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Old 12-09-2004, 12:27 AM   #1
 
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Fajita's...need some help!

Okay southerners.... lay it on me where I can get this "better"!

I'm buying tortilla "wraps", because I doubt I can make them any better...

I'm buying dark purple avocado's, checking that they are just "slightly" "mushy" from the outside...

For "guacamole", which is probably NOT a Cdn specialty, I skin the avocadi, discard the pit, and mush it up...add a quarter cup mayo, a bit of lemon juice, a dash of tobasco, 1-2 skinned sliced, chopped green onion, a tablespoon or so of fine chopped green pepper, perhaps a "blast of chilli powder" and/or Tex-Mex seasoning...cover and "sit" for a couple hours in the fridge...

Chicken breast, boned, skinned, sliced, etc, marinated in EVOO, ith chili, Tex-Mex, minced/choppd garlic, onion powder, and "stir-fried"...

Likewise strings of sliced "beef hip", similar prep to the chicken, maybe a bit of basalmic vinegar...

Fresh shrimp, shelled, fast fried in the remains of the oil and "clutter" of the meats before...

Vidalia onion and green pepper strips, again fast fried until "blanched" but no more...

Acouterments of sour cream, shredded pepper jack...

Can you guys all give any suggestions on how I can do any of this better? Have the "kids" coming home, and would like for this to be "near perfect"!

Thanks in advance...

Lifter

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Old 12-09-2004, 06:22 AM   #2
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Looks pretty good to me as is, Lifter. I think I would use lime juice in the guacamile instead of lemon juice. finely chopped cilantro would also be nice.
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Old 12-09-2004, 06:25 AM   #3
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Re: Fajita's...need some help!

[quote="Lifter"]Okay southerners.... lay it on me where I can get this "better"!

Well - First of all, Fajitas are southwestern, not southern . Having said that, here goes!

I don't use mayo in the guac; I'd maybe add some cilantro if you can get it, and try subbing out lime instead of the lemon juice for a more 'authentic' taste. Likewise, instead of green pepper, just use some minced red onion. And if you can get fresh jalapeno, use that in place of the tabasco. And I'm sure you already know this, but to store guac w/o it turning black, place a piece of saran wrap right on top of the guac, all the way out to the edge of the bowl, to 'seal' it and prevent any oxygen getting to the guac, which is what makes the color turn.

I wouldn't marinate any of the meats/seafood - Throw them on the hot skillet with a little bit of oil, and then add your seasonings; most Mexican/Tex-Mex spices are 'toasted' dry, anyway, for a more authentic flavor. And maybe add a little cumin in the mix, also - but not balsamic. Add a splash of Tequila if you have some! For the shrimp, why not try just some chili, lime juice and cilantro - pretty yum on seafood!

Add some red pepper strips to the onion mix if you like - adds some color. And maybe just a simple salsa - chopped tomato/onion, some cilantro and chili, s/p.
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Old 12-09-2004, 11:10 AM   #4
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Here are some ideas you can play around with.

Guacamole:

Add: cilantro, garlic, red onion (this will give more texture than the green onions), salt and pepper, jalapenos

I would remove the green pepper and mayo from this area

Sour Cream Mixture:
8oz. sour cream, 1/4 cup mayo, 1 package taco seasoning mix

Meat
I would marinate in evoo with herbs. Definitly cilantro and cumin. Then cook with vegetables

Extras
longhorn cheese
black olives
pico de gallo
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Old 12-09-2004, 12:28 PM   #5
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The only thing I would add would be coarsely chopped tomatos to the guacamole but that's just a matter of taste. Everything else looks wonderful! :D If you would like to add a side dish, spanish rice might fit the bill.
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Old 12-09-2004, 03:18 PM   #6
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No mayo in guac or tex-mex or chile powder. Just avacado, lime juice, salt, onion, cilantro and jalepeno (and a drop of my own hab vinegar).

Never heard of mayo in guac. If you want it "creamy" sour cream would be the way to go.

Personally, I do marinate my beef or chicken before i cook it for fajitas.
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Old 12-09-2004, 03:26 PM   #7
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Lifter, I'm recanting from my first post early this a.m. (not enough coffee in me at that hour for total comprehension)

I agree with the others - no mayo in the guac and forget the green pepper too. For chunkier texture, a few less-mashed-up guacamole pieces and/or diced tomato.

Personally, I would also marinate the meat before cooking and cook the peppers and onions until soft.

Let us know how you actually prepared them when the time comes.
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Old 12-09-2004, 05:53 PM   #8
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I think I am with mudbug and the rest. Guacamole is better just simple. As for the meat and onion portion of the program, I don't think marinating is necessary, but it sure never hurts! I DO marinate my beef for fajitas, then slice very thin and barely sear it. My chicken is just as is, no marinating. Not having access to really good chile peppers, we use dried chilis while cooking.
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Old 12-10-2004, 01:07 AM   #9
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I am a big fan of just a small dollop of sour cream in guacamole, mayonnaise just seems out of place.

But whatever puts your knickers in a twist :).
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Old 12-10-2004, 05:15 AM   #10
 
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Haggis, we Scots never wear "knickers"...

The guacamole thing is a bit weird and wonderful...will "give it a go" as several suggest, and eliminate the mayo (actually Kraft Miracle Whip) as adding sour cream is redundant, as we plug that in regardless!

My "test" for guacamole is to eat it as a "dip" for "tostido's"...

Adding raw, crushed tomato gets interesting, though!...HMMMM!

There's "no hope" of finding "longhorn" cheese here, but the cilantro seasoning sounds like a good idea, and readily accessible!

Lime/lemon, at the end of the day, its a pretty fine judgement, isn't it?

Likewise, "marinating" the steak chips and or the chicken bits, and adding the spicing at this point, versus during or after the cooking...where's the "right or wrong" in this? Although I will cheerfully give a try in a "new direction" on the unsuspecting recipents, probably this weekend!

Southerners!

Except for "Alix", you are all a long ways "south" of "me"!

LOL!

But thanks to each of you for your ideas, suggestions and experience!

Best Regards!

Lifter
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Old 12-10-2004, 06:08 AM   #11
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I don't think lemon vs lime is a fine judgement at all - totally different tastes and end product. Likewise, toasting or frying the spices gives a totally different taste than mixing them in with the marinade.
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Old 12-10-2004, 06:36 AM   #12
 
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I guess there is no right or wrong.

In the Mexican restaurant I cooked in while I was in college, many years ago, they used: chopped tomatoes, minced red onion, chopped jalepenos, cilantro, and lime juice in guacamole. No mayo, no sour cream.

The flank steak was marinated in minced garlic, oil, and lime juice overnight. Then it was grilled and sliced against the grain.
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Old 12-11-2004, 12:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choclatechef
I guess there is no right or wrong.

In the Mexican restaurant I cooked in while I was in college, many years ago, they used: chopped tomatoes, minced red onion, chopped jalepenos, cilantro, and lime juice in guacamole. No mayo, no sour cream.

The flank steak was marinated in minced garlic, oil, and lime juice overnight. Then it was grilled and sliced against the grain.
I'll echo these thoughts strongly, Lifter. That's how we do beef fajitas down here in the great nation of Texas. And I also agree wholeheartedly with marmalady in the difference between lemon and lime juice, especially in guacamole.

I think your idea of the big fajita spread is fabulous! Should be a huge crowd-pleaser with the kids, who will devour this dinner soundly!! When I serve such here, I marinate flank steak just like choclatechef said, and grill. I season chicken breast meat with fajita seasoning liberally and grill that, too. Both meats are sliced thinly and placed in their own servers and set out flour tortillas, plain guacamole, sour cream, salsa, chopped toatoes, sliced jalapenos, onions and green peppers exactly as you describe cooking, and shredded cheddar and/or monteray jack cheeses...all in separate bowls.

And I wait, at a safe distance, for the crowd to thin...
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Old 12-11-2004, 01:24 PM   #14
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I'm going to add my 2 cents but don't have time to read everyone's answers, so I apologize if I am repeating!!

Guacamole - chopped avocados, green onion (or red), fresh chopped cilantro, finely diced fresh roasted jalapeƱo (or not roasted), lime juice (not lemon!!!), a sprinkling of ground cumin, chopped fresh seeded tomatoes (concassaise). Just the mixing of everything will make the guacamole "melt" - or you can mash ahead of time before adding everything else. Leave the mayo out (JMHO)

For a different taste I love to roast pablanos, skin, seed, chop, and add those too.

OFF TOPIC A BIT: If you like grilled salmon make the guacamole as above but keep the chunks of avocado bigger, sliver the red onion and the rest pretty much stays the same. Toss a mesclun mix with either a cilantro vinaigrette or a green chili vinaigrette, place your salmon on top of the salad, and lay some chunky avocado salsa on top of the fish. YUM!!!!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fajita Marinade

--makes enough for about 4 pounds of beef and/or chicken/and or shrimp

1 jalapeƱo (canned, in juices, seeds left in)
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cayenne
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp black pepper
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cilantro


--Combine water & jalapeƱo in a blender. Puree until smooth. Pour into a large mixing bowl and combine with the rest of ingredients. Mix well, and pour over the beef and/or chicken, flipping meat to coat well. Marinate 12-36 hours.

(I know it has a lot of stuff in it but the flavor will be worth the effort! This is carnivore's recipe (site helper a long time ago) and he was a GREAT lover of fajitas.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I like my onions and peppers REALLY caramalized - they can be soft and they are still good. I also like tomato chunks cooked down in this.

Also, a good thing to serve with this is a simple Spanish rice - however much rice you need cooked and cooled. Saute lots of onion and green pepper (chopped kind of big) until tender and caramilized, a can or two of Rotel and all its juice, depending on how much rice you have. Heat to combine flavors. You can also add during the heating process some frozen peas, carrots and corn for a different variation.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'm being long-winded today

I like to make salsa versus a pico de gallo to add to the hot, hot skillet right at the very end. Tomato sauce thinned with lots of fresh lime juice, spring onion chunks, ground cumin, fresh cilantro chopped fine.

Right at the end when everything is sizzling pour some of this on and stand back!!! The flavor it imparts in the final dish is wonderful!

ok, I think I'm done - - - :oops: :P (but probably not!!)
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Old 12-15-2004, 09:34 PM   #15
 
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I've got kids coming next week that are going to be genuflecting in thanks to all these great hints and ideas...

Sadly, I was relying on a 1960's cookbook for guacamole, and mayo is what it advised to use....am discovering the error of my ways...

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Old 12-15-2004, 09:51 PM   #16
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LOL Lifter - mayo was quite the hit then!!! All those jello salads were invented by the mayo makers, didn't you know???? LOL I've seen recipes like that too and they are from that era - but those cookbooks pre-date us so we don't really know any better!!! (shhhhh - don't laugh - they might believe that!!!)
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Old 12-15-2004, 11:19 PM   #17
 
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A '60's cookbook hardly pre-dates me!...

Note the previous "ambrosia/5 Cup Salad posts and tweaks that come from the '50's!

You are a "young thing", "Elf"!

LOL!

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Old 12-16-2004, 09:26 AM   #18
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geez Lifter, I'm trying not to let the whole world know I'm a geezer!!!!!!!!! Older than most here most definately, younger than only a few. :oops: And probably shorter than 99% of everyone!!! :P
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Old 12-16-2004, 12:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifter

Sadly, I was relying on a 1960's cookbook for guacamole, and mayo is what it advised to use....am discovering the error of my ways...

Lifter

Lifter,

Maybe Santa can update your cookbook collection??? :D
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