This simple recipe transforms plain, unseasoned croutons into zesty, spicy croutons that will please the palate of any fiery-foods fan. Use the spicy croutons on salads or soups, in recipes (you can place in a plastic bag and crush to make spicy breadcrumbs) or even as a spicy snack. Create your own unique snack mix by tossing together some spicy croutons with nuts, raisins or other snack-mix staples. The quantities in this recipe are merely suggestions, so feel free to adjust to your taste or to the amounts you have on hand. Likewise, you can omit or substitute for the seasonings and herbs. For best results, make the spicy croutons with an uncomplicated vinegar or lemon/lime-juice based hot sauce, such as Scorned Woman, Blues Carolina Pepper Sauce, Blues Habanero Reserve, or Dave's Cayenne Pepper Sauce.
1 box unseasoned croutons
1 stick butter
3 Tbs hot sauce
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp granulated onion
1/2 tsp to 1 tsp dried herbs of your choice (e.g., parsley, rosemary, oregano, chives)
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 250°F. Place croutons in a large bowl. Melt butter in a small saucepan, stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a gentle boil. Remove from heat, pour over croutons and toss or gently stir to coat. Spread croutons in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until dried and lightly toasted (about 1 hour), stirring every 15 minutes or so to toast on all sides. Allow to cool completely before storing in a tightly covered container or zip-top plastic bag.