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Migas is a Spanish dish that is popular in Andalucía and especially in the poor Alpujarras mountains region. In the whole of southern Spain there are many variations to the recipe. It is a very authentic dish, but you won't find it in any cookbook. Maybe because it's too easy, maybe because it reminds people too much of poverty.

Some Andalucian restaurants have specialized in these traditional dishes. To make migas yourself, cut some old bread into pieces and moisten these with warm water without really soaking them. Bake the pieces, while stirring, in olive oil with garlic, preferably on a log fire.

Serve them with garnish. Two of the many known possible garnitures are

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...

Per serving:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup broken tortilla chips
  • a tomatillo, diced
  • a serrano pepper (One at least. Jalapenos are good too.)
For the pan:
  • 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)
For the table:
  • 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 peppers 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.

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