Saturday, April 11, 2009

Fajitas & Brown Rice by Tom

Barbara wanted to make me fajitas as a treat, but I was left with the job of actually making them. So I used my imagination and what resulted was a pretty good concoction of flavors. Here is what I did:

I started with strip steaks and packaged fajita mix from the grocery store. Not sure of the brand, but probably Old El Paso, which is available in our area. Any fajita mix will work. The day before I started the marinade of the strip steaks.
o Two half pound strip steaks as is out of the package. I used Angus beef.
o One package of Old El Paso fajita mix – or equivalent
o Tequila – probably ¾ of a cup
o Lime juice – probably ¼ cup
o Chopped garlic – about three cloves worth
o Some ground red pepper
o Some pepper
o Some salt – not too much at this point
o Some cayenne pepper – just a dash
o A one gallon zip lock bag

o Mix all of the ingredients in the bag and marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Turn once the next morning.
o Two hours before cooking. Cut the strip steak into ½ inch strips and put back into the marinade. Leave out to bring to room temperature before cooking.

Now for the veggies:
o I used three peppers (red, yellow & orange) and two onions (sweet Mayan) and one jalapeƱo pepper
-Slice all the peppers into julienne strips
-Thickly slice the onions and then cut in half; break up the onions so that they are in individual pieces

o Time to cook. About an hour before starting the fajita mixture, I started cooking the rice. For this I used brown rice that takes about 45 minutes to cook. I followed the ingredients on the package plus my own special touch. To the water I added chopped garlic (about one tablespoon), cumin seed (1/2 teaspoon or so), cumin powder (probably about ¼ teaspoon), some salt, some ancho chili powder (¼ teaspoon). Cook until done.
o Near the end of the rice cooking, I started cooking the peppers and the onions. Cook until softened in a large frying pan. Then I added the strip steaks without the liquid marinade. Don’t discard because you are going to dump it in in a few minutes. Cook the meat for maybe 5 minutes. The marinade has already pretty much “cooked” the meat, so you are really just warming it up.
o Dump in the marinade and cook it down. It should virtually be gone when the dish is ready to serve.
o I used wheat flour tortillas and warmed them in the microwave with a wet paper towel over them to keep them moist.
o For fixings, Barbara made guacamole; we used Mexican shredded packaged cheese, and some fresh cilantro chopped slightly. o On to a platter for serving and eating.


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