Different beef fajitas

I wanted to make beef fajitas. I had all the supplies, I thought. That was until I got to the spices and checked. I thought I had some Penzeys Fajita Seasoning left in the cabinet. I knew that I had previously used up the last of the Penzeys Chicken Taco Seasoning, but I thought I had enough of the Fajita Seasoning to make another batch of fajitas. I guess not. What was I to do? I was going to have to do some serious improvising or we were doing something else with the steaks I pulled out for dinner.

I went searching in the pantry and while I selection for seasoning was getting a little slim in the pickings, I did find something…

I found two packets of McCormick Mild Taco Seasoning mix in the pantry. They were left over from making my large batches of burritos a few a couple of months ago or so (for the freezer). I still favor the Penzeys Chicken Taco Seasoning over the McCormick Taco Seasoning, but the the McCormick is MSG free as well as Tomato Powder free. These two things will get it stocked in my pantry. The McCormick also does not seem to have any of the cheaper offensive chili powders in it that tend to set me off. So it is an acceptable seasoning mix. Unfortunately, it does not address my sister’s need to cut out the onions. It does address my needs for no tomatoes and both of our needs to nix the MSG. So we conquered my needs in my house. We were good.

Now you are probably thinking that Taco Seasoning is a long way from Fajita Seasoning, but in reality it is not all that different. There are a few differences, but with the right tinkering you are pretty close. The same goes for Burrito Seasoning I have found. The reason that I had these McCormick Taco Seasoning packets in the first place is because I had a hard time finding Burrito Seasoning packets that did not contain MSG or that did not contain tomato powder. When you have these two issues together you just have to improvise and take second best. When second best is good enough it because first best as far as I am concerned. I rather liked the McCormick Taco Seasoning in the Burritos when I made them so I stocked up on them as they were easier to find and get on sale than the Burrito Seasoning packets. It was a no contest as far as I was concerned. The kids’ opinion was that the batch I made with the McCormick Taco Seasoning was better so that is what I went with.

At any rate, the McCormick Taco Seasoning packets are what I had to work with. I was making beef fajitas with taco seasoning. That was just the way it was going to be. Now, how to do that? I was going to have to get it onto the meat in a fairly quick way and make it infiltrate the meat. The seasoning packets call for a limited amount of liquid and frankly I do not want much more liquid than that because I am going to have to cook it off or discard it anyway. I still have to marinade the meat so to speak for best flavor. After standing at the fridge for a minute, thinking…

I pulled out my trusty bottles of lemon juice and lime juice. I dumped my two packets of McCormick Mild Taco Seasoning packets into a large 4-cup measuring cup. I put in about 1/2-2/3 cup of water or so. I added about 2 tbsp of lemon juice and 2 tbsp of lime juice. I then added about 1/4-1/2 cup of olive oil. I had enough in there to mix of everything and have a nice sauce. It was a thick sauce. You can adjust the water and oil as needed.

I then thinly sliced my beef and dropped it in a plastic container with a lid. I poured the sauced over the top and covered it with the lid. I gave it a little shake to get the sauce well distributed. I then threw it in the fridge and forgot about it for about 3 hours. When I was ready to cook it, I just dumped it out on my double-burner All-Clad griddle. This is what it looked like after cooking for a few minutes.

After cooking for a few minutes, the sauce began to “caramelize” and get sticky. It was interesting. I did not actually expect that. It made a nice saucy meat for the fajitas. The kids all loved it. I think by far these are the BEST beef fajitas I had made.

Since I cannot eat the traditional fajita vegetables and my family is not big on onions we skipped those. Since the only one that really likes the cooked bell peppers and I cannot eat them any more, we skipped those. I served them up with a healthy serving of plain (no tomato and no onion) guacamole. I cooked myself a side of broccoli and I had a salad for the others to eat. Of course there were the usual toppings like sour cream, salsa, and cheese. I had my green salsa and they had their traditional tomato salsa.

It was a hit.

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