How Would You Chop It?


Courtesy of Food Network

If you watch the hit Food Network show Chopped, and you are anything like me, than you have your ideas. You see a seemingly insane (or easy) basket and think, “If I were there, I would do this,” or “what the heck is this guy thinking??” Let’s face it though, until they invent the television where show contestants can hear your comments, it doesn’t matter. That is, until now!

Here at FoodSided, we will be giving you, the viewers of Chopped, a space to voice your thoughts, ideas, and recipes that you would have created with each new episode’s basket ingredients. Every week, we will tell you what ingredients were in each round’s basket. In addition, we will give you a brief synopsis of what kind of ideas the chefs on the episode came up with.

We will even go so far as to pick a theoretical winner each week! Now you won’t be getting $10,000, but we can feature your ideas and recipes in a post here on FoodSided! Not too shabby if you ask me! Keep in mind, if you actually cook something and send us some pictures, you are pretty much a shoe in!

This week’s episode was one that featured some pretty gnarly baskets. There were a few items that I was dumbfounded about, so I have much respect for the winner Kristen. Here are the basket ingredients and a brief commentary on what happened in the respective rounds.


  • Smoked Catfish
  • Ricotta Salata
  • A Giant Jawbreaker (equipped with a ball-pin hammer, but still, that’s kind of dumb, no?)
  • Watermelon Soda

My mind instantly went to the idea of watermelon and feta cheese. Now feta is a different cheese than ricotta salata, but the flavor profile is somewhat reminiscent with a salty taste that really compliments melon. The chef who really embraced this round made a smoked catfish patty, almost like a croquet. While many of the contestants combined the watermelon soda and jawbreaker to make some sort of sauce or gastrique.


  • Lamb Tagine (A Moroccan style lamb stew, cooked in a clay pot. This came in the pot and all!)
  • Miso Paste
  • Doughnut Croissant (Let’s be honest, this is a Cronut. Now I know Food Network can’t say Cronut because of trademarking and such, but that’s what it is.)
  • Zucchini Blossoms

So I personally hate when baskets include already cooked meats. As difficult as it can be to repurpose something like lamb tagine, you can’t really screw up a pre-cooked meat. One chef, really crushed this round creating a savory bread pudding from the Cronuts and lamb stuffed zucchini blossoms. This entree sounded and looked delicious!


Blueberry Scones

Ginger Preserves

Courtesy of


Gjetost Cheese (I had never seen this either, but it seemed pretty legit. According to judge Mark Murphy, it’s just the caramelized cheese curds left over from the cooking process. It has a caramel color, and seemed to have a fudge-like consistency. From my research it comes from pretty much every Scandinavian country and can be called like 10 different names.)

Chopped dessert round and ice cream seemingly go hand in hand. However, nobody went that route in this episode, and I was somewhat surprised. I think the gjetost cheese, given its texture could have been a great additive to a salted caramel ice cream. The winning chef, actually went pretty risky and cooked up a blueberry tart with a lemon curd. Throughout the episode Kristen did some unreal basket transformations, and it won her $10,000.

Now it’s your turn, tell us how you would chop it in the comments section! Remember, the best idea will get featured in their own post over the weekend. Good luck!