Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fajita Fuhtuesday

Mexico. Why do you make me feel like I know you from centuries past? With your cumin and your corn tortillas… Damn you, Mexico. Seriously, I don’t recall anyone in my family being of latino descent, but let’s get real here, I am practically Mexican. I flove it, and do NOT get me started on how much I love Margaritas. Oh its Tuesday? Tuesday Thmargs? Yes. Any day of the week you could ask me if I could go from some guac and tacos and I would say “RACE YOU THERE.” Christ, I dressed up as a mexican for halloween once... did I just cross a line? That was a good year.

(can you find me?)

In college, my girlfriends and I would frequent the local hot spot “El Burrito Loco” and let me tell you, it truly was, one crazy burrito. The best Margaritas this side of the Mason Dixon line… What? You’re telling me the Mason Dixon line has nothing to do with this? Wrong. I live in Chicago-that is north. Mexico is south. (Fine. Maybe it really does have nothing to do with it but I am southern and we only reference geographic location in regards to the Mason Dixon line.) Regardless, best margarita ever. (except for my world famous tequila panty droppers…)

So last Tuesday, (yes I am seriously that far behind in my cook to blog schedule) it was Taco Tuesday except that we had Fajitas. Fah-Jai-Tahs, as dad would call them. (I know…) So we will call it…. Fajita Fuhtuesday. We had these extraordinary peppers from our CSA box, and I just knew they would lend themselves perfectly to a little texmex at Casa Bouche. So since I made this last week you know I am sitting here trying to figure out exactly what I put in these fajitas, and you know me by now, as the girl in the kitchen, haphazardly throwing random shit into the skillet on a hope and prayer that it won’t in fact taste like a girl who just threw random shit in a skillet. (Martha would DIE if she saw me make fajitas)

But quelle surprise, it was good! I will attribute this to the fact that I had wonderful local organic ingredients and to the fact that we used Omaha Steaks Top Sirloin. So here is my attempt at quantifying Mexcellence. Yes. I just did.

Mexcellent Fah-jai-tahs
2 five oz. Top Sirloin Steaks – cut into strips
1 chicken breast
(I am not a huge beef eater, so I needed an alternate option here, do whatever protein you want, shrimp would be an excellent choice..err a mexcellent one..)
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
¼ cup lime juice (fresh people)
1 tablespoon cumin
½ tablespoon garlic powder
3 cloves fresh garlic
2 jalapenos (I didn’t have these on hand, but I felt it was missing from the dish)
A pinch of crushed red pepper flake
¼ teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
1 Cubanelle Pepper
2 bell peppers
1 spanish or Vidalia onion
1 giant shallot (I just had it, you can double the onion)
½ teaspoon ground mustard
½ cup of Mexican beer (XX)
S & P
Italian flat leaf parsley or cilantro, your call
Serve with tortillas, chihuahua cheese, sour cream, guacamole and pico de gallo, and DUH some mexican beer.

Marinate your meat (cut into strips) in the following for up to 8 hours ( I didn’t have time to do this since i refuse to plan ahead but listen it’ll taste better I swear)
1-2 tablespoons of canola oil, lime juice, cayenne, ½ tablespoon cumin, 1 clove garlic, garlic powder, S & P, crushed red pepper flake.

Heat canola oil to screaming hot (I would do this on an 8 of 10 scale) throw your stripped meat into the skillet, should only take 3 minutes to cook through, remove from the pan and set aside. Throw in your
Remaining garlic, onion, shallot, jalapenos and peppers into the pan and season with S & P, the remaining cumin, and a touch of cayenne. Let these cook down for 3-4 minutes, and then add the beer. Cook until the majority of the liquid has evaporated, 5 minutes, and then add the meat back into the pan and toss with the onion pepper mixture. Use the juice of 1 lime to finish, and serve with extra. Top with flat leaf parsley (once again, I just had it) or cilantro.

If I had set out to make Fajitas in the first place, I probably would have done some things differently, like choose a different protein (and just 1 at that), use cilantro instead of parsley etc. But this was a “whatthehellisinmypantry/fridge” dinner, and I just used what was there. Gotta love how those meals just come together at 5:45 when you’re standing in the kitchen without an idea of where to go.

Viva la fajita! Stay tuned tomorrow to find out what is for dinner in tonight’s edition of “It’s Tuesday, what the eff am I going to make?!” What do you make when you are standing aimlessly in the kitchen?


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