The Ladies of Chopped — Chopped After Hours
Tonight the ladies of Chopped, or the "Charlie's Angels of Chopped," as Alex Guarnaschelli put it, judged a special mother-in-law and daughter-in-law episode of the show. And on After Hours the ladies are busting into the kitchen to take on one of the baskets from the episode. Judges Amanda Freitag, Maneet Chauhan and Alex take on cooking with lasagna, onion blossom chips, arugula and a wine purse. "This was one of the more catastrophic appetizer baskets that we've seen," says Alex as the ladies chat about the basket's difficulties. But there's no doubt the three will succeed, despite it being a 20-minute appetizer round.
"That's kind of throwing me for a loop," says Alex of the arugula, which is often a crutch ingredient for competitors. But instead of ignoring the ingredient, Alex embraces it and decides to turn it into sorbet, even though she's not quite sure how she'll pull it off. Ted, too, wonders whether it will work and goes over to tell Maneet what Alex is making. "Of course she is," Maneet says pointedly. But Maneet's also going a similar direction, combining the arugula with tomatillos to make a refreshing gazpacho. She cubes up the lasagna and turns the pieces into fritters by deep-frying them — they'll serve as the garnish for her chilled soup. Amanda's the only judge to take the basket ingredients down "'nother road," as she calls it. Instead of going light and fresh, Amanda is inspired by the lasagna's cheesy layers to create a queso fundido dip, making it even heavier by bringing in more cheese like fresh mozzarella and Gruyère. But after hearing "yum" repeatedly during tasting time, Amanda says, "There's no freshness here," which elicits a round of laughs from the group.
Click the play button on the video above to watch the entire After Hours episode and see the dishes Amanda, Maneet and Alex created. Then browse behind-the-scenes images for an insider's look at the cooking.
Start a conversation with fellow fans and tell FN Dish in the comments below how you would have approached this basket: What would you make out of lasagna, onion blossom chips, arugula and a wine purse?
Catch up on past Chopped After Hours episodes by watching all the battles online.