Chef Tom – Migas vs. Chilaquiles

These breakfast cousins are often confused, but there are fundamental differences in ingredients and technique that set them apart. Kinda like twins. You have to look closely to see the differences.

If I were to choose the one pure comfort dish from the panoply of soul food meals I have consumed over the past six decades, it would be chilaquiles. My topmost favorite version is from a resto in San Francisco called Chava’s. They set the bar and I have yet to have any quite as delicious, satisfying, comforting.

Chilaquiles is a gloppy scramble of soft eggs, crispy tortilla chips (you now a cook invented a way to use leftover tortilla chips), flavorful red (rojo) or green (verde) sauce with chunks of white onion, green bell, and jalapeño, and plenty of jack cheese. A mouthful of umami and texture. Creamy, crunchy, soupy, and savory. Chilaquiles are largely indigenous. The name “chilaquiles” comes from the Nahuatl word “chil-a-quilitl”, which means “herbs (or greens) in chile broth”.

Migas are similar. Eggs scrambled with thin strips of crispy-fried tortilla, jalapeño and onions, cheese, and often big slices of fresh avocado on top. Not saucy like its TexMex counterpart. Actually, both dishes are considered TexMex. Migas’ origins reach back to Europe.

So, my recommendation is try both. See what you prefer. Hopefully it’ll be a full-on tie and you get to enjoy all of it.


Chilaquiles Rojos with Eggs & Gueso Fresco


1 tablespoon oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 shallot, minced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

1 (15-oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes

1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons sugar

Salt and pepper, to taste


8 corn tortillas, slightly stale and cut into triangles

Oil, for brushing on the tortillas

4 oz grated sharp cheddar cheese

4 oz grated sharp Monterey Jack cheese

Sliced avocado

Heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved

Cilantro, chopped

Red onion, finely diced

Scallions, diced

3 oz queso fresco, crumbled

Lime wedges

Fried eggs, optional


Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the garlic, shallot, and jalapeno pepper. Cook for a couple minutes, stirring frequently, and then add in the canned tomatoes, chipotle pepper, cumin, and sugar. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until reduced and thickened. If a smooth sauce is preferred, place the sauce in a blender and blend until smooth and then return it to the same pan.

Keep warm over low heat until you are ready to assemble.


While the sauce is cooking, preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

Spread the tortilla triangles out in an even layer on the tray and brush on both sides with the oil. Season with salt. Bake for 15 minutes, turning once or twice, or until they are golden and crispy.

Grate your cheeses, prep your fresh ingredients, and cook your eggs.

When the tortillas are ready, add them to the skillet with the warm sauce and toss to coat. Increase the heat under the pan to medium and cook for a couple minutes.

Top the skillet off with the grated cheeses and then cover until it is melted and gooey.

Top the chilaquiles with desired toppings and the eggs. I like sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, scallions, queso fresco, an egg on each serving, and a spritz of lime juice. I also like to serve these right away, so that the tortillas maintain some of their crispy texture.

Chef Notes: This recipe can be easily simplified (with the time cut down as well) by subbing the homemade tortilla crisps with store-bought tortilla chips. We’ve made this recipe countless times with both options and both are fantastic. If you’re looking for a more authentic dish, I suggest making your own crispy tortillas. In a pinch, the tortilla chips from the store work wonders!

Migas Tacos

From the New York Times, combining two favorites by folding yummy migas into a taco. Best of both worlds.

Tortilla chips in tacos may seem like overkill, but they’re not. Set into scrambled eggs that are loaded with onions and poblanos, they soften and enrich the mix while keeping some crispiness. A slice of avocado on top — along with melted cheese — adds a nice creaminess to the mix. These tacos work well with red or green salsa, so use your favorite. While these would impress at a weekend brunch, they also come together quickly on weekday mornings, and can be wrapped in foil to be eaten out of hand.

6 large eggs

 Kosher salt

6 corn tortillas

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup tortilla chips, broken if very large

½ cup diced onion

1 cup diced, seeded poblano pepper

¼ cup chopped cilantro

2 ounces pepper jack cheese, grated (3/4 cup)

½ avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced

 Salsa, for serving

Beat the eggs with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.

Heat a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Put 3 tortillas in it and turn them until warm and pliable, 1 to 2 minutes. Stack on foil and wrap. Repeat with the remaining 3 tortillas, adding them to the same stack and wrapping to keep warm and soft.

Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the oil and swirl to coat, then add the chips. Cook, stirring, until sizzling and browned in spots, about 30 seconds. Add the onion, poblano and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the edges of the onion are just translucent but the vegetables are still crisp, about 2 minutes.

Drizzle the egg over the chips and vegetables. Let stand for 15 seconds until just starting to set, then stir rapidly to scramble until just set but still wet, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Sprinkle the cilantro on top.

Remove from the heat and immediately divide among the warmed tortillas. Sprinkle with the cheese and top with the avocado and salsa. Serve immediately or wrap each taco in foil to eat out of hand.


Tony Succar

Latin Jazz, a complex mix of contagious rhythm and complicated orchestration. Gorgeous, lush, tight. Hopefully, some of you already know about this guy and have enjoyed his award-winning arrangements. If not, I trust you’ll enjoy his music as much as I have since discovering his videos a short time ago.

In 2015 he did a wildly popular tribute to Michael Jackson with 14 covers. Below are three of my faves:

From his website:
Succar’s sound is refined and distinctive. His fast-paced songs have unmatched explosive energy, while his slower arrangements are soulful and captivate the listener with the intricate nuances that are signature to his sound.

His musical diversity is well known in the industry, having worked with an impressive array of talented artists, including Tito Nieves, India, Jon Secada, Marc Anthony, Sheila E., Arturo Sandoval, Judith Hill, and Obie Bermudez, among others.

Tony’s path has led him to the world of salsa, jazz, pop, and Afro-Latin inspired music. He possesses an unusual combination of high standards, a devotion to music, and a reverent respect for those who came before him.

In 2018, Tony was nominated for the prestigious Latin Grammy Awards for Best Tropical Song, “Me Enamoro Mas De Ti”. He received four nominations in 2019 for Album of the Year, Best Tropical Song, Best Salsa Album and Producer of the Year for his most recent album, Mas de Mi. Tony took home two Latin Grammys for Producer of the Year and Best Salsa Album, making history as the youngest winner to have won both categories.

Tony Succar, Jean Rodriguez – “Smooth Criminal”

THRILLER (feat. Kevin Ceballo & Michael Stuart) – LIVE

“Billie Jean” Live @ SiriusXM feat. Jean Rodriguez – Tony Succar


Tony Succar – Unity: The Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson (Spanish Subtitles)

UNITY: The Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson, was a huge success, reaching #1 on the Billboard Tropical Music Albums chart, #1 on the iTunes World Latin Songs chart and #1 on the Amazon Pop Music chart. Latin, among others. The UNITY project was signed with Universal Music Group as a joint venture between Universal Classics and Universal Music Latin Entertainment. 

The album was the brainchild of Succar and became a nationally televised primetime PBS special that kicked off the PBS Fall Festival of the Arts. The special was produced by Succar and OPB (Oregon Public Broadcast) and filmed in front of a packed audience at the historic Olympia Theater in downtown Miami. Nationwide viewership was impressive, with over half a million PBS viewers. Donald Thomas, Vice President of

Programming for PBS and Curator of the festival, called it “a wonderful testament to the diversity of art and performance being created in the United States. We’re thrilled to showcase that diversity on PBS.”


Chef Tom is currently transitioning from Personal Chef to Private Chef. He also teaches cooking classes, caters small parties and leads overseas culinary tours. His specialty for the last twelve years has been cooking for people with food allergies and sensitivities. His motto is “Food should give you pleasure, not pressure.”

Check him out at

One Response to “Chef Tom – Migas vs. Chilaquiles”

  1. I eat with my eyes before I taste it so I am going with chilaquiles!

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