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Migas, Y'all

For those of you following along, we celebrated Fiesta with pecans in the last post. But now, at the end of Fieta (okay, I'm using Fiesta as an excuse to talk Tex-Mex and spice), we talk about how to use leftovers. And so today, we Tex-Mex. I'll be honest, I honestly don't remember hearing of Migas before moving to Austin. But let me tell you, friends, I've thought, talked, and mused about it many days since! It is the PERFECT--yes, perfect--way to use leftovers from your Taco Tuesday, your weeknight takeout, or your own backyard fiesta.

All you need is some pico de gallo, thin restaurant tortilla chips, eggs, and cheese. Let's back up for a second. "What is Migas?", you may be asking yourself. Migas is literally translated "crumbs," and is the most heavenly mix of crunch (tortilla chips or crisped tortilla), substance (eggs), creaminess (cheese), and spice (pico). I take the liberty of shortening pico de gallo to 'pico,' from here on out...because it's Texas, it's what we do colloquially.

I've never before thought of what to do with leftover tortilla chips (for those of you asking yourselves what leftover tortilla chips are, it's a rare but wonderful thing), but I've grown to love the challenge of using ingredients on hand to make something fun and delicious. I do this pretty frequently, actually. Whether it's making salami and Swiss panini from the salami charcuterie leftovers or drizzling creme fraiche onto fish tacos as a "crema" of sorts, I promise it just takes a little practice.

When people ask how I cook during the week, I explain that having a few fresh ingredients, a few great staples, and a little imagination is all it takes.

Pico de Gallo: use any kind--from a restaurant, store-bought, homemade. The only kind I wouldn't use is mango pico. It's a delicious and wonderful thing, just not with eggs (to me)!

Tortilla chips: Clearly it's hard to find bad ones, but for a recipe like this, the thinner the chip, the better. This way, they crumble beautifully into the egg scramble but also don't have to cook them in the eggs so long they go from soft to soggy.

Cheese: use whatever you have! I used cheddar because I also had some leftover from the fajita dinner that inspired this whole thing. But certainly monterrey jack, mozzarella, colby jack, or any shredded/crumbled Mexican cheese (such as cotija, queso fresco) would work beautifully.

Migas in a Pinch

Makes 1 serving

Cooking spray or 1 Tbsp butter

6-7 restaurant thin chips (a nice size handful)

2 whole eggs

1 egg white

Pinch of salt

1-2 Tbsp milk 2 Tbsp shredded cheese

1/3 cup pico de gallo

Sour cream, avocado, and/or cilantro for garnish

1. Crack the two whole eggs into a small bowl. Separate the third egg by passing the yolk back and forth in your hands or passing it between the two egg shell halves. Watch here to see how it's done.

2. Add a dash of salt to the eggs and set to the side.

3. Stack two paper towels together, fold them in half. Spoon the pico into a double-layered paper towel and squeeze the pico to drain as much excess juice as possible. Set aside.

4. Heat a frying pan to medium-high. Add the cooking spray or butter, coat the pan well. Add the pico and cook until lightly browned. It will have some burnt bits---that's okay. Remove pico from the pan.

5. Again coat the frying pan with cooking spray/butter. Add the milk to the eggs, beat lightly to incorporate the eggs and milk together.

6. Pour the eggs into the pan and immediately turn down to medium heat. Use a rubber spatula to drag the eggs inward from the edges of the pan, allowing the uncooked eggs to run into the empty spaces on the pan's surface. Repeat until eggs are soft-cooked.

7. Sprinkle in the cheese, fold lightly into eggs. Crumble in tortilla chips using your hands. The more uneven the pieces, the better!

8. Portion onto a plate and garnish with sour cream, avocado, and cilantro!

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