Ina Garten Shares Her Best Tips for Making Homemade Croutons #LikeAPro

Sep 5, 2018 at 10:39 a.m. ET
Ina Garten
Image: Noam Galai/Getty Images. Design: Kenzie Mastroe/SheKnows.

Leading up the release of her new cookbook, Cook Like a Pro, Ina Garten continues to drop culinary how-to gems on social media.

First, she took to Twitter to share with fans a corn hack: how to cut corn kernels off the cob without getting it all over your kitchen and kitchen counters. It's pretty smart if you haven't seen it yet.

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More: Ina Garten Just Shared a Recipe From Her Upcoming Cookbook

More recently, the host of Food Network's Barefoot Contessa took to Instagram to give us a helpful tip on how to take stale or leftover bread and easily turn it into homemade croutons.

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"Leftover bread in the freezer? Half an uneaten baguette from dinner? Why not turn it into homemade croutons!" Garten wrote in the caption. "They're great on soups, in salads (like my favorite, Panzanella!) and oh, yes, they're also good to eat hot right out of the pan! Here are my tips on how you can make croutons like a pro."

You know what this means — your homemade salads and soups are about to be taken to a whole ‘nother Garten-approved level.

Garten says the mistake people usually make is they put the oil and the croutons in the pan at the same time — and that's wrong!

"What pros do is they heat up the pan, put in a few tablespoons of olive oil — make sure the oil is really hot [because] with a hot pan it gets hot faster — and then put in the croutons. That way the croutons get nice and browned, and they don't absorb the oil so much," she says in the video as she gives the croutons a little shake on the pan.

Her next piece of advice is to use lots of salt and pepper to give them flavor. 

"This is also a great way to make sautéed onions — anything that's sautéed in a pan," she adds.

More: Ina Garten Hates Cooking With This Common Ingredient

Now, she may #CookLikeAPro now, but cooking didn't always come naturally to Garten.

In a recent interview with Eater, Garten said she, too, started off as a home cook, self-teaching from cookbooks — unlike her good friend, Bobby Flay.

"He worked on a line for a long time, he has classic culinary training, and he's a very intuitive cook — but I'm not. I'm self taught from cookbooks, and I think I'm probably more like people at home, who are using my cookbooks," she says. 

And while you're making these homemade croutons, if you're unsure as to how much salt and pepper to really use, don't fret — Garten is right there with you.

"I really need a guide about how much salt and how much pepper to put in something," she says.

Garten continues to say in the interview that Flay's way of cooking is "gorgeous."

"I can't even remember the first time I met him, but we've known each other forever," she starts. "I think he's an amazing cook: He's intuitive, smart, and his food is extraordinary. Just to watch him in the kitchen without any notes, throwing things together, it's gorgeous."

It's this confidence in the kitchen that, ultimately, Garten wants fans to get out of her upcoming cookbook.

"I realized that there are a lot of things I do instinctively, and if people knew how to do them right, they'd feel more confident about their cooking," she told Eater. "That's really what started the process of writing Cook Like a Pro. It doesn't mean you're gonna be a pro, it just means I'm gonna give you all the tips along the way that will really help you feel like you're doing a good job. At the end of the day, I don't care whether it's tennis, or golf, or cooking, the more you know, the more fun the hobby, or the project."

Cook Like a Pro hits shelves Oct. 23.

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