Historically Accurate Beef Fajitas

These beef fajitas come from I Love Spice and are actually called Classic Beef Fajitas, but doesn’t the word classic really just mean from the past?

So I decided to name it historically accurate, but it might not actually be historically accurate come to think of it. I mean I don’t know if this is an authentic recipe. However, it is a recipe from the past that millions of people enjoyed and that’s historically accurate.

At least here in the Americas this is the case.

I think now is a good time to say,

“Rachel assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site. The information contained in this site is provided on an “as is” basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness…”

Just covering my bases…

What you’ll need:

For the fajitas

  •  1 pound of beef skirt steak, cut into strips
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • large pinch of mild chili powder
  • large pinch of paprika
  • large pinch of ground cumin
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 12 flour tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1-2 avocados, pitted, chopped, and tossed in lime juice
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream

For the pico de gallo salsa

  • 8 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 1-2 fresh green chilies, such as jalapeno or serrano, seeded and chopped
  • 3-4 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 5-8 radishes, diced
  • ground cumin

The first step is to combine the beef with the garlic, lime juice, chili powder, paprika, cumin, and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to your standards, mix, and marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes outside the fridge or overnight in the fridge.

While this is happening, make the salsa by combining the tomatoes, scallions, chilies, cilantro, and radishes in a bowl. Then season with cumin, slat, and pepper.

The cookbook now recommends you warm the tortillas in a skillet and then wrap them in foil to keep warm while you continue to cook.

I recommend you make everyone warm their own tortilla in the skillet right before they eat. It doesn’t take that long and it’s guaranteed tortilla warmth.

Once the meat has been marinated to your liking, you can prepare to cook it by heating vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat. Stir fry the meat in this pan until browned and slightly tender.

You are  now ready to create your historically accurate and classic fajita masterpiece!

Do this by heating that tortilla, scooping in the meat, and topping with salsa, avocado, and sour cream.

Please note, that my fajita was not historically accurate because I left out the sour cream. I know it’s terrible, but forgive me history snobs.

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Not historically accurate, but good.

If you chose to be historically accurate or not, like all classics it goes without saying that this is an easy, satisfying meal that the whole family can enjoy.

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Hamburger of the Chilies

My next recipe comes from I Love Spice, which if you don’t know, I do love spice. I want to marry spice, but I also love cheese and it’s been a real struggle figuring out who I want to settle down with.

Spice can be intense sometimes, but I like the intensity and cheese is nice and comforting, but sometimes I get bored with cheese because all we do is lay around and talk about how much we like pizza.

For this recipe I did manage to get spice and cheese together. So maybe we can all work things out and move to Utah or start a commune somewhere. I have faith in our relationships.

What you’ll need

  • 1 lb 7 oz/650 grams of ground beef
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 small fresh red chilies, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil, plus extra sprigs for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • hamburger buns, of course, unless you’re gluten-free, then maybe not.

The first step is to make your burger patties by combining all the ingredients except the salt, pepper, and the hamburger buns. That would be awkward.

Mix those ingredients so that they are dispersed in the meat evenly and then season with salt and pepper.

The next step is to form burger patties and you do this by invoking your child hood self’s love of play-dough. Don’t get too carried away though.

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You can’t compete with Meatwad anyway

Instead of Abraham Lincoln, you should be making four roundish patties, like so.

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Once you’ve formed your patties, pre-heat a broiler or grill and then cook those puppies for 5-8 minutes on each side or until they have reached the level of doneness you prefer.

Once they are cooked to your liking, you can garnish with basil sprigs and serve on your hamburger bun with all the fixings you like.

You can also add cheese, which I did. I added pepperjack, because obviously it’s my two loves together and why wouldn’t I?

My final result turned out well. I feel like it’s hard to mess up a burger patty. As long as you don’t over or undercook it, it should turn out well.

I loved the kick of the spices and it was juicy and delicious. So, if you love spice or want to try something new for your Labor Day Cookout, go ahead and give this guy a try. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Chicken Satay Up Yours, Another Meal Involving Sticks Up Things

I haven’t been following up on the Chinese New Year folks. What is it the year of again? Oh yeah, it’s the year of the Monkey.

Well for my American New Year, so far, it has been the year of the kebab.

If you read my last entry, than you’re probably obsessed with me or hate me, which isn’t mutually exclusive. There’s a fine line between love and hate. There is also a fine fine line between a lover and a friend. Most of Los Angeles struggles with this.

What was the point I was I trying to make before I had to make another point? Oh yeah! If you read my last post, I made a shrimp skewer dish. Well this time, I’m making a Chicken skewer dish with peanut sauce from I Love Spice.

What you’ll need.

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into 3/4-inch/2cm cubes (I just got a package that was probably a pound and cut them into some sort of cubes. I mean are you going to measure your meat? No you are not.)
  • 4 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Cucumber cubes, for serving and eating
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter
  • 4-5 tablespoons of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder

The first step in this recipe is to take the chicken that you probably didn’t measure into 3/4 inch cubes and place it in a shallow dish. Seriously, who measures the cubes of their food? I need Italian grandmother measurements for this! My mind does not work that way. Tell me, one thumbs length or something. That makes sense to me.

Anyway, in a small bowl you will mix the soy sauce, cornstarch, 2 cloves of garlic, and ginger. When this is properly mixed, you will pour it over the chicken, cover, and marinate for at least two hours. Marinate in a fridge too because no one wants e coli unless they are under a voodoo spell.

This next step was not necessary for me, because I have metal skewers. If you have wooden ones, though, then you want to soak them in cold water for a half hour.

When you think you’re about ready to cook your chicken, preheat the oven to 375 and place your chicken cubes on your skewers. Heat a ridged grill pan until hot. (I do not have a ridged grill pan, so I just put some aluminum foil on my oven rack.) Add the skewers to whatever heated surface you use on high heat for 3-4 minutes. Turn them every once in awhile while cooking until they turn brown as well. Once the chicken has browned, put the skewers on a pan and cook in the oven for 5-8 minutes.

While all of this is happening, you can make the peanut sauce. The first step for that is to heat oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, add the onion and the remaining garlic clove over medium heat. Once the onion has softened you will add he peanut butter, water, and chili powder. Simmer this for 2-3 minutes.

When you have completed all of these steps, you are ready to arrange your skewers with the cucumber and sauce!

I was pleased with this recipe. It’s not difficult and you can get away with not having any kind of grill pan.

The marinating is what sells this recipe. I’m not a huge fan of soy sauce, but when it comes to marinating meat in it, I’m all in. Soy sauce makes the chicken juicy and tender, as well as adding a bit of a salty taste. Pair that in garlic and you are in instant heaven!

The peanut sauce was tasty as well, but I didn’t love it enough to need it.

If I were to make it again, I think I’d just add some rice and make a feta cucumber salad. Basically I would turn this dish into a Thai Greek child. I just want to make Greece great again and free Thailand. Two birds, one stone people.

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Chicken, cucumber, and peanut sauce

 

 

 

 

Spicy Chicken Wings

This recipe is fairly self explanatory and comes from I Love Spice. It’s another easy recipe that mostly requires waiting.

I have no good tie-ins today except that the waiting part is the marinating part. Marinating makes me think of how a friend of mine posted on social media recently that he just discovered a pack of hot dogs in his backpack. Apparently they had been there for a few days. I told him it was ok, that he was just marinating them. I’m not sure what he’s got in his backpack, but I bet there’s something in there that would give those hotdogs a nice kick.

Thankfully I marinated my chicken wings in the fridge and it was only overnight.

So what you’ll need is 2 lbs of chicken wings, 11 garlic cloves, finely chopped, juice from 2 limes, juice from 1 orange, 2 tbsp of tequila, 1 tbsp of mild chili powder, 2 dried chipotle chilies that have been soaked in hot water for 15 minutes, drained, and pureed, 2 tbsp of vegetable oil, 1 tsp of sugar, 1/4 tsp of allspice, and pinches of cinnamon, cumin, and oregano.

My first note on this recipe is that if you can’t find dried chipotle chilies, it’s ok to just use the ones that come in cans along with red sauce. It won’t ruin the recipe. I have trouble finding dried chipotle for some reason and have given up the good fight. I’m guessing I should go to a Latin market of some kind, but I felt like for this recipe it wasn’t necessary.

Anyway, what you’re going to do is get a non metallic dish that can hold your chicken and all of these ingredients. Put everything in it, mix it around a bit, cover, and put in the fridge for at least three hours.

Once those three hours are up, you grill the chicken wings. If you don’t own a grill, like myself, you can set your oven to the broil setting. Once it’s heated up, place your chicken wings inside for 15-20 minutes. Be sure to flip the wings halfway through the cooking time as well.

The final result was a success for me. My wings were crisp and juicy. I didn’t think they were spicy, but I have a very high spice threshold so they very well could be for most people.

What I liked best about the taste is the subtle flavor of orange. It’s not overpowering at all, but you can still taste it. It gives the chicken a crisp and light flavor that pairs well with the garlic.

Speaking of pairing, I paired my chicken wings with some leftover friend rice I had made, but feel free to add whatever you wish. Green beans, corn, and mashed potatoes are all staples of barbecue items where I come from.

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Kinda spicy chicken wings

Bread of Corn with Jalapenos

My next recipe is from I love Spice. I lightly complained in my past posts, that so far, this book was not spicy enough for me. However, this cornbread did deliver. Jalapenos always deliver though. I love them so much.

I have to note that I need to be careful about expressing my love of peppers. Apparently pepper is used as a slang in Mexico for male genitalia, more specifically small genitalia. I’ve always been a size isn’t as important, it’s how you use it kind of gal and I can’t say I don’t love peppers. I just don’t want to go around proclaiming it. Also, big peppers are not always as fun and spicy as they look. In my opinion.

So what you’ll need for this spicy cornbread is, 1 cup of cornmeal, 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, 3 tsp baking powder, 1 small finely chopped onion, 1-2 finely chopped jalapenos (you know I used two), 4 tbsp vegetable oil, 4 1/2 ounces of canned creamed corn, 1 cup of sour cream, and 2 beaten eggs.

As always with baking, the first step is pre-heat your oven. For this dish, that will be 350.

The next step is to mix your cornmeal, flour, and baking powder in an appropriately sized bowl. Then mix the onion and jalapenos with it.

Once you’ve accomplished that, heat oil in a large skillet. Be sure to coat the whole skillet too. While the skillet is heating up, make a well in the center of your mixing bowl. If you don’t know what that means, basically you are pushing the flour off to the side to create an open space in the middle of the bowl. In that middle, make well water with the corn, sour cream, eggs, and finally the oil, once it’s heated up. Stir the whole mixture lightly and then pour the mix into your skillet.

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Flour mixture before it’s been baked

The final step is to bake for 35-40 minutes. Yes, you bake it in the skillet. Make sure your skillet doesn’t have anything that will melt, like a plastic handle. Mine was all metal, but I put aluminum foil on my handle anyway. I’ve read somewhere that aluminum helps keep plastic handled skillets from melthing. I’ve never tested this though. If you want to try, I say be careful and skeptical. Cleaning up melted plastic is no bueno.

My corn bread turned out quite well. If you don’t like jalapenos though, I would not recommend this, because it does have a kick. You can taste the jalapeno in there. I personally love that, but not everyone does.

I ended up bringing my cornbread on a trip with some friends. We went to Big Bear Lake in California for Memorial Day. On our way there, we saw a homeless man. This is sadly, a common sight in my neighborhood. One of my friends wanted to give him money, so we stopped the car to give him some. I was holding the corn bread and realized that I could give him food. So I gave him a slice. That man looked so happy. It was truly touching. He looked like a little boy on Christmas Day. As my friend started to drive away, I thought, “Oh crap! What if he freaks out when he eats the jalapeno?!”

So as we were driving off, I yell, “IT HAS JALAPENO!!!!”

If this doesn’t make you laugh. Let me explain. Imagine an SUV driving off into the clear blue skies of Los Angeles and picture a delighted homeless man with a slice of cornbread. Just as he’s about to take a bite, see a blonde haired girl stick her head out of the truck window, screeching loudly that it has jalapeno. Trust me, it was a classic Rachel moment.

My friends laughed right away and teased me mercilessly the rest of the trip.

I haven’t seen that man since, which is shame. I’d really like to get a review from him. My friends had some reviews though. They were mostly positive, but for one of them it was just too damn spicy. She would take a bite, a tear would slowly trickle down her face and as she was breathing heavily from the shock of it, she would say, “IT HAS JALAPENOS!”

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Crumbled style

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Memorial day style

Sassy and Spicy Marinated Olives

This recipe comes from I Love Spice and is another easy and simple recipe to make.

It’s not very labor intensive and most of it is smashing all the ingredients into a mason jar and letting it marinate for a week or two. For this recipe, I had to use two mason jars, so I do recommend reducing the ingredients in half.

The ingredients you’ll need are four garlic cloves, a lemon, 2 tsp of crushed coriander, 1 pound of large green olives, 4 fresh thyme sprigs, 4 fennel stalks, 2 small red chilies, and olive oil.

As far as labor goes, all you do is crush the garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife, cut the lemon into small chunks, and dice the chilies. For the chilies, I used jalapenos, but feel free to use whatever spice you like.

I have to make a note that the fennel I bought was pricey so make sure you have a use for your fennel beyond this recipe too. I plan on stir-frying mine with some eggplant. Stir-frying is one of the best way to use up old ingredients I have to say.

The only other step in making this is to add olive oil until your olives are covered. It has been a week since I made this and I did try them today. The olive oil got a little thick looking, but don’t let that scare you. It still tastes delicious. Re-reading the recipe book for my post made me realize I was supposed to let it get to room temperature before draining the oil and such, but I mean it was fine. I’m guessing that might help with the texture and look of the oil.

Overall I thought this was a good recipe and even though it doesn’t take a whole lot of time to make, I don’t know if it’s worth making again. The price of the fennel is what sways my opinion. Plus, there are olive bars all over nowadays so I feel like you could just buy olives like this for a fair price and then you don’t have to worry about using up your fennel.

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Locked up olives

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Emancipated olives

Deviled Eggs from the Third Circle

My latest recipe is from I Love Spice and is a slightly spicy version of deviled eggs. I have never made deviled eggs in my life so I was excited to try this out. I also used to hate deviled eggs. I thought they were disgusting, but I decided to give them another chance and now my soul belongs to the devil. Sigh.

Unfortunately I screwed this recipe up a bit. Not devastatingly so, fortunately, but I messed up the very first step which is boiling the eggs. Since I used to hate boiled eggs in general, I never really boiled them, so I looked up how to boil eggs on the internet. I Love Spice didn’t tell you how to do it. They were probably thinking, “How hard could that be?” Well, they don’t know the sad person that is me who can’t boil eggs right.

Anyway, the internet told me to place the eggs in my water before the water boiled and then to let it boil slowly. This was frustrating for me, because I wasn’t sure when the egg were ready. So I think I took them out too soon, making it difficult to peel the shell and the yolk to not be fully cooked. This created a problem for the filling, as you can assume.

Whether you boil the eggs successfully or not, the next step after peeling is to cut them in half and scoop out your egg yolks. Then you mashed the egg yolk through a wire mesh strainer, which I don’t have so I tried to just mash them up as well as I could without making it too liquidy.

You then combine finely chopped pimentos and Spanish olives to your mashed egg along with mayonnaise, tabasco, a bit of cayenne, salt, and pepper.

This recipe also called for a pastry bag to place the filling in the egg and I actually tried to find one at Von’s but had no luck. I ended up using a spoon and the spoon worked fine.

After you fill all your eggs, you garnish with leftover pimentos and olives.

My filling was not thick enough and when I bit into my deviled eggs it smeared everywhere, but they still tasted delicious. I’m pretty sure if I had boiled my eggs correctly this wouldn’t have been a problem. Hopefully I’ll do it right next time.

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Gluttonous eggs from the devil.