Weeknight fajitas

I don't know about you, but I love Tex-Mex food! Sure, I enjoy and have appreciation for regional Mexican cuisine but there's a level of comfort in "south of the border" favorites such as burritos, ground beef tacos, a plate of nachos, and fajitas! Also, the weather was fantastic in Chicago today so I knew it was time to wake the grill out of its hibernation slumber and put it to work.  

Everyone has a great recipe, a secret marinade, a old neighbor's technique...and they're all probably delicious. I have no doubt they are. But a lot of those recipes require a rub or a marinade and, most importantly, time. Time is the most precious commodity during the week. If I have the time and, more significantly, the energy, I will marinate some chicken or beef for the grill the next evening. Usually, I just want to sit. For a long time. However, this shouldn't keep you from making fajitas. I think we get so caught up with the idea that we need to have the perfect recipe for something that we forget: meat + salt + grill = delicious

This recipe is my standard for weeknight fajitas. The seasonings are simple but enough to make the ingredients shine. I usually like to use flank steak. It has a really beefy flavor and when cut against the grain into thin slices, it's nice and tender. This time I used flat iron steak. I saw it and decided to try it out. I have to say it's a very flavorful cut of beef. If I see it again, I'm buying more of it. I like a mix of red bell peppers and poblano peppers with red onions. I cut them into thin strips for faster cooking. I choose to cook them in a skillet rather than grilling them with the meat. It's easier to control the cooking that way and honestly, they just fall between the grates when sliced thinly. 

Everyone's got their favorite way to dress a fajita. I like a little cheese and some hot sauce. My wife likes sour cream. You could add avocado, salsa, tomatoes, lime, etc. This part is up to you but be realistic with your accoutrements. You don't need a ton of stuff. It's dinner, not a Tex-Mex fiesta. 

In my experience with making fajitas for my family, I've come to realize that the kids don't like a fully assembled fajita like us grown-ups do. In fact, they don't really like the peppers and onion part of the deal at all. I guess that is to be expected. We can usually get them to try a red pepper or 2 but that's pushing it. So I made some corn to have on the side. I melt some cheese in a flour tortilla and basically make a quesadilla and serve the meat separately. They do a great job with dinner when the fajitas are configured this way. 

What's your fajita recipe? I know you have one!


Ingredients:  1 lb flank/flat iron/skirt steak, 2 red bell peppers, 2 poblano peppers, 1 large red onion, shredded cheese, flour tortillasolive oil

  1. Preheat your grill.
  2. Drizzle a little olive oil over your steak and season them generously with salt and pepper. If you want you could add chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, adobo, etc. Your call.
  3. Slice your peppers and onions into thin strips. They will cook faster that way. I like my vegetables to be soft. Not mush but definitely cooked.
  4. In a hot skillet, add 2 TBs or so of olive oil and add in your vegetables. Season with salt and pepper (and that other stuff if you like). 
  5. Put your steak on the grill and cook to your desired doneness. I like medium. Nice & pink.
  6. When your steak is done cooking, make sure you let it rest before you slice it!
  7. Arrange your cooked vegetables and sliced meat on a platter and serve it up with warmed tortillas, cheese, and whatever else you like to have on your fajita.
  8. Eat.

NOTE: You can also cook the steak indoors. Cook it in a very hot skillet (cast iron is best). There's no reason not to eat this during the winter!