One of the best ways to keep down the grocery bill every month is to throw away as little food as possible. Vegetables that are not crisp and chicken bones can be used to make broth. Leftover veggies from dinner can be tossed into soup. And cornbread can make dressing or crumbs.
It is so easy and can be done while you are washing dishes. Make your favorite cornbread recipe and server it for dinner.
It doesn’t matter if it is already cut into pieces because you are going to dry it out anyway.
How much you break it up depends on if you want to make bread crumbs of stuffing. For stuffing you will want larger pieces while bread crumbs you, well, want it to be really crumbled up! Lay out on a cookie sheet and place in a 200 degree over for about 30 minutes. Test it before removing from the oven as it needs too be completely dry. It is okay if the cornbread isn’t totally crumbled up before you dry as it crumbles easily once dried out.
I prefer to store it in a jar rather than a ziplock bag.
Use it like you would a box of stuffing or bread crumbs. Tonight I am making Tuna Nuna Casserole. Not only is it keeping food out of the garbage, it is adding a lot more flavor than the traditional bread crumb.
Give it a try on casseroles, fish or even in your meatloaf. Anytime you would use breadcrumbs and tell me how you like it.
While grocery shopping there are certain foods I pick up knowing I will use it in the next several days. If I do, then it is all fine and dandy. But sometimes, life happens and I don’t make the dish I was planning on. Most produce will carry my over for a week or more, but mushrooms don’t. They really need to be used within a few days or they are garbage fodder. Or, occasionally, I might see a really good sale on them. I am not a fan of freezing mushrooms beause I think they become chewy. That is why I learned to dry them.
Drying mushrooms is one of the easiest foods to put up for long term storage. You can use the same process no matter what type of mushroom you want to dry. After washing, cut the mushrooms into large chunks. Slices will become too small. I cut these mushrooms into quarters. You can have the pieces as large as you want, it will just take longer to fully dry. Place a cooling rack onto a cookie sheet and spread the mushrooms on top. You can see how little space one 8 ounce package of mushrooms takes up. If you want to fill the pan it will take a couple pounds worth.
Place the cookie sheet into a 175 degree oven. Mine only goes down to 200 so I prop the door slight ajar with a small pan.
Two hours later I have fully dried mushrooms. To store I just put into a canning jar and in the pantry. I use them in dishes that allow them to rehydrate such as soups or Salisbury Steak.
The awesome part is that to buy dried mushrooms is horribly expensive but now you can build up your own supply for a fraction of the cost. These are great to have on hand when you don’t have any that are fresh. But, they are even better to pack when going camping and making meals in a jar. If you would prefer to rehydrate before adding to a dish, simply soak in water, broth or your favorite wine.