In a city of burgeoning food trends and new restaurants, it can be difficult to determine which establishment is worth saving your appetite for. But we're here to report that Huertas, a Spanish tapas bar in the East Village, is everything you'd want your dining experience to be, from the innovative menu to the lively atmosphere. The brainchild of Jonah Miller, who cut his teeth as a sous chef at Danny Meyer's Roman-Italian haunt Maialino, the eatery offers Basque-inspired à la carte options and assorted finger foods, like stuffed peppers and croquetas, in a wood-clad interior reminiscent of a traditional gastropub.
Not to mention the place is so compelling, it's the subject of a new book, Generation Chef ($18; amazon.com), where James Beard-nominated food journalist Karen Stabiner chronicles Miller's experience opening Huertas at the ripe age of 24. If you can't make it to the East Coast, we tapped the chef for one of his go-to recipes—"migas"—consisting of fried eggs with crumbs, peas, and Spanish ham ("migas" translates to "crumbs" in Spanish, and the dish is commonly prepared to use up stale bread). "Pork and eggs often figure into the mix, but in this version, tomatoes are the star," says Miller.
Read on for the recipe.
Tomato and Bacon Migas
2 cups day old bread, crust removed and torn by hand into roughly half-inch irregular croutons
1 tbsp melted butter
1 sprig thyme
2 cups heirloom tomatoes, cut into pieces that are a similar size to the croutons
1 cup diced bacon
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp sherry vinegar or lemon juice
4 poached eggs
Soft herbs to garnish, like parsley, chives, basil, fennel fronds, tarragon, or mint
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
2. Toss the croutons together with the butter and thyme sprig. Season lightly with salt and pepper, lay onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes until golden brown.
3. Add the bacon to a sauté pan over medium-heat. Render the bacon until slightly crispy. Remove from the heat and add the tomatoes to a pan to gently warm them. Season with salt and pepper. Place the tomatoes and bacon in a mixing bowl and add the crumbs, the chopped parsley, and vinegar (or lemon juice).
4. Divide the migas mix into four bowls and top with a poached egg. Garnish with herbs and serve at once.