FAJITAS!

I feel like fajitas should always come with an exclamation point. (Fajitas!!) Oh, and extra guac. Let's test out Kenji's fajita recipe!

Introduction: Skirt steak is a relatively inexpensive cut of beef. It takes well to marinades. And it can be juicy, buttery, and oh-so-delicious. Just make sure that your marinade contains oil (to enhance the flavor of oil-soluble onions, garlic, and spices and to help the steaks to cook more evenly), a little bit of acid (to tenderize the connective tissue in the steaks), and salt (to make the steaks juicer). Always (always) cook skirt steak over intense, high heat. If you cook it over low heat, it will get chewy, boing-y, and completely overcooked on the inside before it can get a good char on the outside. And always allow your steak to rest before you slice it. This allows juices inside the steak to cool and thicken (and prevents liquid from escaping onto the cutting board). Skirt steak is made up of a bunch of thick, parallel muscle fibers that create a "grain" (like wood). In order to increase meat tenderness, you should shorten these muscle fibers as much as possible before you take a bite. That means slicing against (perpendicular to) the grain. Voila - buttery and tender skirt steak!

Materials:

Skirt steak fajitas:

- 1/4 cup soy sauce

- 1/4 cup lime juice (juice from 3 limes)

- 1/4 cup canola oil

- 1/8 cup packed brown sugar

- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

- 1 teaspoon chile powder

- 2 cloves garlic, minced

- 1 pound skirt steak, cut crosswise into 6-inch pieces

- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch strips

- 1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch strips

- 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch strips

- 1 white onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices

- flour tortillas

- sour cream

Pico de Gallo:

- 1 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced

- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

- 1/4 of a white onion, diced

- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

- 1/2 tablespoon lime juice

- zest from 1 lime

Guacamole:

- 2 ripe avocados

- 1/4 of a white onion, diced

- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

- 1/2 tablespoon lime juice

- zest from 1 lime

- salt and pepper, to taste

- crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

Methods: Make the Pico de Gallo first. Season the tomatoes with salt and toss to combine. Place in a strainer inside a bowl and allow to drain, about 20 minutes. Discard the liquid. In a medium bowl, combine the drained tomatoes, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and lime zest. Combine and season with salt, to taste. Cover and refrigerate until use.

Next, prep the guac. In a medium bowl, add the avocado pulp and mash with a fork. (Keep some chunks, though.) Add the onion, cilantro, lime juice, lime zest. Combine and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, to taste. Cover and refrigerate until use.

Now, make the fajitas! In a medium bowl, add the soy sauce, lime juice, canola oil, brown sugar, black pepper, chile powder, and garlic. Whisk to combine. Transfer 1/4 cup of the marinade to a larger bowl and set aside. Add the steaks to the medium bowl and coat completely with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, up to 10 hours. (Or as long as you possibly can.) Flip every couple of hours. Add the peppers and onion to the large bowl and toss with the marinade. Refrigerate.

When ready to cook, heat a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the steaks from the marinade and wipe off the excess. Cook and cover the steaks for 1 minute. Flip over and cook for another minute. Repeat this process until the steaks are charred and cooked to medium, about 6 minutes. Transfer the steaks to a plate, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. Add the peppers and onion to the skillet and cook until charred and softened, about 20 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a plate. Slice the steaks against the grain and transfer to the serving plate. Serve right away with Pico de Gallo, guacamole, and sour cream!

Results and Discussion: Sizzling hot. DIY. Amazing!

© 2017 by A LADY IN A LAB COAT

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