I got asked the other day what my favorite mexican food was ~ I would have to say fajitas with all of the trimmings (fresh tortillas, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, sour cream, guacomole, lettuce).
I haven’t made fajitas for a long time, not sure why – as they are easy to do, especially if you buy the tortillas and guacomole!
I have never attempted to make a homemade flour tortilla; but a friend of mine, Graciella, makes beautiful tortillas. I ordered 2 dozen of them, they melt in your mouth! If you have an opportunity to get some fresh tortillas, give them a try!
For the guacomole, I go to Costco and buy the 3 pack of the Wholly Guacomole. You can freeze this stuff and it doesn’t get that gross brown color to it! The best part is that guacomole is quite good for you! It’s just the chips that you dip it in that aren’t (in moderation I guess; but who can just eat 8 chips?)
I first start out with marinating the meat. Marinating your meat for fajitas is crucial! It is a great way to tenderize and add flavor. All marinades need an acidic ingredient such as vinegar or citrus. This ingredient will soften the food allowing the meat to soak up all the flavor of the sauce. I have used beef, chicken and pork with this marinade. My personal preference for steak fajitas is using TOP SIRLOIN, I find this better than flank steak, way less fat! It is a little more expensive; but I think you get more bang for your buck! For the chicken, I go with the boneless skinless breasts as you are going to be marinating them. For the pork, go with a less expensive cut such as a boneless sirloin chop. Like I said, if you marinate, all of these cuts of meat will be great!
This is the marinade that I have come up with for beef, chicken or pork. Just keep in mind that you do not want to marinade all 3 meats together at the same time…cross contaminting is not good
This marinade is for 1# of meat:
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup water
2T. vegetable oil
1 large clove of garlic, pressed
3 tsp. white vinegar
2 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. liquid smoke (usually found in the aisle with the bbq sauce and ketchup)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
Dash onion powder
Combine all together and pour over top of meat. I use a Tupperware Marinator, if you don’t have one of these, a freezer gallon zip lock bag works too! Marinate for a minimum of 4 hours; overnight is best!
Now on to prep the peppers and onions…I love the grilled veggies better than the meat! If you don’t have a grill basket, I recomend that you invest in one. I have had mine for 10 years and use it 2-3 times a week!
These vegetables can marinade for 24 hours too; but really only need a couple of hours.
4 – large red, orange or yellow bell peppers, seeded and sliced in 1/2 inch slices
2 – large sweet onions, also sliced in 1/2 inch slices
5 T. vegetable oil
5 tsp. soy sauce
10 T. water
2 1/2 tsp. fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
Combine all together and place over veggies. Stirring once in a while.
Now on to the PICO DE GALLO ~ I would make this at least a couple hours before you are going to eat it as it tastes better the longer it is refrigerated.
2 – medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
2 tsp. diced fresh jalapeno (take out the seeds and membrane)
2 tsp. finely minced fresh cilantro
Pinch of salt
Combine all together and refrigerate until using.
Now we are ready to grill the meat and veggies.
If you are using a gas grill, make sure you have a water bottle to put out any flare ups! If you are using a Holland, put it on and forget it and if you are using a charcoal grill, make sure you are stirring your veggies; or you will end up with ashes
Place your veggies in the grill basket that has been sprayed with cooking spray and then place your meat on the grill and grill until done. I like my steak a little on the pink side! Keep in mind that when the meat is done, wrap it in foil and let it set for 15 . minutes Take out of foil and slice against the grain - by doing this you will get tender cuts of steak!
Now take a tortilla and spread a little sour cream on it, load it up with all of your toppings and enjoy!
Cheers! Don’t forget the margarita…