Turns out the wok is the perfect vessel for making crispy, garlicky croutons. Who knew?
The method and benefits:
*Start by heating olive to the smoking point, turn down a bit, add chopped garlic and toss, away from the heat, until the oil is infused with the garlic taste.
*Add your cubes of stale bread (a wok will accommodate a large baguette) and toss so the oil evenly coats all sides.
*Return to the heat and, using a wooden spoon, spread out the croutons up the sides of the wok so each gets some contact with the hot surface.
*Like parmesan with your croutons? Add a couple of tablespoons now. Toss a few times and, again, distribute the cubes up the sides of the wok.
*Turn off the heat. The croutons will continue to crisp in the residual heat. When they return to room temperature, store in an airtight container unless you are using immediately.