Be Prepared…

You’re about to fall in love.

When I moved to Rhode Island I began working in a little diner. It didn’t take long at all for me to realize that almost no one here had heard of Migas. This blew my mind as I had been cooking them for the past 8 years for the starving masses of Austin. (Remember, besides a 1 year stint in St. Thomas and one in Tyler, Texas, I’d never lived anywhere else!) I’m positive I have cooked at least 1,000 plates of Migas.
I ran them as a special and just as I suspected, they were being demanded regularly. I put them on the permanent menu and now I am solely (and proudly) responsible for introducing hundreds of people to a delicious dish from Texas.

Migas will make you fall in love with eggs all over again. I was eating them before I even liked their ingredients individually. “Migas” literally translates into “crumbs” and some Mexicans may also answer “chips” and “pieces”. This is due to the chips or strips used in the dish. Personally, I prefer using stale tortilla chips much like french toast utilizes bread that has gone stale.  I believe the final texture is ideal, however, many use freshly cut corn tortilla strips. This will be up to you. I suggest trying both.
This part is important: These are Tex-Mex Migas, NOT Spanish Migas.  There is a big difference as you can see here.

Without further ado!

Migas (Tex-Mex)
(for 2 grown folks)
you will need:

1 large tomato, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 fresh jalapeno, minced (if you desire heat)
large handful of stale tortilla chips, slightly crushed
5 eggs
splash of milk
2 Tbsp cooking oil
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded pepper-jack cheese
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Mix equal amounts of tomato, onion, and bell pepper in a bowl together. Add jalapenos.
In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and milk together.
Heat oil in a skillet on medium high. Add vegetable mixture when hot and saute until onion begins to turn translucent.
(Please take care to not hover over your skillet while sauteing if you are using jalapenos.)
Now add chips and toss with veggies a few times. Add eggs and reduce heat to medium low.
(This is how the chips get just the right texture. I find that if soft tortillas are used, they become too soft.)
Scramble together. While the eggs are still barely wet/soft, add cilantro. (Cilantro is not a traditional addition but I really like a touch of it.)
Stir and remove from heat.

*Mix cheese in and serve!

I serve my Migas with salsa, flour tortillas and refried beans. They are also often served with Spanish style potatoes.

*There is an important reason I recommend adding cheese after the egg is almost completely cooked. Cheese is porous. This means that if you put cheese into raw egg, it can trap the egg not allowing it to become fully cooked.  Personally, I do not worry to this extent but if you are worried about bacteria and typically cook your eggs hard or dry, this is important for you to know.

♥♥♥

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April 30, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Recipes. 8 comments.

Part Three-Black Beans for Pork Tenderloin Medallions

The final installment is here! My husband swears he never liked black beans until I made them for him. These are my black beans.  I love them.  I hope you do too.

You will need:

3 1/2 cups black beans
2-3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chile molido (if available)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp sage
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Night before: Put beans into your pot with twice as much lukewarm water and cover. Let them soak overnight. Strain and replace water the next afternoon and continue soaking.

Time to cook: Strain water from beans and rinse thoroughly. Put them back in your pot with 6 & 1/2 cups of water. Add all ingredients EXCEPT cilantro. Bring to a boil. Boil 10 minutes on high. Stir well. Reduce heat and simmer with lid for approximately 1 hour or until beans just begin to fall apart. Remove from heat, stir well and remove bay leaves. Then add the cilantro, stir and put the lid back on for 10 minutes. (We do not cook the cilantro because it is an herb that looses all flavor when cooked.)
Now they are ready!
Hopefully I will have a prettier picture of this dish later on but this will have to suffice for now.

April 23, 2010. Tags: , , . Recipes. Leave a comment.

Part Two-Pork Tenderloin Medallions

Welcome back! Here are the two toppings that most definitely must accompany the crunchy tenderloin medallions. Although simple, these play an important role in the experience of this refreshing dish.

The first being the tomatillo sauce. I do not refer to this as salsa verde for a number of reasons but one is because it is not to be cooked. The tomatillo sauce being fresh, cold, and uncooked, provides a tangy and refreshing start to the meat.
Next is a very basic pico de gallo. I always mix a bit into my spoonful of black beans. I feel the texture and temperature of this is what’s important. I will suggest heirloom (or ugly) tomatoes in the recipe but that is just a personal favorite of mine.
Here we go:

for Tomatillo Sauce
you will need:

*6-8 tomatillos (medium-sized)
1/4 small Spanish onion, rough chopped
1/4 cup cilantro (rough chopped)
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Remove husks/skins from tomatillos, rinse and rough chop tomatillo into quarters. Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until smooth. Store covered in refrigerator.

*Learn more about how to choose good tomatillos here.

for Pico de Gallo
you will need:

3-4 large heirloom tomatoes, diced
1 medium to large Spanish onion, diced
1 small bunch cilantro, diced
juice of one lime
1/2 tsp olive oil
*seeds from one small dried arbol chile
(Use sparingly. These babies es muy caliente)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients together!

*An arbol chile’s seeds are almost strictly for heat so you may disregard if none is desired. If you are interested in the flavor of the pepper, you can discard the seeds and use the pepper ground.

♥Voila!♥
Come back Friday to get the final step for this meal!



April 21, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Recipes. 1 comment.

Part One-Pork Tenderloin Medallions

This is one of my favorite meals and I realized I have promised to post it 2 different times so I suppose I must finally follow through. I saw the original recipe in Southern Living magazine but ended up just using the idea instead of the recipe. It is such a wonderful eating experience as you get crunchy with tender, hot with cold, salty and sour with fresh. It’s incredibly satisfying!

Also, (now, don’t quote me on this because as you may know, I am certainly no expert on the subject, BUT…) I think it may even be a bit healthy. I believe I have been procrastinating it as I feel I will need to do it in 3 parts because it is a meal and not just a recipe. That DOES NOT mean it is difficult or involves any complex ingredients.  I’m looking forward to you thanking me so give it a shot once all three parts are posted!
So, here it goes.

For the pork medallions
you will need:

2 lbs pork tenderloin
1/4 cup olive oil plus another 1/4 cup
1 1/2 cups salted tortilla chips, crushed finely
1/2 cup “food should taste good” jalapeno chips, crushed finely

(I keep an old chip bag around and I crush all my chips in that. I put a handful in the crushing bag and use a rolling pin to crush.)

1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp black pepper

Put 1/4 cup olive oil in a shallow container. Slice tenderloin into 1/2 to 3/4 inch medallions and lay them in the oil. Add all spices to chips and mix well. Coat both sides of each medallion in olive oil and then in chips. Divide remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in half and heat one half (1/8) on medium high in large skillet. Cook medallions 5 minutes on each side. However, BEFORE flipping to second side at 6 minutes, add remaining olive oil. Serve with pico de gallo, verde, and beans. (All to follow.)

April 19, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Recipes. Leave a comment.

Taco Soup

A 5 MINUTE MEAL
(please read disclaimer)

Yes. Seriously

I cook a lot of very different things. Some are very simple comfort foods that anyone can make and some are bit more extravagant. This is the former. It HAS to be the cheapest dinner recipe ever! I really love this stuff. I got this recipe from my Nana (you’ll hear that often) which means it’s delicious, cheap, and best of all, EASY. Like with knitting patterns, it may sound strange, but you just have to trust the instructions. It’s basically like chili but less time-consuming, easier on your guts and has a few more veggies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1½ Lbs. ground beef
  • 1 small (15.25 oz.) can corn
  • 1 small (15.50 oz.) can kidney beans (or pinto, I prefer kidney)
  • 1 small (10 oz.) can Ro-tel
    A little information about Ro-tel: This is just a can of diced tomatoes, green chilies, and spices. If you have ever lived in the south, you know this always goes into queso. If you don’t recognize this, most stores are now carrying their own version of it and it will be near the canned diced tomatoes. It will be a very small can and it will say “diced tomatoes and green chilies”. Same thing.
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 1 pkg. Ranch dressing seasoning mix
    (I know! I know! Just trust me K?!)
  • 1 pkg Taco seasoning (whatever heat you like)
  • saltines

Brown and scramble meat in a skillet and meanwhile in a large pot, combine all cans WITH ALL THE WATER AND JUICES. Add both spice packets. Begin cooking on medium. Drain beef of grease and put it in the pot. Simmer 10 minutes.

Boo-Yah!

*Disclaimer: “5 minute meals” is maybe a teeny, tiny bit of an exaggeration (unless you are a ninja who happens to be jacked up on coffee) but essentially these are very quick, easy, and affordable “home cooking” type recipes whose ingredients are in most average kitchens and are also ideal for those who have convinced themselves they can’t make good food because they are not “good cooks”.

January 10, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Recipes. Leave a comment.

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