Long before I knew that the origin of breakfast tacos were a hotly debated topic, I was eating them and loving them. I had my first breakfast taco many years ago in Houston and have enjoyed many more in Austin, Texas. But, I am not about to give birthright credit to any particular city in because I am fairly certain that Mexican immigrants all grew up with their mother's version of "breakfast tacos."
The beauty of the tortilla is that it makes normal fork and knife foods like scrambled eggs (and pork barbecue, steak, fish, etc.), portable. And, regardless of where you had your first breakfast taco, if you are like me, you crave them and must make them yourself at home.
I am a "no beans and no rice" kind of girl and prefer my breakfast tacos like my favorite egg sandwich but rolled, or folded over in a flour tortilla. To me, the essential ingredients must be cheesy eggs, a dash of hot sauce and cool slices of ripe avocado. I love bacon and prefer to serve it on the side where it stays crisp — but feel free to add it into the eggs. Not many places add slices of avocado unless you ask for it, but for me, the avocado is what makes it a Tex-Mex breakfast taco instead of just eggs in a tortilla.
When I have tomatoes and white onions on hand, I add those to my cheesy eggs and I am one happy girl. I like breakfast tacos so much that I have been known to have them for lunch and or dinner as well.
The truth is that you can put any of your favorite cheese and egg add-ins in your breakfast taco. In Texas, the potato, egg and cheese combo reigns king as does the classic eggs and bacon. If you are a fan of chorizo, chorizo and crispy potatoes make a perfect match especially with some blistered poblano peppers thrown in for good measure.
Start to finish: 20 minutes
8 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and cooked, optional or serve whole slices on the side
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
8 6-inch flour tortillas, warmed on a griddle
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 small white onion, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
8 large eggs
1 cup white cheddar or Monterey Jack with jalapenos, shredded
1 avocado, thinly sliced for serving
Cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 10-12 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain (do not pour off fat from skillet).
Using a large non-stick skillet, add 2 tablespoons of butter and onions to skillet and cook, stirring often, until translucent and tender, 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes and season lightly with salt and pepper. Remove skillet from heat.
Meanwhile, whisk eggs in a large bowl to blend; add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in the nonstick skillet over medium heat and let melt. Pour eggs in evenly over the tomatoes and onions. Cook eggs, stirring occasionally to mix in onions and tomatoes, and scraping bottom of skillet with a heatproof spatula or fork to form large curds, about 1-2 minutes. Add cheese and stir to mix in and finish cooking. Do not increase the heat to cook everything faster or the eggs may burn.
Remove eggs from heat and mix in bacon if using or serve on the side.
Fill tortillas with cheesy egg mixture and top with avocado. Serve with hot sauce.
Nutrition information per serving: 354 calories; 191 calories from fat; 21 g fat (9 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 244 mg cholesterol; 428 mg sodium; 27 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 15 g protein.
Elizabeth Karmel is a barbecue and Southern foods expert. She is the chef and pit master at online retailer CarolinaCueToGo.com and the author of three books, including "Taming the Flame."