The 1916 Cookbook Project: More Croutons
The humble crouton. This recipe seems idiotically simple but it makes sense that it’s in Grandpa’s book. Remember the year is 1916 and his audience are people from a very different culture; croutons are a Western idea. There was no internet, not every home had a telephone, nobody carried a smart phone. The purpose of his book was to teach his audience how to cook for the American palate, not the Greek one. After a less than auspicious start with the Royal Croutons, I was relieved to see the second recipe in Grandpa’s book involved good old fashioned bread. I’m so naive.
Recipe 2 Bread Croutons
Cut thin slices of bread in small square pieces and fry with butter until golden. Use for cream soups.
So simple, right?
What I Did:
Two slices of english muffin bread with crust removed and cut into cubes. Coated the bottom of a cast iron skillet (the one in the picture was his) with butter, tossed until golden. Add more butter as needed. I used about two tablespoons. Here’s the kicker – it’s not so easy to get evenly golden, not burnt, little pieces of toast.
My second pass:
A slice of english muffin bread (a weakness of mine from Delicious Orchards, Colts Neck, NJ) cut into cubes, tossed in 1 T melted butter mixed with 1t poultry seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. On to a cookie sheet and top with grated cheese. Bake in a preheated 350F oven, baked for 15-20 minutes.
Would I make this again? Yes.
How would I modify it in the future? I would use the oven. Toasting is so much easier in an oven. A non-stick skillet on a low flame might work as well.