Leftovers. A wonderful concept for the busy cook. And a great way to regift food to yourself!
We just returned from a week at Cape Cod. While there, we shopped several times at Wellfleet Market, a very small local market in the very small town of Wellfleet. Either someone who buys food for the store knows about Celiac Disease or management is paying attention to all the publicity that gluten-free seems to be getting. As it turned out, I really hadn’t needed to make a special stop at Whole Foods on the way to the cape. I could’ve gotten everything I needed at this small local Wellfleet market. Next time, I’ll remember. Of course their prices for gluten-free items is ridiculous, but then, I still go through sticker shock at Whole Foods. Geez, you’d think I’d be used to it by now!
Before we left for our trip, if I hadn’t been pulling things together at the last minute, I would’ve remembered to order another case of my favorite gluten-free mix to bring with us (Breads From Anna), but alas, I forgot. So, I ended up buying a Gluten-Free Pantry French Bread and Pizza mix at this small market. The directions on the package say to use a heavy duty stand mixer when preparing the mix to bake in the oven, but since we hadn’t brought one with us, I decided to take a chance and mix it by hand. It took a lot of muscle, but it was worth it. We had french bread for dinner that night and it was yum. For those of you who haven’t tried gluten-free french bread yet, please know that it isn’t the usual crusty french bread of our life before gluten-free. I will say that I didn’t love this particular mix – it was a bit cakey for my taste. But still, it did the trick and was a great sopper-upper for the sauce that lay in the bottom of my dinner plate.
And three days after we made it, upon packing up the car and returning to our home, I took the leftover bread, still perfectly intact, and made croutons for tonights’ salad. I imagine this would work with any gluten-free bread, especially if it’s a few days old and is still edible.
I don’t have a recipe, but can give you the general guidelines. I learned this from Anna Sobaski, creative bread genius and owner of Breads From Anna. Her bread mixes are marvelous, wonderful, fantastic. THE BEST!
I cut our leftover bread into cubes – I had about 1 – 1/2 cups of bread cubes. I put them on a cookie sheet and baked them at 375 for about 10 – 15 minutes, watching and waiting for them to get browned. Meanwhile, I mixed a little more than 1/4 cup olive oil with some dried basil, onion powder, fresh chopped parsley, minced garlic cloves, salt and pepper. When the croutons were beginning to brown, I removed them from the oven and poured them into a mixing bowl. Then I poured the olive oil mixture over the bread cubes and mixed well with a spoon. Then I returned the cubes to the cookie sheet, spread them around so they were in an even layer, and put them back into the oven. About 10 minutes later, voila. The most delicious, garlicky, crisp croutons for tonights’ salad!