that's forking good

adventures in a culinary neophyte's kitchen

Posts Tagged ‘corn flakes’

cheeeeeeese! (didn’t we lock you in a Dumpster one time?)

Posted by culinaryneophyte on April 22, 2011

Grilled cheese. One of the cheapest and easiest meals you can make. Perfectly paired with a multitude of munchies. The matchless melted marriage of my two favorite foods. A bit of nostalgia in every gooey bite. It’s no wonder we have an entire month to celebrate this fantastic food.

Yes, that’s right: April is Grilled Cheese Month, and I’ve been remiss in giving you ideas for how to celebrate, so for that, I’m sorry. (I’d really like to blame my computer and its inability to stay on for more than 10 consecutive minutes, but it’s been cooperating today so far, and I don’t want to jinx things. [Hopefully it's not reading this.])

I found my own way to celebrate last weekend with a delightful lunch at The Pop Shop in Collingswood, N.J., a place known for its crazy grilled cheeses; their Calvert grilled cheese —  roast turkey, avocado, applewood smoked bacon, Monterey jack cheese and balsamic mayo on rosemary foccacia — was featured on Food Network’s “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” in 2008.

The restaurant’s observance of NGCM includes a different special sandwich each day, and on my visit, I was sold: lobster, brie and garlic aioli on country white bread. Sloppy and absolutely delicious. I wish I could eat there every day. (My apologies for the photo omission. I lost all awareness once that glorious thing was set down in front of me.)

I like to get a little crazy with my grilled cheeses at home. I’ve done tomato, bacon, shrimp, chocolate, avocado, horseradish, Doritos… (not all on one sandwich, but now that you mention it…). Two of my favorites, though, are pretty standard grilled cheeses with easy twists. Whether you like experimenting, or you’re a grilled cheese purist, give ‘em a try.

honeyed classic with tomato, on wheat

Honeyed classicmakes one sandwich
Two slices of bread (white, wheat — your choice)
Three slices of medium-cut American cheese (I prefer Land O’ Lakes)
1 tbs. honey
Little bit of butter 

Heat pan over medium heat. Construct cheese sandwich, and spread a small amount of butter on the outside of both sides. Cook sandwich evenly, about five minutes on each side. When bread is just about to reach desired color, spread 1/2 tablespoon of honey on one side and flip. Repeat. The honey will caramelize the bread, giving you a great sweetness to go with the salty sandwich. For variety, add tomato, avocado or other favorites inside.

crunchy grilled cheese

Crunchy grilled cheesemakes one sandwich
Two slices of bread
Three slices of medium-cut American cheese
1 egg OR 1 tbs. honey
1/2 c. corn flakes, finely crushed
♦Little bit of butter 

Heat pan over medium heat. Construct cheese sandwich. Using egg: whisk one egg in small bowl, and brush both sides. (I didn’t want to waste my last egg on this, so…) Using honey: Spread 1/2 tablespoon of honey on each side of sandwich. Dip wet sides into crushed cornflakes, and coat well. Drop on pad of butter and let it coat surface. Cook one side, add pad of butter between flip and cook other side evenly. The crushed cornflakes add an incredible texture to your classic sandwich.

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2010 bites

Posted by culinaryneophyte on December 31, 2010

I’m not going to waste your time Auld Lang Syne and all that jazz. If you’re going to a New Year’s party tonight, and need a little snack for the guests, you’ve come to the right place: buffalo chicken bites.

There’s ne’er a party in my circle of friends that doesn’t offer buffalo chicken dip as part of the spread, and while I’m grateful we’ve embraced such a delicious dip, I’m always looking to switch it up. These bite-sized beauties are crispy and spicy, take no more than 40 minutes total and should cost you only about $10 to accommodate a decent amount of people. (And, as part of that unspoken who-brought-the-best-dish-to-the-party competition, you’ll definitely take first place.)

♦3 c. shredded cooked chicken
1/2 c. hot sauce
3-1/2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1-3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c. sliced green onions
1 c. flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3 – 4 c. corn flakes cereal, crushed

Combine chicken, cream cheese and hot sauce, then mix in green onions and cheese. Make 1-inch balls out of mixture, and set aside. In three separate bowls, place flour, egg and corn flakes. Dip each ball into each bowl (in that order), and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Check on them periodically to make sure they don’t semi-explode.

Total time? 20 minutes prep, 20 minutes bake. (Note: I foolishly didn’t realize until halfway through that I could and should roll these more than one a time, so my prep time could have been a little shorter. Doh!)
Cost? $2.50 corn flakes (you won’t use even close to the entire box), $4 chicken, $1.99 shredded cheese, $1 green onions, 79¢ Texas Pete Hot Sauce, $1 cream cheese.
Overall success relative to expectations? 9 out of 10. I initially made these to use up some leftover chicken I had, and didn’t really expect much, but I’ve dubbed them the ultimate party snack. You’ll see in the photos that my balls were pretty big (let’s hear it, comedians), so if you’re cooking for a crowd, tone ‘em down a bit and you’ll get more for your money. This dish lost points only because I ran out of hot sauce, and had to improvise with the Tiger Sauce (see maki mockery for more on Tiger Sauce), which didn’t have nearly the kick I needed, but that’s easily remedied. Yields about 45 bites.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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