Category Archives: Croutons (Non-bread Variety)

Dill Fragranced Tuna Salad with Chargrilled Sweetcorn & Sweet Potato Crouton

Dill Fragranced Tuna Salad with Chargrilled Sweetcorn & Sweet Potato Crouton

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Dill Fragranced Tuna Salad with Chargrilled Sweetcorn & Sweet Potato Crouton

 

 

 

 

 

 

I find that having canned fish like tuna or salmon in my kitchen cupboard is very handy, specially on those days when I can’t think of what I want for my dinner. There are so many different ways one can play around with the fish.

Have been meaning to experiment with tuna salad for quite some time so when I was stuck for dinner idea the other day, it provided me with the perfect opportunity to get kookily creative.

This is another main course salad which balances contrasting flavours and textures. The sweetcorn has been grilled over the flame for a smokey taste (smokiness enhanced by some smoked paprika in the dressing) and I have also thrown in some extra vegetables for good measure.

I wanted to include sweet potato in the salad but didn’t want it boiled and mushy so decided to make croutons instead.

fresh dill makes this healthy and delicious tuna salad memorably fragrant

Ingredients

1 Small can tuna

1 Small sweet potato

1 Sweet corn on the cob

1 Carrot

2 Tomato

1 Small bunch spring onion

1/4 Cup fresh dill leaves

8-10 Pitted black olives

1 Tablespoon capers

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Juice of 1 lime or lemon

1-2 Teaspoons mustard powder

1-2 Teaspoons smoked paprika

1 Tablespoon mayonnaise (lite/low fat/regular)

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Rock salt to taste

Method

  1. Follow this method to make sweet potato croutons.
  2. Char grill the sweet corn on a flame. Alternatively, you can do this in a grill or an oven.
  3. Once the sweet corn has cooled down, remove the kernels. The easiest way is to run a knife down the cob.
  4. Drain the tuna.
  5. Wash, scrape and coarsely grate the carrot.
  6. Wash, wipe and finely dice the tomato.
  7. Trim, wash, wipe and finely chop the spring onion (including the green part).
  8. Wash, dry and chop the dill leaves.
  9. Take a large salad bowl and throw in the sweet corn kernels, tuna, carrot, tomato, spring onion and dill.
  10. Add the olives and capers and toss well.
  11. Next, make the dressing.
  12. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, juice of lime or lemon, black pepper, smoked paprika, mustard powder, rock salt and mayonnaise.
  13. Pour this dressing over the prepared salad and mix everything together.
  14. Lastly, add the sweet potato crouton, mix once again and serve.

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Turnip Croutons

Turnip Croutons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following on from my success with sweet potato croutons, my quest for healthy and delicious croutons continues.

say hello to turnip croutons

I have some turnips lying around so decided to replicate the experiment with this (in my case at least) under-used vegetable. The end result are some of the most delicious, meaty, discs which can be paired with any type of soup.

If you have some of this root vegetable calling for attention, try this quick recipe which can also be served as a a side dish.

Ingredients

2 Turnips

1 Tablespoon oil*

1 Teaspoon of seasoning of your choice*

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash the turnips. Slice off the top and the bottom.
  2. Next, slice the turnips into discs of medium thickness. Depending on its size, you should get 3 to 4 discs out of each turnip.
  3. Pour the oil, salt and seasoning over the discs, cover and keep aside for a couple of hours.
  4. When you are ready to prepare the croutons, heat a wide base non-stick frying pan.
  5. Keeping the burner on high, add the turnip discs along with the marinade. Make sure that you place them in a single layer. If they overlap, they won’t form the necessary crust.
  6. After a couple for minutes, turn down the heat, flip them over and let them cook (uncovered) for about 7 to 8 minutes.
  7. Turn them once again and continue cooking for about 8 more minutes till the discs are cooked and form a crust.
  8. If serving with a soup, place them in a bowl and pour the hot soup over them.
  9. To eat, you can break them off with a spoon and enjoy along with the soup.

Note:

  1. I used olive oil. You can use whichever oil you prefer or depending on the type of soup you are having. For instance, for an oriental style soup, you may want to use sesame or peanut oil.
  2. Seasoning is personal preference. I used Schwartz Garlic Italian seasoning. You can use whatever you have on hand or even freshly ground peppercorn would do.
  3. As regular Kooky readers would know by now, I am not a peeler. Vegetable skins have a lot of nutrients and I don’t like to discard them. For today’s recipe, I didn’t see the need to peel the turnips but you can do so if you wish.

Turnip Croutons: Step 1 Marinate the Turnip

Turnip Croutons - Step 1 Marinate the Turnip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turnip Croutons: Step 2 Sear the marinated Turnip Discs

Turnip Croutons - Step 2 Sear the Marinated Turnip Discs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turnip Croutons: Step 3 Cook on Both Sides Till Done

Turnip Croutons - Step 3 Cook on Both Sides Till Done

Sweet Potato Croutons

Sweet Potato Croutons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One thing I love about the internet is the way in which it has made information so accessible. Whatever you want to know is just a few key strokes away.

For instance, till now, I had always assumed that croutons were supposed to be small cubes. But not so, according to wikipedia which provides a fascinating insight into them. “The word crouton is derived from the French croûton, itself derived from croûte, meaning “crust”. Most people consider croutons to come invariably in the shape of small cubes, but they can actually be of any size and shape, up to a very large slice. A croûton (crouton) is a diminutive form of a croûte (croute), much like a cigarette is a diminutive form of a cigar. Many people now use crouton for croute, so the usage has changed. Historically, however, a croute was a slice of a baguette lightly brushed with oil or clarified butter and baked. In French cooking ‘croûte’ is not only a noun but also has a verb form which describes the cooking process that transforms the bread into the crust.”

Reading this, I am thinking that the toasted slice of baguette placed on French onion soup must be a croûte, non?

Sweet Potato Croutons Paired with a Simple SoupI am trying to be inventive with my current alternate-day-soup regime. This is where the idea of sweet potato crouton came into my mind. Bread doesn’t feature much in my regular diet (love it, far too addictive so best not to buy it is my logic!). At the same time, sweet potato form nice crust and so I thought why not transfer the idea of crouton to sweet potato?

Keeping in mind what I have in my cupboard, I came up with my own recipe. I thought I was being smarty pants but when I did a bit of research on the internet, got to know that there are a few people out there who are already making sweet potato crouton. So I am not so smart after all!

Sweet potato crouton are simply divine paired with a simple soup. But be warned!

these are some of the most addictive little cubes you will ever meet!

The following quantity is sufficient for 2 persons.

Ingredients

250 Grams sweet potato

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 Teaspoons smoked paprika*

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Cut the sweet potato into even sized cubes.
  2. Marinate them with oil, paprika and salt.
  3. Leave them covered for a couple for hours.
  4. Heat a wide based, non-stick, frying pan.
  5. Once it become hot (on high heat), thrown in the sweet potato cubes along with all the marinade.
  6. Stir around till they start browning (pictorial reference below).
  7. Once they become brown, lower the heat and keep turning them till they are cooked. Should be ready in 5 to 7 minutes.
  8. Remove them to a plate or a bowl and leave them uncovered till you are ready to serve.

Note:

  1. Try to cut the sweet potato the same size so that they cook evenly (pictorial reference below).
  2. Smoked paprika was beckoning me from my cupboard so this is what I used. You can substitute with plain paprika, chilli powder or coarsely pounded peppercorns if you like.

try resisting these little beauties once they are cooked

Sweet potato cut into even size (as far as possible!), marinated and sauteed till nice and crusty.

Even Sized Sweet Potato for Croutons     Marinate Sweet Potato for CroutonsBrowned Sweet Potato for Croutons

Soup with Sweet Potato Crouton