I figure anyone can grill burgers and dogs on Memorial Day (we did it yesterday!) but it takes a true reprobate to make fajitas!  I did actually grill the flank steak, but that’s pretty much about where tradition ended.

When I picked up the flank steak on Friday, the thought process was to make my Spicy Orienta Flank Steak at some point this weekend for an hors d’oeuvre.   I never got around to it – we had more food all weekend long than may emerging nations see in a year.

Today may be a holiday, but it’s also my Monday grocery shopping day (lord knows I can’t grocery shop any other day of the week!) so whilst meandering through the store, seeing all of the huge Memorial Day Barbecue displays with the catsup and mustard and 2-for-1 hamburger buns, I thought… “Fajitas would be good tonight”!

And I was right – they were!

First I made a dry rub for the flank steak:

Dry Rub

  • chipotle powder
  • garlic powder
  • cumin
  • smoked paprika
  • Mexican oregano
  • salt and pepper

Mix well and rub into flank steak and allow to set for an hour or so at room temperature.

And then it was time to make the Mexican Rice.


The rice recipe idea comes from Bon Appetit.  I made a couple of changes (how unusual) like substituting Happy Hal’s Jalapeno Relish for the serrano chiles, and I cut everything in half  -I just didn’t need that much.  And I added a bit of chopped tomato to the rice and used beef stock instead of chicken stock.  Otherwise, I made the rice just as the recipe states…  LOL!

Mexican Rice

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced seeded serrano chiles
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 3 1/4 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Cilantro Dressing (homemade)

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and serrano; sauté until onion is translucent, about 9 minutes. Mix in rice; stir 2 minutes. Mix in broth and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook until rice is just tender and broth is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes.

Transfer rice to bowl; cool to barely lukewarm, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours. Add 1/2 cup cilantro dressing to rice; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

And the Cilantro Dressing.  Definitely make your own!!!

Cilantro Dressing

  • 1 1/4 cups (packed) coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon minced seeded serrano chile

Combine all ingredients in processor. Blend until almost smooth. Season dressing with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature; rewhisk before using.)

The rice was surprising.  It’s served at room temperature and has a hidden kick to it.  Even cutting the recipe in half, I doubt I used a full third of a cup of oil.  I don’t think it needs as much oil as the recipe calls for.  I really liked it and it has given me a few ideas…


And Victor made guacamole for the very first time in his life!  (I know, I was pretty shocked, m’self!)  And, he nailed it!

Victor’s Guacamole

  • avocados
  • diced tomato
  • diced onion
  • garlic powder
  • Tabasco sauce
  • fresh lime juice
  • salt and pepper

Chop, mix, eat.

The other accompaniments were refried beans, corn and flour tortillas, and sour cream.

All in all, a great dinner and Victor has a couple of days of luncheon leftovers.