Preparing The Bread Crumbs
When I have a supply of the scrap pieces of old bread (a mixture of types), I chop them into pieces and place them on a cookie sheet and drizzle a bit of olive oil over them. Since some of them will be used as bread crumbs I season them up with garlic powder, onion powder, ...and any other herb I like. Then mix them up so they are coated with the oil and herbs. If you are organized as you take something out of the oven you can place them in and turn off the oven. They will dry out as the oven cools. Otherwise turn on the oven to 300 degrees and bake for about 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally so as not to burn.
If you are making bread crumbs, put them into the food processor or blender and chop finely. I usually process some for crumbs and leave some for stuffing. Then I freeze everything so it's ready when I need it later.
"Instant " Stuffing Spice Mix
Makes about 2/3 cup - plenty for many meals
You can grind the whole recipe and keep in a small jar in the cupboard or just grind the amount needed for the recipe which is 1 tablespoon for 2 cups of dried bread. The Co-Op thru Country Life Natural Foods offers a large selection of herbs at a great price. If you click on the links below you will see the prices. The retail store also has a large selection of herbs and spices..link
3 T. celery flakes (I have used celery seeds in a pinch)
2 T. onion dried flakes
2 T. dried marjoram (or use dried parsley)
1 T. rubbed sage
1 T. black peppercorns (Tellicherry is the best pepper)
1 tsp. salt (omit if you like)
- Combine all the spices and grind together in the small mill, or grind fresh as needed.
- In a large pan add 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon of the ground spice blend.
- Now there is nothing wrong at this point with adding some fresh, chopped carrots, onions, bell peppers, apples, or sausage. Just make sure you cook them until tender. The stuffing is just fine without the extra additions.
- Add 2 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil.
- Simmer over low heat for 2 minutes, and add just enough cubes of dried bread (about 2 cups) to soak up the liquid.
- Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
Herbs and Spices
by Tony Hill