Sunday, December 13, 2009

Basic Bread Crumbs

While this is something that I make for a lot of my meals (macaroni and cheese, chicken and broccoli casserole, chicken florentine, breaded cauliflower) I never thought to blog it. Duh! My mom has been making bread crumbs for as long as I can remember, and while it's such a simple thing, they taste so much better than store-bought! When I make homemade stuffing, this is what I use, is an enormous batch of breadcrumbs, with the rest of the stuff stirred into it.

You'll need:

6 - 8 slices of bread (French can be used too!)
1/8 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
little less than 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
smidge of onion powder
pinch of paprika

Break the bread up into manageable chunks, put into food processor with salt, pepper and other spices. Pulse until broken down, but not powder, you still want a little texture in them. After they've been processed, in a large, deep frying pan, melt the butter on medium-low heat. Once melted, dump breadcrumbs into frying pan, and, stirring often, cook until browned and crisp. If needed, it's alright to add a tablespoon or so of butter, if you need it, if they're looking a bit dry. Once they get most of the way cooked/heated, they brown REALLY fast, and can burn, so make sure you're constantly moving your pan and spatula so they don't burn! 
(I use a large, flat, silicone spatula when I make breadcrumbs.) 

Pour onto the dish you've got ready to go into the oven, bake as normal.

***Side note, you can make large amounts at once and pour into freezer bags and use later, they're great for breading chicken too, just season like you would plain breadcrumbs and enjoy! Also, if you've made an extra casserole, and you're freezing it, don't put the breadcrumbs on until it's thawed and ready to go into the oven. Bag them separately from your casserole dish, then just wrap the bag in an extra layer of saran wrap so when you go to get the meal out of your freezer, the breadcrumbs are right there with it, less likely to be forgotten or never-found.***

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