Casual summer mealsâ€¦al fresco!
Fajitas are a northern Mexican favorite that has taken the world by storm, and one of the easiest things to throw together and serve up for a quick summer supper or a party al fresco. Essentially a quick stir-fry tucked into tortillas with a selection of salsas, hot sauces, or guacamole to fire up this crowd pleaser from south of the border .
Fajitas are as versatile as they are easy to make. Try them with meats, fish, shell fish, assorted mushrooms, or grilled vegetables. The recipe that follows is a master recipe of sorts, allowing you to decide what filling suits your fancy.
Fajitas: serves 4
- 1 pound meat, fish, shrimp, mushrooms, or grilled vegetables
- Â¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons tequila
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- Â½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 small hot chilies, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves (coriander)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium red onion; quartered and sliced
- 1 each red and green bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into thin strips (rajas)
- 2-3 long red or green chilies seeded and finely sliced on the diagonal
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 cup grated cheese of choice (see note)
- sour cream (or Greek yogurt) thinned slightly with whole milk
- 16 corn or Flour tortillas
Note: Mexican cheeses used for fajitas and tacos are generally mild fresh milk cheeses such as Queso Fresco (mild farmers cheese) or Requeson (similar to ricotta). If not available substitute as best you can. A mild goat cheese is another option you might explore.
Combine the lime juice, tequila, soy sauce, sliced garlic, salt, small hot chilies, and cilantro. Stir to combine and add one of the following; meats thinly sliced, fish, cut into bite size pieces, shrimp, shelled, or mushrooms, sliced. Toss with the marinade and set aside for 1 hour or more.
Assemble the bell peppers, sliced onions, chopped chilies, and oil for cooking.
Wrap the tortillas in a clean kitchen towel and warm in the oven at a very low temperature 15 minutes prior to assembling the fajitas.
Select a deep serving platter to hold the tortillas as you assemble them and for serving.
Have shredded cabbage, grated cheese, and sour cream (or Greek yogurt) handy for assembling and garnishing fajitas.
Select a large skillet that will hold all the ingredients once added. Place the skillet over medium high heat and add the oil and heat until nearly smoking. If you are using meat, shake off any excess marinade and stir-fry it first, searing the meat just until lightly browned. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
Add the onions, bell peppers, and chopped chilies to the skillet and stir-fry until the onions are soft and peppers are wilted; about 2-3 minutes. At this point if you are using fish, shrimp or mushrooms add them now and toss for a minute or two while stir-frying.
Turn the heat up to high and add the marinade to the skillet. It will sizzle at first so be careful. Once the marinade has reduced a little, if using grilled vegetables or pre-seared meat, add now and toss to combine.
Once the marinade and juices have reduced to a silky sauceâ€¦you are done!
Remove the skillet from the heat.
Holding a warm tortilla in the palm of your hand, tuck some shredded cabbage in the tortilla, then using tongs, fill the tortilla with the fajita mixture and place in a deep serving platter. Continue filling the tortillas, setting them one against the next upright in the serving platter. Add grated cheese to each fajita and top with sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
Transfer the platter of fajitas to the table and serve with various salsas of choice, a favorite hot sauce, and guacamole. Let everyone grab their own fajitas, folding the tortilla around the filling as they transfer it to individual serving plates. They can them customize their fajitas adding salsas, hot sauce, and guacamole to their liking. This is very casual eating so just relax and let everyone at the table do their own thing!