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  • The Chopping Blog

Love It or Hate It - Part 1

Lisa C
Posted by Lisa C on Feb 1, 2023


We all have that one food whether from our childhood or a bad dining experience that we just can’t stand. It could be a texture issue, a smell, how it was presented, or just a preconceived notion that makes you head for the hills just thinking about these certain ingredients. I will tell you that you are not alone in your feelings of hatred toward certain foods. I have taught many classes at The Chopping Block, and I encounter many people who have a complete distain for particular foods. But I have one rule in my classes: just keep trying them!

I would rather have you try something and spit it out in front of me than to never try something. Who knows? Maybe that one time you ate that ingredient, it wasn’t cooked properly and could have been prepared better. Your taste buds are constantly evolving and the more you try something, the more likely you are to develop a love for it.

For the longest time, Americans did not like dark chocolate. Its bitter taste was enjoyed around the world, and it was only until recently that it has finally made its impact on our palettes. There aren’t many foods that I won’t eat, but even I can’t stand cottage cheese and grapefruit. I still can’t figure out why I don’t like these ingredients. I have tried and tried them numerous times but to no avail. To me, it is comical because I like other foods that are similar to both of these, and I will use them when I am cooking for other people but alas I am stuck in my ways at the age of 40. I do, however, like palomas… go figure.

I have decided to make a list of the foods that I hear people most frequently turn their noses up to and provide my favorite recipes for you to try and hopefully change your mind! This will be the first blog in a series dedicated to this topic of foods people just don’t like. In this blog, I will be discussing blue cheese, shellfish, beets, eggplant and Brussels sprouts.

Blue Cheese

This is a big one for many people. The taste is very strong and sharp, the smell can be overwhelming, and just the look of it can be off-putting. It's basically moldy cheese but when used the right way can be oh, so delicious. The first tip is to choose the right blue cheese. One of the more subtle versions would be a Danish blue cheese. It's softer in texture and flavor and to tone that down even more try mixing it with other creamy ingredients like butter for a steak topping or cream for a pasta sauce. I made an aerated blue cheese cream foam and paired it with beef tenderloin; think savory whipped cream for steak! The added air really lightened up the strong blue cheese flavor.

Our sommelier has some great tips on pairing this funky cheese with wine to help wash it down. Complementing this salty cheese with something sweet helps make the cheese more palatable, as well. The recipe I chose to change your mind on blue cheese is a simple puff pastry tart that combines sweet, savory and our dreaded ingredient. Another fun recipe to try is this buffalo blue cheese sweet potato. One of my favorite blue cheeses is Cambezola: it's a combination of gorgonzola and camembert cheese for a soft and creamy texture.

blue cheese

Caramelized Onion and Blue Cheese Galette

Yield: 8-10 servings

Active time: 25 minutes

Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes


2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons butter

4 medium onions, sliced or diced

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 recipe Pie dough

1/4 cup sherry

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 egg yolks

2 Tablespoons fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1/3 cup blue cheese, crumbled

Grated parmesan cheese for topping


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  2. To caramelize the onions, heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. Sauté the onions with the salt until they are nicely caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, egg yolks and thyme.
  4. Once the onions are caramelized to a rich golden color, deglaze with the sherry and reduce until dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Combine the cream mixture with the caramelized onions. You can fold in the blue cheese to melt in or save for topping.
  6. Roll the disk of dough out on a floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a parchment-lined sheet tray. Spread the onion mixture evenly over the bottom, leaving a 1-inch border of dough.
  7. Fold the edges of the dough over the edges of the filling to create a rustic-style crust.
  8. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 40 minutes.
  9. Top with grated parmesan once out of the oven.



Shellfish in general tends to fall on the 'hate it' list. When not cooked properly, they can be tough or rubbery. Sometimes the taste of the sea can be a bit overpowering but in my recipe the salami and cream really balance it out. And by baking the clams, they won’t overcook as easily.


Baked Little Neck Clams

Yield: 4 servings

Active time: 45 minutes

Start to finish: 55 minutes


2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 ounces salami, minced

2 shallots, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup white wine

2 cups heavy cream

2 Tablespoons fresh thyme, rough chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

12 little neck clams, opened and released from the shell but still on the shell

1 cup panko breadcrumbs mixed with extra virgin olive oil to coat


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat, and add the olive oil. Sauté the salami until slightly browned and crisp.
  3. Stir in the shallots and garlic, and cook until translucent and aromatic, about 1 minute.
  4. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, scarping free any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and reduce until just dry.
  5. Add the heavy cream and the thyme, and simmer until reduced by half of its original volume.
  6. While the cream mixture is reducing, shuck the clams.
  7. Season the cream mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. To assemble, place the clams on a sheet tray. Top each clam with a spoonful of the salami and cream mixture.
  9. Generously sprinkle the tops with the breadcrumbs, and bake for about 10 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown on top.

baked clams


With their earthy flavor and deep color, beets can be off putting to a lot of people. But when combined with chocolate, the root vegetable makes a delicious chocolate beet bread. I love sneaking veggies into sweet breads. This is what I call the original red velvet cake!


Chocolate Beet Bread

Yield: 1 loaf or 4 minis

Active time: 15 minutes


1/2 cup (4oz) cooked beets, pureed

1 cup (130g) all-purpose flour

1/4 cup (20g) cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 whole egg, room temp

1 egg white

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

3 Tablespoons (56g) maple syrup OR honey

1/3 cup (75g) unsweetened applesauce, room temp

1/3 cup (75g) yogurt, room temp

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon instant espresso, optional

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks


  1. Cook beets, peel and puree. 
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Spray one 9"×5" loaf pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. You can also use four 6"×3.5" loaf pans for mini loaves.
  4. Measure the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together in a bowl. Whisk to combine.
  5. In a separate bowl, measure together melted butter, maple syrup or honey, applesauce, yogurt, vanilla, espresso, whole egg and beet puree. Whisk to combine.
  6. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture and gently fold in just until all dry ingredients are incorporated.
  7. In separate bowl, whisk egg white until foamy and not liquidy. Fold into the other ingredients with the chocolate chips.
  8. Transfer to prepared loaf pan and bake 45-50 minutes for single loaf or 18-22 minutes for 4 mini loaves. Loaf is ready when you gently press the top and it has a slight bounce or when toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached.
  9. Let cool for about 10 minutes then remove from pan to finish cooling.

chocolate beet bread


It's skin can be bitter and unless cooked properly, the flesh can be soggy, so I can understand why people shy away from buying this vegetable at the grocery store. There are many varieties of eggplant out there, and I prefer the more slender types because I find that they have less seeds compared to the big bulbous eggplants. I have convinced many people to give eggplant a second chance with this eggplant involtini recipe.


Eggplant Involtini

Yield: 6-8 servings

Active time: 1 hour

Start to finish: 1 hour, 30 minutes


2-3 medium-size eggplants

3 cups all-purpose flour for dredging

4 eggs, lightly beaten with water

4 to 5 cups panko breadcrumbs mixed with 1 cup grated parmesan cheese and dried herbs

Oil for pan frying (not olive oil)


2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 pounds baby spinach

6 to 8 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 pound fontina, grated

4 to 5 cups marinara sauce

2 packages buffalo mozzarella, sliced


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  2. Cut the eggplant into 1/8-inch slices lengthwise on a mandoline. They should be no thicker than 1/4 inch.
  3. Place the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in three separate shallow dishes.
  4. Dip the eggplant slices in the flour first, then the eggs, followed by the panko breadcrumbs.
  5. Pan fry the breaded eggplant in oil, over medium-high heat for about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
    • They should be nice and golden brown on both sides.
    • There should be roughly a 1/4 inch of oil in the pan for every batch.
    • Make sure to lay eggplant on a rack or paper towels after frying.
  1. While eggplant is cooling, sauté the spinach. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, and add the olive oil. Sauté the spinach and garlic until the greens are wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  2. To assemble the dish, lay all of the fried eggplant slices on your work surface, and put the fontina cheese on the entire length of each one.
  3. Next, add some of the wilted spinach mixture on top of the cheese about a 1/2 inch from the bottom.
  4. Roll the eggplant up, and with the seam side down, place the rolls in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish.
  5. Top the rolls with marinara sauce followed by the buffalo mozzarella.
  6. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is slightly browned and sauce is bubbly.

eggplant involtini

Brussels Sprouts

Every childhood food nightmare! Check out this awesome recipe to try and change your mind, otherwise this roasted Brussels sprout soup is truly delicious. Roasting the Brussels sprouts concentrates the flavor and blending with cream and finishing with lemon means this creamy soup with change your thoughts on this bitter vegetable.

brussels sprouts

Creamy Roasted Brussels Sprout Soup

Yield: 4-6 servings

Active time: 35 minutes

Start to finish: 55 minutes


1 pound brussels sprouts, bottoms removed and cut into quarters

2 Tablespoons roasted garlic grapeseed oil

Salt and pepper to taste


2 Tablespoons butter

2 shallots, thinly sliced

2 stalked celery, thinly sliced

4 cups chicken stock

1 small russet potato, peeled and cut into large dice

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon fresh chives, very thinly sliced

Lemon juice to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Preheat the oven to 400º.
  2. On a sheet tray toss together the brussels sprouts and garlic oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Roast the sprouts until they are lightly caramelized around the edges and just tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. While the sprouts are roasting, prepare the soup base. Heat a heavy, wide pan over medium heat, and add the butter. Gently sauté the shallots and celery until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Add the vegetable stock and potato, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and continue to simmer until the potatoes are tender.
  6. Add the roasted brussels sprouts to the soup, and simmer for an additional 5 minutes, or until they are tender.
  7. Using a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth and silky.
  8. Return the soup to the pot, and stir in the heavy cream, chives and lemon juice to taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Ladle into bowls with a generous sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese

BrusselsSproutsSoupHopefully after reading these recipes, you are inspired to give those ingredients you hate another try! Let me know below in the comments if any of your favorite foods are on this list or if there are more foods that I missed that you just can’t stand? Don’t miss my next blog when I will be discussing mushrooms, liver, anise/fennel, and more!

At The Chopping Block, we are here to teach you how to properly cook food and balance flavors so check out a class today and see if you have been missing out by not liking certain ingredients!

See our class calendar

Topics: mussels, clams, shellfish, chocolate, blue cheese, food, eggplant, Ingredients, Brussels Sprouts, beets, hate

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