Steak Fajitas with Cilantro Lime Rice

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I hope you all had a fantastic Labor Day weekend! I know that we sure did.  We went camping with my parents for the weekend and my brother, sister (in-law) and their baby--well, not so baby any more : ( girls stopped in for a day.  It was great!  Wonderful weather, grilled food and lots of card playing.  

We got home Monday afternoon and were exhausted for really no reason but had a lot of things to do around the house.  I wanted to make something tasty for dinner since I had a little time on my hands.  I came up with Steak Fajitas with Cilantro Lime Rice.  Very similar to one of Mr. Schwartz's places to eat, Chipolte.  Oh does he love Chipolte.  

This could not have been easier as well.  Just throw in the steak with the seasonings and you are good to go.  If you don't feel like taking the time to make your own spice mixture by all means use one of the packets you can pick up at the grocery store.  I won't hold it against you.  I understand, you have things to do.  

This recipe was totally approved by Mr. Schwartz.  He said, "if you can figure out how to make the verde salsa at Chipolte, I will never go there again."  I'd call that a success!  

Enjoy kids.  

Musical Selection:  Smooth by Santana.  Kinda spicy, like these fajitas! My parents and I went to the American Idol Live concert in July and it was amazing!  One of the contestants--forgive me but I can't remember who--sang Smooth and I have been re-obsessed with it ever since. 

Start by combining the spice mixture.  It is on the hotter end of things so if you don't like it very spicy just cut back on the cayenne, red pepper flakes and chili powder.  Here is the chili powder.
I would suggest cutting back on the salt or not adding it at all--I am a big fan of salt but this was a tad salty for even my taste.
Beef base.  Nothing but the best, Watkins.  Have you tried this stuff!?  My mom always gets it and has told me it is super old school.  She said that sales people used to go door to door with Watkin's products.  Super cool.  I love the beef and chicken flavors.  If you can't find this stuff in your local grocery store (you probably can't--I haven't yet), it is available online.  OR if you are from my sweet home town in Central Minnesota, it is available at the St. Joe Meat Market.  Yep, hop on over and pick yourself up some.  You won't regret it.
Add the onion powder.  Um, do you see how there is powder all over the sides of the bowl?  Yep, I dropped my camera in the bowl o' spice.  I wasn't not pleased...but then I reminded myself it was dry, could have been some sauce mixture.  It was bound to happen sometime....
Add the garlic...
A few shakes of red pepper flakes...
Whisk it all up together.
Cut up your meat.  I used steak but you can really use chicken or pork as well.
Mix it up and set in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.  The longer it sits the better it will taste. I did ours about 4 hours ahead of time and it was great.
Once you are ready to eat, get going on the rice first.  Melt some butter or margarine in a sauce pan.
Cut up the limes so you can juice them...
Add the rice to the pan with butter.
Juice the limes into the pan.  I'd love to have an action picture but I have yet to find a way to take a picture of myself juicing.  Anyone want to come over and help with my photography--I'll pay you in food.  For real.  Mr. Schwartz isn't the best photographer.
Add salt to the rice.
Bring it to a boil and cover.  Reduce the heat to medium-low.
Oh hey there perfect red pepper. I'm about to slice you up.
Start by holding the pepper upright and hacking of one side.
Go through the pepper and do the same on all of the sides.  How easy was that!?  Then just slice them to the size you would like.  If you like a little bite in your pepper, leave them a little thicker.
I also used poblano peppers.  I usually use green peppers but these were great!  Spicier and less sweet than their green pepper cousin.
See, all sliced up.  I didn't worry about the seeds because we like spice. If you are concerned, make sure you take all of the seeds out.
Toss them into a frying pan with some oil.  Oh yeah, I sliced up some onions as well.  Don't forget the onions... Let the veggies fry up in the pan for about 3 minutes on high heat so they get a little char/brown.
While the veggies fry up, rinse and chop up some cilantro for your rice.  Set aside until you are just ready to serve.
Remove the peppers and onions and put them in a dish for the time being.  Add a little additional oil and pop your meat into the hot pan.  You also want this to char up a bit so don't move it for at least the first minute.  Cook to your desired done-ness.  Mr. Schwartz loves red bloody meat however I'm more of a medium well kinda girl.  I used to be a well done-fry the heck out of it girl but, I'm working on it.  We went for more of a med-well.  If you use chicken or pork make sure to cook it all the way through.
After the rice is cooked, add the cilantro and remove from the heat to a serving bowl.
Ah yum.  Charred spicy beef!  Seriously could not be messier either, look at that bowl.  Sorry it's not very pretty!
But look at this end result.  See that char on the onion in the middle!? That's what I'm talking about.
Add some cheese, guacamole, salsa, lettuce and a squeeze of lime and it is game over.
Yep, amazing.  Give these a shot, you will not be disappointed! 

Fajita Seasoning: 
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon beef base (or chicken if using chicken or pork)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
a few dashes of cayenne powder 
a few shakes of red pepper flakes 
1/2 teaspoon cumin 

Mix all of the ingredients together.  Add beef, chicken or pork to the spices and refrigerate for at least two hours.  

Cilantro Lime Rice 
1 tablespoon of butter or margarine 
2 cups long grain rice
3 3/4 cups water
juice of 2 limes
3 tablespoons (or so) chopped cilantro

Met butter or margarine in sauce pan.  Add rice, water and juice of limes.  Bring to a boil.  Once boiling put a cover on it and reduce to medium-low.  Cook according to the rice's package--probably about 15 minutes.  Once rice is fully cooked, fluff with a fork and add cilantro. 

To make the Fajitas: 
1 red pepper 
1 poblano pepper (or green if you like less spice)
1 medium/large onion 
marinated meat
tortilla shells
sour cream 

Start by slicing the peppers and onions.  Add them to a skillet with vegetable or canola oil heated on medium high heat.  Cook the veggies for about 3-4 minutes giving them a good char on the outside yet tender inside.  Remove them from the pan and set aside.  Add an additional tablespoon of oil to the pan.   Add the meat.  Do not move the meat for at least the first minute to allow it to char.  Cook meat to desired doneness...unless its chicken or pork--cook that all the way through.  

Serve with desired toppings.  


Recipes by: Mrs. Schwartz 

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