Whether you are feeding a group, or maybe you need a new lunch idea, fajitas are a fun festive meal and super easy to put together. Fajitas typically pop into my radar around late summer when I am thinking of ways to use the cherry tomatoes I've grown and hopefully peppers if I am that lucky.
Fajitas can be made in a number of ways with just about anything you desire to put in them. Personally, I am not a big fan of hot and spicy foods. So, this recipe may come off as 'tame' but keep in mind, that you can change it up to suit your personal preference. Feel free to add some jalapeno, hot wax, and/or chili peppers to kick it up a notch.
"As Luck Would Have It"
It's been a heck of a morning. I've had internet issues and it took a while to get that sorted out. Anyway, in this blog, we will not only learn to make fajitas but I also have a handy kitchen tip to share. Plus, I found something delightful growing in my yard that made a terrific addition to this dish.
Well, my peppers aren't quite ready to harvest but I have a slew of cherry tomatoes. So, let's get on with it.
Including prep time and cooking time, I'd say, all in all, this recipe will take between 25-30 minutes tops. If you marinate beforehand (which I didn't), figure in about an hour. Depending on the serving size(s); you should be able to get approximately 8-12 tacos from this recipe.
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 Tbs Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb of boneless chicken breasts or tenderloins - Sliced into strips
1 Large or 2 medium size onion(s) - Sliced in 1/4-inch strips
4 Medium bell peppers - Sliced in 1/4-inch strips (color optional)
1 Pack of soft tacos (tortillas) - Or if you are adventurous you can make your own
2 Tbs Cumin
2 Tbs Chili powder
2 Tbs Cilantro
8-12 Cherry tomatoes
1 Pack of shredded cheese - I used the Mexican style
Avocado - Sliced in 1/4-inch strips
Hot peppers - Sliced in 1/4-inch strips
Let's Get Going!
Ok, assuming you've washed your hands, grab a good-sized skillet and heat up 1 TBS of oil on medium heat. We'll start with the chicken, wash it and pat it dry. Trim off additional fat. If you are using breasts, you may want to slice them into strips before cooking. I am using the tenderloins that are already pre-sliced.
Season them on all sides with salt and pepper to taste and 1 TBS of each of the following, cumin, chili powder, and cilantro. Add them to the skillet and turn them when necessary. While they are cooking, wash and slice 1 lime and squeeze 1 half over the chicken and the other half after you turn them.
While the chicken is cooking grab another good-sized skillet and place it on medium-medium high heat with 1 Tbs of olive oil. Wash the peppers. Remove the seeds and slice them into 1/4-inch strips. Peel and wash the onion(s) and slice into 1/4-inch strips also. Add them to the skillet and sprinkle the seasonings over them; salt and pepper to taste and 1 Tbs of each of the following, cumin, chili powder, and cilantro. As you did with the chicken, wash and slice the other lime and squeeze it over the vegetables. Allow them to caramelize stirring them as needed.
At this point, you are free to prepare your side items. I love fresh corn on the cob. It only takes a few minutes to shuck a couple of ears, wash, and boil them for 3-5 minutes. My boyfriend loves refried beans so I heated some for him. I don't care for them. I don't understand why they are refried. Can't they be fried right to start with? Beans should be boiled anyway, not fried, what the heck is that about?
Putting the Fajitas Together
After the chicken and veggies are done, remove them from heat and set aside. Get your plate(s) together and lay a tortilla on each. Now, you can add the ingredients and toppings of your preference. Keep in mind portion sizes. If you add too much you won't be able to close the fajita in order to eat it and it might tear apart on you.
I added the chicken first using 1 strip cut into chunks. Then I topped it with cheese so it would melt on the chicken. Then I added the peppers. I had some left-over bag salad that I needed to use up. Then quarter a cherry tomato and add it to the taco. If you like sour cream, add that. Now, roll or fold the taco and you are good to go. Time to plate the sides and serve.
You can store the remaining chicken and vegetables in containers for leftovers.
If you didn't use a non-stick skillet, you are left with something like this after cooking. Don't fret, I will show you how to easily deal with this nasty-looking mess.
This is a process called 'deglazing'. When cooking, you can use this method to make a delicious sauce for your dish. To make a sauce, you can deglaze your skillet with wine or just about any liquid. Today, I am not planning on making a sauce, I only want to get this cleaned without elbow grease, gross dishrags, and a nasty sink drain.
All you need to do is place it on high heat and add a little water. You'll want to cover the bottom with about 1/2-inch of water. Let it boil for a few minutes about 3-5 approximately. It's best to toss the water outside if possible. If not, you can pour it into a disposable (heat-safe) container and trash it. I don't advise dumping it in the sink, if you must, run scalding hot water with it and maybe some vinegar and dish soap for several minutes.
After you toss the water, you can wipe out the skillet with paper towels. Now it's ready to either hand wash or you can let the dishwasher do the rest.
A Gift From The Heavens
On day two, leftover fajita day, I was getting ready to mow the grass when I found a mushroom growing in the yard. I was pretty sure it was a puffball mushroom but I wasn't sure. My standard rule of thumb is that if you can't identify it, don't eat it. Even though I thought it was a puffball, I still felt the need to confirm it, and also, I wasn't even sure if puffballs are edible.
I decided to ask the public on my Instagram post to see what I could find out about it. I didn't want to mow over this beauty if it could be dinner, right? To my luck and good fortune, an avid mushroom hunter replied to my inquiry. It was indeed a puffball and to my delight, is edible under one condition. I would need to slice this baby and inspect the insides. If the inside is entirely all white, with no coloration it will be edible. If there is any other color besides pure white, it is too toxic to eat. Incidentally, puffball mushrooms are low in calories, they can lower your cholesterol, increase your cardiovascular health, and boost your immune system.
I promptly grabbed my sharp mushroom knife and headed to the yard. Let's see what we've got here. Oh yeah, baby! Nice and all-white inside.
It was a nice size too, in my opinion. They get a whole lot bigger, but to me, it was a perfect size. I gently washed it well and patted it dry with a paper towel. I placed my skillet on the stove with a few pads of butter and while that heated, I proceeded to slice it the rest of the way. Once sliced, I added it to the skillet of melted butter and seasoned it with salt and pepper.
It smells dreamy!
Oh wow, this mushroom kicked my fajita dish up a notch! Day two of fajita leftovers were better than the first. Since my fajitas were a little too large, we had the mushrooms as a side dish.
This recipe is a great idea if you are looking for something to cook for a few people, or maybe you want to cut costs and need an affordable meal to eat for a few days. It makes a great lunch packing idea too if you have access to a microwave.
At any rate, I hope you like this post and give it a try. Search your yard too, you never know when you might get lucky. Have a blessed day and thank you for reading.