Sunday, October 16, 2011

Iron Chef Challenge II: Coffee and Bananas

Last weekend, I missed the posting deadline for iron chef challenge I, I made a thanksgiving turkey out of stuffing and chickpeas. It was sad that I wasn't ready to post on time, so I made sure I would not miss it this time!

Slightly more challenging this week, the ingredients were coffee and bananas. I didn't want to make the obvious coffee cake, muffins or some sort of sweet baked good. I wanted to find a way to incorporate these ingredients into dinner. Thinking and thinking, my first thought was to make a rice dish or banana coffee risotto, but I was not in the mood to be babying a pot of rice (Although I may try that some day... hmm...).

I am a coffee junky. Not a day really goes by without at least one cup of coffee and I always have instant coffee and espresso on hand when I bake. Secretly, I add instant espresso to most of my baking (especially chocolate baking) to add a special... addictive quality. If you have not tried this, please do.

I am also a banana junky. I eat one almost every day. Generally in the form of a smoothie. Bananas can be used to add flavour and binding qualities to many dishes. They are a decent egg substitute (beware they will make what you cook taste like banana).

I decided instead of the baking route to go a bit outside the box for me and make coffee rubbed seitan with coconut coffee rice and banana-mango chutney. Sounds pretty yummy doesn't it? It was. I will admit, each peice alone was just ok, but together they were magic... vegan magic.

Here is what I did:

Banana-Mango Chutney
Makes about a cup, 15 minutes

  • 2 ripe bananas, diced
  • 1 mango, diced (or a cup of frozen)
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp mined ginger
  • 1/4 tsp lime zest
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup instant coffee
  • 2 Tbsp rasins (I used driet pomegranite)

Alright, this is very easy to make. Start by putting the vinegar, sugar, raisins, spices in a pot and bring it to a boil. Add about half of the banana and the mango and reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered for about 10 minutes. The liquid should thicken up. Once cooked, add in the rest of the banana and the mango. Remove from heat and chill.
Pretty simple. add all the ingredients in a pot, cook down, chill and serve

The finished product. So good... I will be making this again!

This is my homemade seitan - click here for the recipe
Coffee Rubbed Seitan
Serves two, 15 minutes

  • 1 package of seitan
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp instant coffee
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp oil

In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. take the seitan out of the package. It should be fairly wet already. if you want you can spritz a little lime juice on them. I did this for my first attempt and it was good. Dump the seitan into the dry spice bowl and mix with your hands, rubbing the spices right into the seitan.

Now heat a pan on medium heat with the oil. Add the seitan and cook for about 7 minutes a side (Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn).

Now, make you dish. Start with some rice (Here is a recipe for coconut rice that is what I served it with) and then top first with the seitan and then lots of chutney. Lastly sprinkle some chopped cilantro on top if you have it. It helps brighten up the plate.

Mmm.... challenge complete!


  1. Ha... I too love throwing in a tbsp of instant espresso into basically all chocolate baked goods.

    Coffee rubbed seitan sounds really good to me! Nice job!

  2. Mmmmm I can't believe the sound/look of this email! Wow!