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The Perfect Fajitas at Home: A Simple Guide


How to Make the Perfect Fajitas at Home


Fajitas are a great way to get a healthy, home-cooked meal on the table fast. They’re also an excellent choice for an informal party or dinner with friends—it’s not necessary to make individual fajita tacos and everything can be placed on one big platter for easy serving. In fact, making fajitas at home is easier than you might think—and it’s not much more difficult than making regular beef tacos. Fajitas have just a few special requirements that complicate things slightly, but nothing that you can’t master in no time. It doesn’t take much more than slicing some meat and vegetables and tossing them in a pan with some spices, oils and maybe even some healthy fat to keep them from getting too oily. Read on for the perfect fajita recipe...



The first thing to keep in mind when you’re making fajitas is that the word “fajita” refers to a particular cut of meat, skirt steak that is either marinated or rubbed with spices and then cooked on a griddle or charbroiled. While traditionally, fajitas are made with skirt or flank steak, boneless chicken breast works just as well. You can also make fajitas with shrimp and even vegetables, like bell peppers or zucchini. The best fajitas use a combination of some or all of the following ingredients: Onion, garlic, bell pepper, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. If you want the best fajitas at home, you’ll need to start with the best cuts of meat. The best fajita meat is flank steak, skirt steak, sirloin, or any other cut with a bit of connective tissue. This will give the fajitas that perfect, tender-yet-chewy texture. And if you want to go whole hog, you can use the same cuts for fajitas that you’d use for tacos. That said, fajitas are best with thicker cuts of meat, so the fajitas will not dry out even if they sit in the pan a little longer.


Onion and Garlic: Know Your Fajita Fixings


A single fajita is just a pile of meat and a spoonful of vegetables on a plate. You can put your own unique twist on fajitas by adding your own special ingredients—everything from guacamole to cheese and even chopped olives work well. Some of the most traditional fajita ingredients include: Onion—You can slice a single onion and use it in both the fajita vegetables and the meat. Or you can choose to use two different kinds of onion for a more complex final flavor. The choice is yours. Garlic—Fresh garlic is ideal for fajitas, but any other form will also work. Garlic scapes—These are the flower head of a garlic plant, and they have a more delicate, milder flavor than regular garlic. They’re ideal for fajitas since you can use a few as a garnish. Ripe tomatoes—Choose a ripe, juicy tomato for your fajita vegetables, and you’ll also get a small bonus of vitamin C, vitamin A and potassium.


How to Prepare the Fajita Veggies


Cutting the fajita vegetables is pretty straightforward. Start by slicing up the tomatoes. You may want to remove the seeds first, but it’s completely optional. Some people like the extra bite the seeds add, while others don’t. Garlic scapes can be thinly sliced lengthwise, or you can chop them. If you’re using regular garlic, chop it thinly. Peppers are next. You can slice them or cut them into strips. If you’re using bell peppers, you can cut them into strips and remove the seeds with a few slices from a knife. If you’ve got access to a mandoline, this is the perfect time to use it. But be careful! One of the most common mistakes when making fajitas is cutting the vegetables too thin. If your vegetables are too thinly sliced, they’ll burn in the pan before the meat is done.


How to make fajitas


Normally, fajitas are made on a char broiler, but there are other ways to get the same result. If you have one, you can use it. Otherwise, a large skillet will work just as well. Heat the pan over medium heat. Meanwhile, add the oil, spices and salt and pepper to the meat. When the pan is heated, place the meat in the pan and leave it alone. You don’t want to stir or turn the meat until it’s browned on one side, which can take 5-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat. You don’t want to cook the meat all the way through; you just want to brown it. When the meat is browned, flip it and proceed to cook it through.


Fajita vegetables are straightforward, but the fajita meat is a bit more complicated. You can choose to either season the meat with spice and oil or marinate it with spices and oil. If you choose to marinate the meat, you can do so a day ahead of time, but it’s also possible to marinate the meat for just a few hours. If you’ve marinated the meat, you should drain it and discard the marinade. Heat a little oil in a large fajita pan or a large skillet and cook the meat for about 4 minutes on each side. If you’ve seasoned the meat with spices only, don’t add the oil. Instead, you can use the juices from the meat itself to create a delicious and flavorful sauce.


How to Cook the Meat for Fajitas


The best way to tell if the meat is cooked through is to use a meat thermometer. Fajitas should be cooked to an internal temperature of 155°F, and it’s difficult to gauge by looking at the meat. Once the meat is cooked, remove it from the pan and let it rest for a few minutes. You can also add some sliced bell peppers if you want to speed up the cooking process and give them some color as well.


Toppings for Fajitas


You can make different types of fajitas by using different vegetables and toppings. Some of the most common fajita toppings include: Cheese—You can grate Cheddar, Swiss, Monterey Jack, Colby, Parmesan or any other type of cheese you have on hand. Sour cream or guacamole—One of these healthy fats will help keep your fajitas from getting too oily. Fresh salsa—This is a great topping for fajitas, especially if you’ve made a homemade salsa. Cilantro—Cilantro is a great topping for fajitas. You may want to chop the fresh leaves, but you don’t have to—simply tearing the leaves will do.


How to serve fajitas


To serve the fajitas, place a tortilla on a plate and add some of the fajita vegetables and meat. Add a couple of tablespoons of salsa and a few sprigs of cilantro and you’re done. You can either serve the fajitas at the table or bring them to the diners as they sit. To keep the fajitas warm, you can use a low-temperature oven or a warm platter. You can also make the fajitas in advance and heat them up later. The vegetables can be served raw, but the meat should be cooked beforehand. You can either warm up the vegetables and meat in a microwave or in a low-temperature oven or you can heat them in a pan or a wok and add a bit of oil if they’re dry.


Summing it up


Making fajitas at home is an excellent way to get a flavorful, healthy and inexpensive meal on the table. The best fajitas are made with skirt or flank steak, but you can also use a combination of different meats and vegetables. To make the perfect fajitas, you’ll need to prepare the fixings, prepare the veggies, cook the meat and serve the fajitas. Its that simple!


 



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