My girlfriend introduced me to a great show featured on Food Network, which quickly became a favourite channel of mine. If you haven’t seen it, the show is called Chopped and they start with four chefs, give them each a basket of four or five random ingredients, and set them off to cook an appetizer under a time limit. All of the basket ingredients must be used, and the finished dishes are judged by a panel of food experts. The weakest dish is “Chopped” along with the chef who created it, and the remaining three are given a new basket of items with which to cook a main entree! The battle ensues until only two chefs are left to battle over dessert. It’s a neat show, because you get to see how they creatively incorporate ingredients like miso into dessert, how they cook a whole rabbit for an entree in under 30 minutes, and other fantastical food challenges.

The aforementioned wonderful girlfriend came up with an AMAZING idea, “Why don’t we do Chopped at home?” she proposed to me one lazy evening as we watched old episodes of Chopped together. “Let’s get random ingredients for each other and each cook something!” We discussed the details of this absolutely awesome idea, and settled on the rules. We would randomly choose who was doing appetizer, main, or dessert. For this, we needed a third – so it only made sense to rope in her twin (who also dearly loves the Food Network awesomeness) to join us in our food adventure!

It was decided that my girlfriend would do the appetizer, I would do the main dish, and the twin would follow up with dessert! I ended up buying ingredients for my girlfriend, the twin bought ingredients for me, and my girlfriend bought ingredients for her twin! We assembled in the kitchen for an adventure in cooking!

Today, I present to you the appetizer round in photographs! This is my superbly awesome girlfriend creating an appetizer from some admittedly evil ingredients that I purchased for her. Enjoy!

Chef ready to cook
The chef is ready to unveil her ingredients and cook a succulent appetizer!
Ingredients: Koala Crisp (organic, sweetened, with cocoa), garlic stuffed olives, whole Chilean Sea Bass!
The ingredients: Koala Crisp (organic, sweetened, with cocoa), garlic stuffed olives, whole Chilean Sea Bass (with the head and eyes!!!!)
Chef tenatively cutting the head off her fish!
Chef tenatively cutting the head off her fish!
The deed is done - now on to cooking!
The deed is done – now on to cooking!
The fish is cubed, placed in a bowl, and spiced. What will it become?
The fish is cubed, placed in a bowl, and spiced. What will it become?
Chopping the garlic-stuffed olives
Chopping the garlic-stuffed olives
The gluten-free Koala Crisp proves difficult to crush! A crust or breading perhaps?
The gluten-free Koala Crisp proves difficult to crush! A crust or breading perhaps?
The ingredients have been combined, and the chef is now cannelling the mixture
The ingredients have been combined, and the chef is now cannelling the mixture, then placing them into hot oil.
The fried mixture - it looks delicious!
The fried mixture – it looks delicious!
The chef begins assembling the plates, laying down a bed of lettuce and a spiced sour cream sauce for dipping
The chef begins assembling the plates, laying down a bed of lettuce and a spiced sour cream sauce for dipping.
Putting the final touches on plating, the chef is feeling confident in her dish. It looks good!
Putting the final touches on plating, the chef is feeling confident in her dish. It looks good!
Finished "fish nuggets" on the plate. They were amazing!
Finished “fish nuggets” on the plate. They were amazing!

Stay tuned for the next installment – the entree!

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