Fajitas are a classic dish in Tex-Mex cuisine, having originated in the Rio Grande Valley. They consist of sliced, grilled meat and vegetables wrapped in a warm flour tortilla and topped with salsa, sour cream, shredded cheese, lettuce and guacamole. Fajitas are traditionally made with inexpensive skirt steak that is marinated then grilled. For a healthier meal, include more vegetables and less meat in your fajitas, or substitute poultry or seafood for less fat and cholesterol per serving.
Prepare a marinade from oil, vinegar or lime juice, and seasonings, such as garlic, minced cilantro, chopped jalapenos, salt, pepper and ground cumin in a large bowl or glass baking dish. Whisk the marinade thoroughly and add the steak to the bowl.
Turn the meat over several times to coat it completely and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow the meat to sit for one hour at room temperature or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
Heat a grill pan, cast iron pan or griddle on the stove's highest setting. Coat the pan with a small amount of oil, then add the steak.
Cook the steak for about three minutes on each side for medium-rare meat. Use tongs to remove the steak to a cutting board. Tent the meat loosely with aluminum foil and let it rest for five minutes.
Slice the meat thinly on an angle, against the grain.
Things You'll Need
Vinegar or lime juice
Large bowl or glass baking dish
Grill pan, cast iron pan or griddle
While the meat is resting, add more oil to the pan and cook sliced vegetables, such as bell peppers and onions, to serve with the fajitas.
Substitute hanger or flank steak if skirt steak is not available.
Substitute marinated boneless skinless chicken breasts, peeled shrimp or firm fish fillets, such as mahi mahi, instead of the skirt steak.
When using chicken instead of steak for fajitas, make sure the meat is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The Austin Chronicle: Just What Exactly is a Fajita?
- Fine Cooking: Beef Skirt Steak
- Harvard School of Public Health: Protein
- Foodsafety.gov: Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures
- Chow: Basic Chicken Fajitas Recipe
- Woman's Day: Shrimp Fajitas
- Food Network: Fish Fajitas with Spicy Salsa Verde
- Simply Recipes: Steak Fajitas
- Food Network: Steak Fajitas with Fresh Guacamole