Tag: Cheesy

Shells and Vegan ‘Cheesy’ Butternut Squash Sauce

Shells and Vegan ‘Cheesy’ Butternut Squash Sauce

Serves 3 to 4

1/2 cup raw cashews
8 ounces dry medium shells
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small, sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound peeled, seeded and diced butternut squash
3/4 to 1 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water, divided and as needed
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
pinch ground nutmeg
1/2 to 1 cup vegetable broth or water, as needed
salt and pepper to taste

sliced chives, optional garnish


1. Submerge cashews under water for at least an hour an up to 12 hours.
2. Fill a large pot with water and place over high heat. Once water begins to boil, add a small handful of salt and pasta. Cook paste until al dente, 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Remove pot from stovetop and drain. Return cooked shells to pasta pot and set aside.
4. Place large skillet over medium-high heat and add oil.
5. Add onion and garlic and saute for 3 to 4 minutes or until onions just begin to brown.
6. Add butternut squash and continue to saute for 5 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Pour 1/4 cup broth/water over squash mixture, cover and lower heat to medium. Steam mixture until all liquid evaporated and squash is fork tender. (If squash is still a bit firm, repeat step 7 to further soften).
8. Pour squash mixture into the well of a high powdered blender. Drain cashews and add to blender.
9. Add all remaining ingredients to blender, except pasta, and blend on high until mixture is smooth. (Add 1/2 cup broth or water to blender first and add an additional 2 tablespoons at a time until you have a viscous, creamy consistency). Generously season with salt and pepper. Pulse twice, taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
10. Pour sauce over reserved shells and fold together until shells are completely coated.
11. Top shells and ‘cheese’ with sliced chives. Serve.

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Weeknight Dinner Treasure – Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

Welcome to this year’s Piglet Community Picks! Until the Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks kicks off in March, we’ll be posting weekly reviews of the best new books you cooked from in 2018—written by you. To see other reviews, head here. And to catch up on the books that made it into the main tournament, look no further.

I’m not quite sure how to put into words my love for Julia Turshen’s newest cookbook, Now & Again—but I’ll try. Julia exudes a love for food and people and a passion for feeding those people. Her warm presence is apparent in every word of the book’s writing and recipes.

The premise of Now & Again is this: You get a menu for several full meals, and then you learn how to repurpose leftovers from those menus. This way, you get a feel for the recipe staples and “base layers” you like, as well as ideas for what you can do with the leftovers. The ultimate combinations you arrive at are all you and your intuition.

Let’s start with the recipes, specifically from the “Just My Type of Dinner” menu. I’ve made the Confetti Meatloaf no fewer than four times since I bought this book. No ketchup glaze here! It’s loaded with bell peppers, onions, fresh herbs, and punches of umami from sundried tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce. But as Julia says in the introduction, “There are no rules here.” The menus and even recipes themselves are easily adaptable. For example, this meatloaf recipe calls for ground turkey, but I prefer ground beef. The recipe uses ricotta in lieu of eggs and breadcrumbs, but I actually like to stick with the traditional eggs and breadcrumbs. I’ve also added various additional mix-ins at different points—everything from mushrooms to the random green onions at the back of my fridge. Once, I even baked it in muffin cups. No matter how I’ve made it, it’s always turned out great.

Julia suggests pairing the meatloaf with Creamy Garlic Mashed Cauliflower. Mashed cauliflower has burned me in the past, but I gave it a go—I mean, you cook this cauliflower with four whole cloves of garlic, so why wouldn’t it be good? In the end, the dish was a total hit! I even made it as a side for Thanksgiving.

Some ideas from the book on how to repurpose the leftovers from this menu: meatloaf sandwiches and cauliflower soup. I couldn’t tell you how those recipes are, because this meatloaf never lasts long enough to make them.

Next, I tried some individual dishes, separate from their respective full menus (hey, Julia said I could!). The Crushed Potatoes + Peas, which I made from “Easy All-Green Lunch,” is kind of like the adult version of getting your kids to eat veggies. Or, the adult version of getting your adults to eat veggies. It’s an easy, one-pot side dish where the potatoes are cooked first, then you toss in some peas at the end. Drain it all, add butter, scallions, heavy cream, salt and pepper, and mash everything up until it takes on a thicker, chunkier consistency than mashed potatoes. All in the same pot! The ingredients are combined in a way so you don’t get any one bite of just pea or potato, and the crunchy scallions give the dish an interesting texture and flavor.

Again, “There are no rules here,” and in kind the recipes are very forgiving—proven by the Hikers’ Cookies (in “Simple Backpack Picnic Lunch”) I made for a post-run snack. They’re described as being like a granola bar but in cookie form (because “cookies > granola bars,” per Julia). I mixed the batter according to the recipe instructions, which state that the butter may not get fully incorporated, and may look suspended in the batter. So when this happened, I wasn’t too worried, but then the butter melted all out of my cookies while they baked! Nonetheless, everyone devoured them after our training run. If you happen to have any leftovers, you can crush them up and use them as a topping for a fruit crumble. Genius!

Last, the Chicken + Roasted Tomato Enchiladas in the “Card Night Enchiladas” menu are so easy. Plus, the cooking method taught me a great lesson that I can use moving forward: You can prepare both the chicken filling and the sauce all at one time, simply roasting all the ingredients together on a sheet pan (including canned whole tomatoes—am I the only one who didn’t know you could roast those for more flavor?!), setting aside the chicken and throwing the rest in a blender, and calling it a day. So fast, and with minimal clean-up. The next time I make these enchiladas, I’m going to try blending the sauce with a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (or a spoonful of adobo sauce by itself), and maybe seasoning it with some cumin, Mexican oregano, and/or chili powder.

As I’m still cooking my way through the book, my still-must-make list includes (but is not limited to): Crispy Scallion + Sesame Pancakes, the Insta-famous Applesauce Cake with Cream Cheese + Honey Frosting, the Simplest + Best Nachos, and the Grilled Beef + Zucchini Meatball with Tahini Dressing.

Roast chicken, tomatoes, and lots of cheeeeese.

Photo by osucristina

Aside from the amazing recipes, Now & Again is great because you really understand how much Julia loves food, people, and connecting people with food. In the intro, she says that her “forever goal” for what she cooks, eats, and writes is “to to feel connected.” Each recipe is accompanied by a little story on where it came from or why it was created, so as you read you really feel as if you’re making a new friend.

At the end of the book, there is a section titled “Give Back + Do Good,” which lists resources to support women and people of color in food, and gives ways to share food with your community—like starting a monthly potluck-style dinner club in your area to meet new and diverse people. Or exploring foods from cultures outside of your own and asking questions about it. Or getting involved in a food bank. Or having a bake sale that benefits a local organization supporting minority causes. The way she uses food to impact those around her is something I never would have thought to do. To put it simply, Julia is full of gentle kindness, and that gentle kindness radiates throughout the cookbook.

“I immediately sat down and read through Now & Again as if it were a chapter book. I didn’t get the whole way through in one sitting, and that was fine by me so I could savor it. We’ve only cooked through one full meal so far—the one Julia says she’s cooked most often since her partner, Grace, was diagnosed with diabetes—but I loved it. I even made the dessert, Raspberries with Cocoa Whipped Cream. We ate it over the course of two days because there was plenty of food to go around, and everything was delicious. I want to support Julia in all she does, and I look forward to revisiting Now & Again and using it often in 2019. —Susan Sperry

“I’ve loved everything about the book, but the leftovers ideas are really special. I’m always stuck with leftovers, but I get tired of making the same chicken soup, salad, etc. over and over. Having an exciting riff to look forward to the next day makes my cooking feel verrrry productive. The main recipes are so simple and straightforward, but they’re so delicious that I have to make an effort to leave some behind! The Vietnamese Flank Steak is an easy favorite. Also, Julia is an amazing human being who is genuinely making the world a better place! Supporting her by buying this book is a step in the right direction.” —Jane T

“Julia Turshen has a personality—and a cookbook—that is impossible not to love. I especially enjoy the way the book is split up into seasons and menus, and each of her menus tells a story and connects you to her life in a different way. Many of us strive not to waste, so the ideas for repurposing the leftovers are great. Julia makes really attainable recipes so that all skill levels of cooks can find success in the kitchen. I plan to give this book as a housewarming gift—I feel like it’s perfect for those just starting out.”
Nicole Kriedeman

“I love the way she arranges the recipes into menus and then tells a story about how she would share it with friends and family. It makes cooking feel like a full experience, not just making a recipe. I made the Chicken + Roasted Tomato Enchiladas and the Kale Salad with Pepita Dressing from the “Game Night Enchiladas” menu, and even though it wasn’t game night, it felt fun and festive.” —Caley Landau

Have you cooked from Julia Turshen’s Now & Again? Let us know what you made in the comments!

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A Cheesy Brazilian Black-Eyed Pea Dish for Luck in the New Year

My mother, who grew up in East Texas (which she would argue is technically the South), introduced me to the Southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas to ring in the new year. This tradition allegedly came from West Africa, where black-eyed peas are said to have originated. The distinctive black dot where the pale pea curves is reminiscent of cowry shells, which were once used as currency in West Africa. As such, black-eyed peas have come to symbolize wealth, which is how it became a New Year’s Day staple for many Southerners.

I remember going on a New Year’s Eve Caribbean cruise once and meeting a couple of passengers from Tennessee. They were discussing what they would do if the chef had the audacity to let Jan. 1 arrive without serving black-eyed peas. In the end, they were able to find a can of “congo peas” while we were docked in St. Kitts. I still have that image of them huddled together in their stateroom eating spoonfuls of cold beans right from the can.

My acceptance of the black-eyed pea tradition was never that extreme. In fact, I watch the ball drop in Times Square every year without ever thinking of a single black-eyed pea. I never found them to be particularly tasty, at least the way many Southerners I knew prepared them. Both my mother and my stepmother, who hailed form Alabama, barely seasoned their peas with anything more than a slice of bacon and some onion.

I like to indulge in something a little more luxurious to ring in the New Year. I feel it encourages fate to bring me enough prosperity to enjoy some decadent moments in the year ahead. A Spartan pot of beans just never seemed to offer that, despite its association with money. I needed something else.

In early October, one of my coworkers, who grew up in the state of Ceará in northeastern Brazil, told me about a particular bean dish from back home that people supposedly go crazy for. He called it feijão verde, which translates to “green bean”—although he insisted they’re nothing like American green beans. Instead, they’re served in traditional clay pots and covered in thick layers of molten cheese. According to him, people would line up around the block for a taste of these beans from one of his hometown’s humble eateries.

Turns out, feijão verde is made with fresh, green black-eyed peas—hence, the verde. My coworker sent me a recipe video in Portuguese, from which I was able to get the gist of how this popular dish is prepared: You mix precooked black-eyed peas with reconstituted dried beef, scallions, and chopped cilantro. To this mix you add two types of processed dairy products that are ubiquitous in Brazil: creme de leite and creme de natas. The former is basically canned heavy cream, while the latter can be described as canned clotted cream. The mixture is then topped with a generous layer of mild local cheese and simmered until melted and bubbly.

After browsing through several recipes and trying to find acceptable substitutes for some of the more difficult-to-find Brazilian ingredients, I came up with a formula that’s easy enough for almost anyone to make, while still retaining the characteristics that make this dish such a hit in its native Ceará. I substituted the canned dairy products with heavy cream and cream cheese, which make a thick, velvety sauce. I replaced dried beef—called carne de sol in Brazil—for bacon, which gives the dish little bits of smoky, salty meatiness. In place of Brazilian cheese, I used Monterey Jack, which pairs well with the other flavors and melts beautifully.

If ever I were to need a casserole dish of something cheesy, creamy, and comforting, this would be the year for it.

2018 has been a particularly tumultuous year for my family and me. My mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer, which sparked my partner John and me to set our wedding date sooner so that she could see us get married. I was able to take a trip of a lifetime to Pakistan with one of my best friends, only to return home to the news that I had diabetes and a very compromised liver. During this time, John lost his job.

In the end, my mother-in-law beat cancer just as I overcame my ailments. John and I celebrated our nine years together with an intimate wedding ceremony. And almost as soon as he became my husband, he found a fabulous new job. Things appeared to be improving for my family, until I received a phone call on Halloween night from a detective. My sister had passed away unexpectedly. She was one of the few people in my life who truly understood me, and losing her had a damaging effect on every other aspect of my life, just as it had seemed to come together again.

If I need anything on Dec. 31, it’s the knowledge that I can put this year behind me and look forward to a peaceful, stable 2019. Should “prosperity” come with it, then even better. Which is why this year I’ll be watching the ball drop in Times Square with a glass of champagne and a spoonful or ten of this creamy, cheesy, black-eyed pea dish.

While feijão verde isn’t a New Year’s tradition in Ceará, it’s become one of mine here in Miami. Despite the many rough times I’ve had this year, I’ve realized that it’s these little moments of pleasure—like learning about a new dish and figuring out how to make it—that can help me see that life still has its rewards.

Are you having black-eyed peas for New Year’s? Let us know in the comments below.

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Cheesy Root Vegetable Gratin | Spoon Fork Bacon

Cheesy Root Vegetable Gratin

Makes 1

1-2 long sweet potatoes (about 2 inches thick), peeled
4 large parsnips, ends trimmed and peeled
5 medium beets, peeled
2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided (whole milk is fine, but mixture wont thicken as much or be as creamy)
4 ounces grated Parmesan, divided
1 tablespoon fresh minced thyme, divided, plus more for garnish
1 garlic clove, minced
2 ounces shredded gruyere
salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.
2. Slice sweet potato, parsnips and beets into very thin rounds (using a mandoline is easiest) and transfer each vegetable to its own bowl.
3. Pour 2/3 cup cream over each bowl of vegetables and top each with 1/2 ounce grated Parmesan and 1 teaspoon minced thyme. Season each bowl generously with salt and pepper and toss together until all vegetable slices are well coated.
4. Pour remaining cream into the bottom of a 2 quart (oval) baking dish and sprinkle with 1/2 ounce of Parmesan and minced garlic.
5. Grab a stack of sweet potatoes and line them standing up on a bias, at the top of the baking dish.
6. Follow the sweet potato with a row of parsnips, followed by a row of beets.
7. Repeat with the remaining sweet potatoes, parsnips and beets, creating 6 rows of root vegetables.
8. Season top of gratin with salt, pepper and sprinkle of remaining ounce of Parmesan.
9. Cover with foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
10. Remove from oven, uncover gratin and top with shredded gruyere.
11. Set oven to broil and broil gratin for 3 to 5 minutes or until browned and bubbling on top.
12. Finish with a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves. Serve.

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Easy, Cheesy Pasta and Stuffed Zucchini Star in This Roman-Style Dinner Party Menu

We’re partnering with Lagostina to celebrate the Italian Sunday dinner with stories, recipes, and videos about this special family tradition. Up first: Katie Parla, a Rome-based journalist, culinary educator, and author of Tasting Rome.

Although I grew up Italian-American in New Jersey, I didn’t have those big blowout Sunday dinners so well documented on film and television. By the time I was a kid, most of my extended family had left the Tri-State Area for the South, or headed out west.

My first sustained encounter with the Italian Sunday dinner came when I moved to Rome in 2003. Here, it’s called il pranzo della domenica and, to be sure, it’s a time for Roman families to gather. But perhaps even more significantly, it’s an opportunity for non-natives to get together and share the foods of home.

Back then, I lived with three university students from Abruzzo: Marianna, Pina, and Sara. Though their home villages were only a 90-minute car ride away through the mountains, Rome was a world away. But each weekend, a package brimming with carefully portioned and packaged foods arrived from a mother, aunt, or grandmother. Sometimes it was delivered by friends driving into Rome, and more than a few times it arrived, unaccompanied, by train. The idea of trays of simmered vegetables, meatballs, and lasagna traveling solo from Avezzano to Roma Prenestina station is still thrilling to me.

Regardless of how it got to Rome, the package’s arrival set in motion a flurry of events: water would be put on to boil pasta; meatballs and pork ribs and the sauce they were cooked in would be reheated in a warped aluminum pan; the table would be set with our mismatched dishes; wine would be poured. The pasta would be served first, dressed in the warmed-up sauce, and only once it was finished would the meatballs and ribs be divided among us. Not having an Abruzzese family to send me food—and having a microscopic kitchen not particularly adapted to cooking—I would always provide the wine and salad.

Zucchini does double duty in these two classic Roman recipes, prepared using Lagostina cookware.

Photo by Bobbi Lin

I may not have cooked Sunday dinner back then, but now that I have my own place I often do. I find myself drawing from the lessons of my roommates’ care packages. I love serving primi (in Rome, the pasta course) and secondi (protein courses) that connect with the season. In the winter they tend to be hearty affairs, like pasta served in a sauce simmered with oxtails, followed by the fall-off-the-bone oxtail segments.

In the late summer and fall, I lean heavily on produce and serve dishes like gricia (a classic Roman pasta condiment featuring guanciale, Pecorino Romano, and black pepper), enriched with the insides of zucchini leftover from making zucchine ripiene (I’ll get to that in a second). After all, there’s no sense in wasting the cored inside of the zucchini, which is suited to cooking in rendered guanciale fat until creamy. Then, in the Roman style, I cook the hollowed-out zucchini filled with a sort of modified meatball mix until they nearly fall apart.

My pranzi della domenica may not have the cache of trans-Apennine travel, but it’s comforting all the same.

In partnership with Lagostina, the premium Italian cookware brand that values high-quality materials and time-honored craftsmanship, we’re highlighting the #LagostinaSundayDinner with a new series all about the Italian tradition of Sunday dinners. Every Sunday, we’ll share go-to recipes from some of our favorite chefs and cookbook authors—they’re perfect for celebrating these casual, all-day affairs with friends, family, and delicious food.

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Cheesy Seeded Breadsticks | Spoon Fork Bacon

Cheesy Seeded Breadsticks

Makes 16

pizza dough:
3 cups bread flour (all purpose is fine)
2 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces warm water

1 large egg + 1 tablespoons water, beaten
4 ounces shredded gruyere cheese (swiss is fine)
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons hemp hearts (optional)
2 ounces grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled


1. Pizza Dough: Pour flour, yeast, salt, and oil into a mixing bowl and whisk together. Add water, 1/4 cup water at a time and mix together until soft and sticky dough forms.
2. Turn dough out onto a clean and lightly floured surface and knead for 2 to 3 minutes, until smooth dough forms.
3. Lightly grease a mixing bowl, add dough and loosely cover. Allow dough to rest and double in size, about 1 hour (in a warm, dry place).
4. Preheat oven to 400˚F.
5. Uncover and punch dough in center. Turn dough out onto a clean and lightly floured surface and roll until 1/4 inch thick. Trim edges so you have a 16”x 8” rectangle.
6. Cut dough into long strips, so there are 16 (16” x 1/2”) strips.
7. Generously brush each strip of dough with egg wash and top with a sprinkle of half the shredded gruyere. Press down on each breadstick to make sure cheese adheres and carefully twist each breadstick a few times and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (spacing each breadstick about 1” apart.
8. Lightly brush each stick with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining gruyere cheese, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and hemp hearts (if using). Gently press toppings into each breadstick and finish with a dusting of grated Parmesan.
9. Bake breadsticks for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden-brown.
10. Remove from oven and cool. Serve.

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A Cheesy, Baked Potato Casserole Recipe for Relaxed Family Dinners

We’re partnering with Lagostina to celebrate the Italian Sunday dinner with stories, recipes, and videos about this special family tradition. Here, Tuscan food writer and photographer Giulia Scarpaleggia shares her mom’s potato gateau recipe, a Sunday dinner favorite.

Try as I might, Sunday afternoons are often the only moment when I can enjoy a walk along my favorite country road, under the enormous Tuscan oak trees I’ve known since I was a child. I relish these moments—a brisk walk in the crisp fall air always leaves me with reddened cheeks and a good appetite—but I love lazy Sunday afternoons indoors, too. I could spend hours on the sofa dreaming over a new cookbook, adding bookmarks to every recipe I want to try, or watching the last episode of my favorite TV series. For as much as I enjoy cooking and having friends over for dinner, Sunday afternoons are not meant for spending hours in the kitchen in between dirty pots and pans—they’re meant for relaxing.

That’s why, when hosting on Sundays especially, I always make sure to choose recipes that can be prepared in advance; I can still spend my afternoon unwinding, waiting for my friends while lost in a book in the living room, or enjoying the changing seasons outside. When they arrive, they’ll find a more relaxed host and the food ready to be reheated in a sparkling-clean kitchen.

My picks for making that happen? A simple, seasonal soup followed by the potato gateau that has been a Sunday night staple since I was a child. I’ll never get tired of the dish because it’s as easy to make ahead of time as it is delicious—and believe it or not, the flavor actually improves during the wait.

The potato gateau is my mom’s recipe. When it comes to Sunday dinner, she has always been very predictable: In the summer Sunday dinner was tuna loaf, but as soon as the weather cooled down, she would light up the fireplace in the living room and make the potato gateau instead. (It was there to stay for a few months.)

Now that I’m serving it to my own family, I usually follow a few rules to pull it all together:

  • Bake the potato gateau in the morning while you’re making the soup. The flavor will improve after a few hours and it will be easier to cut it into neat squares. (Personally, I prefer to serve it warm rather than piping hot.)
  • You can switch up the filling of your potato gateau according to your preferences. Mozzarella and prosciutto cotto (slowly cooked ham cut into thin slices) is a winning combo for all ages, while gorgonzola is more suitable to grown ups.
  • In the fall, the soup I turn to is butternut squash and chickpea. To get ahead, you can soak and cook the chickpeas the day before and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to make it. If you do not have time, or if you happen to improvise the dinner at the last moment, good quality canned chickpeas work just fine.
  • Consider the soup a blank canvas: Serve it plain for a simple, comforting option; spice it up with a generous pinch of nutmeg to warm up a cold night; or add grated orange zest for a fresh and citrusy addition.
  • I like to round things out with a simple, sweet note. Usually, that means turning some seasonal fruit into a dessert. (Do not underestimate the comfort of stewed fruit, especially on a cold night.) Baked apples with raisins, almonds, honey and Marsala wine is one of my favorites; it’s simple and has an unmistakable Italian accent.
  • Pro tip: Keep a tub of good vanilla gelato in your freezer and serve alongside the baked apples to bring the dessert to a whole new level.

In partnership with Lagostina, the premium Italian cookware brand that values high-quality materials and time-honored craftsmanship, we’re highlighting the #LagostinaSundayDinner with a new series all about the Italian tradition. Every Sunday, we’ll share go-to Sunday recipes from some of our favorite chefs and cookbook authors.

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Popcorn Chicken in Cheesy Waffle Cups

Popcorn Chicken in Cheesy Waffle Cups

Serves 4

popcorn chicken:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 8 ounces each), cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup buttermilk
Oil for frying
Cheesy waffle cups:
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 egg plus 1 egg white
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives, plus more for garnish (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt

honey for drizzling


1. Popcorn Chicken: Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
2. Place flour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a shallow baking dish and whisk together. Pour buttermilk into another shallow baking dish.
3. Dredge chicken pieces in flour, followed by buttermilk and then back into the flour (shaking chicken off after each addition) until all chicken has been coated.
4. Fill a tall sided pot with 2 inches oil and place over medium heat. Once oil has reached 350˚F, fry chicken a few pieces at a time, until golden brown and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer onto a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack and lightly season with salt and pepper. Repeat until all chicken has been fried. Set aside.
5. Waffle Cups: Pour all ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk together until no flour lumps remain. Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes. Heat waffle cone maker to desired settings. Pour 3 to 3 1/2 tablespoons batter into the center of the waffle cone maker and gently press lid closed, completely. Cook waffle cones for 4 to 4 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Quickly and carefully transfer cooked waffle disc to a muffin tin and gently press center of disc into one of the muffin wells, to form a cup. Allow cup to sit until fully cooled and hardened. Repeat until all cups have been made.
7. Assemble: Fill each cup up with a big scoop of popcorn chicken. Drizzle each cup with honey and a sprinkle of chives, if using. Serve immediately.

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