Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Homemade Croutons and Sugar and Spice Pecans

Went to a friend's for dinner last Saturday and wanted to make a really great salad. We were having pizza, so I knew I wouldn't be adding chicken or shrimp. At Trader Joe's I found a really great lettuce mix that included dill and cilantro. I also bought a really great Manchego cheese, that I sliced thinly down the long side, rather than shredding it. But my two favorite items of the salad were homemade croutons and spiced pecans. I had half of a leftover baguette and thought it would be perfect:

Homemade Croutons
1/4 french baguette, sliced into small chunks
2 Tbls. olive oil
1 Tbls. Penzey's Tuscan Sunset Seasoning
Sea Salt to Taste
Ground Pepper To Taste
1 - 2 Tbls. grated Manchego cheese (or any kind)

Toss all in a bowl. Bake in 350 degree oven for 8 - 10 minutes, flipping one time, until light brown and toasty. Be sure to keep an eye out because they will burn fast.

Sugar and Spice Pecans
1/2 cup pecans (not toasted yet)
1 Tbls sugar
2 Tbls sugar
1 Tbls spice rub (I used TSG's Peppery Herb Rub)

Soak first two ingredients in one cup of water for 10 minutes. Drain pecans. Place sugar and spice in small zip top bag. Add pecans and shake until all pecans are covered. Place in 350 degree oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, until sugar is slightly melted. Be very careful because sugar and pecans will burn quickly.

Ummm, and did I mention that both of these will burn quickly. I pretty darn near burned the pecans, and well, you can see the darker spots on the croutons. But both were yummy - crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside.


Shelly said...

Love homemade croutons and bread crumbs! Awesome blog!

Alisa@Foodista said...

Wow! Love the combination! I'm saving this recipe, I can tell this will be a great hit with my friends!

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