Tag: Chopped

Anarchy in the Chopped Kitchen — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, December 1st, 2015

Normally, well-respected chefs would cringe at the thought of boxed macaroni and cheese, but the appetizer basket from the special Mac and Cheese episode of Chopped is a different story. “If someone doesn’t use that little bag of powder in here, total cop-out — you’re chopped,” Alex Guarnaschelli says. In this new installment of Chopped After Hours, Alex — along with her fellow judges Maneet Chauhan and Aarón Sánchez — must make an appetizer using boxed mac and cheese, Canadian bacon, Swiss chard and monkfish.

Alex begins studding her monkfish with the bacon for flavor and plans on making a macaroni and cheese sauce for the dish. “I’m going full-on blasphemy and anarchy,” she says of her dish. Aarón and Maneet are going a little more traditional, however. Aarón is making escabeche (a Spanish fish dish made with vinegar) while Maneet has envisioned the fish with a korma sauce (a traditional Indian nut-based sauce). When Maneet and Aarón realize they’re both using saffron for their sauces, Aarón responds, “You’ve been saffroned.”

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“Pickles without Borders” — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, November 26th, 2015


Having a glass or two of wine in the Chopped kitchen isn’t a rare occurrence, but during this round it’s almost a necessity. That’s because judges Amanda Freitag, Marc Murphy and Alex Guarnaschelli are taking on the appetizer basket from the Pub Food episode of Chopped. On the all-new episode of Chopped After Hours, they’re required to use house-cured bacon, deviled eggs, fish cheeks and housemade pickles in a completely original appetizer.

Amanda is not shy about admitting her love for the basket: “I look at the whole thing and I think, ‘Thank you.’ You have acid, you have fat, you have bacon, you have eggs and you have fish cheeks!” She starts off using the brine from the pickles, which she and Ted Allen both agree is underutilized at home and should be saved more often. “Amanda and I are starting an organization called Pickles without Borders,” Ted says. Alex is using the pickle brine in a vinaigrette to go alongside a frito misto — a platter of fried foods that she does not think she has enough time to finish. When Ted disagrees, Alex replies, “I appreciate the vote of confidence, my friend, but, you know, we’re only human, Ted.”

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Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, November 24th, 2015


The dessert basket in the Cooking with Bass episode of Chopped may seem like a great start to dessert, but judges Amanda Freitag, Maneet Chauhan and Marc Murphy aren’t too enthusiastic. On a new Chopped After Hours, they must cook a final course using zucchini, chocolate-covered raisins, peanut brittle and vanilla liqueur. “What’s the first initial problem with all of this?” Ted Allen asks. “Too sweet!” the judges reply unanimously.

They all realize the zucchini is going to be their saving grace when it comes to toning down the sweetness. Marc points out that you can make a zucchini cake just as easily as you can make a carrot cake, to which Maneet replies, “You can — ’cause that’s exactly what I’m going to do!” They all get off to a quick start, with Marc whisking up a batter for zucchini fritters. Amanda doesn’t want to give away her dish, so she just shouts, “I’m making a cake — that’s all you need to know!”

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Just Desserts All Day Long — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, November 23rd, 2015


There’s no question that every competitor wants to make it to the final round on Chopped for a chance to win the $10,000. But reaching the dessert round can also be intimidating to those with little pastry experience. Tonight, for the first time, all the rounds featured dessert baskets, and luckily the competitors were all pastry chefs. And the judges were anxious to try one of the baskets for themselves.

In a new episode of After Hours, judges Maneet Chauhan, Geoffrey Zakarian and Alex Guarnaschelli took on cooking with Mississippi mud pie, maraschino cherries, Brie and potato crisps. “I mean, I don’t know about you, but this is a go-to meal for me at home,” Alex jokes with Ted Allen about the ingredients. Ted tells the judges that they will have to feature chocolate in their desserts, which the cohorts agree won’t be difficult at all.

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Chopped Junior-Inspired Lunchboxes: Pumpkin Hummus

by in Recipes, Shows, November 18th, 2015

Pumpkin HummusOn this week’s episode, our young Chopped Junior contestants got into the holiday swing of things with Thanksgiving-inspired mystery baskets. So with pumpkin pie spice and rainbow carrots in mind, we threw together a fun autumnal hummus that kids can enjoy as a side or main dish for lunch.

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One-on-One with the Chopped: Impossible Champion

by in Shows, November 12th, 2015

Robert and EmilyIn the new Impossible tournament, Chopped switched up the format and made the baskets even more difficult. In each of the three preliminary rounds, four chefs competed to earn a spot in the finale for a chance to go up against Mr. Impossible himself, Robert Irvine. If one of the chefs beats Robert, the winning chef will go home with $40,000 in prize money. In tonight’s episode, the three winners of the preliminary rounds cooked through an appetizer round, before the remaining two moved on to the entree round. The winner of that round got to go up against Robert in a wild-card round. But who won? Read on to hear from the new champion.

Get the Exclusive Interview with the Chopped: Impossible Winner

When Things Go Up in Smoke, Try, Try Again — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, November 10th, 2015


While it’s almost always difficult to make a cohesive meal from one of the Chopped mystery baskets, the judges were thankful that this week’s ingredients were all usual suspects for a dessert. After a group of talented military vets left the kitchen, judges Alex Guarnaschelli, Geoffrey Zakarian and Marc Murphy attempted to make a third course out of lemonade, ballpark peanuts, marshmallow cereal treats and peaches on an all-new Chopped After Hours.

Alex mentioned that she was glad they left the peanuts in the shell for an extra layer of flavor, but Marc immediately disagreed. “I like the peanuts with the shell, too, but not on Chopped,” he said before pointing out how much time they take to shuck. He ended up attempting to make a sort of brittle out of them, which became the source of a fun game of hide-and-seek between Marc and the others. “Somebody evil has hid Marc’s, hopefully, peanut brittle from him, and now I’m going to join that game and I’m putting it on a high shelf in the pantry,” Ted said.

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Robert Irvine Reveals his Strategy for Competing in the Chopped: Impossible Finale

by in Shows, November 10th, 2015

Robert IrvineIn the new tournament Chopped: Impossible, 12 chefs entered the competition hoping to make it to the last round to face off against Mr. Impossible himself, Robert Irvine. Until now Robert has judged each of the three preliminary rounds, but on finale day he will compete against one of the three finalists: Marc, James or Emily. The challenge is real, and as we’ve seen so far, the ingredients have been quite impossible, so the final basket will make it anyone’s game.

FN Dish caught up with Robert on the set of the tournament to find out his strategy for the wild-card round. He reveals his competitive strengths and the way he plans to approach the basket. He also talks about how it was judging the chefs and what it’s been like mentoring them to bring out their best in competition.

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One-on-One with the Chopped: Impossible, Part 3 Winner

by in Shows, November 5th, 2015

Chopped: Impossible Part 3In this new Impossible tournament, Chopped is switching up the format: Chefs will compete in three preliminary rounds for a chance to earn a spot in the finale, where the champion will get the opportunity to compete against Robert Irvine in a wild-card round. Just for getting there, the champion will pocket $15,000, but upon beating Robert, he or she will win an additional $25,000, for a total of $40,000.

On tonight’s episode, four very accomplished chefs who’ve competed successfully on Chopped before have returned to take on the most-impossible mystery baskets. Only one of them will earn a spot in the finale and have an opportunity to get to Robert.

Get the Exclusive Interview with the Part 3 Winner

One-on-One with the Chopped: Impossible, Part 2 Winner

by in Shows, October 29th, 2015

Chopped: Impossible, Part 2In this new Impossible tournament, Chopped is switching up the format: Chefs will compete in three preliminary rounds for a chance to earn a spot in the finale, where the champion will get the opportunity to compete against Robert Irvine in a wild-card round. Just for getting there, the champion will pocket $15,000, but upon beating Robert, he or she will win an additional $25,000, for a total of $40,000.

On tonight’s episode, four very accomplished chefs who’ve competed successfully on Chopped before will return to take on the most-impossible mystery baskets, but only competitor will earn a spot in the finale for an opportunity to get to Robert.

Get the Exclusive Interview with the Part 2 Winner