'Chopped All-Stars' Recipes: Jeffrey Saad vs. Marcella Valladolid

Food Network’s hit “Chopped All-Stars” returns with a sizzling showdown between celebrity chefs. This season, the overall winner will receive $50,000 for their charity.

Last night’s winner Jeffrey Saad, from “United Tastes of America,” along with competitor Marcela Valladolid of “Mexican Made Easy” joined in the first ever Access Hollywood Live Food challenge.

Billy teamed up with Marcela, and Kit with Jeffrey.

Here’s an edible take on the recipes they prepared.

Jeffrey Saad:

Grilled Corn with Cilantro Pesto & Cotija Cheese

(Serves 8)

Courtesy of Jeffrey Saad’s Global Kitchen: Recipes Without Borders

1/4 cup green shelled pumpkin seeds

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic

2 cups fresh cilantro, washed and large stems removed

1/2 cup grated cotija cheese, plus more for sprinkling (optional)

8 ears of corn

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin seeds, 1 tablespoon of the canola oil, the chili powder, and salt. Mix well. Spread the pumpkin seeds out evenly on a baking sheet and place on the middle rack of the oven. Stir the seeds every few minutes until they are golden brown and crackling, about 10 minutes. When the seeds are done, transfer to another flat pan to cool so they don’t overcook on the hot pan.

To prepare the pesto, in a food processor, combine the garlic, cilantro, the remaining 3/4 cup canola oil, the roasted pumpkin seeds, and the cotija. Puree until evenly mixed but slightly chunky. Add salt, if desired. Set aside. (The pesto can be covered tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 1 week.)

To prepare the corn, preheat a grill to high.

Husk the corn and place it on the grill. Leave the grill open and turn the corn every 2 minutes to evenly roast it all around, roughly 10 minutes. Char marks will let you know it’s perfectly done. Use tongs to take the corn off the grill and place it on a platter.

Using a pastry brush or butter knife, liberally slather the pesto over each ear of corn. Roll the corn around to completely cover it with pesto. Sprinkle with a little more cotija, if desired. Serve immediately.

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Marcela Valladolid:

Chicken in Adobo

Courtesy of Marcela Valladolid

(Serves 4)

For adobo:

Makes 2 cups

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 small white onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

10 guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded, deveined, cut into 2-inch pieces

1/2 cup chicken broth, preferably organic

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 whole chicken, divided into 8 pieces (2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs, 2 wings)

4 corn tortillas

For taco:

1 avocado, sliced

Fresh Red Salsa (can be store bought)

Fresh Green Salsa (can be store bought)

Queso Fresco, crumbled for serving

Cilantro Leaves for serving

Whole Pickled Jalapeno optional for serving

In heavy medium saucepan over moderate heat, heat oil until hot. Add onion, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes longer, then add chiles and cook until darkened on both sides, about 1 minute.

Add broth and bring to boil. Continue boiling until chiles are soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to blender and purée. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Meanwhile rub adobo mixture all over chicken. Grill chicken, skin-side down, 4-5 minutes or until a crust has formed, brush with adobo sauce, turn, and continue grilling 8-10 minutes or until just cooked through. . Brush with more adobo sauce and serve immediately.

Can be served with warm corn tortillas, avocado slices, fresh salsa, queso fresco, and cilantro to be eaten as a taco.

Tune in to “Chopped All-Stars” Sunday nights at 9 PM on the Food Network.