Tag: Chopped

Going Over-the-Top at the Big Top — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, October 24th, 2013


The circus is filled with amazing attractions and fun amusements, but lest we forget there’s also the food: corn dogs, cotton candy, peanuts, candy apples and more. This week’s episode of Chopped was a special Circus Spectacular theme, with basket ingredients that evoked the big top. Judges Alex, Scott and special guest judge Sweet Genius Ron Ben-Israel took up spots in the Chopped kitchen for an After Hours competition. They faced cooking with the basket ingredients from the dessert round, which included a snow cone, popcorn, a funnel cake and sour cream.

On the show, the competitors embraced the childhood fun of the dessert basket ingredients and reimagined them in unique ways. The judges followed suit and created playful dishes that exemplified the joy of going to the circus as a kid. Right off the bat, Alex decided to bake cookies and make sorbet out of the snow cone and sour cream so she could create ice cream sandwiches. She thought it best evoked the fun of “getting it all running down your hands while you’re watching the circus.”

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The Cast of Chopped Hands Out the Award for Best Bloody Mary in America

by in Events, October 21st, 2013

ChoppedWhen it comes to judging a competition, there’s no better group of discerning taste-testers to turn to than the cast of Chopped. At this Sunday’s Absolut Best Bloody Mary Brunch during the New York City Wine & Food Festival, the cast of Chopped gathered to host an elegant sit-down event, which featured food stations manned by former Chopped competitors and drink stations run by the eight finalists in Thrillist’s Search for America’s Best Bloody Mary, sponsored by Absolut Vodka. Attendees voted for the best bloody Mary and the Chopped cast picked three winners: best dressed, most creative and most original/exotic.

The big award of the day went to Kristin Alfandre from Mason’s Grill in Baton Rouge, La., wining a trip to serve at next year’s South Beach Wine &Food Festival in Miama, Fl. Her drink, called the Bloody Mason (Burn Baby, Burn!) used the classic Bloody Mary mix with Absolut Peppar vodka, horseradish, Sriracha, lemon, lime and Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces. Toppings included bacon, beef jerky straw, celery, okra, cocktail onions and a green bean.

FN Dish was on hand to capture the best brunch creations — and drinks. Read on to find out more about the winning drinks and which dishes were the standouts from former Chopped competitors.

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WATCH: The Best of the 2013 New York City Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, Food Network Chef, October 21st, 2013


FN Dish caught up with Bobby, Giada, Guy, Jeff, Justin and the entire cast of Chopped judges at the 2013 New York City Wine & Food Festival. Click play on the video above to relive the biggest events and most memorable moments featuring your favorite Food Network stars.

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Aarón Sánchez Tackles Tailgating

by in Events, Food Network Chef, October 17th, 2013

Aaron SanchezHe may be a renowned chef, cookbook author and no-nonsense judge on Chopped, but when it comes to tailgating, Aarón Sánchez is just like every other footfall fan on game day. “Everyone thinks that, ’cause I’m a chef, I’m going to want all this really decadent stuff,” Aarón told FN Dish recently. “No, sometimes you can’t mess with the formula of a tailgate.” We recently caught up with him in New York City at an event hosted by Ortega, where he was celebrating his partnership with the Mexican food company, and he explained that there should be just a few classic eats at every tailgate spread — not over-the-top dishes or fancy fare.

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Indian Corn Dogs with Dipping Sauce — The Chopped Dinner Challenge

by in Recipes, Shows, View All Posts, October 15th, 2013

corn dogsChopped Dinner ChallengeThe 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: Brunch Boxes episode, the competitors found pancake mix in their entree round basket, along with an emu egg, Bloody Mary mix and lobster. Two out of the three remaining competitors ingeniously decided to use the pancake mix as a batter for their lobster and made it through to the dessert round. This recipe for Indian-Inspired Corn Dogs with Mango Dipping Sauce also makes clever use of pancake mix in a form other than the obvious breakfast dish. Plus, it’s a great way to recreate the state-fair staple at home for a fun and nostalgic meal with your family.

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Spaghetti with Greens and Bacon — The Chopped Dinner Challenge

by in Recipes, Shows, View All Posts, October 6th, 2013

Spaghetti with Greens and BaconChopped Dinner ChallengeThe 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: Extreme Halloween episode, the competitors found collard greens in their entree round baskets. Luckily we’re not asking you to cook with the rest of the basket ingredients: gummy skulls, sweetbreads and dehydrated weaver ant eggs. The competitors tried to incorporate the collard greens into their dishes, but some were more successful than others. With this recipe for Spaghetti with Sauteed Collards and Bacon, it’s easy to see that the collard greens don’t get lost at all; instead the underappreciated vegetable turns into a star after a little sauteing. You might never want to enjoy your greens any other way!

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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.

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Delivering on a Frequent Request — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, September 24th, 2013


After Hours battles task Chopped judges with the same rules and restraints as the competitors — identical basket ingredients, limited time on the clock and the stipulation that they must use every mandatory product in some way — which means that when they take to the kitchen, they’re bringing with them the experience of judging hundreds of rounds of competition. They often remark on the show that a contestant’s dish lacks seasoning, is overcooked or is too simple, but when it’s their turn to cook, will they be able to succeed where others have failed, and will they deliver on the frequent requests they make of the competitors?

On tonight’s all-new episode of Chopped After Hours, Amanda proved that she can indeed walk the walk, if you will, in the kitchen, when she decided to bake a cake for her dessert. “I’ve always wanted everyone to bake,” she told Ted, “so I find it only fair for me to bake.” Her dish, like Aarón’s and Marcus’ dishes, had to feature chicken-themed ingredients, including chicken suckers, farm-fresh eggs, fruitcake and chicken feet, but she didn’t let the oddity of these products stop her from the mission. After a quick 30 minutes, she ultimately proved that it’s possible to bake — and bake well — in the Chopped , as her fruitcake with a sweet marshmallow mousse “melts in your mouth, ” according to Aarón. “I want to put my money where my mouth is. I am always begging the chefs to bake … so I baked,” she told her peers when presenting the dessert.

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Jokes First, Cooking a Close Second — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, September 17th, 2013


Chris Santos, Geoffrey Zakarian and Scott Conant may be revered judges on Chopped and three of the most celebrated chefs and restaurateurs in New York City, but when they come together in the Chopped kitchen for a friendly face-off, they don’t hesitate to let their sillier sides show. On tonight’s all-new Chopped After Hours, the guys, led by host Ted Allen, were greeted with leftover ingredients — lasagna, a hamburger, a fortune cookie and steamed broccoli — and only 20 minutes on the clock to give these precooked dishes a second chance on a plate. While Chris, Geoffrey and Scott surely let their culinary chops shine in making such inspired dishes as a breaded lasagna bite, an Italian-focused sandwich and a family-friendly frittata, respectively, they weren’t shy about having fun with each other.

Just minutes into cooking, Ted and Chris took advantage of the opportunity when Scott was away from his station to playfully mess with the chef, hiding from him his chopped burger patty. “Someone stole my hamburger!” he exclaimed later, before Ted advised him to check beneath his station to find his missing ingredient.

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Host-Turned-Competitor Ted Allen Joins the Battle — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, July 30th, 2013


Although he’s overseen hundreds of rounds of Chopped, Ted had never before cooked in the kitchen, and he didn’t know the experiences of manipulating mystery ingredients, running through the pantry or competing against the clock firsthand. Until tonight, that is. In his first foray into battle against the Chopping Block, Ted went head-to-head-to-head with Marc and Maneet in an After Hours competition, while Chris filled his hosting shoes for the day. Ted and the judges watched three chef-competitors attempt a basket of crab legs, sweet vermouth, green asparagus and Mexican wedding cookies, before they, too, tried their hands at those ingredients with only 30 minutes on the clock.

Ted may have been the rookie contestant in the kitchen, but that didn’t stop him from tackling an ambitious dish of crab cakes, especially since the crab was frozen at the start of the battle. He quickly boiled it, making the meat easier to work with, before getting started on a vermouth vinaigrette. As is often the case among the chefs, he faced a potentially damning problem with just minutes left to cook, when his vinaigrette broke in the blender. Per the advice of peer and guest host Chris, however, Ted remade the mixture, and in the end, “it totally made the dish,” according to Chris.

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