I have been straight up sick as a dog all weekend. It’s been absolutely miserable. I can’t remember the last time I was this sick. Usually, I’m feeling kind of crappy for a day or two, but this has been a full throttle head/sinus cold that makes me want to die. I’m finally feeling a bit better this morning (although right as I’m writing this, my nose is starting to run again), but my eyes still feel a little swollen for some reason and I’d rather not speak to save my voice. I knew it was going to happen on Friday, but I went out to a friend’s party anyway and had a few drinks, though we still called it an early night around 10ish. I woke up on Saturday morning with the hounds of hell at my doorstep. I spent half of Saturday laying on the couch whining, blowing my nose and taking medicine to knock me out, then the other half was spent cleaning out my pajama drawer and prop closet because I was so bored. Kramer had homework to keep him occupied, and when he’s doing that I usually cook, but cooking was out of the question as to not spread my germs to him or anyone else, so I cleaned like a crazy person because sitting on the couch and not being able to watch TV is SO. BORING. I had to get out of the house, so I took a lethal dose of Tylenol Cold & Flu and we went to Nitehawk to see The Skeleton Twins, which was amazing – I highly recommend going out to see it. After the movie, though, I was wiped. We were home by 8pm, watched another movie and went to bed. On Sunday, I was feeling even shittier than before. I woke up at 3am and went to sleep on the couch because I couldn’t breathe and didn’t wake to subject Kramer to my constant nose blowing and tossing and turning. Thankfully the college kids next store had ended their party and I slept until 8am or so, then spent the rest of the day looking at Kramer from the other side of the couch and crying, “Whyyyyyyyyy?” until I decided to again, clean out the drawers and cabinet in the bathroom and go through my make-up drawer to get rid of more stuff because I was so bored. Kramer went to dinner with friends, and since I didn’t want to make them lose their appetite by blowing my nose and going “Ughgngngngh” every five minutes, I stayed home, ate take-out mole de olla and caught up on Top Chef Duels. I’ve got a ton of exciting stuff coming up this week, so pray to Jared for me that I feel better soon!
Huertas’ vegetable migas with tomatoes and corn.
Let’s talk about migas. Migas literally means “crumbs” in English, which I find to be absolutely delightful. It is one of the signature dishes at a restaurant called Huertas in the East Village, and it’s one of my new favorite breakfast (or dinner) meals. I was introduced to this spot by my friend Tony, whose friend and roommate is the general manager, and even without this connection, I was blown away by the food here. On Tuesday nights, you can go and have pintxos, which are basically tapas, at the bar, and it is awesome. You go, have a few drinks, and waiters will walk around with trays of different delicious items, like chorizo and carrot skewers, marinated anchovies with olives, stuffed piquillo (sweet peppers), smoked trout salad, tortilla española and more. I went a few Tuesdays ago and was totally stuffed on $1 pintxos – not a bad deal! After that, Nate asked if I’d like to come by and take some photos. Duh! Of course I would. I shot (and ate) two kinds of migas: one with fried eggs, tomato and corn, and another with poached egg, small, seasonal turnips and fennel. Both were excellent. Some friends joined, and we also split an heirloom tomato salad, soft scrambled eggs with shrimp, thick cut pimentón bacon and my favorite, the fried calamari sandwich with ink aioli. We had a couple of cocktails, too. Not only is the space beautiful, as the images below will prove, but the food is fantastic and the service is impeccable – I know this because the first time I went, it was without the knowledge that Tony knew the GM and I was just there to eat. I hope you’ll check Huertas out, whether you live in the city or you’re just here for a visit! Side note: they have a 5 course tasting menu for $55 a person, which in this town is a total steal.
So, back to migas. As previously mentioned, it means “crumbs”, which is derived from the fact that you traditionally use day old bread to make this dish. If you’ve eaten migas in the US before, you’re probably imagining the Tex-Mex version, which is made with strips of corn tortilla, which while delicious, is not the same as the Spanish version at all. Huertas refines their migas a bit more than the average bear, and while I’m not a professional like they are, I tried to do the same with mine. I started with crispy bacon, then added in some leeks. I took those out of the pan, then added in roughly torn bits of leftover brioche, along with a bit of butter, and after those toasted, removed them, too. Next in is the kale, which I cooked until wilted and a bit charred, then I tossed everything back together again, added in a little cheese and topped it all off with a fried egg. For presentation’s sake, I plated this dish with the fried egg on top, but if I were just making this quickly after work or first thing in the morning on a Saturday where I’m absolutely starving, I’d probably either fry the eggs directly on top of the kale and bacon, or I’d whisk the eggs together and pour them over everything for a kind of scramble – either way is sure to be tasty and the perfect way to hit the spot for a fantastic brunch dish or an easy after-work meal. Migas is an excellent way to use up those leftover ends of bread and whatever extra vegetables you happen to have laying around in your fridge, so I hope you’ll give it a shot some night after work this week or maybe as a special brunch dish this weekend! Buen apetito!