Sunday, May 22, 2011

quick dinner: fajitas

This post is expressly for Sara's managing editors at the HiLite.  This was dinner at our house the other night before Sara and her staff were honored at the Carmel Clay School Board meeting for "HiLite Achievements".  So many awards, you have to just gather them all into "achievements".  The Carmel way or complete and total dominance.  Sara's big sister swam for Carmel, a part of the teams that won state championships #19-21.  This year's team won #25 (in a row mind you).  As Grandma Becky said after watching a meet, "I enjoyed the complete and total dominance".  Love that.  Very proud of Sara, the Editor in Chief and her staff of over 80 students and the amazing print and online work of this past year.  Truly, easier to read than the Indy Star (print and especially online) and more visually pleasing and consistent than some of my favorite national papers.  Good work, HiLite.

Mr. Streisel, Sara and the managing editors

So here's a quick dinner idea for you and your own families of champions.  This post is by request from David Zheng, one of Sara's fellow HiLite champions and a faithful follower of this blog.  Fajitas featuring Sweet Mesquite Seasoning from Costco.  It comes in a nice big bottle and it's amazing.  I always make chicken fajitas, but also love to use flank steak and this seasoning would also be delicious on shrimp.



I also make some mean pinto beans to go along with the fajitas.  Almost as easy as a can of refried beans.  If you have a texture issue with refried beans  you might give these a try, and I know food texture people are out there.  No judgement.  Generally these are just yummy and they certainly look prettier on a plate than refried beans which seriously look like dog food.

Fire up your grill and have a nice fast fajita dinner!


Super Easy Fajitas

boneless, skinless chicken breasts and or tenders
flank steak (I make both)
sweet mesquite seasoning
sweet onions, sliced in rings
bell peppers, cored and sliced in strips
tortillas (flour or corn, whatever you like)
limes, quartered and juiced
sour cream
avocado slices or guacamole

Preheat your grill.  Brush your meat with a thin coat of olive or canola oil.  Season your meat generously (the seasoning is not too salty so don't be shy).  If you have only a little time to make dinner, cut your chicken into strips so it cooks faster and use a grill pan of some sort so you aren't chasing it around worrying about it falling through the grates.  You can, of course cook your meat and your vegetables on the stove on a grill pan or in a nonstick saute pan.

Cut your onions and peppers and lightly toss them with olive oil and kosher salt.

Grill your chicken about 5-7 minutes per side unless your pieces are very thick (could be 10 minutes or more per side for whole breasts).  Grill your flank steak for about 5-7 minutes per side until desired doneness.  Let rest about 5-10 minutes before thinly slicing across the grain.

Grill your vegetables in a grill basket about 10 minutes total.

Warm your tortillas in the microwave or on the grill (directly on the grates or wrapped in foil).  Serve meat and tortillas with limes, sour cream and avocados/guacamole as desired.

Pinto Beans

one 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 white, yellow or sweet onion, chopped
olive oil
1/2 tsp or more kosher salt
1 tsp (or more) dried Mexican or Italian oregano

Heat a little olive oil (about 1 T) in a non-stick saute pan over medium high heat.  Add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and saute for 30-60 seconds being careful not to brown the  garlic.  Add rinsed and drained beans (just use a colander and run some water over them until the slimy liquid is removed tossing to dry), kosher salt and oregano.  Taste for seasoning.  Serve hot or at least warm.  Also good with a little crumbled queso fresco or monterey jack cheese sprinkled on top.

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