Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Crouton 101

Homemade Croutons are served.

Stale bread is often destined for the trashcan.

The reality is fresh bread is a star – for a day. After 24 hours, it has often lost its luster.

But you can alter the course for your day-old loaf with a few basic tools and ingredients. With a knife, a pan, salt and pepper, and a bit of olive oil, you can transform that boring bread into a masterpiece: Homemade Croutons.

Your family and friends will thank you.

So will your soup and/or salad.

Any type of bread will do, although those with a crusty crust work best, IMHO.

Cutting up your bread is the first step to making delish Homemade Croutons.

Sometimes, I throw in a crushed clove of garlic for a kick.

So, here’s the formula for Homemade Croutons. You can store them up to five days in a Ziploc bag.

Homemade Croutons
(Makes four to six servings)

2 cups stale bread, cubed into ½-inch to ¾ inch pieces
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 clove crushed garlic (optional)

Over medium high heat, preheat a large, wide pan.

Add olive oil.

Add bread. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic, if using.

The bread cubes do their thang in the pan. Have patience!

After a few minutes, gently toss the croutons with a spoon or tongs. Repeat a few times until croutons are toasty, golden brown and fragrant.

Serve with your favorite soup or salad.

1 comment:

  1. I love homemade croutons, especially with chicken Caesar salad. I grill chicken breasts after marinating in Montreal chicken seasoning and Wishbone fat free Italian dressing. Because there's no oil in the dressing, there are no flare ups and the breasts grill perfectly. Add Romaine and croutons, glass of wine - perfect Saturday night dinner.