This has been one of those weeks. You know the one. You start off optimistic and ready to take on every challenge with a smile and ever ready repartee. Then, as the week goes on, you slowly get worn down and just go with the flow, feeling incredibly blasé. Weeks like this make me especially hungry for delicious comforting food. Mexican food is a staple in my household and I am thoroughly delighted anytime I get the opportunity to try my hand out at a new delicious Mexican recipe. After moving to Tennessee, I was crushed beyond words when I found that the closest Chipotle was 99 miles away and to make matters worse, there were no Chevy’s anywhere NEAR the great state of Tennessee! Then began my quest to recreate my most beloved menu items at said restaurants. As luck would have it, Chevy’s posted some of their recipes for their beloved customers and so did Chipotle, jackpot! Since you can’t have fajitas without tortillas and if you’ve ever had fajitas at Chevy’s, you know, they always have their sweet corn tomatilo on the side; I couldn’t possibly make fajitas without that sweet goodness!! Please join me in the sweet, sweet, adventure of creating a meal you won’t soon forget! By the way, homemade tortillas are THE absolute best and you’ll never want to buy a store bought version ever again!
For the Tomalito:
You can make the tomalito ahead of time and freeze any leftovers for future enjoyment!
1. Preheat oven to 325. Heat about 8 cups of water on the stove.
2. Cream softened butter and sugar together in a large bowl by hand or with a mixer until smooth. Add milk and masa harina and mix well.
3. Puree 2 cups of corn until smooth in a blender or food processor. Add pureed corn to butter and masa mixture and mix well. Add corn meal, baking powder, salt and remaining corn and mix until combined.
4. Pour the mixture into a small/medium ungreased baking pan. Cover with foil and place into a larger baking pan. Add hot water to the larger baking pan until it’s about 1/3 full. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Uncover and bake until the cake is firm in the center for another 30 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
For the Fajitas:
You have to start early in the day or up to 2 days early.
Make the Agua Negra Marinade:
Combine all ingredients with a whisk in a mixing bowl, making sure to break up any lumps of spices. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Marinade the Uncooked Steak:
Place the meat in a re-sealable container or a Ziploc bag. Pour the marinade over the meat, and move the meat around to make sure that it is evenly covered. Marinate in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours.
To Grill the Steak: Start the coals in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill. Place the beef on the grill and leave undisturbed until grill marks form, then rotate 90 degrees to create a second set of marks. After 2 to 3 minutes, turn the beef to cook the other side. Transfer the beef to work surface and slice.
Or, if you live in an apartment like me, you can use your oven after pre-heating to 425. Just clean the top rack and be sure to cover the bottom rack completely with aluminum foil or aluminum container to catch any dripping juices.
You can also fry the steak on each side for about 5 minutes. Heat oil in skillet for 1-2 minutes before placing steak on the skillet.
Once the Steaks have cooled for about 5-10 minutes, slice against the grain into very thin slices and store in a warm place until ready to eat.
For the Filling (Optional):
Slice bell peppers and onions.
Heat oil in a skillet, saute onions and peppers with the pinch of salt for about 3 minutes.
For the Tortillas:
Believe me, there is nothing like fresh, warm, homemade tortillas with incredible fajitas!
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Add shortening then use a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers to combine the ingredients until it looks and feels grainy.
Slowly pour in hot water, stirring to bring mixture together. Lightly knead dough until it becomes a minimally sticky ball. Cover with a towel and allow dough to rest for at least an hour.
Roll into small balls about the size of a golf or tennis ball, place on a tray, cover with a towel, and allow to rest for another 20 to 30 minutes.
When you’re ready to make the tortillas, heat a skillet or griddle to medium/medium-high heat.
One by one, roll the balls into thin circles.
Cook Tortillas, one at a time on the heated griddle/skillet. Cook on each side for 20 to 30 seconds, removing while tortillas are still soft but slightly brown in spots.
Remove and stack tortillas, and cover with a towel to keep warm.
Serve immediately or allow to cool before storing tortillas in a container. To warm, nuke tortillas in the microwave, or wrap in foil and warm in the oven.
Dish each plate with some fajitas, filling, a nice heaping of tomatilo, a few tortillas, and garnish with a few cilantro leaves.
Chevy’s Sweet Corn Tomatilo
4 cups frozen corn, thawed (divided)
6.5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup masa harina
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Homemade Flour Tortillas
2-1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2-1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons Shortening
1 cup Hot Water (Not boiling)
Chevy’s Steak Fajitas
2 pounds skirt steak
Agua Negra Marinade
1 cup soy sauce
2 cups pineapple juice
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
3 bell peppers (Orange, red, and green)
1 Small Onion
Pinch of Salt
1 Tablespoon Oil
1 Bunch of Cilantro Leaves