Thursday, May 5, 2016

Sizzling Pork Fajitas

I must confess that, in the years following college, I have gone through an awkward phase of obsession with restaurant chains like Chili's and the like. On my occasional return to the Bay Area, my eager friends always spoil me with calling the shots for a dinner venue. I, with tail between my legs, used to sheepishly propose a jolly night at Chevys Fresh Mex.

One time, after a momentary pause, my college buddy Kelley turned around from the steering wheel, shoulders slumped, eyes wide (with a trace of regret for not calling the shot), and whined in her comical exasperated way, "are you serious?"

Exact location now a distant memory, we nevertheless had an absolutely fun night. Maybe it was the signature loud colors, or the convivial family-style dining atmosphere that made these casual dining restaurants so enticing. Or maybe because Tex-Mex cuisine had barely taken root in Hong Kong at the time, and the craving definitely hit a spot. 

Perhaps it is the giant goblets of summery margaritas - and the sizzling platters that leave a trail of smoke and mouthwatering whiff of charred meat and onions in their wake as they parade from the kitchen to the anticipating tables - a sensory spectacle that halts all conversations in their track and arrests all hungry eyes and noses that add to the attraction.

Whatever the reason, chains like Chili's and Chevys serving up hearty Tex-Mex fare would always have a place in my heart. Once a while when my craving for hot sizzling fajita hits, I would pull open my spice cabinet, grab my cast iron pan and get to work. Fajitas are a wonderfully easy and fun dish to prepare for a group of friends as everyone gets to help themselves directly from the hot grill pan. Just marinate the meat overnight, have some warm tortillas ready, prepare some sides, call up a few friends, and it is a party!

Fajitas are traditionally made with skirt steak, try it with pork or chicken for a change!

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Misunderstood as it often is, the unofficial holiday commemorating Mexico's victory over the French in 1862 today has become synonamous to tequila overdose and sombreros in the United States - well in any case, when better than today to make Fajitas - a Tex-Mex "fusion" signature!

Bell peppers of any color works beautifully!
What you'll need...

1 lb pork tenderloin
2 bell peppers, sliced
2 red onions, sliced
Flour or corn tortillas
Lime wedges

Fajita Seasoning:
1 heaping teaspoon ground cumin
1 heaping teaspoon ground chile pequin or cayenne
1 heaping teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Black pepper 
Drizzle of olive oil
Squeeze of lime juice

Suggested accompaniments:
Pico de gallo
Sour cream or Greek yoghurt

1. Marinate pork in seasoning either whole or cut into 1/2-inch strips. Cutting pork into strips will allow seasoning to penetrate more thoroughly. Marinade for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

2. On a cast iron pan or skillet, heat oil and cook peppers, onions, and meat, in separate batches if neccessary.

3. Warm tortillas up either on a dry skillet or in the microwave wrapped in barely damp paper towels. Serve fajitas directly on pan with a squeeze of lime and your choice of accompaniments!

豬柳  1 磅
彩椒  2 隻
洋蔥  2 個

小茴香粉  1 大茶匙
墨西哥辣椒粉  1 大茶匙
牛至/奧勒岡  1 大茶匙
西班牙紅椒粉  1/2 茶匙
蒜鹽  1 茶匙
橄欖油  少量
新鮮青檸汁  少量


1. 豬肉切條,用醃料醃30分鐘或醃過夜。 
2. 平底鍋(鑄鐵鍋或鐵板燒鍋更為理想)燒熱加油。
3. 放入彩椒、洋蔥,煮至微焦,翻面續煎至微焦。起鍋備用。
4. 放入豬肉,先以大火將兩面快速煎至變色,以鎖住肉汁。再轉中小火煎到肉熟。
5. 墨西哥薄餅可用乾鍋燒熱、或用微濕的紙巾包著,以微波爐加熱。
6. 完成的烤肉、彩椒、洋蔥可於熱鍋中直接上抬,隨意跟配料配搭。慢用!