Coastal Stuff

Fantastic Fajitas

11.16.08 | 3 Comments

Yesterday, the mercury touched 80F (27C) in an unprecedented, late taste of summer. The coast was overrun by tourists and the beaches were swamped. But it did bring one of the best perks for a great weekend here which is the thrill of grilling. For several years I’ve been working to perfect an authentic fajita taste experimenting with the meat, the heat, the marinate, and the dry rub. Yesterday, I think the code was cracked (and according to my family’s reaction, I’ll go with, it was cracked.)

Fajitas on the grill post marinate and dry rub

So, in the spirit of full disclosure, I share with you the best tasting way I’ve yet discovered to make fajitas on the grill. It’s simple, it’s cheap, and it tastes great.

Job 1, get good ingredients. Start with skirt steak, it’s cheap though not commonly available – the local butcher is a better bet than the big-box grocery store. Fresher is better. The kicker? It’s cheap, $1.99/lb. You’ll want to get two steaks each 0.75 to 1 lb each. Trim any fat from the meat and take the membrane off the back side.

Job 2, prepare the marinate, one beer (12 oz,) the juice of one orange, the juice of three limes, and two tablespoons of worcestershire sauce. Combine ingredients in a 1 gallon ziplock bag, drop the meat in, let it cold marinate (in the fridge) for a minimum of three hours and a max of 24 hours before you plan to grill.

Job 3, prepare the dry rub. Combine 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 1 tablespoon of coarse salt (like a sea salt or kosher salt,) 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, and 1.5 teaspoons of cumin. (optional, if you have a desire for hot and spicy, a teaspoon of cayenne pepper does the trick.)

Job 3, prepare to grill. 30 minutes before you plan to grill, drain the marinate from the meat, dry the surface of the meat. Spread the dry rub on the meat in an even, light coat. Let it sit at room temperature until you’re ready to go.

Job 4, grilling. Bring your grill to high temperature, cook uncovered for 5-6 minutes per side to get a medium result, reduce the time for medium-rare/rare, increase the time for medium-well/well (which I don’t recommend for good fajitas – medium is just fine.) Turn frequently – whenever juice appears on the surface – a minimum of five times (you’re looking for 11-12 minutes total cook time.)

Job 5, prepare and eat. When the grilling is finished, slice the meat across the grain into finger-sized lengths. Serve with avocado and warmed flour tortillas. Chips and salsa as sides. And Corona beer with lime slices. Dee-lish!

If you try it, let me know how it turns out. Hope your experience is a good one. Happy grilling!