Traditional recipes

Fish-shaped Croutons

Fish-shaped Croutons

Turn your bowl of soup into a fish bowl of fun! These cute, simple fish-shaped croutons turn Progresso™ soup into a work of art!MORE+LESS-

Updated September 22, 2014


tube Pillsbury™ refrigerated French loaf

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  • 1

    Bake French Bread according to package directions. Cool.

  • 2

    Slice french bread into 1/2-inch thick slices.

  • 3

    Use a cookie cutter sharp pair of scissors to trim each slice of bread into a fish shape. Place fish onto a baking sheet, sprinkle with garlic salt. Bake in an oven preheated to 400°F for 5-8 minutes, or just until they are crispy.

  • 4

    Serve on top of your favorite bowl of Progresso™ soup! Enjoy!

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More About This Recipe

  • Are you ready to monkey around? Wanna get a little wild 'n wacky?

    We've pulled together ten of our favorite animal recipes from Tablespoon and a few other sites around the web. From sweet to savory, you're sure to find a treat here that has you squealing like a macaw!

    Click on titles or photos to see recipe.

    1. Fish Croutons (featured)

    Whether you're topping off tomato soup, or a classic vegetable stew, fish-shaped croutons swim around in a dish and brighten the entire meal with whimsy and flavor.

    2. Animal Cracker Cookies

    There's no need to spend your hard earned money on crackers that contain who-knows-what ingredients! Try making your own animal cracker cookies at home with this simple, delicious recipe from Gold Medal Flour!

    3. Farm Animal Cookies by CheekyKitchen

    Remember those sprinkled pink and white cookies you loved when you were a kid? Here's a fun, homemade version that will have you remembering exactly how fun it is to eat cookies with sprinkles!

    4. Animal Chips from Family Fun

    Invite the kids (and kids at heart) in your life to enjoy a healthy version of chips and dip with this fun, simple recipe! Homemade chips are cut into zoo animal shapes and turned into a totally delicious, dippable snack!

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    10. Ladybug Pretzels from Bee In Our Bonnet

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    Brooke blogs at where she shares fun family recipes. She joined Tablespoon to share some of her best, so keep an eye on Brooke’s profile to see what she cooks up next!

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Ina Garten Shares Her Super Simple 'Pro Tip' for Using Up Stale Bread

The Barefoot Contessa star's easy recipe is going to take your favorite homemade soups and salads to the next level.

Ina Garten‘s simple tip is going to take your favorite soups and salads to the next level.

The Barefoot Contessa host, who often shares helpful pieces of advice to home cooks on Instagram, shared a short video on Wednesday, demonstrating a super easy recipe for homemade croutons.

“When most people are making croutons, I think what they do is they put the oil and the croutons in the pan at the same time,” Garten explains. 𠇋ut what pros do, is they heat up the pan, put in a few tablespoons of olive oil —make sure the oil is really hot with a hot pan it gets hot faster— and then put in the croutons. That way croutons get nice and brown but they don’t absorb the oil so much.”

The Food Network star says to also sprinkle the bread with lots of salt and pepper to give them more flavor. She also shared that her tip can work for other recipes as well.

“This is actually a great way to make saut onions, anything you’re sautéing in a pan,” she says. “Heat up the oil first. It will make such a difference.”

RELATED VIDEO: Ina Garten Reveals the Only Fast Food She’ll Eat: ‘It Was Julia Child’s Favorite Too’

After Garten finished toasting her croutons, she couldn’t help but immediately take a bite. “It’s very hot,” she says while laughing.

Garten noted that the recipe is perfect for utilizing leftover bread in the freezer or that “half eaten baguette from dinner.”

If the video of her whipping up the croutons looked familiar, it’s because it’s also the subject of the cover image on her new cookbook Cook Like a Pro, on stands Oct. 23.

“I think what makes this book unique is it’s so packed with really good information that will help people understand what they’re doing wrong so they can do it better,” she told PEOPLE in April.

Fresh Tomato Salad with Fish Stick Croutons

Tomatoes are the greatest fruit in the world, and this tomato salad with lots of texture is one for the books. The fish stick croutons are a fun and flavorful addition. The delicate flavor and light crunch add to the freshness of this seasonal salad.

Technique tip: Tomatoes taste best when they are not straight out of the fridge. Let your tomatoes sit at room temperature.

Swap option: Switch cornbread for fish sticks or fried day-old bread.

What Did Ancient Romans Eat?

Fragment of a Fresco Panel with a Meal Preparation, A.D. 1–79, Roman. Fresco, 27 3/8 × 50 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, 79.AG.112. Digital image courtesy of Getty’s Open Content Program

If you were to sit down for a meal with ancient Romans, some of the food on your plate might leave you scratching your head. Dormouse and flamingo, anyone? Other dishes may appear surprisingly familiar, like bread, cheese, and wine—still the cornerstones of many a Mediterranean-inspired lunch today. Ancient Romans didn’t have many of the modern cooking technologies we take for granted, like electric stoves and refrigerators, but they were resourceful and creative with the produce, grains, meat, and fish that were available, resulting in some seriously fascinating recipes. Dietary evidence from gladiator bones, food remnants in the sewers at archaeological sites like Herculaneum, and representations of food in art provide clues to what Romans ate.

We asked what questions you have about food in ancient Rome on our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages, and you responded with dozens of insightful queries about cooking techniques, spices, common meals, and more. We sent your questions to Judith Barr and Nicole Budrovich, curatorial assistants at the Getty Museum and ancient Roman cuisine enthusiasts, to find out exactly what encompassed a typical Roman diet. Check out their answers below to travel back in time and discover what you might have eaten for dinner tonight if you were a citizen of ancient Rome.

What was the basic daily ancient Roman breakfast, lunch, and dinner?

A common meal for ancient Romans probably included bread, made with spelt, wheat or barley, likely purchased from a bakery by those who could afford it (here’s how to bake bread the Roman way). It was often eaten with cheese and watered-down wine. It could feature in almost every Roman meal: breakfast, lunch (with cheese, and cold-cuts from the night before), and dinner (with sides like dried peas or lentils). Wealthy dinners also included eggs, fresh poultry or fish, and vegetables.

What did poor people typically eat?

Those who couldn’t afford bread mostly ate a simple porridge known as puls, made from boiled grains (spelt, millet, or wheat), which could be livened up with herbs and vegetables.

Did Romans have a sweet tooth? What were some common desserts?

Roman cuisine included many sweeteners! Honey plays a starring role in a lot of Roman dessert recipes, but other ingredients might include raisin wine (passum) or grape musts (defructum). Cato writes about cheese and sesame “globi,” or sweetmeats, and Galen about pancakes fried with honey and sesame seeds. For a sweet end to a meal, consider Apicius’ stuffed dates fried in honey. Check out a recipe for Roman honey spiced wine, and stepping into the Byzantine world, a take on rice pudding.

Are there any Roman foods that are similar to today’s fast food?

Totally! Snack counters, called thermopolia, were common, and offered mulled wine, baked cheeses, lentils, nuts, and meats. Large jars built into the counters held dried cold foods that could be heated up for customers. These places usually served food “to go” though fancier spots had dining areas. There is an ancient recipe for a hamburger-like sausage (Isicia Omentata), but this delicacy probably wasn’t served at a snack shop.

Did the Romans have dine-in restaurants?

Not quite the same way we think of them—along with the snack counters, there were slightly nicer establishments like bars or taverns. But formal dining would have taken place in private domestic spheres, not in a public eatery.

What were the most commonly used condiments/spices, if any?

Garum, and its cousin, liquamen, are kinds of fish sauce made from fermented fish guts, and featured in a lot of dishes—both sweet and savory! Fresh herbs and imported spices like pepper could have made an appearance, too.

Why has garum not retained its popularity to the present day?

Garum was produced in different sites across the Mediterranean, and ancient authors describe different grades of garum, some extremely luxurious. Garum may have fallen out of fashion in the last millennia, but fish sauce is still an important part of many Southeast Asian cuisines, and condiments like Worcestershire sauce still get their bite from fermented anchovies.

Why was fish a delicacy when Rome was right on a river?

People across the Roman world would have had access to many different kinds of fish, both fresh and saltwater, along with preserved options like salted fish and garum. But different species could have signified social status at different times—a whole fishy spectrum. Learn more about fish and fishing in the Roman world.

Green Fish-Shaped Flask with Pinched Decoration, A.D. third century, Roman. Glass, 3 1/8 x 8 1/16 x 7/8 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003.439. Digital image courtesy of Getty’s Open Content Program

I’ve always known Romans ate dormice, but how did they prepare them? I think they roasted them and ate them whole, innards and all but teeth and the fur are not generally digestible. Were those removed?

The recipe for dormouse in De re coquinaria suggests an intensive preparation: stuffing the dormouse with minced pork and the minced meat of the whole dormouse, together with spices (and liquamen, for our fish sauce fans.) That would be sewn up and then roasted.

What’s the weirdest thing the Romans ate?

We don’t want to call anything weird, but exotic birds, like parrots, peacocks, flamingos, and ostriches, were considered extravagant delicacies.

Wall Fragment with a Peacock, A.D. 1–79, Roman. Fresco, 15 3/4 × 9 3/4 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 68.AG.13. Digital image courtesy of Getty’s Open Content Program

Are there cookbooks or recipes from this time period?

Yes, we have several sources, from the relatively late De re coquinaria often associated with Apicius to food references in Latin poetry, prose, and nonfiction writing. There’s also a Greek fragmentary cookery book preserved on a papyrus from Oxyrhynchus, Egypt. But these don’t necessarily reflect the tastes and dining choices of the entire Roman world.

Does modern Italian food resemble in any way Roman food? Or is it completely different?

There are similarities, but some key Italian ingredients and dishes were not found in ancient Roman cuisine—no pasta (introduced later) and no foods from the Americas, including tomatoes! Italian pizza might have its origins in Roman flatbreads and focaccia, which could be topped with olives and cheese. Fresh seafood (fish, mussels, and oysters), seasoned meats (sausages, poultry, and pork), sides of veggies (beans, mushrooms, artichokes, and lentils), olive oil, and of course wine have been popular in Italy since antiquity.

Is Roman cuisine basically the modern Mediterranean diet?

Yep! Minus foods introduced later—like eggplant and spinach from Asia and tomatoes, squash, peppers, potatoes, and corn from the Americas. Access to certain foods depended on your region and economic status, but for the most part ancient Romans enjoyed whole grains, veggies, fruits, and olive oil, with some dairy and lean protein.

Did the fall of the Roman Empire have anything to do with the fact the pans they used were made of lead, and thus poisoned their brains?

Questions about the extent of lead poisoning and any potential impacts during the Roman Empire are important ones, and recent studies have shown different avenues for understanding how lead may have been an issue across the Roman world. Read more about lead poisoning in ancient Rome.

Were there vegetarians or vegans back then?

Many Romans would have eaten a largely vegetarian diet by default, since meat and dairy products would have been relatively expensive, although this could vary a lot depending on the region! Recent osteological research into a gladiatorial cemetery in Ephesus shows that these gladiators largely ate grains and pulses (pulses are edible seeds of plants in the legume family, such as chickpeas, dry beans, and lentils). Some religions or philosophies were also associated with vegetarianism, like followers of the Greek philosopher Pythagoras.

Did the Romans have any foods which were “forbidden” for any reason?

It seems there were no strict food taboos for followers of Roman state religion. Almost everything was fair game! But during the Republican period there were sumptuary laws against extravagant dining—delicacies like swordfish and dolphin were prohibited. That said, ancient Romans were a diverse bunch, and some religious groups had their own dietary restrictions. There is evidence for the production of kosher garum, the popular fish sauce, for Jewish consumers since variant recipes might mix in oysters, sea urchins, and jellyfish.

A restaurant for heirloom recipes

After a year, Paolo decided to move the restaurant to Ecoland Subdivision in downtown Davao, where it now stands, and work with even more small-scale farmers.

Willie was in charge of designing the restaurant, which used to be occupied by a bar. An artist who works with found objects, she made sure that 80% of the material used were recycled.

For example, she used discarded candy wrappers and plastic sachet to build chairs and placemats. She also dismantled the tiles from the previous tenant and used them in a mosaic floor design.

Balik Bukid, Paolo says, allows him to &ldquodemonstrate how beautifully [his] ancestors used to live&rdquo by serving up family heirloom recipes and traditional Filipino dishes rarely seen in other restaurants because they take too long to make.

This mackerel was stewed for up to 10 hours in a sour broth of kamias (tree sorrel), ginger, onion, garlic and chili before it was pan-fried.

Balik Bukid's signature salad has lettuce, quail eggs, cucumber, kesong puti and croutons and dressed in house-made pesto-mayo Bicol-style laing using Davao-grown ingredients

One of these dishes is sinaing sa Batangas. He wraps mackerel in banana leaves stews it for eight to 10 hours in a sour broth of kamias (tree sorrel), ginger, onion, garlic and chili.

The mackerel is then pan-fried and served on a hand-carved fish-shaped wooden plate &ndash complete with the traditional sides of hard-boiled quail eggs, sliced tomatoes, patis (fish sauce) and rice.

&ldquoThe Filipino palate has changed &ndash our children don&rsquot even know what our food used to taste like. At Balik Bukid, we explain our dishes to our guests before they order. There&rsquos an educational element to what we do as well,&rdquo Paolo says.

Watch the video: Gwangjang Market, Seoul Bungeoppang Korean Fish-shaped Bread Korean Street Food (January 2022).