Looking for a creative date night idea? Look no further! After several trial and errors we have found the perfect way to play Chopped at home. Great for couples, families, or even as a Galentine activity with your girlfriend.
If you like watching the Great British Bake Off, Iron Chef, and, yes, Chopped, then this is the date night for you. If you haven't seen the show on the Food Network, Chopped is a cooking competition where each professional chef is given a basket with 3 to 4 seemingly odd ingredients that don't normally go together.
There are three rounds; an appetizer, main course, and dessert course. There is a different basket for each round. Sometimes the ingredients have a theme, like leftovers or BBQ. Sometimes it is totally random. The last chef standing wins.
However, when playing at home if you get something edible everyone wins!
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🍳How to Play "Chopped"
There are no hard and fast rules. Except to have fun! Change it up to make this work for you. It shouldn't be uber- competitive. The goal is to get something edible, spend time with each other, and have a few laughs.
Select Your Courses
For two people you will each get a chance to cook twice. We found that cooking at the same time was too stressful so one person gets to sit back and relax.
We have done 1 cocktail, 2 mains, and 1 dessert. Alternating so we each cook a main. The last time we played we did an appetizer, 2 mains, and 1 dessert course. If you are a big dessert person you can do 2 mains and 2 desserts.
Using our free downloadable shopping list each person does there own shopping. For cocktails, appetizer and dessert rounds you can select 2 to 3 ingredients. For the main course, 3 to 4 ingredients.
You can add a theme if you like.
Start Cooking (i.e. The Rules)
- One person cooks at a time. The other person can help out by chopping vegetables, grabbing items from the pantry, or doing dishes.
- You can use any additional ingredients you like but you have to use ALL the ingredients in your basket for that round.
- Set a time limit. It s up to you on how long and how strict you on the limit. We chose to put a limit of 30 minutes on each round, but if we weren't done we kept cooking. The time limits were more to keep us on track.
- Phone a friend (or ask Alexa). You can search for one question per round. Like what temperature is medium rare steak or how much salt do I put in a cop of rice.
🧾 Chopped Date Night Shopping List
Our free download is broken up into three courses. I did not include a cocktail shopping list. If you want to add a cocktail course use the dessert shopping list a swap in your favorite liquor for the premade item.
🥡Cooking Theme Ideas
Setting a theme for your shopping list is up to you. I generally do better with a theme, because the possibilities are endless having a theme to our date night made it easier for me come up with a recipe.
Here a few ideas for you:
- Set an ingredient to use in every course. Similar to Iron Chef, you have one key ingredient (example, lemons) and you craft your shopping list around using that ingredient.
- Pick a region or ethnic food you both like. Examples, would be Indian, Thai, Mexican, or Italian.
- Pick an era from your lifetime like poor college student (raman, pizaa etc) or childhood favorites (mac and cheese, hot dogs etc) and try to make fancy versions.
🥘Tips and Tricks
- You will want to round out your dish so make sure the fridge and pantry are stocked with the basics you normally eat. For us, that means onions, garlic, carrots, rice noodles, spinach, frozen berries, and other similar quick-cooking ingredients.
- Keep the portions small. Cooking is faster and you won't end up overly full.
- The goal is to have delicious dishes everyone can enjoy so make sure to respect each other's food preferences. For example, my husband generally won't eat sweet sauces with meat dishes so I shopped accordingly.
- Be sure the basket contains ingredients that can be cooked quickly. We don't have 4 hours for the brisket to roast. And fresh pasta cooks quicker than dry.
🥗Stay at Home Dinner Date Menu
Not sure cooking on the fly is your thing? No worries. Here is a a menu you can cook together for a romantic date night at home. Serve with a dry Riesling or a pinot noir.
Braised Pork Shoulder with Apples
Roasted Watermelon Radishes with Lemon and Herb
Dark Chocolate Candied Orange Slices
If you try playing "Chopped" at home, be sure to post a photo on Instagram with #peelwithzeal! I can't wait to see your creations. In the meantime tell me what your ultimate basket would hold.
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