Fajitas & Guac

Steak Fajitas

One thing I like about fajitas is you can eat them with or without a tortilla and they are still hearty.  I like to make mine with steak, chicken, or shrimp.  One day I intend to try just veggies.  The other thing I like is the simplicity of them.  Protein + sliced peppers + sliced onions + spices.  I season mine with a little salt, some cayenne pepper, and a lot of cumin and chili powder.  I use this combo for chili and taco seasoning, too.  I’m not sure why I like that combo so much but there you have it.  Tonight’s fajitas were a little protein heavy since I wanted to make sure there were enough leftovers for lunch tomorrow.   I thought I’d share the recipe with you since I keep getting asked about recipes.

Simple Fajitas (serves 2)

1/2  lb steak (sliced), chicken (sliced), or shrimp

1-2 bell peppers, sliced (I like to use different colors)

1/2 red or sweet onion, sliced

salt, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and cumin to taste.

olive oil

Heat a medium frying pan on medium heat.  Add about 1 tablespoon of oil, more if you are using steak or chicken.  Add your steak, chicken, or shrimp and season with salt to taste.  If you are using shrimp, sear on each side quickly and remove from the pan.  As the meat begins to brown, season with cayenne, chili powder and cumin, stir well after seasoning.  Once your meat is browned, add the onions and peppers.  If you used shrimp, add the veggies after removing the shrimp and season with the spices.  Let it simmer for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve warm.

I know I didn’t do the onions first to release the aroma.  Frankly, I’ve done it both ways and I can’t notice a difference.  Since I go for simplicity and ease when making this, I make it as I wrote it more often than sweating out the onions first.

Debi's Guacamole

I served my homemade guacamole on the side.  When I was able to have regular flour tortillas, I slathered it in the tortilla on top of the meat, peppers, onions, and cheese.   Tonight I just took a little of it with each bite and it was just as good.  I came up with this recipe in my college dorm room.  It seems to be a hit with family and friends.  I taught my husband to make it and one time he spent hours in the kitchen making batch after batch because me, my brother, and my sisters were devouring it.

Debi’s Guacamole, serves 2

1 ripe avocado

juice of 1/2 lime

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, rough chopped

salt to taste

Halve your avocado, remove the pit.  Take a spoon and spoon out the avocado from each half  and put it in a medium size bowl.  Add the cilantro, lime juice, and salt.  Mash it all together with a fork, masher, or two knives.  If you use the knifes, it will be more chunky.  I like mine creamy so I use a fork.  Once it’s mashed, stir it well to make sure everything is incorporated.  If you are using large avocados, you’ll need to adjust your amount of lime juice and cilantro.

For those of you who haven’t made guacamole before or are new to cooking, the lime juice helps keep the avocado from turning brown after it’s exposed to air.  Similar to the effect fresh orange juice has on cut apples.  Also, if you’ve not worked with avocados before, here is an easy method to pit an avocado.  Hold the half with the pit in the palm of your hand, pit up, use a good large knife (I use my santoku knife) and swing it down into the pit.  You don’t need to put a lot of strength into it, the momentum of the motion takes care of it.  Twist the knife and the pit will come out easily, as long as your avocado is ripe.  If you’re lucky your pit will pop out without needing the knife to begin with.  To remove the pit from my knife, I just tap my knife on the side of my garbage can and it falls right off.

Now, I’m off to enjoy my irises that my husband surprised me with today when he came home from work.