This fun Chopped at Home Challenge™ recipe is sponsored by Sargento®and their Off the Block 4 Cheese Mexican.
When I’m presented with a challenge, it’s hard not to accept. In this case, the challenge from Sargento was to create a recipe using four ingredients to mimic the Chopped challenge.
I’m a big fan of Chopped, Ted Allen, and the infamous cast of rotating Food Network chef judges. Chopped at Home Challenge? You’re ON.
Open Your Basket
The meal? Dinner.
The ingredients? Sargento Off the Block 4 Cheese Mexican, couscous, salsa, and boneless chicken tenders.
Time? 30 minutes.
The ingredients in my “virtual basket” don’t seem too daunting, but it still took me a while to come up with a meal that wasn’t simply quesadillas. (Not that there’s anything wrong with quesadillas.)
Everyone in our house is a fan of my panko breaded chicken tenders. I thought: what if I combined the Sargento Off the Block 4 Cheese Mexican with the panko?
What happened is this: it formed a cheesy, crunchy coating that, when seared, kept the chicken tenders moist, juicy and so, so good.
See the crispy, lacy cheese around the edges? That was my favorite part.
I mean, really. Does it get any better?
Next up was a creative way to use the couscous, salsa, and more Sargento Off the Block 4 Cheese Mexican. Couscous is an odd ingredient, and I must admit that I’m not a big fan of the teeny-tiny couscous. I prefer the pearl or Israeli couscous, especially for things like my Summer Couscous Salad. It resembles traditional pasta, and doesn’t dry out in the way that the teensy kind does (or maybe I’m just not cooking it correctly – who knows).
I decided to make a béchamel, and then whisk in the cheese and salsa to produce a queso-like sauce for the couscous.
As for the couscous, I browned it for a few minutes in a pot with some olive oil and a couple of fresh garlic cloves, before I added homemade chicken stock and let it simmer until al dente.
Then, once the couscous was ready, I folded in that silky queso sauce….
Everything was ready in about 30 minutes. SCORE! And my family gobbled it up.
Amazingly, there was leftover queso sauce. But, rest assured, it didn’t go to waste…it was devoured afterwards with some crispy tortilla chips.
[i]For the Queso Couscous:[/i]
[i]For the Cheesy Panko Crusted Chicken Tenders:[/i]
For the Queso Couscous:
For the Cheesy Panko Crusted Chicken Tenders:
Available in 30 versatile varieties, unique blends and distinct cuts, Sargento Shredded Cheese is always cut from blocks of 100% real, natural cheese. For more inspiration, check out the Sargento Pinterest page or visit Sargento.com for more information. The Chopped at Home Challenge gives viewers a chance to create their best recipe using the selected basket ingredients, including Sargento Shredded Cheese, for a chance to win $10,000!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sargento. The opinions and text are all mine.