When I started this website, I knew it had to be different. There are a plethora of websites dedicated to just Mexican cuisine or only BBQ. But so few are about both and it’s found here at Major League Grilling.
Now that my itch for competition BBQ is for the most part, subdued, I can focus on the complex, flavorful and spicy Latin cuisine. I missed cooking it so much during my preparations for BBQ practice and contests, there may be a run of Mexican dishes until the end of the year! I’m sure everybody is cool with that.
My wife has wanted to make some type of salad for dinner one night. She brought up having taco salads. I’m not one that’s into having just salads for dinner, it’s not my thing, but a taco salad did sound pretty good.
At first, it was going to be basic; lettuce, topped with ground beef…yada yada.
Then I thought this could be a great recipe on MLG, so I went Major League on this taco salad. Instead of ground beef, I’m using skirt steak…instead of buying red sauce, I’m making it….instead of cheddar cheese…you get the idea.
1lb Skirt steak
Black refried beans (recipe below)
Red chile sauce (recipe below)
Roasted yellow pepper
Romaine lettuce (shredded)
My wife pointed out, “this doesn’t sound like a taco salad anymore”…I retorted “you’re right!”…“It’s more like a fajita salad!”
After making the fajita salad, you may have extra ingredients. I’m not one to measure everything to have only 1 or 2 servings. In fact, I like leftovers, especially for Mexican food because the ingredients are interchangeable. There is an example at the end of this post.
3 Whole ancho chilies (pasillas and guajillos will work too)
2 Roma tomatoes
2 Cloves of garlic
¼ of whole onion
1 Vegetable bouillon cube
Salt to taste
1. Roast the chilies, tomatoes, jalapeno and onion. Wrap the garlic in aluminum foil with a little olive oil to roast. Do not burn the dried chilies!
2. Soak the chilies in water for at least 2 hours or until soft. Remove stems and most of the seeds, keep some for heat.
3. Put rest of ingredients in food processor. Add 1 cup of water from the soaking chilies, bouillon cube and salt, blend until smooth.
4. Add the soaked chilies to the processor, blend until smooth. Add more chile water if necessary to achieve salsa consistency.
5. Use a fine mesh metal strainer with a spoon or a food sieve to filter out the pulp (we used the pulp like salsa…it’s tasty!)
6. Pour sauce into sauce pan and place on stove, reduce to tomato soup consistency or add a pinch of corn starch.
7. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Black refried beans
1 Can black beans (rinsed)
¾ Cup milk
2tbsp Olive oil
S&P to taste
1. Combine all ingredients in a skillet on medium heat.
2. Smash the beans in the skillet with a potato masher.
3. Cook until desired consistency is reached (I like mine runny).
4. Serve immediately.
The rice and pepper were easy to do. First, I charred the yellow pepper on the grill over direct heat until it was mostly black. Total time to roast the pepper took about 15 minutes.
Then I place it a freezer storage bag and seal it for 20 minutes at room temp. Peel off most of the charred skin, remove stem and seeds and cut it into strips.
For the rice, cook 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water in a rice cooker. Add any bouillon cube for more flavor, I used a veggie cube for my vegetarian wife. Once the water starts to boil, add 1 cup of the chile sauce we just made. Cook until it is done and the liquid is evaporated.
Next, I season the steak. I laid all the steak down on top of a sheet of aluminum foil and applied D.L. Jardines fajita seasoning over both sides of the meat.
(If you can’t find skirt steak, flank steak will work.)
The meat went on the grill over direct heat. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side, this skirt steak was so thin, I had to watch it carefully and not over cook it. While it’s still hot, cut the steak into strips and wrap it with a new sheet of aluminum foil until it is ready to use.
Finally, start building the salad by combining all the original ingredients on top of each other. I added guacamole, sour cream, salsa and radishes for more authentic flavors. Crumble some cotija cheese (or queso blanco/fresco) over the top and the masterpiece is complete!
My first bite was incredible…lots of flavors, a little on the mild side for me, but that is just nit picking. That chile sauce pulls everything together, I kept on adding more of it when there were spots without sauce. I love this fajita salad!
After eating my mountain sized salad, I found myself with about 2 cups of chile sauce leftover, I thought for a nano second…”should I toss it?”
This stuff is red gold! I can’t decide on which to use it for tomorrow: enchiladas?, huevos rancheros?, or maybe a new chili recipe?