Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
New Orleans is called the Crescent City because of the crescent curve the Mississippi river makes there. These seasoned croutons are from Chef Emile Stieffel. You may, of course, lessen the "heat" by cutting down on the peppers.
- 1 day-old French bread
- 3 ounces extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 1 tablespoon pickled garlic (crushed then minced fine)
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon whole dried thyme leaves
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried sweet basil leaves
- 1⁄2 teaspoon whole oregano leaves (Required for Italian flavored croutons, optional for Cajun or Creole flavored)
- Cut French bread lengthwise as if for a long sandwich. Then cut the bread lengthwise with two or three cuts from the top to the bottom. Then cut the bread across to produce cubes of bread about 3/4 of an inch thick.
- Place the cubed bread in a large bowl that slopes to a small bottom. This will direct excess oil and seasonings towards the bottom of the bowl. Add the bread to the bowl and all of the seasonings. Toss gently for several minutes, it is important to insure that the seasonings are distributed evenly and that the oil is completely absorbed by the bread.
- Arrange the croutons in a single layer on a 1/2 sheet baking or a jellyroll pan.
- Preheat oven to 350F, place the baking sheet in the oven, then turn off the oven immediately. Bake the croutons for 90 minutes, do not open oven during that time.
- Allow the croutons to cool, place in a shallow serving bowl and serve with salads.
These are great! The directions for baking didn't yield crunchy croutons, but that was easily fixed by popping them back in a low oven for 20 or 30 minutes. Maybe it's the humidity here. The seasonings work together beautifully, and worked well with Creole Caesar Salad (230436) - a keeper!
These croutons do have some bite to them and for that they get a 5 star review. Thanks for kicking up my salads a notch. I eat salads most nights for my supper and sometimes they get to be a bit bland. Thanks for a keeper!!! Made for AU recipeswap~
These croutons were a real treat! I have never tried making homemade croutons, but so glad I tried this one. Followed instructions exactly by turning off oven and they came out real crunchy. The seasonings are very delish! Prepared as a participant for the 2008 Aus/NZ Swap #22.