Hello hello! Fried food is just about the last thing I need right now, because I’m pretty sure I’ve gained about 10 pounds on this trip, or 4.5 kilograms as they would say here in Europe. All the same, and I really mean “all the same” because me gaining weight seems to be the new norm, I thought I’d throw caution to the wind and share a recipe for cream cheese croutons from a few weeks back. Yes, they’re fried, but they’re kinda-sorta not bad for you because they’re really more of a salad garnish? Maybe? In any case, it’s Fryday, and that’s the only reason I need.
My first and only previous experience with cream cheese croutons was at Mike Isabella’s Graffiato many many months ago (delicious!), and I’ve wanted to recreate them ever since. Here’s how I did it:
Start with an 8-ounce block of cream cheese, 1 egg, ⅓ cup bread crumbs, ¼ teaspoon garlic salt, and oil for frying.
First, cut cream cheese into small pieces and roll into little nuggets. Place on a plate lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
As the cream cheese is chilling, in a small dish, whisk the egg and set it aside. In a separate dish, combine the bread crumbs and garlic salt and set that aside as well.
Next comes the part where we give the cream cheese balls the breaded component required of all croutons. First, remove cream cheese nuggets from the fridge, then dip each one first in the egg dish, then in the bread crumbs, making sure each nugget gets coated.
Now comes the frying. Heat about a half inch of oil in a frying pan or cast iron skillet. You’ll know it’s hot enough when a dash of flour in the oil sizzles and spits back.
Fry coated cream cheese croutons a few at a time for 1-2 minutes or until golden.
Remove the newly created cream cheese croutons from the oil and drain on a plate lined with paper towel.
Serve the croutons on a salad just like you would any other salad.
I went with Caesar Salad because it seems to be best suited for fancy croutons.
Follow my instructions and you’ll be left with a great, fun, cheesy alternative to traditional croutons. These manage to be both firm and breaded on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside. I definitely approve.
I hope you have a great weekend. I fly back to DC tomorrow and cannot wait to binge on several episodes of Orange is the New Black after my return. Until then, TGIFryday!
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup bread crumbs
- ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
- oil for frying
- Cut cream cheese into small pieces and roll into little nuggets. Place on a plate lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
- In one small dish, whisk the egg and set aside. Combine bread crumbs and garlic salt in a separate bowl.
- Remove cream cheese nuggets from the fridge and dip each one in the egg first, then in the bread crumbs mixture.
- Heat about a half inch of oil in a frying pan or cast iron skillet. You'll know it's hot enough when a dash of flour in the oil sizzles and spits back.
- Fry coated cream cheese croutons a few at a time for 1-2 minutes until golden.
- Remove from oil and drain on plate lined with paper towel.
- Serve on top of salad.