Archive for the 'Batters, Breadings, and Coatings' Category

Recipe: Grammaw’s Little Luvvies Luv Apple Lumpies

|October 6, 2013|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

The little guy stayed for the weekend and I always spoil him with anything homemade.

We've enjoyed our weekend – Friday night was Wrestling night, last night was movie night and today it's whatever we want to do.

It's quite miserable out there – horrid thunder/lightning the past two nights. Friday night we pulled an all-nighter and he went to bed at 4:30 in the morning!  Yes I allowed it – the storm was scary and watching movies and playing WWE 12 on the Wi was fun.

For last nights movies we had tacos – hard and soft shell and fries like the ones BK has just introduced.  So I filled my fry baby with corn oil and made the fries. 

This morning – still storming and scary – so I cranked up the fry daddy and made some lumpies for him.

It's just something I tossed together one day, it's babies-approved and a definite keeper.

Grammaw's Apple Lumpies


It's really a no-brainer!


Now remember – I am an eyeballer –


I placed about 2 cup pancake mix in a bowl, sprinkled with cinnamon to my liking, sprinkled in about 1 tablespoon sugar and enough water (about 1 1/4 cups I used) to make a batter with a nice consistency for fritters.


Washed, peeled and rough dice 5 apples (I used Macs which are perfect for this!) and stirred into the batter.


Meanwhile, my fry daddy was heating up.


Just drop off a large spoon (I got 3 lumpies to a fry batch) and fry until golden brown on the first side; turn; fry until golden on the flip side.


Drain and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.


And then they get devoured!



Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Wings??

|November 9, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

The City of Buffalo is the "CHICKEN WING CAPITAL OF THE WORLD" – and they have an annual festival each year.

Vendors from all over the states set up stands and sell their versions of the Buffalo Chicken Wing as well as every probable combination of spices and or sauces to saturate their wings.

Face it – there is only ONE Original Buffalo Wing recipe which originated at The Anchor Bar in Buffalo.  It was something Theresa put together at the last minute and it was a huge success.  NO ONE will ever be able to duplicate that recipe.

Of course, there are other places that also have good wings – but there is only one Original Buffalo Chicken Wing recipe – and no matter what you read in the paper or on line – you won't get that recipe.

But indulging in a plate of sloppy wings is comething that everyone is doing these days.

And these wings have traveled around the world.  The Wing Festival draws people from all over the world – that is how popular it is.  They sell tons and tons of wings – and when the festival is here – you can't find wings anywhere – it seems like everyone stocks up on them because when the festival runs low – they hit all the stores for wings!

We enjoy wings – and I've got so many different sauces that I use on my wings that I should open my own wing place.  When I first introduced MY wings (my recipe not anyone else's) at the deli we sold over 100 pounds of wings in 15 minutes.  Mostly by word of mouth from those that had enjoyed my wings.  Word traveled fast – and I had offers from other restaurants, etc., but I stayed where I was.  So I do know that I make a damn good wing.

I don't do as much catering as I used to – just for a few friends – and they always ask for at least one of my wings recipes to be included.

And of course, chicken wings mean football season as well.  I am probably the biggest Buffalo Bills fan ever (thanks to my dad who got me into it at a very young age) and I'm now the official arm chair quarterback – taking over dad's position.  You cannot be an armchair quarterback without a  plate of delicious wings just slathered with some great sauce!  It's just not possible.  Just make sure you have tons of napkins!

Tailgating is a big thing here too.  I love tailgating – it's just as much fun as the game itself.  And if I am not tailgating at the stadium – I can tailgate right here at home.  During the nice months of spring, summer and fall, our garage is fixed up like a sitting room – the walls are all finished, rug on the floor, screen doors to keep the bugs out, and I can cook out there.  For grilling – just roll the grill out the door.  So I will tailgate anywhere!

One thing about my wings though – if you come to my house for wings you have a good chance of not getting a traditional wing part.  I prefer to make "flappers" – which is fresh wings with the tips cut off and not separated into a drummie and a splitter.  Don't ask me why – but that is what we call the part of the wing that breaks in half – or should I say – splits in half.

Well I made flappers to enjoy during the games.  Mind you – I make so many different kinds.



These are my Parmesan Flappers –

Combine homemade dry bread crumbs with seasonings – grated Parmesan cheese, some Kosher salt, parsley, fresh ground black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder – mix well – dip cleaned flappers coating both sides.

Place in oiled baking dish with just a bit of water; cover and bake at 350* F. until done.

Served with homemade bread balls (just roll some homemade bread dough into small balls) that were rolled in grated Parmesan cheese that was seasoned with a bit of Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, parsley, garlic and onion powder before baking on a greased baking sheet.

Made a nice chunky tomato/marinara sauce for dipping – served hot!

Of course these wings are not very sloppy – so to satisfy the sloppiness urge, for the next game it was one of my Honey-BBQ Flappers –

After cleaning flappers and removing tips, place in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil.  Season with Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and parsley.  Place in lightly oiled baking dish with a bit of water, cover and bake at 350* F. till done.

Meanwhile I made my BBQ sauce – tomato ketchup based, with honey – almost to the "sticky" stage.  When the flappers were done I dunked them in my sauce and back into the oven (uncovered) for about 10 minutes.

Served with bleu cheese dressing and carrot slice and celery strips.  And tons of napkins as well!

Talk about heaven!!!!

AND – healthier than deep fried – just fall off the bone, finger-lickin' good!



Recipe: Baked Fish, Tater Wedges, Slaw, My Bistro Tart

|September 21, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Of course, it's Friday. A no meat day in our home. We still carry out this tradition.

It's also damp and cold – a perfect day to put the oven on – and – it's healthier to bake fish than to always have it deep-fried.

I've made my coleslaw early today –

Creamy Coleslaw

2 pounds of cabbage
2 large carrots
Minced red and green bell pepper for color and presentation (not quite half of each)
1 small onion
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/3 teaspoon celery seeds
1/4 cup milk – I use whole milk in all my cooking and baking
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh or bottled is fine)

Shred cabbage and carrots with a grater or food processor.
Finely chop onion, or process in food processor. Combine cabbage, carrots, belln pepper and onion in a LARGE bowl.

Thoroughly mix remaining ingredients and pour over cabbage mixture and stir well. Refrigerate 2 hours, over night is even better, stir before serving.

My "fish butter" is made and in the refrigerator ready to go:

4 teaspoons butter (not margarine)
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
2 teaspoons lemon juice
A grind of black pepper from the pepper grinder

And the lemon is cut into slices; covered and in the refrigerator.

I've also made my coating for my fish and it's in a shallow dish covered with plastic wrap until I'm ready to bake the fish which is basically homemade bread crumbs combined with My Homemade Lemon Pepper Seasoning:

1/2 cup fresh ground black pepper
1 cup Kosher salt
1/3 cup dried lemon peel (you know I make my own)
1/4 cup dried minced onion (I make my own)
1/4 cup dried minced garlic (I make my own)
1/4 cup dried parsley leaves (I make my own)

Stir all the ingredients together and store in an airtight jar.

All I need to do for the fish is to rinse it off (I wash everything!) and pat dry, dredge in a flour mixture of flour, some Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper then press into coating and place on lightly oiled baking sheet – 350* F. 10 to 15 minutes (depending ont he thickenss of the fish).

I'll scrub my taters and leave the peels on and cut into wedges. I'll toss them in a bowl with melted butter, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, fresh minced parsley, a bit of dried basil. Place skin-side down on lightly oiled baking sheet – and since these take longer I'll have them on at least 45 minutes or more before the fish goes in the oven.

My "bistro apple tart" sounds good as well –

I just roll my crust out and place on a large baking sheet; place my cut apples (using My Apple Spice Mix – posted in my blog here) in the center and pull the edges up, folding over about 2 inches coming up the apples. Center apples are not covered. Bake at 350* F. until a beautiful light golden brown and the apples are tender.

I use a double crust recipe (I don't like thin crusts) and if you want you can place the tart on parchment paper to make it easy to remove from the baking sheet to wire rack to cool. Try serving with warmed caramel sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream; top with chopped walnuts, if desired.

And don't be afraid to add craisins, raisins, or nuts to your apple filling.

I've got rye bread which I'll slice thick and heat in the oven while the fish is baking. It's much better than toasting the bread – takes longer – but it's really good with a good bread – try it!

Recipe: Batter staying on veggies –

|June 11, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Here is a copy of a PM I received – and instead of answering in another PM – I decied to post i here for all to see –

"Mama –

Can you please tell me how to keep the batter on my veggies when I fry them? It always seems to fall off!"

A common problem!

First, make sure your veggies are dry – meaning – wipe any excess water from washing/rinsing or any moisture that may be on them.

Second, make sure your batter is thick enough – thin batters do not stick. Make sure that after dipping your veggies in batter you allow the excess to drip off.

If you want to help a batter to stick you can toss your veggies in a bit of flour or rice flour (lightly) to help the batter stick.

Some have found that placing veggies on a tray and placing in the freezer to freeze before frying helps. By allowing them to "sit" for a while will help breadings and batters to stick on many foods – veggies, fruits, meats, fish, etc. 15 – 30 minutes should do it.

Some batter recipes will stick better than others. For instance – you can make a batter that will stick by using chick pea flour and water. The chick pea flour will absorb the water to the point that you will have to add more!

Always make sure what you are coating is dry, if dipping in flour first, be sure to shake off excess.

If using a deep fryer basket – place the pieces in individually so that they do not clump together – that will help. Even if using a pan or pot ont he stove top – place pieces in individually.

Some feel that tempura batters work much better.

Here are two if you would like to try them – both are good for veggies, fish, meats, etc.

Tempura Batter
3/8 cup Flour
1/8 cup Cornstarch
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/8 tsp Baking Soda
1 Egg White
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Water
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Parsley
1/2 tsp Paprika

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well blended. Dip fish fillets in flour and coat each side, then dip in fish in batter and fry in oil until golden brown. Place fried fish on paper towels to drain off excess oil. Serve hot.

Tempura Batter
1/4 cup Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 cup Water
1 Egg

Mix cornstarch, baking powder, and baking soda in bowl. Stir in water and egg and mix until smooth. Dip fish pieces, shrimp, or even raw vegetables in batter and deep fry until crispy brown. When dipping shrimp, hold by tail and dip only the body. This makes for good presentation leaving the shrimp's red tail exposed.

Another thing that I do – if "holding" breaded or battered cooked foods in an oven at 200* F. to keep warm while finishing the rest of the cooking – I make sure that I place these foods on racks set on a baking tray. This way the coating does not stick to the baking pan and stays on the food!

I hope this helps!

Recipe: Never Waste!!!

|June 10, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

One thing about the old-timers – especially those that went through the Great Depression back in the 1930's – you waste nothing! You find something to do with it and you can make another meal or stretch a meal further to feed your family.

This is an easy lunch – (we didn't snack years ago – you ate your meals and that was it!)

Cut homemade bread in thick slices – about 1/2-inch or so thick. Soak briefly in milk. You can cut the crusts off and save to use for making homemade bread crumbs or you can leave the crusts on – your preference. From milk, dip in beaten egg, coating both sides.

Heat oil (we used lard back then) in heavy skillet. Add bread slices, frying until golden on both sides. Drain on paper towels (brown bags were used in the old days). Top with fresh grated cheese or very thinly sliced cheese so that it melts. Serve hot.

If the pot of sauce is on the stove – DIP!

Recipe: Beer Batter

|March 14, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

This is a nice recipe for beer batter anything! This can be made 24 hours ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. You can also thicken a bit by adding more flour if needed.

2 3/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons oil
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
A grind or two of black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 cup flat beer
3/4 cup cold water

Open beer and leave it at room temperature for at least 1 day.

Chill until cold. Add water, oil and eggs; mix just enough to break egg yolks.

In separate bowl, mix flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Whisk in dry ingredients, leaving some small lumps. Refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made ahead 24 hours. Remix.

If going to use right away, you may thicken with additional flour.

I pour the beer into the bowl until flat, then chill. Add ingredients to that bowl when preparing.


Use fo fish, veggies – just about anything you want battered!

Recipe: Chicken Tenders

|March 13, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

I've used this coating on chicken thighs, drum sticks, wings and chicken breasts.

It's easy to make – can easily be an entree served with baked potatoes and a salad or side dish and can also be served as an appetizer/snack.


To make tenders:

Cut skinless, boneless chicken breasts into strips about 1 1/2 – 2-inches wide*

Marinade in my dipping sauce recipe (recipe posted on site – mix with oil and vinegar) for at least 4 hours or overnight, covered, in refrigerator (turning occasionally).

When ready to bake:
Preheat oven to 375* F. Oil an baking sheet; set aside.


In shallow dish combine:

1 cup dry plain breadcrumbs**
1 tablespoon dried parsley, crushed
A few grinds of the black pepper mill
2 – 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan*** cheese

Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade. Shake excess marinade off chicken and press into breadcrumb mixture, coating well. Place on baking sheet and bake until done – 20 minutes or more depending on size of tenders.

*If using thighs I leave the skin on and I do not remove the bones.

**Save money and make it homemade.


*** I also make my own Italian cheese blend to use for this.


Making your own chicken tenders is so much better than having those tenders (or whatever they are) from the frozen food case.

Recipe: Just a Basic Fish Fry

|February 26, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

For those that are interested – these are the recipes I used yesterday for my fish fry.


I made a Beer Batter for my haddock:

To begin with I had a little over 1 ½ lbs. haddock fillets

Sift about ½ cup all-purpose flour with Kosher salt to taste; add a pat or two (roughly 1 to 2 tablespoons) melted butter and a lightly beaten egg; pour in ½ cup beer (room temperature) adding gradually. Beat one egg white until stiff and stir in only until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for an hour in a warm place.

When ready to cook heat the deep fryer (I used shortening) to 375* Fahrenheit (because I wanted that protective shield formed by the batter which prevents the hot grease from penetrating the cooled food and making it greasy).

Rinse fillets with cool water and pat dry before dipping in batter; allow excess to drip off. Fry a few pieces at a time until brown and crisp; drain on paper toweling or wire racks placed over a baking sheet. Sprinkle with Kosher salt.

Keep warm in a preheated oven (190 – 200* Fahrenheit until all the fish is fried.

I decided to make some homemade fries as well and tuna croquettes.


Tuna Croquettes

Melt 2 pats of butter (about 2 tablespoons) in saucepan; add about ¼ cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, a few turns of the black pepper mill and mix well. Gradually stir in about 1 cup of whole milk (I always cook and bake using whole milk). I added 2 cans of tuna (drained well) and some minced fresh parsley, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, 1 lightly beaten egg.
With wet hand I formed mixture into 8 to 10 balls and rolled in fine dry breadcrumbs (I made from Italian bread – unseasoned).

Drop into the deep fryer and they are done in just a few minutes – cooking until golden; drain on paper towels or wire rack set over baking sheet. Keep warm in preheated oven until ready to serve.


Earlier in the day I made a Basic Creamy Coleslaw

I shredded about 4 cups of green/white cabbage and about 1 cup of red cabbage. I “chipped” some carrot for color.

My coleslaw dressing was approximately ½ cup mayonnaise (I used a heavy creamy mayo that I bought at the restaurant supply house), about 2 tablespoons sugar, about 1 tablespoon white vinegar and Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

Whisk well and toss with cabbage/carrot mixture. Refrigerate a couple hours before serving.
When ready to serve, stir.


My potato and macaroni salads were basic –

Potato Salad

Peel and cut up potatoes, cover with cold water; bring to boil; cook until tender and drain well; cool completely. You want your potatoes cold before combining your salad.
Add hard-cooked eggs, chopped celery, chipped carrots, minced onion, chopped sweet pickles.

Coat with heavy creamy mayo mixed with a bit of yellow prepared mustard.

Transfer to serving bowl and sprinkle top with paprika; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Macaroni Salad

Bring large pot of water to boil, add salt and wait for water to return to a full boil. Add pasta (I used a pound box of medium shells) and cook al dente (to the bite); drain well and rinse under cold water to cool off; drain well. You want your pasta cold before combining your salad.

Add hard-cooked eggs, chopped celery, minced onion, chipped carrot, chopped sweet pickles.

Coat with heavy creamy mayo and a bit of yellow prepared mustard.

Transfer to serving bowl and sprinkle top with paprika; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Tartar Sauce

1 cup Miracle Whip (yep for this recipe)
1 teaspoon sweet pickle juice
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh parsley
3 stuffed olives, finely chopped
A sprinkle of grated white onion

Combine; cover; refrigerate until ready to serve.


And yes – I wanted enough potato and macaroni salad as well as coleslaw for two days. Today I made Chicken in a Basket.

Recipe: Chicken-in-A-Basket

|February 25, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Yesterday was easy cooking – since I had made enough potato salad, macaroni salad and coleslaw for two days – All I had to make was my breaded chicken.

I used thighs and chicken breasts – both with skin and bones. Thoroughly wash chicken pieces in cold water and salt; rinse well and pat dry.

I soaked the chicken pieces in buttermilk (covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator) overnight. For 3 pounds of chicken pieces I used about 2 cups of buttermilk which I poured in a glass 13 X 9-inch baking dish. I add chopped onion, chopped fresh garlic, minced fresh parsley, and a sprinkle of cayenne. Added a few turns of the pepper grinder and some Kosher salt. Added the chicken and turn to coat – turning several times while marinating.

Drain well in colander and discard milk. In a shallow dish I combined fresh fine dry breadcrumbs (made from crusty Italian bread), homemade garlic salt, homemade onion salt, paprika, dried parsley flakes and a few grinds from the pepper mill.

Dredge chicken in coating, pressing to coat well and place in single layer on large platter to rest for a bit.

Heat shortening to 365* Fahrenheit. Deep fry in batches until golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towels or on wire rack placed over baking sheet.

Keep warm in preheated 200* Fahrenheit oven until all chicken is cooked.

Served in wicker baskets lined with deli wrap with salads and coleslaw and homemade biscuits.

Simple Biscuits

1 cup self-rising flour
½ cup whole milk
Scant ¼ cup mayonnaise (not salad dressing)

Combine ingredients mixing well; drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheet and bake in preheated 375* Fahrenheit oven for 18 – 20 minutes or until done.

Recipe: Batters, breadings, and coatings

|February 24, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Let’s talk a bit about batters, breadings and coatings.

First of all there are batters. Batters can have a thin consistency similar to light cream (as for crepes, blintzes, etc.); or they can be of a medium consistency such as pancake batter, or it can have a thicker consistency like waffle batter, also known as drop batter. There are some batters that are quite stiff.

Batters are a liquid mixture that is made from one or more flours and mixed with water, milk, or beer. Eggs can be added and as well as a leavening agent. Some batters are naturally fermented. These batters can be savory or they can be sweet. Some batters have herbs and spices added, some have sweeteners.

Some may have fruits or vegetables added to them.

Once these batters are heated through (either by frying, baking or steaming), the batter becomes solid.

As I previously said, batters make crepes, pancakes, waffles, Yorkshire puddings, fritters, doughnuts, hushpuppies, tempera, breads, cakes, cookies, and can also be used to coat meats, poultry, fish and seafood, and vegetables.

Breading is a dry coating used on vegetables, meats, poultry, fish, shellfish and soy made of breadcrumbs, cracker crumbs, flours, cornmeal, and seasonings, etc. to add crunchiness and flavor to foods.

Many times breaded foods are fried or deep-fried, but breaded foods can also be baked. “Dry” foods may need to be dipped in beaten egg, milk, or buttermilk before coating so that the breading will stick to the food.

A little about breadings:
I’ve seen so many cooks not sure of what to do when a recipe calls for Panko bread crumbs or what to do if they are out of something. So I’ve put this together and I hope it helps!

Breading adds a nice crisp coating to fried foods. Most commonly breadcrumbs are used (dry, fresh, seasoned, panko, panko seasoned), but crumbs are also made from crackers, melba toast, breakfast cereals, matzohs, pretzels, potato chips, snack chips, and corn chips!

To use your crumbs properly when breading meats or seafood be sure to dry the pieces completely, dust with a light coating of flour and dip in a mixture of eggs mixed with a little milk or water (or even oil). Then dredge your pieces in the breading (which can be flavored with herbs and spices to your liking) and place in a single layer on a large platter or plate. Refrigerate for at least an hour before frying them for best results.

Dry breadcrumbs are made from very dry bread, and make for a crispy, crunchy coating for fried foods.

Soft (or fresh) breadcrumbs are made from bread that is not as dry thus resulting in a softer coating, crust or stuffing.

Just about any bread can be made into bread crumbs, but the best is made from crusty French or Italian bread.

If you are going to make your own breadcrumbs, use day old (I don’t like to use the word "stale" because I don’t believe in using anything that is stale! And with some of the white breads on the market – they are dated weeks ahead (which is something I do not believe in at all. I am used to seeing bread made each day in my house; and then to make crumbs out of day-old bread you knew what you were eating!) By no means should you use any bread that is moldy or ready to turn moldy! There is no call for things left around the counters, refrigerators, etc. until they need to be carbon-dated to figure out what they are!

Place your bread slices on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake in a 200*F. oven until slightly dry if you are making fresh (soft) bread crumbs; or very dry if you are making dry breadcrumbs. Allow bread to cool; process in a food processor using a steel blade to make coarse crumbs, or a grating blade to make fine crumbs. If desired, season with salt, herbs, garlic powder, onion powder and or lemon zest.

For 1 cup of dry bread crumbs you should use approximately 4 slices of bread (depending on the type of bread used).

For 1 cup of soft (fresh) breadcrumbs you should use approximately 3 slices of bread (again depending on the type of bread used).

Not only are breadcrumbs used for breadings (meat, fish, etc.), toppings (casseroles etc.) and fillers (meatloaf, meatballs, etc.) but can also be used for stuffings/dressings, thickening stews, etc.

For seafood it is nice to use a panko breadcrumb since the crumbs are larger and stay crisp longer.

No bread to make breadcrumbs and in a pinch?

Try cracker crumbs (¾ cup is equivalent to 1 cup bread crumbs), OR croutons (crushed), OR stuffing (crushed), OR cornflake crumbs, OR matzoh meal, OR other unsweetened cereal flakes, OR potato flakes, OR rice cakes, OR high fiber cereal.

Panko breadcrumbs are a Japanese version of dry bread crumbs. The recipe, which is very easy, is this: The white panko is made from white bread with the crust removed, and the tan panko uses both the bread and the crust, you can also use whole wheat bread.

Start by trimming the crust off 4 white bread slices (to make 1 cup of fresh panko). Using a food processor, push the chunks through the shredding disk to make coarse crumbs (yes, Panko breadcrumbs are larger (coarser) than regular breadcrumbs and stay crunchier. Many prefer these over regular breadcrumbs.

Spread crumbs on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 300* F.  oven for 6 to 8 minutes – taking the time to shake the sheet a couple times during the drying process.

NOTE: The crumbs should be DRY, NOT toasted, and they should NOT be brown.


1 cup plain, dry breadcrumbs
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed dried thyme
1 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary

Combine; store airtight in pantry.

Since we’re talking about "crumbs" here’s a few more notes I would like to share:

Cake crumbs are easily made by crumbling leftover cake (without the frosting of course!), pound cake or even a store bought pound cake.

In a pinch? In most recipes you can substitute breadcrumbs.

Chocolate wafer crumbs are easily made by crumbling store-bought chocolate wafers. I think the most popular ones are the Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers. In a pinch? Substitute crushed Oreo cookies (filling and all) by using your food processor with a metal blade OR you can use vanilla wafers OR you can use graham cracker crumbs.

Coating mixes are great to have around. Not only do they make your meal special, but they add that flavor and/or crunchiness as well. Coatings work well on fish, seafood, chicken, beef and pork and well as many veggies. Making your own and keeping them in your pantry save time.

In a pinch?

Substitute corn flake crumbs (flavor with salt, paprika, onion powder, pepper, etc.) OR bread crumbs OR cracker crumbs.
Cornbread crumbs are nothing more than crumbled cornbread and work well used for stuffings/dressings or to bread poultry or fish. If using a homemade cornbread that you made, be sure to cool completely before crumbling.

In a pinch?

Use breadcrumbs.

Cornflake crumbs are just crushed cornflakes which work well as a coating for meat and fish or as a topping for casseroles. These can be purchased already crushed or you can crush your own. Approximately 3 cups of cornflakes will make 1 cup crushed cornflakes. The easiest way is to place cornflakes in a plastic bag and crush them yourself by hand or by using a rolling pin or heavy skillet.

In a pinch?

Substitute breadcrumbs (dry and fine) OR panko crumbs OR cornmeal OR cracker meal OR crushed Melba toast (add a bit of oil to these) OR breakfast cereal flakes OR corn chips (crushed) OR coating mix OR crushed pretzels.

Cracker meal is nothing more than crushed crackers; usually used for breading meat and fish. Cracker crumbs give a nice crispy, crunchy coating. You can buy these already crushed or you can crush your own by placing crackers in a plastic bag and crushing with a rolling pin.

In a pinch?

Substitute bread crumbs OR panko crumbs OR matzo meal OR cornflake crumbs.

Farfel is a term used by Jewish cooks referring to matzo or noodles that have been broken into small pieces.

In a pinch?

Substitute egg barley OR cracker meal OR crushed crunchy chow mein noodles.

Gingersnap crumbs are primarily used for pie crusts and to use as a sprinkling on top of desserts. These can be purchased or you can make your own by crushing gingersnaps.

In a pinch?

Substitute graham cracker crumbs OR chocolate wafer crumbs OR vanilla wafer crumbs.

Graham cracker crumbs make a terrific pie crust or crust for a cheesecake. These can also be purchased in the supermarket or you can crush your own. About 14 crackers will make 1 cup of crumbs.

In a pinch?

Substitute vanilla wafer crumbs (NOTE: these are sweeter so you may have to adjust your sugar in the recipe) OR chopped nuts (if using nuts 1 ½ cups chopped nuts and 1/8 cup sugar will equal 1 cup graham cracker crumbs and 1 cup sugar) OR chocolate wafer crumbs OR zwieback crumbs.

Matzo (matzoh) meal is used primarily by Jewish families during Passover for making pancakes, matzo balls, etc. Supermarkets carry matzo cake meal which is just a finer grind of matzo meal. You can easily make your own by grinding broken matzos in the food processor using a steel blade; grind into a coarse flour. About 3 matzos will make 1 cup matzo meal.

In a pinch?

Use bread crumbs OR cracker crumbs.
Panko bread crumbs – information is above.

Stuffing – dressing – stuffing croutons are usually used for stuffing (or dressing) in your bird. Stuffing goes in the bird and dressing is cooked in a casserole. Croutons are usually small bread cubes or shredded pieces of bread that have been dried. You can purchase bags of this in the supermarket but for a fresh-tasting stuffing or dressing, it is best to make your own. Just slice your bread into ¼-inch cubes and place on baking sheet; bake at 300* F. until crisp and dry.

In a pinch?

Substitute coarse bread crumbs OR croutons OR cornbread crumbs (softer consistency) OR rice OR potatoes.

Vanilla wafer crumbs are usually used to make pie crusts. Simply made by placing in a plastic bag and crushing with a rolling pin. It should take about 22 cookies to make 1 cup of crumbs – but I have noticed lately that they are making the cookies smaller!

In a pinch?

Use graham cracker crumbs OR chocolate wafer crumbs OR Oreo cookies (crush filling and all using a metal blade in your food processor and remember to omit additional sugar if the recipe calls for it in your crust recipe) OR crushed gingersnaps.

When coating foods they need to be dredged (pulled through dry ingredients) in order to coat before cooking.

When coating foods, the coating acts as a barrier that not only keeps the foods from sticking to the pan as it cooks, but also gives the exterior of the food that nice crunch and golden goodness we all enjoy, while preventing the texture of the food from becoming tough.

When dredging foods, the foods should be lightly dried by patting with paper towels – removing any excess moisture. The foods should be dredged evenly, coating all sides so that the foods will have a even golden brown appearance. Do not let the foods sit too long after dredging or it will become soggy, which effects the appearance and taste as well as effecting the cooking process.

Foods can also be coated by placing the coating in a large plastic bag, adding a few pieces of food at a time. Some prefer to use paper bags to do the job. There is no rule as to which is better – just be sure that the bag you use is intended for contact with food. Many times bags contain dyes, glues, or other harmful chemicals that may be absorbed by the food.

And of course, I have a post (from my soapbox) about plastic bags and foods.