It’s been a while (heck years?) since I’ve done a cooking post here.  When I was making breakfast burritos the other day, I realized I’m making a different recipe than I used to and figured I’d share.

We all know I am obsessed with breakfast burritos.  I blame Santiago’s. I resisted the lure of Santiago’s breakfast burritos for years.  They use green chile, and I’ve always been a red chili fan.  But eventually, I was convinced to try them and oh boy – was I happy.  Santiago’s is the quintessential ‘hole in the wall’ joint.  The closest one to my house is a 20 minute drive.  Breakfast burritos are $2 a pop and include eggs, cheese, taters, green chili and the meat of the day (bacon, chorizo, etc.).  You can get them without an ingredient or two, but will have to wait as they make burritos in large batches (they don’t sit there for more than 5 minutes) and custom orders mean extra work.

But the drive is a thing, and the parking lot (if it could be called a parking lot) is a pain to A) get into, 2) navigate once you are in and C) an extra special pain to get back out of again and onto the street.  So I don’t go there very often.

I used to make breakfast burritos that consisted of eggs, cheese and salsa.  I preferred fresh salsa, not the jarred stuff (though I began with the jars long ago).  Eventually, I added potatoes in the form of Potatoes O’Brien (taters, peppers and onions).  That became the recipe for years, until I had Santiago’s, at which point I started working on a recipe to compete with what they produce.  Now, I think I have it.

I start with green chile.  Or chili.  I don’t care how you spell it.  You can make it yourself, or you can buy it in a can – the choice is yours.  If you make it yourself, I suggest making a large batch and freezing it in little portion-sized tupperware thingies for use later.  If, like me, you don’t have the space to do that or the wherewithal, cans work too.  I bought just about everyone kind I could find before settling on Old El Paso’s version.  I find one small can is good for 4-5 burritos, give or take.  I put this on the stove first and bring it to a boil:


Once it’s boiling, I turn it down and let it simmer.  Next, I have two small frying pans.  I put the first one on medium heat for about 3 to 3:30 minutes and then I add vegetable oil.  If your pan starts smoking, it’s too hot.  You want hot, not smoking hot. 😉  When the pan is ready and the oil hot, I add the Potatoes O’Brien with salt, pepper and a dash or two of cilantro (all to taste):


You can either use the frozen kind (which I do because I’m lazy) or you could peel and chop up a couple small potatoes, add some green and red bellpepper and some onion.  The choice is yours.  If you use the frozen kind, 2 cups is about all you’ll need for 4-5 burritos I mentioned above.  The pan I use is non-stick.  I cover the potatoes and set a kitchen timer for 7:30 minutes.  Every 2 minutes, I remove the lid and give the potatoes a little toss in the pan.  You can use a spoon, I actually pull the pan away and flip the taters.  At the 7:30 mark, I check the taters.  You want golden brown, maybe a little burnt.  Undercooked taters are gross (and dangerous).  So make sure they are cooked well.

Next, I pour the taters into the green chile:

IMG_0354Yep, you read that right.  I pour the taters into the chile.  I do this for two reasons; 1) the taters soak up some of that green chile flavor, and 2) adding the starch of the taters to the green chile thickens it.  After I pour the taters in, I give the whole thing a little stir:


I leave it on low heat (simmer) and cover it while I make the eggs.

A good rule of thumb (I have found) is 1 large egg per burrito.  I am making 3, so:


For my eggs, I crack em, add a little milk, salt, red and black pepper (to taste), and again, cilantro.  I know not everyone likes cilantro, but it’s one of my favorites.  I will either buy a bunch fresh and chop it finely, or I’ll get the dried flakes from the spice aisle.  I seem to remember somewhere that you need to use more of the dried versus the fresh.  I have also learned, thanks to Food Network, that the single most common mistake home cooks make is lack of seasoning, so don’t be afraid to use a little more than you think you need.  Experiment a little.

After I crack my eggs, I put my second frying pan on the stove (again for about 3:30 minutes) and get it hot.  Don’t want it to smoke, just be hot.  When it is, I add my vegetable oil.  Take a fork (or a whisk if you prefer) to the eggs and get em all scrambled up.  When the pan is ready, pour in the eggs.  You want them to start sizzling immediately, not sit there in oil:


If your eggs aren’t sizzling, your pan and oil wasn’t ready.  You should see some white around the edge right away.  Make your scrambled eggs as you normally would.  When they are close to being done, get your tortillas ready.  You want burrito size, flour tortillas.  The brand is up to you.  I like a little local brand that they don’t always have at my grocery store.  I like to tell myself that they’re totally made locally and aren’t something some giant corporation is tricking me into thinking is local, but is actually a subsidiary of Mission or something…

Wow. That sentence totally got away from me.

Anyway, you can heat them in a pan or give em 45 seconds in the microwave, choice is yours.


Cheese.  Cheese is important.  My favorite is a mild cheddar, shredded.  When it melts, it becomes this ooey, gooey, creamy mess…  mmm….

But in a pinch, you can use Jack, Cheddar, or some sort of blend, even something like this:


Layering your burritos goes like this – Tortilla plus egg:


Next, add your cheese (to taste – I find with Cheddar, I can use less than with the Mexican Blend):


Now you add your potatoes and green chile mix on top:


The potatoes and green chile will be hot and this will help to melt the cheese… mmmm… melty cheese….

Last roll your burrito.  Santiago’s does an open ended tight roll, like a cigar.  I fold the ends in and roll:


Repeat for each subsequent burrito.

There you have it!  Hope you like it 🙂

If you try it, let me know how it goes!



  • Eric C. Posted February 8, 2013 10:05 am

    If you ever make it to Austin, be sure to try breakfast tacos. Torchy’s will blow your mind. Of course, I’m biased in favor of Austin. San Antonio has their favorite breakfast taco spots too (possible World Fantasy event?).

  • Eric C. Posted February 8, 2013 10:08 am

    (and may I suggest Mi Madre’s–the restaurant, not my actual mother’s place–in Austin, if you want something more traditional?)

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