I am a long time fan of the Food Network show Chopped. The innovative recipes and fun challenges always inspire me to cook and bake more. When I heard about the Chopped At Home Challenge I knew that I wanted to try! Part of the Round 2 challenge is to find the four “basket” ingredients and create a Mexican recipe. The four ingredients are Sargento Fine Cut Shredded 4 Cheese Mexican Blend, Corn tortillas, Poblano peppers and chicken thighs. We made Mini Taco Salad’s that turned out great and they were easy to create. I am going to share my Mini Taco Salad recipe and photo’s, but first I want share more info about the Chopped At Home Challenge with Sargento. From 4/25/16 – 5/23/16 create a recipe and submit it to FoodNetwork.com/ChoppedChallenge for the 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! How awesome would that be?? Head to the store and get some Sargento Cheese available in 30 versatile varieties, and start cooking your Chopped recipe.
To make your Mini Taco Salad Recipe you are going to need to get the four basket ingredient items listed above (Sargento Fine Cut Shredded 4 Cheese Mexican Blend, Corn tortillas, Poblano peppers and chicken thighs) and you will also need a red pepper, sweet onion, 1 lb of bacon, 1 avocado, salsa, tomatoes, sour cream and green leaf lettuce.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Once you have gathered all of your ingredients, you are going to start with the bacon. Cut 3-5 strips into small pieces and put them in the pan over med-low heat. Next you are going to take the chicken thighs, and wash 3 of them, remove the skin, and cut the meat off the bone. Then cut the meat into small chunks. Before you add the chicken to the pan, drain most of the grease. Then you will put them in the pan with the bacon and let it cook. The grease from the bacon will keep the chicken from sticking. You will also want to dice one poblano pepper (with the seeds removed), a red pepper (with the seeds removed) and half of a sweet onion and add them. Let this sautée for about 15 minutes while we get everything else ready. Remember to stir occasionally.
While your chicken mixture is cooking, you are going to take the corn tortillas and make them into your mini taco shells. For this you will need a muffin or cupcake pan. We are going to shape the tortilla into a bowl and then bake them so make sure your oven is preheated (375 degrees) while we make the bowls. Be sure to stir your chicken/bacon occasionally so it cooks evenly and doesn’t overcook or burn. To make the taco shell, take 3 corn tortillas and wrap them in a lightly damp paper towel. Heat them for about 30-40 seconds. When you take them out, form the shell on the underside of the muffin tin. Once you have them formed, lightly spray with cooking spray, and then put them in and bake them for about 10 minutes.
While the shells are cooking and the chicken is cooking, you will want to dice a couple of tomatoes and the lettuce get out the sour cream and the Sargento Shredded Cheese. You will also want to slice one half of an avocado. When the shells are done, pull them off the pan and add three more (remember to warm them first or they will crack). While your next set of shells are baking, you can prepare the 3 tacos that are ready. Put a layer of the chicken, bacon and pepper mixture in the bottom of the shell. Then you will add shredded lettuce, tomatoes and top with cheese. Then you will add a dollop of sour cream and a slice of avocado on top and I also added a piece of cooked chicken from the mixture. Then take a lime and lightly squeeze over the top (for a couple of seconds – just a light coat).
This is a yummy group of basket ingredients and it was so much fun to have my own Chopped challenge. My kids were the judges and they decided I could move on to the dessert round 😉 Test your chops in this Chopped at Home Challenge with Sargento, and then submit your recipe for a chance to win! Just visit FoodNetwork.com/ChoppedChallenge for the chance to win $5,000 and a trip to New York City before 5/23/16 at 9 am! Good Luck.
Here is the printable recipe for you
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sargento. The opinions and text are all mine.