Saturday, September 8, 2012

garlic parmesan ranch dressing & homemade croutons party!


I'm super excited to be participating in the Crazy Cooking Challenge for the first time. The CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE is a monthly themed blog hop, where a bunch of fellow bloggers all make the same type of recipe and we all post on the SAME day each month. The group is in it's second year and I'm thrilled to have been invited to join! 

The theme for this month is HOMEMADE RANCH SALAD DRESSING/DIP. You can see all of the recipes below from the CCC group.

Who doesn't love a fresh crisp salad, especially with homemade dressing. I took it one step further and also made homemade croutons. Without further adieu, I give you my version of homemade Garlic Parmesan Ranch Salad Dressing and matching Croutons!

Garlic Parmesan Ranch Salad Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk, more or less depending on desired thickness
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dill
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1. Whisk together all ingredients. Cover & refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. If you would like to make a thicker DIP for chips or veggies, omit mayonnaise & substitute sour cream. 

Homemade Croutons
Recipe adapted from the Food Network

For the croutons I bought a loaf of the grocery store bakery GARLIC french bread because it was CHEAP. You know the one that is cut in half with garlic butter spread on it? I never buy that stuff but I needed day old bread & that's all they had. It's good! I bought it from the "day old" shelf so it was half price, $1.25 per loaf. We immediately ate half the loaf then saved the other half for the croutons the next day. So my day-old bread was actually 2 days old.

* I separated the top from the bottom & used a butter knife to scrape the garlic butter off the bread so I could more evenly distribute it with the other seasonings. Then I stirred that excess garlic butter in to the recipe below. The croutons had a LOT of flavor & definitely a double dose of garlic. If you don't have the store bought garlic bread just make the croutons with plain french bread & the seasonings below. They will still be very delicious! The original recipe did not call for the garlic buttered french bread. 
Taste one of the croutons before you bake them & if you want more flavor, add more salt, garlic & olive oil.


ingredients:

1/2 a loaf of "day old" french bread or garlic bread
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

* Plus the excess garlic butter removed from the 1/2 a loaf of bread, if garlic bread is used. It's in the yellow bowl in the pic above.

directions:

1. Reheat oven to 325 degrees. 

2. Whisk together all ingredients except bread.

3. If you are using store bought GARLIC bread, scrape off the excess garlic butter & whisk it into the oil and seasoning mixture.

4. Cut bread into 3/4 inch cubes. You'll have about 4-6 cups of bread cubes.

5. Place bread cubes on a large baking sheet. Drizzle oil & seasoning mixture over bread cubes. Mix well with your hands or a spatula, tossing to evenly distribute the seasoning.

6. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until crisp and slightly browned.

6. Allow to cook & store in airtight container.

Perfect croutons for salad or soup.






8 comments:

  1. Deea, I love ranch dressing and homemade croutons! Can't wait to try them out!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Rita, I ran out of salad so I dipped the croutons in some leftover ranch like potato chips. I was in junk food heaven!! :)

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  2. Cheesecake Factory has this garlicky ranch dressing that I could chug by the glass.... your recipe looks even better and you can bet we are making it for dinner tonight!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Qwendy! I'll have to try that next time I go to C.F. I'm a garlic fiend!

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  3. Those homemade croutons are amazing! I'll have to try them sometime. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kelly! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

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  4. Your ranch sounds fantastic with the Parmesan! And nothing better than homemade croutons on a salad :)

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  5. Sounds amazing. Can't wait to try it.

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