To start with I made a marinade, one that I borrowed from Alton Brown and twisted around to suit my needs. I made the marinade in the morning before one of my classes and left the meat in the refrigerator till it was time to cook dinner. . . So anyway, marinade time. As Alton Brown (my husband in a next life) suggests, I did the marinade in a blender all quick and easy style.
So yeah, as you can see, the marinade is pretty basic. Take everything and throw it in a blender, zip it, pour it into a ziploc bag, squeeze all the air out, and let the meat chill until you're ready to cook, somewhere between an hour and a day. It doesn't matter really.
Ingredients1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
big dash of Worcestershire sauce
4 scallions, washed and cut in half
1/4 red onion
2 large cloves garlic
1/4 cup lime or lemon juice (I mix both)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons dark-brown sugar or Mexican brown sugar
The meat in the marinade isn't the prettiest, but fuck, it tastes good, and really, that's whats important. When I got home from class, I threw some rice in the rice cooker--I love rice under my fajitas, and prepped up some veggies.
For veggies, I used some stuff I had in the refrigerator--peppers and onions, as is traditional, and mushrooms, since I like them and they're so good with beef. I used quite a few veggies and not as much meat as you see at a Mexican joint to keep things healthy, and I cooked a ton. Why? reheated fajitas are good for lunch and dinners, cold fajita fixings over salad are really good. So I cut a ton of veggies into nice little pieces (strips for the peppers and onions as is traditional, and slices for the mushrooms. just cuz.Oh, I also pulled the meat out of the refrigerator at that point and let it come back to room temperature before cooking.
Traditionally, fajita meat is grilled, but I chose to stay inside and use a cast iron skillet. I added just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and let it come up till it was screaming hot, the oil was kinda shimmering on the bottom, but not quite letting the oil smoke. Because that makes things taste funky.
Once the pan was searingly hot I pulled the meat out of the marinade, dried it a little, and threw it in the pan to let it sear. You want the pan super hot to get a good sear on the meat. Once both sides are seared, take the meat out and set it aside. You're gonna cook all the veggies right in that good meaty marinade-y pan so they pick up all kinds of nice flavors. I did the veggies half at a time. By not crowding the pan, all the veggies get a nice brown on them without really steaming too much. First, I threw the onions in the pan, let them cook till soft, then added the mushrooms, let them brown a little, then added the peppers. they cook the quickest.
Once the veggies were cooked, I sliced the skirt steak, which had been resting all quietly on my butcher block, and added it back into the pan. Why? the meat was totally rare inside. Now I love my good rare meat, but skirt steak does better a little more cooked. I kept it pretty much medium rare though. Also cooking them again put a lot more of a crusty edge on the meat, and I love the crunchy bits.
And with that, my fajitas were done. These are pretty good on a tortilla with sour cream and guacamole, but I like them over rice, so I did that. and they were gooooood.
These were the best post-finals comfort meal I had last week, in the midst of finals hell. But yeah, they're pretty good the rest of the time too. I just happened to make them during finals time and they rocked me a little then.
ok, quickie fajita post done. . . coming up this week we've got mini posts on chicken salad and fruit salad and some baking goodness. yummm.