Today's tip

Bread crumbs are a very versatile and usable product in your kitchen!

Bread crumbs are so easy to make; just give your dried old bread a whirl in the food processor, and presto—you have a very versatile and usable product in your kitchen. They can be used for frying, thrown into a sauce to add density if needed, added to roasting meat in the oven to make the gravy creamier, tossed in with a stuffing, or even used for the bottom of a sweet pie to absorb any extra juices. I often use a mixture of breadcrumbs and grated Grana Padano cheese on my poultry cutlets for my grandchildren, but instead of frying, I allow them to bake until crispy in the oven. The kids like the extra kick of flavor by adding the cheese to the bread crumbs. We use cheese, but you could use any other ingredient your family particularly likes. When I make my bread crumbs I do not pre-season them; I add fresh herbs or spices as I am cooking the dish they will be used for. Flavored bread crumbs work especially well in baking shrimp, chicken breasts or fillets of fish. At my house, we always save old bread and allow it to dry out. If you are in a hurry you can dry the bread in your oven a bit. The loaves can then be gently grated on a box grater and stored in an airtight container. Not only will these be some of the best bread crumbs you can find, but it will also be an efficient way to minimize food waste.

 I talk about two ways you can use stale bread instead of throwing it out: