Editor's note: Ladies and gents, make friends with Joshua Bousel. He's a certified grilling geek. And that's a compliment; this guy takes the flame seriously. He'll be dropping by each week with a recipe for you to fire up for yourself. Let the flames begin! --Adam Kuban
In my mind there are two seasons each year: grilling season and the other. Although I wish I had started sooner, Cinco de Mayo on Monday marked the arrival of the former, and I could think of no better way to celebrate the holiday than grilling fajitas.
Alton Brown's fajita recipe has served me well for years now, time and again producing the best fajitas I've had in New York City, where I live and where good Mexican options are notoriously lacking. It's also the perfect recipe for some weekday celebration, with a quick-and-easy marinade and the fast-cooking skirt steak, one of my favorite cuts of beef. It was no surprise to me that these, once again, came out absolutely delicious, bursting with beefy goodness that's topped with a flavor that transports me to ... someplace with better Mexican food.
Although Cinco de Mayo was duly celebrated, what I'm going to remember most from this holiday is the second I placed those steaks over the hot coals, got one whiff, then excitedly ran back into the house and belted out to all who would listen, "I really love to grill!" Yes, it's that time of year again.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 4 scallions, washed and cut in half
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 tablespoons dark-brown sugar or Mexican brown sugar
- 2 pounds inside skirt steak, cut into 3 equal pieces
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into strips
- 2 green bell peppers, cut into strips
- 1 large white onion, cut into strips
- Olive oil
- Sour cream
- Fajita-size flour tortillas
Place all marinade ingredients in a blender and puree. Put pieces of skirt steak in a large ziplock bag and pour marinade all over. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible and allow the steak to marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Heat 1 chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and start grilling the steak immediately, while the fire is at its hottest. Grill on each side 3-5 minutes. Remove the steak from the grill and wrap in tin foil and allow to rest 10-15 mins.
While the steak is resting, toss the peppers and onion with some olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place a cast iron skillet directly on the hot coals in the grill, and when heated, add in the peppers and onions. Continue to cook until they are soft and nicely browned.
Heat the tortillas on the grill or in the oven until soft. Assemble fajitas with the vegetables, steak, and a bit of sour cream.