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September 2013

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Starving artists

Starving Artist in the Kitchen--Joseph's Chicken Fajita Wraps!


Joseph's Grilled Chicken Fajita Wraps

We've fallen WAY behind on our Starving Artists posts--I've been so busy with classes and the book that I didnt take time to illustrated them! We've got lots more written up, they're just not ready for Prime Time...

Anyway, my fabulous Chef Joseph, a.k.a. kateslover , makes the MOST terrific fajita wraps--but I'm going to let him tell you in his own words...


OK, for the purist, the only real fajitas are steak fajitas. However, if you want to get that rabid about it, a true fajita must be a skirt steak that has been tenderized beneath the saddle of a Vaquero. We’re not going to go there, especially since the term itself only originated in the early 1970s and I have no idea if the saddle story was ever true.


Be all that as it may, there’s no denying the popularity of chicken fajitas and since that’s what I had in the freezer, that’s what I made. This recipe works just fine with either one. You can also use it to make regular fajitas, just hold the spinach leaves.


Fajita Filling (marinade recipe below)


3 boneless chicken breasts (about 1 lb) or 1 lb of lean steak

½ Vidalia onion

1 bell pepper (a mix of red and green looks nice but any color will do)

1 ripe avocado, peeled and sliced

½ ripe tomato, chopped

2 c spinach leaves

¼ c shredded cheese

4 T sour cream

Salsa to taste

4 large flour tortillas



Fajita Marinade


½ c lime juice

1 large garlic clove, crushed (I use two but we really like garlic!)

1 T chili powder

1 tsp soy sauce


Mix all ingredients in a large jar and shake it up – I use a quart Mason jar but a mayonnaise jar is fine.

Cut chicken breasts into medallions or steak into strips, add to jar and shake.

Slice onion and bell pepper into small strips, add to jar and shake.

Set jar in refrigerator and allow meat to marinate - overnight if possible.



Fire up the grill!



Grill marinated meat and vegetables to desired level of doneness.

Our grill is nothing fancy – just a little Weber table-top like this one: Weber 10020 Smokey Joe Silver Charcoal Grill, Black

We use natural lump charcoal, not briquettes. I’ve heard some nasty rumors about what they use as glue to hold briquettes together – petroleum byproducts & the like. I don’t know if they’re true, but I’m not going to mess with them.

For grilling fajitas, I use a “wok topper” like this one, but anything you have that will allow you to grill small things without them falling through onto the coals is fine. Mr. Bar-B-Q Platinum Prestige Stainless-Steel 12-Inch Wok Topper is almost like the one we have, but ours is enamel...

On a warm tortilla (steamed, if possible), spread spinach leaves, tomato and slices of avocado. Add chicken, cheese, sour cream, and salsa if desired. I like Mrs. Renfro’s All Natural Jalapeño Green Salsa, which is what is shown. You may also notice I omitted the tomato and pepper, but I was trying to scale it down to two wraps rather than four, which is why they were stuffed to the point I couldn’t fold the ends closed!


There is a trick to getting a fully-laden tortilla wrapped tightly, but it’s one I can’t explain. I do know having them warm and preferably steamed makes them a lot more pliable and less prone to splitting. Other than that, all I can say is practice, practice, practice! Or maybe you can get one of the folks at your local Mexican restaurant to show you.


Anyway, roll them up, slice them in half and either enjoy immediately or refrigerate them to enjoy them cold!

Comments

if you want to get that rabid about it, a true fajita must be a skirt steak that has been tenderized beneath the saddle of a Vaquero. We’re not going to go there, especially since the term itself only originated in the early 1970s and I have no idea if the saddle story was ever true.

Yes, let's not even go there! LOL!

That aside, J's fajita's look delicious - we do beef and chicken versions at home but I will have to try your recipe including spinach. There is a restaurant where we only order their shrimp fajitas. Yum!
Oh, I'll bet that is GOOD. I love shrimp...
Ladyblue, I've never tried it but I really don't see any reason why the marinade wouldn't work for shrimp just as well.
Soooooooooo...what's for dinner Sunday!? Yum...

(Anonymous)

Joseph has made my day. I am still laughing.
It is great fun reading Joseph's comments as well as trying his recipes. He has a delightful writing style. I still smile to remember the photo of your cat in the bathroom sink and Joseph's caption: "U WANTZ TO WASH HANZ? U NO GOTZ TONGUE?"

And hurray for you to get an illustration done, as busy as you are.

I LO-O-VE fajitas-- ANY kind...

annie
Thanks, Annie! I'm delighted to have had time, too, guess it's 'cause he cooked supper.*G*
Thank you, Annie! (Is that short for ANNonymous? *G*)

(Anonymous)

No, Joseph, I just am klutzy at getting subscribed to sites like Live Journal and
Face Book, NASA and (oh lawdie) Twitter. My passwords don't seem to work. So I stick to
a Google account and go from there. My brain requires a Simple Life. :)
Annie Fortenberry
Don't feel bad, Annie, I get very tired of all the different passwords and sites!

The good stuff!

I read your blog frequently for the good art tips, the lovely paintings, and now the great food. Your kind ways of sharing help to keep me painting - and cooking. Thank you!!

Re: The good stuff!

You're very kind yourself! I'm delighted you enjoy it all, though...good food is another way of creating a good life. We both enjoy it...glad you do too!

(Anonymous)

Sounds wonderful. We have a very fast variant that uses cold chicken

We call it "chicken chalupas" because we like the sound, though of course they are not really chalupas. We take cold leftover chicken, dice it up (I prefer the dark meat), and also dice up some good tomatoes and avocados and shred some good romaine lettuce. A few green onions are slivered very thinly. All these ingredients are cut up and put next to each other with a big spoon handy; the lettuce might be in a separate bowl so it doesn't get in the way. Then, briefly microwave good flour tortillas (we especially like the Trader Joe's handmade ones) and load them up with all the goodies and add some picante sauce that's to your taste. Roll 'em up one by one as you eat them, microwaving each new flour tortilla as needed. Break out the cold Corona or Dos Equis and you're ready for a fast, nutritious, very low-calorie and delicious feast. Sour cream isn't necessary - I was very surprised when I came to New England after growing up in Texas and saw that big blob of sour cream on the plate of enchiladas!

Love your work and your blog - I'm a watercolorist too. Also a potter with a chemical background, been developing ways to paint my pots the way I want.

Re: Sounds wonderful. We have a very fast variant that uses cold chicken

What a wonderful recipe, thank you for sharing with us! Yep, I knew sour cream was not exactly TexMex, but I love it...

I worked with pottery for a while, but don't own my own kiln...when kiln access disappeared, I couldn't keep it up. Darn! I know your painted pots will be gorgeous...