Fajitas

Like so many of our family favourites, this meal was inspired by Granny, who wheeled out a luxury fajita spread for an Aldwych summer party at Garde over a decade ago. It was, however, only after realising that fajitas were a staple of several GWOD households that I bit the bullet and started making them myself. There are many elements to pull together, so this is something of a monster post, but you can lower your standards cut corners by buying the sauces (guacamole & salsa) ready-made. You can also cater for a range of dietary requirements by varying the protein base: beef, for example, or tofu can be used instead of – or in addition to – chicken. Whatever your components, do pack in the classic Mexican flavours: chilli, coriander (sorry, Louis), lime juice etc.

Guacamole and salsa

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 packs of 8 tortilla wraps – allows for 2 per person + extra for the hungry
Guacamole – see below
Tomato salsa – see below
Chicken & pepper stew – see below
Lots of limes
Soured cream
Grated cheese
1 jar of jalapenos
Shredded lettuce (optional)
1 can of refried beans, heated (optional)

Guacamole

Ingredients

2 large ripe avocados
1 green chilli, chopped
2 spring onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
A generous handful of coriander, roughly chopped
1 or 2 limes, juiced
Salt & pepper

Method

Rosa prefers to use a mortar & pestle (the authentic way) but a food processor is a lot less labour intensive. Just scoop out the avocado flesh, chuck everything in, blend, taste and adjust the seasoning. Don’t make this too far in advance because avocados are quick to brown after cutting, although the addition of acid (lime juice here) will delay that a bit.


Tomato salsa

Ingredients

6 tomatoes
1 small red onion, very finely chopped
1 red chilli, very finely chopped
½ tsp chipotle paste (or another chilli if you have none)
1 tsp sugar
1 lime, juiced
A few mint leaves, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste

Method

This can be made well in advance. Halve the tomatoes, remove the green/white tip of the core and discard the seeds and juice. Dice the tomato flesh and stir together with the rest of the ingredients.


Chicken & pepper stew

Ingredients

4 large chicken breasts, cut into strips 
1 large onion, halved and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
3 peppers (yellow and/or red), cored and cut into fat strips
3 heaped tbsp seasoned flour
Half a pack of fajita seasoning
1 tsp paprika (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
Lime juice
More chopped coriander
Salt & pepper to taste

Method

Heat the oil in a large frying pan for which you have a lid (or you can use foil). Add the onions and garlic and fry for about 5 minutes until they start to soften but don’t brown. 

In a wide, flat bowl, stir together the flour, fajita seasoning and paprika. Turn the chicken pieces in this mixture, shaking off any excess, and add to the frying pan in batches. Cook until most of the chicken surfaces have turned opaque. Add the peppers, honey, salt and pepper, keep frying and stirring and then slosh on a small cupful of boiling water to create a thick sauce. Cover the pan with a lid, turn the heat down and stew for about 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the peppers are soft. Check the seasoning: I usually add a good squeeze of lime and some chopped coriander before serving.


To assemble your fajitas

Like bobajka, this is a matter of personal preference. I like to spread the tortilla with guacamole and refried beans, then add the chicken, salsa, soured cream, jalapenos and a squeeze of lime before folding up, bottom first to create a pocket that catches the juices. Your father favours the dribbling open-roll method. Grated cheese is a popular addition and shredded lettuce has its place too. Zita, I believe, eschews all but the soured cream and chicken. Each to their own.

Published by motherrach

Alongside this blog, which records tried and tested family favourites, I’m documenting on Instagram (mother_rach_cooks) my attempts to fulfil one of my resolutions for 2020 - to cook at least two new recipes every month.

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