During my carefree days in the era B.B. (Before Baby) I would hang out in my friend Gloria’s kitchen, where she whipped up everything from chicken flautas to tamales for her family. One of the staples of Gloria’s incredible food repertoire is salsa verde. I remember being amazed the first time I saw her grill fresh tomatillos. You mean salsa verde can come from somewhere beside a jar?
Gloria has inspired me to make Mexican food for my own family. This week, as the weather felt chilly, I decided to make steak fajitas; the kind that arrive at your table piping hot. This meal hit the spot and was received well by my toughest critics: my husband and my toddler. I did not give the little guy the salsa verde though; it had quite a kick. If you are in the mood for a delicious Mexican meal without the whole ‘keep the kiddos calm at a restaurant thing,’ give these recipes a try at your place!
Total cook time: 1 hour
Ingredients for Salsa Verde:
10 tomatillos, peeled and thoroughly washed
1 jalapeño, top cut off
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of lime juice
1 tablespoon of fresh grapefruit juice *This ingredient was a happy accident from another day when I was out of lime juice. Grapefruit juice gave the recipe a unique and tasty flavor.
Ingredients for Fajitas:
3 pounds steak, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of paprika
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
2 red or yellow peppers, cut in long strips
1 bunch green onions, ends cut off and sliced into thirds
1 small red onion, sliced into bite sized pieces
1 small white onion, sliced into bite sized pieces
1 can of refried beans
1 package flour tortillas
Olive oil for cooking
Cooking directions for both dishes:
Heat a skillet on high and cook tomatillos and jalapeño until blackened. Add garlic to pan and turn off. This will allow garlic to cook a bit without burning. Let ingredients cool in pan and move onto fajitas.
Season steak with salt, paprika, cumin and cayenne.
Prep all veggies.
Transfer cooled salsa ingredients to blender.
Add a swirl of olive oil to a hot pan and cook meat on med/high until just browned (about five minutes) and transfer to plate. Drain liquid from meat to discard.
Add a swirl of olive oil to the same pan cook all veggies on med/high until tender (about five minutes).
Start warming tortillas in toaster oven.
Heat beans on medium low until warm.
Add salt, lime juice and grapefruit juice to salsa ingredients in blender. Blend for a couple minutes until well combined.
Add steak back to veggies in skillet, stir and cover for five minutes.
Serve by adding a layer of beans to each tortilla, topping that with the fajita mixture and finishing with salsa verde.