Our Daily Dinner

Our Daily Dinner

January 4, 2011

A Hunter's Breakfast: Our Favorite New Year's Day Dinner; Migas

My introduction to migas occurred at a hunting lodge in La Mancha country, a few hours drive from Madrid. We sat at two refectory tables in the dining hall, surrounded by moose, boar and caribou heads, and assorted stuffed birds and antlers of every size and shape.

The breakfast, served by white-gloved butlers, consisted of one dish: migas. Migas, my host explained, is a peasant dish made with bread, olive oil, peppers, and ham. Nourishing and easy to digest, it has become the traditional prologue to a Spanish hunt.

Since I don’t hunt and the dish is too copious for breakfast, I usually serve it at an early dinner on New Year’s Day.


Wine: Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Crianza 2005
Conde de Valdemar
Dessert: Flan

Recipe Migas

½-1 loaf stale white bread
¼ cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon sweet smoked paprika de la Vera
Salt and black pepper
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
¼ pound Serrano ham, cut into small pieces
(Prosciutto, speck or bacon work equally well.)

Remove crust from bread and cut into bite-sized portions. Sprinkle with water to dampen and wrap in a towel. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet, stir in the spices, add the
bread, salt and pepper. Mix well. Lower heat and cook bread slowly till crisp, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a separate skillet. Add onions, minced garlic and green peppers, lower heat and cook to wilt, about 15 minutes. Add Serrano ham and cook through. Fold mixture into
the bread pieces. Season to taste.

Place the dish into a bowl. Serve family style.

Beware: Tasting the sautéed, seasoned bread, I liked it so much, I couldn’t keep noshing to the point I could have skipped the trimming.

No comments: