Tag Archives: quick and easy

Lap Cheong (Chinese Dried Sausage) on a plate

Getting To Know Lap Cheong (Chinese Dried Sausage)

Biting into a piece of lap cheong, or Chinese sausage, brings a flood of tastes and textures to the palate: the slight snap of the thin casing quickly yields to a wash of fatty meatiness and a vaguely soft salty flavour that lingers in the mouth.

See More: The Most Creative Ways to Cook Sausage for Dinner

As with much of the cuisines of China, lap cheong varies by region and the generic Cantonese term can even cover dried sausages from different countries in Asia. In North America, lap cheong commonly refers to the pork variety with a deep pink colour, while yun cheong is made with pork and duck liver and is darker brown with a deeper, more savoury flavour. Both types are made with coarsely ground or chopped meat in casing using a salt and sugar cure before being air dried (or, poetically, “wind dried”). The result is a firm, slightly sweet sausage that must be cooked before consumption, much like a raw chorizo.

Air dried lap cheong and yun cheong

These two varieties can be sold individually or packaged together with a dried, bacon-like pork belly product, and can be found in most Chinese supermarkets or grocers.

Related: Our Most Popular Pork Recipes

Storing Chinese Sausages

Although lap cheong and yun cheong are shelf-stable and sold vacuum-packed on store shelves, once the packaging is opened it is best to keep them in the refrigerator. Lap cheong has a relatively long shelf life (weeks in the refrigerator and months in the freezer) but should be cooked before the expiry date on the label and before it shows any sign of mold.

Chinese Sausage Cooking Methods

As versatile as bacon (try these sweet and savoury ways to enjoy bacon) with the same fat and salty notes, lap cheong and yun cheong have similar cooking methods and can be enjoyed on their own simply steamed or used as a flavouring in small quantities for rice, noodles or stir-fried dishes. In recipe books ranging from the iconic All Under Heaven to my mother’s well-worn book of Chinese-American recipes from the seventies, the best methods for enjoying Chinese sausage are often the simplest. 

Steaming Chinese Sausage

Steaming the sausages, either by themselves or over rice, is a traditional way to enjoy the purity of the flavours and the plump texture of the meat. Although the instructions on the packaging may differ, an easy way to steam the sausages is to lay them in a single layer on a heatproof plate, then put the plate on a metal rack over simmering water. Steam for at least 20 minutes, although if you forget them for an hour, as a family member discovered by accident, the sausages will still turn out fine.

Related: The Best Rice Recipes for Dinner and Dessert

Steamed lap cheong on blue plate

Steaming Chinese Sausage on Rice

For something slightly more substantial, but no harder, bring white rice to a boil (using this method for a perfect pot of rice on the stovetop), then place the uncooked sausages on top of the rice before reducing the heat to low for the final simmer. Want to ante up the flavour some more? Bite-sized pieces of uncooked chicken, green onions or pre-soaked shiitake mushrooms are also savoury additions to this easy rice dish that make for a cozy meal for winter months. (While you’re soaking the mushrooms, the chicken can be tossed in a marinade of equal parts of soy and rice vinegar, with slightly less white sugar.) If you’re set on a sauce, use light soy, ginger and sesame oil to finish it off, or for lovers of spice, a non-traditional dollop of gochujang, sriracha or chilli crisp would add a bit of heat.

See More: Learn how to Prepare The Perfect Pot of Rice on the Stove

steamed lap cheong and Chinese greens on rice

Chinese Sausage Stuffed Vegetables

In love with stuffed squash? Some Chinese cooks put a North American spin on Chinese sausage by cooking the rice, frying it quickly with sliced lap cheong and cooked chestnuts and then filling butternut or kabocha squash with the mixture for a substantial side dish or entree.

Related: Brilliant Ways to Use Butternut Squash

Chinese Sausage Stir Fry

Speaking of stir fries, lap cheong and yun cheong are perfect additions to add a little savoury, salty umami to all manner of wok-based dishes. Slice the uncooked sausages thinly on a bias to increase the contact ratio on the heat for added crispiness and use them to flavour vegetables from boy choy to gai lan. They can also be added to pan-fried noodles such as e-fu mein, chow mein, rice or egg noodles. Think of flavour pairings and contrasts — the slightly sweeter lap cheong can be a nice contrast to slightly bitter or acidic greens, while the darker, more savoury liver based yun cheong stands up well to more aggressively flavoured ingredients and sauces. Learn about Chinese greens with this guide on How To Shop, Prep and Cook Chinese Greens

However you prepare your Chinese sausages, the best way to figure out your preferences is to buy a pack and experiment with techniques and flavours. From simple to sophisticated plates, these versatile ingredients are well worth adding to your arsenal of cooking techniques.

*Note: All Chinese names in this article are English phonetic translations of the Cantonese terms and may vary in terms of spelling, depending on the recipe, producer or grocer.

Images courtesy of Getty Images

Feature image of Japanese chicken curry with fresh apples in a bowl with rice and pickled vegetables

The Secret Ingredient in This Japanese Chicken Curry is Fresh, Crisp Apples

Japanese curry is sweet and mild, making it a perfect gateway version to introduce children and spice-shy adults to the delicious world of curries. This recipe makes for mouth-watering leftovers, too (though you may need to thin it out a touch with water when reheating as the sauce thickens with time). This Japanese chicken curry is so delicious and a major hit at our house.

Japanese chicken curry with fresh apples plated in a bowl with rice

Related: Slow Cooker Curries That Deliver All the Flavour

Japanese Chicken Curry With Fresh Apple

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 1 hr 30 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

Curry Roux
3 Tbsp (42g) unsalted butter
5 Tbsp (42g) all-purpose flour (or sub 1:1 gluten-free flour if needed)
1 Tbsp S&B curry powder *See note
⅛ tsp sweet paprika

Chicken Curry
2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch pieces
1-2 tsp kosher salt (2 tsp if using Diamond Crystal brand, 1 tsp if other)
1 large white onion, sliced thinly (about 2 cups)
3 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
2 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
4 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth
1 8g package instant vegetarian kombu dashi granules *Optional, see note
1 sweet red apple (Gala, Honey Crisp or Fuji), peeled and grated
1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari for gluten-free
1 Tbsp mirin
2-3 Tbsp honey, to taste
Neutral high heat oil for cooking

For serving
Steamed rice
Fukujinzuke (Japanese pickled vegetables such as radish, eggplant, cucumber)

Mise-en-place of ingredients for Japanese chicken and apple curry

See More: Our Top Make-Ahead Chicken Recipes

Directions:

1. Season the chicken pieces with salt to taste and set aside.

2. In a small pot over medium-low heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until it has turned golden brown (but not very dark brown). Add curry spice and mix well. Cook for 30 seconds more. Remove from heat.

Raw ingredients for Japanese chicken curry

3. Heat a large Dutch-oven or heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add oil and brown chicken in 2-3 batches so as not to overcrowd the pot. Set aside.

4. Add a drizzle more oil, then add in the onions, carrots and potatoes. Season with salt to taste and sauté about 10 minutes. Add broth, dashi, grated apple and the reserved chicken.

5. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Give it a taste and season with additional salt depending on salt content in your broth and your taste. Cover and let simmer on low for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender and the grated apple has pretty much dissolved into the sauce. Check occasionally and skim off the scum on the surface and discard.

6. Add in the curry roux, soy sauce and mirin. If the curry roux hardened after cooling, scoop a ladle of sauce into the pot to thin it out enough to scoop. Simmer and stir until curry roux is completely incorporated with no lumps remaining. Taste and add honey as needed (how much honey is needed depends on your spice blend. I like adding 2-3 tablespoons to mellow out the slight bitter edge of the S&B curry powder). Simmer low uncovered 5-10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Serve over steamed rice with a side of Japanese pickles.

Japanese chicken curry being cooked

Notes: Many households make this dish using store-bought Japanese curry roux ‘bricks’ which are tasty and convenient. But you will see in this recipe that homemade roux is not difficult to make at all and nicely eschews all the additives in the purchased bricks.  What’s great is you can scale up the roux recipe to keep a few portions on hand in the freezer—then defrost and use in the recipe just like you would the store-bought bricks.

You’ll see this recipe calls for the S&B brand of “oriental curry powder”, which is a Japanese spice blend containing some of the usual suspects like turmeric, coriander, fenugreek, cumin, chili pepper, ginger, etc. plus mandarin orange peel which is perhaps a little bit different. It can be purchased at Japanese or other well-stocked East Asian supermarkets, as well as online. If you can’t source S&B specifically, substitute with your favourite mild “curry powder” blend and it will work well. Instant vegetarian kombu dashi powder is another very Japanese ingredient in this recipe.  It is made from dried kelp (different from the standard version made with fish). It adds a uniquely Japanese flavour and umami to the curry that I love but is not an absolute must so I have listed it as optional.

JApanese chicken curry with apples cooking on stovetop

Want more comforting dinner recipes? Check out satisfying slow cooker recipes that are perfect for any night of the week.

a harvest table lined with dishes and plates with people gathered around it

The Big Social: Canada’s Ultimate Feel-Good Food Party

Here at Food Network Canada, we’ll take any opportunity to break bread with our friends, but the meals taste even better when we’re dining for a good cause!

The Big Social is a national cross-country food party that brings people together and raises funds for low-income communities. Like many other nations, Canada has been deeply affected by COVID-19 and for the many Canadians living on a low income, there is a heightened sense of anxiety. Food insecurity was already an urgent problem, with 1 in 8 Canadians struggling to put food on the table. Now, 1 in 7 people are experiencing food insecurity during the ongoing pandemic.

With The Big Social, you can connect in person or online (depending on your community public health guidelines) to help fight poverty and food insecurity. From October 1-31, raise funds, share food, have fun, show you care!

a harvest table lined with dishes and plates with people gathered around it
Pexels

The best part is that anyone can host, and joining is as easy as 1-2-3. Go to www.bigsocial.ca to register to host. Once you’ve registered, you can set a fundraising goal for your dinner, and send out invites to your friends, family or coworkers to join and support low-income communities through donations!

Your donation funds programs that promote food skills, connection and advocacy. Community Food Centres Canada works with over 300 partners in 175 communities across the country, bringing people together around food—in kitchens, dining rooms, and gardens—while fighting for a more equitable society.

An example of donation breakdowns:

$30 can give seniors a healthy cooking session
$50 can provide fresh fruit and vegetables for a family
$75 can bring food literacy education to kids
$100 can grow a garden in low-income communities
$175 can help to open a new Community Food Centre

Here are three ways you can get involved:

1. Cook: Make something delicious and drop it off to friends or family for a donation.

2. Create: Share your favourite recipe. Make or bake it together with your pod.

3. Connect: Host a dinner party for a good cause and ask your guests to donate.

Register to host an event for The Big Social at www.bigsocial.ca.

For more, check out how FoodShare’s Paul Taylor breaks down food insecurity (and how Canadians can help) and how food injustice inspired this 23-year-old to start her own farm.

3 colourful sourdough toasties on a white countertop

Sourdough Toasties Are So Quick and Easy, Here Are 3 Ways to Enjoy Them!

Smearing a whole bunch of interesting ingredients on a toasted piece of sourdough bread is our kind of meal. Here, we make three different sourdough toasties that mix and match ingredients to bring out sweet, fresh, herby, earthy and zesty flavours. You can get as playful as you want with these, or keep them as simple as possible. The best part? They require minimal-to-no cooking and take literal minutes to put together.

It’s a real “you can’t get it wrong” recipe no matter how you make it. You can enjoy these toasties as a quick and easy meal or snack for yourself, or impress guests with them (seriously, they are so beautiful to look at!). While we like to devour them as an open-faced sandwich, you can always close them up for a heartier toastie.

Related: Bread Baking for Beginners: How to Make the Perfect Sourdough Loaf

3 colourful sourdough toasties on a white countertop

Roasted Grape, Ricotta & Lemon Zest Sourdough Toastie

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 7-9 minutes
Total Time: 10-12 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:
1 cup loose red grapes
½ tsp extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt, plus more for finishing
2-4 slices sourdough bread
1 tsp butter (optional)
2-4 Tbsp ricotta cheese
2 tsp chopped and toasted almonds or pecans
1 tsp lemon zest
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Pepper, to finish

ingredients for sourdough toasties, 3 ways

Directions:
1. Preheat the toaster oven or oven to 400°F.

2. Place the grapes on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Drizzle olive oil and sea salt on top. Toss to coat and roast for 7-9 minutes until bursting open. Allow to cool slightly.

3. Meanwhile, toast the sourdough bread in a toaster. If preferred, brush the sourdough bread with butter and toast in a pan over medium heat until crisp.

4. Once toasted, spread ricotta over top. Be generous!

5. Load the roasted grapes over the ricotta and sprinkle with chopped nuts, lemon zest and thyme leaves. Finish it with a pinch of sea salt and pepper.

Related: These Easy Sourdough Discard Crackers Come Together With Just 5 Ingredients

3 sourdough toasties being prepared on a white plate

Pesto, Feta, Beet and Honey Sourdough Toastie

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:
2-4 slices sourdough bread
2-4 Tbsp pesto
1 large or 2 small beets, roasted and sliced into thin wedges
2 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
1 tsp honey
A small handful of fresh microgreens
Sea salt and pepper, to finish

Directions:
1. Toast the sourdough bread.

2. Smear a hearty amount of pesto onto the toasted sourdough and top with sliced beets.

3. Crumble feta over top of the sliced beets and drizzle with honey.

4. Top with microgreens and finish with sea salt and pepper.

Related: Conquer Brunch With This Make-Ahead Veggie Strata and Sourdough Bread

3 sourdough toasties in progress on a white plate

Hummus, Cheddar and Tomato Sourdough Toastie

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 2-5 minutes
Total Time: 5-8 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:
2-4 slices sourdough bread
2-4 Tbsp hummus
2-6 slices cheddar cheese
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 small cucumber, ribboned
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Toast the sourdough bread.

2. Spread a generous amount of hummus onto the toasted bread and top with sliced cheddar cheese. Place in the oven to broil for 2-5 minutes or until the cheese starts bubbling.

3. Carefully remove the toast from the oven and top with tomato slices. Place the cucumber ribbons over the tomatoes.

4. Finish with sea salt and pepper.

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

Sourdough toasties 3 ways on a white plate

Love Tamara and Sarah’s toasties? Try their rainbow veggie halloumi burgers next!

apple fennel stir fry on a white plate with two forks

Apple Fennel Stir Fry is a Sophisticated Way to Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

My sister, Lynn, came up with this elegant side dish. It has become a family favourite, as it tastes fancy yet is so easy to make. It’s easy to fall in love with fennel; its crisp, crunchy texture and aromatic taste have endeared it to many culinary cultures. Fennel has the distinct ability to leave your mouth feeling fresh and has even been used for centuries as a digestive remedy. Many folks will say that it tastes like licorice crossed with celery. The slight licorice taste mellows completely when cooked. At only twenty- eight calories a cup and with good amounts of vitamins A, B and C, fennel may become your new best vegetable friend.

apple fennel stir fry on a white plate with two forks

Fennel Apple Stir Fry

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons avocado oil
4 cups sliced red or yellow onions
4 cups sliced fennel bulb (see note)
4 cups apples, sliced (about 2 large apples)
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
¼ to ½ teaspoon unrefined pink salt
2 cups fresh sprouts such as broccoli, sunflower, or alfalfa (optional)

Note: Reserve the fennel fronds and use them when making homemade broth or as a salad topper (finely chopped).

Directions:

1. In a large pot, heat the avocado oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the fennel, apple, Italian seasoning and salt and stir-fry until softened but still retaining a firm texture, about 10 minutes.

3. Top with sprouts (if using) and serve.

Excerpted from Becoming Sugar-Free: How to Break Up with Inflammatory Sugars and Embrace a Naturally Sweet Life by Julie Daniluk. Copyright © 2021 by Julie Daniluk. Published by Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Becoming Sugar-Free: How to Break Up with Inflammatory Sugars and Embrace a Naturally Sweet Life, 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.

Ina Garten's skillet kitchen in a cast iron pan with lemon slices

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

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

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

Ina Garten’s Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken

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

Ingredients:
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp whole fennel seeds
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
⅓ cup good olive oil
1 lemon, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 yellow onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 (4-lb) chicken, backbone removed and butterflied
½ cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
Juice of 1 lemon

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

Cast iron pan with skillet cooked grilled chicken

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

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

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

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

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

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

Bone-in chicken bread with lemon and side of greens

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

Watch Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

a bowl of spicy shrimp and mango salsa

You’re Just 15 Minutes Away From Spicy Shrimp Mango Salsa

For sunny backyard brunches and late summer evenings where you’re craving something delicious, tropical, and quick, this Spicy Shrimp Mango Salsa is just the ticket. With sweet chunks of mango, juicy pink shrimp and a generous squeeze of lime that ties it all together in under 15 minutes, you’ll want to eat this salsa with everything. And the best part is, you can!

a bowl of spicy shrimp and mango salsa

Spicy Shrimp Mango Salsa

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: Yields 4

Ingredients:

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice from 1 lime, divided
1½ cups diced mango chunks
¾ cup red bell pepper, diced
½ cup white onion, diced
1 jalapeno, sliced
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Salt to taste

mise en place for spicy shrimp and mangosalsa

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, season shrimp with salt and pepper, then heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil.

2. Add in the shrimp and cook for 4 minutes, about 2 minutes per side. Once you flip the shrimp, add in garlic and cook for the remaining 2 minutes until the shrimp is pink.

Related: Delicious Dinners That Start with Frozen Shrimp

3. Remove from heat and squeeze in ½ of lime juice, then set the shrimp aside and keep warm.

A bowl of spicy mango salsa beside a plate of cooked shrimp

4. In a large bowl, combine mango chunks, remaining lime juice, red bell pepper, onion, jalapeno, cilantro and sea salt. Toss until combined.

5. Serve on its own, with cauliflower rice, as a taco, or with grilled fish.

Spicy shrimp mango salsa served three ways: with fish, over cauliflower rice and in a taco

Like Valerie’s shrimp salsa? Try her sriracha-honey oven-fried chicken or sweet chili chicken wings.

This Creamy Green Hummus is Made for Avocado Lovers

Combining edamame and green peas along with ripe avocado, this take on hummus is bright, fresh, and creamy!

Avo-Mame Hummus

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Blend Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:

1½ cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed (see note)
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed (see note)
1 cup cubed ripe avocado
¼-⅓ cup fresh lemon or lime juice
1 medium clove garlic (use more if desired)
1¼-1½ teaspoons sea salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Few ice cubes for blending
Handful fresh basil or cilantro leaves (optional)
½ teaspoon grated lemon or lime zest

Directions:

1. In a high-speed blender (see note), combine the edamame, peas, avocado, lemon juice (starting with ¼ cup), garlic, salt (starting with 1 ¼ teaspoons), cumin, black pepper, and 2–3 ice cubes (as needed to get the puree moving, but not too much to thin out).

Related: Best Ways to Ripen Avocados

2. Puree until smooth, stopping to scrape down the blender as needed.

3. Taste and season with extra salt or lemon juice if desired. If using fresh herbs, pulse them in now, then pulse in the zest.

Related: Bright and Beautiful Beet Hummus

4. Serve or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2–3 days (see note).

Edamame/Green Pea Note: To thaw, put the edamame and peas in separate bowls and cover with boiling water. Do them separately, since edamame will need to soak longer (or require draining and a second soak), whereas green peas will thaw in just a minute when covered with boiling water. Drain well.

Blender Note: This hummus works best blended in a high-speed blender, because it will better pulverize the skins on the green peas. You can use a food processor for this recipe, though the hummus will not be as smooth and you may notice the flecks of green peas.

Refrigeration Note: Since this dip has a fair amount of avocado, it will oxidize some, and so the dip is best when eaten freshly made. However, you can keep it for a few days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. I prefer to use a deeper, narrower jar or container, to lessen the oxidizing. After refrigerating, you can scrape off the surface layer of the dip where it has discolored and serve the fresher layer of the dip.

Excerpted from Dreena’s Kind Kitchen: 100 Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes to Enjoy Every Day by Dreena Burton. Copyright © 2021 by Dreena Burton. Published by BenBella Books, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Dreena’s Kind Kitchen: 100 Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes to Enjoy, Amazon, $32

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.

Chinese vegetables on white plate with chopsticks

The Best Ways to Shop, Prepare and Cook Chinese Greens

From the satisfying crunch of a sturdy stalk of gai lan (often called Chinese broccoli or flowering kale) to the delicate and yielding tenderness of dau miu (snow pea leaves or shoots), there’s a veritable cornucopia of Chinese greens out there for you to explore. Let’s take a look at a few common varieties that you’ll find in your local market or large-scale grocery store, and some tips and tricks to try them stir-fried, steamed, braised or even roasted.

green Chinese vegetables on white plate with Chinese lettering
Unsplash

Buying and storing

When buying Chinese vegetables, look for fresh green colour, without any yellowing or browning in the stem or leaves. Feel the leaves — they should be relatively clean and not slimy (a sure sign that the vegetable is doomed for the garbage sooner rather than later). 

green leafy pea shoots
Pexels

Some supermarkets mist their vegetables to keep them fresh longer, so if the vegetable is super wet, place it upside down in your cart to drain as you shop (not on top of your other groceries!). Prop it on the counter to drain some more when you  get home, and place a paper towel in the bag to absorb excess moisture before placing it in the vegetable crisper.

Prepping

When washing greens, the easiest way is to place them in a clean sink full of cold water and let them soak to get out the dirt and sand. Scoop the vegetables off the top as they float, rinse and repeat until there’s no more sediment on the bottom of the sink, ideally two or three times. Drain them in a colander until dry.

Bok choy in red colander on kitchen counter
Unsplash

For vegetables with a firm stalk, such as gai lan or choy sum (flowering greens), trim the bottom of the stalk off, and remove leaves with browning tips. Some cooks also cut off the flowering yellow parts, although this is more for aesthetics, as these parts are edible.

For bulbous vegetables such as white stemmed bok choy, which is technically a cabbage, and its variations (baby bok choy and the green hued Shanghai offshoot), you can trim the bottom end off to cook individual leaves, or slice through the vegetable vertically so that the leaves remain together while cooking.

Bok Choy leaves in a bowl
Pexels

For leafy vegetables, such as dau miu, trim the ends of the shoots and the curly tendrils, which can be tough. Chinese cabbage (either the yellow, rounded Napa or flatter, green Taiwanese version) can be treated much like lettuce, taking out the bottom core and either keeping the leaves whole or slicing or shredding into smaller pieces.

Cooking

Based on highly regional ingredients and preparation, Chinese recipes for vegetables can vary widely. Just as there are countless types of green vegetables used by cooks throughout China, there are specific methods of cooking that highlight the vegetable in its own way.

Stir-fried or seared simply with garlic, ginger and other aromatics, most greens take well to this treatment. With gai lan, Chinese cabbage, dau miu and even iceberg lettuce (often served cooked), cooking on high heat quickly allows the greens to retain their colour and slight crunch. When preparing vegetables for stir-frying or searing, you can cut them to bite sized pieces or leave them whole for a more dramatic preparation (quickly seared Chinese cabbage looks particularly pretty on a plate).

Chinese vegetables on white plate with chopsticks
Pexels

Adding a little liquid to the cooking process results in steamed greens that are mid-way between the softness of braising and the crisp of a stir-fry. This method works best with greens that have a little structure to them, such as gai lan or halved bok choy. Finish it off with a drizzle of oyster sauce and few drops of roasted sesame oil for a savoury interplay with the slight sweetness of the greens.

Cooking greens in slightly more water or broth reveals the delicate textures of braised greens, often cooked in conjunction with small pieces of meat or tofu. Again, sturdier greens hold up better to the longer cooking process here.

braised Chinese vegetables, tofu and mushrooms in white covered bowl on plate.
Unsplash

Get the Recipe: Braised Baby Bok Choy.

A relatively low-key way to incorporate many of these greens into a prepared dish is to simply add them to soup, either as a garnish at the table or as part of a communal hotpot, where raw vegetables and meat are cooked in broth by diners.

Get the Recipe: Chinese Hot Pot.

If you want to eschew the stovetop completely, some greens can be served raw or pickled (gai choy, or mustard greens, are particularly nice prepared this way). Chinese cabbage or other more delicate options are often used by cooks around the globe for alternative preparations including slaws, salads or wraps.

Although it’s somewhat less traditional, roasting or grilling stalk or bulb based greens can produce charred edges with a slightly bitter counterpoint. The sheet pan method, using parchment paper for easy cleanup, gives similar results.

fish and green vegetables on parchment paper sheet pan.
Learn about roasting in a sheet pan with this Easy Summer Supper.

Once you’ve mastered these techniques, there are many more greens and methods to explore. Try adding a bunch of a new-to-you ingredients to your cart the next time you’re in the produce section, and customize them to your favourite flavours and tastes.

*Note: All vegetable names in this article are English phonetic translations of the Cantonese terms and may vary in terms of spelling, depending on the recipe, producer or grocer.

Smiling Chef Nazaree in an orange apron and floral blouse

5 Steps to a Better School Lunch With Junior Chef Showdown Winner Nazaree

Kids will be back in school  before you know it, so now would be  a good time to start brainstorming about your family’s September routine. Why not make this the year that you start incorporating kids into the lunch planning process? After all, learning how to make school lunches is a great way to encourage kids of all ages to become more comfortable and confident in the kitchen.

With this in mind, we turned to one of Canada’s most talented young chefs and this season’s Junior Chef Showdown winner, Nazaree, to give us some of her tips and tricks for packing better school lunches. 

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

A boy eating lunch while watching his mom slice a cantaloupe

1. Get Kids Involved

Inspire kids to get excited about eating lunch at school by offering them a variety of options, making different recipes or taking them grocery shopping. As most parents can agree, just because their child likes a particular type of food or recipe at home does not always mean they’ll enjoy eating it at school. 

“I love eating pizza, but not if it’s cold,” Nazaree says, explaining that her microwave in the cafeteria isn’t always the best. “Instead, I like to bring a pizza-inspired sandwich to school,” to which she adds marinara sauce, shredded cheese and her favourite pizza toppings.

A sandwich in a child's bento box with cherries and carrots and celery

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

2. Pack Better Sandwiches 

There are many reasons why people love packing sandwiches for lunch: they’re portable, budget-friendly and the variety of ingredients that you can pack inside are endless. But there’s one aspect about sandwiches in your lunch box that’s hard to love they can get soggy quickly.

“Soggy sandwiches are worse than soggy pizzas,” Nazaree says with a laugh. Keep lunch box sandwiches from getting too soggy by packing the ingredients in individual containers and assembling the sandwich once it’s time to eat, she says. 

Another way to keep lunchbox sandwiches interesting is by rotating from your go-to sliced bread to bagels, pitas or baguettes. Kids with a more adventurous palate can taste test different cheeses or experiment with various sandwich toppings like mustards and dressings. If you or your little one isn’t a fan of sandwiches, check out these portable lunch ideas.Mango salad with tomatoes and onions

3. Switch Things Up

Busy families know that it’s all too easy to get into a rut when packing lunches for school. Add more excitement to your lunchbox by thinking how different ingredients can be incorporated into multiple meals and snacks. “I love bringing sliced mangoes to school,” Nazaree says. But to add more variety to her lunchbox, she eats them plain some days and uses them in her fruit salad on others. 

School age girl filling up reuseable water bottle

4. Buy Proper Supplies  

Stocking up on proper lunch supplies like reusable snack containers, thermal food jars and reusable water bottles makes packing lunches for school much easier. 

For many students, bento boxes are the must-have accessory in the cafeteria table. “Bento boxes are really popular for kids in the first or second grade,” she explains. For middle school students like herself, Nazaree recommends using bento boxes for more exciting lunches like build-your-own tacos. 

Apple Pie granola bars

5. Bring Shareable Snacks 

After many students experienced virtual learning during the past year or so, eating lunch together in person will feel even more special for kids that are returning to in-person learning. Nazaree says that nut-free desserts like donuts or ice cream sandwiches are always a big hit, if parents want to bring in treats for special occasions such as birthdays.

“My friends and I like to swap juice boxes, and we always like to share cookies and chips,” she adds.  So the next time you’re packing a special snack like homemade granola bars, ask kids if they want to pack a few extras to share with their friends at the lunch table. 

Watch Junior Chef Showdown 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.

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

Mexican-inspired taco burger on wood cutting board

These Mexican-Inspired Taco Burgers Are Bringing the Heat

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

Mexican-inspired taco burger on wood cutting board

Taco Burger With Guajillo Ketchup and Jalapeno Guacamole

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

Ingredients:

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

Mexican-inspired taco burger ingredients

Directions:

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

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

Related: Vegan Mexican Recipes to Spice up Your Weeknights

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

Ingredient for guacamole on countertop

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

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

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

Mexican-inspired taco burger being assembled

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

Watch the how-to video here:


Egg curry and roti on kitchen countertop

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

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

Egg curry and roti on kitchen countertop

West Indian Egg Curry With Roti

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related: Slow Cooker Curry Recipes That Deliver All the Comfort

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

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

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

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

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

Sweet and sour shrimp and tofu in two bowls

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

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

Sweet and sour shrimp and tofu in two bowls

Sweet and Sour Shrimp and Tofu

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

Ingredients:

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

Sweet and sour shrimp and tofu ingredients on countertop

Directions:

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

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

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

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

Sweet and sour shrimp and tofu being cooked in wok

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

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

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

Sweet and sour shrimp and tofu being cooked in wok

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

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

Sweet and sour shrimp and tofu in one bowl

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

Jordan Andino Photo with Fresh Chopped Salad

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

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

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

See More: 3 Crowd-Pleasing Appetizers From Lynn Crawford 

Jordan Andino’s Pantry Staple Chopped Salad

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

Ingredients:

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

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

Related:  Jordan Andino’s Perfect Burger Recipe

Directions:

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

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

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

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

Watch Junior Chef Showdown Sundays at 9ep and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Eggs pesto in carrot hash cups by Molly Yeh

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

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

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

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

 

Molly’s recipe serves 8, so it’s also a great long weekend brunch idea that’s easy to make and share with your loved ones.

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

Carrot Hash With Eggs and Pesto

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

steak with garlic sauce

Take Our Quiz to Find Out What Your Cooking Style Says About You (Plus Recipes!)

Eating may be universal, but everyone has their own flair in the kitchen. Whether your signature style is pressing buttons on a microwave, sauteing veggies to your heart’s content or marinating and grilling the choicest cuts of steak, your style is your own. And it can say a lot about you.

Look no further than this season’s batch of Top Chef Canada contestants for proof. The cast is the most diverse ever featured on the series and as a result we’ve also seen some of the most exciting dishes ever pulled off. Want to know which chefs share your style and maybe even dig up a new recipe or two to try out in the process? Take our quiz and then grab your Interac debit card to get shopping for ingredients. Of course, how you prepare those ingredients is totally up to you.

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

Instant Pot and microplane and ghee photos courtesy of Getty Images. All other quiz photos courtesy of Unsplash.

Arabic Coffee Beef Ribs With Pomegranate BBQ Sauce Are Finger Lickin’ Good

My friend Shai introduced me to this incredible idea: rubbing beef with equal parts coffee and coriander, with a pinch of sugar. I’ve been using this rub for years, but the tweak of using Arabic coffee brings in a subtle hint of cardamom as well. Look for ground Arabic coffee in a specialty Middle Eastern grocery store or substitute by adding a pinch of cardamom to your favourite coffee. This recipe features a rib cooking technique that you can use for beef, pork and even lamb ribs. Plus, the pomegranate BBQ sauce is another go-to that you can rely on all grilling season.

Arabic coffee BBQ ribs on countertop

Arabic Coffee and Coriander Beef Ribs With Pomegranate BBQ Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes
Servings: 3-4

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1 Tbsp ground Arabic coffee
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp chili flakes
2 lb beef back ribs
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ white onion, minced
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp chili flakes
1 cup ketchup
½ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup pomegranate molasses
⅓ cup brown sugar
½ tsp salt
3 Tbsp olive oil, for grilling

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Mix the coriander, coffee, sugar and chili flakes in a small bowl. Rub the seasoning all over the ribs and massage into the meat. Wrap the beef ribs tightly in foil, then wrap again in another piece of foil. This tight wrapping helps to trap the heat and steam, allowing the ribs to cook slowly and become fall-apart tender. Place on a baking sheet in the oven and cook for 3 hours.

Related: Top Grilling Recipes and BBQ Ideas

2. To make the barbecue sauce, heat the olive oil in a pot over medium-low heat. Sweat the garlic, onion and ginger in the oil for 8 to 10 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the paprika, cinnamon and chili flakes and cook for an additional minute, then add the ketchup, vinegar, pomegranate molasses, brown sugar, salt and 1 cup water. Bring the sauce to a boil, then simmer over very low heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until darkened and thickened. This sauce can be made several days in advance.

3. Remove the ribs from the oven and unwrap. They should be fork-tender and almost falling off the bone. Coat the ribs in the sauce.

Related: This 20-Minute Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Salmon is the Perfect Weeknight Meal

4. Heat some olive oil in a grill pan over medium-high heat. Season the ribs with a generous pinch of salt and place on the grill pan. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes per side to caramelize the sauce, but be mindful not to burn the sugars. Remove, carve individual ribs for serving and enjoy!

Cover of the cookbook 'Eat, Habibi, Eat!'Excerpted from Eat, Habibi, Eat! Fresh Recipes for Modern Egyptian Cooking by Shahir Massoud Copyright © 2021 Shahir Massoud. Photography by Kyla Zanardi. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Eat, Habibi, Eat! Fresh Recipes for Modern Egyptian Cooking, 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.

This 10-Ingredient Japanese Grilled Chicken is the Easy BBQ Recipe You Need

Yakitori is a Japanese recipe that simply translates to “grilled chicken” and it’s so popular in Japan, restaurants specialize in this seriously delicious protein on a stick. Traditionally, chicken thighs are best, they’re forgiving and still juicy if you accidentally overcook the skewers. Serve as an appetizer or as a main course with steamed rice or a fresh salad. I recommend serving with grilled shishito peppers!

Japanese yakitori grilled on serving platter

Yakitori

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

½ cup Japanese soy sauce or soy sauce
½ cup mirin (a syrupy, sweet Japanese cooking wine low in alcohol content used for seasoning and glazing. Look for it in the cultural food aisle in your local supermarket or Asian grocery store)
¼ cup sake or Chinese rice wine
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp water
8 pieces green scallion + 8 scallions cut into 1-inch pieces, divided
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Equipment:

12-16 bamboo skewers or 8-10 metal skewers

Japanese yakitori ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Submerge bamboo skewers in a casserole dish half-filled of water for 20 minutes or up to overnight.

2. Make the glaze: combine soy sauce, mirin, sake, brown sugar, water and 8 green onion pieces in a small saucepan and stir. Cook over medium-high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered until thickened and reduced to by half, about 15 minutes. Discard the green onion and let cool, glaze should be syrupy. (You can store the glaze in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 months).

Related: Our Most Popular Skewer Recipes for Summer Grilling

3. In a bowl, stir together the chicken, oil, salt and pepper. Working with 1 chicken piece at a time, fold in half and thread onto a skewer tightly together, repeat with 1 more chicken piece alternating with a scallion. Repeat with 2 chicken pieces and 1 scallion making sure they’re tightly packed. Repeat.

Japanese yakitori being skewered before hitting the grill

4. Preheat a grill to medium-high then clean and oil the grate. Place skewers over the heat and cook, covered. Turn after browned on each side, about 4 minutes per side. Brush the chicken and scallion with some of the glaze and cook for 30 seconds, turn and repeat with more glaze for another 30 seconds. Brush with more glaze and place on a serving platter. Serve with skewered and grilled shishito peppers, it takes about 1 minute per side for the most deliciously blistered accompaniment.

Tip: Don’t have a BBQ? Line a heavy baking sheet with foil and top with a greased cooling rack and broil for 6-7 minutes. Brush with glaze and broil until nicely charred and caramelized.

Like Soo’s yakitori recipe? Try her pan-fried pork chops with roasted cabbage wedges or pork banh mi burgers with grilled pineapple.

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