Grapefruit Marinated Fajitas

by Shawnda on February 16, 2012

in Beef,Cinco de Mayo,Citrus,Grapefruit,Mexican & TexMex,On the grill

Grapefruit Marinated Fajitas

Most Friday nights, you’ll find us on the back patio, margaritas in hand, listening to the sizzle of fajitas on the grill. And for the 6 weeks out of the year that it’s too cold to grill, you’ll find us at one of our favorite Tex Mex restaurants, trying to talk over the sizzling order of fajitas in front of us.

I’m a beef fajita girl all the way. My husband prefers chicken. And when the server brings our orders, he or she always tries to hand me the chicken. NEVER fails :)

I love my fajitas flame-kissed, slightly salty, and melt-in-your-mouth tender. Being in full-blown winter citrus (read: grapefruit) mode, I swapped out the usual orange juice in our favorite marinade for equal parts grapefruit and lime juices. A generous pinch of salt, some pepper, and olive oil later, we had a marinade worthy for grilling fajitas in 70+ degree weather in mid-January.

The acid in the grapefruit and lime juices can tenderize just about anything you throw at it – I happened to have a bargain cut of cube steak that came off the grill every bit as good as pricey flank or skirt steaks. There’s no real overwhelming grapefruit flavor in the cooked steak but there is a hint of the tart citrus.

We serve our fajitas piled high with sliced avocado, grilled onions and peppers, cilantro, sour cream (er, fat-free greek yogurt), and chopped fresh jalapenos.

And after typing all that, I’m totally excited about the leftover fajitas tonight :)

Grapefruit Marinated Fajitas

Tender beef fajitas marinated with grapefruit and lime juices.


  • For the marinade:
  • 1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 lb beef (I used cube steak, flank or skirt are ideal)
  • For the grilled vegetables:
  • 1 large white or yellow onion
  • 1-2 large bell peppers
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • For serving:
  • 8 small tortillas
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 small handful cilantro leaves
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt


  1. In a large zip-top bag, add the grapefruit and lime juices, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Close tightly and squeeze the ingredients together.
  2. Add beef, close, and refrigerate for 4 hours, up to overnight.
  3. Preheat grill to high.
  4. Slice onion in half, and then slice into thin wedges. Place in a large bowl.
  5. Remove stems and seeds from the bell pepper and cut into 1/4-inch strips.
  6. Add to the onions and toss with olive oil until well-coated.
  7. Spread onions and peppers in a single layer on a grill pan (or use a large piece of foil, folded in half for stability, placed directly onto the grates of your grill) and cook until they soften and are browned (15-20 minutes).
  8. Put the steak on the grill and sear 4-5 minutes on each side. (You might wish to cook yours longer, 4-5 minutes is usually enough to still leave a nice pink strip through the thickest part of the steak).
  9. Remove from heat and let rest 10 minutes before cutting.
  10. Cut into thin slices, against the grain, and serve on tortillas with preferred toppings.


Yields: 4 servings (enough for 8 fajitas)

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 5 hours


Grapefruit Bars

Surpriiiiise! It’s another grapefruit recipe! I hope you’re not tired of them. Because I’m not.

If you’re thinking that I must have an entire counter piled high with citrus, you wouldn’t be too terribly wrong. We’ve been cooking, eating, drinking, and baking with it a lot lately. It’s hard to pass up those dirt-cheap bags of citrus at the grocery store!

These grapefruit bars started out as an ordinary lemon bar, but as you can see from the picture above, (clears throat for Yoda voice) ordinary lemon bars these are not!

Grapefruit Bars

We swapped the lemon for Texas ruby red grapefruit, reduced the sugar a bit, and added zest to the crust and more zest to the filling. Because there’s no such thing as too much grapefruit.

What you get is a shortbread base infused with grapefruit and a thick, creamy layer of faux-grapefruit curd on top. It’s the topping that really sets them apart. Of course, had we made them with lemon, ordinary lemon bars they still wouldn’t be!

It’s refreshing, it’s bright, and it’s indulgent. It’s a dessert fit for any grapefruit lover. As confirmed by this grapefruit lover :)

Grapefruit Curd Squares

Ruby red grapefruit steals the spotlight from an ordinary lemon bar.


  • For the cookie base:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Zest from 1/2 a grapefruit
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, cold and cut into 8 pieces
  • For the filling:
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used half sugar, half sugar substitute)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Zest from 1/2 a grapefruit
  • 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice (from the zested fruit)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp fat-free Greek yogurt
  • Powdered sugar, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spray an 8x8 baking pan with non-stick spray.
  3. Add flour, salt, sugar, grapefruit zest, and butter pieces to the bowl of your food processor and process for ~1 minute, until the butter has been completely distributed into the dry ingredients and there are no traces of powder left. (You can do this by hand, it will just take longer.)
  4. Spread mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan and press down firmly.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, until the edges brown.
  6. Let cool for 20 minutes.
  7. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  8. Whisk in the grapefruit zest, juice, eggs, and yogurt until thoroughly combined and lump-free.
  9. Pour over cookie crust and bake for 20-25 minutes, until just set - the center should jiggle but not be fluid when you gently shake the pan.
  10. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes and then run the tip of a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen.
  11. Allow to cool completely before cutting into 12 squares and serving dusted with powdered sugar.


Yields: 12 servings

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma

Estimated time: 2 hours

Nutritional Information
Calories: 164.4 | Fat: 9.0g | Fiber 3.0g | Protein 2.9g | Carbs 19.7g
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 5


Lighter Grapefruit Scones

With a bounty (15 lbs!) of beautiful Texas grapefruit, Grapefruit Scones were one of the first things on my list to tackle after we replaced our broken oven. I wanted a simple cream scone, studded with grapefruit, that wasn’t to sweet and not too terrible for my waistline.

I started with the Basic Cream Scone from Cook’s Illustrated. And then I kind of hit it with a wrecking ball.

What usually makes a scone so melt-in-your-mouth tender is fat, usually from butter and cream. I don’t know about you, but those are two of my favorite food groups :) I knocked out 75% of the heavy cream and replaced it with fat-free greek yogurt and grapefruit juice, two items that would keep the batter thick and flavorful. In addition to flavor, the small chunks of cold butter also contribute to lift and texture so I increased the baking powder after reducing the butter just a bit.

Lighter Grapefruit Scones

The upside: You still get that crumbly scone goodness, with significantly less fat.

The downside: Without all the extra fat to keep them moist, they don’t keep as long (2-3 days vs 4-5+)

I added a generous dose of chopped grapefruit and zest, and just a little extra sugar to help offset the bitterness from the fruit (my husband required a drizzle of honey at breakfast to make his even sweeter). And there’s no mistaking that each bite belongs to a grapefruit scone :)

Grapefruit Scones

Slightly sweet, tender scones studded with grapefruit.


  • 1 ruby red grapefruit
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp butter, cut into pieces or grated
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp fat-free Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp coarse sugar, for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Zest half the fruit to get 1 Tbsp (unpacked) zest.
  3. Cut the tops and bottoms of the grapefruit off.
  4. Remove the peel and pith with a knife and cut the grapefruit segments from the membranes over a bowl to catch the juice.
  5. Cut each segment into 2-3 pieces and set a side.
  6. Squeeze the leftover membranes into the bowl. Reserve 2 Tbsp of the grapefruit juice and discard the rest.
  7. Pulse the sugar, zest, flour, baking powder, and salt a few times in a food processor.
  8. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is about the size of peas.
  9. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  10. In a small bowl, stir together the 2 Tbsp grapefruit juice, heavy cream, and yogurt.
  11. Add the yogurt mixture and grapefruit segments to the dry ingredients, stirring until most of the dry ingredients are incorporated
  12. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a rectangle 1-inch thick.
  13. Cut in quarters and cut each rectangle diagonally.
  14. Refrigerate 15 minutes.
  15. Top with sugar and bake 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned.
  16. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.
  17. Store for a couple of days in an airtight container. Warm for 10-12 seconds in the microwave before serving.


Yields: 8 servings

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated's Cream Scones

Estimated time: 45 minutes

Nutritional Information
Calories: 238.5 | Fat: 8.5g | Fiber 1.3g | Protein 5.2g | Carbs 34.9
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 6


Grapefruit Creme Brulee

This week’s Project Pastry Queen challenge was selected by Sarah of 20 Something Cupcakes: Espresso Creme Brulee.

With a broken oven and no one else in the house on-board with a coffee-flavored dessert, I was going to take a pass. But then my oven came in a week early. So we celebrated. With Grapefruit Creme Brulee.

Creme Brulee is not hard to make. Not at all. And Sarah can prove it – she has a video posted to go along with the recipe.

I at least stuck to the spirit of the challenge this week… but I’m afraid not much else :)

Grapefruit Creme Brulee

I scaled the recipe down by 2/3 to accommodate a generous 2-serving dessert, and then adjusted some of the odd-ball measurements. Like 2.33333 egg yolks. Because that was just not going to happen.

I infused the custard with citrus flavor by heating grapefruit zest with the cream and letting the mixture rest. And then I rubbed a little grapefruit zest with granulated sugar and used that for the bruleed topping. The resulting creme brulee has pronounced citrus and grapefruit notes without the overwhelming bitterness of the fresh fruit. Although, I happen to adore fresh grapefruit.

And I’m so glad I didn’t make a full batch! After calculating the nutritional information, we ended up splitting a dessert for 2 nights instead of eating it all the first night :)

Grapefruit Creme Brulee

Creme brulee infused with grapefruit. Use your favorite variety of grapefruit. If you are so lucky to have Texas grapefruit in your produce department, grab one!


  • 1 grapefruit, zested (and segmented, if desired)
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup + 4 tsp sugar


  1. Reserve a pinch of grapefruit zest (~1/2-1 tsp), and put the rest in a small sauce pan along with the cream and sugar.
  2. Heat until very hot and steaming (but not boiling).
  3. Remove from heat and let rest while oven is preheating to 300.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.
  5. Reheat the cream mixture until very hot (again, don't boil).
  6. Strain 1/4 cup of the cream mixture into the egg yolks, while whisking (this will temper the eggs and prevent scrambled eggs).
  7. Strain the rest of the cream mixture into the yolk mixture and whisk thoroughly.
  8. Divide custard between two 6 oz baking dishes and place in larger pan.
  9. Carefully pour very hot water into the pan, taking care not to splash water into the custard, until it comes halfway up the creme brulee dishes.
  10. Transfer to the oven and bake ~35 minutes, until set - the center should jiggle but not be fluid.
  11. Remove baking dishes from the water bath and let cool for 20 minutes, before transferring to the fridge uncovered to chill thoroughly.
  12. Preheat broiler.
  13. Massage the reserved grapefruit zest with the remaining 4 tsp sugar.
  14. Evenly sprinkle over the baking dishes and broil for 1-2 minutes, until the sugar has melted and caramelized (a kitchen torch can accomplish the same task).
  15. Serve garnished with chopped grapefruit segments, if desired.


Yields: 2 servings

Heavily revised from The Pastry Queen

Estimated time: 3 hours