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Native Cooking: Surprise Holiday Guests With Breakfast Burritos

Treat your guests this holiday season to a breakfast buffet, featuring things like build-your-own burritos.
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“The most important meal of the day,” “you can’t run on empty,” and similar phrases describe how we feel about breakfast.

Going out to a restaurant for a special occasion brunch is fun, and it’s a good opportunity to take notes for foods you might like to make for your family. Some are quite easy, and others classic. A few can be made ahead of time, while some need to be freshly prepared.

I’ve noticed some restaurants set up stations to accommodate guests—with items like omelets, quiches or burritos. Then, they usually have puffy mountains of breads—pumpkin, johnnycakes, cranberry, and other varieties. Then sometimes there are muffins of all kinds, hash browns, corned beef hash, clam cakes, corn fritters, marinated herring, and smoked salmon as well.

Not at all like the old days when people rolled over and had to forage outside for sustenance. Then they would have to bring it back to their lodge, and add it to a clay pot to get it warm enough to eat. Puffy mountains of breads can be a fantasy from far, far away.

Most of the displays even feature beautiful arrangements of fresh fruit. If you are having a lot of family and friends visit over the holidays, use some of the hints from above to fill in here and there. Maybe you need to bring something to a social event and are tired of bringing the same old thing. A nice buffet with fruit, burritos, eggs, a platter of meats or vegetables to let people put together their own favorites may be a welcome idea.

Native Americans stick together and share whatever bounty there is because we always have and always will. Vegetable and fruit juices should be available along with tea and coffee. Mix that up with a Native cranberry punch or Herba Mate drink. It would also be a good chance to try sassafras or other herbal teas. Go as big or as small as you want, everyone is sure to enjoy because you made it for them.

Breakfast Burritos

dozen eggs

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup corn kernels

¼ cup chopped green chilies

plus ½ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

6 eight-inch flour or corn tortillas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk eggs, salt and some black pepper in a large bowl.

Put tortillas in oven to warm while you heat the oil in a large frying pan. Sauté the corn and green chilies for just a couple of minutes in the vegetable oil. Add the eggs to the pan and stir gently until the eggs are not too wet. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Remove tortillas from oven. Spoon about ½ cup of egg mixture onto a tortilla. Garnish with a little salsa and sour cream if desired. Fold the burrito and serve.

Dale Carson, Abenaki, is the author of three books: “New Native American Cooking,” “Native New England Cooking” and “A Dreamcatcher Book.” She has written about and demonstrated Native cooking techniques for more than 30 years. Dale has four grown children and lives with her husband in Madison, Connecticut.