When I was charged with creating a vegetarian recipe for fajitas, there was only one thought that came to mind: calabacitas. Can I explain how much I love calabacitas? I don’t think so. I was taught to make them by a friend, Stella Sierras, who shortly after our cooking lesson, passed away due to breast cancer. She is part of the reason that creating this collection of healthier recipes is so important to me.
In this recipe, I take the average fajita veggies and combine them with the usual calabacitas ingredients, marinate them in their own juices, cook them in the cast iron skillet with the help of some Pacifico Beer (again, yes, because it makes the fajitas more delicious) and there we have it, a vegetarian fajita masterpiece boasting the smokey caramelized char of corn, zucchini, jalapeno and onions ! (At least they a masterpiece are to me. You’ll have to make them to be sure.) Served with beans, they become a balanced meal with complete protein to enjoy on Meatless Monday or any day of the week.
(Makes 4 servings of fajitas)
1 cup organic non-GMO corn (Whole Foods 365 is one that is available)
1 zucchini, cut into long strips
1 yellow crookneck squash, cut into long strips
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and sliced lengthwise
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and sliced lengthwise
1 orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and sliced lengthwise
1 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and sliced lengthwise
1 brown or sweet onion, sliced into 8 wedges
1 vine ripe tomato, each sliced into 8 wedges
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and cut into strips or rings
1/4 cup lime juice
oil for seasoning the pan and cooking (extra virgin olive oil, grape seed oil or coconut oil)
1. Slice all of the vegetables at least 3 hours before you plan to cook the fajitas. Place them in a large plastic zip bag and refrigerate.
2. Season a large cast iron skillet or fajita pan by rubbing oil on its surface with a paper towel.
3. Place the pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Pour a teaspoon of oil into the pan. Once it is heated to temperature, it will shimmer.
4. Place some vegetables in the pan. Cook in batches. Do not crowd the pan or you will not be able to stir the ingredients around, and they won’t cook well.
5. For amazing flavor, pour some lime juice and a splash of Pacifico Beer over the fajitas as they cook. It will cause them to steam up and sizzle, but soon it will calm. Continue to stir the contents of the pan around, and add another splash of beer and lime each time they seem to dry out a little. You may do this three or four times during cooking.
6. Once your first batch of fajitas is done, remove it from the heat source and begin cooking the next batch, repeating all of the steps. If you are making them for many people, or like cooking them often, you may want to use two pans.
7. Serve the fajitas while steaming hot right in the pan they were cooked in. Make sure to have warm tortillas and all the toppings such as salsa and guacamole available. Add some Crema de Casera for a little creamy sweetness, if desired, to complet your fajitas de calabacitas.
8. Sit down and enjoy the sizzlin’ flavor of Fajitas de Calabacitas.
Note: If you are eating gluten-free, you can try substituting one of the gluten-free varieties of beer for Pacifico, or use Tamari instead.
Pacifico Beer is distributed by Crown Imports, LLC. To learn more about the beer and its history, visit http://www.crownimportsllc.com/ourbrands/pacifico.htm
Click for our Shrimp Fajitas del Pacifico recipe, which contains an abbreviated history of fajitas.