Valerie Phillips: Utah brother and sister get creative with peanut butter

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 17 2012 5:22 p.m. MST

West Mylroie, 8, entered Chicken Bahn Mi with Sweet Peanut Dippity in the Jif Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich Contest and is in the top 10, along with his sister, Sailor, 10.

Bob Pabst

A Utah brother and sister are both top 10 finalists in the Jif Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich Contest.

Sailor Mylroie, 10, and West Mylroie, 8, of Santa Clara, Washington County, are both competing for a $25,000 college fund. Their original sandwich recipes are posted on www.jif.com where the public can vote for their favorite. Online voting is one of the factors to determine the winner.

Two years ago West was a runner-up in the Jif contest, earning him a $2,500 college fund and a trip to New York City for the competition. This time, his entry is Chicken Bahn Mi with Sweet Peanut Dippity. It features peanut butter, chili sauce and grilled chicken.

"I just took all my favorite foods and put them all together to make a Vietnamese sandwich," West said in a telephone interview. "Ever since my cousins moved to Vietnam, I've tried the food and became obsessed with it."

He said one of the keys to becoming a finalist in the contest is to "use peanut butter in a very different way that you wouldn't think of."

Sailor's recipe of Sweet Chili and Crunchy Peanut Chicken Tacos features cilantro, chicken and avocado in a hard taco shell.

"I've entered a lot of contests, and when you find out you win, that's really exciting," she said in a phone interview. "It's OK if I don't win, because I always enter more. I've been trying this contest for three years, and this time I thought, why not a taco? Because I like to make tacos and cookies."

They are apparently following in the culinary footsteps of their mother, Erin Renouf Mylroie, one of Utah's most successful recipe contestants. She has been a finalist in two Pillsbury Bake-offs, the Food Network's Ultimate Recipe Challenge and the grand prize winner of Rachael Ray's Burger Bash contest. She also took fifth place in the National Chicken Cooking Contest and was a runner-up in the National Beef Cook-Off.

The Mylroie kids have won other contests; most recently they were finalists in an Avocados From Mexico Video contest. West won $1,000 in 2009 for designing a winning wrapper for Nestle Push-Up Pops, and Sailor recently won American Girl dolls in an American Girl essay contest.

"They both love to cook," Erin said in a phone interview. "They're always at my elbows fighting for a chance to help in the kitchen."

Now the two hope to garner enough online votes to send them to New York City. Here are their recipes, as posted online at www.jif.com.

CHICKEN BAHN MI WITH SWEET PEANUT DIPPITY

Servings: 4 sandwiches

3/4 cup Jif Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter

2 tablespoon chicken broth or water

1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar

3 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce

3 tablespoons lime juice

11/2 cups baby spinach leaves

1 (6-ounce) package grilled chicken

Make the dippity: In a medium microwaveable bowl, combine Jif Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter, broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, sweet chili sauce, and lime juice, stirring until well combined.

Heat peanut butter dippity mixture in microwave for 20 seconds, or until just warm. Spread cut sides of baguette with 1/3 cup peanut butter dippity. Reserve the remaining peanut butter dippity in four small separate ramekins, for dipping. Place spinach, chicken, carrot, onion and cilantro on bottom cut side of baguette. Close baguette and cut lengthwise into four separate sandwiches. Serve with peanut butter dippity.

Tip: Sandwich stores well in refrigerator, wrapped tightly, for up to 24 hours

CHILI AND CRUNCHY PEANUT CHICKEN TACOS

Servings: 4 (2 tacos per person)

1/3 cup Jif Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter

3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

1 teaspoon packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 (6 ounce) package grilled chicken strips, warmed and cut into bite sized pieces

8 white corn taco shells, heated according to package directions

1 cup baby spinach leaves

1 medium carrot, grated

½ avocado, chopped

¼ cup red onion, very thinly sliced

2 tablespoons cilantro leaves

In a medium microwaveable bowl, combine Jif Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, sweet chili sauce and orange juice, stirring until a few lumps remain, but mixture is almost smooth. Heat peanut butter mixture in microwave for 30 seconds, or until just warm; stir until smooth. In a medium bowl, combine half of peanut butter mixture with chicken strips, stirring just to heat through. Layer insides of taco shells with spinach, chicken strips, carrot, avocado, onion and cilantro. Drizzle insides of each taco with remaining peanut butter mixture. Serve.

Valerie Phillips is the former Deseret News food editor. She blogs at www.chewandchat.blogspot.com.

Email: vphillips@desnews.com