And you thought gazpacho was the only way Spaniards found another use for day-old bread! Much of Spanish cooking is waste not-want not using simple, high quality ingredients. In fact, migas (literally “breadcrumbs”) uses only five common kitchen staples to make a classic dish. This particular recipe comes from a family of saffron harvesters in Castilla-La Mancha, so they add a pinch of their local spice. For this traditional shepherd’s dish, saffron wouldn’t normally be on hand but its addition makes this version even more tasty.
- 3 T extra virgen olive oil
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced or sliced
- 1/2 c bacon (panceta) or half a handful
- 1 small chorizo (pork sausage with paprika), sliced or chunked
- 1 day-old baguette
- 5-6 strands saffron, soaked in 2 T warm water
- water as needed
Step 1: Make breadcrumbs by crumbling the white part of day-old bread as small as possible or slice into small cubes first. Using the crust is not traditional, but I like the texture contrast. Next rub those small pieces between your hands & fingers to get the tiniest consistency possible. Leave as many chunks as you like… just remember that larger pieces means a longer cook time.
Step 2: Lightly moisten breadcrumbs with water. Don’t go overboard & leave a pool of water at the bottom of the bowl; they only need to be damp. Cover the bowl with a towel while prepping remaining ingredients to retain moisture.
Step 3: Cook all other components individually. With such small portions, this step goes quickly so have everything prepped & ready to go before beginning. Start by cooking garlic in abundant olive oil on medium-low until golden brown. Stir frequently to prevent garlic from burning. Remove from skillet & set aside.
In the same oil, cook bacon & chorizo together on medium heat. Remove from oil & set aside.
Step 4: Fry breadcrumbs in same oil until golden brown. Add saffron/water mixture & continue cooking. If the bread seems too dry, add extra water a couple tablespoons at a time. Taste for texture; migas should be crispy on the outside but larger pieces fluffy on the inside. Return garlic, bacon & chorizo to skillet, mix to heat through & serve. ¡Qué aproveche!
The quantities of ingredients used for migas can be adjusted according to taste. There are even versions with txistorra (a skinny chorizo from the Basque Country) & grapes! As I always say: you do you. Special thanks to Inma at Azafrán Manchego Lozano & Moreno in Consuegra for this handwritten recipe!