Before SheJumps was Claire Smallwood’s full-time job, she worked as a private chef in Alta, Utah for over a decade. Claire is deeply passionate about bringing people together with food and loves to combine her passion of cooking with community building. And so the Friendship Burritos were born!
The story of friendship burritos
When I first moved to Utah, I didn’t have a car and lived kind of far from the ski area. My friend Molly Baker would offer to pick me up every single day to go skiing. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to have someone who was willing to drive so far out of their way to bring me up to the mountain. What better way to say thank you than by making her a breakfast burrito? I grew up in New Mexico—burritos are a way of life down there! So, I’d whip up some burritos and we’d head up Little Cottonwood Canyon.
I can’t remember exactly when, but one day I made extra and decided to put them in my pockets and hand them out to random strangers. I could be wrong about this, but I think Re Wikstrom was one of the burrito recipients that day (or another day) and she was the one who dubbed them “Claire Smallwood Friendship Burritos.” So we started calling them friendship burritos and I would explain to anyone who received one that it was all about “spreading the breakfast burrito stoke.” (I believe those were my exact words!)
Fast forward a few years later, and Molly moved to Glacier, Washington (outside of Mount Baker). She told me she was trying to continue the Friendship Burrito tradition! I was really excited to hear that the burrito love would spread to a new community. Apparently, Molly told someone once that they were “Claire Smallwood Friendship Burritos.” I’m sure that individual was thinking, “Who the heck is Claire Smallwood? I don’t care, I want a burrito!” The story finally came full circle when Molly one day was on the receiving end of a burrito from a stranger. The best part? They said “Here’s a Claire Smallwood friendship burrito.”
It’s probably mountain folklore….We’ll need to ask Molly for corroboration of this story all these many years later. But you know what? Who cares–what a fun story! So here is the recipe and tips for how to make your very own Friendship Burritos. Make them with love and pass them out to your adventure buddies–make someone’s day with a Friendship Burrito!
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Cooking gear list
2 metal mixing bowls
1 sauce pot or stock pot for boiling water
Spatula (metal or heat resistant)
Friendship Burrito ingredients
Below are the ingredients that make roughly 12 burritos.
1 dozen tortillas (large kind)
10 to 15 medium Yukon gold potatoes, cubed (instructions in the video)
4 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup salsa (any kind!)
½ c olive oil (plus a bit more for crisping the burritos)
2 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp Kosher salt + more for boiling water
1 small onion, diced (optional)
Follow the below directions or improvise to customize your own version of Claire Smallwood Friendship Burritos.
Bring a medium size pot of salted water to boil. Use about 1 to 2 tbsp of Kosher salt.
Dice potatoes into small cubes. Try to make them about the same size so they will cook evenly, and think about what size of potato you would want to eat!
While the potatoes are cooking, crack 18 eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk together until the yolks are all broken.
Heat the skillet over medium heat and add ⅓ cup of olive oil.
Let the oil heat and then add the whisked eggs into the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Depending on the size of your skillet, you might want to do this in two batches.
Add 2 cups of cheddar cheese and 1 cup of salsa.
Continue to mix the eggs around using your spatula, lowering the heat so the eggs don’t cook too quickly.
Check the potatoes, and when they are done, drain and put them into the second mixing bowl. If you are adding the diced onion, add that to the bowl as well.
Add all the dry seasonings to the potatoes and mix them together.
Remove the eggs from the heat once the liquid has been cooked out of them. Taste for flavor! Let the pan cool for a minute and then scrape/or wipe out the skillet with a paper towel. You’ll be using this skillet again for the final step.
Arrange your ‘workstation’ so you can easily assemble the burritos on a clean cutting board or kitchen surface. You can choose to add extra cheese, pre-cooked sausage or bacon, or additional hot sauce in this step of the cooking process.
Pile about a fistful size of ingredients into the center of the tortilla in a ‘rectangular’ shape. Take the two ‘ends’ (short sides of the rectangle) and fold those parts of the tortilla toward the middle. Then, take the part of the tortilla closest to you with your thumbs (while holding the ends toward each other) and roll the burrito up. Watch the video, trust us...it’s not that hard!
Set your skillet on low and add the remaining olive oil. You might need a bit more depending on how many burritos you are making. Place the burrito ‘seam-side down’ on the skillet and then rotate the burritos occasionally, until they are crisp on all sides.
Serve immediately or
Wrap them in foil for lunch/late breakfast
Let them cool completely if you are going to freeze them.
Whenever you decide to share your friendship burritos, make sure you’ve heated it all the way back up in the oven. We suggest 300 degrees for 15 to 25 minutes from frozen.
Now, stuff those pockets with the burritos and share with your friends and neighbors or adventure partners!