Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Steak Fajitas with Cipollinis

In my hometown, there is a restaurant called Good Times Grill that serves their fajitas with pickled onion. At least it seems to be pickled onions but I have never asked because my mouth was always full when the waitress came around. This recipe is an attempt at recreating that dish. This is nothing like the original, but mine is very delicious and gives that same beef sautéed with pickled onion taste.

I have used cipollini onions in these fajitas. You can buy them pickled at Le Petit Olivier at Jean Talon Market in Montreal. This small counter does not have a sign out front but it is across from the big cheese shop, Fromagerie Qui lait cru!?!. Sometimes President's Choice brand carries these pickled onions in Loblaw's stores. I haven't seen them recently and was told by a manager that they might get them back in for Christmas. I have also read on several online foodie forums that Trader Joe's in the US carries them. Check out the olives and pickled onions section of your grocery store to see if it carries them - or try a speciality store. Otherwise, you can get fresh and braise them yourself. I know that both Atwater Fruiterie and Chez Louis at Jean Talon Market carry fresh ones. Just search online for a recipe for braised/roasted/glazed balsamic cipollini onions if you want to try them out. If you can't find cipollinis, try another sweetish pickled onion.

Inside round steak was used to make these fajitas but I much prefer skirt or flank steak for fajitas. Inside round is more commonly available at the grocery stores in Quebec. There is nice flank steak at the Marche Hawai in St. Laurent, but I didn't bother with the 30 minute car trip for this week's shopping.

1 pound/453 grams inside round steak, cut into strips
1 teaspoon safflower oil
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
About 16 balsamic-braised pickled cipollini onions, halved
2 plum tomatoes, cut in eighths
1 purple bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 fresh lemon, cut in eight wedges
2-4 cups of arugula, to serve
8 small corn tortillas

In a large skillet, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the steak strips to the skillet and crack over salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cook for about 3 minutes before turning the strips in the pan. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes until browned.

Add the onions, tomatoes and bell pepper to the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the bell pepper is tender but still a bit firm.

Warm the tortillas in the microwave for about 20 seconds.

To assemble: Layer a corn tortilla with the steak, onion, tomato and bell pepper mixture, top with arugula and squeeze over a bit of fresh lemon juice from a wedge. Roll tightly and serve.

Makes 8 fajitas.

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