A Crumb Of An Idea


This is more of a hint than an actual recipe. It’s one of those things that I more or less stumbled across, and suddenly realized, “Hey! this is a great idea!”

This came to me when I was first reading Midnight Munchies by Diane Morgan. A number of recipes in this book call for the dish to be topped with breadcrumbs, or cracker crumbs, or something similar prior to a quick run under the broiler.

Now, I have found that you usually need bread to be just a little on the stale side to be able to properly turn it into breadcrumbs. And most of the time, I tend to finish the loaf before that last slice or two can get properly stale.

At the same time, I was finishing a big bag of tortilla chips, and of course, all that was left were those bits and pieces that are somewhat larger than crumb size, but are way too small to even try using with a dip. (You would end up with more dip on your fingers than on the chip.)

That’s when I came up with the idea of a crumb mix. Whenever I get to the bottom of a bag of chips, be it tortilla chips, potato chips, or whatever other kind of chips, or when I have a few broken crackers remaining in a sleeve, I thoroughly pulverize them, whether by hand or by using a large can. I then pour the resulting crumbs into a container for later use, and once it’s sealed, I give the container a good shake or two to mix everything together. I call this mix of crumbs “Denny.” (Unless you’re from Louisville or surrounding environs, you probably don’t realize just how funny this is.)

Whenever I make something that calls for some kind of crumbs, I scoop out the needed amount, and use as directed by the recipe. I’ve also learned that when I use something from this mix, it’s usually a good idea to reduce or even eliminate the amount of salt called for in the recipe. The blend of crumbs is quite salty all by itself; you don’t need to add any other salt to whatever you make be cooking.

Now that I have this nice big container of assorted crumbs, I need to find some more uses for them. There has to be more uses than topping macaroni and cheese or a noodle casserole.



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