Cinco de Mayo celebration began in California with Mexican immigrants celebrating their country’s rise over French rule after the defeating the French at the Battle of Puebla. Mexico observes this historic date, but the US declared it a national holiday. And what better way for America to celebrate anything, but with food.
The hardest part of preparing the easiest version of fajitas happens at the store. Starting with a one-stop seasoning we find all we need for making great tasting fajitas, then as if it were all homemade, we sizzle them up at home. Delicious and easy.
For Cinco de Mayo, we wanted something beyond the the season packet, yet not labor intensive. Afterall, we’ll be plenty busy putting toppings into bowls.
Bobby Flay seemed the obvious choice, yet his recipes require a who’s who of every latin ingredient So, I used the star of the recipe (not Bobby Flay), in this case, red curry paste (names aren’t everything, just ask blood sausage) and eliminated the bit players. Red curry paste is perhaps a less honorable CdM choice given its Asian persuasion, but it adds kick and depth out of one little jar making the entire celebration feast possible. At least it’s not French.
We offer our own Easy Guac recipe below because you can’t beat the taste of fresh avocado and we must do our part to contribute to the drought with these water-loving vegetables. If you’re inspired, make salsas or pico de gallo fresh as well.
No bar would be complete without a cocktail. In Southern California, we’re lucky to have Tommy’s fresh margarita mix readily available. My guess, you all have your favorite, easy marg solution. Salud to all of our wonderful friends and neighbors who generously share their Mexican heritage with us.
sizzling steak fajita bar
preptime: 10 min servings 5-6
cooktime: 12 min, rest 10 min
- 1 1/2 lb. flank steak (skirt and surprise cuts work as well)
- 1/4 cup red curry paste
- juice from one lime
- 1/4 cup canola oil or another oil that can handle high heat
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 sweet bell peppers (make colorful), sliced into strips
- 1 large onion, sliced into strips
- 3/4 tsp cumin
- 12 tortillas
- Whisk paste, lime juice, oil and salt together.
- Place steak into a non-reactive dish and coat with marinate making certain to cover both sides. Let marinate for 4-8 hours. Reserve the marinade!
- To cook steak, heat a grill pan, cast-iron skillet or grill on med-high to high heat. When the surface is hot, add the meat.
- Grill for 8 minutes, turnover, grill for another 4 minutes. The meat should be medium rare. Cooking times vary so keep a close eye on it.
- Remove the grilled meat to a plate and let it rest for 10 minutes. When you let meat rest before slicing, all the juices reincorporate making the meat taste better and creates less mess.
- While the meat rests, prepare the vegetables. Add the oil and a little sauce from the reserved marinade into a larger skillet and heat to medium high.
- Add the vegetables, to the heated oil and turn frequently to cook through while slightly charring.
- To serve: slice the meat into thin strips against the grain. Warms tortillas for 1 minutes in the microwave.
- To create a serve-yourself fajita bar: line up grilled, sliced meat, vegetables, guacamole, salsa, pico de gallo, tomatillo sauce, shredded machego or cotija cheese, sour cream, cilantro and lime wedges.
preptime 10 min makes one cup
- 1 avocado, scooped
- 1 Tbsp onion, finely diced
- 3/4 tsp jalapeno, finely diced
- 1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 lime juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cumin
Mash all ingredients together with a fork. Serve immediately. If serving later, place plastic wrap directly onto surface of guac, ensuring no edges are exposed to air otherwise it will turn brown.
recipes, inspired by Bobby Flay, developed and provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com