01 July 2010

Double Take: Beef and Chicken Fajitas

A big plate of grilled meat... yum!

I’ve always been a fan of soft tacos, but I’ve never been one to order fajitas on a regular basis at Mexican restaurants. I’d rather have the tacos de asada... or quesadillas... or chimichangas. I have always been attracted to the sizzling cast iron skilt it arrives on, and the smell of course, but not necessarily the fajitas themselves. Most likely because it always comes with tons of green bell peppers. And well, I’m not a fan of bell peppers.

But the recipe in the all-new ultimate Southern Living Cookbook (p. 248) did not call for bell peppers. In fact, it didn’t call for much of anything. It’s basically a recipe for a marinade with serving suggestions. Which means easy peasy, right? Well, actually, right. This recipe was incredibly easy.

Prepare a spice mix: chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, pepper, salt, and garlic powder. Add Italian dressing, mix well. Add meat (steak and chicken) to a bag or glass dish with the marinade, let sit two hours, grill. You’re done. Right? Right. Except, don’t forget to prep all your toppings. But you have 2 hours plus grill time to prep, so no big deal. You even have time to throw a chile con queso together. Yum.

Marinade... I obviously forgot to take the picture before I cooked the meat.

And the taste? Not bad. The meat didn’t sing, but it was decent. At Tabitha’s suggestion, I marinated the beef for more than two hours, but I only gave the chicken two hours. Toppings of choice at my place: avocado, tortilla chips, salsa, sour cream, cheddar, lettuce, and tomato. And, of course, all this was wrapped in a warm flour tortilla. Kinda. We were dining al fresco, so I didn't warm the tortillas (I miss the microwave the most when we have flour tortillas). I halved the amount of meat in the recipe, but did not halve the marinade. The meat easily fed three people, and there would have been leftovers had our hungry friend The Dude not been dining with us. But The Dude decided there shouldn't be leftovers, and Hubby agreed. So between the three of us, we finished off three (European-sized, not American-sized) chicken breasts and two generous rib eyes. But I'd say the best part about fajitas is that everyone gets to build their own and make it to their specifications. And I definitely had two sous chefs that night! Thanks guys!

The Dude's fajita: both meats, chips, lettuce, tomato, chile con queso, sour cream

Right now I seem to be on a spice rub kick, so in the future I’ll leave out the Italian dressing (especially since I had to make it myself as it’s not readily available in the stores here). So, I’ll just rub the meat, let it sit a few minutes, then grill away! I love the taste of grilled meat with a spice rub. The meat keeps the flavor of the spices so much better, and if you’re using a tender cut of meat (like chicken breasts or rib eyes), there is no reason to marinate. Plus the spices char a little on the grill, adding a whole new layer to the flavor. But fajitas are marinated, not rubbed, thus I understand why the recipe called for a marinade rather than a rub. But I like rubs. (Speaking of rubs, my internet is back, so look for my new favorite rub in the next few weeks.)

Hubby's fajita: both meats, lettuce, tomato, salsa, cheddar

Make-again-as-is: 2 votes
Make-again-as-a-rub-instead-of-a-marinade: 1 vote

My fajita: both meats, avocado, chile con queso, lettuce, tomato, sour cream


  1. How did The Dude feel about you taking a picture of his food? Please explain European portion. The fajitas look yummy.

  2. @ Aunt Vicki: The Dude enjoyed the strange picture taking. As long as I'm offering him food, he doesn't care! European portion... let's see, I think these three breasts had the amount of meat in 1.5 of those breasts we grilled when I was in Atlanta! I highly recommend fajitas at home!

  3. YAY!! the internet is back!! The fajitas look really good! They don't look greasy like you get on the cast iron skillet! But since I don't have the luxury of a sous chef, for now I think I'll continue to eat fajitas out!!

  4. @ Momma: They were quite tasty and not greasy at all since we used the grill (well, I used a grill pan). One day I'll live in a town where I can get good ones out again! Until then, I'll make them at home.


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