We’ve had two cast iron skillets in our home for years, and we use at least one of them almost every day. This year, we inherited three more! That’s what inspired me to collect a whole bunch of recipes for foods that cook well in cast iron.
My friend Alison Frane (of Chickicheesinara Sauce fame) offered me this recipe, which was new to me, so I had to make it a couple of times to be sure I understood how to make the magic happen! Here’s how Alison wrote it:
I make my “magic breakfast burrito” in a cast iron skillet. The magic is you pour the eggs in to cover the bottom of the pan, then lay the tortilla over it. It’s just about the size of the pan, and fuses to the egg as it cooks. When the egg is done, flip over, and turn off the heat.
The latent heat of the pan continues the cooking, which is why you turn the heat off when you flip it tortilla-side-down, or else your tortilla might get over-crispy. Manage that to your preference.
The face-up hot egg will melt any cheese you want to add, and then put whatever you like in it. I favor refried beans, vegan chipotle sausage, and, if I have it, avocado and tomato, but you can put whatever.
I took these photos during the actual process of making this easy breakfast. These are real-life images, not staged! I didn’t even clean my kitchen first or retouch the photos, so you can see actual crumbs and clutter, and I hope that’ll help you feel that you can work some home cooking into your crummy, cluttered life.
To make one serving, you will need one 8-inch cast iron skillet, one spatula, cooking oil, two eggs, one 8-inch flour tortilla, and whatever fillings you would like. I used grated cheddar cheese and half an avocado. Get your fillings ready in advance because you will be adding them immediately when you get to the right stage.
Alison said to “pour the eggs,” which implies that you will crack them into a bowl and mix them up in advance. I didn’t do that because it would get a bowl dirty with raw egg and I’d have to wash it.
Instead, I placed my 8-inch cast iron skillet on a burner, turned it to “4” which is its most medium setting, and added enough olive oil that it coated the whole bottom of the pan when I spread it around with the spatula. Then I cracked the eggs directly into the pan, put the eggshells in the compost bin, washed my hands, then broke the yolks, stirred the eggs, and spread the tortilla on top. I pressed it down gently with the spatula and left it alone for about one minute.
Then I slid the spatula underneath it and peeked to see if the egg was cooked enough. I like it not to be liquid at all, so I gave it another moment before I turned off the heat and flipped the whole thing over. Magically, the egg stayed neatly attached to the tortilla!
I paused just long enough to snap a photo before adding the cheese . . .
. . . and just long enough for another photo before putting a lid on to make that cheese melt. This won’t be necessary if your kitchen is warmer than mine is in the winter when I’ve only done this little bit of cooking.
(To the left of the stove, you can see the top of the new storage unit Daniel made in September! It holds all five cast iron skillets that we now own, and the top provides a few extra square feet of counter space–very welcome in our tiny kitchen, especially since we got a new stove last year that doesn’t have as much space in the middle as our old stove did. Someday I’ll get Daniel to write up how he built this useful thing.)
When the cheese was melted, I added my avocado and also some salsa, and scooped the whole thing onto my plate. You can see that this was so quick to make, I hadn’t had time to drink a whole cup of coffee! (Actually, I think that started with a half cup, and I had only grabbed a few sips.)
You also can see that I didn’t move my camera case out of range, and that orange thing is a tube of bubble stuff that somebody left on the kitchen counter as if that makes sense, and at the top right is the jar of sunflower seeds that I grew and roasted–which was an adventure I’ll tell you about soon!
Having the egg magically affixed to the tortilla means that you don’t have awkward blobs of scrambled egg falling out of your burrito, which makes for a neater meal.
I wasn’t able to roll this up into a burrito, so I just folded it in half. I had eaten a lot of it before I realized I should get a photo of the lovely, toasty texture the tortilla took on. I thought it was just right. If you want it darker, leave the heat on a little longer.
This magic burrito was delicious!
Over at Kitchen Stewardship, I tell you how your cast iron skillet can make 21 breakfasts, 14 vegetarian main dishes, 7 fish dishes, 9 chicken dishes, 8 red-meat dishes, 7 side dishes, and 4 desserts–plus quick tips for maintaining your cast iron. It just might inspire you to give your favorite cook a cast iron pan this holiday season!
Visit Hearth & Soul for more great ideas!