November 8th, 2011
Every year thousands of visitors descend on the charming, whitewashed town of Torrox in Andalusia, to eat fried breadcrumbs. “Fried Breadcrumbs”, you say, scrunching your nose up. Well if you haven’t ever tried Migas (fried breadcrumbs with a twist), don’t knock it, they’re good and a visit to the Migas Festival in December is a great way to get to know this typical Andalusian ‘peasant’ dish.
The week before Christmas, the ingredients for a perfect party are being prepared: A huge cauldron is set up in the main square and 2000 kilos of flour, 500 litres of olive oil, together with small pieces of mutton or chorizo, are cooked up in front of an eager crowd.
Every one gets a bowl, which is served free, together with a glass of local, traditional wine and a ‘tapa’ of ensaladilla rusa (potato salad).
Migas are a popular dish in Spain and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or a snack at any time of the day. They can be served with chorizo sausage, mutton, ham and then a some diced red pepper, a sprinkling of paprika, a dribble of vinegar and a fried egg can be added for extra deliciousness.
Torrox village is situated around 2 kilometres inland from the area of Torrox Costa. The area is extremely picturesque, set with the beautiful Axarquia region of Andalusia. Torrox lies on the Route of Sun and Wine, a beautiful route through the villages and vineyards of the Axarquia,
Clinging to a steep slope, Torrox has a typically Moorish feel to it, with pretty cobbled streets, lined with whitewashed cottages. There is a wonderful view down to the coast of Torrox and out to the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a popular destination for visitors who want to stay in a traditional location, yet be close to the beach and attractions of the more modern Torrox Costa.
Give Migas a go at home, it’s a perfect comfort dish for the cold winter months.
Try this simple Migas recipe:
Preparation time: 20 minutes plus at least 1 hour to prepare the bread
4 thick slices stale country bread
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-3 tablespoons bacon fat
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, bruised
4 tablespoons diced raw ham, chorizo, bacon or gammon
1 small red pepper, seeded and diced
Remove the crusts and cube the bread. Sprinkle with water, season with salt and pepper and wrap in a tea towel for at least an hour (traditionally overnight).
Heat the bacon fat and oil with the garlic cloves. When it smokes, discard the garlic and fry the meat and pepper.
When they are done, remove them and add the cubes of bread. Cook these for 12-15 minutes, moving them constantly. When crisp, return the ham, pepper and season.