. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Tabouleh salad in yellow mixing bowl

6. For the tahini sauce: mix together the tahini paste, lemon juice and salt. Whisk everything using a fork continuously until you achieve a smooth consistency. The sauce may seize up when whisking, but continue to whisk until it smoothens out. Thin with a bit of water if required to achieve desired consistency.

7. Serve sliders on flat breads with tabbouleh salad and tahini sauce.

Like Amina’s falafel sliders? Try her 20-minute salmon or her Middle Eastern bulgur, pomegranate and almond salad.

Vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich on bun

This Vegan Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich Tastes Just Like the Real Thing!

With this Can You Vegan It? recipe, I’m turning everyone’s favourite spicy chicken sandwich into a vegan-friendly dish. What makes the Nashville hot chicken sandwich unique is that it is deep-fried to maximum crispiness and then dipped in a spicy hot oil mixture. To make this easy for the home cook, I’m pan frying the sandwich twice (vs. deep-frying it). Once to cook throughout and once to coat in a mixture of spices. Instead of traditional chicken breast, this sandwich features extra-firm tofu as the protein. Be sure to press out any excess moisture from the tofu before getting started.

Vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich on bun

Vegan Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

1 pound extra-firm tofu, pressed
2 to 3 dashes of hot sauce
½ cup vegan egg substitute (if vegetarian, use traditional eggs)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
½ cup canola or vegetable oil, for frying
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
4 sesame buns
Vegan mayonnaise
Bread and butter pickles
Shredded lettuce

Vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Slice the block of tofu into 4 equally sized patties. Add a few dashes of hot sauce to the egg substitute mixture. Put the flour in it’s own bowl and the panko in it’s own bowl. Season the egg substitute mixture, as well as the flour and panko with salt and pepper to taste.

Related: You’ll Never Guess the Secret Ingredient in This Vegan Steak Recipe

2. Dip each tofu patty in the flour, followed by the egg substitute, followed by the panko bread crumbs. Set aside until ready to fry.
When ready to fry, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once oil is hot, cook patties for 2 minutes on each side, until crispy and golden.

Tofu for vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich being coated in panko

3. Turn heat off and whisk brown sugar, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and paprika into the pan. Fry the patties once more over low to medium heat until coated, about 15 seconds. Once you remove them from the pan, drain any excess oil onto a paper towel or two.

Vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich being cooked in pan

4. Slather buns with mayonnaise and add patty. Top with pickles and lettuce. Enjoy!

Person holding vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich

Like Marcella’s vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich? Try her vegan egg salad recipe or her vegan eggnog.

3d printed meat on plate from Aleph Farms

Is 3D-Printed Meat the Next Big Thing? (And How It Really Tastes)

There’s a new wave of alternative meat products coming to our not-so-distant future and is likely to make up a major part of our future diets. Currently, the global market for lab-grown meats is the fastest growing segment in the food industry and is expected to reach $140 billion by 2030, according to forecasts by Blue Horizon Corp.

In 2018, Aleph Farms in Israel successfully cultivated the world’s first beef steak using 3D printing. Today, they’ve upgraded to 3D bioprinting. Unlike 3D printing that uses ink or plastic, 3D bioprinting technology is able to print actual living cells without harming the animal. Essentially, this technology is able to recreate the natural process of tissue regeneration that occurs in the animal’s body in a controlled environment. The end product is able to mimic the structure, smell, cooking behaviour and appearance of a meaty steak, right down to the blood oozing out of a juicy steak.

3d printed meat on plate from Aleph Farms

Redefine Meat is another leading meat cultivating company that uses a method of multi-material 3D printing to create alt-meats. “[The] 3D printer lays down blood, fat and protein simultaneously at a voxel-level that resembles mimicking meat of an animal,” says Daniel Dikovsky, head of technology and innovation at Redefine Meat. “This advanced capability is what allows an alternative-steak to go beyond just taste, but also replicate texture and mouthfeel.” Redefine Meat does not use any animal ingredients, but rather a proprietary blend of soy, pea protein, coconut fat, sunflower oil and a few other plant-based ingredients, so their products are vegan.

3d printed meat on plate from Redefine Meat

Now Let’s Talk Taste

Earlier this year, Redefine Meat held a blind taste test for its 3D printed meat, with over 600 participants, mostly meat eaters. The overall approval rate was over 90%, based on taste, texture and mouthfeel. When Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, tried Aleph Farm’s steak he said: “I can’t taste the difference.”

Looking to the Future

While these are only two examples of start-ups that are experimenting in the 3D printed meat world, several other companies from around the world are diving into the cultivated meat industry, as the demand for innovative products, with less impact to the environment and harm to animals is rapidly growing.

Related: Meet the World’s First Autonomous Robotic Kitchen Assistant

Aleph Farms has partnered with Mitsubishi to sell their beef in Japan in the coming years, but they’re not in a rush to get it on the market. Japan is home to the world’s most luxurious steak, Wagyu. In other words, they’re well aware of what they’re up against. No word yet on when Aleph or Redefine Meat will hit the open market or when lab-grown meat will be available for purchase in Canada.

First photo/feature photo courtesy of Aleph Farms; second photo courtesy of Redefine Meat

Grilled Korean Chicken Skewers topped with sesame seeds and lime on a grey plate

How to Cook the Perfect Grilled Chicken Every Time

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

What is the Best Way to Grill Chicken?

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

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

grilled honey lime chicken breasts on a bed of herbs with peach avocado salsa
Get the Recipe:  Honey Lime Chicken Breasts with Peach and Avocado Salsa

How Long Do You Cook Chicken On the Grill?

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

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

Related: 10 Grilling Tools for Barbecue Season That Chefs Swear By

Grilled Korean Chicken Skewers topped with sesame seeds and lime on a grey plate
Try it: 30-Minute Gochujang Korean Chicken Skewers

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

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

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


Get the Recipe: Best-Ever Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwich

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

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

Of course, you’re not limited to pieces alone.  A whole chicken should take about an hour on the grill — depending on its size, of course. For a twist on the classic, try spatchcocking (also referred to as butterflying) your chicken for a juicy, even cook.

A spatchocked piri piri chicken on the grillGet the Recipe: Perfect Piri Piri Spatchcock Chicken

How Do You Marinate Chicken?

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

Related: Leftover Chicken Recipes You’ll Look Forward to Devouring

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

How Do You Grill Chicken?

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

Related: Cooking on an Open Fire: Everything You Need to Know

Do You Close the Grill When Cooking Chicken?

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

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

Yakitori chicken skewers alongside shishito pepper chicken skewers and a bowl of sweet, sticky glazeGet the Recipe: 10-Ingredient Japanese Grilled Chicken

When Do You Add Sauce to Chicken?

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

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

How Long Do You Let Chicken Rest?

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

For even more great grilling inspiration, check out How to Grill the Perfect Steak Every Time and Marinating 101: How to Flavour Your Meat, Fish and Vegetables.

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

Homemade Purple Japanese Ube Ice Cream in a Bowl

Flavour Trends to Watch For According to the Latest Flavour Forecast

Homemade Purple Japanese Ube Ice Cream

The 21st McCormick Flavour Forecast has released its most recent report naming what Canadians can expect next in terms of flavour.

The Flavour Forecast has been breaking down the flavours Canadians want in their food for over two decades and this round is no exception; The team behind the report includes chefs, culinary professionals, trend trackers and others in the food industry, with the goals of encouraging exploration and innovation around the world and in the kitchen.

Related: How to Properly Dispose of Cooking Oil

The research was based on a series of virtual, interactive at-home culinary experiences. The experiences spanned the previous year and were led by chefs, exploring flavours that range from nutritious to decadent, and varying in taste, colour, and texture – both in food and drink.

The 21st edition of the Flavour Forecast identified four key flavour trends based on what was most popular: Plants pushing boundaries; humble nosh; underwater, underdiscovered; and physiological eating.

Related: 5 Hot New Releases to Binge on Amazon Prime This Summer

Here is what you can expect with each:

Plants Pushing Boundaries

We know that plant-based is no longer a “trend” but a way of life for many – even those who are flexitarian, or simply looking to fold more fruits, veggies and botanicals into their diets. The people at McCormick agree. Plants are bringing indulgence, brilliant colour, hearty texture and flora-focused eating to the forefront.

Key flavours to look for:
Ube (purple yam)
Szechuan buttons (edible flower buds)
Trumpet mushrooms

Related: Allison Gibson Talks Launching Food Businesses and Reclaiming the Term “Ethnic Food”

Various spices spread across a light-surfaced table

Humble Nosh

With so many borders closed to international tourism, Canadians are wanting to venture out with their plates. Bold, niche global flavours are still front and centre on people’s minds, and on their palettes. The good news is that Canada offers no shortage of ways to satisfy these cravings.

Key flavours to look for:
Chaat masala (Indian spice blend)
Pandan kaya (Malaysian jam)
Crisped chilies

Related: Food Activist and Dietitian Rosie Mensah Looks at Nutrition Through a Social Justice Lens

A bowl of Wakame seaweed salad

Underwater, Underdiscovered

Going underwater now also means going deeper, and looking further. Plant-based is by no means exclusive to the land, and Canadians are increasingly looking for flavours and ingredients that feature both fresh and saltwater botanicals like seaweeds and even algae.

Key flavours to look for:
Dulse (red sea lettuce flakes)
Spirulina (blue-green algae)
Sea grapes (soft, green algae)

Related: This Korean Sweet and Sour Seaweed Salad is the Perfect BBQ Side Dish

Ginger and halved lemon spread on table with mint leaves

Physiological Eating

Leaning into India’s 5,000-year old tradition of Ayurveda that embraces a traditional, healthy lifestyle rooted in mind-body, harmony, growth and self-love, physiological eating also taps into the related six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, stringent, and pungent). Each offer warming and cooling benefits to help provide comfort to the physical body.

Key flavours to look for:
Coriander
Lemon
Sea salt
Cumin
Turmeric
Ginger

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

Related: 15 Popular Foods That Grow in Very Surprising Ways

Person pouring out oil from a frying pan into a grease trapping system

How to Properly Dispose of Cooking Oil

Large plastic bottle with sunflower oil and one glass special oil container on the kitchen table. Copy space.

You’ve gotten your oil to the perfect temperature for that memorably-crisp fried chicken. But now that the meal is done, and cleanup is imminent, it’s clear that knowing how to cook with oil is only half the skill. What do you do with all that oil afterwards? 

Related: From Coconut to Avocado, 10 Trending Cooking Oils and How to Use Them

It may be tempting to just pour what remains – be it this, fat or any other grease – straight from the pan down the drain (or toilet), but doing so is not only potentially harmful to the environment, it could also do major damage to your (and the city’s) plumbing, and even cause flooding. Bacon drippings, we’re looking at you. 

This said, that waste has to go somewhere, right? Here are top ways to handle cooking oil responsibly: 

Dirty frying pan.

Let It Cool

Depending on the type of fat you’re dealing with, and its room-temperature state (liquid or solid), you may want to let it cool, solidify, and scrape it into your bin. Do note, confirm your local waste disposal guidelines for whether to place it in your compost bin or garbage. 

Related: 32 Easy Air Fryer Recipes That Are Simply Delish

Soak It Up

If you only have a small amount of oil you’re working with, you can soak it up with paper towel, and put it in your compost bin, where it can be absorbed by other organic matter. Just make sure it’s sealed properly, as grease can be a tempting meal to critters and wildlife. 

Collect It and Seal It

In the opposite scenario, where you have a large amount of cooking oil to dispose of (10 litres or more), collect it into a sealable container labeled “cooking oil” and either arrange for a pickup or drop it off to your local hazardous waste facility.   

Related: Fantastic Fried Chicken Recipes

Person pouring oil out of a pan into a fat trapping system

Invest in a Grease Trapping System

If you’re a fan of frying foods, and know you work through large amounts of it but not all at once, you’ll want to consider investing in a grease trapping system, such as this Range Kleen Fat Trapper System and Grease Storage Container (retailing for $36 on Amazon). Let the oil cool, then transfer to the container and once full, seal the bag and carefully place in the bin. Another solid option (pun intended) is to also store it in the freezer so the grease freezes to a solid state for easier handling. 

Reuse It (Maybe)

While we wouldn’t recommend reusing oil on a regular basis (it deteriorates each time you heat it, affecting its smoke point), some people do turn to this as a way to minimize oil waste (and stretch their oil further). If you do opt for this path, don’t reuse your cooking oil more than once or twice before disposing of it (in one of the aforementioned safe ways before), and strain it with a multi-fold cheesecloth to filter out any residue. You may also want to add in some previously unheated oil as a way to freshen it up and extend its life before reusing it. 

Related: 5 Simple Olive Oil Pasta Sauces That Will Transform Your Dinner

Halloumi cheese on top of salad

This Grilled Halloumi Salad Will Be Your Go-To Summer BBQ Side

Putting cheese on your salad is the best way to elevate your next meal. Grilled halloumi cheese adds a wonderful salty/savoury element to this salad and after grilling, it develops a crispy golden exterior and a soft gooey interior. It goes perfectly with a bed of greens, crunchy elements like cucumber and almonds and bursts of sweetness from fresh juicy pineapple. Make it a main or a side dish!

Halloumi cheese on top of salad

Grilled Halloumi Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

250g halloumi cheese, sliced into ¼ inch thick slices
3 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice (one lemon)
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp salt
2 cups packed spring greens
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 ½ cups chopped pineapple
⅛ red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup toasted almonds (or any other nuts)

Grilled halloumi cheese salad ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Slice halloumi into ¼ inch slices and grill on a stovetop grill pan or regular pan. Cook on medium heat for a few minutes on each side. If using cast iron pan, brush each side of halloumi cheese with olive oil to avoid sticking.

Halloumi cheese being grilled in pan

2. Mix together all of the dressing ingredients: olive oil, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and salt.

Related: Best Summer Salads for BBQs, Picnics and More

3. Assemble the salad by layering the greens, cucumber, pineapple, onions, halloumi cheese and almonds. Drizzle the dressing on top.

Like Amina’s grilled halloumi salad? Try her 20-minute salmon or her Middle Eastern bulgur, pomegranate and almond salad.

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

Mood-enhancing chocolate truffles on countertop

These Chocolate Truffles Will Ease Anxiety and Help Your Mood

Did you know you could make a dessert, using nutrition-packed ingredients that will help ease your anxiety and improve your mood? Well you can and these truffles are it! They are made with superfood ingredients like walnuts, hemp seeds, raw cacao and chia seeds — and each of these are loaded with important nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, B vitamins and amino acids, that all work to support a balanced mood and healthy brain function. Plus, how can you not feel good after eating something so yummy and so healthy?

Mood-enhancing chocolate truffles on countertop

Mood-Balancing Truffles

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Rest Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 15 truffles

Ingredients:

1 cup walnuts
2 Tbsp hemp seeds
1 Tbsp chia seeds
12 Medjool dates, pitted
1 Tbsp almond butter
5 Tbsp raw cacao powder + more for dusting (optional)
¼ tsp sea salt
Toasted, shredded, unsweetened coconut (optional)

Mood-enhancing chocolate truffle ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Plug in your food processor and install the “S” blade. Place the walnuts, hemp seeds and chia seeds in and pulse until a crumbly texture forms. Turn the food processor on and begin adding the dates through the feeder hole as it’s running. Once all the dates are in, pulse a few times until they’re well dispersed.

Mood-enhancing chocolate truffle being made on countertop

2. Open up the lid and spoon in the almond butter, raw cacao and sea salt. Blend until everything is fully combined, about 30-60 seconds. When you put the mixture in your hand, it should easily form into a ball. If it’s too dry, add a few spoonfuls of water and blend for a few more seconds.

Related: Best and Worst Foods for Your Mental Health and Wellness

3. Shape into 15 balls, using one heaping Tbsp per ball. Roll half of the balls in the raw cacao powder and the other half in the toasted coconut. You can also skip this part if you prefer them “naked.”

Mood-enhancing chocolate truffles on countertop

4. Place the balls in a flat container or on a tray and freeze for 45 minutes until hard.

Like Tamara and Sarah’s mood-enhancing chocolate truffles? Try their no-bake chocolate oat bars or their PB vegan mug cake.

Buddy vs Duff promo image

5 Hot New Releases to Binge on Amazon Prime This Summer

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

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

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

Top Chef Amateurs

When to Watch: New episodes Thursdays at 9 PM ET/PT

Home chefs enter the Top Chef kitchen to test their skills in an exciting new competition that brings back some of the most iconic challenges in Top Chef history! Joining the amateur chefs are Top Chef finalists, front-runners and fan favourites who will cook alongside them.

Buddy vs. Duff

When to Watch: New season begins Sunday, July 18 at 9 PM ET/PT

With one under each of their belts, Buddy Valastro and Duff Goldman return for another season of head-to-head battle. To step up the baking feud, this season sees a panel of 50 of the greatest cake artists from all across America serve as the judges to crown one winner in this tie-breaker round.

BBQ Brawl

When to Watch: New episodes Mondays at 10 PM ET/PT

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

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

See More: Grilling Tools You Need This BBQ Season

Cheese: A Love Story

When to Watch: New episodes Wednesdays at 8 PM ET/PT

Afrim Pristine on the set of Cheese: A Love Story

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

Fire Masters

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

Dylan Benoit and the judges on set of Fire Masters

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

Related: Expert Photography Tips to Show Off Your Baked Goods

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

Afrim Pristine smiling and holding a plate of grilled cheese

4 Cheeses You Need at All Times, According to a Maitre Fromager

It doesn’t matter if you’re at home making your family a spaghetti and meatball dinner or are sharing a pot of traditional fondue in Switzerland— cheese makes almost any meal so much better. As a staple in nearly every culinary culture globally, it’s also the versatility of cheese that makes it so unique. “There’s a lot of hard work that goes into making cheese,” says maître fromager (AKA cheese master) and Cheese: A Love Story host, Afrim Pristine.

For this reason, no matter what type of cheese you’re working with, it’s important to respect the ingredient, he explains. And with more than 25 years of experience, Afrim still thinks that the art of cheese making is all pretty magical. “We sell a ten-year-old cheddar in our store (Cheese Boutique),” he says. “What other foods can you see that are ten years old, and still unbelievably tasty?”

Whether you’re grating a sharp cheddar or are baking a block of feta for an oh-so-trendy pasta dish, cheese has the transformative power to elevate a recipe from simply memorable to unforgettably delicious. Pristine shares how home chefs can set themselves up for culinary success by incorporating these cheeses into everyday meals.

See More: This Jalapeno Appenzeller Bread is a Cheese Lover’s Dream

French hard comte cheese on a black plate with a knife

French Comte

French Comte is a big, bold, nutty sharp cheese. It can be purchased in most grocery stores, but that wasn’t always the case 20 years ago. Now it’s everywhere, Afrim says, which makes it easier for any cheese enthusiast to enjoy. For a beautiful pairing, serve a French Comte with slices of prosciutto and a glass of red wine.

Related: 10 Facts You Never Knew About Cheese 

Parmigiano-Reggiano wedge on a wooden cutting board with a grey background

 Parmigiano-Reggiano

A cheese that needs no introduction, Afrim says that even just the tiniest bite of Parmigiano Reggiano is something that he can’t help but savour. “A good, aged Parmigiano Reggiano that’s three or four years old is possibly one of the best cheeses ever made,” he says. In fact, he believes it’s one of the most important cheeses that’s ever been made. “It’s just so complex and versatile. And I love that. It’s something that’s always so easy to snack on.”

Manchego cheese wedge and slices on a wooden cutting board with grapes and a knife

Manchego

If you’re looking for a cheese that can elevate almost any meal, turn to manchego. This salty and tangy Spanish cheese is made from sheep’s milk, and Afrim says it’s the best bang for your buck. Manchego goes well with so many different types of food, he explains, adding that it can be served in a cheese wedge as a separate side dish that guests can munch on throughout the meal.

See More: The Perfect Swiss Cheese Board 

Blue cheese wedge on a white cutting board with jam and crackers

Blue Cheese

Aside from cilantro, few foods are quite as divisive as blue cheese: you either love it or hate it. For Afrim, blue cheese is his absolute favourite. “I love blue cheese because it grabs my taste buds and takes me for a ride,” he says, adding that the saltiness and creaminess are what makes it so great. If you’re hesitant about blue cheese, his advice is simple: keep experimenting.

Since there’s so much variety within mild and strong blue cheeses, it can take some time to experiment and find which type of blue you prefer. For a crowd-pleasing blue cheese dish, try these caramelized onion & blue cheese crostinis.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

Watch Cheese: A Love Story with Afrim Pristine and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Abhishek Dekate's Brazilian Lemonade

This Refreshing Brazilian Lemonade Margarita is THE Drink of Summer

Looking for summer in a cup? Look no further. This Brazilian Lemonade Margarita is a combination of two popular summer drinks that is super refreshing and a perfect way to cool off on those hot summer afternoons. Made with fresh limes, this That’s the Spirit drink is not only tangy and sweet but deliciously creamy too. Lose the tequila and this can easily be enjoyed as a non-alcoholic bevvy  as well. Cheers!

Abhishek Dekate's Brazilian lemonade margarita cocktail in a rimmed glass

Brazilian Lemonade Margarita

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1

Related: This Refreshing Brazilian Lemonade Margarita is THE Drink of Summer

Ingredients to make Abhishek Dekate's Brazilian Lemonade Margarita

Ingredients:

Brazilian Lemonade
4 limes
½ cup condensed milk
½ cup granulated sugar
4 cups cold water

Cocktail
4 oz Brazilian Lemonade mix
1 oz tequila
Garnish: salt rim + lime slice or wedge

Related: Melon Frosé Sangria is Made for Warm Summer Nights

Directions:

Brazilian Lemonade

  1. Mix cold water and sugar and chill until ready to use. This step can be done ahead of time.
  2. Wash limes thoroughly with soap and cut each lime into 8ths.\
  3. Add cold water and sugar mixture into the blender along with limes and condensed milk.

Straining of Brazilian lemonade

4. Pulse blender a few times (10 seconds max. each cycle) until ingredients are fully integrated. Do not over-blend as this will cause the limes to break down leaving a bitter aftertaste.
5. Strain liquid through a fine-mesh strainer using a spoon.
6. Serve over ice and enjoy!

Abhishek Dekate rimming a rocks glass

Cocktail

  1. Rim rocks glass with salt and set aside.
  2. Place ice cubes in your rimmed glass.

Adding Brazilian lemonade to the rocks glass

3. Add tequila and Brazilian Lemonade mix.
4. Stir and garnish with a lime slice or wedge. Enjoy!

Like Abhi’s summer cocktail? Try his Blood Orange Negroni.

Karaage chicken and waffles on white plate

This Epic Karaage Chicken and Green Onion Waffles Recipe is Sweet, Spicy and Savoury

Inspired by Tokyo Hot Fried Chicken in Toronto, our Dining In spicy karaage chicken and green onion waffles features a quick and easy sesame-soy maple syrup and spicy mayo using a togarashi, a Japanese seven-spice blend you can find at most Asian supermarkets (if unavailable, you can substitute with a mixture of salt, chili powder and sesame seeds). Every bite is sweet, spicy and savoury, making for an exciting dish that can be eaten for brunch, lunch or dinner — and it’ll certainly impress anyone who tries it.

Karaage chicken and waffles on white plate

Spicy Karaage Chicken and Green Onion Waffles

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 waffles

Ingredients:

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp soy sauce, divided
2 Tbsp sake
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tsp + 1 Tbsp sesame oil, divided
½ cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp togarashi + more for seasoning
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
4 green onions, thinly sliced + more for garnish
½ cup potato starch
½ cup cooking oil
4 tsp pickled ginger

Karaage chicken and waffles ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Pound chicken thighs to a ¼ -inch thickness using a meat mallet or bottom of a metal sauce pan. Place them in a medium bowl and add ¼ cup soy sauce, sake, garlic and ginger. Mix to combine and marinate chicken for 20 to 40 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, make the sesame-soy maple syrup by combining maple syrup, remaining soy sauce and 1 tsp sesame oil in a small bowl. Set aside until serving.

Related: Fantastic Fried Chicken Recipes

3. Make spicy mayo by whisking together the mayonnaise and togarashi seasoning in a small bowl. Set aside until serving.

4. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and remaining sesame oil. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until smooth. Stir in sliced green onions and set aside.

5. Once chicken is done marinating, add potato starch to a large bowl. Using tongs, transfer chicken to potato starch, shaking any excess marinade off the chicken. Toss until chicken is evenly coated in the starch.

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

6. Heat cooking oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Once the oil is hot, carefully lay chicken thighs, one at a time, in the oil and fry for 3 minutes per side or until golden and cooked through. Cook in 2 to 3 batches, ensuring not to crowd the pan. When finished, rest the chicken on a cooling rack and season with togarashi.

Fried chicken on cooling rack

7. Cook waffles in a waffle maker until golden brown.

8. To assemble, lay a waffle on a medium plate. Arrange two chicken thighs overtop and drizzle generously in sesame soy maple syrup. Use a squeeze bottle (if available) to drizzle chicken with the spicy mayonnaise. Finish with pickled ginger and a sprinkling of green onions.

Karaage chicken and waffles being plated on white plate

Like Philip and Mystique’s chicken and waffles recipe? Try their Mexican-inspired taco burgers or their West Indian egg curry.

Watch the how-to video here:


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