National Cereal Day honors the invention of corn flakes in the late 1800s by brothers William and John Kellogg. In a series of experiments to create foods for their vegetarian diet, the brothers found that grains cooked into a dough and pressed through rollers formed flakes.
The flakes were left plain at first because of the belief at the time that spiciness and sweetness contributed to bad behavior – the showing of emotions and the having of sex being the principal bad behaviors focused on at their sanitarium (a sort of health spa), but also greed and anger were thought to be provoked by various flavors of food.
The corn flakes were so popular at the sanitarium that the brothers decided to mass market the cereal. The Kellogg brothers were the founders of Kellogg’s, the megacorporation of today that sells a large variety of cereals and other foods.
Cooking with Corn Flakes
What can you do with corn flakes, besides eat them with milk? Corn flakes add a nice crunch to anything you want to fry.
You can also crumble them up and use them as a topping to a casserole. Don’t put them under a broiler or they’ll catch fire. Not that I know anyone that’s happened to.
Oven Fried Chicken
I use this to coat our oven fried chicken, but it can also be used to coat any patty that’s going to be fried or baked. The corn flakes don’t have to fresh; save those last crushed up bits at the bottom of the bag until you have enough.
Step 3 is optional. Without step 3, this recipe takes about 1 hour, 15 minutes to complete.
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon basil
2 cups corn flakes, crushed
6-8 chicken drumsticks
- In one bowl, mix the egg and milk. In a second bowl, or on a plate, mix the flour, salt, red pepper flakes, oregano, and basil. Put the corn flakes in a third bowl.
- Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Dip in egg and milk mixture so that it’s fully coated. Place it in the flour mixture and with the clean hand, cover the chicken with the flour mixture.
- This step is optional. Place the coated chicken pieces on a pan or plate so that they aren’t touching. Put them in the freezer for ten minutes. Remove them and dip them in the milk mixture, then the flour mixture. Return them to the freezer for ten minutes. Repeat this process until you have a nice coating. Once you have the coating on, you can store the chicken in the fridge for several hours in a sealed container. This makes it ready for a Sunday dinner, for example, or after a day at the amusement park.
- Dip the pieces in the milk mixture and roll them in the crushed corn flakes. Place them in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet or shallow baking pan. Bake in the center of the oven for 350 degrees for about an hour.
Image by butkaj.com, used with Creative Commons license.