Pho - Vietnamese Soup

Pho - Vietnamese Soup
One of our favorite dishes - Pho

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fajitas Served with Homemade Pico de Gallo, Guacamole, Red, Green and Habanero Salsas

One of our favorite kinds of food is Mexican food. In this post, I will also include some recipes of various zesty and flavorful salsas, dips and crispy, homemade tortilla chips. We prepare various assortments of the dips to go with our Mexican meals....they all are great accompaniments to fajitas. This is a great dish to serve in the Spring and Summer when it's prime grilling weather, but you can cook this on a grill-ridged pan inside instead. Here's a fresh tasting recipe I found for a fajita marinade that the family enjoyed. You can substitute chicken breast for the beef. As side dishes we serve with Mexican rice and refried beans. For your beverages, serve with a nice, cold cerveza with lime or frozen margarita and you're all set.

1 orange, juiced
2 limes, juiced
4 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 chipotle chiles, in adobo sauce
3 tbsp roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
2 - 1/4 lb skirt or flank steak, trimmed of fat cut into thirds or 8" pieces
salt and pepper
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
Lime juice, olive oil, optional
12 flour tortillas, warm
cheddar cheese, shredded
pico de gallo

In a small 2 cup measuring cup, or something similar in size and shape, combine orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, chipotle chiles, adobo sauce, cilantro, cumin and salt. Using an immersion blender puree the marinade until smooth. Transfer to a re-sealable plastic bag and add the steak, seal and shake to coat. Refrigerate the beef for 2 - 4 hours to tenderize and flavor the beef. Preheat a ridged grill pan on high heat. Drain and reserve the marinade from the beef. Lightly oil the grill or grill pan. Season liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper. Grill the steak over medium-high heat and cook for 4 minutes on each side and then transfer to a cutting board and let rest. If grilling indoors and depending on the size of your grill pan you may need to cook in batches. Once the beef is off the grill and resting, add the bell peppers and onions in a skillet and toss with a little reserved marinade, lime juice and olive oil. Saute' the mixture 5 - 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are just barely limp. While the peppers and onions are cooking heat the tortillas in the microwave by lightly dampening a paper towel, wrap the tortillas in the damp towel and heat in the microwave for 1 minute. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo, salsa and sliced jalapenos.


One of the great treats to eat is guacamole! Plus, it’s fun to say! Try it…say…GUACAMOLE! Truly, one of the great words! We like to see who can say GUACAMOLE with the greatest gusto…great family fun! And if you can make your whole body quiver while saying it…all the better! I know, we're weird, but what can I say, we have fun! =) Here’s a quick and easy recipe for GUACAMOLE!

4 - 5 avocados
Approximately 1/4 - 1/2 cup of sour cream
1 diced tomato (seeded and de-pulped)
½ minced red onion
3 - 4 cloves of crushed garlic
Little bit of your favorite picante sauce
1 - 2 seeded serrano chiles
1 lime juice and zest
3 - 4 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
Course salt and pepper

Cut the avocados in half, remove the seed and put in a large bowl. Save the seed to place in the guacamole after preparing so the avocados don't turn brown. Mash the avocados with a fork, then add the onion, tomato, cilantro, garlic salt & pepper. Since the hotness of Serrano chiles can vary, start with ½ of a Serrano and add more to taste. Spoon in a little sour cream and mix until it’s a light green consistency. Then, add a little picante sauce and squeeze the juice of the lime into the guacamole and chill for 30 minutes before serving with fresh tortilla chips.

Pico de Gallo

1 - 1/2 cups seeded, diced tomatoes
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 tablespoon diced jalapenos (optional)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus extra for garnish
Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Garnish with additional cilantro.


This is a recipe I found online that's similar to El Fenix's Hot Sauce, which we love. I tried to find Javier's but to no avail.

8 cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained
2 - 1/2 cups onions, chopped
1 - 1/2 cups green peppers
1 cup jalapeno peppers, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons pepper
1/8 cup canning salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (12 ounce) can tomato paste

Mix all together and bring to a slow boil for 10 min.
Seal in jars and cook in hot water bath for 10 min.

Javier's Salsa Verde

4 lbs tomatillos
1/2 medium white onion, roughly chopped
6 serrano peppers roughly chopped
1 cup cilantro leaves
1 tsp Mexican Oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup sugar
2 oz Worcestershire
1 tsp salt
2 tsp chicken bouillon
1 oz corn oil

Remove the husks on the tomatillos. Boil tomatillos, onion and serrano peppers until the tomatillos change color. Drain the water. Put the mixture in a blender or food processor with the rest of the ingredients except the corn oil and blend well. Pour into a sauce pan and mix in the corn oil and bring to a light boil. Remove foam and serve warm with room temperature butter and tortilla chips.

Javier's Habanero Salsa

Rumor has it this recipe originated with the guys in the kitchen, who like a very spicy salsa and he now has this on the menu. It's definitely spicy. You'll love the beautiful orange color the Habanero gives it. This is great served with grilled steak.

5 medium tomatoes
1 - 1/2 lbs of tomatillos
6 Habanero peppers
1/2 medium white onion
1 dried guajilo pepper
1 bunch cilantro, approximately 1 cup
2 clove of garlic, chopped
2 tsp salt
1 oz corn oil

Boil tomatoes, tomatillos, Habanero peppers, onion and guajilo pepper until tomatillos change color. Drain water and discard. Put boiled ingredients in blender. Add cilantro, garlic and salt and blend until smooth. Pour into saucepan with corn oil. Bring to a light boil. Remove foam and serve warm. Serve with tortilla chips and some room temperature butter.

Homemade Tortilla Chips

If you’re going to go to the effort of making homemade salsas, you ought to go the extra mile and make homemade tortilla chips. It’s not that difficult, and they taste so good you’ll be glad you did.

Just buy some fresh corn tortillas (the thinner the better) at your local Mexican market and cut them into quarters and lightly fry them in vegetable oil for approximately 5 minutes, turning as necessary to get them to a light crispy brown. Once you take them out of the oil, place them on some newspaper with a little paper towel on it and let them drain of excess oil. As soon as you put them on the paper towels, salt them to taste.

Mexican Rice

3 tbsp bacon drippings
1 cup uncooked rice
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup minced raw carrots
1 1/2 cups canned tomatoes or freshly stewed
2 -4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 can condensed beef broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat drippings in a large iron skillet, add rice and brown well. Add remaining ingredients, cover, reduce heat and cook until liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes. You may add 2 tbsp green pepper or a chopped green chile to this.

Serves 4 - 5

Refritos or Refried Beans

2 thick slices bacon
2 cups cooked pinto beans mashed or 1 - 17 oz can refried beans
1 small onion, chopped
2 - 3 tbsp salsa
4 - 6 cloves of garlic, pressed
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional)

In a skillet fry bacon until crisp. Remove from pan. Add onions to bacon drippings. Saute until tender and light brown. Add refried beans. Break the bacon into small pieces and add to beans. Warm over low heat. Add seasonings, garlic and salsa. Add cheese when served .

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