For those of you who are not aware, croutons are basically cubed and seasoned bread that has been fried, sauteed or rebaked. They usually accompany soups or salads to give them texture and even add flavour. They can even be a snack in themselves and accompany a glass of beer on a cold night. I know you can buy croutons at the supermarket by bagfuls (or maybe you can’t) but still, why waste money when you can fry them up in a jiffy right at home.
I learned to make croutons from the friendly ‘Appo’ (a personal butler to a planter – remnants of the colonial era when planters were treated like kings) named Sadasivam who had served a number of planters for nearly 75 years of his life. He was well used to making a myriad of little nibbles for planters and their friends (notorious for their parties and drinking habits) and was a storehouse of knowledge in all areas of life. Appo passed away several months ago, leaving a huge gaping hole where he used to be, making snacks, nibbles and all our meals and basically keeping us company with his quiet, friendly but robust presence whenever we visited the bungalow for our holidays. This post is in tribute to him – the one who’s name often escapes us because we always called him “Appo” – because calling him by the name seemed somewhat disrespectful for such a grand character – which was more or less a fond and loving name for someone so close to our hearts.
Appo being the vibrant and larger-than-life character that he was, went all out on these croutons. Not only did he soak the bread in melted butter, he deep friend them in hot vegetable oil! Here’s a more heart-friendly version.
- Prep Time : 5 minutes
- Cook Time : 10 minutes
- Cut the bread in small squares, leaving behind the crusts.
- Brush the bread squares lightly with melted butter or olive oil. sprinkle them with salt, pepper and any herb of your choice.
- Sautee them in a frying pan or oven them till they turn golden. I use the Airfryer for my croutons.
- Serve them up with a soup or a salad of your choice.
Crunchy, crispy and flavoursome, these croutons would add flavour and texture to any soup or a salad easily. Imagine the surprising salty, flavourful and deliciously crunchy kick you get as you bite into one of these croutons amidst the silky, creaminess of your soup or the fresh, mushiness of your salad. If you don’t like soup, I suggest you add some croutons and watch as your opinion on soups change right in front of your eyes.
- Making croutons is a wonderful way of recycling old bread. Cut up the bread, make them into croutons and refrigerate. Instant snack!
- Being a bit of a health freak, I always use olive oil and a light brush at that. So please feel free to go all out on the oil or butter. Personally I think that the butter tastes the best. Or as Appo does – deep fry them. If you have a death wish that is.