Photo by Tamara West
Fajita literally means skirt steak, and the origin of the dish is 20th century Tex-Mex cowboy food — after butchery, the off-cut skirt steak was grilled then sliced for sharing out. These days fajitas can refer to various grilled meats and fish, which are sliced and brought to the table for wrapping in tortillas, along with salad and condiments.
|400 g||Skirt steak|
|2 pinches||Ground cumin|
|2 pinches||Ground coriander|
|1 tbsp||Rice bran oil|
|1 cup||Iceberg lettuce, shredded|
|8||Tortilla wraps, soft white corn or flour|
Pico de gallo
|2||Tomatoes, ripe, diced|
|1||Radish, finely diced|
|¼||Red onion, very finely diced|
|1 bunch||Coriander, finely sliced|
|1 pinch||Cayenne pepper|
|⅓ cup||Whole egg mayonnaise|
|1 tsp||Smoked paprika, (hot or sweet - your choice)|
|3||Chilli, pickled, either jalapenos or long red chillis, drained|
- Place steak on a large plate and sprinkle with a couple of pinches each of salt, pepper, cumin, coriander and paprika. Rub these into the steak and set aside for 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl mix together the tomato, radish, red onion, coriander and lime juice, plus a little salt to taste. Mix together the cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt. Sprinkle this mixture on top of the salsa. (This salsa is called pico de gallo.)
- Make the chilli mayo by mixing together the mayo, vinegar and paprika. Mince one of the pickled chillies and stir this into the mayo. Slice the remaining 2 pickled chillies into rings for serving. Place these in serving bowls on the table with the shredded lettuce, chilli mayo and salsa.
- Heat a cast iron pan or a chargrill to hot, oil it very lightly with rice bran or vegetable oil, then cook the steak, turning once, for about 3 minutes each side until medium rare. Set steak aside on a clean plate for 5 minutes, then slice obliquely on the diagonal into thin slices.
- Heat the tortillas, either one at a time in a hot dry pan for 7-10 seconds each side, or four at a time, wrapped in a foil parcel, in a 180C oven for 5-8 minutes. Let everyone make their own fajitas.
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