Saturday, October 25, 2008

Migas de pan - a second try

I've got about half a big loaf of bread left over so I thought I'd take a second crack at migas. There are a few things I figure I did wrong the first time around.

First, I went overboard with the olive oil. No need to drown everything, particular as the sausage is going to release some fat itself.

Second, I mistook it for a stir fry and cranked up the heat in a way Spanish chorizo and bread crumbs both don't react well to.

Third, I cut the bread crumbs too small so by the time they were crisp on the outside they were crisp on the inside too which is not good.

Finally, I worried too much about what was or wasn't supposed to go into it. This time I improvised a little and didn't concern myself with a proper traditional Central Spanish recipe.

So, this time, along with the chorizo I added some southern-style uncured garlic sausage. Garlic sausage is universal and southern and Spanish styles aren't a huge distance apart. I also added some shrimp and jamon serano after the sausages, onion and pepper had spent a couple minutes over medium heat.

I prepared the bread crumbs by tossing them with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and pimenton and letting them soak it in while the other ingredients cooked. On a whim I added half a can of chickpeas in with the bread crumbs. That must be traditional somewhere in Spain. I gave them around seven minutes in the pan before mixing all the other stuff back in and letting it cook for one more minute to let the bread soak up some of the accumulated juices.

And finally I served it topped with some chopped roasted peppers. I skipped the egg this time mainly because I seem to have used the last egg I had some time earlier this week.

The results are much improved. I pulled the bread a little quick so only a few bits crisped up, but it is softened up from staleness and soaked with flavor so no biggie. And the garbanzos are a good contrast in texture with their firm bite.

Big benefits from cutting back on the oil as I can actually taste the vegetables this time around. And since the meat isn't all shriveled up and dried out, each retains its own specific flavor contributing to the whole. The shrimp particularly are a nice addition with their sweetness balanced against the smokey saltiness of the rest of the dish.

It's not perfect; for one thing I cut the bread crumbs too big. The result is more panzenella than pilaf and I think the second is what I'm aiming at. Also, I forgot the tomatoes. It could use tomatoes. As for the egg, I dunno. It really didn't need any more fat, but the egg yolks would have bound it together a bit. I'll add an egg to a leftover serving and see how it goes.

Overall a respectable result and a pretty good dinner. I think it went well enough that next time I might experiment with flavors and do a non-Spanish version. I have a vision of a breakfast migas de pancakes I kind of want to try but I don't have all the details worked out yet.


kat said...

Interesting dish. I think I'm still trying to get my head around what its actually supposed to be like ;)

billjac said...

Judging from the descriptions and the version I saw prepared on TV I've been aiming for somewhere between turkey stuffing and a pilaf.

A Google image search for "migas de pan" turns up some illustrative examples. It ought to be dryer than the tortilla version which includes cheese binding it together.

As best as I can figure, anyway.