Tuesday, May 26, 2009
We eat a lot of salads all year, but especially in Summer when the garden gets going. I love croutons in my salad, and they are so easy to make at home, and so much better than any you can buy. You'll also save money if you make your own, and isn't that a good thing, especially in these times. This will spoil you for those dry, stale, croutons on most salad bars.
This is so easy, I feel funny calling it a recipe, maybe it's more a technique. Here's what you'll need:
Bread - You can use any kind of bread you'd like, and you can combine different types, it just adds to the flavor. You can use a new loaf, but the real trick is to start saving the ends of the loaf, the one lonely slice, the heel of the french bread. Cut these lonely pieces into cubes when they turn up, and store in a zip top bag in the freezer, until you have 6 cups. If you are starting with a whole loaf, cut into approximately 3/4" cubes.
Butter or margarine - 1 stick melted
Olive Oil - 1/2 cup
Garlic Powder - 1 tbsp, or more if you love garlic
Fresh ground Pepper - about 1/2 tsp
Melt the butter, add the Olive Oil and the seasonings and stir well.
Put the bread cubes into a bowl large enough that you can stir them easily, then drizzle the oil & seasonings over the bread and stir well.
Spread out the cubes in a shallow pan or rimed baking sheet - a half sheet pan is perfect. Try to have just one layer, for even browning. Bake at 250 degrees, for about 3 hours, or until golden brown and crisp.
Cool and store in an air tight container, or zip top bag. These will keep for at least 6 weeks on the shelf, if they last that long.
Try adding other seasonings to come up with your "House Croutons". Italian herbs, herbs d'provence, Mexican seasoning, even barbque rub, you can make just what you like.
Jan - Big Brown Dog Primitives