Monday, September 20, 2010

Time-Out: Homemade Croutons

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One of my best friends growing up, S, lived in a family that was famous for their Friday night meals.  They would always make pizza and croutons.  I remember being so enthralled that you could make your own croutons (something we weren't allowed to have very often in my house)!

Since living on my own, I've turned to making variations of Mrs. W's croutons more than once.  Now, I just have my own recipe, but I still love stealing some fresh out of the oven.  Its easy, when you only feed one person, to have bread that goes stale.  Now, instead of throwing out that stale bread, or leftover bread, you can use it.  These croutons keep in the fridge for well over a week!  And, they freeze for a month (at least, that's the longest I've left them in the freezer for; they move fast in my apartment!). 

We came back from a weekend away with my family, where they gave me every single leftover food that I could possible cart home in the three hour drive.  One of which was white bread, which is not my favorite thing in the world, so I turned it into croutons.  It was John's first time having homemade croutons but since he was eating them out of the bag (and out of the salads that were awaiting dinner), it leads me to believe they're really good.


Danielle's Party Croutons
4 pieces of leftover bread (I particularly like whole-wheat, but that's because it's usually the only thing I have in the house!)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
2 teaspoons of italian seasoning
2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of salt

Note:  My family does not really "do" salt, so I never grew up using a lot of it.  You can adjust this to your own flavors.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine olive oil and garlic powder, italian seasoning, pepper, and salt.  Cut the bread in small bite-sized pieces (I usually cut each slice into about 16 croutons).  Dip crouton into seasoned olive oil and put onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake in the oven for 8 minutes until golden brown.  You can serve them warm on salad.  If you want to store them, let them cool and place in a sealed bag or tupperware.  Freezer or refrigerate them. 



Just one of my very quick variations for you.  I love Mexican food--it hasn't come across yet in this blog but I'm sure it will, and one of my favorite things is Mexican salad.  Taco meat or chicken over a yummy salad with salsa dressing.  I never find anything wrong with that.  However, I make "Tex-Mex Croutons" to often top these.  It uses the same amount of seasonings above.  Substitute the italian seasoning for chili powder, the black pepper for cumin, and add a teaspoon each of paprika and cilantro (cilantro flakes usually-hard to keep cilantro in the apartment!).  Keep the same amounts of garlic powder and salt.  Ole!

Until the next time my oven is on...

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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