if you've seen chopped on food network you'll know what's going on, if not, you should definitely go watch it (it's the best) but until you do that, here is what you need to know: four chefs from all around come to compete in the ultimate cooking challenge: three rounds of displaying their cooking knowledge (appetizer, main course and dessert) each with it's own set of required secret ingredients and a 20 or 30 minute time limit. after each round they are judged and one chef is chopped, eventually only one is left standing.
our spin on it: two chefs, four secret ingredients (we both picked two earlier that morning at albertsons, so we only knew two of the ingredients we would have to use), 30 minutes, limited kitchen space and one main course creation.
chef profile: mads
position: executive chef of the barrett household
favorite thing to make: treats. cookies, mostly.
favorite thing anj makes: french toast
worst kitchen conundrum: the time flour went everywhere the first time she used a kitchen-aid to make cookies.
her secret kitchen talent: knowledge of what is actually in our kitchen
what you intend to do with winnings: take her husband to the happiest place on earth: disneyland.chef profile: anj
position: the 'anj chef', somewhere between sous chef, executive sous chef, and not really a chef.
favorite thing to make: cereal
favorite thing mads makes: dinner. also sack lunches.
worst kitchen conundrum: the time he put half and half in his cereal
his secret kitchen talent: simplicity
what you intend to do with winnings: buy his wife lots of birthday presents.
the hidden secret ingredients:
the secret ingredients revealed:
anj chose the baked beans and the ramen noodles, i picked the pomegranate and the egg roll wraps. we both realized we were up for a challenge.
with thirty minutes on the clock we immediately started racing around the kitchen trying to claim burners and trying to decide how to use all the ingredients. due to the limited time and fast flying hands we didn't really have a chance to take picture of the actual battle. there was fighting over burners, difficulty dethawing chicken, and a hot oil explosion, but we pressed forward and eventually got food on our plates. (we might of had to use an extra ten second or so.. woops)
there was definitely that totally chopped moment when we looked at each other's dishes and went 'oh no! they are too similar!' oh well, time's up.
and now... our dishes:
mads's dish: crispy wonton stack
dish description: chopped chicken cooked in a pomegranate soy sauce reduction and a baked bean slaw stacked between wontons fried to perfection, with a noodle apple salad on the side.
anj's dish: wonton chicken sandwich
dish description: a fried wonton with baked bean and pomegranate marinated chicken, beef seasoned ramen noodles, and more pomegranate droppings.
though the judges were none other then ourselves, we did our best to be unbiased in our decisions and describe our dishes in our best chopped fashion. a guest judge (anj's team member pete did stop in and declare my plating a step above chef anj).
anj's thoughts: though anj really appreciated the oriental flavors and the tasty slaw in my dish, he would have like to see the pomegranate flavor be taken a little bit further. the apples added a nice crunch and dimension to the noodle salad and it was nice to see something other than the secret ingredients on the plate.
mads's ideas: i decided that anj's dish was a great twist on a classic idea and it was nice to see something very un-asian even though the ingredients leaned that direction. however, the inconsistency in the frying of the wonton caused the sandwich to crumble to pieces in my hand, making it harder to eat.
after much thought a winner was declared for the overall best dish and most creativity:
chef mads took the championship this time..
chef anj was still happy because we both made edible dishes with the ingredients, which is a feat on it's own! (and in the end there weren't actually any winnings besides the chopped champion title... so disneyland will have to wait)
until next time, thanks for joining us for
anybody else up for the challenge? we will take you on!
p.p.s. F.H.E. stands for family home evening, a mormon tradition: every monday nights families gather together to plan the week, share a spiritual though, and usually grow closer with a fun activity... chopped was our activity this week!