No Box Fajitas

Growing up, taco and fajita kits were a regular part of our grocery cart, and I will always hold a soft spot for them in my heart. No need to marinate the steak, quick and easy preparation, and perfect for a 10 year old who wants to be the chef – which I did. As I got older and more adventurous in the kitchen I started trying to create my own fajitas, no pre-made spice mix allowed. What follows is my stand-by fajita marinade.


2 lb skirt steak, or other thin steak
1 orange or red pepper
1 green pepper
1 medium yellow onion
3-4 cloves garlic
1 package corn or flour tortillas, heated according to package directions

juice of 4 limes
¼ olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp chili powder
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro

Optional Toppings
Sour cream
Shredded lettuce
Shredded cheese

1)      Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a shallow pan, add skirt steaks. Marinate for a minimum of 1 hour at room temperature, or longer in the fridge. If you marinate the meat in the fridge, be sure to take it out 1 hour before cooking to allow the meat to come to room temperature. Ten minutes before cooking, wipe the marinade off the steak and sprinkle with salt. This helps form a tasty “char grilled” crust when you cook the steak.

2)      Thinly slice peppers. Cut onion in half lengthwise and slice thinly (so you have half circles, not onion rings). Thinly slice garlic cloves.  Set veggies aside.

3)      Add about 1 tblsp olive oil to a large fry pan or cast iron griddle (a cast iron pan will give you the best results). Let heat over high heat, place steaks in the pan, cook for 3 minutes each side for medium rare, or longer if desired. The oil may begin to smoke, if it does, reduce heat to medium-high. Remove from pan and set on clean cutting board.

4)      In the same pan, add more olive oil if necessary, and add peppers, onions, and garlic. Sauté for about 7 minutes.

5)      While veggies are cooking, thinly slice steaks. Skirt steaks are a bit tough, so try to slice them at an angle, so they are thin and easier to eat.

6)      Assemble fajitas: layer steak, veggies, and toppings to suit your tastes and enjoy.

I usually enjoy my fajitas by themselves, they are practically perfect meals wrapped in tortillas, but if you are looking for a side, I would suggest a simple black beans and rice dish.

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