You have not lived until you’ve had a California breakfast burrito. Whether it has bacon, chorizo, or scrambled tofu and veggies (a version you are not finding at the local carniceria by the way), it’s just one of those things one must eat when one lives out West because the California style breakfast burritos are the best. I can say this with confidence having driven across the United States multiple times, trying burritos in places where they are a regional thing.
The thing that makes the California breakfast burritos so good is that they’re simple, but very well seasoned. This doesn’t mean spicy for those of you afraid of heat! Well, depending on where you get them and who is cooking that day they can be spicy, but they don’t have to be. I’m talking about well-spiced when it comes to seasonings, and the secret is in the potatoes. When they’re made with the right amount of seasoning, you can adjust the rest of the ingredients as you wish and the burritos will always turn out delicious.
Preparing the burritos does take a little time, but in the testing process for this recipe, I decided to store our extras in the freezer, as I know many people who do store breakfast burritos in the freezer, and we had them so many times for a quick breakfast or dinner that the batch prep time seemed negligible. Cooking the potatoes fully in advance seems to help with the texture change the freezer causes, which was one of my big reservations about freezing. We opted to leave our salsa on the side, since the Godfather and I like hot salsa but the Princess probably wouldn’t appreciate the spice level just yet.
A friend of mine asked me about preventing soggy tortillas for burritos made with salsa, and so we tested and I have a work-around. When you get to the point where you’re scrambling the filling together, add your salsa and scramble with the rest of the fillings. The flavor stays, but the excess liquid in the tomatoes evaporates. Then you can heat up your frozen burrito without making the tortilla soggy.
You may be asking, “Why would I scramble the filling together instead of just scrambling eggs and layering cheese, eggs, meat or veggies, and salsa before rolling?” We have two reasons for this. The first we learned when we layered most of the ingredients separately and found that the flavors didn’t blend as well. When we would get breakfast burritos at our favorite burrito place in Lompoc, every bite had a little of each flavor and you don’t get that when the different ingredients are layered. Second is texture. If you don’t like the texture of frozen potatoes, and I don’t, blending the potatoes with the eggs and other ingredients seems to act as a buffer to keep them from getting all sponge-like, and if you plan to add salsa, cooking away the liquid prevents the soggy tortilla problem my friend was having.
These have been so popular here, I’m whipping up another batch this weekend, so I’ll leave you with the recipe and head off to make my own. 😉
- 10 burrito size tortillas
- 12 eggs
- 2 lbs potatoes, diced
- 1 lb meat of choice (see notes)
- 8 ounces shredded cheese (Oaxaca or a Mexican blend)
- 1 tsp salt
- ¾ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½-1 cup salsa (store bought or homemade using the recipe below)
- 2 medium tomatoes
- ¼ medium onion
- ⅓ c fresh cilantro
- 1 jalapeno
- 1 clove fresh garlic
- 1-2 tsp Goya sazon seasoning (or a little salt and cumin to taste)
- In a very large skillet over medium heat, cook your meat until bacon is crispy or chorizo/sausage is cooked through or browned. Remove the meat to drain and remove all except two tbsp of the rendered fat. If using vegetables instead of meat, saute the vegetables in a bit of oil (your choice what kind) until translucent and then remove, add 2 tbsp additional oil to cook the potatoes.
- Place the potatoes in the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes, until cooked through.
- While the potatoes are cooking, finish your remaining prep to assemble the burritos. Shred your cheese if it isn't already shredded. If you are making salsa, place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you've reached the desired consistency. Crumble your bacon (if using).
- Crack the eggs into a bowl and scramble together.
- When the potatoes are cooked, add the meat and eggs to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently for about 2-3 minutes until the eggs are just beginning to set. Add the cheese and salsa (to taste), and cook until the eggs are set and any salsa liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat.
- Assemble the burritos and either serve warm or wait for them to cool, wrap them in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, place in a zip top freezer bag, and freeze for later.
- To reheat frozen burritos, unwrap, place on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and heat 3-4 minutes until warmed through.