Fresh bread is always very delicious to the hungry palate. This sometimes hot and buttery baked product is a great enhancement to any meal. Many eateries use bread as a side dish or as an accompaniment to soup or salad. The thing is when bread becomes a little stale or what the culinary world calls ‘day old,’ many don’t find it appealing. Unfortunately, leftover bread is sometimes sit on the counter or refrigerator and subsequently toss in the trash. This is like discarding hard earned money. But, thanks to a little creativity and time, leftover bread can be transformed and used up in a myriad of ways. Some of the great ways to use leftover bread are:-
One excellent way to use up leftover bread is to make home-made croutons. In a hot skillet over low to medium heat, add a few teaspoon of olive oil. If desired, rub a clove of garlic over bread before cutting into cubes. Brown croutons until they become crispy. Cool and then toss over any salad. Alternatively, these crispy delights could be used as toppers for a great puréed squash or lentil soup.
Bread and tomato salad
Another savory way to partake of leftover bread is to make a bread and tomato salad. On a a hot summery day, there’s nothing more befitting than a great bread and tomato salad. Cut the bread in large cubes or better yet, tear the bread roughly and place in a bowl and set aside. Chop tomatoes in preferred sizes. Add thinly chopped red onions. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and add fresh basil. The tomatoes will expel tasty and delicious juices which is just perfect when leftover bread is added. Gently toss all the ingredients. If desired, add strips of bacon or a few cubes of cheese. This salad is excellent with a pinot grigio.
Add to meat loaf or balls
Leftover bread can also be used as a great binder to a meat ball or meat loaf dish. There is no need to add store-bought bread crumbs which contains extra sodium. Just soak bread in a little milk and squeeze excess milk. Then combine with meat loaf or meat ball dish.
Make bread crumbs
Drizzle a little olive oil on bread. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Toast leftover bread on sheet pan in oven. Use a food processor to transform toast to crumbs. Use home-made bread crumbs in succulent chicken parmigiana chicken dish or any other meal that requires the use of bread crumbs.
Leftover bread is also delicious for a great bread pudding. Soak bread in sweetened milk, beaten eggs along with vanilla, cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg. If desired, add an extra aromatic flavor of either brandy or rum. Bake in a greased baking pan until the the pudding is set and the top develops a crust. Serve at room temperature or warm with a scoop of ice cream.