If you’re like us, you pass by all those little packets of various spice mixtures in the store. And with good reason; they’re mainly salt, and expensive salt, at that. We’d guess that, ounce for ounce, these packets of flavored salt cost as much as gourmet salts (which we don’t buy, either). Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to scratch up spice mixes in less time than it takes to scan through all those packets at the store, looking for just the right flavor. Don’t believe us? We’ll show you.
On Saturday, we decided that we’d make fajitas with the last basket of okra from our weekly CSA share. Of course, we’d also include some onion, peppers, mushrooms, and a few carrots. Of course, we made up our own tortillas, too. But, we had no idea what went into seasoning fajitas. We don’t get them when we eat at Mexican restaurants (the real Mexican restaurants don’t serve them, as they’re not really a Mexican dish), so we could only guess the flavorings (although we knew cumin and oregano would be included). So, we looked at the ingredient list for McCormick fajita seasoning and came away with the idea of using something smoky, along with some lime flavoring. We also looked at this Fajita Season Mix recipe, but eliminated the corn starch and sugar (what’s the deal with putting sugar in everything these days, anyway?) as being unnecessary. And, finally, we looked at this Homemade Fajita Seasoning Mix, which seems pretty much the same as the previous recipe, but without the sugar and cornstarch (we suspect for the same reasons that we eliminated them). So, among the three versions, what we had in the house, and what we wanted flavor-wise, we came up with the Official Scratchin’ Central Fajita Mix.
We have good luck buying our spices at Penzey’s. We only mention them because they have good prices and you can buy spices that you use a lot of in bulk (we buy sesame seeds and poppy seeds by the pound for topping bread). Clean the lime well before zesting, then use lime wedges to spritz over your fajita.
Procedure in detail:
There really isn’t any procedure except measure and mix, so we’ll just remind you that you can and should adjust the spices according to your taste. Like spicy food? Add more red pepper. Prefer mild? Omit red pepper. Love garlic and want to keep the vampires away? Well, use more garlic, of course. You get the idea.
When using this spice mix, you can either just sprinkle it on whatever you’re cooking for your fajitas, or, if you want, mix it with some lime juice and olive oil to use as a marinade. We did the former and squeezed limes over the fajitas as we ate them. The mix was just spicy enough to add a little heat, but not enough to make you run for a glass of water or gulp your cerveza. We liked the lime zest (we love lime flavor in most everything) and using smoked paprika helped our fajitas taste as if we’d grilled them (we made them in a skillet on the stove). Given that this takes all of 5 minutes prep, we have to give it five stars.