Top Moments of Chopped After Hours: Momumental

The Chopped judges take on an entree basket of carrot baby food, mustard greens, pork butt and red quinoa on Chopped After Hours: Momumental.

Episode: Momumental

Meals With Mom in Mind

After seeing what a group of moms can do with an entree basket of carrot baby food, mustard greens, pork butt and red quinoa, judges Marc Murphy, Maneet Chauhan and Alex Guarnaschelli try their hands at the same ingredients. For Alex, it's the "scary little jar" of baby food that's most disconcerting in this battle.

From Tough to Tender

A notoriously tough meat, pork butt often requires hours of cooking so that it can break down and become tender. But since Chopped competitors don't enjoy the luxury of time, Marc resorts to grinding it with bacon before turning the mixture into meatballs. "Sorry about all the noise, everybody, but you know how I like all the attention," he jokes to his competitors.

Juicing Done Right

Planning to bread the meat and prepare it Milanese-style, Alex decides to pound the pork butt until it's thin and tender and serve it with a mustard green vinaigrette. Ted wonders if the vegetables will make for a bitter dressing, but Alex doesn't seem concerned. "As a resident Chopped judge, hopefully not when I'm done with them," she says of them greens.

Desensitized Digits

Maneet doesn't let a little oil stop her from checking the doneness of deep-fried mustard greens; she simply sticks her bare hands into the fryer basket to feel for potential crispiness. "And you're just touching those hot fried items with your fingers," Ted wonders to her, "cause you have no nerves left in your skin?" These will be served atop a casserole-like biryani featuring the quinoa and pork.

Time to Spare

Completing his dish with five minutes leftover, Marc makes himself a dish of meatballs to enjoy with a glass of wine at the judges' table, while Maneet and Alex struggle to finish before time runs out. "I was like, well, if you guys are all set, I'm going to go have myself a little lunch," he tells the group after the challenge.

Roundtable Feedback

After cooking, the judges gather for casual chat about their dishes, tasting each plate's components and commenting on their use of the ingredients and overall taste and texture. "This is one of the best basket I've seen in a long time," Alex remarks. "It's really fun — challenging."

Quinoa on the Clock

Alex receives rave reviews from her peers for her exceptionally cooked quinoa, which Maneet feels is among the most-challenging ingredient in the basket, because "it just cooks so unevenly" and takes a long time to prepare. "I cooked it for 29 minutes and 42 seconds," Alex explains of her approach to the quinoa in the 30-minute round.

Showcasing Baby Food

Not one to shy away from an usual ingredient, Maneet embraces the baby food, featuring it in her yogurt-based raita, served alongside her pork biryani. "It's really neat cause it's smooth in texture and kind of sweet," Alex tells her. "It really works to me as something that could cool you off when you're eating a dish like this."

Watch 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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