Chef’s Hat: Corn flakes have been used in recipes for over 100 years, and for good reason – Pine and Lakes Echo Journal

Chef's Hat: Corn flakes have been used in recipes for over 100 years, and for good reason - Pine and Lakes Echo Journal

New foods are always added. When I recently looked around while visiting the store, there was pumpkin flavored cereal, frozen donut pops, and kiwi infused water.

Will they hold out? Could be; maybe not.

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 differ a bit, the creator of cornflakes can be traced back to John Kellogg. Cornflakes were the world’s first dry cereal, replacing the heavily loaded breakfast of steak, eggs, bacon, or flapjacks.

Kellogg teamed up with his brother to invent a new kind of wheat flour. One night they had rolled out the wheat dough and then it was forgotten until the next morning.

The next morning, instead of bread, the brothers were fed thin, crispy flakes and the cereal was born.

Cornflakes are pretty simple. It’s roasted corn with a little sugar and salt and a few small ingredients. Perhaps it is that simplicity that has kept them in the market for over 100 years. Today, millions of Americans still eat cereal for breakfast.

Cornflakes are more than just a breakfast dish. They also make a great, crispy coating on fish or chicken. They make stews crispy; 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 a generous amount of cornflakes, giving the chicken a delicious, crispy coating. Make plenty, as these will soon disappear.

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

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

So never give up on those old and reliable foods – like cornflakes – that have stood the test of time. Happy food!

Crispy Chicken Thighs With Honey Mustard Sauce

Photo Illustration /

Cornflakes coating

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


  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Cooking spray with non-stick coating

Honey mustard sauce

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

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

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

Line a baking tray with an oven-safe metal grid and spray the grid with non-stick coating.

Pour the milk into a medium bowl. Put a piece of chicken in the milk, turn it over and then put it in the cornflake crumbs and press to get the chicken completely covered with the cornflakes. Place the chicken on the grid and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces. Spray the top of the chicken with the nonstick cooking spray. Place the chicken in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

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

Remove the chicken from the oven. Place the chicken on individual serving dishes and drizzle the honey mustard sauce over the chicken.

Chef's hat aubergine with cornflakes.jpg

Eggplant Parmesan can be an easy, classic dish to prepare with breadcrumbs, cheese, and marinara sauce.

Donna Evans / Echo Journal Correspondent

  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • ½ cup cornflakes grains
  • ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • dash of black pepper
  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into 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. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the cornflakes in a zip-lock 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 in a bowl large enough to dip the aubergine slices in. Dip each slice of aubergine in the egg, then coat well with the crumb mixture. Arrange 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, turn the slices over and place the dish back in the oven. Bake for another 15 minutes.

Remove the dish from the oven. Pour the marinade sauce over the aubergine slices. Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the slices. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Remove the dish from the oven and place the aubergine slices on individual serving dishes. If desired, sprinkle fresh parsley over the slices.

Donna Evans is an Echo Journal correspondent.

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