A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 21, 2006
Migas (crumbs)

"Migas” is Spanish for “crumbs.” It is usually short for “huevos con migas”—scrambled eggs with tortilla crumbs. Migas is a popular Tex-Mex breakfast dish.

“Sundance eggs” is a name that is sometimes substituted for the Spanish word “migas.”


Wikipedia: Migas
Migas (pronounced [ˈmiɣas]) are a traditional dish in Spanish cuisine and Portuguese cuisine. Originally eaten as a breakfast that made use of leftover bread or tortillas, today migas are a fashionable first course served for lunch and dinner in restaurants in Spain. Some historical sources associate the origins of this dish to North African Couscous.

Ingredients
Spain
The ingredients of migas vary across the provinces of Spain. In Extremadura, it includes day-old bread, garlic, pimentón, and olive oil. In the north of Spain near the Pyrenees, it includes chorizo sausage or bacon, and is often served with fried eggs and grapes. In the region of Andalucia migas are often eaten the morning of the matanza, the recipe usually includes offal such as liver and kidneys, the migas are cooked over an open stove or coals.

Tex-mex
In Texas, migas (also known as migajas) is a traditional breakfast dish in Tex-Mex cuisine. Originally eaten during Lent, this meatless dish consists of egg scrambled and sauteed together in butter or oil with torn strips of corn tortillas, diced onions, sliced chile peppers, diced fresh tomatoes, and cheese, plus various spices and condiments (e.g. salsa, pico de gallo). Migas are typically served with refried beans, and corn or flour tortillas are used to enfold all of the ingredients into tacos.

17 March 1898, Butte (MT) Weekly Miner, pg. 13:
Migas—Put to soak a stale five-cent loaf of bread in water. Chop fine half a small onion and fry in a stew pan with a tablespoonful of lard; add a tomato also cut in small pieces, salt to taste, and a pinch of sweet marjoram. A little red pepper, or paprika may be added. When the onion has browned add the bread, first squeezing the water out of it; mix thoroughly and set over a slow fire. When thoroughly heated crumble a small cream cheese into it and mix. Place on top of the migas one or two large red peppers, which have been previously roasted to bring out the flavor and aroma. Put on the back of the stove until wanted. Serve on a flat dish and place fried or poached eggs on top of the migas.

Google Books
One Hundred & One Mexican Dishes
compiled by May E. Southworth
San Francisco, CA; Paul Elder and Company
1906
Pg. 79:
MIGAS
SOAK slices of stale bread and squeeze dry. Put plenty of fresh lard in a frying-pan and when boiling hot put in an onion chopped fine, some ground chile and a pinch of sweet marjoram. Lay the slices of bread in this with (Pg. 80—ed.) plenty of fresh crumbled goats’ cheese, and fry for ten minutes, stirring to cook on all sides. Remove to a hot plate and cover with fresh grated cheese, stoned ripe olives and hard-boiled eggs chopped fine.

The Outdoor Book
by Gladys Snyder and C. Frances Loomis
Book Number Eight of the Library of the Seven Crafts of the Camp Fire Girls
New York: Camp Fire Outfitting Company
c. 1934
Pg. 74:
MIGAS
From Fort Worth, Texas, comes this recipe which is a favorite among Camp Fire Girls in the southwest:
1 dozen tortillas
1/4 lb. cheese
1 onion
1 can tomatoes
1 small can tomato sauce
1/2 can Wesson oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon salt

Cut tortillas into twelve parts. Pour oil into pan and heat very hot.  Drop pieces of tortillas into fat and, when crisp, drain on paper. Put 1/2 cup of hot fat back in pan (set other aside; do not throw away.) Add onion and garlic which have been chopped fine together, to hot fat. Brown well, add tomatoes, and tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Then add cheese. Season with chili powder and salt.  Add tortilla chips. Stir and heat. Serve.

4 December 1938, Albuquerque (NM) Journal, “Food and Drink Problems on Your Trip to Mexico” by William Berlin Goolsby, pg. 2:
For breakfast the table would be graced by a bowl of fruit, probably oranges, papayas, mangos, avocados, bananas or small cantaloupe in season. There would be a platter or tortillas, renewed as rapidly as they become cool, in the center of the table. The first course would be eggs, served in the conventional manner or “ranchero” style with a sauce of tomatoes, peppers, onions and a touch of garlic. They may be, however, served scrambled with “charizo” and “chicarrones.” The next item may be “gorditos,” little sausages, or ham, bacon or “migas.”

Spring Number 1955, Chef d’oeuvre, pg. 33:
MIGAS
Dice a white loaf (crust and crumb) in half-inch cubes—the Spanish do not use a knife, but tear the bread. Sprinkle the pieces with cold water and salt and leave in a damp cloth overnight.

Allow 8 tbs. olive oil to each pound of bread. Fry the pieces in this oil, adding garlic if you wish, until golden-brown. Take off heat and cover for five minutes.

The Migas can be served in various ways: with poached or fried eggs, slices of sausage, or sprinkled with paprika. For sweeter tastes, they are served with chocolate or milky coffee. A special way is called Migas Canas (white crumbs).  While frying, jam is poured over the Migas. When the pan is taken off the fire, 1 pint of milk is added. The Migas are eaten out of the pan—or else the milk and Migas are served separately, if you have formal guests!

4 March 1963, Daily Courier (Connellsville, PA), pg. 5:
Huevos con migas are fried eggs with a Spanish accent. Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil with 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder in a 9-inch skillet. Saute 6 slices of stale bread, cubed, until golden brown. Break 6 eggs over bread cubes. Lower heat, cover and cook slowly until eggs have set. Season to taste with salt, pepper and paprika. Serves 6.

The Collection: A Cookbook
Junior League of Austin, Inc.
1976
Pg. 77:
MIGAS
2 T. butter
Dash Tabasco
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 T. finely chopped onion
2 T. finely chopped bell pepper
1/4 c. grated Cheddar cheese
Tostados, crumbled

Melt butter in a large skillet, allow to cool slightly. Stir Tobasco into eggs and pour into skillet; return to heat. As soon as eggs begin to cook, add onion and bell pepper, stir. When eggs are almost cooked, add cheese and turn heat to lowest setting. Stir in crumbled tostados. Serve hot. Serves 2.

Make Mine Menudo: Chicano Cook Book
by Ella T. and Jose A. Lopez
La Puente, CA: Sunburst Enterprises
1976
Pg. 77 (Glossary):
MIGAS A Chicano dish made with crisp fried tortilla bits, scrambled with eggs.

9 April 1980, New York Times, pg. C4:
Try such Mexican egg dishes as migas (scrambled eggs with chorizo sausages, hot green chili peppers, mild cheese and bits of crisp tortillas) or huevos rancheroues (eggs fried or poached in a Creole tomato sauce).

South Texas Mexican Cook Book
by Lucy M. Garza
Austin, TX: Eakin Press
First edition
Third Printing
1982
Pg. 49:
HUEVOS REVUELTOS CON MIGAS
(Scrambled Eggs with Corn Tortilla Bits)
4 corn tortillas, broken up into bite-size pieces
1/4 garlic clove
1 teaspoon mixed spices (peppercorns and cumin)
4 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons cooling oil
1.  In skillet heat oil and fry bite-size tortillas till crisp.
2.  Grind garlic and spices and add to fried chips.  Stir and simmer 1 minute.
3.  Beat eggs, milk, and salt.
4.  Add egg mixture over chips.  Stir mixture till it starts to set on bottom and sides of skillet.  Stir lightly and cook until eggs are glossy and moist.
5.  Serves 4-6.

15 April 1990, New York Times, pg. SM49:
One morning, Mike Marks, another guide, made us a spicy mixture of eggs with hot peppers and fried tortillas. He calls this dish migas, which is Spanish for bits and pieces.

4 September 1992, New York Times, pg. C16:
Louie’s is also one of the few places in New York to serve migas, a spicy Tex-Mex dish of eggs, peppers, onions and tomatoes, with black beans and tortillas on the side ($7.95).

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Saturday, October 21, 2006 • Permalink