Fajita is a term used in Tex-Mex cuisine that refers to any grilled meat that is usually served on flour or corn tortillas.
In 1984, Texas A&M University professor Homero Recio set out to find the origins of the fajita. What he found was the word "fajita" hadn't appeared in print until 1975. And to his surprise, he found evidence pointing to his grandfather as, well, the grandfather of the fajita. A butcher by trade, Professor Recio's grandfather used the term to describe the cheap cut of beef - what is today known as the "skirt steak" - that many locals considered somewhat undesirable that was often marinated and grilled to make the dish. The word "fajita" derives from the Spanish word "faja," which means "girdle" or "strip".
Technically, only beef has a "faja," but the term has now come to signify any kind of meat or seafood wrapped in a tortilla and topped with sauteed vegetables, cheese, and other toppings. Whatever it's origin, it is one of our favorite meals. It's easy to make and the combinations of meats, vegetables, and toppings is limited only by your imagination. Here's one of our favorite fajita marinades.
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1-1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
In a large resealable plastic bag, all of the ingredients. Seal the bag, then shake it or turn it over several times to mix the ingredients
Open the bag and add chicken, beef, or shrimp. Reseal the bag, then turn the back over several times coat the meat/fish.
Refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours. Remove contents from bag and grill. Slice the meat into thin strips and serve with sauteed onions and peppers and your favorite toppings and salsa.