I’ve never really considered myself a creature of habit when it comes to food and in point of fact, the great thing about writing about food is that I am forever trying new recipes and ingredients. However, there are two exceptions: Peanut butter on toast and cornflakes with honey.
These two snacks habitually bookend my day, the peanut butter on toast in the morning and the cornflakes as a late supper before bed.
Now, while the peanut butter on toast in the morning finds itself the basis of varying iterations (with or without fruits like bananas, blueberries or even accentuated with Marmite or cinnamon or honey), the cornflakes of an evening are only ever consumed one way and one way only: With ice-cold milk and some of my father’s wildflower honey.
“What about cornflakes with hot milk – that’s nice.”
Aye, if you’re in a carehome with no teeth.
As varied as the rest of my diet tends to be during the week and especially at weekends, peanut butter on toast and cornflakes with honey are (mostly) ever-present.
The peanut butter on toast works as a great breakfast, the carbs coming from the bread and the mixture of good fats and protein from the nuts. Forget about Weetabix, this is the breakfast that will set you up for whatever madness the day might have in store. Zombie apocalypse? No bother, I’ve me peanut butter and toast in me.
The late-night supper of cornflakes and honey also works a treat. It is a scientific fact that sweetened milk works as a soporific as in, it helps make you sleepy.
It’s also a scientific fact that raw honey works as a kind of natural sedative as in, it aids and abets the soporific sweet milk.
In another point of fact, one night not too long ago, I went to bed without my cornflakes and honey with ice-cold milk. I had been out for a meal on the evening in question and the gut was still on the sated side come lights out.
“Sure, I’ll do without the cornflakes the night,” I said stupidly, my jaw hanging askance, like a mouth breather of permanent idiocy.
Going to bed circa 11pm, I tossed and turned for the better part of two hours before I finally gave in and headed to the kitchen for the supper I earlier negated.
Twenty minutes later and a newly slumbering me was pushing out big Zs like a sedated grizzly bear in his den, in the middle of winter.
The downside of such deep sleeps of course, is that come morning time, it feels exactly as though you’ve been in hibernation for a couple of months. Climbing out of bed is like climbing out of a warm sea wearing a wet dufflecoat. And that’s where the peanut butter on toast comes into play with its rejuvenating qualities. Think of it as a vicious but tasty circle.
You may have noticed that this week’s pictures feature neither peanut butter nor cornflakes – but that’s where you’d be wrong. In fact there are cornflakes in the pic opposite. Those are cornflake coated chicken tenders – BOOM!
500g of chicken breasts, sliced into finger-licking tenders
100ml of full fat milk
100g of Kellogg’s Cornflakes (is there any other kind?)
half tsp of smoked paprika
half tsp of dried thyme
pinch of cayenne
1 tsp of sugar
half a tsp of fine sea salt
good grinding of black pepper
oil cooking spray
Pre-heat the oven to 210C and as that’s happening, get your stuff together.
Dump the buttermilk and eggs in a bowl and lightly whisk to combine. Set aside.
Pulse the cornflakes, paprika, thyme, cayenne, sugar, salt and pepper in a food processor until you have a breadcrumb-like consistency. Pour onto a plate and set aside.
Cut up your chicken tenders and then season these with a pinch of salt and a little pepper.
Take one or two of the tenders, drip into the milky eggs and then roll on the cornflake crumbs, laying each on a baking sheet atop some baking parchment. Repeat until they’re all dipped and coated and the sheet is ready for the oven. But before you do that, give each tender a little spray with the oil.
Retire the sheet of tenders to the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until they’re cooked through and crisp.
Then all you have to do is start dipping and muching – like a big grizzly bear, just.
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