This peasant dish from the Andalusian area of Las Alpujarras is the perfect example of how scarcity feeds creativity to create delicious recipes that survive the test of time. It also reminds us of Moroccan couscous and how the two cultures –Arab and Christian– lived here a peaceful life together through centuries of fruitful cultural exchange.
Catalan poet Josep Plá used to say that the cuisine of a region is that region’s landscape inside a cooking pot. Not only this is a beautiful statement but one we couldn’t agree more with. Assuming that Josep Plá is right, then the migas alpujarreñas are the perfect culinary description of Las Alpujarras landscape: rough but beautiful, simple yet intense.
We love old peasant recipes because they are usually the perfect outcome of creativity put at the service of necessity. It is when communities suffer from scarcity, when they only have access to some few basic ingredients, that the best possible dishes come up.
So here is to these ‘migas alpujarreñas’. In our view, a highly creative way to create something superior out of combining some of the most basic local ingredients: oil, water and hard wheat flour. A superb recipe that has resisted the test of time in the southern Spanish provinces of Granada, Almería and Murcia, where it is still an all-time favourite now that locals have fortunately moved on from the more difficult past times.
We are using chorizo to make our migas alpujarreñas although this is a recipe that admits many different ingredients, from fried fish to bacon, black pudding or even veggie-only variations. The only rule to respect is to make the ‘migas’ with hard wheat flour as opposed to bread, which is the standard in the rest of Spain to create a very similar dish also called ‘migas’ (Spanish for breadcrumbs). So please get creative and add whatever you like or have to hand. We’re pretty sure you’ll love this dish! Vamos!