Saturday, June 2, 2012

Migas for Breakfast (The Homesick Texan)

Before I share this Tex-Mex breakfast, let me post my disclaimer right away: Except for a cross-country trip, in 1976, where I found myself white-knuckling through Dallas during rush hour, I have never been to Texas-- I've been through Texas.  Literally.  I've made a few plane connections at Dallas-Forth Worth Airport, but I've never had the pleasure of sight-seeing the many Texas places-to-see that I've read about.  Someday...

I've been a loyal reader of Lisa Fain's foodblog "The Homesick Texan", for quite a while.  I impressed with her friendly and approachable food blog persona-- she even responds to comments! I always appreciate bloggers who take the time to interact with their followers.

For that reason, I bought Lisa's cookbook, that is titled the same as her food blog.   I have bookmarked so many of her recipes, and have thoroughly enjoyed reading her stories about her life in Texas.  Like my disclaimer says, while I haven't eaten authentic Tex-Mex food in the Home State where it is proudly served--  I can personally attest to how easy and delicious her Chili Gravy recipe is (from her blog), because I made it for my  Cheese and Onion Enchiladas.  If you love the flavors of Mexico, get the book!

 Star ingredients: jalapeno, onion, garlic, cilantro-- and my own leftover tomatillo salsa verde

On Saturday mornings, I much prefer to make a breakfast with eggs.  That's the day that Craig and I have to do our weekend chores, and I need protein to get me going.  I'd never heard of Migas, before, but according to Lisa--
"If you’ve ever had breakfast in Austin, chances are you’ve had a plate of migas. This dish of eggs scrambled with fried corn tortilla strips, salsa and cheese is ubiquitous in some of the Texas capital city’s most popular breakfast spots, including Las Manitas where it’s almost a crime not to order their marvelous migas. I have fond memories of spending lazy mornings in this bustling Congress Avenue diner, scooping spoonfuls of the crunchy, cheesy eggs and bacon-laced refried beans into fluffy flour tortillas. There’s no better way to start the day."

The picture of this dish, in her cookbook is mouth-watering.  I had to make this! I used a combination of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, and leftover corn tortillas (we do love our Taco Tuesdays).

For the eggs:  Beat 6-8 eggs (I used six), about 1/4 cup milk, salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp ground cumin, and about 1/4  cup of fresh cilantro.

In my beloved cast-iron skillet, I heated about a half-inch of vegetable oil and fried the cut tortilla strips; cook them for about 2 minutes, remove and place on paper towels. Set aside. Pour out most of the oil.

Saute the onion and jalapeno (NOTE: Lisa uses four jalapenos, but I used only half of ONE jalapeno), until tender-- about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook just until fragrant--about 30 seconds.

DISCLOSURE:  I made this recipe TWICE, on separate weekends.  With all due respect to the author, my first attempt didn't quite work, to my expectations-- per the cookbook.  I'll explain why at the end, and will show you how I had better success on attempt #2.  MY WAY, TAKE TWO: add the eggs....

Cook the eggs, on medium-low until partially cooked...

...add the cooked tortilla strips.

Add about half the cheese; give this a gentle stir to combine.

This step is completely optional: I wanted to use leftover salsa verde, and it was refrigerated. I don't like adding cold salsa to hot food, so I added some salsa over the mixture.  Preheat the broiler, with the rack on high and broil for about one minute-- until the cheese is bubbly and melted.

Breakfast is ready!

TASTING NOTES, TAKE ONE: The first time I made this recipe, I thought the flavors were good. Personally, I thought the textures weren't quite right.  In the cookbook recipe, the instructions say to cook the eggs for about a minute, then add the cheese and to gently stir.  Problem:  Cheese plus gooey eggs = gooey, gloppy eggs.  No bueno!  Plus, when the tortilla strips got added to the gooey, gloppy cheese/egg mixgure, they got soggy.   

I'm not one to give up on a recipe that has promise.  So, my adaptions were to cook the eggs more,  then add the tortilla strips, to let them retain more of a crispy texture.  Then I added half the cheese, to melt into the egg-tortilla mixture.  By broiling the remaining cheese, I got the creamy-melted texture I wanted.  Bingo!!

 In a way, Migas reminds me of Nachos, but the eggs makes this a perfect, hearty breakfast.  I can see lots of possibilities with this recipe that can be personalized to your own taste. Lisa says that you can add crumbled Mexican chorizo, chopped poblanos or anything else. If I had any refried beans, I'd definitely want to try adding those.  I garnished this with sour cream, green onion and cilantro. If I had a ripe avocado, yep, that would be added to it.    I only wish I had flour tortillas-- and I plan to make Lisa's recipe, from her cookbook.  Migas for breakast.  It's a good thing.  

Now, I want to go to Austin, Texas!

A printable recipe is at the end of this post. If you cannot view it, click here to be directed to Key Ingredient.

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Kate said...

I have never heard of Migas but I can say that this sounds and looks delicious!

mjskit said...

Oh I do LOVE Migas and this looks like a fabulous version! Your pictures make me want to jump up and make them for supper.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Thanks for the tip on the eggs. I could eat Tex-Mex night & day.

Texas was my first "home away from home" when I graduated from college and I will always have a special place in my heart for it. I also met my husband there, so that makes it even more special.

Big Dude said...

You said her cookbook shot was mouthwatering, but I can't imagine it being more so than yours. This looks outstanding and as a breakfast person, it must be tried. I especially like that you made it twice and shared your improvements.

Joanne said...

I've been craving tex-mex constantly lately and have been ogling lisa's recipes more and more. This sounds like the perfect recipe for me to start cooking out of her cookbook with! All that cheese...I'm so in love.

Karen said...

I've never eaten this, but it sure looks good. I like the changes you made, too... seems like it worked much better.

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

I can tell you I would LEAP out of bed for this in the morning! what a fantastic breakfast!!!
mary x

Allie said...

Yummmm! We visited Austin in January and I tried migas. I went to the magnolia cafe that has been featured on triple d and they have different kinds. I tried love migas, which is made with their "love butter" which has fresh garlic...mmmm!!! I've been dreaming about it ever since. Definitely have to try this!!

Monica h said...

Hey, whatever brings to to Austin , I'll take it! Yes, I've had migas several times, my granna and non make them and so do I occasionally. I blogged about them awhile back but I don't like anything in them besides tomatoes and cheese. My trick to getting the tortillas to stay crisp is to pan fry them low and slow. Cook them til they're crunchier than you'd like them, then add the eggs.

There's a place here in town that sells the Paris Texas platter. There's a town in Texas called Paris, Texas. The platter includes migas and French toast. The perfect combination if you ask me :-)

LadyJayPee said...

Yum. Have never had migas, but those look so good! I love Lisa's flour tortillas...the only recipe I use.