(picture found here)
I enjoy cooking, but the task of figuring out what to eat is sometimes a frustrating one. I can ask Ted and Maya what we should have for dinner, but then there’s the risk that they’ll pick something that I don’t want. Then I feel guilty for not making what they suggested. But yesterday, when I presented Ted with the question, what should we have for dinner, he said, “Not chicken. How about skirt steak fajitas?” Oh, um. YUM. I love fajitas, esp. steak fajitas, as any of my friends who have been to Chevy’s with me will tell you. Mmm. Tex Mex. Usually, when I make fajitas, I use a packet of fajita seasoning, which I find to be quite salty and oh-so-blah. So this time, I decided to look around for an actual recipe. Happily, I found one on FoodNetwork.com, by Tyler Florence, with a 5-star rating and a ton of glowing reviews. Know what? It was très yummy. Really, really good. And pretty darned easy, too. The keys are in making the marinade early, and letting the meat sit in it for several hours, which helps make a fairly tough cut of meat quite tender. Next trick, don’t overcook it. Lastly, cut against the grain, which helps make the meat even more tender. This recipe was declared ‘a keeper’, and I’ll be happy to make it from time to time. Next time, perhaps I should make margaritas to go with, n’est-ce pas?
Confession: I didn’t make my own guacamole. I bought some wholly guacamole (my favorite store bought), and skipped the salsa altogether. Did you know that most store-bought salsa has more salt in it than the chips you eat it on? Yeah. And tomatoes aren’t really in season yet. I could have made fresh salsa, but I didn’t. Anyway, I like my fajitas fairly pure…steak, warm tortilla, guacamole, red pepper, and onion. That’s it. YUM. All that was missing was that sweet corn cake they serve it with at Chevy’s. And perhaps El Machino.
Skirt Steak Fajitas
- 1 orange, juiced
- 2 limes, juiced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 3 chipolte chiles, in adobo sauce
- 3 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
Und Dann – anyone else love that about Run Lola Run, the ‘und dann’ bits? Excellent.
- 2 1/4 pounds skirt or flank steak, trimmed of fat cut into thirds or 8-inch pieces
- Salt and pepper
- 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- Lime juice, olive oil, optional
- 12 flour tortillas, warm
- Guacamole, recipe follows
- Good quality store bought salsa
In a small 2 cup measuring cup, or something similar size and shape, combine all the marinade ingredients. Using an immersion blender, puree the marinade until smooth. Transfer to a re-sealable plastic bag and add the steak, seal and shake to coat. Refrigerate the beef for 2 to 4 hours to tenderize and flavor the beef.
Preheat a ridged grill pan on high heat.
Drain the marinade from the beef. Lightly oil the grill or grill pan. Season liberally with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grill the steak over medium-high heat and cook for 4 minutes on each side and then transfer to a cutting board and let rest. Depending on the size of your grill pan you may need to cook in batches.
Once the beef is off the grill pan and resting, add the bell peppers and onions tossed with lime juice and olive oil, if using. Grill the mixture for 7 to 8 minutes until the vegetables are just barely limp.
While the peppers and onions are cooking, heat up the tortillas. Turn any free burners on a medium low flame. Place a tortilla on each flame and let it char about 30 seconds to 1 minute, flip the tortilla and repeat on the second side. Once heated and charred remove the tortilla to a clean tea towel and wrap to keep warm. Repeat until you have warmed all of your tortillas.
You can also heat your tortillas in a microwave, lightly dampen a tea towel with some water, wrap the tortillas in the damp towel and heat in the microwave for about 1 minute. Check to see if they are warm, if not repeat the heating at 1 minute intervals until they are warm and pliable.
Thinly slice the steak against the grain on a diagonal.
Spread some guacamole on a tortilla, top with a few slices of steak, peppers and onions, and salsa. Roll up the tortilla to enclose the filling.
May also be served with sour cream and shredded cheese.
5 ripe Hass avocados
3 to 4 limes, juiced
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 serrano chile, chopped
1 big handful fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Drizzle olive oil
Halve and pit the avocados. With a tablespoon, scoop out the flesh into a mixing bowl. Mash the avocados with a fork, leaving them still a bit chunky. Add all of the rest of the ingredients, and fold everything together.
Lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole so it doesn’t brown and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.