Tag: Chopped

Scott’s One-Pan Strategy — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, February 4th, 2014

For most competitors, the idea of putting any four basket ingredients onto a single plate is daunting enough — let alone combining them in one pan for one sauce. But that’s exactly what Scott Conant did tonight on an all-new installment of Chopped After Hours. Joined by guest host Alex Guarnaschelli, Scott, Amanda Freitag and Geoffrey Zakarian took over the Chopped Kitchen for a battle with the same entree-round ingredients that four amateur cooks had just worked with on the show. They had only 30 minutes to make a dinner dish out of tikka masala sauce, hanger steak, Asian long beans and croquettes, and in true Italian form, Scott embraced pasta.

He combined these disparate products — some fresh, others prepared and bottled — into a one-pot Bolognese-inspired sauce. While these ingredients may have lent themselves to this type of preparation better than most others, Alex couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if the flavors didn’t meld well when combined. “Seems like you’re putting the whole basket into one thing,” Alex told him. “What if it doesn’t work out?” He answered simply with a smile: “You punt. At that point, I’m just going to eat Geoffrey’s sandwich.”

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Pie in the Sky Plans for Pizza — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, February 2nd, 2014

Chopped After HoursWhen Chopped competitors are presented with a mystery basket that contains a very specific ingredient, for example, pizza dough, what you’ll oftentimes get is four different iterations of the same dish. But not so with the Chopped judges — their creativity takes pizza dough to new heights. Facing the same entree basket as the contestants from Chopped: Pizza Perfect, judges Amanda, Geoffrey and Alex took up spots in the Chopped Kitchen for an After Hours competition where they cooked with deep-dish pizza dough, rabbit escabeche, Swiss chard and pineapple cheese spread.

On the show, none of the three competitors in the entree round thought outside of the box — or the pizza pan, in this instance. The chef who was ultimately chopped went home for a pizza that had everything wrong with the dough. Amanda, Geoffrey and Alex immediately looked at the challenge as an opportunity to show these chefs the possibilities with pizza dough. Although one of them did make a pizza, it was cooked in an unconventional way.

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Make These Bacon-and-Egg-Stuffed Potatoes Part of Your Game Day Plan

by in Recipes, Shows, January 29th, 2014

Carbonara PotatoesChopped Dinner ChallengeThe Chopped Dinner Challenge is a 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 Kitchen 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!

For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient pancetta, an unsmoked Italian bacon. Pancetta is popularly used to add flavor in many Italian recipes for sauces, but in this twice-baked potato recipe it becomes a star ingredient in the filling and the topping. And along with eggs and cheese this dish has the same comfort as a bowl of pasta carbonara. These Carbonara Stuffed Potatoes with Crispy Pancetta make a great meal on a day when you’re looking for a comforting dish, but what they’re really meant for is enjoying with family on Super Bowl Sunday while watching the game.

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Celebrities Compete in the Chopped Tournament of Stars

by in Shows, January 24th, 2014

Chopped CelebritiesIn an all-new, five-part Chopped competition premiering on Sun., March 9 at 9|8c, athletes, RvG alums, comedians and actors will compete for a chance to win a $50,000 grand prize for charity. Over four themed episodes, celebrities will face the dreaded mystery basket ingredients and cook in three rounds — appetizer, entree and dessert. One celebrity from each of the four episodes will advance to the finale on Sun., April 6 at 9|8c. One lucky competitor will walk away with the grand prize and bragging rights as the Chopped Tournament of Stars champion.

Meet the celebrities and get a breakdown of the rounds

Disguising a Meat Substitute with Vegetarian Parm Heroes

by in Recipes, Shows, January 23rd, 2014

vegetarian parm heroes
Chopped Dinner ChallengeThe Chopped Dinner Challenge is a 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!

For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchens chose to feature the basket ingredient seitan, a popular meat substitute. The goal of this challenge was to disguise the seitan enough so that meat eaters wouldn’t even know the difference. Frying it in a cola batter and serving it with lots of tomato sauce and cheese in hero rolls seemed to do the trick. Your family does not have to be vegetarian to try these Vegetarian Parm Heroes. The flavors are classic Italian, but the preparation gives it a modern spin. Prepare these heroes for your next vegetarian night.

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Diving In, Pig’s Feet First — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, January 21st, 2014

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Not every ingredient is a delight in the Chopped Kitchen — some are more difficult than others and contestants must deal with them as best they can. What Chopped judges look for in those cases is a dish that expertly combines a less-desirable ingredient with the rest of the basket ingredients. Facing the same appetizer basket as the contestants from Chopped: Hoofin’ It, judges Marc, Maneet and Aarón took up spots in the Chopped Kitchen for an After Hours competition where they cooked with butter beans, sweet potato chips, coleslaw mix and pickled pig’s feet.

On the show, the chef competitors did their best with the baskets they were dealt, but some didn’t transform every single ingredient to its full potential. Marc, Maneet and Aarón immediately jumped into the cooking, diving right into working with the pig’s feet, which required the most care to transform. The goal was to incorporate the pig’s feet while also disguising any of the ingredient’s negative attributes.

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Tapas Time with Stuffed Piquillo Peppers

by in Recipes, Shows, January 15th, 2014

piquillo peppers
Chopped Dinner ChallengeThe Chopped Dinner Challenge is a 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!

For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchens chose to feature the basket ingredient piquillo peppers, which you’ve probably seen in jars on the supermarket shelf or in salad bars. These peppers have a pleasant sweet taste, so no heat, and even though they’re relatively small in size (the name means “little beak” in Spanish), they’re actually great for stuffing. Consider this recipe for Quinoa-Stuffed Piquillo Peppers a great tapas-style appetizer or light meal. The quinoa is packed with protein and the raw zucchini salsa is full of flavor. But best of all, the dish is simple to prepare, taking only 30 minutes.

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QUIZ: How Well Do You Know the Judges of Chopped?

by in Shows, January 14th, 2014

Chopped judgesYou’ve seen them critique all kinds of dishes from competitors that have included professional chefs, amateur cooks and even celebrities. And you’ve seen them go from behind the Chopping Block to cooking front and center in All-Stars and the Web series After Hours. But how well do you know the judges of Chopped?

In a series of Q&As, FN Dish revealed several facts that viewers didn’t know about the judges (who didn’t have anything to hide). See how much you know about the judges from what you’ve seen on TV and what you’ve read here on the blog in the quiz below. Prove you’re a Chopped superfan! Continue to watch the competition every Tuesday at 10pm/9c, plus all-new online episodes of After Hours this month.

Test Your Knowledge: The Judges of Chopped

Think you know everything about the Chopped judges? Take this quiz to find out how well you know the panel of nine chefs.
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Playing with Fire — Chopped After Hours

by in Shows, January 12th, 2014


When it comes to chefs working with mystery basket ingredients, the Chopped judges look for creativity and, above all, an expert incorporation of all the ingredients into one harmonious dish. And sometimes it takes a bit of playing with one’s food to achieve that, or in this case playing with fire. Facing the same dessert basket as the contestants from Chopped: Firefighter Chefs, the judges accomplished exactly that. Alex, Scott and Amanda took up spots in the Chopped Kitchen for an After Hours competition where they cooked with wafer sheets, lemon soda, vanilla pudding cups and a blowtorch.

On the show, the final two competitors were able to make great strides with the ingredients, but neither of them truly created a unified dish. The one whose dish was found to be the most disjointed was ultimately chopped. Alex, Scott and Amanda looked at the ingredients as an opportunity to create unique desserts and the blowtorch as an enhancer of flavor. Alex went the extra mile in using it to char a savory ingredient for her dessert, which impressed her fellow judges the most.

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Bring on the New Year’s Luck with this Kale Salad

by in Recipes, Shows, January 8th, 2014

Kale Salad
Chopped Dinner ChallengeThe Chopped Dinner Challenge is a 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!

For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchens chose to feature the basket ingredient redbor kale, a purple variety. When you think of kale salad, “boring” might be one of the words that come to mind. But this salad is definitely not boring. The chefs of Food Network Kitchens made sure that it’s packed with flavor from garlic, maple syrup and bacon. Not only that but the salad also has black-eyed peas — both black-eyed peas and kale supposedly bring good luck, as they symbolize prosperity. Try this Roasted Redbor Kale Salad for dinner with your family and you may just bring on the luck for the year ahead.

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