We've got another recipe inspired by the Chicago Diner Cookbook - Meatless Fajitas, based on the Chicago Diner's "No Meat-a Fajitas".
Fajita originate with the Mexican ranch hands of south Texas. As the Iowa Beef Industry Council tells us, "fajita" comes from the Spanish word "faja" - belt or girdle. The girdle of the cow (actually the cow's diaphragm) and other less desirable cuts of meat were given to Mexican cattle hands in Texas as partial payment for their work with the cows.
This vegetarian version substitutes seitan for the beef, and achieves a great flavor and texture.
Fajitas with Seitan, based on the Chicago Diner's "No Meat-a Fajitas"
&frac13 cup lemon juice
¼ cup light oil
3 cups water
&frac13 cup tequila
½ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup chopped parsley
1 jalapeno, seeded, white membrane removed, sliced*
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
2-3 thinly sliced scallions.
2 tablespoons cumin
2 teaspoons salt
*leave the seeds and membranes of the jalapeno intact if you like it hot.
2 tbsp oil
1 white onion, halved, cut in wedges
1 green bell pepper, deseeded, cut in strips
1 red bell pepper, deseeded, cut in strips
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, cut in strips
2 portabello mushroom caps, cut in &frac13 strips
16 oz. seitan, cut into strips
1 16 oz. jar salsa - your choice
Mix the marinade ingredients together. The original calls for the marinade to be blended together. I prefer to whisk, and leave the aromatics intact. Put the mushrooms and seitan in the marinade and let sit for at leat an hour or overnight.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a BIG skillet over medium-high heat. If you don't have a really big skillet, you may need to do this recipe in batches in the skillet you do own. Even in a big skillet, you may feel like you don't have much room to work with until the vegetables start to collapse from the heat. Keep going, you'll get room.
When the oil starts to shimmer, add the seitan. Fry the seitan in the skillet until it begins to take on some brown color. Add the mushrooms, peppers, and onion and stir to mix the vegetables with the seitan. Cook for two minutes. Add the salsa.
Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are al dente or a little crisp, but mostly softened.
Serve in tortillas with a cold margarita on the rocks.