If you live in Texas, you probably have a favorite mexican restaurant that you swear has the best fajitas around. In the town where I live, we have 8 mexican food restaurants (that I can think of off of the top of my head) within a 5 mile radius....we love our mexican food here! I mean how can you go wrong?! I look at fajitas as one of the healthiest dishes I can order at a mexican restaurant....grilled meat, grilled veggies, fresh pico de gallo. I left out the flour tortilla on purpose...probably not the healthiest but most definitely one of my weaknesses. It all comes out sizzlin' on a black, cast iron skillet and the smell is to die for!!!
Last week, my son had his 29th birthday. His request was mexican food. I remembered that I had this great marinade for fajitas that I had not used in a very long time. I mean with 8 mexican restaurants around....who needs to cook?! Anyway, it was definitely a hit. This marinade has a perfect combination of flavors and the meat comes out tender, juicy and full of flavor. I used it for chicken and beef and actually used tenderized skirt steak. I did not even know you could get skirt steak tenderized, but it was so worth it and I will be doing that from now on. I left the meat whole when marinating and grilling and didn't slice it until we were ready to serve. My son, who is a chef, used a cast iron skillet to caramelize the onions and cook the peppers.
Fajitas are really so easy to make at home. I literally put the meat in a bag, poured the marinade over it and left it for approximately 6-7 hours, turning it every hour or so. I then threw the meat on a hot grill. It cooks fast, so don't get distracted or it will dry out and become chewy. Because skirt steak is a tougher meat, it is important that you cut the meat against the grain, in thin strips, when it is done. That will ensure that the fajitas will be tender. I also sliced my chicken after it was done...I just think it is juicier and stays more tender that way. It is also way easier to cook on the grill.
Sliced onions and green peppers cook really nicely in a cast iron skillet. I would cook the onions first and caramelize them. I like my peppers with a little crunch so after the onions were done, Chris threw the peppers in with a little bit of butter and cooked them.
We had a literal Mexican Fiesta for Christopher's birthday. We had tamales from a local restaurant, these awesome spicy beans (peas) that I will blog next,
two kinds of quinoa, chile con queso, guacamole, salad, strawberry cheesecake (courtesy of my sister-in-law Judy...I will have to get the recipe and blog it), and mocha chocolate cake that I will blog later, as well.
It was a really fun time celebrating his birthday and fixing all of his favorites! There is something about fixing a homecooked meal or dessert for birthdays that I love. It is my way of showing that person that I care and a way to make them feel special. I sure love my Christopher and like I told him...He will always be my baby no matter how old he gets...its a momma-thing!
2 pounds Flank or Skirt Steak
1/4 Cup Oil
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
1/4 Cup Lime Juice (fresh squeezed)
2 Tablespoons Pickapeppa Sauce
Mix oil, soy sauce, lime juice and Pickapeppa sauce.
Pour over meat in a zip-lock bag. If you are marinating both chicken and beef, use separate bags. Sprinkle liberally with Chili Powder and Steak Seasoning. I don't have an exact measurement for this but if I had to guess I would start with a couple of tablespoons of each. It is just a marinade. I kind of looked at it like this...there is a whole lot more salt in a brine than this marinade, so I did not worry too much about the saltiness of it. I just wanted it to be very flavorful and that is what salt and spice is for.
Place meat on a hot grill until done, about 7 minutes on each side for beef and about 12 minutes for chicken, depending on the thickness.
Serve with sliced onions, peppers, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, and/or salsa on a flour or corn tortilla.