Top Moments of Chopped After Hours: Mac and Cheese

Judges Alex Guarnaschelli, Maneet Chauhan and Aarón Sánchez take on the appetizer basket from the Mac and Cheese episode.

Episode: Mac and Cheese

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Chopped from the Start

This time around, the judges were tasked with transforming the appetizer basket from a special mac and cheese episode, including boxed mac and cheese, Canadian bacon, Swiss chard and monkfish. Alex felt strongly about the mac and cheese, saying, “If someone doesn’t use that little bag of powder in here, total cop-out — you’re chopped."

#AfterHours

While Aarón finished up his escabeche — a Latin American dish of poached or fried fish — Ted roamed the kitchen, phone in hand. "Let's take a selfie, dude!" Ted says as he snaps a photo. "Look at all these losers — they're still working!" Aarón exclaims. 

Going Nuts

Inspired by Indian flavors for this dish, Maneet transforms the ingredients into a korma sauce (a nut-based sauce) and tops the dish with an apple salad. "I wanted something to set off the heaviness of the entire dish," she says. 

When Two Become One

Alex decided it was best to combine two basket ingredients into one protein element. "I am studding my monkfish steak with the Canadian bacon to get that flavor of the meat into the fish," she says, adding that it'll be accompanied by macaroni and Swiss chard in a cheese sauce.

What's in a Name?

"The word 'eat' is in her name," Ted says of Maneet as everyone steps up to the tasting table. Aarón adds, "And my name backwards is Nóraa." Alex says with a smirk, "Let's eat, Ted." The three dishes of the day certainly prove one thing, according to Aarón: "Who says you can't have cheese with fish?"

Watch More Chopped After Hours

Catch up on previous After Hours Web-exclusive videos and visitFood Network's Chopped page for more insider coverage of the show.