Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A crumby dinner

As you know, I have been baking a lot of bread over the past few months. Clearly, I love it. Even so, there is only so much I can eat...! So there have been some partial loaves of challah left unfinished which I did not want to see going to waste. So I put them into the freezer, awaiting inspiration. Usually, this is the stuff of great French toast. But I had different plans for these lonely challah halves. I wanted to use them to make breadcrumbs. Yes, breadcrumbs. No, they aren't fancy, heck they aren't even that creative! But I don't tend to keep them in the house, since I don't use them all that often. But every now and then they pop up in a recipe, so I thought that some day I might want to have breadcrumbs hands. As it turned out, today was the day.

Thanks to my handy food processor, the breadcrumbs were SO easy to make. I really don't foresee buying them. Ever. Why let them sit around forever when I can make them fresh when I want them?! I started by toasting up my frozen bread. I just tossed the loaves onto a foil covered sheet pan and popped them into a 350 degree oven for... well, for a while. After about 15 minutes or so I turned the oven off but left the bread in to let it dry out a bit more. It worked well! Next it was into the food processor for a spin. I did wind up having to do this in batches, as I had too much bread and I wanted somewhat uniform crumbs, but that was (clearly) not a problem. And, thankfully, this food processor is quieter than my little one, so I was able to do this while Little Girl napped.
So there I had it. Freshly made breadcrumbs, ready to be seasoned (or not) as I might want, and used however I saw fit! And how did I see fit? The weekly meal plan told me that macaroni and cheese was to be dinner this evening, and while I never usually use a breadcrumb topping, this was my opportunity! Little Girl helped me season the breadcrumbs with pepper, basil, ground mustard and shredded cheese to match the seasonings in the cheese sauce. Then the topping was sprinkled over the casserole and the whole thing was baked to gooey, crispy doneness. I can see why this crispy, crunchy topping is traditional in home made macaroni and cheese... It was really yummy, and the texture was really good with the soft pasta! I think I will be doing this again!!

1 comment:

  1. Oooh nice post! I love the crunch of breadcrumbs! I always have homemade on hand, too! I recently had leftover bread which I sliced thinly, brushed with olive oil, a rub of garlic and a sprinkle of salt then popped into an oven until crisp. The kids loved them in their lunchboxes! BTW Thanks for the kind comments. I will pop back later for your post!