Maybe you’ve heard of the little show on Food Network called Chopped? In a nutshell four chefs compete to win prize money, there are three rounds (appetizer, entree and dessert) and a chef is eliminated in each round until there are only 2 remaining. At the beginning of each round the contestants are given a “Mystery Basket” of 4 very random ingredients and they have to turn those ingredients into a culinary delight. And if that wasn’t pressure enough, they are under very strict and almost impossible time constraints.
For Allen’s “Date Night Jar” I included a Chopped Challenge stick and he was thrilled to see it, and on Valentine’s Day decided that’s what he wanted to do. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty excited. Also, I realize this makes us huge dorks and I’m okay with that. Just throwing that out there.
So we set some ground rules and created our own Chopped Challenge.
In hindsight, one course may be plenty and we didn’t get too risky on our food choices since it was on a whim but next time I’ll be more prepared. I should also tell you that my husband is never in the kitchen cooking so he was such a good sport for playing along and we both really enjoyed spending the time together and doing something different.
For Allen I picked black beans, refrigerated biscuit dough, crabmeat and sour cream. I played it safe.
During the next round I seared a steak and then put it in the oven (in the pan) to let it finish cooking while I was making my other things. I removed the pan from the oven and a few minutes later went to move the pan and picked it up with my hand! I had completely forgotten that the pan had just come from the oven. Let this be a lesson, safety is key. So that ended our challenge a little earlier but I think we’ll have a dessert only round coming soon.
I always think this would be incredibly fun for a couples night if the couples could complete in teams against other couples. The real fun is not knowing what you’re going to cook with and then being given a small amount of time to figure it out and execute it all while still making it look and taste good.