Fajitas originated on the Texas Mexican border in the early 1900’s. This Tex-Mex dish began as a simple way to feed the ranch hands. They would heat a large cast iron skillet over an open flame and add the skirt or “faja” steak and other inexpensive ingredients such as vegetables to the mix. The hungry ranchers would fill corn or flour tortillas with the blend of pan seared foods and have an easy to handle meal – piping hot , delicious and nutritious.
During the 1980’s, South of the border specialties migrated to the United States. Southwestern themed restaurants popped up across America and “Mexican-American” cuisine was born. One mainstay of the Mexican food movement has been Sizzling Fajitas, even more popular today than they were nearly a century ago.
Traditionally, fajitas were served with skirt steak, a tough cut of meat. Slow cooking and proper slicing made the steak tender. In today’s restaurant, fajitas are topped with higher quality ‘center of the plate’ items. It is common to find chicken, shrimp or even sirloin steak fajitas on American menus.
Fajitas on today’s restaurant menu’s are all about presentation. Serve up a piping hot cast iron ‘plate’ topped with sauteed vegetables and cuts of your favorite meats. This should be brought to the table while it is “sizzling” on the platter but not “smoking”. Soft flour tortillas and condiments are traditionally served on the side.
The current trend in fajitas dining is ‘customizing’ to accomodate your guests, especially if they have any dietary restrictions or special requests.
Fajitas can be tailored to any theme night that you may be promoting. For instance, if you are featuring a “Hawaiian Night” you can offer a chicken, ham and pineapple fajita. A “Bourbon Street ” menu could feature “Shrimp and Creole Fajitas”. Whatever the occasion, fajitas are a versatile menu addition.
Chef’s Favorite Fajita Choices
- Chicken Broccoli & Cheddar Fajitas
- Steak Teriyaki Fajitas
- Cajun Shrimp Fajitas
- Surf & Turf Fajitas
- Vegetarian Fajitas
- Pulled Pork Fajitas
- Maine Lobster Fajitas