07 June 2016

Migas for Joe!

A certain evil genius flute repair tech I know is, like me, a big fan of migas. It's basically a pile of eggs, cheese, fried tortillas, and possibly other things you see fit to add, like vegetables or beans. It's traditionally a way to use leftover tortillas that didn't get eaten the day before, and any other leftover scraps you might have in the fridge from last night.  So it has the same function as lasagna or soup--a way to clean up the scraps.

I like to scramble my eggs along with a bunch of vegetables and some black beans, if I have them, and pour the whole mess over the fried tortillas, which have been smothered in (green, please) chile. But there are many variations, depending on how you like your eggs, what leftovers you have in your fridge, and just how soft you like your tortillas.  It has been hard work, but I tested many recipes for you Joe, and here are the two variations I like best:

Here's the basic idea (for one), using scrambled eggs:

2 corn tortillas
Vegetable oil
1 tablespoon diced bell pepper
1 tablespoon diced onion
1 tablespoon diced tomato
2 eggs + a little milk
salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet, fry corn tortillas in hot vegetable oil until crispy. Drain. Remove oil from heat, Cut tortillas into bite-sized pieces. In butter, saute bell peppers and onion until soft. Add tomatoes. Beat eggs well with the milk and some salt and pepper. Add eggs to sauteed vegetables. Add tortilla chips. Scramble until eggs are done.

Now, to this you could add some leftover black beans or cooked, crumbled/shredded meat of any kind (throw those in with the eggs), something spicy (sliced serrano or jalapeno to sub for some of the bell pepper, or hot sauce added at the end), and of course, many people (me) are going to insist on cheese. Slice, crumble, or shred whatever you like--pepper jack, queso fesco, cheddar, etc.--and stir it in near the end of cooking time, when eggs are still a little wet but close to done.  I also like to season with fresh chopped cilantro and serve with a lime wedge, but you can do what you want. 

For a vegan version, simply swap out the eggs for a block of soft tofu and a sprinkle or two of nooch (nutritional yeast), break it all up with your hands until it looks scrambled egg-like, and toss it in when you would add the eggs. Obvs., you can't have the cheese either, unless you eat that horrible Daiya shit.)

And here's one using fried eggs and bread.  Its roots are Spanish. This one is much fussier and probably better suited to a purposeful meal with friends and family, so this recipe serves 4-6. I think it's nice with chorizo, but that's optional:

For the fried peppers:
Extra-virgin olive oil, for frying
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch julienne
2 Anaheim chiles, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch julienne
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the migas:
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium yellow onions, diced
4 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
5 ounces chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 5-inch links)
1 tablespoon Sazon seasoning
3 cubed day-old bread
Salt and freshly ground pepper
olive oil or butter
6 large eggs

To make the peppers:
Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a large frying pan over high heat until drops of water sizzle. Quickly fry the pepper strips in small batches until the skins begin to blister and brown slightly, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Season well with salt and pepper.

To make the migas:
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan and add the onions. Cover and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Uncover, add the garlic, and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the chorizo and cook until it gives off most of its oil, about 3 minutes. Add the sazon and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in the bread, making sure they absorb all the juices from the pan, and cook until the mixture is lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour mixture into an ovenproof dishe and garnish with the peppers, tucking them in and around the breadcrumb mixture. Keep in a warm oven while you cook the eggs, or, if made ahead, reheat in a 250°F oven just before you cook the eggs.

To cook the eggs, heat 1/8 inch of oil over high heat to the smoking point. Break 1 egg into the hot oil. Season with salt and pepper. Working very quickly, fold in the edge of the egg white with a heat-resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Then spoon some of the hot oil over the egg so that it puffs up and crisps around the edges. All of this must be done in a matter of seconds so that the yolk remains soft. Using a slotted spoon, remove the egg and place it on top of a hot migas. Repeat for each serving. To serve, dived the bread mixture among six plates, then top each with an egg. 

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I honestly have nothing to add to this Pioneer Woman recipe for Tex-Mex (Austin) migas, It's kind of like what your mom would make--you went out and bought all the ingredients just for this dish, cut everything up nice and pretty, and made it look super special for guests.  It's good, though, if missing the spirit of the original. Gimme Some Oven's is even more ornamental, but she has way pretty photos.

Of course, those of you who have been reading for a while may remember a lazy-girl migas, as my friend Jess calls it, I lovingly prescribed for a hangover back in December 2010. The big shortcut is that you just use leftover tortilla chips. I actually do this a lot, and I always save the broken up bits at the bottom of the bag in anticipation of my next hangover. Er...

[PS--migas or chilaquiles?  After reading enough that I thought I understood this to be a regional difference, it turns out it's not that cut and dried. I'm chocking it up to semantics, and I think this recipe for chilaquiles for a group by Rick Bayless is pretty spot on, too.]