Imagine you are about to finish making school lunches for the next day, just as you reach into the bread bag you find two crusts left! What do you do then? Throw it in the bin? Get out a new loaf? Feed it to the birds? Why not try reinventing it? Okay so two crusts aren’t going to be much to reinvent, so why not pop them in the freezer and before you know it the bag of frozen crusts is now full. While you wonder what an earth to do next, let me enlighten you in the ways of reinventing the humble crust. No longer will you see it as waste, but another tasty addition to your meals that you can prepare in advance.
Breadcrumbs what? Is she batshit mad, could this blog get any duller? I know I can’t believe I was so excited about writing this! Well, when you have this selection of tasty breadcrumbs in your freezer ready to go and you are about to make a vegetable bake, fish pie, savoury crumbs to top your pasta dish and you think hmmm I need some breadcrumbs…. Then, it happens, the light bulb beams! You haul out your tasty herb breadcrumbs from the freezer to finish the dish. I think you might just thank me quietly when you sit down to enjoy your meal.
Got your own herb garden going on? Or maybe you can pinch a few herbs from the neighbours or mates? Heres how I add a little pizzaz to my meals with some of the combinations I make. You are by no means limited to these options the world is your oyster people, be free to reinvent the humble crust, go forth I dare you…..
To make breadcrumbs:
Break the crusts into halves and fill your food processor. Heres the fun part – blitz those suckers! Crusts no more, now a humble breadcrumb!
Now the breadcrumbs need some herb loving. Finely chop the following combinations and add to the food processor for a quick pulse to mix.
- Parsley and Thyme – ideal for topping potato/ vegetable bakes, lasagne, pasta bake, meatloaf, mac n cheese, stuffings.
- Rosemary and garlic – great for lamb and chicken dishes
- Desiccated Coconut, coriander and lime zest (optional add chilli) – crumbed fish, fish pie, crumbed chicken
- Lemon zest and thyme – chicken and fish
- Flat-leaf parsley and rocket – crumbed schnitzel, Mac n cheese
- Lemon zest and garlic – crumbed chicken, fish, stuffing
Next time you are making a beautiful fish pie, meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, pasta/vegetable bake you have some tasty bread crumb toppings good to go!
You can also fry your bread crumbs to add a little crunch to your dish.
Maybe some heat? Fry in a pan with some olive oil. Add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to create spicy crunchy topper. Perhaps some smoked paprika to your crumbs or you favourite seeds, – cumin, sesame, sunflower. The options are endless! Mix in some of your favourite dukkah for a more authentic feel.
Over breadcrumbs what about Lunchbox fillers?
Make cheese and marmite croutes – great for the kid’s lunch boxes the next day.
Butter and Marmite your crust, place in a hot oven for 5 minutes and check. Once nice and crispy remove from heat, let them cool and they are good to go in the kid’s lunchbox or in a container for after-school snacks.
Croutes for soup:
- Cut crusts into shapes or just quarter
- Brush your favourite oil, or cover with your favourite parmesan cheese and herbs
- Great for garnishing your favourite Winter soup
Croutons for salads:
Have a salad but it’s missing something special? Crunch perhaps? Croutons! Chop your crusts into cubes heat a generous amount of oil in a pan and add croutons. Gently fry until golden all over. You can also season your croutons with your favourite spice if you fancy!
To go that step further you can make your own Flavoured crusts:
(here’s one example):
1/4 cup melted butter, (you can substitute for olive oil or coconut oil if you are dairy free).
2-3 cups breadcrumbs
- Then add:
1 tbsp whole seeded mustard,
1 spring onion – finely chopped
Mix liquid to crumbs mix below.
Place the greaseproof paper on a flat oven tray (make sure tray fits in your freezer)
Press the crust mix onto the tray and flatten. Put in the freezer overnight and it’s ready to go the following day. Break off and use as required, depending on the size of the meat you are cooking. This crust goes lovely on a roast lamb or salmon steaks.
Again you can use any combination of herbs or seasonings you like – you just need to make sure you have enough butter/oil into the mix so that you can easily press it into the tray. If there is not enough your mix will be too crumbly and won’t hold.
Now you have an amazing flavoured crust ready to go!
So next time you go to throw a crust in the bin, think of that mad woman from Curious Kale who dedicated a whole blog to the humble crust!
You got this people!