One of my beloved culinary gifts this past Christmas was from my daughter Brittany: Fajita Plate Set with Wood Tray and Hot Mit. I’ve used it, and loved it, quite a few times since December 25. In fact, if it hasn’t totally been used to death by December 25, 2010, it’ll be a miracle. Love it! Before the meal (about 20 minutes before plating begins), I place the fajita iron skillet in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Then, when the meat and/or vegetables go onto the skillet, their moisture cause a heavenly sizzle that I’ve become somewhat infatuated with.
For supper tonight, I made steak fajitas and shrimp fajitas (indecision often leads to a varied meal and always leads to a large grocery bill). I also made guacamole, of course, and a tossed lettuce and cilantro salad. I made a dressing for the salad by using avocados, lime juice, salt, and sour cream.
I marinated the strips of skillet steak for an hour. I would have preferred skirt steak, but Kroger didn’t play along with that game plan, so I compromised a wee bit.
Here’s the marinade I used:
4 TBS vegetable oil
3 TBS freshly squeezed lime juice
dash of salt
dash of pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
I added sliced onions and whole garlic cloves to the ziploc bag along with the meat and marinade. In hindsight, I wish I’d added more garlic cloves – they wore the marinade beautifully PLUS garlic is ridiculously good for you. Oh yeah, should have added more.
After an hour, I cooked the meat, onions, and too few garlic cloves on my George Foreman grill (which needs to be replaced with a new one, by the way). When the steak strips were just the way I wanted them, I transferred the whole shebang to a dish and covered it with Reynold’s 100 % Recycled Aluminum Foil (GREAT STUFF! 4 Stars out of 4 Stars). I put it on the stove to keep it warm.
I thawed some beautiful big, juicy, tailless cocktail shrimp and tossed it with lime juice and a little bit of seasoning – Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy Seasoning Blend. When the laid back Mrs. Dash gets all spicy, it’s a beautiful thing. The shrimp cooked really fast, so I didn’t leave its side for a minute. Again, with the Reynold’s 100 % Recycled Aluminum Foil (again, I love this environmentally friendly foil).
Finally, I sauteed an onion and three beautiful bell peppers in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil – one red, one yellow, and one green. I didn’t allow them to get too tender, as I always want them to show up to the party sort of crispy tender. While they were making the kitchen smell like a Mexican kitchen in Heaven, I warmed the flour tortilla shells in the oven – – – – wrapped in what? Yep. See why it’s so important to me that this foil is 100 % recycled – I use the heck out of it!
I carefully… oh so carefully….. removed the fajita skillet as well as a larger iron skillet that was impersonating a fajita skillet from the oven. Then I put the shrimp and some of the pepper and onion blend onto the fajita skillet. Sizzzzzle! Then, I did the same with the steak strips and the rest of the pepper mixture – I poured them into the large iron skillet. Sizzzzzle!!!!!
While we’re at it, something else you’ll want to invest in before you make another Mexican-inspired meal is a Tortilla Warmer (pictures above). They’re perfect for keeping your tortillas perfectly warm and soft. Before Britt hooked me up with all of these wonderfully perfect accessories, I just assumed soft, warm tortillas were something you could only get in a true, authentic Mexican restaurant. Ha! I can have them anytime I want now in my own kitchen. For some reason… the type of reason only Alton Brown could explain… tortillas keep their personality much more intact with a tortilla warmer than they do with anything else.
If you don’t have a fajita skillet or a tortilla warmer, please repent and see the error of your ways. Furthermore, you must try the Reynold’s 100% Recycled Aluminum Foil – it’s brilliant!