For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient Arctic char. A pink-fleshed fish similar in taste to salmon or trout, Arctic char works well in a variety of cooking methods. In this Cilantro-Crusted Arctic Char with Green Beans recipe, however, the fish is broiled with a coating of cilantro and mayonnaise, which shows mayonnaise isn’t just for baking chicken. Instead of a typical breadcrumb coating, chopped cilantro stems (an often discarded portion of the herb) help create a flavorful outer crust. With this recipe, dinner is just 20 minutes away.
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On this week’s episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, competitors had to cook the perfect breakfast sandwich — a standard dish that involves toast, eggs and meat. It may seem easy enough, but not on this show, where the competitors are sabotaged in every way, from ingredient swaps to the removal of cooking utensils. While some of these sabotages may seem completely outlandish, they are indeed possible; Food Network’s culinary team tests each ingredient, heat source and kitchen appliance to make sure that the contestants will be able to create a dish with the sabotage within 30 minutes. In this round, one competitor had to give up all of his or her heat sources and use a paint-dryer to cook all of the ingredients.
How is this possible? See for yourself by clicking play on the video above, in which the Food Network culinary team tested the sabotage beforehand. Also see which heat source didn’t make the cut.
The Cutthroat Kitchen competitors are no strangers to host Alton Brown‘s diabolical sabotages – from ingredient swaps to alternate sources of heat, there’s no limit to the amount of tricks up his sleeve. Still, no one could have prepared for Sally, a mechanical cow that had udders underneath that one chef had to milk in order to get the dairy needed to create a Tres Leches cake, which involves three types of milk.
“Here’s the terrible thing. We didn’t label them either,” said Alton to Judge Jet Tila. “So they really had to know their dairies.” Chef Shane was given this sabotage and made an ice-cream, which turned out to be a very smart move. “The cool thing about ice-cream is that it makes your mouth cold and once your mouth is cold you don’t notice certain things in the rest of the food,” said Alton on this week’s After-Show. ‘If I didn’t trust the rest of my food, say my cake, I would so make you an ice-cream!” Ultimately, Chef Shane won the show and Chef Candace was eliminated, on account of her ‘cake’ being more like a crepe. “It just doesn’t work, man,” said Judge Tila.
Click the play button above to hear more from Alton and Jet, and to see Chef Shane try to milk Sally up close.
Don’s miss Cutthroat Kitchen on Sundays at 10|9c.
What to Watch: Travel with Guy to Find the Best Grilled Meats and Learn Steakhouse Secrets with Bobbyby Nikhita Mahtani in Shows, June 20th, 2014
It’s grilling season on Food Network, and your favorite hosts are getting ready for a summer of outdoor fun.
On Saturday, check out new episodes of Farmhouse Rules and The Kitchen. Nancy’s bringing in the food for bingo night at her community rec center, and the hosts of The Kitchen are cooking up some delicious rotisserie chicken. Next, Guy goes on a hunt to find the greatest grilled meats in the country on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
On Sunday, Bobby unveils his grilling secrets on a new series called Barbecue Addiction: Bobby’s Basics and Guy invites his pal Jimmy John to create a flavorful fried fish sandwich on Guy’s Big Bite. Next, tune in to three hours of all-new competition with Guy’s Grocery Games, Food Network Star and Cutthroat Kitchen.
For 20 seasons of Chopped, viewers have seen numerous winning chefs walk away with $10,000, a few grand tournament champions leave with $50,000 and many chefs walk the hallway of disappointment after being chopped on national television. And the Chopped judges have witnessed all these happenings in front of and behind the cameras. Now they share their most-memorable moments from the series, which goes into its 20th season this month.
For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient squid. While squid is traditionally deep-fried in breadcrumbs to lock in its natural flavor, this stir-fried version makes use of sweet and tangy ingredients like soy sauce, molasses, lime and ginger to bump up the flavor. Served over chilled rice noodles, this take is a refreshing departure from the heavier classic, making it a cooling retreat for summer dining. Read more
This month Food Network is airing the 20th season of Chopped. To mark this momentous occasion, FN Dish is giving viewers the chance to see what the show looked like in its very first taped episode. Over the years the set has been updated and the basket ingredients have definitely gotten much more varied, but what hasn’t changed is the format of the show — a testament to its success.
On the new series Eating America, premiering Monday, July 28 at 9|8c, host Anthony Anderson is on a mission to discover the most flavorful food festivals in the country. Food Network fans may recognize Anthony Anderson from Chopped, where he competed on a special holiday episode, and from Iron Chef America, where he’s been a frequent judge. This food lover is now taking on a new venture in Food Fest Nation, tasting everything from classic interpretations of regional fare to surprising twists on favorite dishes. Anthony will get to the belly of what is truly at the heart of America — one food festival at a time.
On Cutthroat Kitchen, the sabotages are created to confuse the contestants and make them think on their feet. This is especially the case with the ingredient swaps, where the chefs have to trade in their gourmet ingredients with sub par foods of host Alton Brown‘s choosing. This is precisely what happened in the cheesecake round, where Chef Diana made Chef Eric harvest his cheese from a platter of leftover cream cheese bagels, cream cheese Danish, Philly cheese steaks and sour-cream-filled baked potatoes.
“That’s messed up,” said judge Jet Tila on this week’s Alton’s After-Show. “I don’t know how long that’s been sitting here!” Still, he admitted that he had no idea that the cheese had been adulterated in any way, stating, “It came together, it was cheesy, and I didn’t get any of the weird savory bits.” Chef Eric smartly harvested the cream cheese of the Danish and bagels, and, as Alton said, “He definitely earned every bit of it.”
Thanks to a winning combination of one of the best production crews in the business and the #Evilicious leanings of its host, Alton Brown, Cutthroat Kitchen has not only become a huge hit, but it has also provided me, as a judge, with one of the most-fun jobs I’ve had since I moved over to this side of the pond.
Dozens of people ask me what it takes to succeed on the toughest culinary show on television. So, just in case you’re ever called upon to stand face-to-face with Mr. Brown, here are my top 10 tips on how to win in Cutthroat Kitchen.
1. Shop Smart: As I found in my one appearance behind the stoves to date, you don’t need Alton Brown to ruin your day in Cutthroat Kitchen; you can just as easily do it yourself. A bad showing in the pantry can easily lead to an early exit. Be sure not only to make a mental list of basics for the dish you are asked to prepare, but also grab some staples like eggs and flour, ingredients that can get you out of a bind if the bidding goes against you.