5 Tips for Amazing Fajitas

We all know exactly what is coming when you hear the loud sizzling in the distance. Our mind instantly jumps to fajitas. The only question is, “are they chicken or steak?” Anyone who enjoys Mexican food has had fajitas at least once in their life, mostly because that sizzle gets your attention and makes you crave them. We have good news about fajitas and that is that you can make them at home. Easily! The article below from food.dailybuzz.com will teach you how to make amazing fajitas.

5 Tips For Great Tasting Fajitas

I got asked a few times recently how to make really good tasting Fajitas yourself, instead of using the ready-made commercial kits full of E-numbers and other crap. As I made Fajitas again last weekend, I thought I’ll share a few tips and tricks in a bit more detail instead of the usual picture reportage.

Here’s my 5 tips for absolutely fantastic tasting Fajitas.

Tip 1. The Meat and the Marinade.

Traditionally the one and only Fajitas meat is skirt steak. However, as skirt steak is not a very popular cut here in Europe and it’s hard – if not impossible – to find at local meat counters, we need to find alternatives.  In my opinion,  just as good, if not better, is the fillet of beef (tenderloin).  Another cheaper but still incredibly tasty option is of course chicken breast fillets.  Either of these do taste fantastic when marinated properly. As I made Beef Fajitas earlier this month, I’ll be making chicken Fajitas this time.

The secret here is the soy sauce. It is just unbelievable how good flavor it brings to the meat. I didn’t believe it until I tried it myself. Trust me, it is good. After doing soy sauce based marinades with meat and chicken for the first time a few years ago, I have started to buy soy sauce in 1l bottles from Asian shops. They cost about 5e per bottle and make quite a few excellent marinades.

Tip 2. The Marinade for the Vegetables

Nice choice of vegetables for Fajitas is of course grilled onions and paprika (bell peppers).

For the marinade, again, key is the soy sauce.  For the veggies a lighter marinade is enough as we don’t want to kill the flavor of the veggies, just enhance it a little.  Therefore,  sprinkle some soy sauce, a little bit salt and some freshly ground black pepper on the vegetables. Mix them around a couple of times before you grill them. It doesn’t make sense to actually grill them on a real grill, so best way is to brown  them on a hot cast iron skillet. I usually don’t put any oil on the skillet, but add a bit of oil to the vegetables just before cooking them.

Tip 3. Grilling the Meat

You could grill the meat on a cast iron skillet as well. It would taste very good, but for the really special flavor we need of course charcoal and a little bit of wood.

The traditional smoke flavor for Fajitas is mesquite.  We don’t need to BBQ the meat, but adding mesquite wood chips on the hot charcoal does add to the flavor very nicely.

Place the meat or the chicken on the grill directly over the hot charcoal and grill it about 1 minute each side. Close the lid between turning the meat so the mesquite wood chips start to smoke instead of just burning.

The beef is done when it’s browned on each side.  Same goes for thin chicken fillets. If you have thicker chicken pieces, move them away from the charcoal to the cold side of the grill and close the lid for a couple of minutes just to make sure the chicken is well cooked.

Cut the meat to thin strips and place it on a hot sizzling skillet next to the vegetables for serving.

Tip 4. Pico de Gallo

The real flavors of Mexican food to me comes from coriander (cilantro) and lime. If I don’t have them available, I don’t cook Mexican.  A great condiment for Fajitas is Pico de Gallo. It is also known as Salsa Fresca, as it’s indeed a fresh and tasty Mexican Salsa.

For the salsa, you need:

  • 6-8 nice and aromatic tomatoes
  • 1-2 onions
  • few sprigs of fresh coriander
  • 2 green chilies (jalapeños etc.)
  • 1 lime
  • dash of salt
  • dash of freshly ground black pepper

De-seed the tomatoes and discard the seeds. Chop the tomato flesh to small bite size chunks. Chop the onions, chilies and coriander as well.  Squeeze in the juice of the lime and mix it all up well.  Let it settle in the fridge for an hour or two.

Serve with the Fajitas and enjoy. I can tell from experience, no matter how much I make of this, there is never anything left over.  It is a really nice and refreshing salsa.

Tip 5. Easy Guacamole

If you made the salsa above, it’s your lucky day –  making Guacamole couldn’t be easier.

Mash up 2-3 avocados with a fork or a potato masher.  Just before serving, fold in 1-2 tablespoons of the salsa. Done!

Enjoy!

That’s it!  Hope you enjoyed the tips.

Putting it all together, I like to add some sour cream for the extra moistness and being a chili-head, any hot chilies or hot sauces for the extra kick.  Sometimes some shredded cheese or refried beans as well.

Last but not least, make your own tortillas if you got the time. They are always better.  This time I didn’t have the time so I cheated and used ready-made ones.  I promise, these Fajitas were delicious anyway!

Now that you have this information, nothing is stopping you from making the perfect fajitas at home. And when you come to one of our three Massachusetts locations and order the fajitas, you will know the care that went into creating them. Isn’t it a little cool to have an inside scoop on ethnic foods? Come on down to Ixtapa Mexican Restaurant & Cantina for some sizzling fajitas! Can’t decide on the filling? Try our Combo Fajita. When you hear that sizzle you will be ready for the incredible meal to come.