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Creative kids in the kitchen

Posted: August 17, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: August 17, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Wushu chicken taco

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Everyone loves a classic PB&J sandwich. Now, with a little culinary creativity, your family can liven up lunch and win money for college.

Over the past 10 years, Jif® Peanut Butter has inspired thousands of kid chefs to reinvent the peanut butter sandwich for the chance of earn­ing a fund for college. This year, in the 10th Annual Jif Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich Contest™, families can foster creativity in the kitchen for a chance to win a $25,000 college fund, plus $10,000 to purchase educational products.

* Sandwiches will be judged on creativity, taste, nutritional balance, appearance and ease of preparation.
* 10 semi-finalists will be selected to compete in a national online vote in January.
* Five finalists will be selected to compete at a live judging event in New York City in March.
* Four runners up will each receive $2,500 college funds.

Visit www.jif.com and www.jifenespanol.com between July 28 and Oct. 12 for Official Rules and the entry form. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., between 6 and 12 years of age by Oct. 12, 2011. Contests void where prohibited. See Official Rules for complete details.

The 2011 winner was 8-year-old Margalit M. of Raleigh, N.C., for her Wushu chicken tacos, pairing Jif creamy peanut butter with chicken, asparagus and squash, all wrapped in a tortilla. Check out these other winning recipes for inspiration.

Wushu chicken tacos — 2011 Winner
Margalit M., Raleigh, N.C.
Serves: 1
1/2     cup diced rotisserie chicken
1/4     cup asparagus pieces, about 1 inch long
1/4     cup yellow squash pieces
2     fajita-size flour tortillas (6-inch)
2     lime wedges, optional

Sauce:
Fresh ginger slice, 1/8 inch thick, peeled and cut in half
2     cloves garlic, peeled
2    tablespoons Jif creamy peanut butter
1     tablespoon soy sauce
3/8     teaspoon chili paste with garlic
2 1/2     teaspoons sugar
2 1/2     teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 1/4    teaspoons sesame oil
3 1/2     teaspoons water

Chop ginger and garlic in food processor as finely as possible. Add next seven ingredients and process until sauce is completely smooth.

If sauce is too thick, add more water. If sauce is too thin, add more peanut butter.

Toss about half the sauce with chicken and put aside in a covered bowl.

Boil about one inch of water in a large skillet and add asparagus. Cover skillet and turn off heat. In one to three minutes, lift off cover and remove asparagus using tongs.

Cut off ends of squash and cut into half-moon pieces. Put 1/4 cup squash pieces into microwave-safe bowl and add a little water.

Cover with plastic wrap and microwave about two to three minutes. Let cool slightly and carefully drain off water.

Place tortillas in microwave and cook about 15 seconds, or until warm and bend easily.

Put chicken in tortillas, top with asparagus and squash and drizzle with additional peanut butter sauce. Serve with optional lime wedges.

PB & fruity says “Let us rap”
— 2010 Winner
Rachel G., Clovis
Serves: 1
1/2     cup chopped cooked chicken breast
3     tablespoons chopped Fuji apple
2     tablespoons chopped black or red grapes
2     tablespoons Jif Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter
1     tablespoon lite mayonnaise
2     teaspoons honey
Iceberg lettuce

Chop chicken meat and fruit, mix in bowl. Mix in peanut butter, mayonnaise and honey.

Spoon into open lettuce leaf, roll and serve.

Po’ boy peanut butter chicken cheesesteak
— 2009 Winner
Jordyn B., Lebanon, Pa.
Serves: 1
Sandwich
1/2     red pepper
1/2     yellow pepper
1     small onion
1/2     apple (any variety)
2     tablespoons olive oil
4     chicken breast slices or any deli lunch meat chicken
Hoagie/sub roll
1/4     cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Sauce:
3     tablespoons Jif creamy peanut butter
1/2     teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1     teaspoon honey mustard
2     teaspoons honey
1/2     cup water

Cut peppers into strips; cut onions into rings and slice apples into strips. Put into sauce pan with olive oil and cook on medium heat until soft.

Cook chicken breast slices and add to the pepper/onion/apple mix. (If you are using deli chicken, cut into strips and add it to the pepper/ onion/apple mix. The deli chicken is already cooked and just needs to be warmed.)

For the sauce, heat a sauce pan on medium heat and add peanut butter, Worcestershire sauce, honey mustard, honey and water. Cook until creamy and soft. Add three tablespoons sauce to chicken/pepper/onion/apple mix. Stir together.

Put chicken mixture on hoagie/sub roll and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Cut remaining half of apple and place it on a plate with left over peanut butter sauce for dipping.

Tropical fantasy
— 2003 Winner
Stephanie W., Burnsville, Minn.
Serves: 1
2     slices cinnamon bread
2     tablespoons Jif creamy peanut butter
1     banana, sliced
Canned pineapple chunks (drained)
Canned mandarin oranges
Grated ginger (optional)
Pomegranate seeds (optional garnish)

Toast two slices of cinnamon bread. Spread peanut butter on one slice of toast.

Place banana slices, pineapple and mandarin oranges on the other slices. Add grated ginger if desired. Put two sides of sandwich together and serve on a bed of lettuce.

Decorate top of sandwich with pomegranate seeds and use additional oranges to decorate plate.

Peanut butter rolls sushi style
— 2007 Winner
Alexandra Y., Fort Wayne, Ind.
Serves: 1
1     8-inch crepe
5     tablespoons strawberry cream cheese
5     tablespoons Jif creamy peanut butter
4     1/4-inch-thick slices fresh strawberries
6     1/2-inch-thick slices banana
1     tablespoon granola
2     long pretzel rods (to use as chopsticks)
1     small container chocolate yogurt (for dipping sauce)

Spread cream cheese over crepe. Top with peanut butter and smooth over cream cheese. Sprinkle strawberries and bananas over peanut butter.

Top with granola.

Roll up sushi-style and chill in refrigerator for five to 10 minutes. Cut rolls. Use pretzel rods as chopsticks and dip in yogurt.

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