Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Saucy Mama Blogger Contest 2016: Craft Beer Battered Fish Tacos with Jezebel Slaw and Stacked Steak and Potato Salad

A couple of years ago I had the great fortune to be chosen as the winner of Saucy Mama/Barhyte Foods blogger recipe contest. Besides the obvious bragging rights, I also earned an all expenses paid trip to Las Vegas, a golden ticket to compete in the World Food Championships, and the opportunity to meet and hang out with the company's owner, Suzie Barhyte and her right hand woman, Colette.

Since my winning recipe was for a wafflewich, I participated in the sandwich category at the WFC. When it all shook out, I came in 13th overall, and since I was not in the top 10, I did not advance to the finals.  Still, I am pretty proud and feel like it was a decent showing seeing that I was competing against 49 other incredibly talented sandwich artists.

Always up for a great opportunity, I decided to throw some recipes in the pot again this year in hopes of representing the Saucy Mama brand at the WFC once again. Out of Saucy Mama's long list of products, I chose my all-time favorite Pacific Rim Ginger Marinade, Poblano Ranch Dressing, Apricot Ginger Mustard, Creamy Horseradish, Lime Chipotle Marinade and Zesty Cocktail Sauce, and started creating.

We were invited to create recipes that fit into 4 of the WFC's categories: Burgers, Bacon, Steak, and Seafood. Since I wanted to step out of my comfort zone, I decided to concentrate my energy on steak and seafood.

I'll spare you of the long, drawn out description of my creative process, let's just suffice to say that I had a great time and was very happy with my final products which follow at the end of this post. I'm sorry to say that it is too late this year for you to enter your genius ideas into this contest, but if you'd like to get a jump on next year's contest, or learn more about Barhyte Foods and Saucy Mama's products, please click here to visit their site and order some of their superior products so you can start creating.

Crispy Craft Beer Battered Fish Tacos with Jezebel Slaw

In my opinion nothing is better than crispy fried fish, unless it is super crunchy fried fish wrapped up in a soft warm tortilla with spicy and sweet Jezebel slaw. These definitely aren't your grandma's fish tacos..

8 - 10 taco size flour tortillas
¾ pound cod fillets (about 1/2 “ thick), or any other firm white fish, cut into 1” strips, dried
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
1 – ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼  teaspoon onion powder
1 – 12 ounce bottle of your favorite craft beer, very cold
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus a couple of cups more for frying fish
¼ cup apple jelly
2 teaspoons Saucy Mama Apricot Ginger Mustard
2 teaspoons Saucy Mama Creamy Horseradish
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
½ cup cornstarch
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 – 10 ounce package coleslaw mix
1/4 cup very thinly sliced red onion
Thinly sliced radish and lemon or lime wedges to garnish

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Wrap tortillas in foil and place in the oven to warm.

Rinse and pat dry fish fillets. Sprinkle fillets with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper; set aside.

In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, Old Bay seasoning, ½ of a teaspoon of kosher salt, onion powder, beer and vegetable oil.  Stir well to combine. Don’t worry if a few lumps remain. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Spoon apple jelly into a small bowl. Microwave until jelly is just warm (you can also do this in a small sauce pan over a low heat on the stove). Stir in the mustard, horseradish and garlic; set aside.

Pour enough vegetable oil in a medium size frying pan to come to at least ½” to 1” up the sides of the pan. Place the pan over medium high heat and heat until the oil is hot and shimmering.

Place cornstarch and panko on two separate plates. Place them side by side with the bowl of batter in between.  Dredge the pieces of fish through the cornstarch, then the batter (shaking off the excess), then the panko. Gently drop the fish into the hot oil and fry, turning once, until it is golden brown on each side. Repeat with the remaining fish. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Place coleslaw mix and red onion in a large bowl. Pour apple jelly mixture (jezebel sauce), remaining salt and remaining pepper over the coleslaw mix and toss well to coat; set aside.

To serve, place fish pieces inside the warm tortillas, top with equal amounts of the slaw and top with radish slices. Serve while warm with lemon or lime wedges.

 Stacked Steak and Potato Salad

A hearty main dish salad is always a treat at my house and this is the best of the best. Satisfying, filling and beautiful to serve, this isn't just a salad, it is a special occasion.

8 - 10 ounce lean sirloin steak
1/4 cup Saucy Mama Pacific Rim Ginger Dressing
8 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ cup Saucy Mama Chipotle Lime Marinade
4 medium to large fingerling potatoes
1 teaspoon salt, divided
4 stalks large asparagus, tough ends removed then cut into 2” long pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 medium size ripe avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced
1 large heirloom tomato, sliced into ¼” thick slices
1 cup red leaf lettuce, washed, dried and torn into bite size pieces
1/2 cup Saucy Mama Poblano Ranch Dressing

Place steak in a shallow bowl. Pour Pacific ginger dressing over the top. Turn steak over to coat on both sides. Cover and set aside to marinate.

Place shrimp in a shallow bowl. Pour chipotle lime marinade over all. Toss to coat. Cover and set aside to marinate.

Place fingerling potatoes in a medium size sauce pan set over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, add a pinch of salt and boil until they are fork tender. Remove potatoes from water with a slotted spoon or spider and transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Set aside until they are cold, then remove from water, slice across and set aside until ready to use.

In the same water as the potatoes, cook asparagus for approximately 2 - 3 minutes or until they are tender crisp. As with the potatoes, remove from the water and shock in a bowl of ice water until they are cold. Place on paper towels to dry.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add ½ tablespoon to the hot pan. Once the oil is shimmering and hot, add steak, season with half of the remaining salt and pepper. Cook on each side for approximately 3 – 5 minutes until it has reached desired doneness. Remove from the pan, cover and keep warm. After the cooked steak has rested for at least 5 minutes, cut into 1” cubes.

Wipe the skillet out with a paper towel. Add the remaining oil. Once the oil is hot, add shrimp, season with remaining salt and pepper and saute just until they start to turn pink on the outside and white on the inside. Remove from the heat and place on a plate to cool.

To assemble, place large ring molds in the center of two dinner plates. (If you don’t have a ring mold, you can remove both ends of an empty 28 ounce can of tomatoes and use it. If you don’t have either, just stack it in the center of the plate as best you can. It will still be delicious and beautiful.) Gently pack the steak cubes into the bottom of the mold. Top this with a layer of the shrimp, then a layer of the potatoes, then the avocado slices, tomatoes, asparagus and lettuce. Gently remove the ring and drizzle with equal amounts of the Saucy Mama Poblano Ranch Dressing.

Top with bleu cheese or bacon crumbles if desired.

Serves 2

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