There is a region of Spain that I find fascinating when I have visited. It
transports me immediately to a faraway time. It is Castilla-La Mancha. Its
beautiful stoned streets, mountains, castles, and bridges make me feel as if time
was stopped there centuries ago. Probably most known for one of the biggest
literature pieces of the 17th century: Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de
Cervantes. Castilla-La Mancha also produces amazing wines and it is the home
of El Greco Museum where you can find some of the finest Spanish
Renaissance paintings.

One of the things I remember first when I think of visiting Toledo is always
Migas Manchegas with a fried egg on top. Migas is the Spanish word for
crumbs and it is literally just that: breadcrumbs made of stale bread, soaked in
water to get moisture, then cooked with chorizo and garlic. This is a very
humble recipe that is full of flavors and traditions. I add a few extra ingredients
to my version of Migas Manchegas, but they don't stop being simple staple
ingredients from my pantry. I hope you give it a try!  

Serves 4
Pieces of day-old bread or stale bread (about 2 cups of crumbs)
2 slabs of bacon, thinly sliced
2 Spanish chorizo sausages, thinly sliced
1 small white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 cup roasted red peppers from a jar
Salt & black pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish (optional)

Start by making crumbs out of the stale bread.  I use a top-lock bag to put the
bread in and pound it over a cutting board with the bottom of a small pan.
Ideally, you want about 2 cups of breadcrumbs. Transfer breadcrumbs to a
bowl. Season 1/2 cup of water with some salt and add to the breadcrumbs. Mix
until the water is soaked up by the bread and let it sit.

Set a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and let it cook, stirring
occasionally, until golden brown and the fat has rendered. Add slices of
chorizo and cook until brown in the edges.  Stir in onion, garlic, and paprika,
cook until fragrant and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add roasted pepper and
bread. Mix everything well with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and black
pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally until the breadcrumbs are toasted,
about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and garnish with parsley.  Serve immediately.         
Cook's note:  My preferred way to eat Migas Manchegas is with a fried egg on
top, completely optional but highly recommended.

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