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croutons

It happened again…

I made a post with garlic bread and before I knew it, I started getting urges…

I thought it would pass but after a few days my hands started shaking and I couldn’t control it…

…You’re getting another garlic bread post.

I’m sorry! I know, it must be terrible for you. I mean, you must still be recovering from last time when I kept bombarding you with post after post of garlic and bread and garlic and bread. To be honest, I wasn’t even expecting you to come back.

What? That’s not a picture of garlic bread up there? A salad, you say?! Oh. Well maybe you should look a little closer. Ahhh, you see it now, don’t you? You see the little golden, buttery, garlic-y squares of pure joy. Yes, that’s right…

Croutons!

I know, I know, it’s not really garlic bread, per se. No, a crouton is not usually something you dip in spaghetti sauce, but the flavor is there. And boy, what a flavor it is. Honestly, you don’t even need a salad for these bad boys. Just grab them by the handful and snack on them to your stomachs content. I promise you, if you usually buy those boxed croutons for your salad eating needs, you can look forward to saving room in your pantry because you’ll never buy them again.

This is yet another recipe that I learned when I first started working in the kitchen. The hotel I used to work for might have been hell, but at least they did things right. House made tortilla chips and homemade croutons among other things were a pain to keep up with, but they were things to be proud of when you sent them out of the kitchen.

And following the trend from the last post, I thought instead of just giving you a recipe for something basic, I could give you a good way to enjoy it. I had some of The Sauce in the fridge (that’s Chili Lime Vinaigrette for those of you not paying attention – which if you’re not, you best click on that link because you’re missing out big time) and a few apples so it’s not a fancy salad but it’s good. Now, if I had some pine nuts to dress my apples and greens, then I’d be excited.

(Ha, another Game of Thrones nod?! Three posts in a row? I’m on a roll! And I’m not even trying ..kinda.)

Croutons in a Salad of Greens and Apples

half a loaf ~ French Baguette
½ cup ~ Butter, melted
2 tablespoons ~ Garlic, minced
good pinches of ~ Salt, Pepper and Thyme

Plate of Greens

½ an Apple Cut into Slices

The Sauce (Chili Lime Vinaigrette)

Notes:

  • Like my other garlic bread preferences, I like to make my croutons with a French Baguette. Can be old or fresh, it doesn’t matter. Although, I like to use fresh.
  • Depending on the size, you can probably sneak the whole loaf into the batch using the ½ cup of butter.
  • I know, it’s a lot of butter. Sue me.
  • If you really feel that bad about it, cut the butter in half and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. It’s something I would have done in the first place if I had olive oil right now.
  • If you don’t like thyme, you can substitute it for oregano, or you can simply leave it out. I promise I won’t cry.

Seriously, this is so easy, it’s dumb:

  • Turn your oven on to 350° and put a pan on the stove with your butter (or butter and oil if you’re a sissy), garlic, salt, pepper and thyme.

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  • While that’s going, take the baguette and start cutting it into cubes.

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I’m not big on the tic-tac-package-sized croutons, but if you are, go nuts. I prefer a smaller cut, but it doesn’t matter as long as they’re uniform in size. You don’t want big cubes with little cubes or else the little cubes will be little burnt piles of dust before the big cubes are done. Also, if you are the type that likes to bite into a crouton as if it was an apple, you might have to up the cooking time.

  • Get the baguette cut up and put them in a bowl. By this time the butter should be melted. Don’t be afraid to acquire help if you must.

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A little tip: Take a cube and dip it in the butter and taste it to check the seasonings. If you need salt or more pepper or thyme then add it now. Remember, if it’s not addicting, you probably don’t have enough salt in it. You want it to the point where you have to literally pull yourself away from dipping all your little cubes in the butter and eating them.

Yes, that point exists. Be careful.

  • Butter is melted, bread is cut… Now just pour in the butter and mix it up good. Once it’s all mixed up, spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Pop them in the oven and set the timer for about 20 minutes.

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Don’t be surprised if they have to go longer though. Mine usually go longer, but every oven is different so around 20 minutes check them.

As a friend I used to work with once told me, you’ll know they’re ready when they’re GBD… Golden Brown and Delicious. Keep an eye on them because the ones on the outer edges will probably get GBD before the ones in the middle. If that happens, don’t be afraid to take the already done ones out and put the others back in for a few more minutes.

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And that is that! Croutons are done.

To make the salad: Put the greens on a plate, toss a small handful of croutons on there with some sliced up apples and then drizzle The Sauce on top. Easy peasy saladesy. Not to mention freaking great for spring!

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…Which decided to take a week long vacation here in North Carolina with temps in the 60′s…

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Happy spring anyway!

 


Wondering why this song is here? Check this post out.

I don’t usually like getting too serious when it comes to my writings, but I’m sure you’re aware between this post and the last post, something happened in Boston that was kind of a big deal. While I don’t want to get too deep into it, I just wanted to share this song by 3 Doors Down.

I’m posting it because when everything was over, the way the people of Boston applauded the dedication and commitment their law enforcement displayed, it’s something that stood out to me and was a great memory to have at the closing of the terrible situation that happened over those crazy days.

I’m not looking to get into any debates nor do I care to hear about conspiracy theories, I just wanted to share this video because it made me happy to see the people who stand for good and will do what they can to try and bring peace during dangerous times. 

People who not only defend this country, but people who protect our streets. 

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