|My no effort fifty cent side dish makes our meal feel special.|
In my new favorite cookbook, Ten Dollar Dinners, Melissa D'Arabian shares a great money and time saving tip. Melissa encourages buying baguettes from the grocery store bakery when they are day old or on sale. She suggests making it a regular freezer stable for a variety of quick meal additions.
I have bought a baguette on occasion (full price) when I had a specific plan for one, like chicken pizza meatball sandwiches. But on normal shopping trips, I just quickly passed by the bakery. I always thought of it as a money waster instead of a money saver. It has been fun to have a baguette for a varied starchy side dish. I love rice and drop biscuits, but it's nice to have another weeknight option.
It's hard to even tell a crusty baguette is a day old and it freezes so well, making it easy to keep extra on hand. It's amazing how many ways this simple loaf of bread can be used to spruce up a meal. I will never again pay full price for a baguette. I am not a big bread maker and have never made a homemade baguette, so it's a treat for us to enjoy for dinner.
5 Ways to Use a Bakery Baguette
- Crostini: My favorite way to use a baguette is to slice it, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic salt and basil, and bake in a 425 degree oven until toasted. This is a simple crostini recipe, but the ideas are endless for crostini recipes. It's a real treat with little effort. We usually can get two meals out of one baguette, so quite a bargain. Fifty cents makes a much prettier and tastier side dish than sandwich bread garlic toast.
- Chicken Pizza Meatball Sandwiches: If I have the bread already in my freezer, I don't have to wait for a special shopping trip to enjoy this family favorite meal.
- Hoagies/Sub Sandwiches: Cut the baguette in four hoagie rolls and you have the start of a sandwich nice enough to call supper.
- Fresh Bread for Dipping: Make a restaurant style dipping sauce for dipping the baguette. My family raves when I set this out and it takes almost no time to prepare.
- Dinner Rolls: Cut and serve a baguette like you would dinner rolls. To give them a fresh from the oven taste, warm the bread in the microwave before serving.