Dish Spotlight: Fajitas

The sizzling sound of a fresh serving of fajitas is sure to make your mouth water. This Tex-Mex staple has become so ubiquitous in the United States that it is hard to believe that fajitas were only popularized in the 1970s. Historically, fajitas were made for rancher hands over a campfire as far back as the 1930s in South and West Texas, according to the research by Homero Recio as part of his graduate work in animal science at Texas A&M. The dish made its way to restaurants in 1969 at the Round-Up Restaurant in the Rio Grande Valley and grew in popularity from there.

Fajitas are still served today on a sizzling platter with tortillas and sides like guacamole, pico de gallo grated cheese, sour cream and shredded lettuce. Fajitas can be made with varying ingredients, typically grilled skirt steak cut into strips, but a number of substitutes can be used like chicken, pork, shrimp or other cuts of beef. The fajita filling is typically prepared in a seasoning of chili powder, onion, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, cumin and paprika. Fajitas can even be meatless and just showcase the sizzling peppers and onions.

This substantial dish has made its way onto nearly every menu at Mexican-American restaurants and even to fast-food chains across the states. For a dish that is served in fast-food chains, fajitas are a surprisingly nutritious meal. With protein, vegetables, calcium and vitamin B, this balanced meal is sure to keep you satisfied. Fajitas are easy to make at home and are very customizable. They are delicious, filling and certainly an easy way to please a crowd. Try a traditional steak fajita recipe at home and if you are short on time you can even buy pre-made guacamole and pico de gallo.

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