Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Whats for dinner tonight? Migas. It’s All About Migas.


I first had Migas in Austin, Texas, when I was living there. I woke up one morning a raging case of LBSCBDO, or Low-Blood-Sugar-Cranky-Butt DisOrder. I went to a plce I had seen on my way to work, it was a quaint little restaurant that resembled a tiny house.

The waitress told me Migas were the house special, and on Sundays they were half priced. So I gave in and since they were on sale and I was a more than a little intrigued by the name of the dish. Migas? What was this strange dish?

I would soon find out. Migas, in a word, is heavenly. In another word, divine. In another word, dadgum delicious! I was instantly hooked, and spent the next several months perfecting my own version.
Unless you’ve visited or lived in the Southwest, you probably haven’t heard of Migas, a delightfully flavorful scrambled egg dish made fabulous with the addition of bell peppers, jalapenos, onions, cheese, and—the best part—fried, chopped corn tortillas. The corn tortillas absolutely make the dish, and while some more, ahem, “health conscious” eaters elect simply to warm or grill the tortillas prior to adding them to the skillet, I find they’re best when fried in oil, then chopped. Once they’re stirred into the egg mixture, they soften and take on the beautiful flavors of the eggs, onions, and peppers. It’s enough to make a person moan, which is what you’ll do as soon as you sink your teeth into this wonderful breakfast dish. It is good for Breakfast, lunch or supper!
Let’s make it, mis amigas!
Begin by roughly chopping onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and tomato. Then very finely dice a fresh jalapeno, removing the seeds if you can’t HANDLE the heat. As the heat of any pepper is in the seeds, not the flesh.
Next, grate some cheese. Monterey Jack works well, or you can use a Mexican Cotija (pictured here.)
I love Mexican Cotija.
Then mix some eggs with half & half and whisk together.
Finally, fry up some corn tortillas until crisp. I use a small skillet with about 1/2 cup vegetable oil heated to medium.
If the oil’s hot, it should only take about 30 seconds on each side to crisp ‘em up.
Don’t let ‘em get brown; just fry ‘em ’til they’re no longer floppy.
Yes, I just said “floppy.”, now get your mind out of the gutter!
When they’re fried, stack them up on a cutting board.
And pressing down with a sharp knife, cut the tortillas into strips…
Then turn then in other direction and cut them into a large dice.
Now it’s time to get serious. Very, very serious.
Begin by heating a mixture of oil and butter in a large skillet. Add the onions and peppers…
And cook until they start getting nice and brown. This’ll probably take 3 or 4 minutes. Don’t let ‘em get too soft!
Next, add the chopped tomatoes…
And continue cooking for 30 seconds or so, just to warm them up.
Now for the fun part: Throw in the fried tortilla pieces!
Stir them around, then toss in the diced jalapeno. Stir around and reduce the heat to low.
If I had all the words of all the great poets of the world at my disposal, I still would not be able to express to you how wonderful this smells.
Now, pour in the egg mixture. You just want the pan to be mildly hot; you don’t want to brown the eggs at all.
Browned eggs. YUCK. That’s a flavor right up there with velveeta in my book. BLECH. PPPTTTTHT.
Now, the secret here is to cook the eggs, gently folding the mixture with a spatula. Definitely don’t stir or beat up the mixture…just fold. Gently fold.
You’ll know then the eggs are done; they’ll be set but not overly dry.
At the very end, throw in a generous amount of grated cheese.
And plenty of chopped cilantro! C’mon people—if you think you don’t like cilantro, give it one more try.
Speaking of opening your heart. Goodness gracious. You must experience Migas at least once in your life.
Preferably, this morning or tonight for dinner, or a midnight snack.
That is what I wish for you. my dear friends.
4 corn tortillas
Canola oil, to fry tortillas
10 to 12 large eggs
1/4 cup half & half
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
4 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 to 2 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced (leave white membranes if you like things spicy)
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, depending on your taste
1 cup grated Monterey Jack or Cotija cheese
In a bowl, whisk together eggs and half & half. Salt and pepper eggs, then set aside.
In a small skillet over medium heat, heat oil and fry each corn tortilla just until crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Chop tortillas and set aside.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the olive oil with the butter. Add onions and bell peppers and cook until starting to turn brown/black, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add in diced jalapenos and stir to combine. Add tomatoes to the skillet and stir around, then add tortilla pieces, stirring gently to combine.
Reduce heat to low.
When the heat has decreased, pour egg mixture into skillet. Stir gently to cook with the peppers, folding mixture very gently as it cooks. Add in grated cheese and chopped cilantro, and stir to combine. Serve with black beans and iced coffee.
Hope you love it as much as I do.

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