Better And Better

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Recipe: Migas


There are recipes that are part of your heritage. Foods that you cannot consider never tasting again, because you grew up eating them, and they are part of the basis by which you define life.
 
Migas is one of those for me.
 
I've never looked at a recipe for Migas, and don't need to; it's as simple as making a PBJ sandwich. As with a PBJ, however, there are plenty of variations to the theme. NONE of them are wrong, so long as you have two basic ingredients in your Migas: scrambled eggs and corn tortillas.
 
When I met the girl from Corpus Christi, TX who was to become my wife, I made Migas one Saturday morning for her, and she said, "That's not Migas!" Somehow it was different from how she remembered it, and 15 years later neither she nor I can recall what that difference was. We learned that we liked each others' variations on the theme, and realized that there was a basic, hearty simplicity to the dish. I learned it from my mother (who hails from Alamagordo, NM, and my father (who grew up in El Paso, TX).
 
Start with a big skillet. I like my big cast iron black skillet, but I just made it five minutes ago with my big no-stick Caphalon skillet that Chris and I just got for our birthdays (Thanks, Dad and Holly!), and it was a cinch.

Migas (Serves 2 heartily):
 
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil. (Any kind.)
5 eggs, fresh and in the shell.
4 or 5 corn tortillas, raw.
1-3 cloves of garlic, or a 1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.
1/2 large onion, sliced thin.
2 - 4 jalapeƱos, sliced.
--Put a couple of tablespoons of oil in. Get it medium-hot, and spread it around the pan.
--Tear up a few corn tortillas into the pan. You can cut 'em into strips, but I generally just tear them into pieces about the size of poker chips. If the eggs are large, tear in another tortilla.
--Stir the tortillas around in the hot oil to get a coating. Salt 'em a little.
--Toss in a little sliced onion.
--Put some garlic in there. I like to squeeze in a couple of cloves.
--Once the onions are cooking and the tortillas have begun to golden and have some crisp to the edges, stir in your eggs. Don't bother mixing them up in a bowl first-- just crack 'em right into the pan on top of your tortillas, oil, onions, and such. It's okay if the eggs start to cook before your start to scramble them-- this is a very heterogeneous dish, and the variance in texture is a Good Thing.
--Finally, as you're scrambling the eggs together, toss a couple of sliced jalapeƱos in there. Canned or fresh, it doesn't matter.

--When the eggs are fully cooked, turn off the heat. If you want to over-complicate things, this would be a good time to grate a little cheese (cheddar or Monterrey jack-- it doesn't matter) over it to melt. Serve on big plates with hot flour tortillas and a pool of hot picante sauce, preferably with a cup of hot black coffee.
 
But seriously-- you could get by with just the eggs, tortillas, a dash of salt and a dab of oil.
 

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4 Comments:

At Tuesday, October 30, 2007 11:32:00 AM, Blogger Hammer said...

That's one of my all time favorites.

 
At Wednesday, October 31, 2007 6:47:00 AM, Blogger MarlaQuack said...

That sounds really good. I've never heard of this dish before.

 
At Thursday, November 01, 2007 10:29:00 AM, Blogger Sabra said...

There's another one very similar, and I can never remember the name, that incorporates shredded beef & is also quite good.

I made migas as a child with no idea of what it was. You're right; it's one of those Texas things.

 
At Saturday, November 10, 2007 11:27:00 AM, Anonymous Huck Phinn said...

Those migas become chilaquiles if, between frying the tortillas and adding the eggs, you pour in a chile sauce such as is used for enchiladas or tamales. It may take a few trial runs to get the proportions right, but done well you just tenderize the tortillas without completely losing the crunch. Sorry, you will have to sort the amounts out on your own, I NEVER measure when making migas or chilqaquiles.

Some of the best chilaquiles I have ever had were done at furious heat and speed in a wok at a Chinese family owned restaurant in Mexico.

Oh, and just have to add: both dishes began as a way to use up old, dried out tortillas. Don't hesitate to go with those slightly stall pseudo-frisbees.

 

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