Clapping On The Down Beat

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CHOPPED January 21, 2014

Filed under: Interests,Meal Planning — clappingonthedownbeat @ 9:32 PM

I recently helped a friend with her birthday party.  She wanted to have a Food Network “Chopped”  theme party.

I had to come up with 3 mystery ingredient bags.  There would be an appetizer round, entrée round and dessert round.  Guests were divided into 2 teams of 6, and then pairs would compete in each round.  Everyone had to cook.  There was a 5 minute prep/discussion window and 30 minutes of cooking time for each round.

I also catered the party with appetizers.  Here’s how it turned out:

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For appetizers I made; a cheese tray (french blue cheese, french camembert, french sheep’s milk cheese), Vermont Cheddar and an Italian Padano, a crudités platter with herb dip, crab cakes with remoulade sauce, bacon wrapped roasted shrimp and asparagus and mini roast beef sandwiches with carmelized onions and roasted garlic aoili.

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In the appetizer mystery bag I included 2 sweet italian sausage links, 2 cans of white beans and a bag of crunchy Cheetos.   The teams did really well.  One came up with a sausage crostini with a white bean ragout, and the other made a meatball with a white bean “humus”.  Both tasted really good.

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Round two was the entree.  In the mystery bag was chicken breasts, anchovies, kale and campells cheese soup.  One group took a southern approach and made fried chicken tenders with cheesy grits and sauteed kale.  The other group made chicken enchiladas.  The enchiladas took “best dish” of the night prize.

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After lots of dish washing we headed into the last round, dessert.  Participants were faced with a bag of mini Oreos, fresh strawberries, a block of cream cheese and a bottle of orange Fanta.  One group stepped out and made Oreo “chip” muffins with cream cheese and a strawberry orange sauce.  The other group made a Oreo mint cream cheese  parfait with an orange cocktail.

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It was a really entertaining and fun evening to prepare for and be a part of.  Brave enough to host a Chopped party yourself?  Or maybe have a fun evening and challenge yourself for dinner.  Hunt in the pantry or fridge and pull of a few ingredients, create a new dinner or a variation with a twist!

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