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Verses from my Kitchen: Steak Fajitas-A Fiesta

October 2, 2010

Steak Fajitas-A Fiesta

A couple of nights ago my wife and I were trying to decide on what to make for dinner for Friday. This wasn't your everyday occasion. My In-laws were celebrating their anniversary. We ran through the possibilities. Wait. Stop the tape.

I have made countless dinners over the years. Dinners for all celebrations and everyday events, from the dinner party to birthday parties and more. I have made or attempted everything in the book. Beef tenderloin with Cabernet-shallot sauce, roasted chicken with lemon, garlic and thyme, seared duck breast with reduced port sauce and the list goes on. I've attempted things too difficult for my culinary scale and things super simple and easy. I haven't always succeeded.

The point is dinner can be anything for any event. It's about the people, the food and the celebration. And the conversation I was having with my wife was about one of those dinners and the path to take. Luckily, I had exactly what I needed right in the fridge before my eyes. And the rest was within reach.

Four flank steaks sitting and resting and waiting. I figured I would need to do all my prep work that night because there wouldn't be enough time on Friday before they arrived. So I started formulating what I needed and what I already had. We were going to have Steak Fajitas and I needed a simple marinade to let the meat gather all those flavours over night and through the day. A marinade to enhance the steak and help tenderize it. I put the following in my processor and pulsed and poured it into a large resealable bag. I put my 2 long flank steaks, about 2 pounds, into the bag and rubbed it in and around and sealed the bag. It was ready to marinade for almost 24 hours. It looked good already.

Flank Steak Marinade: 

The Goods:
1 orange, juiced
2 limes, juiced
1 tbsp. lime zest
2 chipotle peppers, in adobo sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp. tequila
1 tbsp. honey
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. cumin
small handful cilantro, finely chopped
1 tbsp. kosher salt and cracked pepper

Steak Fajitas with grilled peppers and onions.

You can't have fajitas without the really good stuff. They go hand in hand. It was time for my homemade Garlic Guacamole and Fresh Spicy Salsa. Both really simple recipes and both packed with so much flavour that you'll want to make it every time you think of fajitas or tacos or bring out a bag of tortilla chips.  It was texture, flavour and a kick. Just enough. Spicy, sour, salty and sweet all at once. Perfect with the mouth-watering flank steak and perfect flavour vehicles.

Garlic Guacamole:

Yields: 4-6 servings

The Goods:
3 ripe avocados, diced 
1 lime, juiced
1 lemon, juiced
1 small red onion, chopped
1 yellow tomato, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and sliced thinly
Handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and cracked fresh pepper

Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop out the avocado. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined and with some chunkiness left. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

 Making guacamole.

Fresh Spicy Salsa:

Yields: 6-8

The Goods:
6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 tsp. chili powder
small bunch cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lime, juice and zest
Kosher salt and cracked pepper

In a bowl, mix all ingredients until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for flavours to enhance.

After allowing all these great flavours to mix and combine and marinade, the results were fantastic. The steak had a sweet and spicy flavour and the guacamole and salsa each had flavour infusions that enhanced the fajitas. I grilled up chopped red and yellow peppers and green pepper and onions until soft but charred. I made a Mexican-style rice with peppers, garlic and black beans. Soft, tender and spicy.

It ended up being a perfect dinner, a different dinner. My In-laws enjoyed the dinner and my wife and I were happy with the results. We celebrated their Anniversary and enjoyed their company. I'll definitely be making this again. I'll only change one small thing. Homemade tortillas and a picture.

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