Fajitas were my first experience of Mexican food. I remember back as a teenager they appeared on a few menus in Milton Keynes as Tex-Mex became popular. What teenager could be failed to be seduced by the sizzling cast iron dish bought smoking to the table? The little pots of cheese, sour cream, guacamole and salsa and the soft tortillas? The construction work required before you got down to eating? Definitely not me.
I’ve been making these fajitas for years and use the marinade for both chicken and beef. The idea originally came from a book by Lourdes Nichols but over the years it has morphed into my own. You can add salsa and guacamole if you like but over the years I've moved towards less slop in my tortilla. It may not be the only herb they use (oregano is also popular) but coriander works perfectly here, the stalks flavouring the marinade and the leaves providing a salad element. With so many flavours in the marinade you don't want to put it to waste and so a few spoonfuls get added to the vegetables for flavour.
Steak Fajitas, 2 hungry people
450gr of rump steak
1 red pepper, sliced
1 handful of coriander (stalks go in marinade below)
1 onion, sliced
6 wheat tortillas
2 cloves garlic
½ ts cumin seeds
1 ts salt
½ ts oregano
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Stalks from a handful of coriander
100ml of lager (or water if you don’t want to open a bottle)
First off blend all the marinade ingredients in a food processor. Put the steaks in a bowl with the marinade and leave for an hour or two.
When ready to go remove the steaks and wipe clean then cook on a griddle till done to your liking. I tend to go for 1-2 minutes a side. Remove and allow to rest.
At the same time heat some oil in a pan till hot. You want to cook the onions and peppers quickly so they develop some charring, maybe 2 or 3 minutes. I don't have the sizzle pans at home but you can mimic the flavour a bit here. Add in a couple of spoons of the marinade and cook for another minute or two.
Slice the steak and serve.