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Meet The Maker: Step into Grilling Season with Chef Sherri Sauces

The warm summer sun has many of us taking our meals outdoors. Now is the time to enjoy the fruits of our labor, with our harvest baskets beginning to fill, and what better pairing than fresh homegrown produce and a delicious Colorado-made sauce? We’re not sure there is a better pairing so we asked Sherri Mitchell, founder, chef, and culinary alchemist behind Chef Sherri Sauces, a new addition to our front gift shop, to share more about her passion for creating mouthwatering flavor combinations that don’t compromise on health.

Read through to the end for a brand new summer recipe that Sherri created especially for the Tagawa Gardens community!

Sherri wasn’t raised in the kitchen. But after finding her love for playing with flavor, she left her career in IT to pursue a passion for fitness coaching and nutrition education. Over time, Sherri noticed that “My clients were working out but they didn’t want to be asked about their food. They were confused and weren’t sure where to start with healthy food. They either didn’t know how to cook healthy meals, didn’t like the taste, or didn’t want to cook at all”.

Her mission morphed into something larger – helping people live longer and healthier lives.

To help them, she opened a catering meal prep service that provided wholesome nutritious food. One thing that her clients, friends, and family kept coming back to were the sauces that topped her meals and took them to the next level. While she was thrilled to be able to help her clients, she deeply wanted to positively impact even more people so she enrolled in culinary school to help her learn how to broaden her reach. She took that opportunity to not only establish the right contacts but also perfect her recipes. The arrival of the pandemic sped up her launching timeline and in June 2020, Chef Sherri Sauces officially launched featuring the flavors of Honey Roasted Garlic, Bourbon BBQ, Herbed Cranberry Fig, Piquant Peanut, Smoky Brisket, and Zesty Orange Ginger!

Her ethos has held strong from day one. She believes in creating a product that is kind to our bodies and the environment we all share.

With this in mind, Sherri’s sauces are low salt & sugar, gluten free, vegan or beegan friendly, and contain no added chemicals or artificial ingredients. On top of that, her products are made in Colorado and she makes an effort to source as much as she can in Colorado, from the spices to the shipping materials. All materials used in her shipping process are either recycled, recyclable, or up-cyclable.

Now, that’s a company we are proud to stock here at Tagawa Gardens! To follow along with Chef Sherri’s journey and to find more flavorful recipes highlighting her sauces, you can find her on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and sign up for her newsletter here.

Now we turn it back over to Sherri herself for a delicious summer recipe, perfect for the weekend

Zesty Summer Grilled Chicken

This recipe takes the high notes of summer produce and herbs and combines them to create a mouth-watering dish that will disappear faster than a twister can take your socks off! Best of all, all of the fresh ingredients are in season now. Get your Chef Sherri Sauces, farm fresh peaches, and herbs at Tagawa Gardens and find the rest at your local farmers markets.

Ingredients for the main dish:

  • 1/2 cup Chef Sherri Sauces Zesty Orange Ginger sauce
  • 1.5lbs boneless chicken breast or thighs
  • 2 large Palisade peaches (approximately 1.5 cups diced)
  • 1 pound Bing cherries (approximately 1 cup diced)
  • 1Tbsp butter
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp minced jalapeño pepper (de-seeded)
  • Fresh rosemary and mint (I used mojito mint); both plants were from Tagawa Gardens

Ingredients for the salad:

  • Whatever veggies you desire! I used baby spinach, bell peppers, cucumber, radishes, and carrots
  • Chef Sherri Sauces Herbed Cranberry Fig sauce
  • Avocado oil, MCT (liquid coconut) oil, or an herb-infused oil

Tools needed:

  • Sharp knife
  • Pit remover (for the cherries)
  • Shallow baking pan with lid (I used a brasier)
  • Grill or grill pan
  • Meat thermometer
  • Optional: meat tenderizer

Directions for the sauce:

  1. Heat your brasier over medium-low heat
  2. Heat your grill/grill over medium heat
  3. While those are heating, cut your peaches in half, remove the pit, and then cut them into bite-sized pieces (about 1/4”)
  4. Remove the pits from the cherries then cut into quarters
  5. Once the brasier is heated, add the butter to the pan and let melt, then add the peaches and cherries
  6. Stir occasionally (to keep from sticking to the pan) and let simmer for 10-15 minutes; you should see juices starting to ooze out… this is normal and delicious!
  7. After 15 minutes, add your 1/2 cup Zesty Orange Ginger sauce, jalapeño pepper, and salt to the pan and stir to combine. Add one long sprig of rosemary and one long sprig of mint to the pan, gently combine with the other ingredients, then mostly cover with a lid, leaving about 1/4” open for steam to escape. Let sauce simmer while you next cook the chicken.

Directions for the chicken:

  1. Trim the chicken of any visible tendons or fat chunks
  2. Pound to a consistent thickness if you have a meat tenderizer
  3. Brush both sides of your chicken with a little avocado oil then place on the grill
  4. Let cook until it easily releases; flip over and let cook until the internal temp reaches 160º
  5. Remove, cover, and let rest for 5 minutes. This allows the temperature to continue rising to 165 degrees as well as lets the juice reabsorb back into the meat.

Directions for the salad:

  1. Dice or chop all of your ingredients and layer in a colorful way
  2. Take approximately 1/2 cup Herbed Cranberry Fig sauce and 1/4 avocado, MCT, or herb-infused oil and combine; this is your salad dressing!

To serve:

  1. Remove the lid from the sauce and extract the sprigs of herbs; if any leaves have fallen off, remove them from the sauce. Stir to combine all ingredients. Taste and adjust salt and heat (jalapeno) levels to your liking
  2. Assemble your salad on one half of your plate and drizzle with the dressing. Place your chicken breast next to it and gently spoon your sauce over the top, leaving some off to the side for dipping
  3. Eat and enjoy!