| Kamado Joe "MoJoe" Newscast||May 2011 |
Kamado Joe Company
4034 Enterprise Way
Flowery Branch, GA 30542
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Recipe: Steak and Shrimp Fajitas
Hot and Tasty with plenty of sizzle.
Texans would probably like to lay claim to the fajita, but history gives credit to Mexican ranch workers living in West Texas (along the Rio Grande on the Texas-Mexico border) in the late 1930s or early 1940s. When a steer was butchered, the workers were given the least desirable parts to eat for partial payment of their wages. Because of this, the workers learned to make good use of a tough cut of beef known as skirt steak. In Spanish, fajita is a form of the word faja which translates to “belt” or “girdle” in English.
The fajita is truly a Tex-Mex food (a blending of Texas cowboy and Mexican panchero foods). The Mexican term for grilled skirt steak is arracheras, and its American counterpart is fajitas. Today, the term fajita has completely lost its original meaning and has come to describe just about anything that is cooked and served rolled up in a soft flour tortilla. The only true fajitas, however, are made from skirt steak. History source: whatscookingamerica.net
Total Grill Time: 20 minutes
1 lb skirt steak
1/2 lb large shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 large onion (peeled and sliced with the grain)
2 bell peppers (various colors and sliced lengthwise into strips)
6-8 large portabella mushrooms (sliced with stems on)
2 jalapeño peppers (sliced in rounds)
1 fresh lime
Olive oil or vegetable oil
1 fresh lime (juiced)
1/4 cup tequila (or substitute wine vinegar or red wine)
2 cloves garlic (smashed and finely chopped)
1 tbsp cilantro (chopped)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp black pepper
Iceberg lettuce (chopped)
In a mixing bowl, add the ingredients and whisk. Place the skirt steaks and mixture in a Ziploc bag. There will be just enough mixture to cover the steaks. Roll up the steak and lock the bag with as little air as possible. Refrigerate for 1 to 24 hours (I marinated them for 4 hours). Prior to grilling, wipe or lightly rinse off the marinade, pat dry and lightly coat with olive or vegetable oil to prevent them from sticking to the cooking grate.
1. Preheat the grill to 425°F
2. Use a fajita skillet or standard skillet that can be placed on your grill. Wipe the skillet surface with
oil and place on the grill to preheat (about 10 minutes)
3. Place the fajita ingredients in the skillet less the shrimp.
4. Grill until the vegetables are soft, but not mushy (about 10-15 minutes)
5. Place the shrimp on top of the vegetables and place the skirt steaks on the grill for 1 minute
6. Remove the steaks and allow them to rest while the shrimp finishes cooking (3-5 minutes)
7. Slice the skirt steaks with the grain in thin slices. You can add them to the top of skillet
ingredients or serve separately.
8. Serve with the side dishes and warm the flour tortillas. Tip: Place each side of the tortilla
under running water and place on a dinner plate. Heat each in a microwave for 20 seconds.
9. Squeeze the juice of a quartered lime over the sizzling fajitas and serve.
Product Review: Cuisinart Fajita Set
Can you really build a better fajita skillet?
My wife Suzanne and I go out for fajitas a couple of times a month, and I thought it was time for me to try my hand at them at home.
I searched for a fajita skillet online to use for this month’s recipe and I found that they all look similar, but the prices range from $8 for a low end set to over $75 for a Mr. Bar-B-Q Fajita Platter Set.
One fajita set that caught my eye is made by Cuisinart. It was the only one I found that promoted itself as being specifically for outdoor grills. Instead of a solid cast iron bottom, it has openings that allow the food to be grilled directly via “flavor slots”.
Cuisinart’s set is the same size that you find at Mexican restaurants and it includes a preseasoned cast iron skillet, insulated handle holder and wood tray. The tray is unfinished wood and it is heavy, but the box does not identify the type of wood.
The Last Word
Cuisinart’s Fajita Set is well made and the slotted design is great in theory, but it does not work in actual use. Cast iron skillets are known for their exceptional abilities to heat evenly and retain heat. Fajita skillets cook food quickly in part, because the moisture of the food collects in the bottom of the skillet to form a liquid, which cooks the upper portions of the food as steam heat. Unfortunately, Cuisinart’s design eliminates the latter feature by quickly drying out and charring the food on the bottom; even if you stir the food regularly. I do not believe any combination of temperature and time would overcome this design flaw.
The fajitas I grilled in the skillet came off the grill sizzling hot. Unfortunately, only the half of the vegetables were edible with the rest being too charred and dry to eat. The shrimp was hot and juicy and the skirt steaks were nothing short of supreme in taste and tenderness, but I cooked them directly on the grilling grate.
The skillet appears to be designed for gas grills, so it was mildly difficult to remove it from the Kamado Joe grill. I used my leather grilling gloves instead of the included handle mitt, but in the three seconds it took to lift it out of the grill I burned two fingers. I could not imagine using Cuisinart’s mitt even on a gas grill.
I did test the insulated mitt after placing the skillet in the wood tray. The heat transferred so quickly I had to put it down immediately. I can't imagine this fajita set working on any type of outdoor grill.
There is no need to list the pros and cons for this product. In my opinion, Cuisinart’s Fajita Set does not perform as promised. If you want to grill fajitas use a name brand cast iron fajita skillet with a solid bottom. I have been pleased with Lodge Logic’s products in the past, so I will be considering a set from them and returning the set from Cuisinart.
* Derald Schultz, Kamado Joe
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