Whether or not our beloved Fiesta Night is in trouble or not, when it is declared that we will be having fajitas (or tacos, or nachos, but usually variations of all three at once because hello Mexican food is the shizzle), it is mandatory for someone to call out “Mexican Night is in peril! Scatter!” With bonus points awarded if the shouter is in public. If you were devoted to Rescue Me like our household was (the hubs being a Paramedic and all), you will remember that the guys from 62 Truck had to take down a dude in the supermarket once for snagging the last avocado, and thus endangering the tastiness ahead. I’d do the same thing. Guacamole is not a joke.
Now that that inside story that you probably don’t find nearly as humorous as we do has been shoved down your throat, I am going to reward you with recipes for deliciousness! Yea!
- 1 pound of chicken or skirt steak
- 1 medium onion, sliced, then quartered
- 1 bell pepper, sliced
- 1 poblano pepper, sliced (these can be a bit hot, so omit if you don’t like heat or if kiddos will be eating)
- 2 ripe avocados, sliced (my husband literally just walked in, having been sent to the store with a list because I didn’t feel like putting on pants, and returned with hard green avocados… I suggest either buying ripe avocados yourself or sending a picture with the go-fer)
- 2 small-to-medium tomatillos, quartered
- 2 cloves of garlic (we really like garlic, and these will be used fresh, omit if you are a vampire)
- 1 lime, juiced (or cut and squeezed when need-be)
- 1 can of black beans, drained
- 1 bag of tortilla chips
- olive oil
- jarred cheese dip
- shredded lettuce (for topping)
- 1 packet of taco seasoning
- salt & pepper
And before you look at all of that and say Wow, how have we not seen a TLC special about your family and their struggle with doorways and aluminum chairs?, this kind of meal is a once a week occurrence (and very little has been eaten through the course of the day. It’s like fasting, but with no spiritual or physical benefit other than taste bud euphoria).
Now, preparation. I should also say before I forget that this sort of spread could probably feed 6 normal people. In our house, it will feed the three of us, Dustin will take leftovers for lunch and I’ll have some for breakfast the following day.
Heat a skillet big enough for the meat, plus the onions and peppers later. On medium heat, cook the meat until it’s just done, using a meat thermometer to read 165-175 degrees for chicken or 140-145 for beef. Yeah, I’m not gonna lie, I had to just look that up here, because I always just eyeball it. But I can’t go poisoning people, so there ya go. Once the meat is no longer dangerous, move it to a cutting board to rest before slicing. Saute the onions and peppers in the pan, adding a little oil if needed, until tender. Remove from heat, and slice the meat. Add that back in the pan and add the taco seasoning. Return to heat and add a little water to the pan to make the sauce, scraping up the little tasty bits stuck to the pan. Remember: it is better to add more liquid a little later than have soupy nachos. Bring to a simmer for a minute or so, turn off stove and you’re done with that. We’re one third of the way to yummy town (or delicioso village, if you prefer).
Dump the can of beans in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and heat in the microwave until warm. Done.
Put the avocados, tomatillos, garlic and lime juice in the food processor with salt and pepper. Fire that baby up, and add about 2 tablespoons of water, to help things move. Now, this is the part I’m not proud of. With a thin stream flowing, pour in olive oil as the mixture processes. How much? I have no idea. I don’t want to know, because it’s probably a lot. I just do it until the green sauce is nice and creamy. You could do without this, of course, using water instead, but it wouldn’t be as ridiculously amazing. Seriously, just do it once, then run 3 miles and never do it again. Live a little.
Now, you just lay all the goodies out and let your family create whatever plato especial their heart desires. I usually have one fajita and some nachos. Dustin has fajitas with chips and dip, and Shelby has a burrito or two with the only 3 things she’s going to eat tonight because everything else looks “totally disgustin'”.
This meal is not complete without wine ( really, is any meal complete without it?), although if you have one of those buckets o’ margaritas in your freezer, get a scoop and a glass because your fiesta is about to begin!
* Note: There is very little alchemy involved here, actually, since I have the receipt from Wal-Mart sitting right here beside me and all of the ingredients were still sitting on store shelves less than 20 minutes ago. But I wanted to start off with a bang, and that bang is 5,000 calorie green sauce. You’re welcome!