Top Moments of Chopped After Hours: Halloween

Chopped judges Alex Guarnaschelli, Chris Santos and Marc Murphy cook with eels, congealed pig blood, candy bats and potato crisps.

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Photo By: Susan Magnano

Photo By: Susan Magnano

Photo By: Susan Magnano

Photo By: Susan Magnano

Photo By: Susan Magnano

Photo By: Susan Magnano

Photo By: Susan Magnano

Photo By: Susan Magnano

Chopped After Hours: Halloween

Alex, Chris and Marc head into the Chopped kitchen for an extra-spooky rendition of After Hours, this time cooking with Halloween-themed ingredients in an appetizer round. "This was definitely a basket that needed serious pantry assistance," Chris says.

Signature Cuisine

It's no surprise that Marc, who has an affinity for rich, hearty fare, opts to prepare a creamy potato-based dish called a brandade. Instead of using salted cod, however, which is the traditional ingredient, he lets eel shine.

Beyond Green Salads

Chris relies on non-basket ingredients to support the Halloween-themed products, as he introduces chickpeas and fresh herbs to form the base of a salad. To put the candy bats to work, he melts them over a flame with a splash of sherry vinegar and the congealed pig's blood, which together forms a "gastrique," he says.

French Tradition

For Alex, this basket provides the opportunity to celebrate the flavors of French cuisine, so she sets off poaching the eel in melted butter with herbs. She, too, makes a salad, this time with frisee and a vinaigrette topping.

Flavor-Forward

"That's so you," Ted tells Chris after tasting the latter's offering. Alex describes the dish as "smoky, transformed." It features "a smoked paprika salt" created from the potato crisps, according to Chris.

At the Ready

Marc notes that after watching what the competitors did with pig's blood, he realized that the ingredient "can really ruin the look of a dish," so he is careful to not infuse the blood with his brandade. Instead, he simply studs the top layer of his casserole with the blood, then quickly bakes it, explaining, "If you really want a piece [of the pig's blood], you can grab it." Alex tells him after tasting, "You have not been chopped."

Original Taste

"I think part of being true to the basket is sometimes cooking with an ingredient and leaving it as it is," Alex says to the guys, explaining why she decided to leave the flavor of the potato crisps intact in the puree. "I wanted the potato crisp to be unmistakably that ... sort of fake toasted taste that we kind of secretly like." As a whole, Alex's dish works for Marc, who tells her, "Nicely done."

After Hours in Review

Unlike one of the chef-competitors, the judges manage to fully cook the eel and thus eliminate its poisonous blood. They're all able to complete the round within the 20 minutes on the clock and ultimately avoid the Chopping Block.

Want More Chopped After Hours?

Catch up on previous After Hours Web-exclusive videos, then visit Food Network's Chopped page for more insider coverage of the show.

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