Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Veg-Mex Fajitas

-Redeye Chicago Virtual Kitchen Stadium

Here we are a week later in round 3 of Redeye's virtual kitchen stadium competition. Last week both sets of brackets were given fruits (cherries and Tamarind) as the secret ingredient and chibbqking advanced with a vote from Rick Bayless-so four remain of the eight total. This week the chairwoman threw what looked to be a 82 mph fast ball with no movement whatsoever right over the plate when she announced the secret ingredient over the redeye munchtime twitter page was...alcohol. But upon further review it was a nasty curveball when she announced it had to be a vegetarian dish. Dairy, eggs and cheese were allowed but no red meat, seafood, chicken etc...no animal/crustacean flesh whatsoever. I think that I at least made contact and might of hit a double with warning track power with her pitch so let me know what you think.

Redeye Virtual Kitchen Stadium Cookoff

Secret Ingredient: alcohol (vegetarian dish)

When I first read the secret ingredient I was oh so very excited...my head started dancing with ideas, I thought about Caribbean rum glazed barrel cooked chicken, shrimp de jonghe, hell I could of entered my award winning chili since I use beer in it. I was ready to do something BIG. I was so excited that at first I didn't even read on and then when I looked at my twitter page and saw that my opponent had posted that he loved the secret ingredient but wanted to know what was up with it being veggie only? So then I knew it was too good to be true...I need to cook a veg-head dish? no red meat?!?!? no seafood? no chicken? no animals at all?

You read the site! its rare that when a recipe is posted that it includes only one meat and not two or three of them.

I needed to put something together that I know I would eat. I rarely eat a meal without meat-hell I dont ever eat a snack without meat and so I decided to do a rendition of one of the only all veggie meals I can stand to eat...fajitas. Just like everything else vegetables taste better when grilled and fire is used in cooking them. Add in some refried beans, sour cream, salsa and whatever else floats your boat and throw it all on a fresh grilled tortilla and it becomes edible. The best part about this recipe is you can use your favorite veggies or whatever is fresh and in season at your local farmers market.

A popular marinade for chicken fajitas is anything lime and tequila based so for my marinade I decided to whisk together both lime juice, tequila for the alcohol, salsa verde for kick, cilantro and some shallots, spices and marinate my assortment of fresh vegetables in it. I then would char grill the veggies place them on a tortilla layered in bean spread and serve it with a fried egg, rice and a light corn salad, rum glazed fruit kebabs and a Michelada to soak it all down.

Rum Glazed fruit Kebabs

medium sized diced assortment of fruit
-mangos, watermelon, pineapple, strawberries
cinnamon sugar
soaked skewers

for the glaze combine one part water, one part sugar and boil until sugar dissolves. Cool down and add one part rum.

^Load skewers with fruit and brush with glaze and grill immediately until charred edges show. Make these immediately after charring veggies for fajitas. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and serve warm.

KingT's Veg-Mex Fajitas

assortment of fresh bell peppers (red, orange, green, yellow) Cut in strips
jalapeno peppers- cut in strips
zucchini- cut in coins
green onions- cut in 4 inch pieces
white mushrooms-quartered
poblano peppers-roasted over charcoal, peeled and cut in strips
few ears of shucked sweet corn
flour tortillas
refried bean spread
Mexican crema

Fire-Teq-Lime-Cilantro Marinade

1/2 cup salsa verde
2 oz. tequila
2 oz lime juice
1 shallot-finely minced
5 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp fajita seasoning

^Whisk everything together and set aside.

^Place all chopped veggies, whole poblanos and shucked ears of corn in a bowl and pour marinade over top and toss to coat.

Let sit for anywhere from an hour to two hours. About 45 minutes before you want to put them on the grill set the grill and make sure you use a vegetable basket to char the veggies so the pieces dont fall thru the grates.

^First thing to go onto the grill when ready are your whole pieces of sweet corn and poblano peppers-roast both until done. Place poblano in a paper bag and seal it so no air gets out and let sit for 30-45 minutes.

^After sitting-take out poblano, scrape off the skin and cut into strips. Stand corn on one end and with a knife top to bottom scrape off the kernels and throw them in a bowl with poblano strips.

^Grill your veggies until nice and charred about 15-20 minutes-and place them in the bowl with poblano strips and corn kernels and mix everything together.

Take a grilled warm tortilla and layer it with refried beans and place veggies on top and serve with salsa or hot sauce and crema as fajita toppings. Mexican rice and corn salad a sides. Place your fruit kebabs on the side.

Fried egg optional-I had to get something manly in there.

Any Mexican beer with a lime or a nice Michelada (Mexican bloody Mary) will do for a nice beverage to go with your meal.

^Enjoy on a nice summer day.

Get over to this link HERE and vote for me thru Thursday morning. The contestant eliminated by Chef Bayless with the most votes gets to come back Leave votes for Titus/chibbqking in the comments section. Holladay.

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