Approximately 150 years ago, when I was still going to UC Davis, I worked as a mental health counselor at a crisis house. As you can imagine, such a job is very emotionally taxing, so we counselors hung out outside of work quite a bit, to decompress and have a chance to process the good and the bad. Naturally, this sort of thing creates a very tight bond, and I’m both honored and grateful that some of my best friends today are friends I met during that time of my life.
One of these amazing spirits is my dear friend, Dulce, a small powerhouse of a woman with a passion & dedication for everything she does which rivals that of anyone I’ve ever known. We were also roommates for awhile and sometimes we shared work shifts. There were some days that were so incredibly heart-wrenching, frightening & exhausting, that all we could do afterwards was go home, whip up some quick tacos, and veg out with a couple of movies.
Since we were college kids, we were both Poor Girls by default, so it’s not like we were making gourmet tacos with crazy cuts of meat and other expensive ingredients. But like most folks of the Latino culture, we were both extremely resourceful, making the most out of the humblest ingredients in our kitchen. Nine times out of ten all we could afford to make were just potato tacos, loading them up with plenty of fresh cilantro, onions and tomatoes to make them look more exciting than they actually were. They were tasty and filling and that’s all that mattered to us.
Nowadays, I make variations of these tater tacos regularly, sometimes adding beans or meat for protein, other times enjoying them as is. My favorite version, however, is this little breakfast taco. With just some eggs, potatoes and simple toppings, these are great for weekends or for breakfast for dinner nights. The key to making these special? Spiced up taters! Well-seasoned potatoes kicks things up a notch or two on the flavor scale, taking the potentially boring to the delicious & exciting.
Even more exciting is the price! At around $3 for the entire thing, you can make about six to eight tacos with this recipe. Depending on appetite, this will serve anywhere from 2-4 people. A meal for 4 for just $3? Works for me!
Egg & Tater Breakfast Tacos (makes 2-4 servings; total cost per serving: $0.50)
1 T cooking oil
1/2 c diced yellow onion
2 medium russet potatoes, diced
1/4 t sea salt
1/8 t ground cumin
Large pinch of ground paprika
Large pinch of ground cayenne
1/2 c diced red bell pepper
4 large eggs
4 corn tortillas
Salsa, sour cream, diced avocado, etc. for topping (optional)
1. Combine the diced potatoes, salt, cumin, paprika and cayenne in a bowl and toss together. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and add the onions. Cook until they’re fragrant and slightly translucent.
2. Add the seasoned potatoes and cook until they’re a light golden brown and tender on the inside, about 7-8 minutes. Next, add the red bell pepper and cook until just tender. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
3. In a smaller skillet or pan, scramble the eggs as you normally would. Add to the potato mixture and mix together gently (if you don’t mind a slightly messier presentation, just scramble the eggs in the same skillet with the potatoes & peppers).
4. To serve, heat up the corn tortillas and fill with a good amount of the egg & tater mixture. Top with your favorite taco fixings (I used my chunky pico de gallo and like to add avocado if I’m really rollin’ in it), garnish with a couple sprigs of cilantro, and enjoy!