Fajitas

fajitas

Tangy grilled meat wrapped in warm tortillas is as simple -- and delicious -- as it gets. Skirt steak is the traditional cut for this dish, but flank steak, which is easier to find, makes a perfect substitute -- just be sure to marinate the meat, since these cuts are super-flavorful but can be tough (boneless, skinless chicken breasts are also a good option here). If you want to grill up some peppers and onions, like they do in many restaurants, go ahead -- but since they're not traditional and my kids won't eat them anyway, I always feel free to skip them.

Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 20 minutes (including marinating time)
Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients

    3 teaspoons kosher salt (or half as much table salt)
    2 cloves garlic, pressed
    Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lime
    1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 1/2 pounds skirt steak or flank steak
    12 small flour tortillas, warmed (wrap them in foil and pop them in a 350 oven while the steak grills)
    Cilantro leaves, guacamole, and salsa for serving

Directions

  1. Combine the salt, garlic, lime juice and zest, cilantro, and olive oil then rub this mixture onto the meat, coating both sides. Put the meat in a large Ziploc or covered dish and refrigerate for two hours (this is ideal, but if you don't have this much time, just marinate it as long as you can -- at least 15 minutes).
  2. Let the meat come to room temperature before grilling, and blot it dry with paper towels.
  3. Heat a charcoal or gas grill or a grill pan over medium-high heat and cook the steaks just to medium rare (longer and they'll be tough), around 4-6 minutes a side.
  4. Let the meat rest 10 minutes on a cutting board, then slice it across the grain into very skinny slices. Serve with warm tortillas, cilantro, guacamole, and salsa.

See more recipes from Catherine Newman at her "Dalai Mama Dishes" blog.

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