Saturday, September 17, 2011

Delightful Nuggets

Matthew & Anny Croutons
I re-organized my food pantry today and in the process found a loaf of French bread that was still good, but also a bit stale.  I really love finding old French bread, when others might toss it I think flavorful morsel.  

My son and I have always cooked together, so the thing I thought of first today (when fortune gave me a forgotten loaf of bread) was a Saturday afternoon many, many years ago when Matthew and I were inspired to create the best croutons you've ever eaten.'re gonna need garlic.  Oh, and a mortar and pestle is really fun to use in the process.  And good extra virgin olive oil along with a healthy nub of slightly melted unsalted butter.  Little Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper, a splash of Worcestershire, (how could I cook without it)?  Shall we begin.

Cuttin' up   
Slice the bread into 1" slices, stack up and cut into fourths.  Toss into a large baking pan and...

Salt, black pepper & fresh garlic in mortar bowl

...sprinkle into the bottom of the mortar a scant 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, some very coarse ground black pepper and 2 or 3 garlic toes cut in half, placing the garlic cut side down. Using the pestle, grind the ingredients into a sort of paste.  Add at least a couple teaspoons of Worcestershire...I think I may have been a bit more heavy handed than that.  Then...

Garlic paste and melted butter  
...melt the butter until only slightly melted...with a little of it still intact.  Stir into the garlic/Worcestershire mixture and add a generous pour of extra virgin olive oil.  Let your own conscience be your guide as to the amount of oil and butter.  Stir to mix all ingredients well and drizzle this lusciousness over the bread cubes and toss to coat every one. 

Ready for the oven

Place into a very slow oven; I used 300 degrees.  At the moment you begin to smell the irresistible waft of garlic bread essence in the house, toss and return to the oven.  When the cubes of French bread become Garlic Croutons (golden brown and delicious) remove from the oven.

Toasted and garlicky

This is a such a neat bite of complex flavors in a very simple bonne bouche...check out the close up...

Try our tasty treat!
Great with so many things such as gumbo, cheese fondue or even as an appetizer with a beverage.


  1. My wife and I live in North Mississippi, but we love chicken and sausage gumbo. In reading your recipe you mentioned your family enjoys gumbo with Breadies (something you indidcated you'd share in a later post). I've been unable to locate a later mention of Breadies. I'm interested in hearing more about these.

  2. Thanks for your interest, Mr. Carter. I'll do that very soon.