This post brought to you by Sargento. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Daily Dish Magazine.
Summer is here and that means we are spending a lot of time on the back porch grilling. Cooking outside with family and friends is how I love to spend my days. When the opportunity came along to participate in the Food Network Sargento® Chopped At Home Challenge, the Round 3 Grilling Challenge…. I was all in!
The challenge is to use one of Sargento’s 30 versatile varieties of 100% real and natural cheese along with other required basket ingredients to create a new and delicious recipe. Contest entrants have a chance to win $5,000 and a trip to New York City to compete in a televised Chopped cooking challenge for a $10,000 grand prize!
Round 3 as I said is a grilling theme. The required basket ingredients for this challenge are Sargento Chefs Blend 4-State Cheddar, Pork Tenderloin, Broccoli, and Cherry or Grape Tomatoes. Easy enough right?
Not as easy as I thought! I had a lot of ideas run through my head but there was always one ingredient that didn’t seem to fit. I finally settled on highlighting the cheese with broccoli and using it to give flavor to a bland potato and pair it with the spicy smoky pork.
Sargento shredded cheese is always cut from 100% natural cheese blocks so I know it’s going to taste great when added to recipes and is available in packages of 3.25 oz to 3.95 oz. to fit my needs!
I decided I was going to utilize my smoker for this recipe so I started preparing for dinner around 10 o’clock in the morning!
To season my pork, I simply drizzled olive oil and added a generous amount of cajun seasoning. You could mix up your own blend of spices, but I found that any generic brand of pre-mixed cajun seasoning works great!
I chopped up my broccoli (about 2 cups) and placed it on a baking sheet along with a small handful of grape tomatoes aside the pork. I used a spray butter on the broccoli and tomatoes and seasoned with a dash of salt and pepper.
Onto the grill they go where I will let it all sit and get smoky all day long! I set the smoker so it slow cooks at about 200 degrees. Use a meat thermometer to make sure your pork cooks to the proper temperature. For my cut of pork, it took approximately 5 hours to cook fully. You can always opt to turn up the head to finish off cooking to fit your time schedule.
I also wrapped my baking potatoes in foil with a little bit of butter and salt and let them sit on the smoker to start cooking as well.
About an hour before the pork was ready and the baked potatoes were tender, I removed the veggies and potatoes from the grill to prepare the twice baked potato filling and salsa.
To make the potatoes, cut baked potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the inside and place in a large bowl. I used 2 large potatoes in my recipe. Add the smoked broccoli, approximately 1 cup of Sargento 4 State Blend Cheddar, 2 Tablespoons of butter, and 1/2 Cup of sour cream. Use a stick blender to mix it all together and chop up the broccoli into small pieces. If you find your potato mixture is too thick, add a bit of mild to thin it out until you have a nice mashed potato consistency.
Scoop potato mixture back into the potato skins and top with a little more Sargento Cheese. I then place the potatoes back on the grill to sit while the pork finishes cooking to continue to get a smoky flavor and melt the cheese placed on top.
Meanwhile, back to the kitchen to make the spicy salsa! Place the smoked grape tomatoes in a bowl. (reserve a few to use as a garnish later) Use a stick blender to crush the tomatoes. This will be the base of our smoky salsa. Add diced fresh tomato, onion, jalapeno and cilantro to your taste or use this easy kitchen hack… add a few heaping spoonfuls of already made fresh pico de gallo from the supermarket! Set it aside and wait for the magic to be finished on the smoker.
When your pork is cooked to temperature, remove from grill and let it rest for about 5 minutes before slicing.
Next… Assemble your creation. Serve it up however you wish. I chose to slice the pork and place on top of the potato and then placed a spoonful of our smoky salsa over the top and garnished with a few of the smoked grape tomatoes on top. Wah-La! Dinner is Served!
The flavor of the all the smoked ingredients turned out amazing. Even my husband who does not like broccoli ate two of the potatoes! The cajun seasoning along with the salsa adds just a little bit of heat to the dish.
Submit your own recipe to FoodNetwork.com/ChoppedChallenge for your own chance to win $5,000 and a trip to New York City to compete in a televised Chopped cooking challenge for a $10,000 grand prize!
Enter the Grilling Round 3 using these same ingredients: Pork Tenderloin, Sargento 4 State Cheddar Cheese Shreds, Broccoli, and Cherry or Grape Tomatoes.
Round 3 Entry Starts 7/5/16 at 9am – 8/1/16 at 5pm
Round 3 Voting Starts 8/1/16 at 5:01pm – 8/22/16 at 5pm
Happy Grilling and Good Luck!
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sargento. The opinions and text are all mine.