Posted on 07 April 2010
These croutons are jammed packed full of flavor, which they should be with all the yummy ingredients that go into them. The downside is that they do require a couple of steps before you are able to make them. If you have the time it’s definitely worth them, they do add another bright, fresh layer of flavor to a dish. Make sure to cook these croutons over a medium-low heat, I know it will tempting to crank the heat up to crisp them more quickly, but it will result in a less juicy croutons.
I have teeny, tiny confession to make… I have only made these torn croutons once. They are amazing, don’t get me wrong, but I just have a pet peeve when a cookbook shuffles you around various recipes to make something as simple as croutons. If I was making the garlic confit anyway I would definitely make these but I have found a quick way to cheat, which I’ve posted here.
I’m sorry there are no photos of these croutons, next time I do make them I will definitely add a picture to this post.
Note: these croutons are best eaten the day they are made, but you can reheat them in a low temperature oven.
The purpose of slow cooking the garlic in the confit is to mellow the flavor, resulting in a sweeter, richer taste.
1 loaf country bread
Garlic Oil from Garlic Confit (recipe below)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1. Cut crusts of loaf and tear bread into irregular pieces no large than 2 inches. You need 3 cups of croutons, reserve any extra bread for another use.
2. Pour garlic oil into a large saute pan until oil is 1/8 inch deep. Heat over medium-low heat until hot. Spread bread in a single layer, you can do this is smaller batches if they do not all fit in the pan. Add butter. The butter and oil should be bubbling but not sizzling (if it is sizzling turn the heat down).
3. Stir croutons frequently, until they are crisp and golden brown on all sides, about 15 to 20 minutes. Move to one side of the pan and keep warm until ready to serve. You want all that garlicky and buttery flavor so you don’t need to drain them.
1 cup peeled garlic cloves
About 2 cups canola oil
1. Cut and discard the root end of the cloves. Place cloves in a small saucepan and pour canola oil to cover them by an inch.
2. Place saucepan over medium-low heat, and cook garlic gently. There should be small bubbles coming through the oil. Cook for 40 minutes or until the cloves are very tender with pierced with a knife tip, stirring every 5 minutes.
3. Remove saucepan from heat and allow cloves to cool in the oil. Once cool, refrigerate the garlic and oil in an airtight container. Store for up to a week.