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Old 02-08-2014, 01:28 PM   #21
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Thanks pac..250 degrees for an hour or so?
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Old 02-08-2014, 01:46 PM   #22
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I've never made croutons and I pick out those teeth breakers one gets in a restaurant. I think stove top stuffing would be too salty for me too.
I do enjoy a sprinkle of sunflower seeds on top of a salad though.

Maybe I'll make some croutons. Are there any tricks besides butter and herbs?
I've developed a pretty easy way to make croutons and the method was borne of trying to figure out how to make dried bread cubes for stuffing.

I begin with a loaf of sliced bread. Put it in the freezer and freeze it until it's firm. Take out three slices a a time, put them in a stack and cut them into cubes about twice the size I want in the end. I keep doing this until all the bread has been cubed.

Once cubed, I divided it evenly among the trays of my dehydrator, then dry completely. This is the end if all I want is cubes for stuffing.

If I want croutons, I take about 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, add several sliced cloves of garlic, nuke on HIGH for about 25 seconds. Stir, let sit for a while to allow the garlic to fully season the oil. Strain out the garlic.

Pour enough of the garlic-flavored olive oil into a skillet to coat, plus a little more. Toss in a single layer of dried bread cubes, sprinkle with a little garlic salt, then turn and toss over relatively high heat so that the cubes become toasted and soak up the oil. Slide the croutons onto paper towels to cool and enjoy.
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Old 02-08-2014, 01:58 PM   #23
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Thanks Katie. I would not have thought of doing them in a skillet. How should they be stored for future salads?
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:11 PM   #24
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Thanks Katie. I would not have thought of doing them in a skillet. How should they be stored for future salads?
I've always stored them in a heavy-duty plastic zipper bag. They don't last very long because they're so tasty. The plain dried ones, for stuffing, last indefinitely.
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:13 PM   #25
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Thanks pac..250 degrees for an hour or so?
I use stale French bread. I only put them in the oven long enough to toast to a crunchiness. Maybe twenty minutes max. Turn once halfway through.
I let them cool and store them in a ziploc bag at room temp. They seem to keep quite well. A few weeks anyway. They are gone by then. I typically use pepper, garlic powder and It seasoning, along with the EVVO. The old, put everything in a bowl and toss method.
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:15 PM   #26
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There's some of them right there, underneath all that grilled chicken
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:39 PM   #27
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One time I wanted croutons but didn't have suitable bread and didn't want to trek all the way to the big grocery store. We have a mediterranean market about 1/2 mile down the road so I popped in. They sell these packages of plain little dry toasts (roughly cracker size). I bought a package, took them home, broken them up and pan-fried them in some leftover bacon grease with a touch of salt. They were delicious! It was like adding croutons and bacon bits in one. I imagine it would work just as well with dried bread from home.

I struggle with croutons. I like the flavor and crunch (on certain salads) but don't like how difficult they are to get onto my fork! I liked being able to break them into small enough pieces that they just stuck to the salad. No stabbing necessary.
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:53 PM   #28
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Whooze yer daddy? The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Great idea, Sprout!
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Old 02-08-2014, 03:11 PM   #29
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I have made croutons in the oven, but I really don't like having to turn over all those little cubes. Now I use the skillet method. I cut up stale bread and don't even bother drying it first. I have used EVOO and seasonings, but I will try with bacon fat. Sounds good.
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Old 02-08-2014, 03:23 PM   #30
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I had my 2 - 4 year-old daughter convinced that croutons were candy. Until some neighborhood kids whispered in her ear!!

(Insert Evil Laugh icon here!)
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