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Savoring the Southwest: Santa Fe Seasoned Breadcrumbs

Day old or stale bread and some seasoning and herbs from the Southwest are all you need to make Santa Fe Seasoned Breadcrumbs.
Day old or stale bread and some seasoning and herbs from the Southwest are all you need to make Santa Fe Seasoned Breadcrumbs.
Chef Larry Edwards/Casa de Cuisine

** Savoring the Southwest is a new cooking/food column from internationally acclaimed chef and bestselling cookbook author, Larry Edwards. In this Examiner exclusive series, the chef will take you through the wonders of Southwest cooking and food. Along with each of the dishes the chef will present, there will also be a how-to slideshow. Learn the art of Southwest cooking and enjoy every delicious bite! **

Have you ever ventured into your local market to buy breadcrumbs? Next time you're searching for the finely ground morsels of flavor, take a look at the ingredient panel on the box. It looks like the ingredients for something you'd want to kill bugs with! C'mon, it should simply be breadcrumbs, herbs and spices. True, we are becoming a chemical-based society but you can be a rebel and tell processed foods to "take a hike!"

I still don't quite understand why people buy breadcrumbs. Maybe it is the utmost in laziness. Maybe it is that people just have too damn much money. Whatever the reason, it's stupid. You can make your own breadcrumbs in less time than it takes you to go to the store and you can save yourself money as well. Of course in making your own, you are eliminating chemicals and using natural ingredients. Well there is an oddity for 2014.

Santa Fe Seasoned Breadcrumbs contain all the flavors associated with the great American Southwest. They have a wonderful aroma and just the right amount of spicy pizzazz. Here at the Casa we use day old and/or stale sourdough bread to make our breadcrumbs. You can use any bread of your liking and even combine differing breads (rye bread also makes wonderful breadcrumbs).

Since I have no idea how much day old or stale bread you will be having, I'll just share with you the herbs and spices we use to make Santa Fe Seasoned Breadcrumbs. Use the breadcrumbs for any dish you normally would use that store-bought poison and you will notice a greatly improved dish.

Ingredients needed to make Santa Fe Seasoned Breadcrumbs:

  • Bread, day old or stale
  • Ground cumin
  • Chili Powder
  • Ground sage
  • Ground basil
  • Celery salt
  • Olive oil

Steps:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the bread (or tear) into chucks.
  3. Place the bread into a food processor and grind until very fine.
  4. Place the breadcrumbs into a large bowl.
  5. Into the crumbs add the herbs and spices and using a whisk, whisk them to combine.
  6. Add enough olive oil to moisten the breadcrumbs and stir until the breadcrumbs are coated.
  7. Place the seasoned breadcrumbs into a large saute pan.
  8. Place into the oven and bake 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  10. Store the breadcrumbs in an air-tight container in a cool and dark place (or freeze).

The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."