Sunday, September 20, 2009

Breakfast Burritos

Burritos for breakfast ?? Oh, baby, you bet!

Before we moved to Conway, Arkansas in 1993, we lived in San Diego County and a couple of weekends a month we would venture out to one of the swap meets.

To the south was Kobey's Swap Meet at the San Diego Sports Arena, the third largest outdoor market on the west coast. It was open Friday, Saturday and Sunday and boasted upwards of 1,000 vendors, some of them permanent and the rest were private individuals selling their garage sale items.

Just north of us was the Oceanside Swap Meet located in the Oceanside Valley Drive-In Theater. Again, some vendors were permanent and other were private individuals.

Both swap meets were open from 7 am to 3:00 pm and admission was only a buck. Tom and I would arrive early and spend hours walking up and down each aisle, scouring each table or shelf for something interesting. After we bought our vacation cabin up at Lake Tahoe, we literally furnished the entire cabin for less than $500 at one swap meet or another: a couch, coffee tables, lamps, rocking chair, dining set, dishes, silverware, pots and pans. You name it, we found it.

We never ate breakfast before leaving home, so by about 9:00 am we had worked up an appetite and were ready to visit a food vendor. Both swap meets set aside spaces for about a half a dozen designated food vendors who prepared food in their large catering trucks ~ the proverbial "Roach Coach" ~ most of which were owned and operated primarily by Latinos. They would arrive by 6:30 am, set up tables, benches and awnings next to their trucks and then tend to their pots of simmering pork and beef, grate copious amounts of crumbly white Mexican cheeses, stack piles of fresh, warm corn and flour tortillas, ready the flats of eggs and cut sandwich rolls for the uninitiated gringos. But first thing in the morning, the aroma of that greasy orange chorizo frying up in an industrial size pan permeated the air. Everything was prepared on site. Burritos were the most popular. They were huge, filled with eggs, chorizo, beans, rice, cheese, whatever your preference, wrapped tightly in paper to catch the grease as it oozed out the bottom. Napkins were not an option; they were a requirement.

When we moved from southern California, one of foods I missed the most was Mexican chorizo. But as Conway's Latino community grew, so did the selection of Latino foods. The day I discovered "my brand" of Mexican chorizo in Walmart, I nearly squealed with delight. I'm easily amused.

Now I always have at least one roll of chorizo in my freezer. My favorite way to use the spicy sausage is in the classic chorizo, egg and cheese burrito. It's tasty, filling and simple to make because you can add things you like: refried beans, black beans, rice, all of which are pretty traditional Mexican fare.

This morning I used chorizo, Egg Beaters instead of eggs and mild cheddar cheese.

Chorizo, Egg and Cheese Burritos (or Huevos con Chorizo)
by Terri Powers for Terri's Table

Makes 4 large burritos

  • 4 oz. (1/2 of an 8 oz. tube) Mexican chorizo
  • 4 eggs (or 2 individual servings of Egg Beaters)
  • Grated cheese (you can use cheddar, jack, but Queso blanco or Queso franco are best)
  • 4 large burrito size flour tortillas
  • Salsa, optional

Place a small frying pan over medium high heat. Cook the chorizo in the pan, breaking up into small chunks with a spoon as it cooks. Cook until cooked through, about 4 or 5 minutes. Do not drain the pan.

Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk with a fork until the yolk and white is well combined (or if you are using Egg Beaters, just pour the two individual serving packs into the pan). Add directly to the chorizo and cook until the eggs are just done. Remove from heat.

Place a large frying pan or griddle over medium heat. Put one tortilla in the pan. Put a couple of handfuls of cheese on the tortillas. Don't put the cheese in the center of the tortilla, but sprinkle it left of the center nearly the full length of the tortilla.

Divide the chorizo and egg mixture into four servings. Spread 1/4 of the egg mixture over the cheese. Immediately roll up the tortilla tightly around the filling and allow to remain in the pan, fold side down, until the cheese is melted.

Remove to plate and keep warm. Repeat the procedure with the remaining tortillas.

Serve hot with salsa, if desired.

Speaking of REAL Mexican food, I just purchased Rick Bayless' book from and as I glanced through it I started salivating. This is the Mexican food I remember when Tom and I would drive across the border to Mexico and eat at one of the out-of-the way restaurants or from a street vendor. I'm looking forward to making some of the authentic Mexican cuisine.

I also came across a recipe for homemade Chorizo posted by one of my favorite chef bloggers, Gareth Mark, who blogs from Portland, Oregon at Stumptown Savoury. I think I will give his recipe a whirl.


Lori Lynn said...

Rick Bayless is my hero. His restaurants in Chicago are fabulous!

Looking forward to seeing what you cook from his book.

altadenahiker said...

I too love this kind of food. Have you tried soy chorizo? Sounds like a sacrilege, I know, but it's really all in the sauce.

(Bet you knew how to bargain. I can't.)

Terri said...

LL: I can't wait to make something from his cookbook, too. I definitely will post.

AH: Soy chorizo? No, I haven't. But since Arkansas is not the culinary pinnacle of America, I doubt seriously if I could find it here either. Maybe I'll see if I can make it? I'll post it if I do.

Karen said...

Mmm, love breakfast burritos... we eat them all the time! I lived in El Centro, 100 miles east of San Diego for 40+ years and moved to Montana last year. I've been having good Mexican food withdrawal! LOL

Terri said...

Karen: I know what you mean about withdrawals. I had them, too. Every time I get close to the west coast, I head for the first Mexican restaurant I see!

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