Let’s talk about Mex

Leftover par-boiled potatoes from this recipe transform into

On our road trip through the US we ate and ate. And ate. I look way porkier in the photos taken towards the end of our holiday, but it was totally worth it! We traveled mainly through the Southwest, so that meant the 3 B’s – burgers, burritos and the occasional brisket. Oh, and beer!
If you can bare more holiday photos, scroll down past the actual recipe for snaps of some of the diners, cafes and taquerías we visited – all free-standing (a feature we don’t see in Melbourne), mostly family-run and all utterly beautiful.
I reckon I ate my weight in Breakfast Burritos. El Rancho Hotel in Gallup, New Mexico (one of our hotel highlights) served up theirs with crispy fried potatoes, and… oh my gawd! We’ve long been fans of scrambled egg burritos for brekkie, but the addition of crunchy spuds elevates this simple dish to a complete meal. Since we’ve been home, we’ve enjoyed these babies for dinner a couple of times and they’re immensely satisfying.
The recipe below is my take on El Rancho’s burritos. My Proper fish and chips allow for a planned-over stash of cooked potatoes, which I usually throw into a Spanish tortilla for dinner the following night; but they’re equally beautiful fried ’til they’re golden and crispy, stuffed into a burrito, with creamy scrambled eggs, a spoonful of pan-fried salsa (tomato, onion and green pepper) and a splash of hot sauce. ¡Buen apetito!

PS. If you’re serving this up to kids, you’ll be a hero! Older children will love it as is. For littlies, omit the pan-fried salsa and it’s basically an egg and chip wrap 😉

Breakfast burritos with scrambled eggs. One Equals Two.Best crispy fried potatoes! One Equals Two.Breakfast burrito with crispy potatoes. One Equals Two.[Recipe 1] Breakfast burritos with crispy fried potatoes, scrambled eggs and pan-fried salsa

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 cup olive oil (+ extra ½ cup if required)

4 cups reserved par-boiled potato pieces, cut into small cubes (see Recipe 1 in this post which allows for leftover cooked potatoes)

1 small red (purple/Spanish) onion, diced
1 green poblano pepper, de-seeded and diced (or ½ green capsicum)
12 cherry tomatoes, or baby Roma tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon butter
8 free-range eggs
¼ cup full-cream milk
Salt and freshly-cracked black pepper

4 large (or 8 small) flour tortillas, wrapped in foil, warmed in a low oven for 10 minutes 
To serve:
Chopped flat-leaf parsley
Mexican hot sauce (we love El Yucateco)

Heat 1 cup of oil in a large cast iron or heavy non-stick pan, until shimmering.
Dry reserved par-boiled potato cubes with kitchen paper.
With a slotted spoon, carefully add potato cubes to the hot oil in a single layer, pressing them down lightly. They should be almost covered with oil – add the extra ½ cup oil if required. Cook without stirring, on medium to high heat, for 10 minutes. Carefully flip the potatoes over and fry for a further 10–12 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown and crisp. Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Season well with salt and pepper, and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
Pour oil into a jar to re-use another time (see these tips), leaving a small amount in the pan.
For the pan-fried salsa, add the onion and green pepper to the pan and fry gently until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir gently until warmed through. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Melt butter in a small non-stick saucepan. Lightly whisk together the eggs and milk, and pour into the pan. Cook over a low heat, stirring continuously, for about 5 minutes, until the eggs are set and scrambled. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide fried potatoes amongst the warmed tortillas. Spoon the scrambled eggs alongside, top with pan-fried salsa and a splash of hot sauce. Roll up to enclose and serve immediately.

  • If starting this recipe from scratch (without leftover cooked potato pieces), you’ll need 6 large potatoes (approx. 1.125 kilos/2.5lb), par-boiled according to this recipe.
  • If you have a large stove top, you can of course expedite proceedings by having two pans on at once. Cook the potatoes and pan-fried salsa at the same time. Remove the pan-fried salsa when cooked through and keep warm on a plate loosely covered with foil. Cook the eggs in the last 5 minutes of the potato cooking time.

Joe & Aggie's Cafe, Holbrook, AZLa Cita, Tucumcari, NMEl Gallito, Cathedral City, CADelgadillo's Snow Cap, Seligman, AZCoyote Bluff Cafe, Amarillo, TXRoadkill Cafe, Seligman, AZBlack Cat Bar, Seligman, AZCindy's. Eagle Rock, LAMary & Tito's, Albuquerque, NMRanch House Cafe, Tucumcari, NM

24 thoughts on “Let’s talk about Mex

  1. This looks like the best kind of comfort food with a kick, Sas, delicious! Impeccable styling, as always. And how super to see those fantastic pics from your holiday; what a goofy, cool trail you guys followed!

  2. Saskia love these pictures. You’ve captured it beautifully. I’ve only been to the US once and in that brief time I needed to eat everything I’d ever read about…you need to do these things right!
    Love the look of the burritos….now where to next? 🙂

    • Absolutely! We dedicated ourselves to the task of sampling ALL the local cuisine, and it was all excellent*. Our 8 year old became a cheeseburger aficionado.
      Where to next? It’ll be country Victoria holidays for us for a few years now, not that I’m complaining!
      *Except for grits. That’s a dish I just don’t understand.

    • Thanks Norma! I use a good old Nikon D3100 DSLR with a basic 18-55mm lens. Have had it for a couple of years and I love it! After a bit of nerdy super-sleuthing, I found a great plug that allowed me to upload my photos straight to the iPad and into the cloud for safe-keeping. So handy. I always panic about losing holiday snaps! Oh, and a big fat porky YES to indulging on holidays!

  3. ohhh man! looks yum!!! i can’t cook potatoes without poking and prodding.. yours are perfect and golden. we need to head out to new mexico! steve has family there (a good reason;). your trip photos are awesome. please keep ’em coming. i know you have tons more you are hoarding. share w the travel eye-candy starved folks.. me
    i like the ampersand?ish script between mary & tito and cindy’s!!! i hope we can meet up again at cindy’s one day. hey,btw is that your oma’s tablecloth?!!! xo

    • Aw thanks Kim xx
      Man, lucky you having a reason to visit NM. Would LOVE to be zapped back there right now. Ha ha thanks, very happy to share some more snaps, especially now I’ve been asked to 🙂 Working on a Texan recipe at the mo, so will share some cowboy pics soon. Yee haw!! You’re so lucky to actually LIVE in eye candy land! Hope we can meet at Cindy’s again one day too. Wouldn’t that be amazing. I reckon I’d even give grits another try.
      PS. I love that you have an Oma too. That’s my tablecloth though! I have a collection of kooky ones xx

  4. Oh now that sounds like my sort of breakfast! And those cafes… I need to get myself stateside one day!

    • Thanks! The colours sure were amazing, especially in El Gallito (3rd photo) – all that green concrete and the red fence. The inside was FULL of colourful Mexican decorations, and there were snow-peaked mountains in the background. Smiled my head off in that place.

  5. I am loving your photo’s Sas! The colors, signs and names of these places seem very cartoon-y. I bet you felt like you were living in cartoon land, oh and I know you saw the road runner. And these potatoes are to die for. How’d you get them so perfectly browned and crisped? Well, I’ll just have to follow your recipe and find out! 🙂 Love hearing about your road trip…

    • Thanks so much Seana! Our trip was indeed very cartoony (including a visit to the Flinstones Amusement Park in the middle of the desert in AZ)! We don’t have that fun diner culture in Melbourne. Apart from outer suburban Chinese restaurants and all-you-can-eat barns; free-standing places just don’t exist here; so for us they were just beautiful. Honestly this bunch of snaps is a small sample – have never eaten in so many fun places before in my entire life!
      PS. The crispy potatoes are the BEST! The trick is firstly to dry them really well before adding them to the oil, and secondly to not poke and prod them for the first 10 minutes, so they end up with perfect golden bottoms. I always cook my spuds this way now. They do need a lot of oil, but at least it’s olive oil so it’s relatively healthy 😉

  6. Oh I would have also ate and ate!!! Yum! Now that is a kind of breakfast I’m not used to making but always up for cooking 😉 I hope you’re keeping well xxx

    • Thanks Sofia 🙂
      The best thing about a breakfast like this is that you don’t need lunch! Yes, keeping well although it’s bitingly freezing in Melbourne. I bought my first pair of gloves a couple of weeks ago!

    • Thanks for letting me know schnookems.
      Presume you mean the email alert? I stuffed up the scheduled post date (so it appeared way down the list of posts)! Had to trash and re-post it.
      Thanks for letting me know. What a bugger!!!!

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