Anyone can host a cooking class get-together. I know; I’ve done it.
Get fancy with your friends by inviting them all over to get Chopped! this time around.
What is Chopped!? It’s only one of the strangest cooking competitions on TV: a timed challenge where chefs are given some pretty incongruent food items and told they have to create a culinary masterpiece from them all.
Hungry to try it? Let’s get started!
Unless you’ve got a Food Network studio-sized kitchen, you’re going to need to plan on a fairly small-sized shindig.
Think about how many people you want to invite, and how that will work out in terms of teams and cooking areas.
You could have each group prepare a different sort of meal (dessert, appetizer, main), to cut down on demand for a single stove.
Speaking of, this is the best time to hit up that friend or relative you have with a large kitchen.
Space, space, space will be your bestest bud, especially in terms of accessible countertops.
Even if you don’t have a larger range, you can always get a plug-in pan or single burner to compensate.
Besides the main chopped ingredients (whatever those might be), a trip to the store is imperative for necessary extras.
I’m talking support spices and foods, PLUS pans, pots, cutting boards, knives, spoons, etc.
Everyone will get chopped if they have to share the same spatula.
Once you’re ready to invite the guests, think about your invitations.
This knife with block idea really struck my fancy. It’s so clever!
The knife on top introduces the party, and the card beneath gives specific instructions. Grab some paper at Michael’s, and cut some out for your invitees.
Are we about ready to cook, bake, sautée, whip, flambé, stir, and plate?
A great idea I found was to ask each guest or couple to bring ingredients for one dish, in a basket.
For one; each couple was assigned dessert, main dish, or appetizer. What they brought inside was up to them.
Once the couples all arrived, they were given another’s basket to work with. Makes you want to be nice and not bring random crap, doesn’t it?
You, the host/hostess, may want to list some specific ideas -including how they’ll need to bring at least one meat/protein if they’re assigned main dish; one sugared option for dessert, etc.
This picture is an example of some main course ingredients: butternut squash, radishes, chicken breasts, and a bottle of soda pop.
What could you magick from these?
Despite the fun of watching the people on TV under pressure, your pals are not likely to want such strict time limits.
It’s only fair, too, since this may be a new thing for them. They may still be sharing that one spatula, too.
Consider reasonable times, therefore, and remind them gently of when the deadline is approaching.
If you went for each group or person making the same dish from the same items, judging the winner can be based on the best of those.
Otherwise, everyone can vote on which course was their favorite, or was plated the best.
Keep things fun and happy, laugh at the blunders, and taste everything.
It’s surprising what can be made with the ingredients available.
Speaking of, here is a winner from an online Chopped! challenge: Corn and Feta Cheesecake with Strawberry Basil Topping.
The way I see it: if you tried, you win. It’s all fun in the end.
Ready to get chopping? These fine websites were the source of all the images used, above:
2. Sur la Table
9. Brass Wok
10. Food Network