Inspired to Wrap It Up

IN January we are looking for warming foods to eat, and Mexican food fits the bill. My family loves Mexican food, but I only have two or three recipes that receive raves.  Tortilla soup is one, and another is a wonderful Taco Salad recipe my sister shared with me several years ago. Yay, Diane!!

 Now we’ve another inspired Mexican recipe from Dale. No it’s actually two: fajitas with beef and fajitas with chicken. Bon appetit!

Dale’s World: Fajitas – Two Ways

 While I thoroughly enjoy the process of cooking, I also enjoy cooking things that can be done quickly and easily. Fajitas are just that. Everything (meat and vegetables) is rolled up into one neat package (the bread) and eaten with your hands. Below are two combinations that I have come to enjoy, and I am sure that you can think of others because there is no limit to what one can put into a tortilla. Fajitas are a complete meal. Nothing else is necessary. Although, I don’t think anyone would object to a few corn chips and some tomato salsa.

Fajitas with Skirt Steak

You will need:

8 to 16 oz. of Beef Skirt Steak    ¼ cup of sliced pickled Jalapeño Peppers

1 Green Bell Pepper                        1 tsp. of Salt

1 Red Bell Pepper                         1 tsp. of Chili Powder

1 Yellow Bell Pepper                         1 tsp. of ground Cumin

1 medium Yellow Onion                 Flour Tortillas

1 medium Tomato                          Parsley or Cilantro Sprigs

2 Tbs. of Canola Oil

Prepare:

1. Cut the skirt steak into pieces of about 4 inches, then cut these across the grain to make strips that are around ¼ of an inch wide.

Slice Skirt Steak

Slice Skirt Steak

2. Remove the stems, seeds and membranes of the bell peppers, then cut them into strips.

3. Cut the onion in half, from top to bottom. Remove the stem, root and dry outer layer.  Then cut each half into strips, from top to bottom. You will get slices that are somewhat crescent shaped. Sometimes it is difficult to find a medium sized yellow onion. If that is your case, use only half of a large one.

4. Cut the tomato as you did the onion.

5. Measure out the jalapeno peppers. If ¼ cup sounds a little warm for your taste, you can use less.

DSCN0817

6. Wash and trim the parsley or cilantro sprigs. These are for a garnish, but if you like cilantro, you can chop some and add it to the mix of meat and vegetables.

Cook:

  1. Heat the Canola oil in a large skillet or sauté pan. (Have we ever discussed the difference? Skillets have sloping sides and sauté pans have straight sides, but they can be used interchangeably.)
  2. On a medium high heat,  stir-fry the meat just to the rare stage.
  3. Add the peppers and onions and continue to stir-fry until the  vegetables are crisp-tender.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the seasonings, salt, chile powder and cumin. Stir over the heat once again for about 30 seconds. Turn off the heat.
  5. Stir in the jalapenos and tomatoes .
  6. If the tortillas have been in the refrigerator, heat them in your microwave for about 30 seconds.

Assemble:

  1. Lay a tortilla flat, and ladle several spoonfuls of the skillet mixture on one side. Roll it up and place it on a dinner plate.
  2. Adults may eat up to three fajitas, depending upon how full you make them. Children will want fewer.
  3. Garnish with the parsley or cilantro.
Inspiring Beef Fajitas

Inspiring Beef Fajitas

Fajitas with Chicken

You will Need:

 

8 to 16 oz. of cooked Chicken         1 Tbs. of Tomato Paste

1 green Bell Pepper                           2 Tbs. of Lime Juice

1 red Bell Pepper                            1 tsp. of Salt

1 yellow Bell Pepper                           1tsp. of Red Pepper Flakes

1 medium yellow Onion                     1 tsp, of ground Cumin

2 Avocadoes                                         Flour Tortillas

2 Tbs. of Canola Oil                            Parsley or Cilantro Sprigs

Prepare:

  1. Prepare the peppers and onions as above.
  2. Peel and slice the avocadoes.
  3. If the chicken is not already cooked, cook it in your microwave.  Cut the chicken into thin slices.
  4. Prepare the garnish.

 

Cook:

  1. Cook the peppers and onions as above. Don’t cook the avocado.
  2. Add the tomato paste, lime juice and stir.
  3. Stir in  the chicken, salt, cumin and red pepper flakes.

Assemble:

  1. Portion the skillet mixture as above.
  2. Lay two slices of avocado on top of the skillet mixture.
Chicken Fajitas

Chicken Fajitas

  1. Roll them up.
  2. Happy New Year!

Food for Thought:

Wrapping It Up

We don’t call fajitas, cushioned in tortillas, wraps, but that’s what they are. So are burritos. Today many fast food places offer a chicken or maybe a veggie wrap. Once we had a gracious Vietnamese woman in our Bible study, and sometimes she would make homemade spring rolls for us. Heaven! They’ve been my favorite wrap ever since.

Lettuce wraps work nicely when you are trying to cut down on your carbs—you know that low carb hamburger that comes wrapped in lettuce: a thick juicy piece of prime meat, melted cheese, fragile circles of onion, dill pickles, mustard, mayonnaise, maybe a dab of ketchup. Who misses the bun?

During the Christmas season we spend a great deal of time wrapping colorful presents with secrets inside, bright cellophane bags of cookies, and pumpkin breads and fudge. Yes, fudge. Now this is probably my all-time favorite food. It helps when it is wrapped. That way I can’t eat it so fast.

When New Year’s Day arrives, we usually try to wrap up the old year with its clutter by journaling about the year or making a list of blessings. My husband has an ongoing “Abundances” list he especially gives attention to when the New Year dawns. (Deut. 28:47 RSV)

Then there’s the  impetus to wrap up things by sorting through the clutter, organizing and throwing or giving away. We thought we’d be wrapping up the production of our cookbook this month. But, unfortunately, the whole process has been delayed. Our publisher has suddenly gone out of business. On the positive side, they did send a CD that contained the layout they had completed, along with the 60 high resolution images that will be peppered throughout the book. It is beautiful, and as I understand it now, all we have to do is find a printer who can finish the process.

How we long to have a book in our hands, hopefully by Spring!  But then what of the verses in James? “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ ”

God has evidently decided he has better timing and a better way to finish Inspiring Cuisine than the way we were pursuing. We believe this will all work out for good, to the glory of His name.

What things are you hoping to wrap up this year? What has God done? We’d love to hear your story. Meanwhile, take some time to enjoy Dale’s gourmet fajita wraps to the hilt. May they be an appetizer of Heaven for you as you go about the routines of life.

—RuthAnn

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One Response to Inspired to Wrap It Up

  1. Diane Hazel says:

    Great post, Ruthann. I will start lettuce wraps again. Thanks for the timely tip.

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