FAJITA BUFFET: Play-by-play game plan
ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL??? And even better, football food. I am married to a sports fanatic. The entire neighborhood can attest to that from the noise that comes from my house during a sport event. So my tendency is to NOT invite people over because my husband and son are soooo loud. And I find myself wanting to apologize for their exuberance. BUT, on the other hand, why not?? The more the merrier. And as long as the guys are downstairs and I am upstairs, I am good!
So, I have created a wonderful, packed with flavor, easy meal that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser: A FAJITA BUFFET! You can not believe the simplicity of this menu! Here is the play-by-play game plan…
I just found these tortilla pans at Bed, Bath & Beyond. It is a perfect way to make tortilla salad bowls with out deep frying them. So much healthier!
On the package it says to bake in a 375 degree oven for 5-7 minutes. But I found baking them at 350 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes allowed the entire tortilla to get crispy without burning the top edges.
While the tortillas are in the oven slice your onions and place them in a heated saute pan with olive oil. Leave the onions alone for about 10 minutes while they caramelize. Flip them over and let the other side caramelize for another 10 minutes. After they are golden brown like the picture above, add a little white wine and let the wine reduce. The wine adds a great flavor to the onions. Add salt and pepper. Put the onions in a bowl.
Ok folks, I have found a fabulous way to season chicken… taco seasoning. The purists out their are cringing I am sure. But give it a try. I get my chicken breasts from Sam’s Club and they are fantastic!! Drizzle olive oil on each breast and rub the taco seasoning into the chicken. Give it a nice coat! Grill the chicken breasts on low heat for about 10 minutes on each side. The internal thermometer should read 165 before you take them off the grill. Slice the chicken, place it in your serving bowl and mix your onions and green peppers together.
Meanwhile cook your favorite rice according to the package using chicken broth instead of water. I use a mixed rice of whole grain, white & wild rice. When it is finished cooking place it in your serving bowl and add the fresh ingredients. There will be an incredible aroma as the steam hits the cilantro and lime zest.
The sauces are super easy. I buy my favorite salsa and guacamole from Sam’s Club. Quick and simple! And of course you must have sour cream to complete this fajita buffet. If you have never tried Charlie’s chips, YOU MUST! They are like no other chips I have ever tasted. They are salty, a tad bit sweet and a tad bit spicy…a perfect combination!! They are exclusively sold at D&W.
- Large plates
- Tortilla shells
- Chicken, Green Peppers & Onions
- Sauces; Salsa, Guacamole, Sour Cream
We can’t forget about dessert!! I love this dessert. It is super easy, fun, and delicious. Root beer floats with Dulce de Leche Ice Cream topped off with a chocolate covered pretzel. Oh the awesomeness of this dessert. It is a great play off of pretzels and beer.
6 WAYS TO MAKE THIS BUFFET EASY
- Shop 1-2 days before the event.
- Make the chocolate covered pretzels the day before. And after the chocolate sets, store them in an air tight container.
- Make the tortilla salad bowls the day ahead and store them in an air tight container.
- Buy your favorite guacamole and salsa instead of making it by scratch.
- Have your guests help you. Someone can cut the fresh ingredients for the rice. Someone else can cut the lettuce for the salad. Have another person put the sauces and chips in bowls.
- Let each person make their own ice cream float.
NOW YOU’RE READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!!
Grilled Chicken Fajitas
Yield: 8 Servings
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour
• 8 flour tortillas (10 inch)
• 8 Chicken breasts
• 4 large onions
• 8 green, red and/or yellow peppers
• olive oil
• ½ cup of white wine
• S & P
1. Drizzle chicken breasts with olive oil and rub the taco seasoning into the meat creating a paste.
2. Pour a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a hot sauté pan. Slice your onions and place them in your hot sauté pan. After they have caramelized on one side (about 5 minutes) flip them over to the other side for another 5 minutes. Add ¼ cup of wine and let it reduce. Remove onions from pan.
3. Cut peppers into thick strips and repeat the above steps.
4. Place tortillas in to the tortilla pans and bake in a 350-degree oven for 10–15 minutes until golden brown.
5. Prepare your grill. Grill chicken on low heat for 10 minutes on each side until the internal temperature is 165 degrees. (If you have smaller chicken breasts they might take less time cooking)
6. After allowing the chicken to sit a couple of minutes slice the chicken and place it with the onions and peppers in a large serving bowl or plate.
CILANTRO LIME RICE
• 2 ½ cups uncooked rice
• 4 cups chicken broth
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 2 T olive oil
• 3 Tablespoons lime zest
• ¼ cup fresh lime juice
• ½ cup sliced green onions
• 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1. Cook the rice according to package using chicken broth instead of water. Fluff with fork.
2. While rice cooks, whisk together the garlic, lime juice, lime zest & olive oil,. Pour over cooked rice, add the cilantro and the green onion and lightly toss with fork until combined. Taste and add salt, if desired.
makes 8 servings