Saturday, February 12, 2011

Handmade croutons

One of the reasons I like to eat salads is that I LOVE to eat croutons. The way they absorb the dressing, yet still crunch in your mouth makes my stomach growl just thinking about it. As it turns out, they're easy to make and a great way to find a second, and delicious, life for old bread. You can modify the ingredients to include more spices, healthy bread, or even a little less fat or salt.

  • 1 C cubed bread
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • salt and garlic powder to taste
If you've got bread that's as hard as a rock and not even a chisel can make a dent, wrap the bread in a moist towel and microwave for 20-30 seconds. This will temporarily rehydrate the bread. Don't do this too much as it will make the bread too hard when it cools down.

Cut the bread into small cubes, about 1/2 inch cubed.

Melt the butter in a pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and swirl. Throw in the bread and mix until all the pieces are covered in fat. Turn down the heat to medium. When the pieces start to brown on the bottom, toss around, trying to get some of the pieces to turn over. Sprinkle with salt and garlic powder and toss some more.

Take off the heat while you make your salad or soup or whatever needs crunchy goodness on top.

This is about a single serving for me. Make more, based on how much bread you have. You can make these ahead of eating and store in an airtight container for about a week. If they get too soggy, throw them on a cookie sheet under the broiler for a minute or so.

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