A really good friend of mine, Rose Cimino, offered me her “for friends only” fajita marinade. I asked if she would mind my posting it on my blog. She felt like she had been keeping it a secret too long and it should go out to the world. So, here it is (in her words):
Rose’s fajita marinade:
1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 c red wine vinegar; 1/3 c real lime juice; 1/4 c minced onion; 3 cloves pressed garlic; 1 teaspoon (t )sugar; 1/2 t each of s and p; 1 Tablespoon each of cumin and oregano (or 1/2 c fresh minced oregano).
Marinate chicken breasts or sirloin/flank steak for 3-6 hours in the above marinade in a zip lock baggie. Dont discard the marinade.
Cut some onions and peppers (red, green, orange) into wedges and put onto skewers. Brush with some of the marinade and grill til charred a bit.
Grill the meat or chicken to desired doneness. Remove and slice thin.
Boil the remaining marinade and toss with the meat and vegetables and LOTS of fresh cilantro leaves.
Serve in warmed tortillas with salsa, sour cream, guacamole, pickeled jalapeno peppers, and cheese (if you love it as much as Wendy does.)…..
Every day is a celebration of the day I married Claud. We never put much effort into celebrating anniversaries. One year, we forgot it all together. We were having lunch with some other couples when somebody mentioned the date. I stopped eating and said, “Hey, honey, today is our anniversary!” He smiled and hugged me. We both laughed. Then, we picked up our Mai Tai’s and toasted our marriage. We happened to be in Tahiti. Sometimes, we are so lucky. It ended up being a very memorable anniversary…by chance.
This year, my family was flying out here from California because my sister was scheduled to deliver her baby a few days after our anniversary. I couldn’t think of a better time to have a party. I’d have my parents and both of my sisters together. We could invite some really nice friends. Claud agreed and we began making the plans.
The first thing on my mind, obviously, was the food. We had to cook dinner. What were we going to make on a budget? I imagined a sit down three course dinner with corn chowder, a mixed green salad, and Bent River Cheese stuffed chicken. I also considered lobster sandwiches which would be fun and easy. However, while the list of friends grew larger our budget remained the same. In the end, we thought fajitas would be a terrific idea. Not only are fajitas tasty, they can be made ahead of time so you can mingle with the guests. The ingredients: vegetables, chicken, tortillas, cheese, etc… are pretty inexpensive. Furthermore, you can lay everything out buffet style and allow people to create their own. That way they have the perfect meal made with what they want.
Claud and I prepared the food early on the day of the party. We marinated the chicken, cooked peppers and onions, and made salsa.
sauted peppers and onions
I made a spicy sour cream to go along side the regular sour cream. We also made green chili for those of us who love spicy food.
We cooked Spanish rice too. Everything was so colorful and festive and didn’t take long to prepare. Once the chicken was grilled and taken off of the bone, we were finished. When people arrived, we would heat it all up, along with some beans and tortillas and cheese, and set it out on the table. Simple!
marinated grilled chicken
My sister arrived first with her little girl, Ivy, and her husband, Dusty. It was so nice to have a little bit of time for just family, including Dan and Kathy. They are honorary family. Jessica looked so beautiful in her final days of pregnancy. I couldn’t believe we would have that little baby in our arms in a matter of days. Everyone was so excited.
Jessica, me, Julia...three sisters
Soon people arrived and it was time for cocktails. There is a great website you should visit which teaches you how to make many cocktails. Margaritas would be brilliant with fajitas. Visit: http://extratasty.com/ for other drink recipes. Many people brought me wine. Am I that obvious? Scott came with some of his homemade wine, which was delicious (as usual). My mom gave us a cookbook, Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Claud and I with a gift from my parents
We set out some chips and salsa and greeted everyone as they arrived.
Claud and I couldn’t believe what a gorgeous evening it turned out to be. Throwing a party with outdoor seating in Minnesota is hit or miss. But, this was one of the most beautiful Fall days I remember experiencing. The sun began to set just as our friends found a seat on the deck and sipped their drinks. I was very happy.
Kathy Grothem and family on our deck
Claud and I heated everything up for dinner and set it out on the table. There were different tables filled with people eating, talking and laughing. The kids were running in and out of the house, grabbing snacks or pops as they ran through the dining room. Boys chased girls. Actually, I think it was more girls were chasing one boy, sorry Spencer.
I made a toast to my husband trying to tell him how much I love him. I couldn’t remember much by the time I recited it. It was getting pretty late. So, it wasn’t that good. It ended up being more comedy than romance. That’s okay, I like a romantic comedy. Finally, at the end of the night, when some people left, the food was eaten, and much beer and wine had been consumed, we cranked up the speakers on the I pod and danced…kids and adults alike…on the tables into the wee hours of the night.
Three days later, my family stood together at a glass surrounded room, peering into the newborn nursery, watery eyed and smiling at what could possibly be the most beautiful baby girl ever born.
Jack holding Harper
Her name is Harper Ellen Briggs. Congratulations Jessica and Dusty.
Daphne holding Harper
We love you. And remember, while each day is the best time to celebrate life, love, and happiness, a party every now and then doesn’t hurt either. Here is a short film of our anniversary party:
Prep Time: 3 hours (including time for chicken to marinate)
1 glass of your favorite wine
3 5lb. bags of quartered chicken on the bone
4 cups of marinade (your favorite or my recipe on my blog)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
10 yellow bell peppers
10 red bell peppers
5 large onions
3 cloves of garlic
Take a sip of your wine. Wash and dry the chicken. Place it in a large clean tub and completely saturate it with the marinade. Set this aside overnight or for at least two hours. Slice the peppers and onions and garlic. Heat olive oil in a pan, add the peppers, onions, and garlic and cook until tender. Cook the chicken on the grill until cooked through. The grilled meat and veggies are the main components of fajitas. Once these are done, you can put out olives, chili sauces, our cream, cheese, beans, rice, guacamole, or whatever you want. Heat up tortillas and fill them with the desired ingredients. Enjoy!