Penn State offensive line coach Herb Hand gets 'Chopped'

Penn State offensive line coach Herb Hand gets 'Chopped'
June 11, 2014, 8:45 am
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Vinnie Duber

Only on cable TV do college football and red Russian kale intersect.

Offensive linemen have a reputation for eating, but how refined is the food they eat? Well, Penn State offensive line coach Herb Hand aimed to prove that O-linemen have a refined pallet when he was a contestant on the popular Food Network show “Chopped” on Tuesday night.

How refined? Well, this was Hand’s best quote of the night:

“Who am I to hog another man’s bacon?”

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Hand proved a very good sharer of bacon (it's unknown if the "hog" pun was intentional or not) and he actually did all right on the cooking show, sailing through the appetizer round thanks to his salt and vinegar potato chip-crusted Dover sole over a bed of sautéed Russian kale with bacon and garlic. The judges loved it.

The entree round, however, tripped Hand up a bit. Take it from him:

“I’ve never had Thai peanut sauce with scotch in it, but we’re going to give it a shot.”

Hand combined single malt scotch, lamb porterhouse, rapine and tamarind paste (after watching the show, I still have no idea what those last two things are) into pan-seared lamb served over a bed of rice noodles with a Thai peanut sauce. That dish didn’t go over as well with the judges, with one calling his peanut sauce “unfinished.”

Hand was chopped (the show’s term for eliminated) following that round. At least he avoided having to make a dessert using chocolate cigars (a real thing that happened on “Chopped”).

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But perhaps even more fun than watching Hand sear and sauté was watching him tweet throughout the show. The Penn State coaching staff was watching the show live on a bus as they traveled throughout the South, and apparently the judges on TV weren’t the only ones critiquing the minutia of Hand’s cooking.

If you thought, however, that only cooking tips could be gleaned from Tuesday’s episode — you have to sear all the fat off your lamb porterhouse — you’re wrong. We actually learned a lot about this year’s Nittany Lions. We know who will be doing the cooking on road trips. We know they’ll be gracious losers, as Hand invited Chopped Champion Keith Young to Beaver Stadium.

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We also know that in addition to giving Christian Hackenberg plenty of protection, the Penn State offensive line will be able to make him a mean Dover sole filet.

If only we could have seen a victorious Herb Hand. And if Penn State isn't selling "#IveBeenChopped" T-shirts this fall, they're missing a real opportunity.