Migas – Spanish for Kitchen Disaster?

12.3.10 § 2 Comments

Okay, so “migas” is really Spanish for “crumbs.” But as you’ll see, the only thing that crumbled here was my blind faith in a blogging mentor. That’s probably a good thing, but it’s still a bit disheartening.

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you’ll already know that I spend an obscene amount of time singing the praises of Deb over at Smitten Kitchen. I’m pretty sure I’ve even said that I’d trust her with my life. Previously, that was true, but now, I’m not so sure. The other night, I was searching for something quick, easy, and budget-friendly to make for dinner with my friend Sally, so obviously, I turned to Smitten Kitchen. I found a post for migas with tomato-chipotle coulis. I had almost all the ingredients at home already (eggs, tortillas, chorizo), and I was pumped. According to Deb, migas is a staple Mexican food and is usually thrown together with eggs, tortilla chips, and whatever else is on hand. After reading her description of it as the perfect hangover food, I couldn’t wait try it out.

I’m not quite sure how to describe what went wrong. Mostly, the recipe just let me down. I followed the instructions for the coulis, chopping tomatoes, onions, and chile, pureeing the mix with my immersion blender, heating oil in a saucepan over high heat. Sally checked the recipe and said, “It says ‘cook the sauce,’ but doesn’t say to turn down the heat. High heat? For 15 minutes?” And of course I said, “If Deb doesn’t tell you to turn down the heat, then you don’t need to! Always do what Deb says!” After about five minutes on high heat, Sally decided to turn the heat down to medium-high despite my faith in the recipe. After about five more minutes, our coulis was burned and pretty unappetizing (as illustrated by photo above).

While the coulis was busy burning, I made tortilla chips (without a recipe, thankyouverymuch – not that it’s hard). That part went off mostly without a hitch, except when I touched a chip that I thought was cool. It was not. (Burns are a common thing in my kitchen.) Next, we cooked up the chorizo – simple enough, except that I had forgotten to thaw it. So, yeah, that was my fault, not Deb’s. (Okay, to be fair, none of this is Deb’s fault, it’s my fault for being too trusting.)

At this point, I don’t even know what went wrong. It was probably just a case of my frustration causing a chain reaction of weirdness on the stove. All I can say is that my migas did not look like Deb’s migas. As I was frantically trying to decide how to improve upon what looked like it was going to be a total kitchen fail, I remembered leftover salsa in my fridge from the salmon I wrote about in the last post. I used it under the migas in place of the coulis, and there was skepticism all over Sally’s face as we sat down to eat. You know, despite the mishaps, it was still a pretty darn tasty meal. A few days later, Sally even admitted to wanting to eat it again.

Most importantly, I learned a serious lesson: don’t trust blindly, no matter how infallible you believe the person you’re trusting to be. Also, if your best friend has an opinion, you should probably listen to her, because she is right 99.9% of the time.

See the recipe on Smitten Kitchen – I don’t have a version for this one because I haven’t attempted to make it again. If you try it, please don’t cook the coulis on high heat. It’s going to burn.



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§ 2 Responses to Migas – Spanish for Kitchen Disaster?

  • renie says:

    Tyla, I noticed a tinge of sadness in not trusting someone completely. I learned something at woodworking class that shows we shouldn’t even trust ourselves completely, “measure twice; cut once.” Probably goes for cooking, too! Love the articles; keep ’em coming!

  • Jess says:

    I don’t blame you for trusting Deb…she has yet to fail me.

    Have you ever had chilaquiles? I’ve never had migas but I’ve heard the two compared before. I like to call them “breakfast nachos.”

    My favorite/easiest way to prepare them at home is to cook up some soyrizo/chorizo, barely scrambled eggs, mix in tortilla chips and then douse everything in sauce made by boiling dried ancho chili with unseasoned tomato sauce and sometimes a little chicken broth then immersion blending it, which tastes like how my favorite restaurants do it. Oh yeah, and top with tons of cotija or queso fresco cheese and sour cream (:

    If you’re feeling extra lazy you could just use pre-made enchilada sauce, preferably watered down with some chicken broth or a little water. It’s so versatile and different at every restaurant I go to that you could really just use your favorite salsa as the sauce.

    By using pre-made tortilla chips you save yourself the trouble of frying your own. Plus, I’ve found they hold up their crunch a little better than making your own so that there’s the perfect combination of soft soaked chips and the remaining bit of crunch.

    Obviously passionate about having chips for breakfast,

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