Last week as a thank you gift, I received a four foot baguette from Iggy's. Four feet. Of bread. FYI, I'm only five feet tall. It was a lot of bread, especially for someone who doesn't usually eat that much bread. But I decided I was going to challenge myself to use it all.
The first thing I knew I wanted to make was Zuni Cafe's eggs fried in bread crumbs. I found this recipe years ago, and every time I end up with some leftover bread I find myself making this. It's the ultimate comfort food: crispy, crunchy bread crumbs topped with a fried egg that oozes golden yellow yolk, cut with a drizzle of warmed balsamic vinegar dressing.
I used to always flip the eggs over at the end so that the top wouldn't be raw but I never liked how they looked when I did that. Then one day I saw my friend Kay making perfect sunny side up eggs that were set on top without having to flip them over. I asked her how she did that, and she told me she just put the lid on when she fried her eggs so that the steam would cook the tops of the eggs. The solution was so simple and brilliant!
6-8 inches French baguette, or another chewy, white peasant-style bread (enough to make 3 packed tablespoons of crustless breadcrumbs)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Thyme leaves or coarsely chopped rosemary (optional)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Tear off the bread from the crusts and add to a food processor or blender.
Grind into rough, uneven bread crumbs.
Place the crumbs in a 6- to 8-inch nonstick pan, sprinkle with salt to taste, and then drizzle with the olive oil. Set the pan over medium heat.
Let the crumbs warm through, then swirl the pan as they begin drying out -- which will make a quiet static-like sound. Stir once or twice.
The moment you see the crumbs begin to color, quickly add the herbs if using, then crack the eggs directly onto the crumbs. Cover the pan with a lid and cook the egg until the top is just set.
Slide onto a warm plate, then add the vinegar to the hot pan. Swirl the pan once, then pour the drops of sizzling vinegar over the eggs.