Fajitas have got that special something – and it's all in the sizzle. Served smoking hot and smothered with extras, fajitas are more than just a taco alternative. They're a mighty meal in their own right, so we take a look at how this Mexican delight made its onto our plates and into our hearts.
There are all sorts of places you can get fajitas here in the UK, piled high with crunchy peppers and sweet onions, just like they do at Chiquito. Wrap up and tuck in.
Traditional Tex-Mex tortillas
A Tex-Mex sensation, fajitas come from the Mexican community in Texas. The dish dates back to at least the 30s, when working cowboys received cuts of beef as partial payment. Beef skirt was one of those cheap cuts, and it got sliced up and cooked over a fire before being rolled in tortillas. Taking traditional Mexican cooking styles and authentic ingredients, the dish remained obscure for a long time until Texan restaurants picked them up.
In fact, the word 'fajita' didn't appear in print until 1971, and even then it referred to just a cut of meat. It took till the 90s for the dish to become popular – but since then, it's been a wild ride. Now fajitas in sizzling cast iron skillets, carefully walked out to tables, are just as popular here as they are stateside.
Strips served up sizzling
Typically fajitas were a beef based dish. But now they can take on whatever form you like. Pulled pork, plump shrimp and slow-cooked lamb are some of the options loved around the world, but one of the best ways to build up a fajita is with crunchy veggies. The Chiquito menu sports skewered roasted vegetables, lightly dressed with Mexican spices and ready to be rolled.
When you've selected your little strips of choice or a vegetable variety, it's time to top away. Served with all the trimmings, dress your dish with extras like sweet fried onions and crisp bell peppers, smooth grated cheese, homemade guacamole, authentic pico de gallo salsa and a cooling sour cream.
The perfect fajita fiesta
At Chiquito, they don't hold back. Take the Acapulco Chicken fajitas. Freshly marinated in a hot and spicy habanero sauce and baked to perfection, your favourite dish in then covered in a mix of piquant salsa, gooey cheese and citrus-spiked nachos.
When your order's on its way, it's time to ask yourself the most important question – how will you stack? Do you separate your fillings, and alternate meaty and veggie rolls? Or will you fill your fajita with a little of each and hope it holds? Once you've worked out your system, see how many wraps you can manage – you don't want to let those cowboys down.