by Heather Ramsdell and Rupa Bhattacharya
While we were working on the waffle project, we got really into waffling. We were waffling foods left and right to see what waffling’s magical crispifying effect improved (and what it didn’t). Here are some of their stories:
Keep reading for more hits and misses
The Chopped Dinner Challenge is a new series of recipes showing you how easy it is to cook like a winning Chopped competitor. Every week, FN Dish will showcase a recipe created by Food Network Kitchens that uses at least one of the Chopped basket ingredients, plus basic grocery goods and simple staples. Consider it your very own Chopped challenge. Just take this frequent tip from the judges: Don’t forget to season!
On this week’s Chopped: Redemption, four former competitors returned to the Chopped kitchen to try their luck again with mystery basket ingredients. In the dessert round, two chefs faced off and cooked with bubble tea, papaya, coconut butter and chocolate-covered bananas. But for this Chopped Dinner Challenge, the featured item is coconut butter, which takes a savory turn in this recipe for Curried Pot Pies. Serve these personal-size pies to your family for a comforting dinner on a chilly fall day.
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Skip bottled salad dressings that are full of excess sodium and processed ingredients and instead mix the perfect vinaigrette at home with a Qwik Wisk. Or whip up egg whites for breakfast, try your hand at homemade sauce or make homemade condiments ...
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When Robert Irvine
visits a business on Restaurant: Impossible
, he has but one goal: Fix the failure. Despite his no-nonsense attitude and often harsh critiques of eateries’ menus and decor, he wants to see the restaurants thrive, and with the help of his team, he will use his years of experience and expertise to give each establishment a second chance at success. While owners accept Robert’s matter-of-fact assessments of their business, no matter how bleak and seemingly unforgiving they may be, others are quick to question his authority and proficiency, believing their ways of running a restaurant to be effective.
These persistent — if, perhaps, naïve — owners stand by their business practices, plus the quality of their food and menu offerings, and they see no fault in their management styles, often despite looming financial disaster or unhappy employees. While Robert’s almost always able to convince these dogged owners of their mistakes and give them opportunities to improve, the most tenacious among them will fight with Robert until the very end to attempt to support their theories.
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Certain culinary tactics are required when it comes to working with an ingredient that’s not so desirable. That’s when chefs — especially Chopped competitors — pull out all the stops in the kitchen. But success isn’t guaranteed. It takes a lot of skill and creativity to transform an unwanted ingredient, whether by elevating it or disguising it. That’s exactly what the judges accomplished with the appetizer baskets from the special Chopped
: Redemption episode. Marcus, Amanda and Aarón took up spots in the Chopped kitchen for an After Hours
competition where they faced cooking with vegan lobster, chop suey, hot mustard and winter melon.
On the show, the competitors all made dishes that incorporated the basket ingredients rather well, whether it was a salad, soup or stir-fry. Ultimately the chef whose preparation didn’t disguise the unwanted flavor of one of the basket ingredients was chopped. The judges attacked the basket ingredients with the same fervor, knowing what mistakes not to make. Marcus and Aaron both made dishes that disguised the vegan lobster and incorporated all the basket ingredients. Amanda decided to highlight the vegan lobster with flavors that brought it up to nearly the level of actual lobster, which proved to be very successful.
Give the perfect holiday gift to your favorite Food Network fan (or yourself) — a subscription to Food Network Magazine. Get even more recipes from Ina, Alex, Bobby and others delivered straight to your door. Each issue features behind-the-scenes photos from the set of shows like Chopped and The Pioneer Woman, plus hundreds of recipes tested by Food Network Kitchens. Click here to subscribe and you’ll receive the exclusive Food Network Magazine tote above for free with your order.
A popular ad agency is pitting broccoli against kale. But is one of these cruciferous veggies really healthier than the other?
This green veggie made the list of top 10 superfoods, which comes as no surprise. One cup florets contain 20 calo...
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When you’re chopping garlic, onion or other vegetables in a food processor, keep the motor running and drop the ingredients through the feed tube. The food will bounce around and won’t get stuck in the blade or along the edge of the bowl, so you’ll end up with nice, even pieces.
(Photograph by Ben Goldstein/Studio D.)
You’ve seen Chopped judges dish out unapologetically honest criticism to chefs and even take their places in the kitchen while cooking on After Hours, but they’ve never before had a say in what mandatory ingredients land in the mystery baskets. While there’s no plans just yet to let the panel exercise this would-be-new power, you can be sure that some judges’ picks would be more ordinary than others, while some would likely be too demanding to ever assign to competitors.
FN Dish caught up with longtime Chopped judge Aarón Sánchez at an event hosted by Ortega, where he was celebrating the start of tailgating season and his partnership with the Mexican food company, and he told FN Dish the four ingredients he’d include in the baskets if there were to be a tailgating-themed episode of Chopped. “I would definitely put some sort of jam, like a marmalade or some sort of preserves, so you could make a barbecue sauce,” he said before adding, “I would do chicken necks for sure,” in a creative twist on the classic chicken wing. “I would do some sort of spicy [ingredient], maybe chipotles in adobo ‘cause … they’d be awesome with the marmalade,” he added. “Then I would do a blue cheese, then I would make a sauce.”
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