The do-it-yourself style of fajitas makes them an easy hosting dish—just serve them right out of the skillet with the accompaniments on the side. I like to top my tortillas with avocado slices (or guacamole), cheese, and a tomato or corn salsa, but the garnish and topping possibilities are endless.
'fajitas' on Serious Eats
Quick and easy skillet chicken fajitas cooked with peppers and onions and served in hot tortillas.
I'm not particularly proud of my time time spent working at the kinds of cheesy chain restaurants you'd find next to the Victoria's Secret at the mall or perhaps in Times Square. But aside from making me shun any writer that uses the phrase "X to perfection," it did teach me one valuable lesson: People looooooove meat served on a sizzling platter. Today at The Food Lab, we figure out the best way to make them at home.
Classic grilled steak fajitas in a richly flavored marinade, served with sizzled peppers and onions in soft flour tortillas.
Unless I'm going for a big, juicy, dry-aged ribeye, the skirt steak is my favorite cut for grilling. It's got a loose texture with a distinct grain and big, buttery swaths of fat that run through it, keeping it nice and moist as it cooks. And while it's no longer necessarily dirt cheap at the supermarket, it's also a cut that comes out juicy and flavorful, even when you don't spring for the extra-fatty prime-graded stuff, which can help keep a few bucks in your wallet. At my local supermarket, it runs around half the price-per-pound of a prime ribeye steak—a bargain in my book. As with any inexpensive steak, the key to success starts in knowing how to trim it properly to maximize flavor and tenderness. Here's how to do it.
An earthy and spicy mole sauce crust these skirt steak fajitas their distinct character.
An earthy and spicy mole crust give these skirt steak fajitas their distinct character.
Tasting sort of like mini-burritos with all the extraneous ingredients expelled, two of these make for a solid meal. Just remember that the skirt steak needs to be coddled, or it will pay back your carelessness by being tough and chewy. Basically, it needs to be treated like the steak it is.
If you're anything like me, chances are you've never stopped to think about the history of fajitas. This sizzling plate of meat and onions served with flour tortillas has always been a given, just like gravy-drenched enchiladas or the ubiquitous combo plates served in places specializing in Tex-Mex. But like any iconic food, there's a story behind that platter, and in this case a fascinating one that Robb Walsh has extensively researched for The Tex-Mex Grill and Backyard Barbacoa Cookbook.
Fajitas are quick, easy, and pack a combination of flavors that are insanely delicious. Trading the usual skirt steak in for chicken, this recipe still delivers on everything that makes fajitas an all-time Cinco de Mayo favorite.
Though four hours would be considered ideal, I managed to dunk this skirt steak for just 40 minutes in a marinade I found on Recipe Gullet, and it still came away with incredible flavor. The dueling citrus flavors of lime...
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...