Protect the Pantry: Croutons

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Last week I posted an introduction to my “Protect the Pantry” series. If you didn’t have a chance to read it, please do so by CLICKING HERE!

The goal of this series is to create dialogue and conversation around food waste. There as so many ways we can grocery shop in our own kitchens and create food and meals with items we already have. I also want to encourage you to recycle or re purpose foods you might otherwise toss out.

Recently I purchased a loaf of Italian bread. I’m not sure why, but I did. By the end of the week i’d used only half the loaf, with no intention of using the rest. As I was sitting there meal planning for the week I wanted to find a way to re purpose this slightly stale bread.

Then I remembered, there’s almost no better way to re purpose bread than using it for croutons. Here are 4 simple steps:

Step 1: Tear or cut leftover bread to bite sized cubes.

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Step 2: Toss in olive oil, melted butter, or a combination of both — being sure not to saturate the bread.

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Step 3: Season — I typically use Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese but be sure to try your own flavor combination.

Step 4:Toast in a 400°F oven for 5-10 minutes until your desired crispiness! Enjoy on top your salad or as a snack! Store in an airtight container. 

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I decided to base my weekly meals around ingredients that I could use in multiple recipes and that used ingredients I already had in my pantry and fridge. I settled on a Black and Blue salad as a backdrop for my croutons.

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My salad was inspired by Creme de la Crumb. I used romaine lettuce, skirt steak, caramelized onions, tomatoes, avocado, and croutons. I topped with Honest Fare’s Guitless Blue Cheese Dressing

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Simple and Easy Surf and Turf

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In my last post I mentioned how much the Comer household loves seafood. Well, here’s another secret about us… we love steak too! So In honor of our love of seafood and steak, I wanted to share my easy surf and turf recipe with you.shrimpsteakfork

This recipe is quick, easy, and impressive! It works great If you want a fancy meal but don’t feel like paying a fortune for it. It’s also great to make for a dinner party!

My prep for the steak is simple… and when I say simple, I mean simple. The steaks are rubbed with salt, pepper, and olive oil and set aside for 10 minutes. Seriously, it’s the only prep they need.marinatinggrilreststeak

I use the 10 minutes while the steak are “marinating” to prepare the shrimp. They’re coated with fresh garlic, fresh parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper. I’m a big fan of cleaning and deveining shrimp — It’s not necessary, but I recommend it. Check out the video below if you want to clean your shrimp but aren’t sure how:

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I promise this recipe is easy and the simple flavors should work for most people and their taste preferences.

If you’re planning for an evening at home for Valentine’s Day instead of an evening out, this might be a great recipe to make for your significant other. I don’t think they would mind.

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Simple and Easy Surf and Turf

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Recommended Specialty Cookware: Cast Iron Stove top Grill

Ingredients:

For the Steak:

  • 2 New York Strip Steaks cup 1 inch thick and at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon olive oil. Additional as needed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste

For the Shrimp:

  • 8 large raw shrimp peeled and cleaned (tails can be left on)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Using a paper towel, pat dry the steak being so that it is free of any excess water.
  2. Season each steak with 2 teaspoons olive oil being sure to coat both sides.
  3. Salt and pepper each steak. Use additional salt and pepper if needed.
  4. lightly oil the grates of an indoor or outdoor grill (a cast iron skillet works as well) with a high heat oil. Heat to medium high heat.
  5. Let steaks sit for 10 minutes to marinate.
  6. Add the shrimp to a large freezer bag or mixing bowl and combine with garlic, fresh parsley, olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of both salt and pepper.
  7. Place steaks on the hottest part of the grill. Using tongs flip each steak only three times — Cook 1-2 minutes, flip, cook another 1-2 minutes, flip, cook another 1-2 minutes, and flip one last time and let cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.*
  8. Remove the steaks from the grill and allow them to rest for a least 10 minutes.
  9. Using the same medium high temperature grill, gently place shrimp side down on the grill and allow to cook for 2 minutes on each side removing just after they turn opaque and are cooked throughout. Do not over cook.
  10. Serve each steak with 4 shrimp.
  11. Enjoy

This recipe pairs well with steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes.

Cooking time will vary based on the doneness you want your steak to be. 1-2 minutes for a 1 inch steak will provide for a steak that is cooked around medium rare or medium. Cook for longer times if you want a higher doneness.