You might think there's not much more to a peanut butter sandwich than adding some jam and smooshing two pieces of white bread together. You'd be very, very wrong, as we learned so creamily at the Jif Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich contest in New York.
But the entrants weren't celebrity chefs or enterprising home cooks -- they were adorable children.
Over 300 kids from across the country submitted their recipes to the Jif Web site, where online voting determined the final five contestants. The finalists were flown to New York, along with their families, to make their recipes live before a panel of judges. The four runners up received $2,500, and the grand prize winner received a $25,000 college scholarship fund
. That's a lot of clams. Or peanut butter. Whatever.
The competition was fierce. For kids this was some pretty complicated grub -- a Moroccan chicken pita, quesadilla with fruit salsa, lettuce wrap, chicken wrap with rosemary and red peppers, and a French toast breakfast sandwich were all up for the title of this year's Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich.
But who would take home the big prize?
Word around the grown-up table where we were stationed was that it would not be surprising at all if 10-year-old Lauren from Wisconsin took the prize -- her peanut butter and banana quesadilla with fresh fruit salsa was a brilliant (and delicious-sounding) reincarnation of something every adult loves: bar food. However, there was one thing we hadn't taken into account: None of us had actually tried the food.
After watching live cooking demonstrations by each of the contestants, which (if you've never seen a 7-year-old wielding smoked paprika) was probably on of the cutest things on Earth, and some questions from the judges, the tabulation of the judges' scores began. After much anticipation it was revealed that the winner in fact was Rachel Granillo of Clovis, Calif., whose peanut butter and chicken lettuce wrap had won over the hearts of the judges.
For Rachel, an aspiring chef, it must have been a dream come true.
Curious what a sandwich worth $25,000 tastes like? Here's the recipe:
PB & Fruity Says "Let Us Rap"
1/2 cup cooked chicken breast
2 tablespoons extra-crunchy Jif peanut butter
3 tablespoons chopped Fuji apple
2 tablespoons chopped green or black grapes
1 tablespoon lite mayonnaise
2 teaspoons honey
Chop chicken meat and fruit, mix in bowl. Mix in peanut butter, mayonnaise and honey.
Spoon into open lettuce leaf, roll, and serve.
There you have it. And remember, if anybody gives you any sass, you can tell them that's a $25,000 sandwich. Enjoy!
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