Jimmy and I decided we needed to do chopped again. Our first go around was exciting, so we called on our judges to find us some more secret ingredients to complete in our home version of the show Chopped. If you are not familiar with Chopped on Food Network… there are three timed rounds: appetizer, entree and dessert and there are 3-4 mystery ingredients in each basket for each round.
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You must use all the ingredients in your dish in some way. We are judged on taste, presentation and creativity. We follow the real rules very closely but because we aren’t professional chefs, we give ourselves a little more time each round! Some may think we are crazy but it so much fun! Here is our day in action.
Appetizer Round Ingredients
Secret ingredients were: Whole Squid, Kimchi and Shrimp Cocktail.
I’ve luckily see a few episodes of cooking shows where they cleaned out squid. I’ve never done it myself but I was ready to go the second I saw it. I sautéed the squid, shrimp and some bell peppers in a pan. I pureed up the Kimchi and cut it with some orange juice to help with the heat (Not a fan of heat!) and added some of the cocktail sauce to that. I used this puree in the sautéed mixture as well as dipped my bread in it before toasting. Jimmy kept his kimchi as is, cooking with shrimp and mushrooms. He topped his dish with freshly fried squid!
Entree Round Ingredients
Secret ingredients were: Cod, Gnocchi and Skittles.
The second round was a little more challenging, hence the lack of action pictures! Jimmy and I both have never fillet (how do you say more than one?!) a fish before so I got really nervous trying to pull the pin bones out and fillet it. I ended up cutting my finger, which resulted in pure frustration. 🙁 After a short break, we both came back strong, incorporating chicken into both our meals. Jimmy made a spicy spaghetti sauce to serve the gnocchi and vegetables. He topped it with a cod and feta stuffed chicken breast. Mmm! I served up a sweet (thanks Skittles.) seafood risotto with Italian chicken and fried smashed gnocchi (I’ll be making this again, Jonathan loved them!).
Dessert Round Ingredients
Secret ingredients were: Roasted Seaweed, Guava and Chunky Salsa.
Mmmm?! Who doesn’t love salsa for dessert, said NO ONE EVER. This was by far the weirdest round. I decided to create a “strawberry shortcake”, mixing the salsa juice within my cake recipe with some white chocolate and strawberries. I made a guava whip cream and layered all the components with toasted seaweed & almonds. I believe I accomplished my goal of cutting out the salsa taste! Jimmy made a guava milkshake with sweet tortilla chips and a salsa cream cheese dipping sauce.
And the winner is…
Jimmy!! By 2 points this time around. I’ve very proud of the both of us for getting through another Chopped event. It’s by far the most exhausting experience but so much fun and worth it! I love creating things on a whim!