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Chorizo spices up breakfast burrito

A recent trip to Texas afforded a meal I never could have foreseen.

Traditional Japanese yakitori interpreted through the lens of Texas barbecue is the theme of Kemuri Tatsu-Ya. This east Austin hotspot reminded me of some of southeast Portland’s most innovative eateries and served a meal worth the trip from Oregon.

Traditional Tex-Mex cuisine, not so much. I encountered about what I expected — and have tasted — many times in cities large and small on the West Coast. The trifecta of beef, pork and chicken is just as ubiquitous in Texas as it is in Oregon and California. So when I’m weary of those standbys, I gravitate to chorizo.

No fan of beans and tortillas with my runny eggs, I typically pass on huevos rancheros. But scramble some silky eggs around some tender, crumbly chorizo, and I’m a happy camper. This was my pick at Austin’s beloved Juan in a Million, which also serves breakfast tacos, but curiously no burritos — a New Mexico invention, based on my reading.

Regardless of origins, burritos are welcome fare for all kinds of circumstances, from weekend brunch to school breakfast on the go. Try these with chorizo.

Tribune News Service

Crunchy Chorizo Breakfast Burritos

1/3 cup sour cream

1 or 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced, plus 1 tablespoon sauce

Juice from 1/2 lime

Salt, to taste

3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, divided

2 cups thawed frozen tater tots

12 ounces chorizo sausage, casings removed

8 large eggs, beaten with a little water or milk

2 scallions, trimmed and sliced

1 cup shredded Mexican-style cheese

1/2 cup roasted tomato salsa or pico de Gallo (optional)

6 (10-inch) flour tortillas

In small bowl, stir together the sour cream, minced chipotle chiles and sauce and lime juice until well blended. Add a pinch of salt, stir and then set aside while you prepare burritos.

In large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil until hot and shimmering. Add the tater tots to pan in a single layer and, using a spatula, press into bottom of pan to flatten. Cook tots until they are golden brown and crispy, for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate and set aside.

Wipe skillet clean with a damp paper towel, bring to medium heat and add the chorizo. Cook sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you go, until it is crumbly (it should look like ground meat), and is well browned and slightly crispy.

Add the beaten eggs and cook until they start to set, using a rubber spatula to toss and turn eggs as they cook to keep them from sticking to pan’s bottom. Stir in the chopped scallions and toss gently to combine.

Reduce heat to low, and sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of eggs, then gently fold in. Cook until cheese starts to melt, for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and cover to keep egg mixture warm while you prepare the tortillas.

Wrap tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for about 10 seconds to soften. To assemble burritos, spread a tablespoon of chipotle sour cream on bottom third of each tortilla, leaving a 3/4-inch border. Layer one-sixth of tater tots on top of sour cream, followed by one-sixth of egg mixture.

Fold sides of tortilla over filling, then fold up bottom and roll tightly around filling.

Wipe skillet clean again with a paper towel, then add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and heat until shimmering over medium heat. Place burritos in pan, seam side down, and cook until they're golden and crispy, turning once, for about 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Serve warm with the salsa or pico de gallo, or slice and wrap in aluminum foil for breakfast on the go.

Makes 6 burritos.