Unable to sleep, Miranda sat up in bed and fired up her laptop.
The discussion at dinner had circled around a variety of topics. But one had kept coming back. Once during the fried chicken taquitos appetizer, twice during the main course—two bean enchiladas for her, a monstrous plate of shrimp-and-steak fajitas for Holly, and carne asada burritos for the boys—and yet again over flan and deep-fried ice cream.
Her personal airplane hangar at the south end of Tacoma Narrows Airport wasn’t really up to the task of high-security military plane-crash investigations any more than their Western Pacific Region offices at the NTSB.
After two hours of lying awake and organizing her thoughts, she’d decided it was time to make some changes.
NOTE: Living for thirty-eight years in the US Pacific Northwest, I ate a lot of utterly amazing Mexican food. My absolute #1 favorite over the years? Fajitas! That big sizzling platter of beef and onions that I can hear coming my way from across the restaurant, with a whole array of colorful sides including: bright salsa and neon guacamole, dusky black beans and brilliantly white sour cream…ah, heaven. So while burritos and other dishes get much more of a mention in Ghostrider, I thought I’d share my homemade fajitas recipe. It’s far simpler (and far easier) than the restaurant version, but still incredibly satisfying in its clean simplicity.
Serves 3-4. Leftovers reheat well.
Prep and Cook time: <20 minutes
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips across the grain cut the short way not the long way. (Tip: To make this easier, freeze the chicken for ten minutes, or sharpen your knife.)
- You can substitute beef from a lean cut, shrimp, tofu (firm)…
- 1 large onion, cut in half and then wide moons parallel to the core, rather than slicing end-to-end through the core
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2” wide strips, then in half if too long
- 1 green bell pepper, the same
- 1 good squirt hot sauce (such as Sriracha, adds more flavor and depth than heat)
- 1 T. chili powder, divided
- 1 tsp. cumin powder, divided
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes or 1/4 tsp. cayenne powder (optional)
Cook and Serve Ingredients
- 1 T. canola oil, divided
- 2 flour tortillas per person (we typically use the 8”-ish ones, flavored tortillas spinach and so on are nice too)
Cooking (use a large frying pan)
- Heat pan on high with 1/2 Tbsp. canola oil 2-3 minutes.
- In a small bowl, toss chicken with 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder and 1/2 tsp. cumin powder (and the red pepper and/or hot sauce if used).
- Cook chicken (leave on pan 3-4 minutes without moving before flipping).
- Set chicken aside in a medium bowl when done (it will cut easily in two with a cooking spatula or spoon and shows no pink in the center).
- Add other 1/2 Tbsp. canola oil to pan.
- Add vegetables to pan and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder and 1/2 tsp. cumin.
- Cook vegetables 3-4 minutes per side until soft and browning.
- Nuke 2 tortillas per person between damp paper towels (20 seconds / pair, 30 seconds for 4, don’t do more than 4 at a time).
- Return chicken and any juices to the pan with the vegetables and reheat briefly.
- Pour it all into the medium bowl to serve.
Fried up just right
Two fajitas ready to roll and a cold beer? I’m good to go.