My mom clipped out a newspaper article about Chuck Williams (of Williams Sonoma fame). She knew I had just bought his Salads book and thought the interview might interest me. The most noteworthy thing was his comment that he appreciates simplicity in cooking and that this very simplicity is what makes his recipes superior to others.
Excuse me? Have you read your cookbooks, Chuck? The recipe for Caesar salad took me more than an hour to make. As I was preparing it, I saw several areas where the recipe was far more complicated than necessary. One such area was the croutons. It should not be necessary to rub each individual crouton with a fresh piece of garlic. In the past, I have made croutons using a recipe from allrecipes.com and, as far as I am concerned, that recipe produced similar results with far less effort. If you think croutons require too much effort to make, think again. The oven does most of the work and your family will rave about the difference between these and store-bought croutons.
6 (3/4-inch) pieces of French bread, cut into bite-sized pieces
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
Preheat oven to 350. Place bread cubes in a large bowl.
In a large sautee pan, melt the butter and add the garlic. Sautee for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Remove from heat and pour the butter mixture over the bread cubes and stir well.
Spread bread cubes in a single layer on a jelly roll pan. Sprinkle with salt.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cubes are golden brown. Throughout the cooking time, stir the croutons once or twice, and be careful not to let them burn!