Remember my old fashioned gentleman/retired cowboy neighbor that dropped off all the garden and orchard treasures? This week's recipes are dedicated to summer-fresh produce, thanks to my generous gentleman cowboy.
Raise your hand if you've been to El Cholo in Los Angeles. All right, don't raise your hand, but at the very least, leave a comment. I can personally guarantee just about anything on El Cholo's menu, but their fajitas are truly exceptional.
In the late 80s, I went to El Cholo with a group of high school friends. Fajitas were the new "it" dish, and apparently not too well known. When the waiter came to our table with the loud sizzling dish, my brother's friend Matt Gourley, jumped out of his seat, sweating and shouting something about a fire. He was an extremely funny guy (professional actor now), but he was dead serious at the time. We've been giving him "heat" for years over his pan-panic attack. Every time I hear the flaming sizzle of fajitas, I think of Matt Gourley, scared out of his Cavaricci pants at El Cholo.
I'm confidant you'll love my veggie fajitas, since I've done my best to copy El Cholo. They're simple, nutritious, vibrant with color, delicious, and best of all-I can make it all in just one pan, so clean up is a snap. Whip up a batch of my 2 minute FRESH SALSA, and you've got dinner.
Summer Vegetable Fajitas
Estimated Cost: $5.00 for Four Servings
Notes: Sometimes I use homemade refried beans from the freezer, or canned pinto beans that I mash, or when very pressed for time, Rosarita Green Chile and Lime Refried Beans.
12 corn tortillas
2 teaspoons butter, optional
1-2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 bell peppers, thinly sliced, preferably different colors
1 zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 summer squash, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup corn (optional)
2 cups refried beans
1/2 cup shredded cheddar or jack cheese, if desired
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 clove garlic, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
sour cream, guacamole, salsa, if desired for serving
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add tortillas, a few at a time and cook until softened. Brush tortillas lightly with butter, if desired, and wrap tightly in tin foil, then wrap in cloth towels to keep them warm and soft until serving time. To same pan, add oil. When sizzling hot, add onions and bell peppers. Cook stirring constantly for two minutes. Add zucchini, squash, tomatoes and corn and cook for one minute. Push vegetables to one side of pan. Place refried beans on other side. Sprinkle refried beans with cheese. To vegetables only, add chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper, and cook stirring vegetables only for one minute. Turn off the heat and immediately add lemon juice to vegetables only. Bring skillet and tortillas to the table. Make fajitas directly from the table. Serve with sour cream, guacamole and salsa.
Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread