I've never heard of RubenAzarja
's recipe above, but it makes perfect sense, even though 'migas' is an egg dish where I'm from. The Spanish word "migas" translates into English as "crumbs", and Tex-Mex
migas always contain broken bits of tortilla
. The saying goes:
- The first day tortillas.
- The second day tostadas (tortilla chips).
- The third day migas.
The list is most emphatically not
in descending order of culinary delight
. Sure, the fresh corn tortillas
are good rolled up and adorned with a scoop of refritos
or black beans. Of course
the tostadas are a hot, crispy, salty delight, especially with a healthy load of salsa
aboard. Even so, there's no reason to pity the broken bits in the bottom of the basket, if they make their way into a delicious breakfast on day three.
Eggs and broken tortilla chips are the only constants in Texas migas. They are the foundation on which many cafes and taquerias build their reputations. Migas can be a modest, frugal breakfast, but they are often a showcase for what's best about the simple palette of Tex-Mex cooking. They are the perfect food to end a night of drunken revelry, or to strengthen one to face the benighted morning after.
As with the Spanish recipe, the art is all in accessorizing the basic dish, but the boundaries are pretty tightly constrained. Potato and onion, chorizo, and bacon are allowed, but not expected. Avocado, tomatillos, and fresh tomatoes are welcome, but not required. I've never heard of anything like shrimp, or squash, or spinach being used. Here's a typical basic recipe...
For the pan:
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup broken tortilla chips
- a tomatillo, diced
- a serrano pepper (One at least. Jalapenos are good too.)
For the table:
- a fresh tomato, diced
- some cilantro, chopped
- salt and pepper
- grated cheese (Monterrey Jack is quite fine, but you may be able to do better)
- good red salsa
- strong hot coffee
- fresh tortillas (corn, that the cycle may continue, or flour, for joyous gluttony)
Some people begin this dish by sauteeing onions and cooking some potatoes with them. I'll skip that, and just melt a bit of butter in the pan to start the tomatillos. Maybe you like your pepper
s cooked, so you'll add them now. I like them firm and juicy
, so I'll add them later.
Tomatillos are a delicate fruit, so don't overcook them. Just get them nice and hot before cracking in the eggs. If you throw the tortilla chips into the wet eggy mess now, they will become one with the soft texture. You may wait until serving time to add them if you want the crunch.
Now may be the time to add your chilis. If you want some kind of sausage or bacon, you will already have cooked it in another pan and drained it well. Add it now. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
You'll be stirring this attentively now to scramble
the eggs and mix it all together. Throw in some cilantro
if you like it. I didn't add those peppers earlier, or I have a few more. I'll add them now.
As the eggs begin to firm up, you may want to add some chopped tomato. This is probably only advisable if you have a very good tomato. If you're using avocado, add it now.
Pull it off the fire before the eggs get too hard. Stir in the chips if you haven't already.
When you get it on the plate, sprinkle some grated cheese on top and garnish with a sprig of cilantro. For a gut-busting American breakfast, you can serve some hashed brown potatoes on the side, but I won't be doing that. Maybe a slice of cantaloupe and a few strawberries instead.
For the coffee, I recommend Cafe Bueno, which is like two bucks a can at the Fiesta Mart. I don't know what they put in that stuff, but it's good.