I think Tacos are probably one of the first meals a lot of us made growing up. They're easy to make but don't involve a lot of cooking, so you get to experience working with the stove, the oven, and a knife without it being overwhelming. I've made a bazillion Tacos over the years, but for some reason, when it comes to Fajitas, I've always gotten them out, either dine-in or take-out. It really never occurred to me to make them at home, even knowing that I could buy packets of Fajita seasoning if I wanted to.
I don't know why they came to mind the other day, but I'm glad they did, because they were delicious! We had three boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the fridge to be used, but when I ran to the grocery store to pick up some peppers, I decided to grab a steak too. The Beef Fajitas were so good, I stuffed myself on that and never even tried the chicken the first night. I'm glad there were leftovers - I had the chicken last night.
We decided that one of the things we really liked was the texture, which we attributed to the cornstarch called for in the first recipe I took a peek at. That one was on A Taste of Home. I liked how the cornstarch helped the sauce cling to the chicken when I made orange chicken recently, so I decided to go with it. I looked at that and a few other recipes to see what was in the seasoning mix, then kinda winged it since they were all basically the same (except for the cornstarch, spice ratios, lemon v. lime).
1 T cornstarch
1 t kosher salt
1/2 t black pepper
1 t dried oregano
1 1/2 t cumin
2 t chili powder
1 t paprika (1/2t if you have smoked paprika)
1 t crushed red pepper
1/2 t dry minced onion
1 clove garlic
1 small lime
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 top sirloin steak
2 green bell peppers
1 each red, yellow, and orange bell peppers
1 jalapeno pepper
1 lg onion
EVOO or Canola oil
Since I was making chicken and steak fajitas, I made two batches of the seasoning mix in separate zip-top bags so I could marinate the meat separately. Now, knowing how good it turned out, I'll probably jar a big batch for future use so I don't have to measure it out each time.
I sliced the chicken and the beef into thin strips, adding the chicken to one bag and the beef to the other, then poured about 2T of olive oil into each bag, squeezed a small lime into each, then added the garlic, giving everything a quick massage before tucking it away in the fridge.
Next, I sliced the onion and bell peppers into strips. I minced the jalapeno, removing most of the seeds and pith. I added the veggies to the bag with the beef, again massaging it to get everything coated, and set it back in the fridge. I probably only let it marinate for about a half hour, but that was plenty of time.
|Looks delish already and it's not even cooked yet.|
When I was ready to get cooking, I took everything out of the fridge so it wouldn't be going in a hot pan cold, then unpackaged the tortillas, wrapping them in foil and popping them in the oven at 200 degrees, just to warm them.
Heat about 1T oil in a large pot (so you don't have to worry about spatter) over medium heat, and cook the chicken first. It should take about 6" - 3" on each side. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and tent with foil to keep warm, then return the pan to the heat and cook the veggies until crisp-tender. Add the veggies to the serving platter with the chicken, then add a little fresh oil to the pan, put it back on the heat and cook the steak to desired doneness, adding to the platter with the chicken and veg.
Retrieve your warm tortillas from the oven and serve with whatever garnish you like. I offered up salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream, and fresh chopped cilantro, but everyone pretty much just wanted it as is. I used a little sour cream and cilantro. I was actually shocked at how tender the steak was, and the spice mix gave off plenty of flavorful heat without fighting you. If anyone in your crew is particularly heat sensitive, you might want to back off a little on the crushed red pepper or skip the jalapeno.
I have already been asked to make these again. Love that! :)