Tuesday, May 26, 2015
It was about this time last year that I posted my entry into Saucy Mama's blogger recipe contest for a chance to win a golden ticket to the World Food Championships. My recipe for my Honey Dijon Chicken and Bacon Wafflewiches ultimately held their own against the other recipes and took home the crown.
A few months later I found myself in Las Vegas competing against a crowd of other cooks at the World Food Championships. The competition was stiff and after two cooking rounds I landed up taking a somewhat respectable 13th place. Since only the first 10 places advanced to the category finals, I was free to visit with my many contesting friends who were there, and my hosts, Suzie Barhyte and Colette Harris from Saucy Mama.
I was excited to finally meet Suzie after working with her company on a couple of occasions. I really admire her a great deal. She has done what many of us would have liked to have done ourselves. She found something she was passionate about, and with a lot of hard work and dedication, made it a great success. Suzie's story epitomizes the American dream.
Four days after her high school graduation Suzie married her husband Jan. Shortly thereafter they started a family and became the parents of three sons Chris, Mike and Jeff. In 1979, they opened Swift and Martin Station Deli in Pendleton, Oregon, intending to sell quality meats, cheeses, soups and desserts. The only thing that they found lacking in their new business was a good European mustard, so they starting making their own from an old family recipe.
The Barhyte's mustard became so popular that by 1982 they started their own mustard business. In 1984 they opened a factory near the mustard fields of the Willamette Valley under the name of Old Fashioned Foods, making sweet and sour, stone ground, jalapeno, dill, horseradish and pub mustards.
In 1994 they moved their business back to Pendleton, where Suzie started creating marinades, and salad dressings, setting the stage for their hugely successful Saucy Mama line of gourmet sauces and condiments.
Today, Barhyte Foods and Saucy Mama brands are still family run. Oldest son and CEO, Chris handles sales, while Mike is in charge of production. Son Jeff works elsewhere, but is always on hand to help out with technical issues. Jan Barhyte oversees the company's 52 employees and Suzie is still in charge of product development. Annual sales now exceed $10 million. Not bad for a business that got its start in a 5 gallon Hobart mixer.
I am so happy that I got to spend some time in Las Vegas with Suzie and her Marketing and PR Manager, Colette. Besides both of them being gracious and genuinely kind, I got to see the personal side of Suzie and hear in her own words how much she loves her company and values her employees. Success couldn't happen to a nicer person.
So here we are, almost one year later and it is time for Saucy Mama's blogger recipe contest. I considered going out on top and leaving this year's contest to a new group of bloggers, but I just couldn't miss out on the opportunity to pass on the good word about Saucy Mama's delicious products.
The only problem joining in this blogger event was deciding which one (or ones) of Saucy Mama's products I wanted to use in my recipe. Somehow when I chose my sauces from her extensive line of products, I chose Pacific Rim Ginger Dressing twice. I took this as a sign and opened one of them first. The flavor is robust, slightly spicy with just the right amount of sweet, and a spark of ginger. I loved it. Decision made.
Since you can't go wrong pairing this sauce with any type of protein, and since I had a whole beef tenderloin for a dinner party in the fridge, I portioned some out and started marinating. The steak turned out tender and flavorful and totally perfect on its own, but with all the beautiful spring produce in the markets I decided on adding something fresh. Since I wanted my dish to be simple, I shaved some ribbons from a few vegetables, wrapped everything up in a warm tortilla, and my Asian Fusion Steak Tacos were born.
So fingers crossed, Suzie will like this year's recipe as much as last year's and I will be packing my bags for Florida in November with a golden ticket in my hand. If not, I will be cheering on this year's winner as they vie for the big win representing Saucy Mama at the World Food Championships.
While we wait for Suzie and Jan to choose a winner for this year's blogger contest, they have offered a little gift pack of their sauces for me to give away to one of my US readers. Since I like to keep things simple (i.e. no Rafflecopter, standing on your head or giving me your first born) all you have to do to enter is leave me a comment. Yep, that's it. Just make sure I am able to contact you to let you know you've won. If not, I'll have to choose someone else and I hate doing that. I'll choose my winner one week from today, on June 2nd. Good luck!
Oh, by the way, if you don't have Google+ and can't comment here, you can leave a comment on Savoury Table's Facebook page and I'll throw your name in the hat for the giveaway.
One last important thing! To learn more about Saucy Mama, see a list of products, and order a few for yourself, please click here.
Asian Fusion Steak Tacos With Ribbon Slaw and Sriracha Mayo
1 pound beef tenderloin or other tender cut
1/2 cup Saucy Mama Pacific Rim Ginger Dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 - 3 teaspoons sriracha (depending on how spicy you like things)
1/4 of an English cucumber
1 large carrot
3 - 4 nice big asparagus spears
6 very thin red onion slices
1 red jalapeno or Fresno pepper, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
6 taco size flour tortillas
1 handful of cilantro
Place beef in a medium size bowl. Pour Saucy Mama Pacific Rim Ginger Dressing over the top. Turn meat over to coat; cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, turning over a couple of times during marinating.
Combine mayonnaise and sriracha in a small bowl; mix well, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Heat a frying pan or outdoor charcoal grill to medium high (I love using my cast iron griddle for this). If using a very lean cut of meat like I did, you'll need to spray your pan with a little bit of cooking spray. Remove the meat from the marinade and place onto the hot griddle. Sear meat on each side until it reaches desired doneness. We like ours medium rare so it took about 5 minutes on each side. Remove from the heat, cover with foil and let the meat rest for about 5 minutes before slicing into 1/4" thick slices across the grain. Keep the meat warm until ready to use.
Wash cucumber, carrot and asparagus spears. Remove any rough outside skin from them if needed. With a potato or vegetable peeler, shave each vegetable in 3" sections until it is a pile of "ribbons" (be sure to save the asparagus tips for vegetable stock or stir fry). Set ribbons aside, tossing with lime juice just before serving.
Heat tortillas in the microwave or warm oven just until warm. To assemble, place a small dollop of the sriracha mayo in the center of the warm tortilla. Spread the mayo in a line down the center of the tortilla. Top mayo with equal amounts of the beef, ribbon salad, Fresno or jalapeno slices and cilantro. Fold in half and enjoy. Serve with more Saucy Mama Pacific Rim Ginger Dressing and lime wedges on the side.
Makes 6 tacos.