Migas & My Dad

by Matt on September 3, 2006

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At the end of October I will be traveling to Austin, Texas to celebrate my father’s 70th birthday. I still can’t believe the man is 70, as he is quite simply the hippest, grooviest and most loving man you could ever hope to meet. Seriously. By day he’s in finance and accounting, and by night he’s the grooviest bass player and guitarist you could ever hope to jam with. Yes, I’m talking about my own father. He’s been my role model for how to live my life, on how to do what’s right even when it’s not easy and how to be kind and gentle to everyone you meet. I’m talking about a man who will cry happy tears just talking about my mom after 46 years of marriage, a man who touches the hearts of anyone he meets, and a man that can rock and roll deep into the wee hours of the morning, long after his only son has gone to bed. He is a charismatic, gentle, funny and an amazing human being, and the best part is he’s my dad.

While spending some time at the computer this morning designing his party invitation I began to think about a dish called Migas that he always made for breakfast. My father is a fantastic cook and knows his way around the kitchen; add my mother to the mix and you can see why I love food as much as I do. Migas, sort of a Tex Mex scramble, has endless variations, and depending on where you are and who you talk to, it’s almost rarely ever made the same place twice. There are even passionate debates all over the internet over where migas end and where chilaquiles begin, but I never participate. To me, migas will always and only be “a la Ben.”

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Simply put, migas (meaning “crumbs” in Spanish) are eggs that are scrambled and cooked with tortillas or left over bread. In Spain they’re usually served with pimenton and garlic and on occasion you’ll see chorizo added.  In the world of Tex Mex, they are eggs that have been cooked with corn tortilla strips and topped with tomatoes, onions, sour cream, cheese, avocados, salsa or pico de gallo. The beauty of the dish is that it’s so adaptable to one’s personal tastes, but in its most simplest form I find it the most enjoyable. Eggs, tortilla chips, sea salt, a dash of hot sauce. That’s it. Nothing more and nothing else.

When I want a big hearty breakfast full of an abundance of Tex Mex flavors, I’ll go for chilaquiles. But when I want something quick, simple and perfect in its unadorned state, I go for my migas. You simply can’t go wrong.

My Dad’s Migas
A simple, hearty and easy breakfast that I’ve been known to eat at all hours, I don’t add anything else to the dish after cooking because I love the flavors as they are. There’s something so satisfying about a crunchy chip that’s been coated in egg and cooked, sort of a soft-on-the-first-bite-but-crunchy-underneath sensation. This is why they are fried first to make chips-other recipes call for heating up until they are warm. Sea salt adds texture and crunch and the hot sauce adds zing.

Serves 2
2 corn tortillas, cut into strips
1/2 cup oil, for frying
1 tablespoon butter
4 eggs, beaten lightly
sea salt, to taste
Tabasco sauce, to taste

Fry the tortilla strips in oil until crunchy, remove and drain on them on a paper towel. In a skillet, melt the butter and then add the cooked tortilla strips and then pour the beaten eggs over them. On medium heat stir the eggs, thoroughly coating all the tortilla chips. When the eggs are almost done to your liking remove from eat and continue to stir – the eggs will continue to cook just a bit more. Transfer to a plate, sprinkle with sea salt and add Tabasco sauce.

Remember, no two plates of migas will ever be the same. This recipe is just a guide and can be modified however you’d like.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer September 3, 2006 at 8:39 pm

This was so absolutely precious. What a lovely tribute to a man who sounds just amazing. What a lucky only son you are! Thanks for sharing such a personal piece…

iamchanelle September 3, 2006 at 9:12 pm

i “accidentally” made this some months ago for my breakfast and did not realize it was an actual recipe! my creation included fresh tomato dices and green onions with some adobo seasoning…mmmm. now i will think of your story next time i enjoy my migas. :)
happy birthday to your dad. he sounds like an amazing man, and i wish all the best!

Harry September 3, 2006 at 9:51 pm

Matt, you’re a lucky man to have such a father a role model. He does not look 70.

fanny September 4, 2006 at 4:24 am

Your parents look so sweet.
Tell your dad he won’t fool me with his nice suit, i now know his rock-star lifestyle!

Meredith September 4, 2006 at 7:55 am

What a great piece to read first thing in the morning. I love the picture of you and your family. You all look so very happy. It’s obvious to see to where you get your love of life from, Matt. Happy early birthday to your dad.

Michael September 4, 2006 at 5:30 pm

good recipe, good parents, good photos,good food….what else can you ask for

melissa mcgee September 4, 2006 at 6:30 pm

your dad sounds just amazing. you obviously come by it honestly, the apple having fallen not too far from the tree. i’m sure he’s as proud of you as you are of him. and he sounds amazingly talented… i’d LOVE to hear him jam!

and i’d LOVE a plate of migas RIGHT NOW!

Scott September 4, 2006 at 8:12 pm

I “accidentally” made something like this recently with potatoes and bread… how thrilled will be daughter be (and how crazy will my wife think I am) to see me give it a go with tortilla chips!

Great post about your dad, love the writing!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) September 5, 2006 at 12:58 pm

Oh yum! Migas!

What a loving tribute to someone who sounds amazing. I can see where you get your artistic and generous spirit.

Nicky September 6, 2006 at 6:17 am

What a touching post! I love the picture of your family, they seem to be so open-hearted – just like you ;)
Migas sound to good to be true, even though I never actually heard of them before. But it’s never too late to try something new, is it…

Nicole September 6, 2006 at 6:27 am

I loved reading about your Dad! He sounds like an amazing person! And I’m definitely going to try his Migas. Thanks!

Kate September 8, 2006 at 3:20 am

What an adorable family! And I look forward to trying this recipe — learned about tex-mex from you and J. Wade years ago but have never tried making it myself :)

lobstersquad September 8, 2006 at 11:29 am

I loved this post.
Btw, nothing like what we call migas over here. Ours are guaranteed to block arteries within seconds.

Kim Carney September 11, 2006 at 12:06 pm

a wonderful post and touching tribute to a great dad. I hope he doesn’t mind me dropping in on him next time I visit Austin ;) Can we see the invite? Better yet, are we ALL invited…. Happy Birthday most beloved Dad!

bobby September 11, 2006 at 12:12 pm

Matt, don’t forget about the version you can make with the left over french fries your Mom wouldn’t throw away.

Jesska September 12, 2006 at 5:02 am

I just made this recipe, but I snuck in some turkey breast and american cheese. Wow, what a great combination of flavors! I also think the hot sauce completes the recipe, and should not be omitted. Bravo Matt! Another heartwarming post with a wonderful recipe. Happy Birthday to your father!

Jeanne September 13, 2006 at 7:00 am

Your dad sounds more like a fantastic best friend than a parent! You are very lucky to have him – make sure you treasure every moment together. And make sure he never stops cooking!! ;-) Great pic, btw.

lyn September 17, 2006 at 8:47 pm

Love your blogs and love the way you love your dad – brought tears to my eyes.

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