Last week I shared with you that my purpose for writing this blog was to inspire you to try new adventures. Today’s post is definitely something I hope you’re inspired to try at home! My amazing mom hosted our very own At-Home Edition of the Food Network show Chopped! This was a fun night, and extra yummy! If you have been thinking about hosting your own Chopped At Home evening, here are a few ideas!
What is Chopped?
For those who haven’t seen the show Chopped on Food Network here’s the show in a nutshell.
-Four chefs compete to create a three-course meal using very specific ingredients.
•There are three timed rounds (appetizer, entree, and dessert) and the chefs are given a basket with three to five unrelated ingredients. The chefs must then create their dish using those ingredients plus a stocked pantry and fridge.
-After each round a chef is “chopped” until there are only two chefs competing in the dessert round.
My mom warned us that the ingredients in the basket can sometimes be very unusual and let’s just say that she did not disappoint when she presented us with the baskets for our very own Chopped at Home!
Here are a few tips for creating your own Chopped at Home…
1. First, create teams of chefs since you’re most likely not professionals. Each of our teams had a chef and a sous chef.
2. On the actual tv show you get much less time for each course! However, we’re not professionals so we got a little longer per course. We found it helpful have about 40 minutes per course.
3. Between courses we only sat down and enjoyed the course together. We had judges but it we also really enjoyed having everyone sit down and enjoy the food. This gave everyone an opportunity to experience what the other teams had created.
4. Be creative with the ingredients! As you can see on this list of actual episodes, the ingredients in the baskets are usually pretty diverse and don’t make much sense. Have someone grab four ingredients from your pantry and then create your very own Chopped at Home dish.
Here’s a look at our Chopped baskets…
Chopped At Home: Appetizer
Here’s the tricky thing…not only do you need to create some type of recipe with these random ingredients, but since you’re being timed you need to budget time for cooking and plating the food!
My team created a “Tuna a la Ferguson” for our appetizer. It is a graham encrusted yellow fin tuna with a brown sugar glaze on a bed of kale. Please don’t laugh at the names or descriptions! I had no idea how difficult it is to name and describe dishes in an appealing way! The whole experience gave me a new level of respect for those who create menus!
Chopped At Home: Entree
How in the world am I supposed to combine hash browns, cocoa powder, and chicken to create an edible entree?!? And do it with limited time?!?
My team created a “Summer Picnic Wrap” – A cocoa infused BBQ chicken wrap with cucumber and crispy hash browns.
Chopped At Home: Dessert
This is the only basket we received where the dish we could create came to me so quickly…and was really easy to make!
My team created a “Baked Tropical Sunrise” that was seriously AH-mazing!!! This dish was so good I want to explain what I did because some fancy menu-type explanation just isn’t going to cut it! First we cubed the baguette. Then we melted down the cotton candy (basically just add a little water and it will dissolve!) and creamed the melted cotton candy with cream cheese. We spread that over the bread and topped it with the frozen tropical fruit. Finally we mixed together the coconut milk with an egg, poured it over the whole dish and popped it in the oven. I would like to think the fruit helped make this a little healthier but who am I kidding…the cotton candy prevents me from using the word healthy in relation to this dish!
Okay here’s the thing, I absolutely loved this Chopped at Home challenge and would love to do it again! I realized I am more comfortable cooking without a cookbook than I thought and I think it would be really fun to do some sort of virtual version of this challenge with some of my favorite food bloggers!
I loved that even with the same core ingredients each of the teams was able to create such diverse dishes! The top row are the appetizers created by the other teams, the middle row are the entrees created by the other teams, and the bottom row are the desserts created by the other teams.
If you were hosting your own Chopped at Home party, what food bloggers would you want to participate?
p.s. My team won!!! I’m pretty sure it was the Baked Tropical Sunrise that won it for us!