Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ric Seaberg's Killer Croutons

My diet consists mainly of high protein, low carb foods, owing to the fact that my bod doesn't process sugars as it should, and likes to tip the glucose scale right to the edge of 7, making me a perennial pre-diabetic, well, let's just say diabetic. So no ice cream. And other stuff. But I don't have a bit of trouble finding good things to eat, and whether we are cooking at home or dining out, I can always find something to enjoy.

I eat a lot of salad, maybe a chicken Ceasar, or a sliced steak salad, with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and maybe a packet of Splenda, cuz I like my dressing sweet sometimes. And luckily there are a plethora of salad bars, really good ones, located close to home, so I like to run over there and load up. I mean really excellent, clean salad bars, greens, artichokes, shrimp, steamed and grilled asparagus tips for godsake. But one thing I seldom find to be satisfying, and lord knows I need a little starch, are the croutons! Some of the salad bar places, and restaurants, make their own decent croutons, but mostly, they suck. I had a hankering for some croutons a couple days ago, so I bought these:

Here's the ingredient statement:

Ok so maybe sometimes ya buy something to save yourself some time. I just think store bought croutons are the worst. But luckily, I know how to make croutons, since I made them for many years in my bakeries to accompany soup. Ya buy the soup, you get croutons for free at the li'l soup buffet we had set up. Man did we go through the croutons. Croutons are simple. And you can use an aging loaf of bread! I prefer french bread, or sour dough, but any kind of bread will work. And I like to slice my own bread, as shown below, so I can make'm largish:

So cut up a whole loaf of bread into crouton pieces, and put them in a bowl. Then add a half a pound of melted butter as I have done below, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of granulated garlic. Or season it to taste. But don't add any stupid rosemary or some other harsh spice trying to be all gourmet nshit:

Then use your hands to toss the croutons in the butter, salt pepper and garlic, cuz this way you get the butter well distributed plus also you'll recall that last Crisco party you attended in the summer of 68 in Crescent City. Of course there is no secret to making great croutons. When you add this much butter to anything, its gonna be good.

Dump on a sheet pan, I like to use some parchment paper cuz force of habit for bakers:

I sprinkled some dried parley on too for color but one could add dried parsley in the hand mixing stage.

Then I baked the croutons for about 1 hour and 20 minutes at 225 degrees, to completely dry them out, so they are nice and crunchy. Now these are killer salad croutons. Or you can eat'em by the handful as a snack. Once you start eating them, it's hard to stop! Also they freeze well so make a bunch! Enjoy!


rdspdx said...

OMG i used to make these. Mouth watering right now. Will you share somewhere your pdx recommendatins for salad bars please. Thx Ric. Reba

Ric Seaberg said...

Hi Reba thanks for the comment. Here in Portlandia, I like Zupan's on Belmont best, then Whole Foods and New Seasons, and believe it or not, Fred Meyers tries hard to have a good salad bar, especially at the Hawthorne store.

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