cookbook

Friday Recipe Exchange: Fajita Bar

peppers and onions frying

I’ve spent the day prepping the lemon cucumbers languishing in my refrigerator. I made some refrigerator dill pickles, some Jalapeno-Cucumber RelishCucumber Salsa and of finally, Tomato-Cucumber Salad.  I had a LOT of cucumbers.

Tonight’s menu is part of my Kid’s Menu series. Quick and easy, and everyone can help themselves.

On the board:

Fajita Bar

  • ½ lb. steak, thinly sliced
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • fajita seasoning (recipe here)
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 4-8 flour tortillas
  • 4 oz. shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh salsa (see recipe here)
  • 1 avocado, sliced (or guacamole)
  • sliced black olives

Wrap tortillas in foil and warm in the oven until ready to serve (170-200°F).

fajita dinner plate

Toss chicken and steak with fajita seasoning. Heat 1 tbsp oil in skillet, add peppers and onions, sauté for 2-3 minutes, move to one side, add more oil if needed and then add meat, cooking and stirring until cooked through (about 5 minutes for steak, 10 minutes for chicken).  Add more fajita seasoning if desired.

Serve with tortillas, salsa, avocado, olives

Tossed Salad w/Salsa Dressing

  • ½ head Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • ½ head Iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • 1 to 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 can (8 oz) sweet corn, drained
  • 15 oz black beans, drained
  • 1 cup Ranch dressing
  • 1 cup fresh salsa
  • Tortilla chips

Dressing:  Mix salsa, ranch together.

Toss lettuces, tomatoes, corn and black beans.  Add dressing and garnish with crushed tortilla chips.

This menu and recipes are featured in my cookbook: What’s 4 Dinner Solutions Cookbooks: Summer into Fall

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What’s on your menu this weekend? I’m tidying up the backyard before the leaves start to fall, then heading over to the fall Art Walk downtown.

My friends just gave me a huacatay plant so I can make my own, authentic Aji Verde sauce like our local Peruvian restaurant serves. I’ll need to track down some Aji Amarillo Paste, but that shouldn’t be too difficult around here. What are some exotic dishes you’ve tried to replicate? 

Hit the comments and share your favorite recipes or what you’re cooking this week.

 






45 replies
  1. 1
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    I’m taking the day off from visiting my mother in the hospital and going to Morecambe Market for some respite shopping. Need to get some birthday cards for the Niece and Great Niece as well as some presents. Also going to get some cans of soup for Norman at the food stall there. Still have to go pick Norman up at the hospital at 8pm but at least I get the afternoon off.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Oh for really stupid news stories. Thomas Cook the largest travel company in the UK is under threat of going under if it can’t come up with 200 million pounds to secure loans to renegotiate its debt. There are currently 150,000 tourists overseas that would be stranded if they went down. The Government regulation agency has calculated that in the event that they go under it would cost the Government 600 million to repatriate all the tourists. Now I am not an economist but it occurs to me that the government would be better off giving Thomas Cook 200 million and save itself 400 million. Am I being simplistic?

  4. 4
    Sab says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Or leave them stranded.What were they thinking, spending their money overseas? Should have stayed home. //

  5. 5
    sgrAstar says:

    Fajitas, yes x 1000. Olives in Mexican food? NO.

  6. 6
    Sab says:

    TaMara,
    This sounds and looks delicious.

  7. 7
    chopper says:

    salsa and ranch together?!?

  8. 8

    @sgrAstar: Well, as far as I’m concerned, olives, never.

    @chopper: You’ve never had Salsa Ranch dressing before? You can literally buy it in a bottle, I just like mine with fresh salsa.

  9. 9
    laura says:

    Spouse dropped the glass container with my Grama Foley’s pot roast in it. Shattered. The glass, our hopes for a delicious dinner, spouse’s very last nerve. Cats and a dog ran in in hopes of snarfing free beef and gravy.
    Sadness abounds.
    im pulling for bicycling over to our local for a pint and a plate…..just as soon as spouse is done with his brooming and mopping.
    Grama Foley’s pot roast is a saurbraten style and so beloved that i can call my brothers, mention it and we all start salivating regardless of time of day, season etc.,
    TaMara, how’s the doggies and duckies?

  10. 10

    I have run out of vinegar and have more cucumbers to pickle, so I have to run to the store. Play nice.

  11. 11
    zhena gogolia says:

    Looks yummy.

  12. 12
    Mai naem mobile says:

    Add purple cauliflower as part of the veggies in the fajitas. It adds some nice color to the meal.

  13. 13

    @laura: Sorry about the pot roast.
    Have mercy on the spouse.

  14. 14

    @Litlebritdifrnt:
    Governments do have to consider possible moral hazard if they bail companies out. In this case, they should probably provide the money, but do it in the form of a loan that would get high priority in any bankruptcy proceedings. That helps out the customers without being overly generous to the company.

  15. 15

    @TaMara (HFG):
    I think olives are not a big part of “traditional” Mexican cooking, but olives were grown and eaten in parts of Mexico that were later taken by the United States, so they are a legitimate part of Mexican-American cuisine. In that sense, they’re similar to flour tortillas.

  16. 16
    Lapassionara says:

    @laura: Ouch! I dropped a dish full of meatballs once, but not pot roast! Condolences!

  17. 17
    NYCMT says:

    It’s the beginning of autumn so it’s fresh prune sheet-cake made with yeast sweet dough, aka zvetschgenkuchen. Sweet yeast dough, which is a softened high gluten bread dough with added sugar, eggs, oil, and sometimes spices like cardamom or aniseed, stretched into a sheet after being allowed to rise twice, covered with split pitted fresh prune plums in close rows, mounted with apricot jam after baking to doneness.

    The apricot jam this year was strictly made according to Madeleine Kamman’s recipe, cooked to a soft crack in the heights of summer heat, and mixed with a bit of noix d’abricots I made last winter from some black plum pits and everclear.

    Schmecks wie Rosch Hashanah. Guten neujahr 5780.

  18. 18
    Central Planning says:

    We are on our second week of Hello Fresh, and this week we got the Korean Beef Bibimbap, which only makes me think of the Hanson song MMMBop (hey, it’s a catchy tune!).

    Anyway, HF really does seem to be a cost effective way (Edited – need to verify. Could be way off) to get dinner for 4. We’re having a great time having our youngest (14) prepare the meals with us. Portion sizes are good, and there is more than enough food for the growing teenagers. The prep cards seem to be well done too, text + pictures and easy to understand directions.

    We were also going to try Blue Apron, and maybe others, but I doubt we will do that now. Anyone else HF or BA?

  19. 19
    CarolPW says:

    The ex spousal unit came over Sunday (a long-standing tradition) and we watched the Burns Country Music program. He informed me that it was on each night this week through Wednesday and I had thought it was going to be one episode a week. So we had dinner together all four nights and watched it, Poached halibut (lemon and butter) over white beans with corn on the cob Sunday. He brought pizza Monday. Tuesday was chipotle/adobo black beans and sausage with corn salad, and Wednesday was split pea soup and corn muffins. I am exhausted, and have a ton of leftovers so the next new cooking isn’t until this Sunday (either some sort of chicken, rib steak or liver and onions).

    The good thing is that him coming over jazzes up the puppy so much that she falls asleep instantly when we go to bed, rather than romping around acting like a fool because I am lying down, and digging up the bedding. And she sleeps until 7:00.

  20. 20
    Keith P. says:

    @Mai naem mobile: I’ve gotten hooked on roasted cauliflower steaks (drowning in hollandaise sauce), but a couple of weeks ago, I just roasted the florets but with white and purple plus broccoflower (green). It was beautiful, although to really make it taste best, next time I’d roast them all to near-black.

  21. 21
    Steeplejack says:

    I just got back from being out of town for 3½ weeks, so the cupboard is bare. Well, the refrigerator isn’t bare, but I need to go through it and sort out the stuff that is no longer viable. I went to the store this afternoon and got enough stuff to get me through the weekend and the refrigerator audit.

    Had a pretty good lunch, so no plans for dinner. Maybe a snack later.

  22. 22
    Steeplejack says:

    @CarolPW:

    There are more episodes of Country Music coming! I missed Episode 4 because I was flying, so I was checking on when it would be on again. I was also a bit confused, because I didn’t think there was enough time to wrap things up if that was the end of the series.

    I found that my local “big” PBS station (WETA) is rerunning episodes 1-4 Sunday afternoon and then running Episode 5 Sunday night: “The Sons and Daughters of America (1964-1968).”

    Monday night: “Will the Circle Be Unbroken? (1968-1972).”

    Tuesday night: “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way? (1973-1983).”

    Wednesday night: “Don’t Get Above Your Raisin’ (1984-1996).”

    Waylon Jennings and friends, “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?”

  23. 23
    Mai naem mobile says:

    @Keith P.: that sounds really good. I am going to try that when it cools down. We’re still close to a hundred here. Its finally going to go below a hundred next week. It’s so damn hot I don’t feel like cooking anything. Just eating stuff I can nuke in the microwave or cold stuff.

  24. 24
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Had a pretty good lunch, so no plans for dinner. Maybe a snack later.

    For god’s sake don’t leave us hanging—what snack did you have????

  25. 25
    Steeplejack says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    IT’S BEEN 30 MINUTES NO SNACK YET!

  26. 26
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Steeplejack: I have called the Virginia state police to conduct a wellness check at your home. This is deeply troubling.

  27. 27
    Steeplejack says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    I’m fine. Let’s chillax with some fiddles and steel guitar. Faron Young, “She Went a Little Bit Farther.”

  28. 28
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Steeplejack: normally this would make me gag, but I had dinner with two Alabama natives so it’s hitting the spot

  29. 29
    Steeplejack says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    The Country Music doc has made me realize that honkytonk/​Western swing is my sweet spot in the genre. And I like anything with pedal steel guitar.

  30. 30
    CarolPW says:

    @Steeplejack: And I am looking forward to the coming shows. Although the ex spousal unit is going to Spokane Monday to get the remainder of a malignancy scraped off his nose (not the really bad kind) so I will not be current after this Sunday. Will catch up with it when he comes back. Not going with him, I’m on duty for his cat. Don’t mind missing the unusual marathon cooking though.

    I was a little worried about the series initially, because a lot of “pop” country music is really shitty, but my sister and niece were taking a vacation in Nashville and saw that the Ryman show when they were there was the final taping of the series (even though it was shown first) and the list of musicians was our kind of music (no hint of Toby Keith was to be seen). I have enjoyed it so far, although I could have done with less Gene Autry.

  31. 31
    Steeplejack says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Check out the Waylon Jennings clip above. He does a pretty mean chicken-pickin’ guitar solo!

  32. 32
    Steeplejack says:

    @CarolPW:

    I hope I can catch up on Episode 4. Really want to see how they handle Patsy Cline, one of my favorites.

  33. 33
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Steeplejack: yeah, that’s awesome. Saw him open for Willie Nelson back in the late 80’s. He was great, but almost mechanical. Willie was less good technically but just oozed charisma. A great show from start to finish, plus a great venue, at least by Memphis standards. #MudIsland

  34. 34
    CarolPW says:

    @Steeplejack: They did good. Although why any singer would fly in a small plane in bad weather after Richie Valens and The Big Bopper is a mystery.

  35. 35
    Steeplejack says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Nelson (apparently) knows how to pace himself, or shares the Keith Richards longevity chromosome. Waylon, not so much. Dead at 64 after years of drug abuse and six packs of cigarettes a day! I never got a chance to see him.

  36. 36
    Steeplejack says:

    @CarolPW:

    There is an American Masters doc on Cline that is pretty good, although it seemed to include a few sketchy sources. (Just my opinion.)

  37. 37
    Karen H says:

    @Central Planning: Thread is probably dead, but I’m just catching up. We have used HF for a couple of months now and I second everything you said. I’ll add that there’s a nice variety of choices each week, the food arrives well packed and cold, and the meals have all been delicious.

  38. 38
    NotMax says:

    What are some exotic dishes you’ve tried to replicate

    Just about worked out in the head how I’m going to try to make passable feijoada in the revered Instant Pot, sometime this winter. (I suppose that counts as exotic in the U.S.)

    Still gonna have to come up with a faux farofa to serve along with it, as the real stuff to crank that out not readily available.

  39. 39
    debbie says:

    @Steeplejack:

    I changed my mind about not watching after the second episode, but I changed my mind and am glad I did. I’m looking forward to next week’s episodes.

  40. 40
    Michael Allen says:

    @laura: My kitchen floor is ceramic tile. I know, I know…..but I don’t use glass containers unless something came from the store in one already. Sorry about your loss.

  41. 41
    Michael Allen says:

    @Steeplejack: Some critic I read (or heard on npr?) thought the Country Music series kind of sucked compared to previous Burns docs, but I’ve really liked it so far.

    Years ago I was doing a sound design for a play set in Texas (Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music). I found a Smithsonian series (vinyl days) on country music. A bunch of discs and a lot of print material – a different version of the Burns series idea. At the time I thought it was similar to taking a semester of Western Art History. Later I went through the Smithsonian jazz history series.

    Before the show I played a half hour of George Jones, although he wasn’t mentioned in the play (Hank Williams was). One of the actors told me at first she kept thinking “who is this toothless old man?” and after a while she thought “he’s really good”.

    So anyway I really learned a lot about country music. The Burns series is another version of the same idea and I’m learning a lot more and enjoying it besides.

  42. 42
    Michael Allen says:

    @Michael Allen: Smithsonian issues a lot of CD’s or downloads but never redid the Country (turns out it was a box set of 8 vinyl LP’s plus literature) or Jazz series. Kind of weird since they are so educational and already produced and written. Well, not weird. Incompetent. There is a CD version of the Burns series which I’m guessing includes whole tracks.

    Meanwhile I ordered a highly rated and inexpensive two CD set of Hank Williams from Amazon.

  43. 43
    Michael Allen says:

    Let’s see:

    Homemade ten ingredient fajita spice mix. Nope.

    Homemade six fresh squeezed or chopped ingredient fresh salsa. Nope.

    A whole bunch of other precooked or chopped up ingredients, plus more cooking. Nope.

    Result: Mexican sandwiches eaten in five minutes.

    Quick and easy? Not really. Sorry, but not gonna happen.

    Enjoy.

  44. 44
    Kattails says:

    Coming in way late but wanted to thank you for the delicious looking recipes, will check them out. As soon as I’m done with my own cooking, which is anything and everything to do with the zucchini–bread, muffins, fritters, grated into pasta sauce for the freezer. there must be a way to use the stuff in a savory muffin with corn (to use leftovers), corn meal, and bits of bacon or ham.

  45. 45
    Steeplejack says:

    @Michael Allen:

    I used to have some of those Smithsonian music sets on vinyl.

    Burns’s Jazz was very good until it got to about 1965, when it sort of fell apart. But that was when jazz itself was sort of falling apart. The stuff on the early years, especially Louis Armstrong, was invaluable.

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