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Parmesan breadcrumb topping for casserole?

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From a few of my other threads, it's obvious that I am diving into the world of macaroni and cheese in a few days. I have decided on a recipe but would like to add a few elements. My favorite part of macaroni and cheese is the crunchy crust on top which I admittedly will scrape off 3/4 of the casserole dish and then pretend that it never existed. I plan to serve leftovers and so my initial idea of croutons is probably not the best as they would be quite soggy after a stay in the fridge overnight. Instead, I thought I would go the breadcrumb route and add another cheese flavor with some parmesan.

What would be the best way/proportions to whip up a quick breadcrumb/Parmesan topping?

Thanks.

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  1. This is really something you can tailor to your own taste; anything from 100% bread to 100% parmesan will work. I'd probably do 75% panko breadcrumbs with 25% cheese - toss the panko with a little melted butter and then with the cheese, then add it to your casserole.

    6 Replies
    1. re: biondanonima

      You'd prefer Panko over regular breadcrumbs?

      1. re: fldhkybnva

        Fresh Pepperidge Farm Country White ( or similar) pulsed in a food processor.

        1. re: fldhkybnva

          Heck yeah! Panko is GRRRRREAT (said ala Tony the Tiger). They stay very crisp. Among my foodie friends, nobody uses traditional bread crumbs anymore.

          1. re: pdxgastro

            I also LOVE panko for many things. But soft breadcrumbs are the ticket for this application.

            1. re: sandylc

              Any reason why in particular you prefer soft breadcrumbs?

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                When baked, they become extremely light and crisp - sort of airy. In sort of a.....bigger way than panko.

      2. We're also fans of panko. For mac n cheese we'd go 75% panko, 25% grated parm cheese and a tsp. of smoked paprika. Combine and sprinkle on top of the prepared mac & cheese before going straight to the oven. No added butter in our case.

        1 Reply
        1. re: HillJ

          Great, thanks. I particularly like the addition of smoked paprika.

        2. Just did this on Mac 'n' Cheese two nights ago. Had half a baguette (sourdough, white sandwich bread, etc., would also work) that I cubed and threw into the processor along with 1/4 cup parmesan and about 2 T. butter. Yum.

          I highly recommend using soft bread crumbs. They will toast up light and crunchy. The leftovers have been great with no loss of yumminess.