Who has a nice crouton recipe/technique...?

Discussion in 'Recipes' started by aplomb, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. aplomb

    aplomb

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    Need one suitable for a caesar salad style or variant of dressing, i.e. buttery, cheesy, garlicky.  I've been using a version from the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook and it's pretty decent.  Would be interested in knowing what others are doing.  Thanks.
     
  2. kaiquekuisine

    kaiquekuisine

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    I like mine fried in bacon fat or lard, hint of oregano, salt, pepper, and some paprika. 
     
  3. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    For croutons for a caesar salad, heat some oil over medium heat. Add some anchovies. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes until they break down. Add some garlic and cook briefly. Add your diced bread. Toss. Season with s&p. Finish in oven.
     
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  4. chefross

    chefross

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    Simply cut off bread rinds and cut into 1/2" cubes.

    Heat olive oil til it starts to smoke, add croutons and brown each on all 6 sides....(takes patience here)

    When just finished, add finely minced garlic, salt and freshly ground black pepper, and toss well.

    Place in bowl lined with paper toweling to absorb any extra grease.  Viola!
     
  5. aplomb

    aplomb

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    Thanks..I'll give these  try...
     
  6. laurenlulu

    laurenlulu

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    I use melted butter that I've steeped garlic cloves in, some anchovy if you have it, oregano, basil, marjoram.. pour over bread cubes and bake at 275 until crisp but not browned (basically dehydrating, not baking)
     
  7. skyler

    skyler

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    I do mine on the stove in olive oil...sometimes olive oil and butter.  Occasionally I add a whole, crushed garlic clove(s) while heating the oil/butter.  I remove the garlic before adding the bread cubes.  Toss the cubes until golden, then season while hot with s&p.  I like using ciabatta for croutons. Just made some fairly large croutons for panzanella this weekend. 
     
  8. aplomb

    aplomb

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    Great ideas here...
     
  9. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    If I am making a large batch of croutons I usually bake them but if I am just making a small amount then I "fry" them in a saute pan over medium low heat.  I like the flavor better that way, but not really conducive to large scale production of croutons.
     
  10. skyler

    skyler

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    Pete, I can see why the stovetop method isn't great for large amounts.  It's always annoyed me when nicer restaurants use store-bought croutons...pretty boring.

    I see you're in Fond du Lac which holds many good memories for me.  I spent a lot of time there as a child visiting my aunt and uncle. Lots of jaunts on Winnebago on his sailboat!     
     
  11. aplomb

    aplomb

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    I've tried the pan browned method, but I think it would work better as suggested, finishing them off in the oven.  Seems when baked for 15 minutes, they come out light, dry, crunchy, ready to soak up some dressing.  Of course, the bread used has a lot to do with it, too.  There is an Italian restaurant I used to go to, that made the croutons.  They were large and very light, kind of melted in your mouth.  I may go back there sometime for dinner, but the main reason being to see if they still have them.
     
  12. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    @Skyler  that is awesome.  Where are you at nowadays.  I've only been here, in Fond du Lac for about 12 years so I'm still a newbie to Wisconsin.
     
  13. chefross

    chefross

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    Have you been to Oshkosh for their yearly airshow Pete? It is awesome.
     
  14. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    We haven't been there yet, but plan on making it one of these days, probably in a few years when our daughter is just a bit older.  That doesn't stop us from seeing a lot of what's going on as the planes often fly over Fond du Lac and use the Fond du Lac airport.  In fact, the Fondy airport, for most of the year does not have a manned tower, but during EAA they do and for a brief period of time becomes one of the busiest public airports in the US, in terms of take offs and landings.
     
  15. skyler

    skyler

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    I've been in Southern California for a very looooong time.  We lived in Michigan when I was a kid and made many trips to Fond du Lac.  Wisconsin and Michigan are so pretty but I don't miss the winters! 
     
  16. jake t buds

    jake t buds

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    I use the stupid method and they probably don't taste nearly as good. 

    Cut good bread into 3/4" cubes. Yes, I use the crust.

    Sometimes I use bread that has been around a while and needs to be eaten. 

    Heat one part butter/ one part olive oil in a small pan and add oregano and minced garlic. Low heat. 

    The amount of oil and butter depends on how many bread cubes you have. Not every crouton needs to be saturated. 

    Toss with bread in a bowl, add parmesan cheese - sprinkle lightly. 

    I also wipe up the bowl with any cubes that don't have dressing.

    Scatter on a sheet pan and bake until brown, tossing periodically to insure overall brownness. 

    Funny, I don't season them, and sometimes I use thyme as well. Sometimes I don't use 

    This method is quick and you can make a lot.
     
  17. aplomb

    aplomb

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    That is pretty much the Better Homes & Gardens recipe I mentioned.  Decent.
     
  18. philkel

    philkel

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    I understand that the original caesar salad was a finger food. The ingredients were served on a whole ice burg lettuce leaf. The croutons were a later edition. Can't remember where I saw that  but that was the gist of it. Why not give that version a go.
     
  19. skyler

    skyler

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    Speaking of Caesar salad and finger food, I got this recipe years ago from a cookbook called "Simply Classic" from the Jr. League of Seattle.  The dip is also good served with endive, small romaine leaves, crudite...whatever suits you.  

    Caesar Cream

    2 medium garlic cloves
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1/2 cup fresh parsley, packed
    6 canned anchovy fillets (or to taste)  
    3 T. lemon juice
    1 cup sour cream

    Parmesan Toasts

    1 baguette (or other rustic bread...I like using finger-size slices of ciabatta)
    2 T. olive oil
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    With machine running, drop garlic in feed tube of food processor and mince. Add Parmesan, parsley, anchovies and lemon juice. Process into a paste. Transfer to bowl and fold in sour cream. 

    For Parmesan Toasts:

    Preheat oven to 350. Cut baguette into thin slices using a serrated knife. Place slices on baking sheet in single layer. Bake until lightly toasted, 8-10 minutes, turning once during cooking. Remove from oven. Brush slices on one side with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan. Return to oven and bake until golden, about 3 minutes.

    To Serve: Place Caesar Cream in small bowl on tray and surround with Parmesan Toasts.


     
     
  20. aplomb

    aplomb

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    That looks really good...will have to try it...