It’s been a while, but today I decided to write about a non-recipe recipe. Bread crumbs. Most likely when you think of that ingredient you envision a cylindrical cardboard container in your cupboard. Until about a year ago, I did also. If I was going to make meatballs, eggplant parmesan, or zucchini fries, I would need to have this ingredient on hand.
I had heard plenty of chefs recommend that cooks make their own bread crumbs. However, I always thought it was easier to buy them, until one day I had a realization. Neither my husband nor I eat much bread, but we have children that do. Well, except for the heels of the loaf. So, when a loaf of bread was “done”, our chickens would receive the unwanted heels.
For some reason, a light bulb popper into my head that day. What if I put these heels of bread into my freezer until the next time I needed bread crumbs? A few seconds in a food processor and I would have fresh bread crumbs. A few more minutes and I would have dried bread crumbs. Plus, I could season the bread crumbs to my liking.
While this realization may not be prize worthy, it definitely has been a nice addition to my cooking repertoire. The few seconds, or minutes, that it takes to make these bread crumbs are worth for the flavor and freshness the crumbs impart.
Homemade Bread Crumbs
1 slice bread
Place bread into food processor. (I personally find my Magic Bullet to work well. Its small size makes for quick clean-up.) Process until converted into small crumbs. If using fresh bread crumbs, you are done.
To make dry bread crumbs, heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and any desired herbs. Oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary are good choices, but you can add any herbs that will coordinate well with your dish. Stir occasionally, so that crumbs brown evenly, cooking for 3-5 minutes.
One slice of bread makes approximately a half-cup of bread crumbs.