Friday, July 22, 2011

Crumby croutons

Be honest. How many of you BUY croutons or bread crumbs? I have only ever bought bread crumbs in a pinch when I had to make a recipe that day and I was short on crumbs to finish it. I usually have a pickle jar filled to some degree with bread crumbs. Here's the money saving tip- when ever you get to the end of a loaf of bread, instead of tossing, composting or feeding it to the dog, dice it up and make croutons from it. It will surely save money and you can season them how you like. I will use whatever bread we have lying around, be it wheat or the occasional white or Italian bread. If making croutons, toss the cubes in olive oil, garlic (fresh or powder), onion powder, rosemary, salt and pepper, perhaps parsley flakes, chives or cajun spice. The cubes should be well mixed and evenly coated but not oily, just moistened with the oil. Put in a low oven (250-300 degrees) for about 30-45 minutes or until they are crunchy and not soft in the middle. That's it!! Certainly a whole lot cheaper than store bought and likely a lot fresher. If you need bread crumbs, just do not season the cubes and put into the low oven until they are completely dried. After they have cooled, run them throught a food processor until all the cubes have been crumbed. Put these in an air tight container (I use 1 gallon pickle jars) and use as needed.

It sure is crumby, but Chef Cheapo saves you money.

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