Tequila (around 1 cup)
8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
4 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 pounds preferred meat, trimmed (I've used chicken and flank steak, both are fantastic.)
Vegetables of choice: yellow onion, zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, mushrooms, anything that would work well in fajitas (I used 6 zucchini, 5 yellow squash, and 2 yellow onions)
Flour tortillas, warmed
1. Zest limes into a 2-4 cup measuring cup. Then squeeze the limes into the same cup. Add an equal amount of tequila. (For example, if you have 1 cup of zest and juice, add 1 cup of tequila.) Add the garlic, cilantro, oil, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, pepper flakes, cumin and coriander; whisk or stir to mix. Alternatively, you could add these ingredients whole to a container appropriate for a handheld blender, and blend them until fully incorporated. That’s what I did. I love my handheld blender.
2. Pour half of marinade into a large zip-top bag, add the meat, and seal. Place in a container in case of leakage and refrigerate until ready to use, turning occasionally. (Length of marination will depend on the meat you’re using. I marinate chicken for 3-4 hours and flank steak for 12-14 hours.) Reserve the rest of the marinade in a sealed container and refrigerate.
3. About 45-75 minutes before you plan to eat, preheat the oven to 450*F. Slice vegetables and place into a large bowl. Pour the reserved marinade (NOT the marinade that has been on the chicken) into the bowl and gently stir the vegetables until evenly coated.
4. Spread out vegetables on one or more baking sheets. You’re aiming for a single layer of vegetables and will want do as many batches as necessary to achieve this.
5. Place baking sheets into oven and roast for 30-60 minutes, until the edges of the vegetables are browning. Stir the vegetables every 15-20 minutes, flipping as many over as you can. (With the amounts of vegetables listed above, and the size of my baking sheets, I had to cook the vegetables in 4 batches. Each batch took about 30-45 minutes to brown nicely.)
6. Meanwhile, remove the meat from the bag and pat dry. Discard marinade. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Prepare a grill or skillet on medium to medium-high heat. Grill or sauté meat until done, this will vary greatly based on the thickness of the meat, the type of meat, and your personal preferences for doneness. When meat is done, remove to a cutting board and slice thinly.
7. To assemble fajitas, place spoonfuls of meat and vegetables into your tortilla and add desired toppings.
I have made fajitas many, many times in the last 12 years, but this is the first time I’ve done the seasoning from scratch. In the past I’ve just used a spice packet from the store. That works perfectly well and the method is similar to the one described here, just skipping the assembly of the marinade. I decided that, for this post, I should do something cooler. This is loosely based on a recipe from Emeril Lagasse.
Fajitas are, in my opinion, one of the best ways to use zucchini. Since this week marks the first zucchini of the season, it seemed like a requirement to make fajitas. The marinade was delicious, a bit fiery, and extremely flavorful. All of the components in the marinade were identifiable in the final product.
While I might still use the packet method once in a while, when I want something quick and easy, this was amazing. These were probably the best fajitas I’ve ever eaten and I’m looking forward to trying the recipe with flank steak in the future!