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Chef's Hat: Cornflakes have been used in recipes for more than 100 years, and for good reason

Find out how John Kellogg and his brother accidentally invented Kellogg's Corn Flakes cereal

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Photo illustration / Shutterstock.com
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There are always new food items popping up. Looking around during a recent trip to the store, there was pumpkin-flavored cereal, frozen doughnut pops and kiwi-infused water.

Will they last? Maybe; maybe not.

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But there are old standbys that have been around for decades. Some of those items have been around for over a century.

A common item that has been around since the late 1800s is that brightly colored box of Kellogg's Corn Flakes. While the stories vary a bit, the originator of cornflakes has been traced back to John Kellogg. Cornflakes were the first dry breakfast cereal in the world and replaced the heavy laden breakfast of steak, eggs, bacon or flapjacks.

Kellogg was working with his brother to come up with a new kind of wheat meal. They had rolled out the wheat dough one evening, and then it was forgotten about until the next morning.

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That following morning, instead of loaves of bread, the brothers had thin, crunchy flakes and the breakfast cereal was born.

Cornflakes are fairly simple. They are roasted corn with a bit of sugar and salt and a few minor ingredients. Maybe it is that simplicity that has kept them on the market for over 100 years. Today, millions of Americans still eat cornflakes for breakfast.

Cornflakes are more than just a breakfast dish. They also make a great, crunchy coating on fish or chicken. They crisp up casseroles; they can be used for a coating on fried ice cream; and they can be an ingredient in cookies.

Cornflakes are a great substitute for breadcrumbs for almost any type of coating. The Crispy Chicken Thighs recipe uses an ample amount of cornflakes, which gives the chicken a delectable, crispy coating. Make plenty as these will disappear quickly.

Eggplant Parmesan always seemed to be one of those recipes that has way too many steps and takes a long time to prepare. A few breadcrumbs, a lot of cheese and a bit of marinara, and about 15 minutes is all it takes to put together a classic dish.

It’s always fun to try new food that magically appears on store shelves. But just like Pudding Pops, Butterfinger BB’s and Doritos Guacamole, some of those items will most likely disappear.

So never give up on those old and reliable foods - such as cornflakes - that have stood the test of time. Happy Eating!

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Honey Mustard Sauce

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Photo illustration / Shutterstock.com

Cornflakes coating

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  • 6 cups cornflakes
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Chicken

  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Honey Mustard Sauce

  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the cornflakes in a zip-close bag and run a rolling pin across the bag until the cornflakes are crushed into a fine bread-like crumb mixture. Place the crumbs into a medium sized bowl and add the paprika, garlic powder, white pepper and salt. Mix the ingredients until everything is well combined.

Line a baking sheet with an oven-safe metal rack and spray the rack with nonstick coating spray.

Pour the milk into a medium sized bowl. Place a piece of chicken in the milk, turn it and then place it into the cornflake crumbs and press to get the chicken completely coated with the cornflakes. Place the chicken onto the rack and repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken. Spray the tops of the chicken with the nonstick cooking spray. Place the chicken into the oven and bake it for 20-25 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, combine the honey with the mustard and mix well. Taste, and if desired adjust with more honey or mustard and season with salt and pepper.

Remove the chicken from the oven. Place the chicken on individual serving plates and drizzle the Honey Mustard Sauce over the top of the chicken.

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Eggplant Parmesan

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Eggplant Parmesan can be an easy, classic dish to prepare using breadcrumbs, cheese and marinara sauce.
Donna Evans / Echo Journal Correspondent

  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • ½ cup cornflakes cereal
  • ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and sliced into ½-inch slices
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 2 ounces (½ cup) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh parsley

Pour the butter into a 9- by 13-inch baking dish and set aside. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the cornflakes into a zip-close bag. Take a rolling pin and roll it over the cornflakes until the flakes are the size of breadcrumbs. Pour the flakes into a shallow dish. Add the Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic salt and pepper. Mix ingredients until combined.

Place the beaten egg into a bowl large enough so you can dip the eggplant slices in it. Dip each eggplant slice in egg and then coat it well with the crumb mixture. Place the eggplant in a single layer in the prepared baking dish.

Place the dish in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven, flip the slices and then place the dish back in the oven. Bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Remove the dish from the oven. Pour the marina sauce over the eggplant slices. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the slices. Place the dish back in the oven and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Remove the dish from the oven and place eggplant slices on individual serving plates. If desired, sprinkle fresh parsley on top of the slices.

Donna Evans is an Echo Journal correspondent.

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