Thursday, January 8, 2009

Toxic gas fajitas

The holidays have come and gone, without too much baking from me. I suppose later I will recap the saga of the pie making, but I shall save that for a time when I actually make a pie.
Christmas break was long and excruciating, and now that I am back, I feel much better. Of course now, I have to figure out how to make healthy food. It's more my boyfriend's decision than mine, but it's definitely part of my crusade to make sure we don't go out to eat five times a week anymore.
So last night was my first venture into the world of healthy food cooking. And I started with fajitas.
I found, on the Mayo Clinic website, a ton of healthy recipes that sound absolutely delicious. That's an accomplishment for them, because I don't really like healthy food. I don't like cooked vegetables, except for potatoes and canned green beans and the occasional onion. I despise cooked carrots. I don't care if they will save my eyesight, I've been reading in the dark my whole life and I'm doing just fine, thank you.
So, these fajitas. The recipe called for steak fajitas, but I don't like steak either, so I bought a ton of frozen chicken breasts and tried to do chicken as well.
First, I need to figure out exactly how to use the defrost function on the microwave as precisely as possible. My chicken ended up half-cooked by the time I pulled it out. Luckily I was able to save enough of it to have a decent sized dinner. And after trimming the steak I bought, I lost about half of what I thought would be viable meat due to high fat content. I refuse to chew meat that has a bunch of fat and I figure it you're trying to lose weight, you probably better go for the meat with as little fat as possible. Maybe I'm just bad at trimming meat, but I really lost a lot of that sirloin.
Anyway, you make fajitas exactly like you think you'd make fajitas - throw them in the pan with some onions and green peppers. But first I dragged the meat through a mixture of chili powder, cayenne pepper, cilantro, seasoned salt and minced garlic.
Now for the toxic gas part. When I was cooking the meat and the vegetables together, I thought the onions might need a little bit of help becoming successfully caramelized. So, having just tapped the mini-keg of Heineken I got for Jean for Christmas, I decided to pour some beer in it. Beer + frying onions has always worked well for me in the past, but for some reason this time, once I poured it into the pan, the beer evaporated into some kind of noxious gas that sure as hell wasn't breathable. Maybe it was the Heineken - I've never used that before, or maybe it reacted with the meat in an odd way, or maybe it was some of the spices I used. Either way, I don't recommend it. I think water would be a safer choice, with some olive oil.
The fajitas were good. There was a lot of food. There are now a lot of leftovers. Plus I used two of my new mixing bowls yesterday, and one of them is now holding the leftovers.
Normally, I wouldn't recommend toxic gas fajitas followed by rum-laced (7.5% rum laced) chocolates and then a hearty amount of limoncello and then Cointreau, but that's about what happened next. It made for a great night, but we really didn't stick with the Mexican them, did we?

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