Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Gordon Ramsay's Menu - Mexican Flavors -- Beef Fajitas with Sour Cream & Guacamole -- Melon with Tequila & Lime

So, the next recipe from Mr. Ramsay is for Beef Fajitas. Sounds easy enough. Everyone knows what goes into them. How to assemble them. Sounds easy enough, right? Now, remember, he claims that nothing should take more than 45 minutes, start to finish. But I think he realized that he really pushed the time limits with this recipe ...

Well, sure. All recipes can be made quickly when several people help. But this cookbook was about preparing food quickly for your family so they could eat healthily. You all know I have twin nearly-four year old boys. Someone has to watch them while I'm cooking. So my husband is watching them and trying to keep them out of the kitchen while I'm cooking. For this recipe, he took them to the store. So, just two hands preparing this food. Even if they were there to help, I would only have my husband, because I'm not having A & J chop any peppers anytime soon.

For the fajitas - Skirt steak (I should have used a more tender cut of beef, Ramsay's recipe calls for tenderloin), red pepper, yellow pepper, olive oil, chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. (I also added an onion that I happened to have on hand.)
For the guacamole - two avocados, lime juice, garlic, chile (he says to use a red chili, I used canned chopped mild green chiles), shallot, plum tomatoes and cilantro.
For the melon - one honeydew melon, tequila, lime, honey and mint.
Slice the steak into strips. It was a beautiful piece of meat, but more tough than I prefer.

Mix together the salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika and cumin. Toss half with the beef strips and let sit while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Slice the peppers (and onion) and toss with the remaining spice blend.

Saute the veggies until just softening.

Add the beef and sautee until the beef is cooked through.

Cut up and mash the avocado.

Mix together with the tomatoes, shallot, chiles, garlic and lime juice. Set in fridge until ready to serve.
To assemble, warm some flour tortillas, heap the meat and veggies on the torilla, top with the guacamole and the sour cream. I had some shredded cheese on hand, too, and also used that.
Roll up and eat. Frankly, I've had better. The chili powder marinade was actually bland. There was some heat to it, but not a heck of a lot of flavor. The guacamole was good, but the recipe made way to much, and as you know, it quickly discolors so storing didn't work for very long. The meat was tough and chewy. I know that's my fault, but the skirt steak I bought was earmarked for "fajitas," but I suppose it needed a real marinade, not just powders. It might has been better tasting it I cooked it before slicing it, but I'm not sure if that would have made a big difference. It was really lack luster in taste.

Dessert was my saving grace.
I used a melon baller to scoop out the flesh.

Place in a bowl and add the tequila, lime juice, honey and chopped mint.

It was perfect. The tequila added just the right zip without overpowering the melon. I also made a non-alcholic version for the twins (just omitted the tequila and added an extra squirt of lime juice and honey). They gobbled it up.

How long? One Hour And Forty-Five Minutes!! An entire hour of prep time with all the chopping and slicing and melon-balling. I guess if I had one person chopping the veggies and another slicing the steak, another using the melon baller, I could have probably finished it in under 45 minutes. I guess I should just grow two more sets of hands.
"Beef Fajitas with Sour Cream & Guacamole, and Melon with Tequila & Lime ... Done"

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Iain said...

Here's a trick to stop guacamole discolouring -- keep the stones from the avocado and push them all the way into the guac before storing. Your guac will stay as green as when it was made.

Who Has Time To Cook? said...

Hi, Iain. Thanks so much for the tip. I have to try it. It just seems such a waste of good guac otherwise. -- Jean

Anonymous said...

That took you nearly two hours to make? ! I'm sorry but how slow are you?? This took me like half an hour?

Anonymous said...

You have to slice skirt steak across the grain, or else it's nearly inedible. Also, searing the whole steak and finishing cooking it, before slicing, produces a much more flavorful and juicy protein than slicing beforehand. Give these two tips a try next time and I guarantee it'll be twice as good.