This is what I look forward to most, living in southeast Texas. Not fajitas, but this time of year. (Although, let’s be honest – has any culture produced a more amazing, fascinating cuisine that even gets close to TexMex?)
It’s open-windows during the day, almost-cool-enough-to-consider-a-light-cardigan over a tank top at night.
These next few weeks? They’re why we put up with 6 months of soul-sucking heat and oppressive humidity.
We don’t get acres of beautiful trees ablaze with oranges and reds and golds. Actually, it would be a lot easier to sum up “fall in Texas” with a single red leaf on a small-tree-sized weed behind the back fence.
That’s it, y’all
And you can easily identify those Texans who have been counting down the days for a break from the convection oven weather – they’re the ones who went full-on boots, jeans, scarves, and puffy jackets at preschool drop-off last week at 68 degrees. And returned for preschool pick-up in shorts & flip flops.
Those Texans, minus the puffy jackets, they look a lot… EXACTLY… like me
We’re the ones crowding the patios for dinner under the lights with a pitcher of margaritas and platters of sizzling fajitas at the table right next to the overkill patio heater. The ones with the pool heater on because the water is already to cold to swim without it.
It’s all the best parts of spring, only there’s football being played somewhere nearby, 5 nights a week. And beautiful weather calls for beautiful food.
These fajitas are the perfect example of how we’ve had a hard time this “fall” getting into heavier, comfort foods. We’re still hanging on a little bit longer before free-falling off the cliff into the creamy casserole canyon. But I have to admit – it’s not that far off. King Ranch Chicken, here we come!
Pineapple-Marinated Beef Fajitas
Juicy flank steak tenderized with a fresh pineapple marinade.
- For the marinade:
- 1/2-inch thick slice of fresh pineapple, core removed*
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Generous pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 lb flank steak (or your favorite cut for fajitas)
- For serving
- Diced pineapple
- 6-8 tortillas
- Sliced fresh jalapeno
- Diced red onion
- Plain yogurt or sour cream
- * If you're using canned pineapple, go with 2 slices and the juice from the can.
- Place the flank steak in a large zipper bag.
- Place the marinade ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
- Pour over the flank steak, seal the bag, and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes only - do not marinate it longer than 30 minutes. Pineapple is an ultra-tenderizer and it will turn your meat into mush if left in contact too long.
- While the steak is marinating, chop the rest of the toppings and prepare any sides.
- Heat your grill or grill pan to high.
- Cook the flank steak ~4 minutes on each side for medium (~5-6 for medium well).
- Let rest 10 minutes before slicing against the grain, holding your knife at an angle when cutting.
- Serve in warmed tortillas, topped with red onion, pineapple, jalapeno, cilantro, and a dollop of yogurt/sour cream.
Yields: 6-8 fajitas
Estimated time: 1 hour