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A&E >  Food

Dorothy Dean presents: Fajita skewers with juicy steak, bright bell peppers and tender-crisp onions

UPDATED: Tue., July 6, 2021

By Audrey Alfaro For The Spokesman-Review

With summer grilling in full swing, we’re turning fajitas into skewers for an easy make-ahead meal. Zesty and vibrant, the skewers are laced with juicy steak, bright bell peppers and tender-crisp onions.

A melody of spices (chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne and oregano), along with fresh lime juice, cilantro, garlic and olive oil marinate the sizzling fajita flavors into thinly sliced steak. It marinates for at least 2 hours or overnight.

The bell peppers and onions are simply tossed in olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. Using metal or wooden skewers, the steak and veggies are alternately laced onto the skewers. This can be done ahead of time so they can quickly be thrown on for dinner.

And if using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them for at least 20 minutes so they don’t burn. They grill over medium-high heat for about 10 to 15 minutes or to your liking.

Just before they’re done, throw a few flour tortillas on the grill. You’ll want to grill them for just a minute or two, until warm and pliable.

The fajita skewers can be slid off right into the warm tortillas and finished off with a drizzle of sour cream, squeeze of lime and sprinkle of chopped cilantro and cotija cheese or any of your favorite fajita toppings.

They’re also excellent served over rice, couscous and salad. Sirloin, tri-tip or the traditional flank or skirt steak all work great for this recipe. The marinade also works beautifully with chicken or shrimp.

Any assortment of bell peppers can be used (red, green, yellow and orange) along with types of onions (yellow, red and white).

And if you don’t feel like firing up the grill, the skewers can be broiled in the oven or even left unskewered and cooked in a skillet.

Fajita Skewers

For the steak marinade:

2 pounds steak (sirloin, flank, tri-tip), thinly sliced against the grain

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne

½ teaspoon sugar

3 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup lime juice

¼ cup chopped cilantro

3 cloves minced garlic

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

For the veggies:

3 bell peppers, assorted colors, seeded and cut into 1½-inch squares

1 onion (yellow, red or white), peeled and quartered

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

For serving (optional):

Flour tortillas, sour cream, crumbled cotija cheese, chopped cilantro, lime wedges

To make the steak marinade, place the sliced steak into a gallon-sized freezer bag. Add the seasonings and remaining ingredients into a small bowl and whisk to combine.

Pour the mixture over the steak, then seal the bag (pressing out all the air), and massage the marinade into the steak until it’s well-coated. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, or overnight.

In another gallon-sized bag, add the bell peppers, onions, olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. Seal and shake to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.

When ready to cook, preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Thread metal or (soaked) wooden skewers with the steak and vegetables, alternating between the two.

Grill the skewers for 10-15 minutes with the lid closed, turning them occasionally, until the meat is done to desired liking.

Remove from the grill and serve with warm tortillas (these can also be heated on the grill), sour cream, crumbled cotija cheese, chopped cilantro and lime wedges, if desired.

Audrey Alfaro can be reached at

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