Crispy Garlic Croutons

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced in half
2-3 cups stale ciabatta roll or other dense stale bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Spoon Mage™ Ingredient Note:

Do not use fresh or regular soft sliced bread for croutons. Choose old dense breads.

To transform the cubes into garlic breadcrumbs, allow the croutons to cool completely, place them in a mostly sealed zip-lock bag, and whack a few times with the flat side of a wooden kitchen mallet.

Directions:

Preheat a large pan over medium heat. When the pan is very hot, add the olive oil. There should be just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.

Wait one minute. Add the garlic and sauté for two minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes – the time spent here infuses the garlic flavor inside the oil. If the oil pools in one spot inside the pan, move the garlic to that pool of oil.

After infusing, remove and discard the garlic pieces.

Return the pan to a burner set to medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add one small bread cube to the pan to test oil readiness. The cube should sizzle as it hits the pan. If it doesn’t sizzle, wait for another minute before testing again.

Add all of the cubed bread and quickly toss a few times to coat each piece with the garlicky oil.

Sauté the cubes for 5-7 minutes, stirring every now and then. Turn individual cubes to help them brown on all sides. Browning happens when the bread is in contact with the skillet. If you stir too often, the cubes will brown more slowly.

Sprinkle a few Garlicky Croutons on a bowl of Split Pea Soup, add them to your favorite spaghetti, or sprinkle a few on a beautiful green salad and enjoy!

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