I’ve been wanting to post a migas recipe for awhile now. The only problem was that I didn’t have a good one. I’ve tried different variations of recipes over the last several months but I was never entirely satisfied with any of them. I finally decided that Cinco de Mayo would be a good motivator to get in the kitchen and really work out a recipe I was happy with. Part of the issue is that there’s a stand at the farmer’s market that makes fabulous migas and I never felt my attempts measured up. So last week when I was at the farmer’s market and ordered my usual migas, I kept myself from immediately inhaling them and carefully studied their components. I also studiously watched while the migas were being cooked. It turns out I was needlessly over complicating the process.
Migas are basically eggs scrambled with tortillas. They don’t need much to be outstanding. The eggs need just enough aromatics to add flavor but not so much that you feel like you’re eating a southwest omelet. Some recipes I tried called for beating the eggs with some salsa but I never liked the texture of the eggs with that approach. I settled on finely diced jalapeño peppers, white onions, and green onions as the best combination for adding flavor without being overpowering. As for the tortilla strips, I like to cook some into the eggs to add a little tortilla chip flavor but I also like to keep some crunchy because crunchy fried foods is always a good thing (see here and here). So, I mix some tortilla strips in with the eggs as they finish cooking but reserve some to put on top. Then I add a generous handful of cheese that gets gooey and melty and the result are migas that rival even my favorite farmer’s market migas.
The tomatoes are optional but a great addition if you’re a tomato lover. When I made these for brunch last weekend, I put tomatoes on half the pan and left the other half tomato free for my non-tomato-loving daughter. And everyone was happy.
- 3–4 corn tortillas
- 1/2 cup canola oil, for frying
- 1 tablespoon finely diced jalapeño pepper (seeds and ribs removed)
- 1 tablespoon finely diced green onions
- 1 tablespoon finely diced white onions
- 5 large eggs, beaten
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup grated cheese (cheddar, asadero, monterey jack or a combination)
- 1/4 cup diced tomatoes, optional
- Salsa, chopped avocados, and chopped cilantro for serving
- Cut the tortillas into short strips, about 1/4 by 1 inch long. Heat oil over medium-high heat in an 8-inch skillet (cast-iron is best). When the oil is hot but not smoking, fry the tortilla strips in batches, stirring often to encourage even cooking. When the tortilla strips are lightly crisped, transfer the strips to a paper towel lined plate using a slotted spoon. Set tortilla strips aside. Pour oil out of the pan reserving about 2 tablespoons of the oil. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Heat skillet with reserved oil over medium-high heat. Add jalapeños, green and white onions and cook until the onions soften, about 2 minutes. Add the beaten eggs to the pan and cook until the eggs begin to set, about 20 seconds. Stir with a heatproof spatula, scraping up the eggs on the bottom and sides of the pan and folding them toward the center. Repeat until the eggs are cooked halfway through, about 1 minute. Add half the tortilla strips and half the grated cheese and continue folding to evenly distribute the cheese and tortilla strips throughout the eggs. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggs are barely cooked and still a little wet. Remove the pan from the heat. Top with remaining tortilla strips, diced tomatoes, and remaining grated cheese. Let the eggs stand in the pan to allow the residual heat to finish cooking them and melt the cheese. Serve with salsa, chopped avocados and chopped cilantro as desired.