Friday, May 4, 2012

Steak Fajitas

Steak Fajitas

This recipe is my contribution to Food Network's Mother's Day Communal Table. This isn't something that you would traditionally think of when preparing Mother's Day dishes, but...(and guys, here's a hint so take note) I think you need to customize your dishes to suit the wants of the ladies in your life. For me, my mother, my sister (who's also a mother) and my wife all enjoy Mexican or Tex-Mex dishes, plus they all like to eat on the healthier side. This dish might also fit into any Cinco de Mayo celebrations, however this dish did not originate in Mexico.

Normally, this fajita recipe would be a little too simple for this website, so I have included a Crazy Foodie twist to it but feel free to replace my experiment making food from scratch with store-bought varieties.

The Challenge

Satisfy the wants of three Moms at the same time.

The Sources

This fajita recipe was taken from issue #68 of Saveur Magazine.


3 small yellow onions, peeled and halved lengthwise
3⁄4 cup plus 1 tablesoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1⁄4 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 bay leaf
1 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 2-pound skirt steak, cut into 3" pieces
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, cored, and thickly sliced
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, cored, and thickly sliced
12 scallions, trimmed
1 tomato, cored and quartered
6" homemade or store-bought Flour Tortillas


1. Finely chop 1 of the onion halves and put into a large deep glass or ceramic dish. Add 3⁄4 cup of the oil, worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, bay leaf, black pepper, and salt to taste and mix well. Add meat to dish and turn in marinade until well coated. Cover dish with plastic wrap and marinate meat in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours.

2. After steak has marinated, heat a charcoal grill until coals are hot. Remove meat from dish, discarding marinade. Grill meat over hot coals, turning once, 4–6 minutes for medium rare. (You may also cook meat in a grill pan on the stove over high heat.) Transfer meat to a cutting board and set aside.

3. Thickly slice the remaining 2 onions lengthwise and set aside. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add onions and bell peppers, season to taste with salt, and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are lightly charred but still crunchy, 3–4 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, thinly slice meat against the grain, add to skillet with vegetables, and stir until heated through, 1–2 minutes. Divide fajitas equally among four heated cast-iron fajitas platters or large heated plates; garnish with scallions and tomato wedges. Serve with warm tortillas, if you like.

As I stated above, feel free to skip this part with store bought tortillas, but quick and easy is not my style. For my own twist on this dish, I decided to make homemade flour tortillas using a Rick Bayless recipe.


3/4 pound (2 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour, plus a little extra for rolling the tortillas
5 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening, or a mixture of the two
3/4 teaspoon salt
about 3/4 cup very warm tap water


1. Combine the flour and fat in a large mixing bowl, working in the fat with your fingers, until completely incorporated. Dissolve the salt in the water, pour about 2/3 cup of it over the dry ingredients and immediately work it in with a fork; the dough will be in large clumps rather than a homogeneous mass. If all the dry ingredients haven't been dampened, add the rest of the liquid (plus a little more, if necessary). Scoop the dough onto your work surface and knead until smooth. It should be medium-stiff consistency -- definitely not firm, but not quite as soft as most bread dough either.

Dough After Wet Ingredients Were Added
Kneaded Dough

2. Divide the dough into 12 portions and roll each into a ball. Set them on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and let rest at least 30 minutes (to make the dough less springy, easier to roll).

3. Heat an ungreased griddle or heavy skillet over medium to medium-high heat. On a lightly floured surface, roll out a portion of the dough into an even 7-inch circle: Flatten a ball of dough, flour it, then roll forward and back across it; rotate a sixth of a turn and roll forward and back again; continue rotating and rolling until you reach a 7-inch circle, lightly flouring the tortilla and work surface from time to time.

Lay the tortilla on the hot griddle (you should hear a faint sizzle and see an almost immediate bubbling across the surface). After 30 to 45 seconds, when there are browned splotches underneath, flip it over. Bake 30 to 45 seconds more, until the other side is browned; don't overbake the tortilla or it will become crisp. Remove and wrap in a cloth napkin placed in a tortilla warmer. Roll and griddle-bake the remaining tortillas in the same manner and stacking them one on top of the other.


Yes! In fact, my wife brought leftovers to her office the next day. She shared her lunch with her colleagues who, after tasting the dish, wanted to invite themselves over for dinner.

Be sure to come back on Wednesday, May 9th to view other participants at The Communal Table!

May 9th Update: Food Network has decided to cancel this Communal Table so, unfortunately, there are no other participants to share.

Happy Mother's Day!


  1. Mmm - love steak fajitas! Haven't had them in a while, too. :)

    Thanks for friending me on FB - your blog looks great, and I'm looking forward to reading more!

  2. Fajitas with homemade tortillas - amazing! No wonder Moms were happy :) Thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving such a nice comment. I think I might be back on your blog often. Have a great week!

  3. Love homemade tortillas, there is just something about them that makes a simple fajita seem so special. Looks like you are off to a great start with your new site.

  4. You made your own tortillas? I am SO impressed. Great post!

  5. Originally growing up in Texas, your fajitas would make me very happy. Can't wait until the weather is warm enough to start grilling again.

  6. Wow you also made homemade tortilla too! Must be really special fajitas! I love steak for fajitas, and using charcoal is much beter taste than gas grill. :-)

  7. Great steak fajitas and I can't believe you made your own tortillas! They look perfect!

  8. I love steak fajitas, and yours look great. And you made your own flour tortillas. That is great!

  9. Wow you made your own tortilla it's amazing,steak fajitas looks so delicious,,Yum,,thanks for visiting my blog :)


  10. Hey, I want to be invited for dinner, too :) With food like this, I would not say no. Looks delicious!

  11. I think you may have just inspired me to make fajitas, I haven't made them in a long time! Looks great, following your blog now :)

    Eric @ Happy Valley Chow

  12. Wow I'd be floored if I came home and my hooligans made me fajitas with homemade tortillas. I have a weird obsession with Taco Bell's version. I order a combo #1 with no tomatoes and no sauce, nachos instead of fries with a pepsi on a way too regular basis. Now I'm thinking I'll just stop by your place. Lol.


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