Isn’t it annoying that the number of buns in a package never syncs up with the number of brats or dogs you serve? I prefer the taste and nutrition of the heartier wheat buns, but even when I have some of the fluffy, white zero-nutrition buns left over I would feel bad if I threw them away. Sometimes I put them in the freezer thinking I’ll do something with them…sometime…but I’m not sure what. Other times I leave them to mold so I can throw them away and feel slightly less guilty for wasting food. They must put some heavy-duty preservatives in those things, because it takes forever for them to produce any discernible fuzz. But anyway…
We had a bonfire on New Year’s Eve, and I decided while picking up last-minute snacks at ALDI that it’d be neat to roast brats out around the fire. Which of course necessitated buns. ALDI has a limited selection, so I went home with the only buns they carried (fluffy white ones) and of course they were not matched in number to the brats. The brats were quite good, by the way, and while the buns wouldn’t win any awards for nutrition, they at least didn’t have any trans fat or high fructose corn syrup.
All my freezer space is spoken for, so that wasn’t an option for the four buns I had left. I didn’t want them sitting around the counter, and the cupboards are pretty full, too. So, as I do with many of life’s problems, I consulted Google, and found a recipe for croutons on the Real Simple web site. It was a great starting point for transforming the buns into something a little more worthy, albeit even less healthy. Here’s my adaptation.
- 4 hot dog or hamburger buns
- 6 T unsalted butter, melted
- 2 T grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 t garlic powder
- 1/8 - 1/4 t Kosher salt
- 1 t dried parsley
- Using a serrated knife, cut buns into 1" cubes and place in a large bowl.
- Mix salt into melted butter, and toss bread cubes with the mixture.
- Continue to toss as you sprinkle the bread cubes with the Parmesan, garlic powder and parsley.
- Spread in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet
- Bake at 375° approximately 15 minutes or 'til golden brown, stirring halfway through.
- Immediately remove croutons from baking sheet to a shallow, paper-towel-lined dish to cool.