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

American Express (6 week road trip in one blog post)!

So ridiculous but I’ve been procrastinating over this post for ever! I’m going to attempt to summarise our road trip through Southwest USA, and whittle down 2000 photos, in one post. Here’s a speedy summary:
Started in LA (Disneyland!) > Palm Springs > along Route 66 through Arizona > side trip to Monument Valley > back down to New Mexico > along Route 66 through Texas and Oklahoma, then home. About 1700 miles of driving, and it was beyond amazing. Here are just a few highlights:
I met my ‘penfriend’. Kim is a fellow blogger, and super talented maker of mobiles (which you should check out). We’ve connected through our blogs over the past few years, and never dreamed we’d actually meet, but we did, twice! Kim blogged about it here, with more photos. Our families caught up for dinner at the fab Cindys in Eagle Rock LA, where I tried grits for the first time (ahem, an acquired taste I reckon). That’s us below (Kim left, me right). We also hung out at the mind-blowing Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena. A big mwah to you lovely Kim and family. Hope we can meet again one day.

Palm Springs, LA. I suffered camera elbow there. Too much mid century goodness! I won’t bore you with photos of the houses, but you can see ’em on Instagram (if you like).
Noah Purifoy’s Desert Art Museum, Joshua Tree. In the middle of the desert and just incredible. Our boys were enthralled as they were able to walk through, touch and explore everything – not your average museum!
We made s’mores. One of our motel highlights was the Blue Swallow in Tucumcari, New Mexico. The owners, Kevin and Nancy, put on a barbecued s’mores feast for us and the other guests. S’mores, where have you been all my life? So simple, so gooey, so damn delicious!
Wigwam Motel, Arizona. We stayed in many cool mom n’ pop motels along Route 66, but the concrete teepee was an absolute family favourite!
Monument Valley, Utah. We had a little cabin right on the edge of the valley, and pinched ourselves each morning. The views! We did actually see a real live road runner, but no sighting of Wile E. Coyote.
Tinkertown Museum in Sandia Park, NM; created and hand-carved by one man, Ross Ward, over 40 years; and the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe are the best museums in the world in my humble opinion. I almost cried in both. I have no words. Our boys adored them too – all those mini dioramas!
Route 66 itself was a revelation. Call me mental but I’ve been contemplating starting another blog to share more photos – the signs, the big things (so many dinosaurs and muffler men), the wildlife (burros, mustangs, gophers, elks), the beautiful decay, the diners, the trading posts, the rock shops, the people, the cars, the things our kids loved… The Mother Road is worthy of way more than a snippety blog post.
Will share food memories and US/Mex/Tex recipes soon. USA we ♥ you!
PS. If you’re still awake, and can bare looking at even more holiday snaps, the husband and I signed up to Instagram just before we left. Yikes! Another screen addiction! You can find me here, and my man here.

Kim and SasPalm Springs dinosaursNoah Purifoy Desert Art Museum, Joshua TreeBlue Swallow Motel, TucumcariS'mores at the Blue SwallowWigwam Motel, Holbrook, AZWigwam Motel, Arizona'The View' cabins at Monument ValleySanta FeSanta Fe, NMMuseum of International Folk Art, Santa FeTinkertown Museum, NMRock Shop, Holbrook, AZYellow Horse Trading Post, AZWild donkey, OatmanRoute 66 to Oatman, Arizona