Monday, May 7, 2012

Chipotle Lime Fajitas

Fajitas are made traditionally using flank steak.  I'm on a serious budget. Petite Sirloin was on sale at the grocery store this week.  Even with grass fed steaks, petite sirloin are often a great economical option.

To reduce the calories in this dish,  you can skip the cheese that normally goes along with a fajita meal. I find that most restaurants serve cheese and lots of toppings with the fajitas because the meat sometimes lacks flavor.  These are so packed full of Southwestern goodness that you won't miss the cheese. 

There are many good quality whole grain tortillas on the market if you do not want to partake of the white flour variety.  But you know what I say?  Everything in moderation and when you mess up, eat less tomorrow. 

I know, not the best advice but sometimes you do have to splurge.

This recipe serves 4 (5-6 ounces of meat and two tortillas).

Important note:  Our Golden, Eddie, got his own "steak" tonight too.  I prepared a little unseasoned steak for him to the side in the pan.  He loved it!  Dogs are people too!  ;.)


2 Petite Sirloin steaks, five or six ounces each

For the 30 minute marinade:

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds

For the steak preparation:

Cooking spray for pan
1 teaspoon ground Chipotle
Course sea salt, to taste
1 tablespoon butter, cut into eight dots
Fresh chopped cilantro, to taste

For the toppings:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon minced Serrano pepper
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
1 medium green bell pepper, sliced
2 cups sliced sweet onion
1/2 cup sliced white button mushrooms
1 tablespoon chopped Elephant garlic
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

8 flour tortillas (small 0r "fajita-size")
Fresh lime slices

Place steaks in a large plastic storage bag.  Whisk together lime juice, olive oil, smoked paprika, ground cumin, and coriander seeds.

Pour mixture into storage bag with steaks and seal.  Let the mixture and the steaks sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Add cooking spray to a cast iron or heavy skillet.  Heat over a high heat until the pan is smoking hot.  

Meanwhile, remove steaks from marinade (discard marinade).  Pat steaks with paper towel to remove excess moisture.  This will ensure that the steaks evenly brown.   While you do so, remove some of the coriander seeds.  You can leave a few seeds on the meat, as they will cook off in the pan.

Salt and pepper steaks to taste. 

Add steaks to hot skillet.  Brown on one side, about four minutes.

Turn steaks and immediately transfer to hot oven.  For medium rare, cook only about another three minutes.  Adjust cooking time accordingly.

While steaks are cooking, add olive oil to another large skillet.  Add in the Serrano pepper and cook for one minute.  

Add in red pepper, the green pepper, the onion and the mushrooms.  Cook for three minutes until softened.   Add in garlic at the end.  Toss and cook for one more minute.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Wrap tortillas in paper towel and place in the microwave.  Microwave on high for 90 seconds.  Remove immediately and keep warm.

Remove steaks from pan.  Let rest for a couple of minutes in the hot skillet and then remove and slice to stop the cooking process.*

Top sliced steak with fresh cilantro and butter.

*Fajita meat often sits longer on the plate than a regular steak because people tend to make one fajita at a time.  If you slice the meat to stop the cooking process and pour the juices back over the meat, juices will redistribute back into the meat even if it is sliced.  You will prevent the steak from continuing to cook. 

This is a trick often used by skilled cook off contestants when a steak needs to "sit on the board."  That is a term used for the waiting area where your steak sits before a judge tastes it.  

See, you get all kinds of great information when you visit me here, useful or not!   ;.)

Suggestion:   Serve with guacamole and fat free sour cream.

Note:  Chipotle peppers are smoked chili peppers.
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