Migas

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I bought a big stack of corn tortillas and was wondering what might be a good way to use them for breakfast. I decided to make migas – a popular dish across the Spanish-speaking world, though not always made with tortillas. In Spain they will uses bread and potatoes and lima beans while in Mexico, you are more likely to get migas with tortilla strips and a lot more heat. I have seen them made with the tortillas cooked with the eggs and with the tortillas cooked in advance and added to the eggs at the end. I decided to make it both ways, cooking them with the eggs yesterday and separately today. While they both tasted good, the second was by far the best – so that’s what I will show here.

So first I took 2 corn tortillas and sliced them into 1 inch strips and then cut those long strips in half. In a skillet, I melted 1 TBSP of butter and pan-fried the strips until browned and crisped. I removed them from the butter and set them aside.

I added 2 tbsp of chopped onion and one minced small clove of garlic and let them sauté in the butter. I chopped up 2 TBSP of bell peppers (red, yellow and green) and 1 thick slice of tomato (about 2 TBSP) and added them to the softening onions. I let them cook. Meanwhile I cracked two eggs in a bowl and stirred them for scrambled eggs. When scrambling eggs, I mix them just enough to mix the whites and yolks but do not beat them. I prefer creamy eggs and over-mixing them will make them dryer. Note I also add no salt while cooking. Salt will make the egg mixture separate and the eggs will not be as creamy and tender.

I added the eggs and let them cook, stirring frequently. When the eggs are just about done, toss in a small handful of grated cheese. Adding the cheese to early will make the eggs runny. I used Pepper Jack for a tiny bit of heat. Just before serving, I added salt and pepper and stirred in the tortillas I set aside.

Cooked this way, the tortillas are crispier and are more evenly browned. There’s not the slightest hint of sogginess. The eggs are rich and creamy and the flavors blend beautifully. Makes 1 serving.

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Spicy Chicken Coconut Soup

Spicy Chicken Cocoanut Soup

I won’t presume to call this a Thai Tom Kha Gai soup because I didn’t have a lot of the ingredients for anything approaching a true Thai soup, but it does borrow inspiration from the delicious Tom Kha Gai of Thailand.

I bought a delicious free-range fryer and cooked with an onion and a bay leaf until the meat fell off the bones. This gave me about 3 quarts of chicken broth and 8 cups of chicken after I removed all the meat from the bones. From that I will make two soups and several salads.

For this soup, I diced 1/2 onion and 3 cloves of garlic and 2 inches of galangal. I sauteed them in 2 TBSP of olive oil for 5 minutes or so. I added a sliced bell pepper (actually 1/2 of a yellow and 1/2 of a red bell pepper) and a 2 cups of sliced mushrooms. Then I added about 1.5 TBSP of sriracha and let it all cook. After about 10 minutes, I added 1.5 quarts of my chicken broth and 1 12 oz can of light coconut milk, some salt and pepper and let it all cook about 20 minutes. Then I added 1 chopped tomato and 2 cups of chopped up chicken from what I had removed from the fryer. I let cook a few more minutes so they were warmed through and squeezed the juice of two fresh limes in to soup before serving.

This is a delicious soup with many layers of flavor from the dry peppery feeling of the galangal to the sweetness of the coconut milk, from the heat of the sriracha to the to mild bell peppers and hearty mushrooms and the tart freshness of the limes. The individual components keep their flavor and marry beautifully.

This makes about 8 servings.

Pork Loin Chop with Sauteed Vegetables

Pork Loin with Sautteed Veggies

I picked up lots of peppers at the grocery store, the yellow and orange peppers were on sale at the same price as the red peppers, making the idea colorful pepper dishes irresistible. There was also a great price on baby bok choy, which is always delicious with pork, so I decided to make a pork chop and veggie dish.

I began by marinating 2 loin chops in a marinade of 1 TBSP peanut oil, 2 tsp tamari sauce and 1 TBSP grated fresh ginger for about 4 hours. When it was time to cook I began chopping everything up since they all cook relatively quickly.

mise en place

I chopped up 1/4 of a yellow and a red pepper, 3 baby bok choy, about 1/4 of a red onion, 1 large garlic clove, 1 inch of fresh ginger and 1/4 of a jalapeño pepper. I also had a lemon cut in half and ready for squeezing.

I fried the pork loin chops in my cast iron skillet, about 5 minutes on one side and 3 on the other. I then removed the skillet from the heat and heated my saute pan with 1 TBSP of peanut oil. I added the ginger, garlic and jalapeño with some salt and pepper and stirred them together and let them cook about a minute before adding the red onions. When they began to soften slightly I added the peppers. I let them cook about 2 minutes before adding the bok choy.  I added some salt and pepper and a dash of sriracha sauce and let cook until tender. Then I squeezed the lemon on top and stirred it in.

This made 2 servings. The flavor blend was delicious, the dash of sriracha a nice bit of heat in a rather mild blend of veggies that served as a delicious backdrop to a tasty chop.