With the $25.00 gift card provided by Foodbuzz and Sargento, I went cheese shopping. The results, Sargento sliced Medium Cheddar, Pepper Jack, and Provolone, Fancy Shredded 6 Cheese Italian Cheese, and Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese along with a few brands for comparison.
Sargento Medium Cheddar Sampling
Our first Sargento cheese trial was a simple tasting comparison. Because hubby is fond of yellow cheese, we compared Sargento medium sliced cheddar to a store brand. The store brand cheese were not individually wrapped processed cheese slices, as that would be an unfair comparison. Straight up cheese, no crackers or wine considered necessary, we love cheese!
Store Brand - Cultured Pasteurized Milk, Salt, Enzymes, Annatto (Color)
Sargento – Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes, Annatto (Vegetable Color), Natamycin (A Natural Mold Inhibitor)
Both cheeses had a firm and semi smooth yet dry texture. While equal in thickness, the Sargento seemed to be more solid. Hubby and I unanimously agreed the flavor of the Sargento was rich and more intense than the other brand. Simply stated, the Sargento cheddar cheese was outstanding!
Sargento Recipe Evaluation
The second Sargento trial replaced our usual pizza night. Homemade Stromboli and Calzones, with plenty of Italian meats and cheese, seemed perfect for cheese evaluation. However, being a Tastemaker called for a creative addition, I opted for a spicy Mexican flavor.
Bread Machine Pizza Dough
3/4 cup warm water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups A/P flour
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp bread machine/fast rising yeast
2 tsp active dry yeast
Add ingredients in the order given, tapping pan after addition of dry ingredients but before adding yeast. Make a well in the center and add the yeast. Set bread machine to dough setting and allow to process. When complete, deflate the dough and allow resting for 15 minutes.
**I always rub the dough with a bit of olive oil to prevent any hardening of the top. This recipe can be doubled with a two lb. bread machine, yielding two 12” pizza or stromboli crusts.
Sargento Cheesy Chorizo Bread
1 12” pizza dough
8 oz. Mexican Chorizo
1/3 cup minced onion
6 slices Sargento Pepper Jack Cheese
In a sauté pan, cook the Chorizo until crumbled. Drain the excess oil, add the onion, and cook until translucent. Remove to a glass or stainless bowl. Gather the remaining ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 375. On a floured surface, roll the dough to about 1/4” thick, into a rectangle just a bit wider than two slices of cheese. Cover the dough with the Pepper Jack cheese slices. Top with the cooked Chorizo and onions. Roll the dough lengthwise into a log. Pinch the opening along the length. At the ends, fold the dough over and press the edges, closing the dough log. Bake for 20 or 25 minutes until bread is lightly brown.
The result will be long, 4” thick soft bread, swirled with a spicy, cheesy goodness that is simply delightful. This particular dough is awfully light and airy. The oils of the Chorizo add a nice color and spice to the bread without a greasy taste or feel. The Sargento Pepper Jack Cheese though mild, presented a distinct flavor throughout the bread, suggestive of a high quality cheese.
In the end, the evaluation produced enough food for two meals.
The calzones were filed with pepperoni, provolone, ricotta, and shredded 6 Italian cheeses. In one calzone, I replaced the provolone and the ricotta with another brand. While it was still quite tasty, the piquant flavor of the Sargento provolone was definitely absent.
After a small sampling of the Cheesy Chorizo bread on Friday, we stored the majority for Sunday’s football games. Our Game Day meal consisted of renewed leftovers - the Cheesy Chorizo Bread, Leftover Chicken Cutlets transformed into Chicken, Bacon, and Cheese Quesadillas, with sides of sour cream, guacamole, and salsa.
Sargento brand comes out ahead in when compared to other equivalently priced cheeses.
Are you hungry? ♥