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2000s Recipes + Menus

Crouton “Dice” with Blue Cheese

Makesabout 40 to 50 hors d’oeuvres
  • Active time:30 min
  • Start to finish:50 min
December 2007
These sexy little bites have a flavor as sharp as Dorothy Parker’s wit. And because they’re toasted with butter in the oven, they taste deliciously fried (only without the regret).
  • 1 lb unsliced good-quality white sandwich bread such as a pullman loaf
  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 lb chilled blue cheese (preferably Stilton or Gorgonzola), crumbled
  • Special equipment:

    a chopstick
  • Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.
  • Trim crusts from loaf, then cut loaf into 1-inch cubes. Put cubes in a large shallow baking pan and drizzle with melted butter, gently tossing to coat. Arrange cubes in 1 layer and bake, turning occasionally, until pale golden and crisp around edges but still soft inside, 12 to 20 minutes. Cool croutons slightly in pan on a rack, then poke a hole three fourths of the way through each cube from top using large end of chopstick, making hole about 1/3 inch in diameter. Press about 1/2 teaspoon cheese into each hole, mounding slightly.
  • Just before serving, reheat croutons, cheese side up, in baking pan in a 400°F oven until warm and crisp, about 5 minutes.
Cooks’ note: Cubes can be baked and stuffed 1 day ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered.