I really went through a lot to make these fajitas. Not because they’re difficult but because I could NOT seem to get the ingredients that I wanted. Apparently, this is not fajita season.
My first choice for fajitas would have been flank steak, cooked on a grill ’till medium-rare then sliced nice and thin (oooh-yeah). Well, the first store that I went to was selling flank steak for $9/lb. and noo sir, that just won’t work with my budget. The second store that I went to didn’t even have flank steak. So, it was either make chicken fajitas or use some pre-sliced beef stir fry meat. I was really craving beef so I went with the stir fry meat. Get flank steak if you can.
The first store that I went to was also out of cilantro. Weird, huh? Well, the second store that I went to had cilantro (half wilted at that) but was out of limes!! I don’t know what was going on but I really REALLY wanted fajitas so I just bought some lime juice instead. Get fresh limes if you can so that you can add the zest to the marinade and squeeze some fresh juice over your fajita just prior to eating.
Sometimes cooking on a budget means compromise.
Anyway, these fajitas are a super quick and delicious answer to week night dinners. Take five minutes out the night before to get the meat marinating then you can cook them up in about 30 minutes the next day.
Seasoned & sauteed thin strips of beef and bell peppers topped with fresh ingredients like avocado and cilantro make these fajitas mouth watering.
- 1 lb beef, flank steak or thin strips $5.03
- 5 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided $0.20
- 2 Tbsp lime juice or one lime $0.20
- 2 cloves garlic $0.14
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro $0.88
- 1/2 Tbsp chili powder $0.07
- to taste salt and pepper $0.10
- 2 med green bell peppers $1.18
- 1 med red bell pepper $1.68
- 1 med yellow onion $0.39
- 6 6 inch tortillas $0.22
- 8 oz sour cream $1.18
- 1 med avocado, optional $0.98
The night before, combine 3 Tbsp of vegetable oil with the lime juice, chili powder, garlic (minced), a handful of cilantro (chopped) and about 1/8th tsp of salt. Mix it up then add the beef and stir to coat the meat. Cover and keep in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook the next day.
Clean and thinly slice the bell peppers and onion. Heat a large, heavy bottomed skillet with 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil over very high heat (as high as it will go without the oil smoking). Toss in the sliced vegetables, season with salt and pepper and cook them until the edges get brown and caramelized (see photos below). Remove them from the pan and set aside.
Toss the meat, marinade and all, into the same hot skillet. Stir and cook until the meat is fully cooked.
Prepare a fajita assembly line with the tortillas, meat, vegetables, sour cream, fresh cilantro and sliced avocados. Allow each person to build the fajitas to their preference.
Step By Step Photos
Make the marinade by combining 3 Tbsp vegetable oil with the lime juice, garlic, a handful of cilantro, chili powder and 1/8th tsp of salt. Add the meat and mix everything up really good. Let the meat marinate over night in the refrigerator.
The next day it will look and smell delicious!
Clean and slice the vegetables thinly.
Heat 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a heavy bottom skillet over very high heat. Add the veggies in and cook them till they are browned on the edges…
The edges should be brown and caramelized. A cast iron skillet works best for this but a really heavy stainless steal will work in it’s place. Compromise, compromise, compromise, folks!
As soon as you remove the veggies from the pan, dump in the meat and all of the marinade.
Cook it in the super hot skillet until it’s done all the way through.
Gather ingredients for assembly and enjoy!
If you can’t get decently priced beef or just don’t want beef at all, you can marinate chicken, shrimp or even vegetables in the same manner. The marinade is pretty amazing and will add loads of flavor to whatever you decide to make fajitas with!
Other optional fajita ingredients: mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, jalapenos, cheese… what else do you like in your fajitas?