No matter what you order in a Mexican restaurant, how delicious it is, how much you enjoy your meal, don’t you still get a pang of something resembling envy when a wait waltzes by your table with a sizzling platter of fajitas? It’s hard not to feel like you didn’t order the best thing when that cast iron platter sails by…..
And they are surprisingly easy to make at home, truly, especially if you use a pre-made Fajita seasoning, or some other Mexican seasoning blend. I make a big batch of my taco seasoning, keep it in a container, and scoop that out as needed.
Vegetables in Fajitas
I use red onions because I like the way they add even more color to the dish, but if you have yellow or white onions, definitely use them. For more color use two different color peppers. And don’t shy away from the tiny bit of sugar, which just enhances the caramelization of the vegetables. If you want a little more heat, you could either use 2 jalapeños, or stick with the one but leave some of the seeds in.
Warming Tortillas for Fajitas
Don’t skip the part where you warm your tortillas in the pan. This adds flavor, those nice brown spots bringing out the toasty wheat, and makes the tortillas more pliable. It takes only a few minutes, and I think it makes the meal. If you want to taste them before cooking the meat, that’s also a perfectly fine order of events – then you might want to heat them for about 20 seconds in the microwave once the meat is cooked up.
Pass a great salsa and some of the other toppings around with the meat and vegetables. If you have time, make this insanely good roasted tomato sauce. This will instantly make you feel like you are in a good Mexican joint. There will be no orderer’s remorse for you, not today.
- 1 pound fajita-sliced beef strips
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil divided
- 2 red onions halved and sliced
- 2 red bell peppers stemmed, seeded and sliced
- 1 jalapeño stemmed, seeded and chopped
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon taco or Mexican seasoning blend
- 1 lime halved
- 10 6-inch flour tortillas
To serve (pick and choose):
- Crumbled queso fresco or other white crumbly Mexican cheese (feta works, too, in a pinch!)
- Sour Cream
- Lime wedges
- Cilantro leaves
- Avocado slices or guacamole
- Roasted Tomato Sauce
- In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the onions, peppers, and jalapeno, sprinkle over the sugar, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for about 8 to 10 minutes until fairly tender. Remove all of the cooked vegetables to a one half of a serving platter
- Return the pan to medium heat, and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add eh beef strips and the seasoning, and sauté for 5 minutes, until the beef is cooked. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the beef to the other half of the serving platter. Tent with foil to keep warm.
- Carefully clean the hot pan, and return it to medium-high heat. Make sure the pan is clean and dry before warming the tortillas, one at a time, for 15 to 20 seconds on each side until browned in spots and slightly fragrant. Transfer the tortillas to a plate as they are warmed, and keep them covered with a clean dishtowel to keep them warm.
- Remove the dishtowel and squeeze the juice of the lime halves over the meat and the vegetables. Serve the beef and vegetables with the tortillas, and assorted toppings and let everyone fill their own fajitas.
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