Tuesday, April 27, 2010

For a crowd: Breakfast Burritos with Caramelized Onions

From previous posts, you can most likely tell I have been on a tortilla kick lately and it didn’t die down this weekend, something about the limitless possibilities to put inside of a wrap makes me excited. I was lucky enough to be invited to attend a beautiful wedding in the mountains along with many of my good friends. We rented two cabins that held 8 people each, the week before as I volunteered to make breakfast for the 16 of us plus the very important groom on the day of the wedding; I was informed that the kitchen had a range, but no oven, a toaster, microwave, fridge and a few pots/pans and dishes. (More on the strategy of packing and preparing for these limited conditions to come later in the week). Let’s face it the key part of a burrito or taco is the toppings; the meat and cheese is important but a constant, what you have to jazz up those constants are what sets the tortilla wrapped goodness over the top.

I was making breakfast for approximately 17 people so my ingredient amounts are huge, but this could easily be done for a smaller group just scale down the portions. I went with the strategy of simple classics: breakfast and chorizo sausages, pre-shredded Mexican blend cheese, salsa, and tomatoes and jazzed it up with caramelized onions.

Breakfast Burritos with Caramelized Onions:
1 lb mild breakfast sausage
1 lb hot breakfast sausage
2 lbs chorizo sausage
3 c shredded Mexican Cheese
4 tomatoes diced
2 cups of salsa
3 softball sized onions thinly sliced
½ stick of butter
1 tsp Cayenne pepper
30 eggs
30 tortillas

Melt the butter over low heat in a large skillet and add the sliced onions and a sprinkle of cayenne. Cook over low heat until the onions are soft and caramelized, with this many it takes about 45 minutes. While the onions are cooking, brown the breakfast sausage and drain on a paper towel lined plate. I find that mixing one pound of mild and one pound of hot creates the perfectly spiced sausage for a group; when cooking for myself I use only hot as I enjoy spicy, but this is a preference issue. Remove the chorizo from the casing and brown it as well. Drain the grease and then put on a paper towel lined plate. Chorizo creates a ton of grease so it really is best to drain before moving to a plate. Final step, scramble eggs in a skillet over medium heat, I did about 8 at a time because I find it hard to cook more than that at once. When the onions are soft and sweet place them in a bowl.

As you can see above preparation for this meal was not complicated: slicing and slowly cooking onions, browning sausage, scrambling eggs, dicing tomatoes and pouring store bought salsa into a bowl. I also bought a premade hash brown casserole in the freezer section at the grocer that could be cooked in the microwave to serve with these burritos; if you aren’t from the south it is important to know that all “balanced breakfasts” include a potato option. It pained me terribly as I love to make hash brown casserole from scratch, but my recipe needs an oven so tough times call for tough measures.

When cooking for a large group I like to create a buffet line and allow people to create their meal how and when they want it, and that is exactly what I did here: lined up all the prepared ingredients along with the tortillas and let people create their breakfast as they were ready. I stood by and refilled bowls with ingredients and scrambled more eggs as necessary and was still able to eat my breakfast; this tactic is definitely easier than making a plate for each individual.

Believe it or not, all but 10 of the tortillas and a little bit of scrambled egg were eaten and friends who had stayed up until 5am celebrating the impending nuptials of a great friend were very happy to set the day off on a full stomach. When cooking for a crowd remember: keep it simple as to appeal to everyone’s pallet and add a few ingredients to jazz it up; people delight in simple well prepared food!

No comments:

Post a Comment