Sunday, April 25, 2010

Little House on the Prairie

I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder books when I was a kid.  They were part of my whole Oregon Trail Nerd persona.  PIONEERS ARE AWESOME!!  Who needs ninjas and pirates?  Kids these days.  My mom would read me at least a chapter at night before bed, but usually I could charm one more with my unbridled enthusiasm.  As much as I liked to follow Laura's adventures on the shores of silver lake and banks of plum creek, the most riveting chronicle, to me, was Farmer Boy.  I just couldn't get enough of the food porn descriptions of Almanzo's graphic farm breakfasts, prepared by women who must have never seen a light outside the kitchen.  Bacon, sausage, biscuits, gravy flying everywhere.  Potatoes!  Slathering honey.  "Read it again!!"

I remember asking my mom, on at least one occasion, "how come we don't get to eat breakfasts like that anymore?"

"Back then, people worked hard all day long on their farms, so they needed all of that food.  We don't work like that anymore."

Hmm.  Hard labor, hardcore calories.  In my mind, it seemed like an almost-even trade. 

So, when I knew Matt and I were going to be working in the yard all day today, it seemed to make sense to create a rich and indulgent meal.  We might not be manning a plow and tilling a hill, but Matt had to carry 20 huge bags of topsoil into the backyard.  And I was going to dig some holes.  So, we totally needed Farmer Boy Burritos.  We certainly didn't want anyone to pass out from malnutrition out there in the wild prairie.

And they make Matt smile like this.  I don't get a grin like that from buttered toast.

Breakfast burritos aren't the most complicated or sophisticated things on the planet.  But like most things that aren't all that complicated or sophisticated, they taste really good.  I've been playing around with my recipe, and I think I may have really nailed it this time.  Unlike the time I used leftover Velveeta.  Ugh.  That was disgusting.  And please don't ask why I had leftover Velveeta in the first place.  It's all very embarassing.

Anyway.  The recipe starts out by using a potato blend I found at Costco.  It has red, Yukon, blue and sweet potatoes chopped into recipe-friendly chunks.  Sadly, I didn't find them again at Costco today.  What I DID find was the bastards switching out the food court Coca-Cola soda fountains with... Pepsi.  WTF!?!?  Of all the things in life I thought I could count on, I thought my Polish Dog and Diet Coke combo was a constant.  Pepsi is disgusting, third-world sugar swill. 

But I digress.  Kinda.

This particular potato blend may have been one of those fleeting, blink-and-they're-gone Costco finds that make you fall in love in the frozen aisle and break your heart two weeks later.  You can use another potato blend, or just buy some potatoes at the store that you fancy.  They just need to bake a little longer, that's all. 

To bring the FIESTA! to breakfast, I sauteed some bell pepper strips and onions together with Sauce Goddess Latin Heat Rub Rub and Red Robin Seasoning.  To keep them from getting too wilted in the oven heat, I mixed them in with the potatoes when they only had 8-10 minutes to go.  The color was so fantastic, I just had to take a picture.  This was definitely good enough to be eaten alone, which is exactly what you do - only a few potatoes actually fit inside the burrito.  The rest are enjoyed home-fries style on the side. 

Here is the recipe, which is easy to tweak based on your own needs and desires.  The Latin Heat Rub Rub is what really ties it together, though.  You should get some.

Farmer Boy Burritos

4 large, burrito-sized tortillas
1 bag of frozen potato medley, or 4 cups of your preferred potatoes, cubed into 1" pieces
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 medium-sized onion, cut into strips
2 tbsp butter
Olive Oil
Seasoning Salt
1 tsp plus 1 tbsp Spice Goddess Latin Heat Rub Rub, or fajita seasoning
6 Italian-style breakfast sausages, cooked and sliced into 1/2" chunks
6 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
Yet more butter, (like, 2 tbsp more)
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
Salsa that isn't super-chunky (Matt likes Pace, I like Trader Joe's)
Sour Cream
Chopped green onion, for garnish

Spread potatoes on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with seasoning salt to your taste and the tablespoon of Latin Heat spice.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes if frozen.  If using fresh potatoes, it's going to be more like 40-45.  Check with a fork for doneness.

Meanwhile, heat the first 2 tbsp butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add peppers and onion, sprinkle with seasoning salt to your taste and the teaspoon Latin Heat spice.  Saute until softened but still vibrant in color, about 8 minutes.  Transfer to a plate and set aside.  When the potatoes only have about 10 minutes to go, pull them out of the oven and mix in the pepper and onion mixture.  Bake the remaining 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to chill on stovetop until burrito assemblage.

Heat the remaining butter in a nonstick skillet over medium low heat.  Whisk the milk and eggs together, then pour into the pan.  Proceed to scramble.  If you need help with this, here are many more details. 

Microwave tortillas for 30 seconds to soften up a bit and prevent breakage.  Assemble burritos by adding 1/4 the eggs, a small scoop of potatoes (1/4 a cupish), and a liberal sprinkling of cheese inside.  Wrap, then place on an oven-safe plate.  Top with 1/4 cup salsa and additional cheese, then broil in the oven until the outer edges of the tortilla wrap are just getting a gold hue and the cheese is melted.  Remove WITH AN OVEN MIT!! (I have made this mistake before and lost a beloved Titanic reproduction dinner plate as a result), then top with sour cream and green onion.  Serve with 'leftover' potatoes, ketchup, and Tabasco. 

Here's the result of our burrito-fueled day!  A garden filled with peppers, heirloom tomatoes, lettuces, beans and herbs.  The makings of Burrito-Chapter 2?  Only summer will tell. 


  1. Oh how I remember the Oregon Trail days and you churning butter for your highly capable project all dressed in your calico LIE costume complete with matching bonnet. Even then you were really into how food "worked". Your breakfast dinner looks delish!

  2. haha, I loved Farmer Boy for the exact same reason. And I think I made my mom read Little House in the Big Woods to me like 6 times before I knew how to read...oh and for the record, Pepsi sucks!