Sunday, October 16, 2011

Iron Chef Challenge - Bananas and Coffee

I've never participated in the Iron Chef Challenge before, but in the spirit of VeganMoFo and because the ingredients this week (bananas and coffee) spoke to me. I am new to cooking with coffee or even drinking coffee on any sort of regular basis. I decided to start the day with a banana and coffee to get the creative juices flowing. I decided to call this a shake instead of a smoothie since it is pretty thick, but call it whatever you is darn good. The picture shows Parker's mug he made in pottery class through the local park district.
Mocha Banana Shake:
1 frozen banana
2 Tablespoons brewed coffee cooled*
1 cup favorite non-dairy milk
1 Tablespoon Nutiva Organic Chocolate Hemp Shake
2 Brazil nuts
1 Tablespoon flax seeds**
1/8 cup rolled oats
1/8 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
cinnamon (optional)
shaved dark chocolate (optional)

Throw everything except the cinnamon and shaved chocolate in a Vitamix and blend until smooth. **If you are using a lesser blender, just grind the nuts and flax seeds first. *I made this a cool beverage, but as the temps drop, you might want to make this a hot beverage so you could use a banana freshly peeled and hot coffee. Sprinkle the cinnamon and chocolate on top. Serves two adults, but my family of five all had a bit and gave it an enthusiastic thumbs up. Enjoy!
For the smoothie/shake, I refrained from adding kale, but for the next dish, I had to have some veggies.
Red Curry with Coffee and Bananas
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion diced
1 red hot pepper diced (with seeds)
2 Tablespoons brewed coffee
2 cups water with 1 tsp vegetable Better than Bouillon dissolved (or equivalent veg stock)
1 medium sweet potato peeled and diced
2 new potatoes peeled and diced
1 10 oz. bag cauliflower blend (or a couple cups fresh broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots)
1 tsp iodized salt
1 banana peeled, sliced and fried
1/2 cup coconut milk

Heat olive oil in medium sized soup pot on medium heat. Saute onion and chili pepper until onion is translucent. Add coffee and saute for 2 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Add water with dissolved food base or vegetable stock, sweet and white potatoes. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add frozen veggies (or fresh) and cook covered for 5 to 10 more minutes until veggies are cooked. While the curry is cooking, fry a banana in a cast iron skillet until brown and set aside. Add salt to taste. Turn heat to low for the curry and thoroughly mix in the coconut milk. Let cook for 2 to 5 minutes. Add fried bananas. Serve hot over cooked brown basmati rice or your favorite rice. Serves five.
Bananas frying.
Josie giving the curry her approval.
The finished dish. Parker was skeptical, but everyone enjoyed the curry. I didn't make it as spicy a I normally would for a red curry. The sweet potatoes and the banana really compliment one another and the mixture of cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli work quite well. We had brown basmati rice already cooked, but I think it was perfect for this dish. The coffee adds to the complexity of flavors, but is not overpowering. The white potatoes are really optional and just added because Josie wanted to peel more veggies.
Rob said it reminded him of a chicken or shrimp curry his mom made as a kid. Her version was a standard yellow curry with a heavy cream and she would serve it with chopped raisins or bananas on the side to garnish the curry. This challenge was fun and I would actually make both the shake and the curry again.


Amelia said...

Looks delicious! Another reason I need to invest in a Vita-mix.

VeganLinda said...

Amelia, Yes buy a Vitamix. You will not regret it.