Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Garlic croutons

Here's something to do with bread that loses its freshness (which is sometimes sold at a 50% discount at Your Dekalb Farmer's Market). You can make a bunch of these and store them in the bag/paper wrapper that the bread came in for a few days. They really add a lot to a salad or a soup.

-Slightly hard, three-day old bread
-a generous quantity of olive oil
-2 or 3 garlic cloves

Peel the garlic cloves and slice them lengthwise. Place them in a bowl and crush them with the blunt end of a knife. They don't need to be crushed into a puree or anything, just squished to release their flavor, so you end up with a few small chunks.

Pour a thin layer of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. When you can just start to feel the heat rising from the pan with your hand, add the garlic. Watch out: the oil should not be sizzling hot, or else the garlic will burn and get a weird flavor. The idea is to slowly heat the oil to infuse the flavor of the garlic without burning it, so just keep a close watch on your pan. If nothing is happening at all, turn up the heat a bit, but turn it right back down as soon as you hear it sizzling.

After the garlic turns golden and slightly translucent, remove it from the pan. Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the cubes of bread to the pan, gently tossing them around to coat them in oil on all sides. Cook until toasted and crusty.

That's it!

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