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Croutons and Collards

December 28, 2009

I lied. Here I am, posting again. In the same day, no less!

Remember when I said I was maybe going to make croutons out of stale drop biscuits? BEST IDEA EVER!!!

Here’s what they look like:

They don’t look like much, do they? But let me tell you, they are the easiest croutons ever and taste amazing! Never ever EVER throw away stale biscuits ever again. EVER!

Here’s the ridiculously easy recipe:

Stale Biscuit Croutons:

6 or so stale non-buttermilk drop biscuits (note: to make drop biscuits, you should add more milk than the recipe calls for)
appx. 1 teaspoon salt
good shake of granulated garlic or garlic powder

Crumble biscuits (mostly grape- and pea-sized chunks) onto a metal baking sheet with sides. Sprinkle with salt and garlic and stir croutons to coat with salt and garlic. Note that there is not oil used in this. Biscuits usually have enough butter and/or shortening in them to get moist when heated, which will make the salt and garlic stick. Bake at appx. 275-300 degrees Fahrenheit until crisp. Try not to eat them all immediately. Makes appx. 2 cups croutons. Use to top soups or salads.

Traditional Croutons:

1/2 loaf day-old French bread or other crusty peasant bread, cubed
extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
all-purpose dried seasoning mix such as Mrs. Dash or McCormick’s brand

In a large bowl, toss bread with olive oil, using just a glug at a time, until the bread is mostly (but not all the way) coated. Add seasoning mix, salt, and pepper to taste. Toss to distribute spices evenly. Bake on ungreased metal baking sheet with sides at 275-300 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes or until croutons are as crisp as you like them. Use to top soups or salads while still warm. Or snack on them and feel guilty about it, but unable to stop yourself. : ) Makes appx. 4 cups croutons

The boy and I love croutons and they are so easy to make and a good way to use up stale bread (or biscuits). You could substitute sliced bread in the above recipe, too.

Here are some more pictures from my cooking exploits:

I discovered not too long ago that the boy loves greens. And winter greens like kale and collards are cheap. So I picked up a bunch of collard greens the other day and made this delicious recipe from Epicurious.

I ripped the stems out of the leaves because I had read somewhere that you were supposed to do that and the stems did seem a bit rubbery. But I wouldn’t do it again. Too much time and I kind of like having some toothiness to my greens!

Despite what the Epicurious recipe says, DO NOT boil the collards for more than 5 or 6 minutes. The recipe said 15, I did six or seven and the leaves were starting to lose a little color and were pretty floppy.

I added LOTS of extra garlic (because, let’s face it, not only do I love garlic, but I have a giant jar of Goya chopped garlic to get through) and used bottled lemon juice instead of fresh and it was still just as good.

With tomato-chickpea-onion soup.

Going from vegan to veggie with the addition of a slice of provolone and a hunk of ciabatta bread.

Yum! Collard greens are my new favorite winter green. I’ve never had kale before (though I want to try) and I used to swear by spinach, but for some reason cooked spinach makes my teeth fuzzy/squeaky. Don’t ask me why, it just does and I don’t particularly like it. But collards? They don’t do that! So yay to teeth-friendly winter greens!

And now I’m gone for real. Off to pack and do dishes before going bowling with friends tonight and leaving on the long trek tomorrow morning! Happy New Year!

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