Saturday, 5 January 2008

Old El Doris Fajita Mix

Last night I developed this recipe. Mr Doris had gotten the rest of the makings for the fajitas but couldn't get the Old El Paso Fajita Seasoning mix. Don't worry says I, remembering one of those army cadet roadshows and an army cook demonstrating cooking in the open. Using a big hot plate and finely sliced chicken (probably at a time when chicken was affordable), onions and peppers and just chili powder, salt and sugar as seasoning. Maybe a little paprika too but not much. It wasn't as red but quite tasty and tasted like fajitas.

Mr Doris insists there is cumin somewhere in amongst it which I dispute but he does some recipe googling and comes up with a recipe a little too complicated for my liking but does include cumin. So I adapted as you do.

Feeds 5 hungry mouths:

2 large teaspoons cumin seeds
2+ teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon sugar
quarter teaspoon chili powder (could be more to be spicier)
quarter teaspoon salt

2 small red onions, halved and sliced thinly
3 large peppers sliced into thin-ish strips
500 gm raw turkey meat sliced thinly

For serving:
2 tortilla wraps per person
salad leaves
soured cream
grated mozzarella cheese
small bunch coriander leaves chopped

Prepare the spice mix first. I haven't watched all those cookery programmes for nothing, such as the one that used to be hosted by the delightful Jeni Barnett. In fact, I didn't realise I was such an "expert" on the cookery programmes until I chatted with a friend the other night about TV chefs and found myself talking at length and quite knowledgeably about each of the chefs. Something that is quite rare for me as although I might witter on, I rarely feel I speak knowledgeably. Anyway the dear Nigella Lawson, whose delightful turkey in brine recipe I used for Christmas, can take her recent TV offerings and stuff it where the sun don't shine. Pity really as the idea of cooking fast food should be up everyone's street but I don't care for the phoneyness, over-done set-up family situations (do those kids really have an informed choice about being involved?); unrealistically stocked store cupboards and fridges, and most of all ... "this only takes me five minutes to cook" but then swans off out of the house with soup in flask having left devastation in the kitchen for, presumably, the team of cleaners to sort. The Barefoot Contessa is another one for the smarmy "I only had to prepare it the night before" and then switches off the light to go to bed leaving cacky kitchenware to go dry and be impossible for us mere mortals to wash. But I digress.

Dry heat a pan and toss in the cumin seeds to warm and roast. Maybe 90 seconds. Then put into mortar and pestle and grind to a powder - very easy once the cumin has roasted. Add other dry ingredients and pound and mix. Maybe a minute.

Wrap tortilla wraps in foil and put in hot oven to warm. Lidl do tortilla wraps at a quarter of the price of the Old El Paso wraps. They may be more fragile than the rubberised El Paso ones but they are bigger and you just have to be careful not to overheat and dry them out.

Pour olive oil into frypan and fry the turkey strips. We actually had the ready-cubed turkey so I fried that and then using kitchen scissors and a fork, picked up pieces and snipped them slimmer in between turning and tossing the meat. Once cooked, throw in all at once the spice mix, the sliced onions and sliced peppers. Stir and toss and keep it moving. I found it dry so added more oil. If I had a greater ratio of peppers to meat then it might not need that extra splash of oil. Keep it cooking for maybe five minutes at most.

Have the table set and the plates heated and the trimmings on the table and then take sizzling frypan to table and let everyone help themselves and wrap their own with chosen ingredients. The chopped coriander was a stroke of genius from Mr Doris which I am glad he insisted upon. It was just divine and made the whole wrap zingier and so delish.


Josephine said...

Old El Doris...Meester Doris must be verrry pleeesed with you??

(Ok,I know, trying to write like a Mexican Bandito is tricky...gimme a break!)

Chandira said...

Aw.. Now, despite just having finished a large veggie burger, I am hungry. lol

I add chipotle to everything, then it all tastes like fajitas, no matter what it is!

Chandira said...

PS, the corriander is called "cilantro" here. I love that stuff, and have been known to eat it as is, as a salad.

Doris said...

Funny how names are different in different English speaking countries. In the UK we have aubergine and courgette whilst in Australia it is respectively eggplant and zucchini!