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Steak and Bell Pepper Fajitas

When your garden (or farmers' market) yields a bumper crop of peppers and chilies in all colors, shapes and sizes, have a fajita party. If you or your guests shy away from the heat of chilies, use all bell peppers.

There are lots of ways that kids can help with the preparations, such as squeezing the lime juice, plucking the cilantro leaves off the stems and combining the marinade ingredients for the steak.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. well-trimmed skirt steak 
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice 
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed 
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro, plus cilantro leaves for garnish 
  • 4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 each small red bell pepper, small yellow bell pepper, pasilla chili and Anaheim chili 
  • 1 cup thin onion wedges 
  • Kosher salt, to taste 
  • 8 lime wedges 
  • Warm flour tortillas for serving

Directions:

Thinly slice the steak with the grain and place in a nonreactive bowl. Add the lime juice, garlic, chopped cilantro and 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

Seed and stem the bell peppers and chilies, trim away the ribs and cut lengthwise into strips 1/2 inch wide. Combine in a large bowl with the onion wedges, 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and a pinch of salt and toss to coat evenly.

Warm a large sauté pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the bell pepper mixture and stir quickly to blister the skins of the peppers and chilies. Cook until the vegetables are tender-crisp and the skins are flecked with black spots, about 4 minutes, reducing the heat if the pan begins smoking too much. Turn the mixture out onto a serving platter.

Brush most of the marinade from the meat strips and season the strips with salt. Return the pan to high heat. When it is hot, add 1 Tbs. of the olive oil, allow it to heat and add half of the steak. Let the meat sear and brown on the underside, 2 to 3 minutes, and then quickly stir to cook on all sides, about 2 minutes more. Pour the meat on top of the peppers and repeat with the other half of the steak and the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil.

Add the steak to the platter. Top with the cilantro leaves and ring with the lime wedges. Serve immediately with the warm tortillas. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Family Meals, by Maria Helm Sinskey (Oxmoor House, 2008).