Thursday, June 19, 2008

Make Ahead Steak Fajitas

"Prepare and freeze the ingredients for steak fajitas in advance. Cook them when you're ready for a fresh, easy dinner."

I LOVE make-ahead meals. It is so convenient to be able to pull something out of the freezer for dinner, or get ready for a big party ahead of time. This recipe is perfect whether you want 1 serving of fajitas or more...each serving is frozen individually! Except, when it came right down to it, I froze mine all together. We have four people in our family, chances are we'll all eat it at the same time. My flank steak was almost two pounds, so I used three peppers (yellow, orange and green) but still just one huge onion. I doubled the spices, but it really didn't seem like enough, so I'll report back when we cook these up. I'm sure the make ahead fajitas won't hold a candle to these fajitas, but at least it's an easy, tasty dinner.

The verdict: The make ahead fajitas certainly do NOT hold a candle to these fajitas. I think it would be helpful to freeze the single servings in their own bags, as recommended. Mine took a lot longer than 10 minutes to thaw in the frying pan, and the peppers were no longer bright. The fajitas in general were somewhat bland, as I feared, and I was wishing I had made some of my famous salsa to spice them up. They were okay for a somewhat quick meal, but not spectacular. Definitely serve them with salsa, and feel free to spice them up on your own. I will most likely make up a batch of these again, since they are a quick-ish meal, but with more spices.

This recipe is from the June 2008 issue of Real Simple magazine, recipe by Sara Quessenberry.

hands-on-time: 15 minutes total time: 25 minutes serves 4

freeze it:

1 pound flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
1 jalapeƱo, seeded (if desired) and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon hot sauce
Kosher salt
4 1-quart resealable plastic freezer bags

In a large bowl, combine the steak, onion, bell peppers, jalapeno, chili powder, hot sauce and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Divide evenly among 4 bags. Freeze until ready to cook, up to 3 months.

cook it:

4 bags frozen fajita mixture
4 teaspoons olive oil
8 8-inch tortillas, warmed
Salsa (optional)
Sour cream (optional)

In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat the oil (use 1 teaspoon per serving). Empty the frozen contents of the bags into the skillet (use 1 bag per serving). Cook, covered, stirring occasionally to break up ingredients, for 10 minutes. Raise heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender and the steak is cooked through, 2 to 6 minutes. Serve with the tortillas and the salsa and sour cream, if desired.

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