In learning about Mexican food and how to cook it, I've found that you get the best flavor out of most peppers when they're charred instead of sauteed in a skillet. You can char them directly over the fire on your gas stove top, or you can char them in the broiler. Make sure they get black and blistered on all sides, then put them into a large freezer bag. Seal it closed for 15 minutes. This lets the peppers steam and their skins will peel off easier. When they're done steaming, chop off the top with the stem, remove the veins and seeds, and remove any charred skin. When you're done, what you have left is just the soft roasted peppers that are packed with flavor!
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced (*I just smashed a clove and included it in the marinade so I wouldn't have little minced pieces of garlic in the fajitas)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder (*we added this in)
- Dash hot sauce (*we substituted hot sauce for 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds meat (boneless, skinless chicken breast, skirt steak or peeled and deveined shrimp)
- 1 medium onion, halved and sliced lengthwise
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 poblano peppers (*we added this in)
- 8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
- 1 lime, juiced, for topping
- Sour cream, for topping
- Salsa, for topping
- 1 jalapeno pepper, un-cooked, seeded and diced (*we added this in)
- Guacamole, for topping (*we used sliced avocados instead)
- Cheddar cheese, shredded, for topping (*we used Monterrey Jack instead)
In a heavy duty resealable plastic bag, combine 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, hot sauce (or cayenne), salt, pepper and your choice of meat. Seal and toss the bag around to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator.
*Cook's Note: 15 minutes for shrimp, 20 minutes for chicken and 1 hour for skirt steak.
Preheat your cast iron servers in a preheated 400 degree F oven for at least 20 minutes, to get a good sizzle when you plate the fajitas.
Char the peppers (instructions above). Once charred, peeled and de-veined, slice the peppers into strips.
Heat the outside grill or a large indoor grill pan to medium-high heat. Remove the meat from the marinade and place it on the hot grill, discard the marinade. Cook chicken until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side, skirt steak about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare and about 2 minutes for shrimp. Slice the chicken and steak into strips if you are using.
In a large skillet heat up the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and fry the onions until caramelized. When done, turn off the heat and add the sliced peppers in with the onions to keep warm.
Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm them in the oven with the servers for 15 minutes.
When you are ready to serve, remove the cast iron servers from the oven and quickly arrange the meat and peppers and onions on it. It will immediately start to sizzle from their fat and moisture. Serve sizzling immediately with the warm tortillas and other accompaniments.
Makes 8 servings