Migas or Chilaquiles?



One of our favorite breakfast haunts is a tiny little joint up in the north end of town. We only go there for their special, which is a heaping plate of chilaquiles, but they don’t call them chilaquiles. And they don’t call them migas. Just La Desma’s Special. Good enough. They are worth the trip.

Long served as a favored hangover breakfast, they are basically scrambled eggs cooked with tortilla chips and peppers. Everybody I know calls them chilaquiles, but as I did some online researching, I found the term “Migas” come up over and over. But the confusing thing is that I don’t know a real difference. One place says migas don’t have meat another says only chilaquiles have meat, another that neither have meat. Some say it depends on what part of the country you are in. So I think they must be the same thing with different terms, but forgive me if you know differently. Just don’t go to allrecipes.com or you will find it called a casserole and it will be covered with cheddar cheese. No, no & no.

I happened across my favorite blog’s rendition and perfection of the dish and he calls it Migas with the added designation of Tex-Mex. I love the way he walks through each step of the dish and how to perfect it. And I think he did. My only caution is that if you have a hangover, ask your mama to make these because you are probably in no shape to go through these superior activities to create this wonderful dish.

I did not have a hangover, and I had plenty of time on a weekend morning to move about the kitchen with the various activities and at my own speed. These babies are so scrummy that you will love yourself for making them.

Serious Eats has 3 keys to the dish which are easy to do and you can transfer these techniques to other dishes as well:

  • Pre-salting the eggs makes them moist and tender. Whoda thunk? But why not try and see I thought? It’s not a big deal to whisk up my eggs with salt and let them sit while I dice up my onions. No new skill or tool required, just changing up the sequence. And obviously, not just with migas, but anytime you are going to scramble or omelet some eggs, salt them and let ’em sit before you cook them.
  • Pre-salting and draining your tomatoes. Again, not a new idea or a difficult task. And you are rewarded with more tomato-ey tomatoes, and not ruining your dish with too much moisture.
  • Poblano peppers instead of jalapenos, creates an intense capsicum flavor without making it too spicy.

I was able to easily halve the recipe for two since his recipe is written to serve 4 and uses all even ingredient amounts. Yay.

I did make some alterations based on our tastes and my experience, as follows:

  • Did not fry my own tortilla chips. Just used some packaged chips that I had on hand. While our favorite restaurant for this fries their own, I really hate frying things and was just not willing to go this step at home. So sue me.
  • After cooking up the onions and peppers, it seemed like too many for the four eggs, so I scooped out about half from the pan put them in a dish for table use. I am glad I did that because we ended up using them all but as a topping on our plates where they sort of shined instead of being incorporated inside the eggs. Don’t be afraid to trust your instincts; if it seems like too much pull them out and test it like I did. No foul or miss.
  • A cast iron skillet is the bomb, of course and I used it as instructed. But that baby stays really hot! So be sure to give it time to cool before you add in your eggs or they will scramble too fast for your chips to soften.
  • I don’t serve with beans, but that’s just me. It would be easy to have those alongside, but I just served with additional salsa, the onion/pepper saute’, and some crumbled cotija (hubby hates cotija, so I only put it on my plate because I love, love, love the way it does not melt and adds a wonderful creamy bite.) Oh yeah, I love a few thinly sliced radish and hubby likes minced fresh jalapeno – heat and crunch to your heart’s delight.
  • You could add some crumbled chorizo on top, but I would definitely not stir it into the cooking eggs. Let them be the star.

This is a delicious meal, breakfast, brunch, meatless Monday supper, or after you’ve been out and are hungry. Do add this to your repertoire. Get the RECIPE.

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