This year I’m looking to shake up the Super Bowl gathering a bit. Normally, a pot of chili anchors our party, but this year I’m thinking fajitas. They are customizable, have lots of visual appeal, and will definitely fuel the armchair athletes as they offer their unsolicited advice to the television.
Fajitas are surprisingly easy to make, especially if you use a pre-made fajita seasoning or some other Mexican seasoning blend.
Multiply the recipe as needed, but don’t crowd the pan when cooking the vegetables and meat — especially the meat, which needs to brown as it cooks. Cook the meat in batches.
Tempting though it might be, don’t skip the part where you warm your tortillas in the pan. This adds flavor, those nice brown spots bringing out a toasty wheat taste, and also makes the tortillas more pliable. It takes only a few minutes, and I think it makes the meal.
If you want to make your fajitas just that much more special and restaurantlike, pick up more than one kind of salsa — maybe a green tomatillo version and a tomato-based red-style jar. And go to town with the rest of the toppings; assembling the perfect fajita is part of the pleasure of this meal.
SUPER BOWL STEAK FAJITAS
By Katie Workman
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, divided
- 2 red onions, halved and sliced
- 2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and sliced
- 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and chopped
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 pound fajita-sliced beef strips (or thinly sliced sirloin or flank steak)
- 1 tablespoon taco, fajita or Mexican seasoning blend
- 1 lime, halved
- 10 6-inch flour tortillas
>> To serve (pick and choose):
- Salsa (maybe more than one!)
- Crumbled queso fresco, or another white, crumbly Mexican cheese (feta works too, in a pinch), or shredded Mexican-blend cheese
- Sour cream
- Lime wedges
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Avocado slices or guacamole
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium. Add onions, peppers and jalapeno; sprinkle with sugar and season with salt and pepper. Saute 8 to 10 minutes until fairly tender. Remove all the cooked vegetables to one half of a serving platter.
Return pan to medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon oil. Add beef strips, sprinkle with seasoning, and saute 5 minutes, until beef is cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer beef to other half of the serving platter. Tent with foil to keep warm.
Carefully clean and dry hot pan and return it to medium-high heat. Warm tortillas, one at a time, 15 to 20 seconds on each side until browned in spots and slightly fragrant. Transfer tortillas to a plate as they are warmed, and keep them covered with a clean dishtowel to keep them warm.
Remove foil and dishtowel, and squeeze the juice of the lime halves over the meat and vegetables. Serve with the tortillas and assorted toppings, and let everyone fill their own fajitas. Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 537 calories, 22 g total fat, 6 g saturated fat, 72 mg cholesterol, 945 mg sodium, 52 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 32 g protein.