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Texas, USA – Fajitas

What’s cooking in Texas, USA?

Tex-Mex Fajitas

Stacy is from Texas. She moved to Switzerland to be closer to her husband’s family and to enjoy a European life style. She does go back to Texas every couple of years, and she often cooks Tex-Mex recipes at home! Since Stacy loves cooking and writing, she started a blog about her cooking adventures in Switzerland, called Lone Star Kitchen. A part from Stacy’s blog being called Lone Star, it is also the name of the flag of the state of Texas, so instead of the country flag, this recipe is decorated with the Texan flag 😊.

 

So, what is Tex-Mex food?

Tex-Mex (Texan-Mexican) cuisine is inspired on Mexican food, but it is not the same. It does however show that close to borders, people share their knowledge and culture and sometimes the dishes resemble. In Stacy’s delicious recipe for instance, the fajitas are eaten with a Pico de Gallo salsa which does has its origin in Mexico. So how can we tell the difference? In Tex-Mex cuisine the recipes are often with beef and wheat flour, which are not common ingredients in Mexico. So chances are, if you eat something that has beef in it, you are actually not eating Mexican food, but Tex-Mex food.

Stacy would like to share her Fajitas recipe with us, which she says is probably the most recognizable Tex-Mex recipe there is. The word “fakitas” means “little belts” which refers to the appearance of the steak that is used. Fajitas originated in Texas in the 1930’s.

Fajitas

Ingredients:

Serves more than 4, I would say easily 5

For the marinade:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil (60ml)
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce (30ml)
  • 4 scallions / spring onions, washed and cut in half
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (30ml), in my case 1 green lime squeezed
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin powder
  • 3 tablespoons (dark)brown sugar

For the Pico de Gallo salsa:

  • 3 large ripe tomatoes (650-700g) diced small (about 3 cups)
  • ½ large onion, finely diced
  • 1 to 2 spicy chilies, finely diced (seeds and membanes removed for milder salsa)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (Koriander) leaves
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice from 1 lime

To fill up the fajitas in the end:

  • 2 kilos inside skirt steak, or Chicken breasts (whole, if grilling)
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 2 green bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 1 large white onion, cut into strips
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Avocado slices or Guacamole
  • Your freshly made Pico de Gallo salsa, or chopped tomatoes

And:

  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Fajita-size flour tortillas

How to prepare:

  1. Place all marinade ingredients in a blender and puree. Put pieces of skirt steak in a large ziplock bag and pour marinade all over. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible and allow the steak to marinate for minimum 1 hour (and up to 8 hours) in the refrigerator. Marinate chicken for 30 min to 1.5 hours max.
  2. In the meanwhile, make your fresh Pico de Gallo by chopping up all the ingredients to this salsa. Directions to make Pico de Gallo: season tomatoes with 1 teaspoon salt and toss to combine. Transfer to a fine mesh strainer or colander set in a bowl and allow to drain for 20 to 30 minutes. Discard liquid. Combine drained tomatoes with onion, chilies, cilantro, and lime juice. Toss to combine and season to taste with salt. Pico de gallo can be stored for up to 3 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
  1. Heat your grill to high heat and start grilling the steak immediately, while the fire is at its hottest. Grill on each side 3-5 minutes. Remove the steak from the grill and wrap in tin foil and allow to rest 10-15 mins. For chicken, grill over medium heat to retain its juiciness and not burn it.
  2. While the steak or chicken is resting, toss the peppers and onion with some olive oil and a pinch of salt, and cook in a pan until they are soft and nicely browned.
  3. Heat the tortillas on the grill or in a hot pan until warmed through.
  4. Assemble fajitas with the vegetables, steak, sour cream, cheddar, salsa and avocado.

Alternative fillings: Grilled or Sautéed Mushrooms, Grilled or Sautéed Shrimp (same marinade).

Thank you for having shared this recipe with us Stacy. Given the success of it in our family, we will definitely make it more often! For more Tex-Mex recipes: check out Stacy’s blog Lonestar Kitchen.

Enjoy!

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