Sunday, February 17, 2008

Fajita Fest

Aside from being the maestro of all things beer-related, my husband is a grand master of the grill. He's out there at Thanksgiving and Christmas, beer in hand, wrestling a 20-plus pound turkey into the Weber and tending it till it becomes a smoky, burnished beauty. Lately he's taken to watching grilling podcasts to pick up new techniques and recipes, and last night he was inspired by Jamie Purviance of Weber Nation to make fajitas.

As you may expect, he's done flank steak on the grill before, but it usually doesn't make it past the slice-it-and-throw-it-on-a-platter phase before it's consumed by the roving hoards around our dinner table. This particular preparation was rubbed with a brown sugar and cumin spice mix before throwing it on the grill, which gave it a caramelized spice quotient that lifted it from merely terrific to the much preferred "Oh-my-god" level.

He also grilled bell peppers and onions, then whipped up a side of guacamole to add a creamy sweetness to the mix. When wrapped in a warm-from-the-grill flour tortilla and topped with our favorite salsa from Emerald Valley Kitchen in Eugene, this was a little handful of heaven that we'll be seeing again. And soon.

Carne Asada Fajitas
From Weber Nation

2 ripe Hass avocados
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon pure chile powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cumin

1 flank steak, about 1 pound and 3/4" thick, trimmed of any surface fat
Extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, sliced crosswise into 1/3-inch slices
2 medium red or green bell peppers, seeded and cut into flat sections
4 flour tortillas (10 inches)
Tabasco sauce

1. Scoop the avocado flesh into a medium bowl. Add the remaining guacamole ingredients and stir with a fork until thoroughly combined. Cover the surface with plastic wrap until ready to use.

2. In a small bowl combine the rub ingredients. Lightly brush or spray the flank steak on both sides with oil and then season evenly with the rub. Allow the steak to stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before grilling.

3. Lightly brush or spray the onion and bell peppers on both sides with oil. Grill over direct medium heat (350°F to 450°F) until tender, turning once. The onion will take 8 to 10 minutes and the bell peppers will take 6 to 8 minutes. Cut the onion and bell peppers into bite-sized pieces. Grill the flank steak over direct medium heat until cooked to desired doneness, 8 to 10 minutes for medium rare, turning once. Remove from the grill and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Wrap the tortillas in a foil package. Grill the package over direct medium heat to warm the tortillas, about 2 to 3 minutes, turning once.

4. To serve, cut the flank steak against the grain into 1/4 inch slices. Place the warm tortillas, sliced meat, onions, peppers, and guacamole in separate serving dishes. Let each person make their own fajita by placing the fillings down the center of each tortilla and adding Tabasco® sauce to taste. Wrap and serve warm.

Makes 4 servings

Note: At our house this would serve two. We grilled 2 lbs. of flank steak and used eight flour tortillas for the three of us. What can I say?


Anonymous said...

Ol' DP mentioned his weekend grilling in passing.... now you've added the details and oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Soon there'll be a line out your gate!

Kathleen Bauer said...

And don't think you won't be getting some of it when you come up here, missy. Can't wait!