I love croutons. For those of you not familiar with this, these are little roasted cubes of bread that you can put in salads or sprinkle on top of soup.

I have been making these for years and they are so easy and delicious. All you do is cut up some bread (with a bread knife) into little cubes. I use the part of the loaf of French or sourdough that has been around a few days and is starting to get stale. You can use fresh bread if you like.

Put a bunch of these on a big pan and bake at 250 till they are starting to get dry. Turn oven off and let them sit in oven for a few hours or overnight. To finish them off, heat a big skillet, add butter, margarine or olive oil, (or a blend) a clove of garlic chopped up and the bread cubes.

Stir till coated and looking a little toasty. Turn off stove and sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and thyme. Toss and cool.

If you are in a hurry and want to make them NOW and serve them NOW, you can skip the oven part and just brown in pan with butter or oil, or both. And if you like a more rustic look, just tear the bread in raggedy pieces rather than cut neatly into cubes.

By the way the easiest way to make uniform cubes is to take a few slices of bread. Stack them up and cut one way and then the other. Crusts are fine.

The other day I made a big pot of pea soup. I had a loaf of rye bread and made croutons out of this. This was a wonderful flavor addition. Just serve a big bowl of these on the table and let everyone put their own on top of the soup.

If you want to buy a bag a these in the market, go ahead. It will cost you about two or three dollars for a bag of ‘stale’ bread cubes.

p.s. This is also how you make your bread cubes if you want to make stuffing for a turkey or chicken.

To make stuffing, melt some butter or margarine in a big pan, add chopped onion and celery and stir till clear. Add in some Bells seasoning, or if you don’t have that then add sage, marjoram, thyme and a little poultry seasoning. Now some chicken broth. Boil a minute or two. Toss in the bread cubes.

Add more broth if you like it wetter. You can always add, you can’t take away. Stir in an egg and some fresh chopped parsley. Stuff bird and enjoy.

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