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Fajitas: Flank Attack

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Flank Steak Fajitas

Mexican rice

Refried beans

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Guacamole and salsa

Fresh strawberries and flan

True fajitas are charcoal-grilled and made with skirt steak. But as restaurant diners came to love the thrill of sizzling meat appearing at their tables, fajitas have come to mean grilled beef of just about any cut, as well as grilled chicken and even shrimp.

Here, we’ve used flank steak. To keep this cut tender, it must either be cooked quickly or over a very long period of time. The flank steak in this recipe is first sauteed just two to three minutes. The meat is undercooked at this point; it is added to the pan once more, just before serving, after the vegetables are cooked. This prevents the meat from overcooking and getting tough.

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To serve, spoon the fajitas onto a warm corn tortilla, taco-style. Refried beans, Mexican-style rice, guacamole and salsa are great accompaniments. You might make the beans, rice and salsa from scratch on a day when you have time to cook, then keep them on hand for busier weekdays. Or you can cheat and buy pre-made versions at a local supermarket--there are several boxed Mexican rice mixes available.

Fresh strawberries, along with a custard-type dessert such as flan, vanilla custard pie or pudding would make an ideal dessert for this dinner.

FAJITAS

Staples

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2 tablespoons oil

4 cloves garlic

Salt

Crushed hot pepper

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1 large onion

1 green pepper

1 serrano chile

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2 tomatoes

1 (8-ounce) carton mushrooms

1 bunch cilantro

1 package corn tortillas

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1 pound flank steak

Optional Side-Dish Shopping

1 can refried beans

1 box Mexican rice

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Guacamole

Salsa

Strawberries

Flan or custard pie

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1. Cut 1 pound flank steak across grain into 3-inch-long pieces.

2. Mince 4 cloves garlic. Dice 1 large onion. Dice 1 green pepper. Mince 1 serrano chile.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in wok or large skillet. Add beef and quickly saute until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. (Overcooking will toughen meat.) Remove from wok and keep warm.

4. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in wok. Add garlic, onion, green pepper and serrano chile. Saute until vegetables are tender, 3 to 4 minutes.

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5. While vegetables are cooking, dice 2 tomatoes and slice 1 cup mushrooms.

6. Add tomatoes and mushrooms to wok and cook 2 to 3 minutes.

7. Return meat to wok. Season to taste with salt and crushed hot pepper. Simmer just until heated through.

8. Warm 8 to 12 corn tortillas and spoon meat mixture into tortillas. To eat, fold up burrito-style.

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Makes 4 servings.


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