Wednesday, January 21, 2009

52. Classic Fajitas

Date Cooked: January 10, 2009
Page: 575
Rating: B

For those of you that like my blog more when I fail than when I succeed, you will be pleased with this one. My wife loves fajitas and this dinner was for her. There was a slight ulterior motive to preparing this dish though. I’ll explain my motive before moving on. Several recipes in the book reference other recipes as components. These fajitas for example reference a recipe for Charcoal-Grilled Flank Steak. So by cooking fajitas I am actually completing two recipes. But it doesn’t stop there. Several recipes are technique specific and I decided awhile ago that I would count all technique recipes completed when I finished one. In this particular case, as with almost all recipes in the grilling section, there is a charcoal-grilled version and a gas-grilled version. I have a gas-grill so I use that version, but I count both as complete. So for those who are counting, cooking fajitas alone completes three recipes from the book. Enough about the technical details of how I am completing this project and onto the disaster... I mean Fajitas!

Flank steak is expensive. I was always led to believe that it was an inexpensive cut but it isn’t. It tastes great, it’s easy to cook, so it costs more. They say the rise in popularity of fajitas has helped drive prices up and I can believe that. Anyway I made the trip to the grocery store in the evening hoping that they had reduced some of the meat from the meat counter display. No luck. I don’t want to sound cheap but I believe I should be able to cook a recipe for cheaper than I can go to a restaurant to eat it. Anyway I am rambling something fierce today, can’t seem to get my thoughts in order.

Once home I fired up the grill. Well actually I dug it out of the snow and moved it a little closer to the door. Not sure about the rest of you but I’m sick of snow. So I got the grill fired up and left to get everything else prepped. Basically chop some onions, and some red and green peppers into large pieces. I took the liberally seasoned flank steak out to the grill and dropped it on to hear a beautiful sizzle and then a pouff. Pouff?? Is that a really word or an attempt to spell a sound? The flame went out. I immediately panicked because I knew what it meant. I was out of propane! I belted out a few expletives into the cold snowy night and then checked the gas dials and the propane valve to make sure everything was in fact open. It was and I was out of luck. This is what really kills me. I already dropped the steak on the grill or else I would have packed it all up and cooked it the next night.

So I did what no one else should. I set a skillet on the stove and blasted it to high. I let the skillet cook itself for a few minutes before dropping the steak into it. The steak and skillet angrilly hissed at each other for a few minutes before I flipped it over to caramelize the other side. Once completed I removed it from the skillet and tented it with foil while I cooked up the vegetables (which should have been done on the grill as well). When all was done I heated some tortillas and served the meat and vegetables with the chunky guacamole and classic red tomato salsa.

Rating: B. Obviously this didn’t go as expected and much of the rating is influenced by the event. But in reality the fajitas were just ok. I will attempt this again with a full tank of propane (one day I will get a natural gas BBQ, or even a charcoal grill). Part of me likes getting a searing hot skillet spitting angry liquids set in front of me at a restaurant anyway. It adds to the excitement as only the risk of horrible burns can. I love when they tell me to “watch out for the skillet, its hot”, I mean the charred wood platter its resting in and the blast furnace mitts you are handing it to me in didn’t give that away. I would also appreciate it if maybe you didn’t set it in reach of my toddler. Just a suggestion the lawyers for the restaurant might appreciate. Sorry, my train of thought derailed somewhere back there.


  1. Sorry you didn't love them - it sure looks good in the picture!

  2. You've been busy here lately! And even though you didn't love these, they still look tasty!


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