Since we don’t have cable TV (gasp!) I don’t get to watch my favorite cooking shows very often. It used to be the rare exception of visiting our parents that I’d watch Ina Garten and The Pioneer Woman, but now that I joined a gym, I have a whole new-found level of motivation to get on the treadmill. Personalized TV’s on each machine! It’s the best. So now I can jog my little heart out or climb as many steps as I want on the Stair Master, all while getting my Food Network fix.
I was never one to watch the cooking competition shows, but I do have to say some of them have gotten pretty interesting. My favorite is the one with kids, but I’ve also been sucked into episodes of Chopped.
So when I got the opportunity to participate in Sargento’s Chopped at Home competition, I jumped at the chance. I always wondered how I’d do in one of those high-intensity competitions, and while this isn’t QUITE as intense, it still had the fun behind it. So what was my challenge? To create a dish with Sargento’s Off the Block Mexican Shreds along with couscous, chicken tenders, and salsa.
Challenge, accepted. My first thought when thinking of this challenge was to make some sort of cheesy Mexican casserole, but as I continued brainstorming, I finally settled on a couscous stew topped with a big handful of cheese.
I made this on a busy weeknight and was surprised at how quick it came together. Then I remembered that’s the beauty of couscous – it seriously takes hardly any time to cook.
The soup is a combination of onions, chicken salsa, beans, corn, and chicken broth, thickened up with the couscous. I also added some chili powder and cumin for extra flav-ah. The Sargento’s Off the Block Shredded Mexican Cheese got all melty and creamy and definitely completed the stew.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 white onion diced
- 1 lb chicken breasts about 2 large, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 16 ounce jar salsa
- 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup dry couscous
- Sargento Off the Block Mexican Shredded Cheese for topping
- green onions for topping
- tortilla strips or chips for topping
- In a large soup pot heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add onions and cook until they start to soften, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add chicken, and cook another 5-7 minutes, until onions are translucent and pieces are cooked through.
- Add chili powder, cumin, and salt, and stir well to combine.
- Add salsa, black beans, corn, and broth, stirring well.
- Bring to a simmer.
- Add couscous, lower heat to medium-low, and close lid on pot.
- Let simmer for 5 minutes, until couscous is cooked.
- Spoon into bowls, and top with a generous amount of shredded cheese, tortilla strips, and green onions.
- Serve and enjoy!
- *Note - couscous does a really good job at soaking up extra liquid, so if you are eating leftovers, you may need to add water for it to become stew-like again.
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 Pinterest.com/sargentocheese/ 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.