I'm a native Texan with a passion for good food and Texas history. Tex-Mex is a way of life for me, and so is baking!
Tell you what – Migas are kind of a mess to look at. But in that good, ooooh look at all those lovely yummy bits sort of way.
What are Migas, you ask? Well, they’re a Tex-Mex breakfast food. Corn tortilla strips are fried in oil with a touch of salt until lightly crispy, then whipped eggs, and if you fancy it – peppers, onions, and cheddar cheese – are added and scrambled together. Traditionally they are served with fried potatoes and refried beans (which I promise, aren’t really fried at all, so as not to completely terrify your arteries with my description). They’re good for any mealtime, but are usually served for breakfast or brunch.
The beans should be topped with a little queso fresco, and you should serve a couple of slices of avocado on the side if you want an authentic feel. You can throw in a couple of flour tortillas for good measure, to make breakfast tacos of your migas, beans, and avocado, if you want.
Where I come from, every self respecting Mexican joint has these on the menu. However, they don’t always get the love. Here in NJ, there’s a little place in Jersey City called Taqueria. They have really good food. But to be honest, I find them to be a little full of themselves. They have this whole schpeel on their wall about how it’s queso fresco, not cheddar cheese, and crema fresca instead of sour cream, and yada yada yada. I get it.
But you can’t call something a flauta (a dish prominently featured on their menu) – a decidedly Tex-Mex word (what any Tex-Mexican would call a flauta, a Mexican would call a taco) – and then look down your nose at Tex Mex food. One Sunday James and I were there for lunch. I looked at the menu and said, “What, no migas?”
The guy behind the counter, who may or may not have been one of the owners, gave me the stink eye and said “That’s a little too Tex-Mex, doncha think?”. As if Tex-Mex is a bad thing! Listen up, buck-o. Tex-Mex is a regional cuisine, recognized in its own right. It’s not something for you to look down your nose at, and it is not bastardized Mexican food. I saw the word flauta on your menu, so I thought you were down. MY MISTAKE.
Do you think he struck a nerve with me? I think so.
I have Migas for lunch at least once a week. Packed with protein, and delicious to boot. What more could I ask for? (Okay, so the corn tortillas fried in oil might not be great for me, but I’m over it.) Trust me, the extra 15 minutes at the gym is worth it.
splash of half & half or milk
1 tbsp cream cheese
6 corn tortillas, cut into strips
2 tbsp oil
salt & pepper to taste
If desired: 1/2 chopped onion, browned, 1 red pepper, chopped and browned
In a medium sized bowl, crack eggs. Add half & half, cream cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk briskly.
Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat. When oil can slide over pan easily and a bit of salt dropped in the oil sizzles, add corn tortilla strips. Sprinkle with kosher salt, and mix until all strips are evenly coated and start to crisp. When tortilla strips are almost crisp to your liking, but not quite done, add onion and pepper if doing so. When they are browned, add egg mixture to pan and stir. Continue stirring so that eggs cook fully while also fully incorporating the tortilla strips, onions, and red peppers, and cheese melts.
Serve with refried beans (if using canned, add a splash of half & half to them while you heat up for just-like-homemade taste), avocado or guacamole, warmed flour tortillas, and a good strong coffee.