I don’t like to waste food. Armchair psychology tells me this goes back to my grandparents making me finish every single grain of rice in my bowl because they had lived through the Korean War. But I digress….
Suffice it to say, when I discovered an old box of stale crackers in the back of the pantry, I tried to use them instead of just throwing them away. And, huzzah, turns out they make an excellent PANADE.
Panade is just a fancy word for a thick mix of starch and liquid. You can add this to your meatballs, meatloaf, and turkey burgers to make them beautiful and moist. Usually panade is made with bread but who wants to waste perfectly good bread? Just crush up your stale crackers, add a little milk and mix until you get a paste like the texture of thick, coarse hummus. It doesn’t look pretty but, trust me, your ground meat will thank you.
Some other ways to use stale crackers:
1) If they’re not too far gone, they can be revived for use as actual crackers by throwing them in a 300 degree oven for 5-10 minutes
2) Crush and mix with melted butter, throw on top of a casserole and bake for a yummy crunchy topping
3) Crush, add salt, pepper and dried herbs and use to coat chicken or fish for pan-frying
4) Throw whole stale crackers in a frying pan with some butter to make delicious faux croutons for salad or soup
5) Crush and use to make stuffing for mushrooms, pork loin, etc.
My grandparents would be so proud =)