I'm hesitant to call this recipe fajitas, although it is based on the familiar Tex-Mex favorite.
But instead of steak, chicken or shrimp, I opted for very thinly sliced strips of pork tenderloin. To keep the lean pork from drying out and toughening, I used a Chinese technique that calls for coating the strips of meat with cornstarch.
Coating the meat in cornstarch binds the marinade ingredients to create a sauce, and it results in more tender meat by forming a barrier that protects the meat from the intense heat. The result is meat that is so tender it is almost silky. I often use this technique when making stir-fries and it made sense to use it here.
Chicken breasts or thighs can be substituted for the pork with no changes needed.
1 (12- to 16-ounce) pork tenderloin, cut into 1/4-inch strips
½ to 1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
¼ teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Salt and ground black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 poblano pepper, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lime, halved
Warm flour or corn tortillas, for serving
Desired garnishes such as salsa, cilantro, sliced avocado, sour cream and shredded cheese
In a large bowl, combine the sliced pork, cumin, ancho chile, oregano, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Toss well to coat; set aside.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and onion and cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender and slightly charred.
Meanwhile, in a separate skillet (preferably cast-iron) or grill pan heat the remaining vegetable oil over high heat. Add the pork strips and any accumulated juices and cook, stirring frequently, until pork is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the pepper-onion mixture to the skillet with the pork and stir to combine. Squeeze the lime halves over all.
Serve in warm tortillas with desired toppings.
Makes 3 to 4 servings.
Food on 10/30/2019
Print Headline: Pork strips shake up traditional fajitas