Considering that they’re made from stale bread, it makes sense that bread crumbs are also known as the “poor man’s Parmesan”. As writer Catherine Lamb wrote on our site a few years ago, “It seems Parmesan has long been an expensive commodity, so when Italians couldn't (or wouldn't) fork over enough to buy some, they'd sprinkle oily, toasted breadcrumbs over their pasta dishes. Smart, right?”
Very. So smart, in fact, that I’ve taken to sprinkling pan-fried bread crumbs on a lot more than pasta. I rain them on blanched vegetables, like asparagus, and raw salads, and slow-roasted salmon, and, really, anything that could use some added flavor and texture. (If you think about this for a minute, it turns out to be: most things.)
But my favorite canvas for bread crumbs right now is scrambled eggs.
You already know that scrambled eggs and toast get along. Scrambled eggs are soft, toast is crunchy, both are buttery. They complete each other. And the same is true here, even though, from afar, the dish is unrecognizable.
We’re still scrambling the eggs — but instead of toasting the toast, we’re going to pan-fry it. I start with English muffins, because English muffins are my ride-or-die, but you do you. Sourdough, whole-wheat, rye, whatever. Anything works. Just blitz the bread into fine-as-can-be crumbs (a food processor makes this easy), then crisp these up in a heavily buttered nonstick skillet.
If eating scrambled eggs and toast is fun, then this is more fun. While you could pour all the bread crumbs on top in one go, I love adding more and more as I eat, just like I do with Parmesan.
Scrambled Eggs With Buttery Bread Crumbs
2 English muffins
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
4 extra-large eggs
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- Tear the English muffins into big pieces, then add these to a food processor. Pulse into fine crumbs.
- Add 2 tablespoons butter to a large nonstick skillet and set over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the breadcrumbs. Stir so they’re completely coated. Toast for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they’re golden-brown and starting to crisp. Dump onto a plate to cool.
- Wipe out the skillet, then add the remaining tablespoon butter and set over medium heat. While the butter melts, crack the eggs in a bowl, add the ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper, and whisk with a fork until completely smooth.
- When the butter has melted and the pan is pretty hot, pour in the eggs. They should sizzle. Drag a wooden spoon or scraper from the outside of the pan toward the center, from all different directions. This should create fluffy, ruffly scrambled eggs. They should cook completely within a minute — and make sure to cut the heat just before they seem totally done (they’ll continue to cook).
- Divide the scrambled eggs between two plates. Sprinkle some breadcrumbs on top and serve the rest alongside for people to add themselves (it's more fun this way).