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Americanized Mexico

Fajita’s . . . Exactly The Same As Giada’s, But Way, Way Different

So Wifey has upped the blog ante put me her into her mommy blog. So that means that her friends are perusing my blog.  As long as she doesn’t bring me into the mommy wars battles, we’ll be doing fine (those things make a 4th and goal stand look like tea and crumpets with your rich auntie).  That being said, it’s time for one of my favorite styles of food: Mexican, or at least Americanized Mexican.  My choice?  Fajitas.

I never really knew how to make fajitas or what type of spice would go good on them.  So I checked over at the good ole’ Food Network site and looked up fajitas.  Not much came up to my liking.  I was about ready to give up (I had tried other sites as well) when I found Giada’s Fajita Marinade.  It had what I like (and what was in the fridge/pantry).  Orange Juice?  Good.  Lime Juice? Very good.  Garlic?  A necessity.   A very good start.  Now being the experimenter I am, I couldn’t just make it the way Giada did.  That wouldn’t be very creative now, would it?  So I changed it up a little.  (For the original recipe, see the link above).  Here goes:

1 cup Orange Juice

1/3 cup Lime Juice

1/2 cup Olive Oil

6-8 Cloves Garlic (depending on how close you want to be with that special someone)

3 tbs Ancho Chile Powder

2 tbs Dried Oregeno

1 tbs Dried Minced Onion (1 small onion, finely chopped)

1 tbs Dried Parsley (you can substitute dried or fresh cilantro if you like, I don’t like cilantro)

2 Lemons

1.5 – 2 lbs Flank Steak

3 Boneless ChickenBreasts

3 Bell Peppers (I use 2 red and 1 green, but use what ever you like)

1Large Onion

1/2 Tomato

Butter or Olive Oil for sauteing veggies

Tortillas (warmed)

Shredded Cheese

Sour Cream

Taco or Hot Sauce

Finely chop garlic and any fresh herbs (and small onion if using for marinade) and set aside.  I use my mini food processor to do the business, love it.  In a large bowl, add the orange juice, lime juice, oregano, parsley, minced onion, garlic and, chile powder.  Stir well.  Slowly, while whisking the marinade, add the olive oil.  If you don’t whisk while slowly pouring or pour too fast, the oil and juice won’t emulsify (the oil will rise to the top and won’t mix).  When the oil has been whisked in and emulsified, place the steak and chicken in a seal-able container and pour the marinade over.  Seal and store in the fridge for 3-4 hours.

When ready to cook, heat your grill and slice the large onion and peppers.  Slice the tomato into 6 wedges and thinly slice the lemon as well.  Grill the meat as you would any other flank steak and chicken breast.  Let the meat stand for 5-10 minutes before slicing.  That will allow the juices to keep within the meat.  Take your marinade and bring to a boil for 5 minutes (to kill any bacteria).  Be careful, the marinade will bubble over if you don’t turn it down.

In a large fry pan, heat oil/butter over medium heat and saute the onions until slightly transparent.  Add the peppers and sliced lemon to the pan and cook till aldente, about 4 minutes.  Add the tomato wedges and the marinade and reduce for 2-4 minutes, allowing the veggies to absorb some of the marinade.

Slice the steak thinly and the chicken a little thicker than the steak.  Cut the other lemon in half and squeeze the lemon over the meat.   Top the fajita with the cheese, sour cream and/or taco sauce and enjoy.

The sweetness of the orange juice mixes with the other flavors very well.  The lemon juice adds a great summery feel to the meal (that and I love cooking with lemon).  You can always marinade just chicken or steak too.  A nice drink pairing would be Bell’s Oberon Ale or Sam Adams Summer Ale, a margarita, or Mexican Coke (no not that Mexican Coke, this stuff).  My History of Mexico prof would shake his head at me calling this Mexican food.  Then again, I did get an A in the class.  We won’t say what Wifey got.

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