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South Texas Steak Fajitas
“This steak fajita recipe uses bottled Italian salad dressing as part of the steak marinade to make it quick and convenient. For a healthy choice, pick dressing with a short and simple ingredient list including canola or olive oil. Serve the steak fajitas with fresh pico de gallo, guacamole and cold beer.”
Steak & Marinade
3 fresh jalapeño peppers, stems and seeds removed
1 small onion, quartered
¼ cup fresh cilantro
¾ cup beer, pale ale or lager
½ cup Italian salad dressing (see Tips)
⅓ cup lime juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1½ teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1 pound skirt steak (see Tips)
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 New Mexican green chiles or poblano peppers (see Tips), seeded and cut into ½-inch strips
1 medium onion, halved and cut into ½-inch-wide strips
⅛ teaspoon salt
8 6-inch flour tortillas, heated
1To marinate steak: Place jalapenos, quartered onion and cilantro in a blender or food processor and blend until finely chopped. Add beer, salad dressing, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt and cumin and puree until smooth. Stir in bay leaf. Place steak in a gallon-size sealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over it. Close and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
2To grill steak: Preheat grill to medium-high.
3Remove the steak from the marinade and place on the grill. (Discard marinade.) Grill 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium. Remove the steak to a clean cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.
4To prepare vegetables: Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add chiles and onion strips, sprinkle with ⅛ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until blackened in spots and just softened, 4 to 6 minutes.
5Holding your knife at a 45-degree angle to the steak, very thinly slice across the grain—this helps keep the fajita tender. Serve the steak and vegetables on a platter with the tortillas so everyone can make their own fajitas at the table.
Bottled Italian salad dressing is a tasty (and convenient) part of the fajita marinade. For a healthy choice, pick dressing with a short ingredient list including canola or olive oil.
Thin, flavorful skirt steak—a relatively inexpensive, thin, long cut with a rich, beefy flavor—is so often used for fajitas that it's sometimes referred to as fajita steak. It stays tender if cooked quickly. If overcooked, it can be tough. Skirt steak is becoming more widely available, but it's a good idea to call ahead to make sure your market has it or ask the butcher to order it for you.
New Mexico chiles (aka Anaheim chiles) are 7 to 10 inches long, ripen from green to red and are mildly spicy. Poblano peppers (sometimes called pasilla peppers) are dark green in color, about 6 inches long and can be fiery or relatively mild; there's no way to tell until you taste them. The two can be used interchangeably and are found at most large supermarkets.
To warm tortillas, wrap in barely damp paper towels and microwave on High for 30 to 45 seconds or wrap in foil and bake at 300°F until steaming, 5 to 10 minutes.