Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Super quick fajita buffet!

So we have yet another entry from the grill!!! Now, I know in the past I have said that I like the grill because it decreases the dish load. For the photo, I used 5 bowls and a 15 pound bamboo cutting board that doesn't fit in the sink when I try to wash it. This is the dedication that I am putting into these photos for you guys! 

We have had this same meal on many a pre-blog night... The beans are served out of the pan they are cooked in. The fajita meat, peppers and onions are sliced on a dishwasher safe cutting board and stay there until they are put into their happy tortilla shells. The sour cream and salsa containers have spoons sticking out of them and the cheese is served out of the resealable bag that it comes in from the store. Yet again, I have my mother to thank for teaching me this fabulously efficient serving technique.

I would estimate that it took me about 25 minutes from start to finish to make these fajitas. This does not count the time to take the chill off the fajita meat when it comes out of the fridge. It would also take a bit longer if you were using chicken or pork or if you preferred well done beef as my beef is cooked to medium rare. In order to get this meal cooked in a hurry without feeling like you are rushing through it, you will need to do some planning in your head on the way home from work.

The low sodium mix is preferable
About 20 to 30 minutes before you are ready to start cooking (this for me is right when I walk in the door) you need to take the meat out of the fridge and season it. For my fajitas I like to use the pre-made taco or fajita seasoning from the grocery store. If you don't have it on hand just mix some chili powder, salt and a very small amount of cayenne to taste. The next thing you need to do is go to your bedroom and change so you don't stain your decent work clothes. Plus comfy pants are just sooo much better for your mental transition into being home and not thinking about work.

Ok... now that you are comfy, if you feel the urge, help yourself to a glass of wine. It is ever so much easier to cook with a glass of wine around! The next step is to light the grill on high. If you don't have a grill its ok to broil your protien of choice or pan sear it. While the grill/pan is pre-heating, pop open a can of black beans, give them a rinse and throw them in a small sauce pan with a little bit of water, some chopped up garlic, and diced jalepeno. Bring the bean mixture to a low simmer and leave it on low for the duration of the cooking adventure. Be sure to add some more water if it starts to look too dry.

I may have 'borrowed' this photo :)

The grill should be up to temperature by now. Slice a sweet onion into rings and core a green pepper but leave it one piece, then rub down the onion, pepper and fajita meat with olive oil. Put the pepper, onion and meat on the grill. This time is also a great opportunity to warm your favorite store bought tortillas. Cook the meat to your liking... medium rare is best for beef fajitas. I like to grill the onion and pepper until they have nice grill marks but they are still somewhat crisp. Nobody likes a soggy veggie and it makes it much easier to bite through the fajita without pulling out whole pieces of onion and pepper. Once the grilling part is done, bring in the goodies and let the meat rest for a few minutes. If you slice it right away, you will end up with nasty dry fajita fixins and all the yummy juice will be all over your cutting board and more than likely all over your counter.

While the meat is resting, if you want and you aren't dish-phobic, you can dole out the toppings of your choice into little serving dishes and garnish with some freshly chopped cilantro. Some of our favorites are light sour cream (it tastes the same as full fat and its waaaay better for you), diced avocado, salsa (your favorite jar brand works for when you are in a hurry), mexican shredded cheese blend and of course the sliced grilled peppers and onions. Barry's favorite way to have his salsa, avocado and sour cream is to blend them all together into a 'fajita' spread.

Finally, 25 minutes later, you are ready to eat. Get out your plates, serve up some of the black bean mixture, and save room for the fajitas. Pile all of your fixins onto your warmed tortillas and roll them up into yummy little packages to feed your happy family.

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