This year Iím looking to shake up the Super Bowl gathering a bit. Normally, a pot of chili anchors our party, but this year Iím thinking fajitas. They are customizable, have lots of visual appeal and will definitely fuel the armchair athletes during the big game Sunday as they offer their unsolicited advice to the television.
Fajitas are surprisingly easy to make, especially if you use a premade fajita seasoning or some other Mexican seasoning blend. I use red onions because I like the way they add even more color to the dish, but if you have yellow or white onions, no problem, use them. For more color, use two different color peppers. And donít shy away from a tiny bit of sugar, which just enhances the caramelization of the vegetables. If you want a little more heat, you could either use two jalapenos or stick with one but leave some of the seeds in (thatís where almost all of the heat is in a hot pepper).
Tempting though it might be, donít skip the part where you warm your tortillas in the pan. This adds flavor, those nice brown spots bringing out a toasty wheat taste, and also makes the tortillas more pliable. It takes only a few minutes, and I think it makes the meal. If you want to toast them before cooking the meat, thatís also a fine order of events ó then you might want to heat them for about 20 seconds in the microwave once the meat is cooked up.
Multiply the recipe as needed, but donít crowd the pan when cooking the vegetables and meat ó especially the meat, which needs to brown as it cooks. Cook the meat in batches.
If you want to make this meal just that much more special and restaurantlike, pick up more than one kind of salsa ó maybe a green tomatillo version and a tomato-based red-style jar. And go to town with the rest of the toppings; assembling the perfect fajita is part of the pleasure of this meal.