Food ó Corn Flake chicken, Honeycomb salad

Corn Flake chicken, Honeycomb salad

By Amy Diaz

Cerealís not just for breakfast ó a look at your favorite cereal-based snacks

Cereal is a great cheat.

Think about itóitís sugar, grain and starch. Itís sweetness, nuttiness, texture and deepened flavor. Itís a recipe half made, just sitting there in our cabinets, frequently wasted on breakfast.

We so take cereal for granted.

A box of corn flakes ó any brand, just plain ordinary corn flakes ó is a musthave for any -kitchen. It can sub in for bread crumbs or add extra crunch to a casserole. Crushed up, the flakes can add heft to a stuffing or help stretch meatloaf or even hamburgers. (The same is true, to even nuttier effect, of bran flakes.) Soak just about any bran cereal in milk and youíve got about half of a good muffin recipe (see www.hippopress.com and our recent story on lunch foods for an example).

And while we all know the joy of a good Rice Krispie treat ó the crunch meets the gooiness of the marshmallow to form an excellent, ridiculously easy-to-make snack ó Rice Cripies, flakes of all kind and many of the less neon colored sugary cereals are the basis for a host of even more decadent desserts. You can even sneak the likes of Golden Grahams, Life or Cinnamon Toast Crunch into a really classy-looking fruit torte by using cereal instead of graham crackers for the crust (the extra sweetness can really help mellow some of the tarter fruit fillings). And, as fans of the New England specialty Grape Nuts and ice cream know, cereal can serve as the perfect tasty crunchy topping for plainer ice cream. Have a less-than-spectacular vanilla you want to dress up? Create a nest-like mound of crumbled shredded wheat (plain or frosted) and top with a scoop or two and a drizzle of fruit syrup. (Donít have any fruit syrup? Warm up some jam, add a teaspoon or two of sugar and drizzle with your spoon.)

Here are a few of the best of the old guard of cereal recipes plus a few new ways to enjoy your breakfast food later in the day. Donít be afraid to think outside the cereal bowl, as in the first recipe.

Honeycomb Salad

1 package baby spinach

1 pint strawberries

1 cup Honeycomb cereal

1/2 cup feta cheese

1/4 cup sesame seeds

Citrus or berry vinaigrette to taste.

Slice strawberries into thirds and in large bowl toss with spinach. Add sesame seeds and feta and toss. Sprinkle Honeycombs on top, add vinaigrette and serve.

Chex Mix, traditional recipe

Recipe from Chex.com

6 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

3/4 teaspoons garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 cup mixed nuts

1 cup pretzels

1 cup garlic-flavor bite-size bagel chips or regular-size bagel chips broken into 1-inch pieces

3 cups Corn Chex

3 cups Rice Chex

3 cups Wheat Chex

Heat oven to 250į. Melt margarine in large roasting pan in oven. Stir in seasonings. Gradually stir in remaining ingredients until evenly coated. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool. Store in airtight container. 12 cups snack.

Corn Flake Fried Chicken

Adapted from a recipe on Cooks.com

6 to 8 chicken pieces, depending on size

1cup flour

1 cup crushed corn flakes

1/ 2 cup butter

2 eggs, beaten

1 tablespoon water

2 teaspoons steak seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine 1/2 cup of flour and seasonings in a large zip-lock bag. Place chicken pieces (no more than two at a time) in bag and shake.

Whisk together egg and water. Dip coated chicken in egg and water mixture. Combine corn flakes with 1/2 cup flour; roll chicken in the corn flake mixture.

Heat butter in skillet over medium heat; add chicken and brown on all sides. Lower heat, and continue to cook, turning occasionally, for 35 to 40 minutes, or until chicken is tender and juices run clear.

Savory Meatloaf

Recipe from kraftfoods.com

2 eggs

1 cup milk

2 pounds ground beef

3 large shredded wheat biscuits, crushed

1 can stewed tomatoes, undrained

1 medium onion, chopped

1/4 cup chopped green pepper

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat eggs and milk in a large bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Shape meat mixture into oval loaf in shallow baking pan. Bake 1 hour or until cooked through.

Crunchy Fudge Sandwiches

Recipe from Lisa Parsons

One 6-ounce package butterscotch chips

1/2 cup peanut butter (I use chunky)

4 cups Rice Krispies

One 6-ounce package chocolate chips

1/2 cup confectionerís sugar

2 Tablespoons butter

1 Tablespoon water

Combine butterscotch chips and peanut butter in saucepan. Cook over low heat until melted. Add Rice Krispies and press half of mixture into buttered 9x9Ē pan. Chill.

Melt remaining ingredients in double boiler (Iíve been known to use the microwave instead), stirring until smooth. Pour over chilled mixture. Top with remaining Rice Krispie mixture and chill.

After 30 minutes to an hour, check and cut into squares when itís chilled enough to cut but not rock-hard yet.

Rice Krispie Treats (traditional marshmallow variety)

1/4 cup butter

5 cup Rice Krispies cereal

1package regular marshmallows (thimble-sized marshmallows are easier to melt)

Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.

Cook mixture over low heat for 3 more minutes. Stir constantly. Remove from heat. Add Rice Krispies and stir until well coated. Using buttered spatula or waxed paper; press mixture evenly into 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Cut into 2-inch squares when cooked. Makes two dozen.

Crunchy Jumbles

Recipe from Rachel Diaz

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 cup flour

2 cups rice krispies

6 ounces chocolate chips

Mix butter and sugar in mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix. Add flour and baking soda and blend. With a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in Rice Krispies and chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoons on lightly greased sheets. Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes. Makes about three and a half dozen.

- Amy Diaz

 
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