Migas is a dish that's eaten in all regions of Spain, and especially in the South. It's easy to prepare, flavorful, and requires few ingredients which makes it a cheap and easy option, perfect for your budget and taste buds.
But, Migas isn't just a Spanish dish. In Mexico, there's also a traditional recipe that's a hidden secret, and super simple to whip up. Besides, find out how to make a Mexican bread pudding recipe that uses stale bread as the main ingredient.
In this article, we'll see how to make 4 different migas recipes following the traditional steps to discover new ways to prepare this dish that's a classic in Spain and Mexico.
Migas or 'shepherd's breadcrumbs' are a traditional Spanish recipe that dates back to the Roman Empire, where there are signs that these people were already eating this culinary delicacy accompanied by meat and animal fat. It's also connected to the Muslim dish, tharid and without a doubt comes from al-Andalus gastronomy.
Generally speaking, migas are made with breadcrumbs from day-old bread, accompanied by both animal and plant-based ingredients like peppers or bacon. The typical version from South-Eastern Spain uses flour as the main ingredient instead of bread.
Later, this food went from being a hearty breakfast for shepherds, soldiers, and nomadic people to a traditional delicacy enjoyed by people across Spain. In fact, there are even competitions on a yearly basis to see who makes the best version of this dish.
Like in Spain, leftover stale bread and other foods are often used to prepare dishes all over the world. In Mexico, migas (also known as migajas de pan or breadcrumbs) are used to make a special broth and a sweet bread pudding.
The first recipe is a simple one that uses water, onion, and chilis, while the second is a more elaborate dessert, in the form of a dense, yet flavorful cake.
These recipes are easy and cheap since the goal here was to use leftover food, or ingredients that you can find in any pantry.
As we mentioned, the traditional migas recipe is easy to make, and there are a few different ways to do it. You won't need many ingredients, and the results are always fantastic.
To get familiar with the two versions of homemade Andalusian migas, below, we take a closer look at how to make the flour variety and the type made with stale bread.
Here are the ingredients to make migas with bread:
1 loaf of day-old bread
250 grams green beans
250 grams bacon
250 grams chorizo
250 grams blood pudding
5 cloves garlic
These are the ingredients for traditional migas from Granada, Spain. The green beans aren't essential, but they give the dish a little more flavor. You can also substitute them for fried peppers if you choose.
To make it, first, wet the day-old bread and let it sit for a while. Meanwhile, pour a thin layer of olive oil in a deep frying pan and fry the garlic, bacon, chorizo, and blood pudding (slice these beforehand).
Take these ingredients out of the pan and then throw the green beans in to sizzle in the same oil. Once they're cooked, remove them and set them aside.
Finally, to finish the dish, you'll have to cook the main ingredient: the migas. To do this, mix the breadcrumbs into what's left of the olive oil, and once they're all broken up, add all of the ingredients that you set aside before.
Flour migas are typical of Granada and Murcia, among other regions -where they're known as 'gachasmigas.' This kind is sometimes paired with sweet foods like fruit, and particularly grapes or pomegranate.
The ingredients we'll use in this recipe are the following:
4 cups of water
4 cups wheat flour
1/2 cup olive oil
2 green peppers
250 grams bacon
250 grams chorizo
First, take a large pan and fry the chopped pepper in the olive oil. Then, put the bacon and chorizo in the pan to fry, respectively. Once all of this is cooked, set these 3 ingredients aside.
The next step is making the flour migas. To do this, put olive oil in a deep frying pan and fry the garlic with its skin. Then, take this out of the pan and set it aside along with the hot oil.
Then, add water and salt to the same pan. Once the water boils, add the flour slowly and keep stirring it without stopping until the dough takes shape. Finally, once the dough is done, add the oil that you set aside and cut the dough until it's split up into tiny balls. Finally, put the migas on a plate with the meat on top as a garnish.
Before we mentioned that Mexico is the other place in the world where migas is a favorite recipe. Breadcrumbs are used both in savory and sweet dishes in this North American country.
Besides, they're also an ingredient in another one of the most typical recipes: mole. Below, we dive into two Mexican recipes: one for tabasco chili migas and another for Mexican bread pudding, using stale bread.
Mexican migas, also known as miga soup is a typical breakfast or lunchtime dish. Although this soup might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Mexican food, this recipe is a traditional comfort food in this country.
To make Mexican migas, you'll need the following ingredients:
2 hard rolls, baguette, or any other kind of bread
1 1/2 liters of water
1 sprig epazote
Salt to taste
Tabasco chilis to taste
First, you need to fry the onion in a pot. Once it turns golden brown (without burning), add the water and leave it for a few minutes, until it boils. When it's about to boil, add salt and the sprig of epazote.
Then, tear up the bun or baguette to make the crumbs. Once the water boils, turn off the heat and take the pot off. Add the breadcrumbs to the pot and make sure that there is more water than bread (to keep the soupy consistency).
Cover the pot and let it sit for 5 minutes. Finally, serve the Mexican migas in a soup plate and add a tabasco chili (or several). The tabasco chili, is actually where Tabasco sauce comes from, so, you can also use this condiment or another type of pepper as a substitute, or leave it out if you choose. Also, a little bit of lemon can be added to the broth.
In Mexico, migas are usually a side dish, except for in the case of the soup that we described before, and a dessert known as budín or Mexican bread pudding.
The latter can be a breakfast, snack, or even a dessert and it's common to eat it with a hot beverage such as coffee, hot chocolate, or just milk.
You can make Mexican bread pudding with any kind of bread, although similarly to Andalusian and Mexican migas, using stale or day-old bread is the most traditional method.
Besides, all of these recipes use bread, are easy to make and very inexpensive. Also, you just need basic ingredients that you can find in any kitchen, and you avoid food waste.
Below we show you how to make Mexican budín with breadcrumbs or migas. You'll need the following ingredients:
½ kg day-old or stale bread, either a baguette, sliced bread, or any other type.
1 stick butter
¼ cup raisins
Sugar to taste
Leave the bread to soak in the milk for a couple of hours, or until the bread absorbs the liquid visibly. Once the milk has soaked in, add three-quarters of the stick of butter and mix it in.
To do this, you can use a blender or even your own hands. Once the mixture starts to take on a thick, uniform texture, add the sugar, cinnamon and the raisins and mix it again.
Preheat the oven to 200º C for 15 minutes and grease a deep cake pan with the remaining butter. Pour the batter into the pan and put it in the oven for one hour at 170º C.
When it's ready, cut each portion of your bread pudding into either squares or rectangles.
Fernández, A. (2006). La tradicional cocina mexicana y sus mejores recetas. Panorama: México.
Pérez, D. (2005). Guía del buen comer español. Maxtor: Madrid.