Father’s Day is coming…June 21!! I cook a manly meal for dinner and plan a table presentation that is party special, like the fathers in my life. Do you have his special day planned yet? Father’s Day dinner, Lakeside, is always going to feature some sort of Mexican Cuisine. That is pretty common in California, we all love south of the border food. Captain will usually ask for tacos for any special meal, so I thought this year I would serve ’em up Grilled Tri Tip & Chicken Fajita, for variety on Father’s Day. See last week’s post for tips on grilling the perfect Santa Maria Tri Tip if you missed it. My game plan is to grill the tri tip first then grill the chicken. The night before grilling, I prepare the tri tip and put it in the refrigerator to marinate then, that same night, I combine the marinade ingredients for the chicken to be used the next morning when I add the chicken to marinate in refrigerator. The tri tip gets grilled first then after cleaning and oiling the grill the chicken is grilled at a lower heat. I roast bell peppers & onion while Captain is grilling the tri tip. That way I am inside where it is cool!
In my last post I mentioned that I trim my tri tip more than most people do. This photo shows what I mean by that. You can see that a lot was taken off, yet there is still enough natural marbling and the little I left on to keep meat tender,
and the house isn’t burnt down!
Below, photo shows the desired doneness of the meat…for fajitas the meat is going be reheated just before serving, so don’t over grill. Keep it pinker than normal. 5 minutes less grill time on the second side. Let meat rest and cut across the grain into strips.
Adding chicken to the menu cranks the meal up a notch for Father’s Day. This chicken marinate is really tasty…
- handful coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Juice of 1 medium lime and some finely grated peel
- 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
- boneless, skinless chicken breasts, I figure 1 per person and that gives leftovers
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Method: Combine spices and oil. Toss chicken and marinade into a zip lock and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. That is enough time to give a good flavor and not break down the meat. Remove bag from refrigerator 30 min prior to grilling. Grill over med to low heat, depending on your bbq. Let rest then cut into strips across the grain.
Roasted Peppers & Onion:
Roasting vegetables is so easy! I use 1 each of red, orange, yellow and green bell pepper and 1 large sweet onion. Cut them into strips and toss into a medium hot NON STICK pan. I separately dry roast (no oil if using Non stick pan) the peppers until they all have some char on them, then remove from pan and cook the onions til they start to char and toss in the peppers to marry flavors. That way the peppers don ‘t limp. As a note, let me say, every time I have added a touch of oil when using a non stick pan it has NOT turned out well. Use oil only if roasting on grill. So resist and just control your heat source. I also do not salt or pepper the vegetables until I put them on the cast iron pan to heat. I actually do not salt them, that is a personal choice, kinda like trimming fat, smile. Note: Roasting veges can also be done in the oven or on the grill, I just find a dry roast easy and the outcome is predictable…while freeing up the grill for Captain.
Not to mention, summers in Central California are hot enough without an oven going.
For plating this combination of deliciousness, I like to put the meats and the veges onto a cast iron fajita pan then place pan on the grill to reheat on a low flame with the lid closed. TIP: just before I take it to the table I squeeze a good amount of fresh lime over the top. We all know that steaming SIZZLE in the restaurant as the server bring fajita plates to
another table, right? That is how to do it. Hot cast iron + lime juice = SIZZLE (and the “wish-I’d-ordered-fajita feeling!”) Now you can sizzle at home, too…thank you Bobby Flay.
Serve with warmed tortillas, fresh salsa, cheese, guacamole and sour cream.
Did you notice my table cloth? I love these retro reproduction linens! HERE is where you can find it online, lots of states and even comes as a tea towel. I look for state linens when I travel the USA.
Thanks for Meeting Me Lakeside,