Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fajitas Anyone?

First things first. I am glad India won the World Cup. Truth be told I didn't know about the whole thing until a Srilankan colleague sent a mail offering congratulations. "Congratulations on what?" I asked and he brought out the whole World Cup Cricket enchilada including the semifinals that India had won. Now the snippets of conversations I'd heard around the house and among other Indians began to fall into place! It's been so long but I used to be much interested in Cricket results when Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev ruled the roost.  I even used to sing "one day cricket to the blues" because it sounded like a good replacement for this. Sure I'd heard of the then up and coming Tendulkar and so it gave me a jolt when I read that this will be his last game. And what a fitting end! Anyway just for old times sake  I had told the colleague that we will cream his team and now I can be at work on Monday with a well placed smirk:-) Just kidding, of course he cares more about just watching a good game than who wins and was saying that the Indian team is really good this year and will most likely win. So Congratulations Indian Team! Now let us come back to the subject at hand. Our fajitas.

When the mouse does not go to the mountain, the mountain goes to the mouse! This is what got me to making chicken fajitas. My boy is a picky eater. I have to say his ultimate choices are somewhat healthy so I should not complain. It just makes life a little difficult when none of the existing choices seem to pass muster! Chicken fajitas sounded like something the kids might take to and so I found a few recipes. This recipe was picked based on reviews and I made some changes as always for our needs. The recipe called for a packaged fajita mix which I couldn't find in any stores and so I found another recipe online to make it from scratch. All in all the end result turned out very good and all of us have bought into fajita nights! My girl has not taken to fajitas as much but being a happy little soul she joins in with eating whatever she can from it. The recipe is good for chicken or beef but I have only tried chicken so far which is pretty good already!!

In The Mix

chicken breast - 1 1/2 lbs ( boneless/skinless. breast meat is the secret behind tender & juicy result)

red bell pepper - 1 sliced (julienned if you have time)
green bell pepper - 1 sliced
yellow bell pepper - 1 sliced. i added this for color
yellow sweet onion - 1 sliced
olive oil - 2 tbsp 

flour tortillas - as many as needed (10)  

sour cream or yogurt - 1 cup
diced tomato - 1
salsa - optional ( i buy this fresh and love it)
avocado - optional
cut lettuce - 2 cups 

for the marinade
mc cormick fajita seasoning mix - 5 tsp ( since there was a recall on it none were available and so i used a recipe give below for this mix)
olive oil - 1/8 cup
vinegar - 2 tbsp
lime juice - 1 tbsp
mc cormicks spicy roasted garlic chicken seasoning - 1 1/2 tsp
(i found this seasoning at the store. i think you can use salted garlic powder mixed with crushed chili powder if you don't have this available. didn't use the peppers and since fajita seasoning mix had oregano, i added it there instead of here.)

fajita seasoning mix
cumin powder - 1 1/2 tsp
oregano - 1 tsp
salt - 1/4 tsp
salted garlic powder - 1/4 tsp
chili powder - 1 tsp or more
pepper powder - 1/2 tsp or more
didn't have onion powder. so used 2 shallots sliced circular which is a keeper for this.

How To Do

Preheat oven to 350. Cover the tortillas in aluminum foil and heat for 10 minutes. Turn oven off and keep tortillas in until needed.

Mix all the fajita seasoning ingredients and spoon out what is needed for the marinade. Add the sliced shallots to the marinade. Wash and drain the chicken. Make sure it is sliced into fajita sized pieces. Slice or butterfly to get the desired size. Mix all the marinade ingredients together with the meat. Check salt and sourness to taste and marinate overnight. 

Take grill pan and heat very well so the meat won't stick to the bottom when you add it. You can grill outside if you are up for it. The grill pan works perfectly fine except it can smoke up the house if you need to use it for a second round. Do about 3-4 minutes at the most on each side, remove from heat and drain on paper towels. Mmmm. Yummmm. You will have little boys flying around in anticipation with all that yummy smell. 

Once cooled, slice the chicken into smaller pieces and they are ready to be served. Now on to other accompaniments.

To make the peppers, heat oil in a pan and saute the onions on medium heat. Cook until wilted and add the peppers. Mix well and continue to cook till peppers are wilted and onions are crisp and lightly brown. 

Put all the toppings in separate bowls and get out the warm soft tortillas. Take one tortilla, spread with peppers, chicken, yogurt, salsa or other toppings of your choice. Roll on both sides and dig in!! Be forewarned that you might need a napkin or two to keep the juices from getting away and to keep things clean..