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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!