14 ‘Chopped’-Inspired Recipes You Should Make For Dinner


By Cooking Panda

If you’ve seen the fast-paced, high-energy Food Network cooking competition, “Chopped,” you know the show’s basket ingredients sound gross and sometimes downright terrifying on their own — but can end up producing some surprisingly elegant and delicious dishes.

You won’t find canned chicken or Spam on this recipe list, compiled from Food Network’s “Chopped”-inspired recipes, granted, but read on to see how ingredients like pickle juice and almond butter can give you delightfully unique dinners. Here is a list of some chopped recipes.

1. Steak and Black Bean Chalupas

Have a steak feast on the cheap with these cube steak chalupas, crispy and filled to the bursting with spicy seasoned meat, soft and flavorful black beans, and refreshingly sweet chili-lime mango.

2. Camembert and Ham Bread Pudding

This soothing bread pudding packs all the flavors of a sophisticated cheese plate — a baguette, ham, camembert cheese, apple and even white wine — into convenient little ramekins.

3. Almond Chicken Satay

Extra rich and textured almond butter replaces the classic peanut flavor in this quick and easy dish. Chicken is bathed in a creamy sauce of almond butter, coconut milk, garlic, ginger, snap peas and more — and the mixture is thrown over a generous plate of vermicelli noodles.

4. Spaghetti with Sauteed Collards and Bacon

Collard greens are an essential ingredient in this pasta dish, complete with crispy pancetta, garlic, red pepper flakes and plenty of olive oil and Parmesan.

5. Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Plums with Creamy Goat Cheese Sauce

A creamy, tangy sauce of goat cheese and Greek yogurt mingles pleasantly with sweet grilled plums and juicy pork tenderloin. The elements marry on a bed of perfectly bitter arugula.

6. Butter Roasted Chicken with Grit Waffles

Chicken and waffles gets a gourmet makeover with buttery, peppery, oven-roasted chicken thighs and drumsticks, placed over golden grits-based waffles and drizzled with chipotle-infused maple syrup.

7. Grapefruit and Honey Salmon

This sweet and citrusy salmon makes a healthy meal in a pinch. It comes together with salmon fillets, grapefruit and just five other ingredients you probably already have in the pantry.

8. Chicken and Tater Tot Casserole

Creamy, comforting chicken pot pie is made even more scrumptious with a crispy tater-tot crust. Pulse store-bought tots in a food processor with thyme, sprinkle the mixture over the casserole, and enjoy the mingling of the crumbly crust with bubbling filling. You’ll never go back to plain pie crust again.

9. Pickled Shrimp and Fried Tomatoes

Leftover pickle juice is reborn in this uniquely delicious dish of pickled shrimp, fried tomatoes and creamy dill pickle dressing. The tangy, briny ingredients work marvelously with versatile shrimp and the tomatoes’ cornmeal coating.

10. Caesar T-Bone Steak with Stout Pan Sauce

This steak-and-potato dinner will help you finally understand what the heck the “umami” flavor craze is all about. Rubbed with garlic-anchovy paste and served with a sauce of stout beer and Worcestershire, the steak will taste different (in a good way, of course) from anything you’ve ever had before.

11. Carbonara Stuffed Potatoes with Crispy Pancetta

Want to enjoy the flavor of carbonara — eggy, cheesy, bacony goodness — but aren’t in the mood for pasta? Try it in these hearty baked potatoes, perfect for brunch or as a generous side to an Italian meat dish.

12. Chestnut Ravioli with Browned Butter and Thyme

Pureed canned chestnuts (yes, canned, apparently) and ricotta make a smooth filling for these wonton ravioli, swimming in a browned butter sauce with garlic and thyme and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

13. Curried Pot Pies

This filling and warming vegetarian dish gets flavor from coconut milk and butter, ginger, curry powder, lime and jalapeno. The sauce coats cubed zucchini and tofu, and it’s all topped off with a crown of panko breadcrumbs.

14. Banana Chip Crusted Jerk Pork Chops

Slightly sweet banana chips coat these spicy jerk pork chops, served over cooling white rice and black beans for a complete Jamaican-inspired meal.

Source: Food Network / Featured photo credit: PixabayTags: Chopped, chopped recipes, dinner recipes, food network, unique dinner, unique ingredients
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QUIZ: Which Cooking Competition Should You Enter?


By Cooking Panda

From “Cupcake Wars” to “Top Chef,” Food Network has a host of televised cooking contests that have likely inspired you to get in the kitchen and whip up some impressive eats — or, at the least, have made you extremely hungry. Whether you love the challenge of unique ingredients, incorporate your favorite basic foods into every meal, or mostly stick to baking, tell us, and we’ll tell you which Food Network competition would be lucky to have you.

Featured photo credit: Les Roches Global Hospitality Education/Flickr

Tags: Chopped, cooking competition, food network, great british baking show, tv
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Instead of ‘Chopped,’ Get ‘Smooshed’ with Stephen Colbert (Video)


By Cooking Panda

On April 5, Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone popped by “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to promote “The Boss.”

When talking with Colbert about the shows the husband and wife comedy duo enjoy watching as a family, they listed housing and cooking shows, such as “Chopped,” a Food Network cooking game show in which chefs take a mystery basket of ingredients and create dishes that are judged on not only taste, but also presentation and creativity.

Fortunately for the couple, Colbert also enjoys the show, as “it’s on [his] DVR more than anything else.” After asking McCarthy and Falcone if they would ever want to be on Chopped, Colbert explained how much he would enjoy be able to do something similar on his show.

However, as Chopped is an hour long, there’s just one problem he would need to address in order to do so.

“We’d have to take everything that happens in Chopped and just smoosh it down into four minutes or something like that,” Colbert said.

Therefore, the couple became the first contestants in “Smooshed,” Colbert’s version of a cooking show competition. 

With one minute on the clock, McCarthy and Falcone had the challenge of creating a dish using salted crackers, miniature marshmallows, and bacon bits. They were also given access to a miniature pantry filled with whatever Colbert’s team could find in the break room refrigerator.

“Time is really flying by, I want the flavors to speak for themselves,” Falcone told Colbert while preparing his dish.

“Oh, I’m not using any of the ingredients!” McCarthy realized with 16 seconds left on the clock.

Who won the challenge? Who made a dish that Colbert described as “tart and dry at the same time?” Was it McCarthy or Falcone who described the dish presented to Colbert as “crunchy, sweet, savory, and meaty?” Watch the video below to find out!

Sources: YouTube / Photo Credit: YouTube

Tags: Ben Falcone, Chopped, Melissa McCarthy, Smooshed, Stephen Colbert
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