Chasing Comfort — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, October 6th, 2013

While many Chopped baskets may include a few common ingredients and just one oddball product, this week’s Halloween-themed episode featured baskets filled with extra-spooky offerings and downright ghoulish goods. Judges Alex, Chris and Marc took their places in the kitchen for an After Hours competition,

and they faced the challenge of cooking with an appetizer basket made up of eels, congealed pig’s blood, candy bats and potato crisps.

Instead of letting the strangeness of these ingredients get the better of them, the judges went back to what they know and the cooking styles with which they’re most familiar in order to turn out classic plates — as classic as they could be with pig’s blood and eel, after all. Potatoes are well within Marc’s comfort zone, so he was quick to feature them prominently in his offering. “So we’re going to have some potatoes — that is a shock, coming from Marc Murphy,” Ted joked with the judge, who featured a casserole-like offering studded with pig’s blood.

Alex, who studied in French kitchens and frequently relies on French cooking techniques, approached the eel with French cuisine in mind, first poaching it in butter and herbs. “Eel is actually surprisingly lean, and so when in doubt, add butter,” she explained, before serving the eel with frisee and pureed potato crisps.

Click the play button on the video above to watch the entire After Hours episode and see Chris’ dish, which Ted told the judge is simply “so you.” Then browse behind-the-scenes snapshots to get an insider’s look at the battle. Want to start a conversation with fellow fans? Tell FN Dish in the comments how you would have approached this sinister basket. What common dishes can you think of that would welcome the addition of eel, pig’s blood, candy bats and potato crisps?

Catch up on past Chopped After Hours episodes by watching all past battles online.

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Comments (2)

  1. Batchelor Chef says:

    "CHOPPED" is one of my favorite programs on TV; I try to never miss an episode. With that in mind, I have to confess that this last Halloween/eels basket was so unappealing, I switched channels. I think the Halloween theme is heavily overworked and neither appealing nor instructive. Who in their right mind would cook with candy in every dish? I dread the remaining weeks of my favorite program in October, because the Halloween theme is worked to death (pun intended!). And the bloody eels were just over the top. One of the great appeals of this program (usually) is to see how chefs deal with challenges, and elevate common ingredients. Before I cooked bloody eels and candy, I'd check out the soup line at the Salvation Army. What's next… (insert unmentionable)? I'll be happy when the kid stuff is over, and the real program returns. Thanks for a (usually) great program.

  2. Cheryl St. Clair says:

    I like this show also but come on let's make it really challenging. Have them make something less than 300 calories. Popcorn balls really.

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