Burritos are kind of a mythical creature in Fernie. Luchadora was a bright spot in the pandemic but then the burritos disappeared. We thought we might see them again on the Chilango menu, but alas, we are still burrito-less. Fernie is a burrito-challenged town, but I’m on a mission to empower our community to embrace the burrito. And not just any burrito, the Friendship Burrito.
In 2007 I moved to Utah to be a ski bum, but I didn’t have a car and lived far from the ski area. My friend Molly would offer to pick me up every single day to go skiing. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to have someone who was willing to drive so far out of their way to bring me up to the mountain. What better way to say thank you than by making her a breakfast burrito for the drive? I grew up in New Mexico—burritos are a way of life down there!
I can’t remember exactly when, but one day I made extra and decided to put them in my pockets and hand them out to random strangers. One day, someone asked “What is this?” when we handed them a burrito. My friend Re quickly responded to them with “Claire Smallwood Friendship Burritos.” So, we started calling them friendship burritos from then on. I would explain to anyone who received one that it was all about “spreading the breakfast burrito stoke.” (I believe those were my exact words!) The look on people’s faces when you offer them a “friendship burrito” is amazing. They are either totally excited or they look at you like you have three heads—either way, they usually take the burrito!
This particular Friendship Burrito recipe is breakfast focused, but what I’d really love to encourage is to just embrace the burrito. Make a dozen, freeze a few, and make a stranger’s day! Wrap anything in a tortilla! I have a friend who even wraps thanksgiving leftovers in burritos and freezes them. What makes friendship burritos extraordinary is that they are crisped up on the outside. Once you’ve wrapped ‘em, fry ‘em up!
If this sounds like a lot of work, consider it community service.
And, lest we get any heated discussions about it: no, I do not think there’s a strong difference between a wrap and a burrito except perhaps the sentiment behind it. Friendship wrap just doesn’t have the same ring to it… although I’d offer that a burrito should probably have some reminiscences of flavours such as garlic, beans, cumin, cheese (always cheese), or chile.
Make the Friendship Burritos with love and pass them out to your adventure buddies - make someone’s day with a Friendship Burrito!
Get a dozen tortillas, the big kind. Whisk up about 12-15 eggs and scramble them as you normally would, except add some hot sauce or salsa to your tasting. Don’t forget to season the eggs. Set aside. Get a big pot of salted water boiling. Chop up some Yukon gold potatoes (or any potatoes) and cook them until soft. Drain and then toss the potatoes with garlic powder, cumin, pepper, and chile powder. Heat a skillet over medium with about 1/3 cup of oil. Add the potatoes into the skillet and start to crisp them up. Optional: add some diced onion, cooked bacon, sausage, etc. Next, add about 2 cups of shredded cheese. You can also just add this to the burritos.
Arrange your ‘workstation’ so you can easily assemble the burritos on a clean cutting board or kitchen surface.
Pile about a fist-full size of ingredients into the centre of the tortilla in a ‘rectangular’ shape. Take the two ‘ends’ (short sides of the rectangle) and fold those parts of the tortilla toward the middle. Then, take the part of the tortilla closest to you with your thumbs (while holding the ends toward each other) and roll the burrito up. Check the QR code for a video demonstration!
Get your skillet on low and add the remaining olive oil. You might need a bit more depending on how many burritos you are making. Place the burrito ‘seam-side down’ on the skillet and then rotate the burritos occasionally, until they are crisp on all sides.
Serve immediately or wrap them in foil for lunch/late breakfast. If you are saving them for later, let them cool completely before wrapping them!
Whenever you decide to share your friendship burritos, make sure you’ve heated it all the way back up in the oven. I suggest re-heating the burritos unwrapped in the oven at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes from frozen. Follow the re-crisping steps above!
Now, stuff those pockets with the burritos and share with your friends, neighbours or adventure partners!