Mar 14, 2011

Make Ahead Monday/Make your own- Croutons and Caesar Salad Dressing

Today's Make Ahead Monday meets my friend Make Your Own because these don't necessarily have to be made ahead but they can be and you will love them both. 
Let's start with the croutons.  I got this recipe as a first year teacher in Jordan Mt.  I was skeptical at first but wowed after I tried it-Italian Croutons in the microwave.  No joke people-this totally works.
Recipe: (full batch-way more than you would need for one salad-thus the make ahead part)
6 Cups bread cubes
2 Tbsp Italian herb Seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 cup melted butter or marg
1. Start by cubing your bread (don't buy the already dried about bread cubes.  You want to cut these yourself.  I have no idea how many slices of bread makes 6 cups so measure as you go. 

 2. Now put your bread cubes in a large microwave safe bowl and microwave for 6 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.  You have to do the stirring part or you will have a small fire in your microwave (I speak from experience people-I taught High School Home Ec.)  After 6 minutes sprinkle with seasoning, salt and butter and toss to coat. 
 3. Return to the microwave for 4-6 more minutes stirring every minute.  You will know they are ready when they are almost totally dry.  Remember things continue to cook slightly after being removed from the microwave so let them sit a minute and taste one to see if it is crunchy.  Trust me-they will get crunchy.  I have a picture to prove it.
These can be kept in an air tight container. (I am not sure how long they will last though-so don't go crazy making a ton.  Make enough for a few meals at a time.)  They are even great on their own as a little snack.

Now for the salad dressing.  In my opinion-this tastes almost just like the stuff from the Olive Garden. I used this recipe but added slightly less Parmesan cheese.  It stores in the fridge for quite a few days and it makes quite a lot.
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