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Torn Croutons


I am unsure why I haven’t made my own croutons before, it is so easy and such a good use of leftover bread (compared to forgetting about it until it starts growing new mold species as what normally happens).  I made these fried bread croutons for my savory warm salad: Roasted Asparagus with Poached Egg and Prosciutto.  I usually prefer baking over frying but the rest of the salad ingredients were so healthy, I figured I could indulge a bit in the oily, buttery richness!  These croutons also made good use of the garlic infused oil from Garlic Confit, which made them all the more flavorful!

These croutons should be used the day they are made, or you can reheat them in a low oven before serving if necessary.  They can be enjoyed as a flavorful salad topping or even as a snack on their own.

Note: If you don’t have any Garlic Confit Oil on hand, pour 1/8 inch of canola oil into a sauté pan, add 5 crushed, peeled garlic cloves, and heat over low heat until the garlic cloves are golden brown, flipping the cloves from time to time.  Remove the garlic cloves and use the oil for the croutons.

Torn Croutons (from Ad Hoc at Home)

Yields: 3 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf country bread
  • Garlic Oil from Garlic Confit
  • 2 T unsalted butter

Directions:

Cut the crusts off the load of bread.  Tear the bread into irregular pieces no larger than 2 inches.  You need about 3 cups of croutons; reserve any remaining bread for another use.

Pour 1/8 inch of the garlic oil into a large sauté pan and heat over medium heat until hot.  Spread the bread into a single layer in the pan.  Add the butter.  The oil and butter should be bubbling, but if you hear sizzling, the heat is too high.  Adjust the heat as necessary, and stir the croutons often as they cook.  Cook until the croutons are crispy and a beautiful rich golden brown on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes.

Move the croutons to one side of the pan and keep warm until ready to serve.  Do not drain on paper towels; you want the flavors of the oil intermingled with the other ingredients as you eat the croutons in a salad.

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