Since the weather was so wonderful here in Portland today, my wife and I decided to make fajitas for dinner. Instead of your regular “grill some chicken, fry some veggies” fajitas, I decided to do a version I saw Alton Brown do on good eats.
The interesting thing here is that I’m cooking the meat (skirt steak) directly on the charcoal. No grill, no foil, no pan, just meat directly to red hot glowing chunk charcoal. This develops and intensely smokey flavor in the meat. You can see there are large areas of “burnt” meat, but it’s not actually burnt, it’s just caramelized and full of flavor. I’ve never had skirt steak so tasty, very caveman, in a good way.
When the steak was done (3 minutes per side, don’t even think about touching it while it cooks, and then let it rest 15 minutes), I put a cast iron skillet directly on to the coals and let it get smoking hot. I put the standard white onion and green/red pepper that I drizzled with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. The skillet was so hot the veggies instantly started to caramelize and you have to stir them almost constantly or you will get a little burning. Cooking the veggies takes less than 5 minutes (definately don’t over cook them) and the flavor is also amazing. If you ever wonder why veggies take so much better in good chinese food, it’s because they cook them super super hot like this. As a side note, if you want to make really great stir fry and don’t have a really nice gas wok stove, this is actually a good way to do it.
Enjoy with a Cascadian Black Ale and plenty of guacamole, preferably on your beautiful patio with your bride.