Saturday, April 14, 2007

Homemade Croutons

Sometimes you forget that you know how to make the simplest of things. And sometimes it's those simplest of things that make a difference. Last night we had a simple dinner of BBQ chicken and salad. The salad was just a green salad with cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, and carrot shreds. As I assembled this, I became annoyed that I forgot to pick up croutons. Yes, I confess to buying croutons. Then, out of the corner of my eye I caught the corner of a foil wrapped package- the homemade buttermilk oatmeal bread from the other night. Ding-Ding! In no time I had little cubes of bread awaiting some seasoning.

I have no recipe, more procedure, but trust me, it works. I started with about 4 cups of bread cubes. I placed these in a bowl and added 1 tablespoon of melted butter and 1 tablespoon of canola oil. I tossed the bread thoroughly and then added some seasonings. A healthy grinding of fresh black pepper, a sprinkling of garlic powder, and a teaspoon or so of dried basil. All this was tossed until it looked evenly distributed before being spread out on a sheet pan. I heated the oven to 375ºF, and before putting the cubes in the oven, at the last minute I decided to sprinkle them with some Parmesan cheese. Total these baked for about 20 minutes, but I was checking on them and tossing them every 5 or so. And the end result was the perfect topping for an otherwise plain salad. We all gobbled them up, and these were even good enough to just snack on all by themselves. Next time I'm faced with a heel of leftover bread, I'll be making these again.


Claire said...

I'm not a fan of croutons but my mom LOVES them! I'll have to make these for her next time I go visit them...Mother's Day!

Mimi said...

I admit to buying them, too, but I usually doctor them up with spices or garlic powder and melted butter.

Good for you - I've never had luck making them myself. See what I mean about being a Thinking Blogger?

Erika said...

Claire- they really are easy as long as you keep an eye on them so they don't burn.

Lol Mimi- I think mine could have used a touch of salt, but I do admit that my crouton attempts in the past have not worked so well. Mainly because I get forgetful and end up with scorched cubes of bread. Not very tasty for a salad.