Lemongrass Steak Banh Mi named Canada's Best Sandwich

~ Burlingtonian Thuy Nguyen Crawford takes homes the national title in ACE Bakery's Canada's Best Sandwich Contest ~

TORONTO, June 22, 2012 /CNW/ - This sandwich showdown has left only one Canadian standing.  ACE Bakery and Lynn Crawford today announced that Thuy Nguyen Crawford's Lemongrass Steak Banh Mi has been named Canada's Best Sandwich, making her the winner of $5,000 and $5,000 towards her charity of choice, the Alzheimer's Society of Hamilton Halton.

This morning, four regional finalists fought for the national title in a cook-off at the Calphalon Culinary Center, where they created their sandwiches in front of a judging panel and live audience.  After tasting each of the creations, Chef Lynn Crawford, Linda Haynes, co-founder of ACE Bakery and author of the ACE Bakery cookbooks, and Marcus Mariathas, ACE Bakery's master baker, evaluated each recipe based on taste appeal, creativity, innovation and originality, and announced the winner.

"All four finalists demonstrated great creativity and skill, making the final decision a very difficult one," said Chef Lynn Crawford of Ruby Watchco restaurant, and Ruby Eats, her gourmet store.  "Thuy's combination of flavours, explosion of taste and beautiful presentation is what stood out to the judges and placed her a notch above."

Thuy developed this recipe as a result of long evenings at her eldest son's baseball games. Family dinners together are very important to her family as it keeps them connected and allows them to catch up on their day. She didn't want time at the baseball diamond to keep them from eating well and eating together.

"Having my Lemongrass Steak Banh Mi named Canada's Best Sandwich is extremely exciting," said Thuy Nguyen Crawford, overall winner of Canada's Best Sandwich Contest. "One of my all-time favourite things to do is experiment in the kitchen making new recipes - looks like all that time spent was not all for naught!"

The other three finalists were Paul Arsenault from Lower Coverdale, New Brunswick, Christopher Delaney from Edmonton, Alberta and Mike DiCiero from Montreal, Quebec.

The finalists were chosen from almost 1,000 recipes that were submitted to Canada's Best Sandwich Contest from across Canada between March 19 and May 24, 2012.  Recipes were reviewed and scored by Chef Lynn Crawford and ACE Bakery, and four finalists were chosen - one from Western Canada (including British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba), Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada (including New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland).

Lemongrass Steak Banh Mi with Spicy Garlic Aioli and Asian Coleslaw

Makes 4 sandwiches

2 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
3 Tbsp. (45 mL) minced lemongrass
4 Tbsp. (60 mL) fish sauce
2 Tbsp. (30 mL) honey
1 red Thai chili, finely minced
16 oz. sirloin steak cut 2 inches (5 cm) thick. Choose a high quality steak with lots of marbling.
1 ACE White Baguette
1 recipe Spicy Garlic Aioli
1 recipe Asian Coleslaw (Prepare at least 4 hours before sandwich assembly)

In a container large enough to hold the steak, mix the garlic, lemongrass, fish sauce, honey and chili. Roll the steak in the marinade and marinate for at least 3 to 4 hours (or overnight) in the refrigerator.

Preheat BBQ or grill pan so that it is hot.

Grill the steak to your desired doneness, approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Let the steak rest for 10 minutes.

Cut the baguette into 4 equal portions. Slice the baguette pieces lengthwise, but not all the way through, and grill for about 1 minute until toasted.

Slice the steak 1/8 to ¼ inch (0.3 to 0.6 cm) thick, against the grain.

Spread the Spicy Garlic Aioli on both top and bottom sides of the baguette portions. Layer the sliced steak on and then top with the Asian Coleslaw.

Spicy Garlic Aioli
½ cup (120 mL) mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. (15 mL) Sriracha (increase or decrease based on your desire of spiciness)
1 small clove of garlic, finely minced
1 tsp. (15 mL) fresh lemon juice

Mix all the ingredients together well.

Asian Coleslaw
The coleslaw should be made at least 4 hours (or overnight) before you are ready to assemble the sandwich. You can make extra to serve as a side salad or keep it overnight in the refrigerator.

3 Tbsp. (45 mL) fish sauce
3 Tbsp. (45 mL) sugar
1 garlic clove, finely minced
½ cup (120) fresh cilantro, chopped in 1-inch (2.5-cm) lengths
1 Thai chili thinly sliced (increase or decrease based on your desire of spiciness)
3 cups (720 mL) shredded green cabbage
1 cup (240 mL) peeled shredded carrots
1 Vidalia onion, thinly sliced to make ½ cup (120 mL)

Mix the fish sauce, vinegar, sugar and garlic together until the sugar is dissolved.

Combine the remaining ingredients together and mix well.

Pour the vinaigrette over the coleslaw mixture and toss.

ABOUT ACE BAKERY:
Now one of North America's leading artisan bakeries, ACE Bakery opened in 1993 as an artisan bakery creating hand-made, European-style rustic breads.  The gentle shaping of each loaf, long fermentation periods, and a stone deck oven all work to create exceptionally flavourful bread with a pleasing texture and crisp crust. The breads contain no preservatives and are made with the finest ingredients. ACE Bakery's baguettes and artisan breads are available at hundreds of restaurants, hotels, caterers, grocery and gourmet food shops across Canada, throughout the United States, and as far away as Bermuda. Community involvement is an essential part of ACE's philosophy. The company donates a percentage of its net profits to charitable organizations in the principle centres where ACE breads are sold. ACE's focus is on food and nutrition programs that assist low-income members of the community, financing culinary scholarships and supporting organic farming initiatives.

Image with caption: "Lemongrass Steak Banh Mi named Canada's Best Sandwich by ACE Bakery and Lynn Crawford (CNW Group/ACE Bakery)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120625_C3659_PHOTO_EN_15542.jpg

SOURCE ACE Bakery

For further information:

For more information or images, please contact:
Nicole Brightling | Citizen Optimum | nicole.brightling@citizenrelations.com | 416.934.8099 | 647.680.8575

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