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Columns September 12, 2017  RSS feed

Cooking Country

Sherry Matney

We have had two weeks of talking about Scottish food and I’ll bet no one has attempted to cook or eat haggis or black pudding. If you want a favorite meal in these parts you simply can’t go wrong with fajitas, a true favorite and, if several folks are coming, you can have them bring some of the trimmings. I love having pinto beans with fajitas. No need for a recipe for those. Just soak the beans overnight, throw them in a crockpot with some bacon or ham and add a couple jalapenos. Be sure to cover with water. Cook them all day so they melt in your mouth. Yummm! Another dish that is a must with fajitas is Pico de Gallo. I’ll show that recipe below. Not much else to it except making the guacamole. I mash up the avocados and add picante sauce. There are many ways to make guacamole but this one is easy and delicious. Fajitas are easy to prepare but there is a lot of chopping beforehand. Do it a day early so you don’t panic. The key to good fajitas is the meat marinade. The marinade that I make can be used on beef or chicken. I like to marinade the meat overnight.

Making fajitas.


Use whatever cut of beef you like. Flank steak is used the most but other cheap cuts of steak will work. Chicken thighs are every bit as good as breast, maybe better. It is your choice. I begin by slicing my steak and chicken before I marinade them. Some people leave them whole

Fajita Marinade

1/4 cup lime juice
1/3 cup water
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. black pepper

In a medium sized bowl mix all ingredients. Put your sliced meat into a large plastic bag and pour marinade over the meat. Seal and refrigerate at least 2 hours, but overnight is better.

When ready to cook just heat up a black skillet and add the meat. It is best to cook the chicken and beef separate so you can taste the distinct flavors.


Most people use bright colored bell peppers and that is what I like to do. Slice these and some onion ahead of time. When you are ready throw them in a different skillet, with some olive oil, so that they get done about the same time as the meat. Some people marinate the veggies too, but I like them plain. There are plenty of spices on the meat.

That’s all the cooking there is to do. Most people like sour cream, salsa and grated cheese with the guacamole you made earlier.

I left off one important dish and that is the Pico. I don’t have measurements on this because it depends on how much you make. Pico is wonderful on fajitas but it is amazing in those beans you cooked. Hope that some of them will be left over so you can have a bowl tomorrow with Pico in it.

Pico de Gallo

Fresh chopped tomatoes
Chopped onions
Chopped jalapeno, seeded and veined
Chopped green onions if desired
Chopped cilantro
Minced garlic

Mix together. Some people like lemon or lime juice but not me. This is larruping- good just as it is.

So let's see where we are. We have the beans in the crockpot, the guacamole we made earlier, the Pico is ready, our sour cream and grated cheese is on the table. Oh, I almost forgot the tortillas. I have made homemade tortillas but they really are no better than the ones you buy, so pick up some at Brookshire Brothers.

Try to take the meat and veggies off at the same time and set this baby up buffet style. Let guests get their tortillas, meat, veggies and beans at the buffet and have the other items on the table. You will be praised beyond words. Trust me!!

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