Battle Brown Sugar
It's time for Kids' Iron Chef again! Last battle, we drew POM pomegranate juice and served it during the Independence Day weekend. For this battle, brown sugar was picked out of the hat. We drew the same teams -- Christey and Andy(12) vs. Peter and Colin(8) -- but this time, the dishes were switched. Christey and Andy got the main course while Colin and I made the appetizer. Christey and I have helped guide the kids when it comes to picking the meals, but for this battle, 99% of the meal was planned by both kids. We helped with some cooking technique, but the concepts, ingredients, and implementation were decided completely by Colin and Andy.
The dishes were: oven baked brown sugar banana with chives, and a brown sugar chicken sandwich!
Colin wanted to do a brown sugar baked fruit (he decided on banana) with some fresh herbs. The implementation was a more savory version of bananas Foster, which I don't believe Colin has ever heard of, so it was interesting seeing him work out the ingredients!
To start, we peeled and halved several fresh bananas.
Colin tossed some butter into the skillet, then finely chopped some chives for the topping.
We sauteed the bananas in the butter with the brown sugar, then I put the pan in a 400 degree oven to roast.
Once the bananas had roasted, I took them out of the oven, we squirted some lemon juice over the top, then plated and sprinkled with chives.
For the main course, Christey and Andy cut some boneless, skinless breasts in half, then pounded them into cutlets.
The cutlets were "breaded" with flour, then egg, then brown sugar with a little flour.
A semi-vinaigrette sauce for the chicken was made from champagne vinegar, orange juice, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt.
The cutlets were fried in some olive oil, then finished in the oven.
Once the chicken was out, the buns were toasted quickly under the broiler. Some lemon juice was added to the vinaigrette, then the sandwiches were assembled.
Both plates were enjoyed, then it was time for the vote!
Andy and Christey once again won! Their team is now 2-0 against Peter and Colin!
Deconstruction: These were both pretty nicely complex meals, from the imagination of kids. Colin's bananas were not as sweet as they would seem. The banana was almost like plantain or potato -- starchy with a hint of sweetness. The grassy chive herbs and the acid from the lemon juice balanced the brown sugar/butter sauce. Andy's chicken sandwiches were also more savory than they would seem. The brown sugar made a nice crust to the chicken, but it didn't seem candied....more like a caramelized fruit. The acidic vinaigrette helped, as did the fresh tomato and lettuce. Overall, it was a great kid-friendly meal!