Food For Thought – Fajitas

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Hi Everyone,

My husband and I love to travel.  We are very fortunate to  be able to travel several times a year.  We generally take one 2-week sightseeing vacation.  Last year we went to China, the year before was a riverboat cruise down the Rhine River in Germany/France.   On these vacations we know we are on the go almost all the time.  We sleep at night, wake up early and off we go with our tour group.

Then there are the vacations we take, usually twice a year, to Mexico.   These vacations are what we call total “Veg” vacations.  We get to our resort (all inclusive), take off our watches, put on the bathing suits and the biggest decision we have to make is which restaurant we want to go to for dinner.  Our favorite resort has 4 different restaurants.  While there we use the time to refresh for our return home.  We love Mexico so much, we have even been taking our kids there during our annual 1-week family vacation.  They just love it!  We started taking them when we got married almost 11 years ago.  It started with caribbean cruises and once that got old, we switched to Mexico.  We spend some real quality time together.  Now that they are older, they WANT to spend time with us.  We talk alot, play games and just enjoy each other’s company.

We have a great group of friends.  We see each other mostly every Friday night.  We are a small but tight knit bunch who love to share stories, games and of course food.  When you have a fairly large group (6 – 12 people at one time) it is nice to make something easy and fun to eat.  One of my favorite foods is Fajitas.  I looked through recipes online and in Mexican cookbooks and could not find the right recipe until I finally bought the right book.  The following recipe comes from Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur. I usually double or quadruple the recipe as I usually make steak and chicken together, but they can’t marinate in the same container. I have also made some changes to the official recipe which are included below.  So let me know what you think.

Fajitas Marinade

1/4 Cup fresh Lime Juice                                   1 t Salt

1/3 Cup Water                                                       1/2 t Chili Powder

2 T Vegetable Oil                                                  1/2 t Cayenne Pepper (optional)

2 large Garlic cloves, minced                            1/4 t Black Pepper

1 T Vinegar                                                            1/2 t Onion Powder

2 t Soy Sauce

1/2 t Liquid Smoke

2 boneless Chicken Breast halves                                       1 large Onion, julienne

1 lb. Top Sirloin Steak (I also like to use Tenderloin)   2 Peppers (Any color will do), julienne

Tortilla Shells ( I like using the wheat ones, making this a pretty healthy meal)

Combine the lime juice, water, oil, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, liquid smoke, salt, pepper, chili powder, onion powder together and mix well.  You may want to add more heat to your Fa-Heat-Tas, you can do this by adding the cayenne pepper.  Put your meat in a ziploc bag and pour in the marinade, reserving at least 1 Cup (this is why I make more).  Marinate the meat at least an hour.  I like to marinate at least 4 hours.

Slice the onions and peppers into long thin strips.  About the time you start cooking your meat you can start the vegetables too.  I use a grill pan for the meat and a stir fry pan or wok for the veggies.  Spray the pan with Pam.  When hot put the onions in first and cook and stirfry for about 5 minutes, until just soft.  Add peppers and stirfry just until they soften as well.  Remove from heat.

Spray grill pan with a light coating of Pam.  When hot, put the meat in the pan and sear, about 6 minutes per side.  The meat will cook more with the peppers/onions.  Remove from heat and transfer the meat to a cutting board.  Slice meat into thin strips.  Add to the vegetables and stir fry for at least 10 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink or the steak is to your liking.  Add reserved marinade, cover and simmer on low for about 10 minutes.  Remove pan and either transfer to dish or serve at the table.

Possible toppings:  Pico de Gallo, Cheddar Cheese, Guacomole, Sour Cream, Shredded Lettuce

I have also used these Fajitas to make a nice healthy Mexican Salad.  I have also used them to make Quesadillas.  This food freezes very well.

Enjoy

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