Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Croutons and Spices

Quick Croutons:

This is for when you need some croutons in a hurry, and you don't feel like running out to the shops and paying for them!

Take some white bread slices, either fresh or semi-stale. Slice em into crouton sized pieces (about the size of dice). Toss them into a wok, and add some seasonings. The other day when I made them I used Egyptian type seasonings and they are GREAT!

All seasonings are either dried, ground, or crushed. Here's the Eqyptian seasonings I used:

Sea Salt

Oh, if you've been wondering how to get that beautiful Moroccan flavour (or any North African or Middle Eastern flavour) then you'll want to note that the key ingredient not known in many western kitchens is ground sumac.

Anywho, toss the seasonings into the bread cubes and drizzle some olive oil on them. Put the wok on a high heat, toss the cubes frequently (if you let them sit for more than 30 secs you'll burn them). After a couple of mins (add more olive oil as needed) you'll have nicely toasted and seasoned croutons.

Remove from heat and let cool --they are even better the next day.

You can use any kind of seasonings, whatever your taste buds like.

Oh, regarding sumac: There are quite a few edible types of sumac berries; when used in cooking they are generally dried and then crushed. There are, however, six type of sumac berries that are poisonous and (for the most part) the berries are white. These include stuff like poison ivy, poison oak and (of course) poison sumac. I wouldn't suggest going out and picking your own sumac berries, just buy the powdered stuff at your local shops!

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