Your family will think they are living with a professional chef when you whip up this grilled pork tenderloin with veggie mac & cheese for dinner.
I am a huge fan of cooking shows. I can get hooked for hours watching those professionals put ingredients together in just the perfect way to create some really amazing looking (and I’m sure delicious) food. Maybe you’re not an avid watcher of food shows like I am, but have you heard of a show called chopped? The chefs are given a mystery basket of sometimes random ingredients and they have to come up with a delicious dish right there on the spot. There have been some really crazy and creative dishes created with the unusual ingredients.
Right now The Food Network is hosting a Chopped At Home Challenge where us foodie fans can get involved in the competition! From 7/5/2016 to 8/1/2016 at home cooks can enter their chopped at home recipe for 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. The ingredients that have to be included in the dish are pork tenderloin, broccoli, cherry or grape tomatoes and Sargento® Chef Blends 4 State Cheddar and the theme is grilling.
My dad is one of the best cooks I know and 2 of the best things he makes are grilled pork tenderloin and macaroni and cheese. So in honor of my favorite at home cook, I made the best grilled pork tenderloin and veggie mac & cheese. Let me tell you, my family LOVED this meal.
I also loved the fact that I could get a couple veggies into them while they enjoyed a classic favorite. The Sargento 4 state cheddar was such a perfect cheese to use for the sauce. I love cheese. The saltiness of it, oh yum! And I love the fact that Sargento shredded cheese is always cut from blocks of 100% natural cheese. Plus they have 30 varieties, cuts and blends, to choose from.
And there was plenty of cheese to be had in this veggie mac & cheese. If you need more cheese inspiration, check out Sargento on Pinterest or on their website.
Veggie Mac & Cheese
Get your kids to eat their veggies by sneaking them into this delicious veggie mac & cheese.
- 1 lb box elbow pasta
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 4 cups Sargento Chef Blends 4 State Cheddar
- 4 TBL butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- dash of nutmeg
- 6-8 splashes hot sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non stick spray.
- Put on a large pot of water to boil.
- As you wait for water to boil, cut up broccoli heads to bite size pieces.
- Add pasta to water and boil per al dente instructions.
- Add broccoli to boiling pasta for last 4 minutes of cook time.
- Slice tomatoes and add them to baking dish.
- Drain pasta and broccoli once cooked and add to the baking dish with the tomatoes.
- In a sauce pan with 3-4 inch sides, melt butter on medium heat.
- Once butter is melted, whisk in 1/4 flour until there are no lumps.
- Continue whisking the mixture for several minutes (4-5 min) until it becomes a nutty brown color.
- Turn up heat to medium high and slowly add chicken stock and milk.
- **Warm up your milk a little and add it slowly to create a creamier sauce.**
- Continue whisking so your roux doesn't burn, until it thickens, like a gravy consistency.
- Add salt, pepper, sugar, hot sauce and nutmeg.
- Add 3 cups of Sargento Chef Blends 4 State Cheddar.
- Mix until cheese is completely incorporated.
- Pour cheese sauce over pasta and veggies.
- Mix together until all the pasta is coated with the sauce.
- Sprinkle remaining shredded cheese on top.
- Bake for 20 mins until bubbly and cheese is melted.
While my veggie mac & cheese was cooking in the oven, I got to work on grilling the perfect pork tenderloin.
To grill the perfect pork tenderloin you will need:
1 (plain) pork tenderloin, olive oil, montreal seasoning, outdoor propane grill, meat thermometer (one that can remain in pork while cooking if possible).
Turn on all the burners on your outdoor grill to high and close the lid to heat up. Remove pork tenderloin from packaging and rinse with water and pat dry with a paper towel. Lay pork loin on a tray and cover with olive oil and montreal seasoning until it is completed coated. Using tongs, place tenderloin in center of grill and sear (meaning brown quickly, for about 1-2 minutes) all sides of the pork tenderloin, forming kind of like a crust layer. Once all the sides are seared, insert meat thermometer into the end of the pork (trying to stay as centered as possible). Turn off the center burner of your outdoor grill and close the lid. Make sure your pork is in the center of the grill, this is called indirect grilling. Let the pork sit in the grill cooking until the internal temperature of the meat is 140 degrees (or with in 5 degrees of that). It will take anywhere from 20 – 25 minutes, depending on how thick your tenderloin is. You can turn it half way through the cooking time if you want, but it’s not necessary since it isn’t over any direct heat. Once the desired temperature is reached, remove the tenderloin onto a plate and cover with foil for 10 minutes before serving. Then slice and serve along side the veggie mac & cheese for a full meal. Once sliced, it should feed 6.
I will say, I have never grilled anything on my own, EVER! Until I grilled this pork tenderloin. And I followed the above instructions exactly and it’s turned out perfect! Tender, juicy and full of flavor.
So get your cooking cap on and create your own delicious dish using the basket ingredients and enter your recipe at the Food Network Chopped at home Challenge before 8/1/2016. I mean, who doesn’t want at chance at some extra cash?!?! And did I mention there is going to be a voting period? That’s right. From 8/1/2016 to 8/22/2016 people can go and vote for your recipe to help your chances at winning the money.
So what impressive dish would you love to create?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sargento. The opinions and text are all mine.