Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Granny Smith's Fajitas

There are few meals that are easier to construct than the fajita. It is simple, flavorful, generally healthy, and allows for great improvisation. I also had plenty of the ingredients on hand, which made for a quick market run.

We had not had a hard day. We were both off for the holiday and spent the day going to the movies (I mean this literally. We saw The King's Speech walked out of the theater turned around and went back and saw Black Swan). This meant that lunch consisted of popcorn and chocolate, and that meant that our stomachs were in dire need of real food by the end of the day the kind of gnawing aching your stomach creates when it is just crying out for a vegetable not covered in faux butter and salt. I could not be content with the simple classic of peppers, onion, and protein with out a few touches of the unique.

Part One: The Ingredients

-Steak-Top sirloin, cut into strips and dusted with Kosher salt, white pepper, smoked paprika and chili powder
-Pineapple-I used canned chunks, because the fresh ones looked lousy and I was feeling lazy. Dust it with a little brown sugar and cinnamon
-Peppers and Onions-Sliced
-Garlic-Everything needs garlic, minced into the pan with the onions.
-Granny Smith Apple-Sliced
-Chorizo-I would have preferred a link sausage to the ground, but you work with what you have available and I really wanted the Chorizo flavor more than I wanted the hunks of sausage meet.
-Cotija Cheese- This is a crumbly dry Mexican cow's milk cheese.
-Corn Tortillas-I should not have to list this.

Part Two: The Process
-Saute the onions with the garlic in a little bit of oil (I used safflower).
-As the onions become translucent add the sausage.
-After a few minutes of cooking add the steak.
-After a few more minutes add the peppers and pineapple 
-Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
-Lastly add the sliced Granny Smith Apple.
-Dish the fajita filling onto warm tortillas and top with the Cotija cheese.

I did not add any additional spices to the meal because I had seasoned Chorizo and had seasoned the steak. It could have been aided with the addition of a oregano and some ground cumin.

Part Three: The Service

The meal was really light a flavorful. The pineapple gave the spicy meal some much needed sweetness with a bright summery taste. The apple added an interesting texture more than anything. I think if I were to do it again I would them even later in the cooking the process and dust them with brown sugar and cinnamon as well in hopes of better maintaining their crisp clean tart flavor. It certainly added to the meal and took the familiar fajita to an extra level complexity.

The Chorizo added heat and flavor to the meal, but did not form big enough chunks for you to know you had bitten into the sausage. I orginally thought that this is what I wanted, but on eating I was wrong. I wanted big chunks of sasuasge. The steak was tender, flavorful and extremely lean.