Saturday, October 6, 2007

The best fajitas *ever*!

I've always been obsessed with cooking and eating and even dreaming about food (probably reasonably obvious from the frequency of this blog!). But I've been noticing an interesting phenomenon - the last couple of weeks have been simply fabulous in terms of diversity of foods I've tried out as well as how well they've turned out! True gastronomic bliss :) And I'm attributing it primarily to this whole food blog obsession. Writing, taking pictures, reading all the awesome blogs out there, getting to know about fellow food bloggers and their cooking styles, this is truly rewarding!

And on that note, I'll have to start writing about the best fajitas I've *ever* eaten. Maybe I should be more specific? Best veggies fajitas I've ever eaten. Whatever! I've only eaten veggie fajitas, though the plan is to attempt some kind of seafood fajitas one of these days :) Have I mentioned how awesome
Celia Brooks Brown's cookbooks are? And how obsessed I am with her 'New Vegetarian' cookbook? A few days ago, after we made the Teriyaki Tofu dish, we continued browsing this book for more drool-worthy recipes - trust me, there are several of them here! But this one particularly stood out - veggie fajitas with haloumi cheese and a bunch of marinated veggies. We only morphed it a little bit - substituting the haloumi with kasseri and crimini mushrooms instead of button mushrooms. Oh, and we spiced up the marinade and doubled the garlic (obviously!) :)

The Best Veggie Fajitas *ever*

Servings: 4

8 whole wheat tortillas
1/2 red onion
1/2 vidalia onion
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 zucchini
10-12 crimini mushrooms (sliced)
8 oz kasseri cheese - sliced long

5 cloves of garlic
1 T sea salt
1 huge handful of cilantro - chopped
1 T red pepper flakes
3 T olive oil
juice from 4 lemons
1 T ginger juice

Grind up the garlic with the sea salt in a pestle till the smell of garlic overwhelms you :) Mix the rest of the marinade ingredients with this in a large bowl. Toss the veggies in the marinade, cover the bowl and stick it in the fridge for about 30 minutes. After the veggies are marinated, toss them in a wok and cook partially covered till the juices are absorbed and the veggies are cooked - about 15-20 minutes.

In the meantime, wrap the tortillas in foil and stick them in the oven at 325 F for about 15 minutes. Stick the sliced cheese in the toaster for about a minute. Once melted, we mopped off the grease from the top and then shredded the cheese into 1" pieces.

To assemble the fajita, just load up a bunch of the veggies into the tortilla along with a few pieces of cheese and fold over.

Obviously, we needed a few sides to go with the best fajitas *ever* :) We had an avocado which went into making a basic guacamole:


1 avocado - mashed up
1 T lime juice
1 t kosher salt
1 t red pepper flakes

Just mix 'em all up! :)

Our next side was a happy, happy salsa:

Tomato-onion-mango salsa

1 red onion - chopped
3 medium tomatoes - chopped
1/2 ripe mango - chopped
1 jalapeno
10 mint leaves
1 t salt

Grind up the jalapeno+mint and toss the mixture with the tomatoes, onions and mango. Add the salt and mix.

Hmm ... we obviously needed a rice to go with all of this, guess that means we're making one more side! :)

Brown rice with olive tapenade and pinto beans

2 cups brown rice (long grain)
1 can pinto beans
15 green olives
1/2 tomato
2 cloves garlic
1 t vinegar
1 t olive oil
2 t cayenne pepper
Chopped cilantro

Cook the rice in 4.5 cups of water. In the meantime, grind the olives, tomato and garlic into a coarse paste. Mix this with the vinegar, olive oil, cayenne and salt to make a tapenade. Toss the cooked rice with the pinto beans and tapenade. Garnish with cilantro. Yum!

Mmmm ... this meal has cilantro + mint = double herb delight! Plus oodles of yummy vegetables! Gots to be an entry for Kalyn's fabulous Weekend Herb Blogging two year anniversary event! :)


Peter said...

Delicious recipes and stunning photographs. Your recipes are amazing. Thank you for dropping by earlier in the week and a very BIG Thank You for putting me on your blogroll.
Your fajitas look divivne!

bindiya said...

WOW!what a heavenly feast!

Nags said...

wow! your pics are awesome too.. and i HAVE to try Fajitas some day :)

thank you so much for dropping by!

Sirisha Kilambi said...

wow......awesome...Thanks for the recipes and the pics are stunning :-)

Sig said...

Beautiful! Yeah, food blogging can make you do strange things, like cooking such amazing food... :)

Vcuisine said...

Looks yummy Kay. Thanks for dropping by. Heard about this dish, but never tried. Really tempting. Viji

Asha said...

How colorful.We love Fajitas too, usually with chicken. Looks yum!:))


delicious and grt platter i love ur presentation

Happy cook said...

They are delicious.
I know what you mean even i think these days i am dreaming about food. Like you i say maybe that is because of having a blog or it is because i am on a diet and then i always just think about food

Billy said...

they look good but they cant be the best fajitas ever because there is no meat and meat is required for fajitas im from houston i should know!!!!

KayKat said...

I did say best veggie fajitas! :)

Kalyn said...

You did say best *Veggie* fajitas, and they do look just outstanding to me. What a great post with so many recipes that sound wonderful. Thanks for sharing and helping us celebrate the two year anniversary!

Valli said...

Absolutely wonderful recipe!!! I am always looking for new ways to dress up my fajitas. This fits the bill to a "T".Love the marinade, the rice, everything...

meeso said...

These really do look like the best fajitas ever! The picture is too appetizing!

thepassionatecook said...

mmh! despite always complaining about mexican restaurants being crap here because they only serve texmex, i also need my fajita fix every once in a while... chicken, beef, whatever is at hand. stunning pictures and dinner for tomorrow sorted ;-)

Gail said...

I have NO idea how I found your blog, but I've been surfing around and hit it. The vege fajitias look wonderful--I think I will try them soon. So does the guac and the rice. I love cilantro & mint. Thanks!
Gambits from Gail

BigTex said...

These recipes were winners! I added an extra tomato to the salsa and used the entire mango (as I didn't know what to do with 1/2 a mango!). Next time I'm leaving out the cayenne pepper in the rice and using jalapenos, as I don't like the flavor of cayenne. I was concerned about the ability of the veggies to feed four adults- it did so and we had leftovers! One final thought, I cooked the onions down prior to adding the rest of the veggies and the flavor was great.