Occasionally I appreciate a blueberry pancake or a bowl of Captain Crunch. But my standard breakfast entails eggs, cheese, and hot sauce or salsa, with toast or a tortilla. When I delegated the meal preparation this year to David, a local ultra runner who has worked at Boulder’s best restaurants (currently, at Flagstaff House), I tasked him with developing a recipe along these lines for our guided backpacking trips.
He came back with the Southwest Egg Burrito. It’s fussier than other meals on our menu, but one of the top-ranked — and my personal favorite.
- 4.6 ounces (130 grams)
- 474 calories
- 103 calories per ounce
This breakfast could be made with as few as two ingredients: dehydrated eggs and a tortilla. But it’d be tasteless, and I’d encourage you to at least add cheese and salt. The other ingredients are optional, but they take this meal to another level and make it worthy of its geographical affiliation.
The 4.5-ounce serving size is field-tested and is appropriate for most backpacker appetites. But if you’d like to add calories (and flavor), consider crumbled bacon.
For those with a milk/lactose sensitivity, Augason Farms and other vendors offer whole dried eggs (sans milk).
Conveniently, the dried beans are the cornerstone of another recipe, my world famous Beans & Rice with Fritos & Cheese. Odds are that you already have some around, or should.
The powdered cheese is more user-friendly than fresh cheese, since it can be prepared beforehand and since it’s not temperature sensitive. However, fresh cheese is an acceptable substitute; I recommend sharp cheddar.
Our 10- and 12-person groups will easily use up a 4-ounce can of green chilies. But for smaller groups and soloists, dried green chilies or hot sauce may be a better option.
Combine all of the dry ingredients for a single serving, and pack them in a plastic snack bag. Do not combine the ingredients for multiple days of multiple individuals with the expectation of dividing it in the field — you will probably not divide it equally, and the recipe needs an exact amount of water.
On group trips, we keep the green chilies and tortillas together, and distribute them in the field at meal time.
With most of my meals, the instructions are simple: boil water and add the ingredients (to paraphrase). This meal is an exception. Follow these instructions closely:
- Combine all dry ingredients and spices with exactly 4 ounces ounces (a half cup, or 120 ml) of cold water.
- Bring to a simmer, scraping the eggs regularly to avoid scorching them to the bottom of your pot.
- Once fully scrambled, remove from heat. Add chilies, and transfer to the tortilla.
I need to emphasize three points, because this meal can be easily ruined by user error:
- 4 ounces of water. If you use too much, you’ll get egg soup.
- Cold water. If you add the dry ingredients to hot water, the eggs will harden into nuggets, leaving you with egg nugget soup.
- Scrape regularly. Act as if you’re cooking scrambled eggs at home without a non-stick pan or cooking spray. But don’t stir them so vigorously that they become whipped either.
Have questions or an experience with this meal? Leave a comment.
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