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frugality?

January 21, 2013

The remaining bit of French bread with sesame seeds that no one ate yesterday was pretty hard today. My usual response to stale French bread is to plunge it in water and then put it straight into a hot oven. It softens up well, as long as you don’t leave it in too long, but you have to eat it quickly.

The oven does need to be hot though which is OK with an Aga, because it’s on all the time, but if you have to put the oven on specially it’s a bit of a faff, and if you’ve gone to the effort of warming the oven you might as well do lots of cooking.  I turned the bread into crostini, which can be done under a grill  – for those who have one.

crostiniLight/switch on the grill to warm up,  and then cut your stale bread into thin slices and put them on the (clean) grill pan – or on an ungreased baking tray which you put on top of the grill pan. Grill slowly until they are golden (4 minutes?) and then flip them over and grill the other side.

crostini3You can do them in an oven – it needs to be about 200c and the bread needs to be on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes each side -until crisp and golden.

When they are done, if you want to be a bit flash you can rub a clove of garlic over the crostini before you put a (savoury) topping on. It’s not so good with jam though…

crostini4

I used prawns and goat’s cheese, humous and olives, and apricot jam and goat’s cheese  – which is a very good combination – and mushrooms which I’d cooked in the oven at the same time (sliced and put into an ovenproof dish with some pepper salt and a little olive oil and cooked for 15 minutes), but there’s no picture of those.

If I’d thought about making crostini when I was a student I think we’d have eaten them all the time – though I think all we ate was toast anyway.

Arlo came home from school as I was making some. “Ooh! They look posh” he said and proceeded to cram all the mushroom ones  into his mouth, though thankfully not all at the same time.

“Can we have these more often?” he said. Praise indeed.

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