Our 4th of July this year was very chill and uneventful. This holiday fell on Thursday and we still had to go back to work the next day. It was really an enjoyable lazy day spent in our pj’s watching mindless TV. A waste of a day? Not really, sometimes we need days like this where the only items on the agenda are to eat, sleep and get plenty of rest. Mr Sweetie did not even buy fireworks this year which I made me really glad. I see fireworks as lighting our dollars on fire. He loves them though and has bought them year after year but did not have the time to pick some this year. (And fireworks are not legal in our city but people do it anyway but cops ignore it, I think, because they are not the bad, super-loud kinds.) Our neighbors lit some and we just sorta listened and watched from our window.
Our 4th of July meal was diggity-bomb, though, speaking of fireworks. (Not that bombs are considered fireworks but in the Philippines, fireworks are as loud as dynamites and bombs!) I cooked a nice spread and it was awesome, if I may say so. Mr Sweetie really enjoyed it. On our menu were corn on the cob, beef fajitas and pico de gallo — all home cooked. For dessert we had an apple pie from Trader Joe’s but it completed the meal.
The flavors were spot on. Just to insert some credibility to my cooking portfolio, Mr Sweetie is a 2nd generation Mexican-American. He knows his Mexican food and he approves of my cooking! (I would not dare get his mom’s approval, though! That’s a different story! I am not striving for authenticity just deliciousness!) We really enjoyed our dinner and we even ate a lot!
This fajita recipe is super-easy. Prep time was about 15 minutes not including marinading the meat. (I marinaded the meat around noon for an early dinner.) What I also love about this dish is one of those that you can “cook from the heart.” It is my way of cooking when I do not use exact measurements, and I cook by feel and by taste. In other words, a forgiving recipe as long as you don’t scrimp on the spices. More spices = more flavors. With that said, please use the measurements below more of as guide than something that is set in stone. Make it again and again and you will find your own flavors! Enjoy!
EASY TO MAKE BEEF FAJITA
Prep time: 15 minutes | TIME TO MARINATE: 30 MINS TO 4 HOURS |Cook time: 10 -12 minutes
|1 1/2 pounds skirt steak||Mix the paprika, brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl.|
|2 tablespoons chili powder||Put the steak in a large resealable plastic bag. Add the juice of 1 lime, 1 tablespoon olive oil and the spice mixture; seal the bag and shake the bag to mix the spices into the meat. Refrigerate 30 minutes to 4 hours.|
|1 tablespoon paprika||Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium- high heat. Toss the bell peppers and red onions with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the juice of the remaining 2 limes and salt to taste in a large bowl. Add to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are cooked and nicely charred around 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and loosely cover with foil|
|1/2 – 1 teaspoon garlic powder||Using the same cast-iron skillet, grill the steak 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 to 10 minutes.|
|2 teaspoons packed light brown sugar||Slice the steak against the grain. Serve on the warmed tortillas with the onions and peppers; top with cheese, cilantro and toppings of choice. Serve with lime wedges.|
|1/2 teaspoon oregano powder|
|3/4 teaspoon cumin powder|
|juices of 2 limes (wedges for garnish)|
|2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil|
|3-4 bell peppers, sliced|
|1 head red onion, sliced|
|Toppings: Cheddar cheese or cotija, chopped green onions, cilantro, avocado, sliced jalapeno, pico de gallo, guacamole, etc|
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!(CUTE CUP HOLDERS AND STAR CUP COURTESY OF BFF HEATHER)