Monday, December 10, 2012

Five minute fajitas

When I plan things right, I come home from visiting my husband the hospital and I have a quick dinner planned – sometimes that’s a slow cooker meal or leftovers that I can reheat.

The problem is that I often don't leave the hospital until I'm hungry, and when I get home I'm seriously hungry. Even though I love to cook, when I’m that hungry I don't want to fuss with anything that's going to delay dinner too long or I’m likely to start munching on anything I have on hand.

These fajitas might take a little longer than five minutes from start to finish, but not much. And if you want to, you can do all the slicing ahead of time and have it ready to cook when you get home.

The trick to the super-quick cooking is that the meat is sliced into bite-size pieces ahead of time. Usually when I make fajitas, I cook the steak whole, then slice. That takes a little longer for the steak to cook. This way, the meat is cooked very quickly - almost as soon as it touches the pan.

For the fire roasted pepper, you can roast your own ahead of time, or use jarred peppers and just estimate how much you need.

Adobo seasoning is easy to find, and handy to have on hand. Some adobo seasonings have more salt than others, so you'll need to adjust the amount of additional salt to your taste.

As far as toppings, it's up to you. I opted for tomatoes, salsa, and cheese this time around.

If you cook more than you need, you can reheat the meat and vegetables briefly in a hot pan the next day, but you risk overcooking the meat. If you know you won't need the whole flank steak, you're better off setting some aside to cook the next day - it only takes a few seconds either way.

Five-Minute Fajitas

1 flank steak
1 teaspoon adobo seasoning
Salt, to taste
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 onion, quarted and sliced
1 red bell pepper, fire roasted, peeled, cored, seeded, and sliced
Flour or corn tortillas

Optional toppings:
Diced tomatoes
Pickled jalapenos
Avocado chunks or guacamole
Crumbled cheese
Sour cream

Slice the flank steak into lengthwise strips - along the grain - into inch-wide pieces. Then slice the strips into thin pieces. Sprinkle the steak pieces with the adobo and salt, if desired, and set aside.

Heat the oil in a cast iron pan on medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring as needed, until it begins to soften. Add the pepper and cook briefly - fire roasted peppers are already cooked, so you just want to warm them through and cook off any remaining liquid from the vegetables.

Turn the heat to high and add the steak. Cook, stirring as needed to cook the steak on all sides.

Remove from the heat and serve on tortillas with your choice of toppings.