Fajitas (literally "belts" in Spanish) are one of the most popular Southwestern dishes, and they actually originated in Texas at the end of the last century. Fajitas can be made with chicken and seafood as well as beef, and in this recipe, the tequila and citrus marinade gives the steak a robust tang. After the vegetables have been grilled, you may serve them as they are or cut them into smaller, bite-sized pieces. If you have a grill basket, you can cut the vegetables into smaller portions before marinating and grilling, or alternatively, thread the vegetables on skewers to keep them from slipping through the grate of the grill. WINE RECOMMENDATION:<br>A California Pinot Noir or Spanish Rioja.
- For the Marinade:
- Juice and zest of 6 limes
- Juice and zest of 4 oranges
- 1/2 cup tequila (preferably Herradura Silver or Sauza Hornitos)
- 1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes
- For the Beef:
- 3 top sirloin steak, prime or choice grade, about 8 ounces each and 1 inch to 1 1/4 inches thick
- For the Vegetables:
- 3 large onions, cut crosswise into 3 or 4 slices
- 6 Roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded and halved
- 2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 4 strips
- 6 ounces cultivated mushrooms
- For the Beans:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup finely diced onion
- 1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
- 2 jalapeno chiles, seeded and minced
- 1 can pinto beans (15 ounces), drained
- 1 can black beans (15 ounces), drained
- 1 cup chicken stock or water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon minced marjoram
- For Serving:
- 8 flour tortillas
- Salsa Fresca (see "Breakfast-In-Bed Steak and Eggs with Salsa Fresca")
- 1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
- 1 cup grated Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese (optional)
Companion recipe: Breakfast-in-Bed Steak and Eggs with Salsa Fresca
FOR THE MARINADE:
Combine the citrus juices and zests, tequila, vinegar, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the garlic and red pepper flakes in a mixing bowl. Divide the marinade in half, transferring each half to a large shallow bowl or glass dish.
FOR THE BEEF:
Add the steak to one half of the marinade, cover, and marinate for 2 to 3 hours in the refrigerator, turning the steaks occasionally. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature for 1 hour before grilling.
FOR THE VEGETABLES:
To the other half of the marinade, add the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil. Add the onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, and zucchini and gently toss to coat. Let marinate for at least 1 hour, tossing occasionally. About 15 minutes before grilling, add the mushrooms to the marinade. Prepare the grill. About 40 minutes before you are ready to serve, drain the marinated vegetables and reserve the marinade. Thread the mushrooms (and tomatoes, if desired) on skewers. Grill the vegetables until they become tender and begin to blacken, 15 to 20 minutes; brush them with some of the marinade as they grill. Remove and slice the bell pepper and zucchini into strips and cut the onions in half. Remove the mushrooms and tomatoes from the skewers and slice the mushrooms and tomatoes in half lengthwise. Set aside and keep warm.
FOR THE BEANS:
Heat the olive oil in a large pan and sauté the onion, bell pepper and jalapenos over medium heat for about 4 minutes, until softened. Stir in the beans, add the stock and cook for 10 minutes or until the liquid is somewhat reduced and thicker. Season with salt to taste and add the marjoram.
About 15 minutes before serving, remove the meat from the marinade. Grill the steaks for about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare, 5 minutes for medium, or to the desired doneness, depending on the thickness of the cut and the heat of the grill. Remove the steaks from the grill and slice across the grain.
Just before serving, heat the flour tortillas on the grill, about 30 seconds on each side, until warm but not browned. (Alternatively, warm them in a dry skillet on the stove top.)
Arrange the sliced steak and vegetables on a warm platter or in a heated iron skillet. Arrange the tortillas in a covered basket or wrapped in a cloth. Serve the salsa, beans, sour cream and cheese in festive bowls on the side. Guests should serve themselves by filling a warm tortilla with a mix of steak and vegetables of their choosing, topped with salsa, sour cream and grated cheese.
If grilling is not an option, fajitas can be easily prepared on the stovetop; simply marinate the steak and vegetables in the same way and then sauté the steak and vegetables separately in a small amount of peanut oil, or roast the vegetables in the oven.
In this recipe we use sirloin rather than the traditional skirt steak, which is a less tender cut; leaner cuts are typically used for especially tender, tasty fajitas. We suggest 1-1/2 pounds of steaks, but for heartier appetites, or leftovers, you may wish to use 2 pounds.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Harper Collins. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
1151 calories; 31g total fat; 104mg cholesterol; 1638mg sodium; 276g carbohydrates; 24g fiber; 67g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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