Homemade Fajita Seasoning

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I’ve been in the hospitality industry for over 10 years now. I started in the back of the house ( kitchen) as a line cook and moved my way into the front of the house (dining room) as a banquet captain where I continue to grow in my career as a hospitality professional.

As a Chef, the greatest question I was asked, was what’s your favorite thing to cook?  I’ve always had a passion for ethnic cuisine particularly Indian and Thai. I’ve become proficient in learning to cook the above regions, however those styles of food require a great deal more prep time, and ingredients into each dish. Leading to the decision of looking for a meal to prepare in 30 minutes or less, i.e Tacos.

I would say at least 70% of my diet revolves around tacos, chips & salsa (Tex-Mex) followed by the other 30% of rice based dishes in Indian, Thai and even Chinese cuisine given the time and cash money needed to prepare the more complicated recipes. I’ve always said the ways to my heart are as follows: 1.) Buy me tacos 2.) Make me tacos 3.) Be tacos. I guess you could say I’m basic! My all time favorite taco would have to be blackened Mahi Mahi but seems that I live in Ohio and can’t get the good fresh Mahi I was spoiled with having access to in South Florida, I’m going to settle with Skirt Steak tacos, which lead me to this recipe of {Steak} fajitas. I’m a firm believer that the best food is made from the ingredients that go into the dish starting with the seasonings. I’ve developed a recipe for a [common] fajita seasoning to first rub onto your steak and let sit for a minimum of 1 hour before grilling and making into a taco. Please feel free to adjust the measurements to your liking, I went a little heavier on cumin & paprika based on my taste liking. I find the best way to test your seasoning before rubbing it onto the final product is to take a very tiny spoonful to taste. From there you should be able to decide what you may need to add more of.

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Mise en Place:

  • 1 LB Skirt Steak
  • Tortillas of choice
  • Fajita toppings of Choice (Sour Cream, Shredded Cheese, Diced Tomatoes, Guacamole, etc
  • 1 Lime, cut into wedges
  • 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil

For the Seasoning:

  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Hungarian Paprika (Smoked works wells too!)
  • 2 Teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin

Chimichurri Sauce:

  • 1/2 Bundle Cilantro removed from the stems
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • S&P, TT

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Method of Prep:

  • Mix all spices into a small bowl until well incorporated. Taste and adjust if needed.
  • Place raw skirt steak into a large bowl. Rub well with seasoning mix on both sides. cover and chill in refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour up to 1 day.
  • For the Sauce: Add all ingredients into a vita mix (blender) and blend until mixed well, approximately 2 minutes on a lower speed, Set aside.
  • Add olive oil into bowl and rub over coated steak.
  • Toss steak onto a hot grill or sear in a pan over medium heat for 3 minutes on each side.
  • Allow meat to rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes before slicing.
  • Cut across the grain and serve in flour or corn tortilla shells. Add toppings of choice and garnish with chimichurri sauce.
  • Enjoy!

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Lentil & Cauliflower “Rice” Tacos

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When in doubt: Tacos! OR put an egg on it… whichever path you choose you will end up happy..I promise.

When I first heard of cauliflower rice I thought that doesn’t even makes sense. Whats crazy about this concept is it looks pretty darn similar to rice once its crumbled up. As for me, I personally think it looks more like cous cous, but we’ll just stick with rice because it sounds better. The technique is quite simple. You just cut up a head of cauliflower into smaller pieces, place it inside a food processor (or robot coupe to all my kitchen speaking folks) and pulse the cauliflower about 10 times or so until you get a crumble. Be careful not to pulse too much or you may end up with dust!

Instead of adding vegetables or other fixins to this “rice”…I decided to use it as a filling for tacos. The cauliflower is my healthier substitution to ground beef that you would use for tacos. Take the seasonings you would use for the taco filling (ie: cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper, etc) and add it into the cauliflower crumble. You don’t have to add in the lentils but you should because they are delicious and a different addition.

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Mise en Place:

-1 Cup Lentils, cooked

-1 Head Cauliflower, cut into smaller pieces

-1 Large Yellow onion, small dice

-4 Cloves Garlic, minced

-2 Tablespoons Chili Powder

-1 Tablespoon Cumin

-1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika

-1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne

-Salt and Pepper, TT

-Taco shells and toppings of choice

Method of Prep:

-Prepare the cauliflower “rice” by removing the leaves and bottom stem from cauliflower. Cut the cauliflower into small pieces and process a 1/4 of the batch at a time. Pulse on and off until grated. (You can use a box grater as well if you don’t have a food processor)

-Once the cauliflower is grated, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add in garlic and cauliflower. Saute for 3 minutes, stirring often.

-Add in spices and lentils.  Mix to combine.

-Continue cooking until cauliflower is tender, approximately 4 minutes.

-Grab some tortilla shells and fill with cauliflower mixture. Top with your favorite taco fillings!

Enjoy!

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