Sunday, 13 July 2014

roasted vegetable fajitas

... when I was seventeen-ish I went to visit one of my closest friends at her university in Ponoma, Southern California.  Shannon and I have been friends since we were both at school in London way too many decades ago to mention in polite company and after we both left school she made the choice to go back to her parents native America to study whilst I stayed in london and went to art school.  Shannon and her family had always been a bit nomadic and I think she carried this on into her university years as Ponoma wasn't the only school she studied at but I remember going to visit her there and in particular I remember a night out with her and her parents who also happened to be visiting at the time... we went to a Mexican restaurant and as Ponoma is quite far in-land it has a close afinity to all things Mexican.  It was a very very good restaurant.  The food was good enough for me to remember it all these years later and of course i've loved Mexican food ever since... but I particularly remember the margeritas... funny that?

roasted vegetable fajitas
Of course i've been searching for that authentic taste ever since and these wonderful Old El Paso spice blends go some way to bring that taste of Mexico back to me.  This is a very lazy-man's way to cook the vegetables (no surprises there from me then...) and can be done either in the oven or wrapped in foil on the barbecue, which I think is rather wonderful as it means you're not standing over a hot stove frying all night and can have fun with your guests instead! - I've also included a recipe for homemade soft tortilla which in my opinion makes a lovely rustic difference to the proceedings but if you don't have the time or inclination then of course there is a plethora of decent shop-bought ones readily available.

Serves 6
For the vegetables:
1 packet of OEP Original Smokey BBQ Fajitas
2 large onions – halved and sliced
2 packets of baby sweetcorn – halved lengthways
4 large Portobello or field mushrooms – thickly sliced
1 yellow pepper – sliced
1 red pepper – sliced
2 medium red chillis - whole
3 cloves garlic – skin on
3 tablespoons olive oil

For the soft flour tortillas
400g plain flour
300ml water
1 teaspoon quick active yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

start by making the tortilla by combining all the ingredients in a large bowl, bring the dough together and then let it rest, covered for 10 minutes before doing anything

after 10 minutes pour a little olive oil on your work surface and knead the dough for 5 mins, then place it back in the oiled bowl, cover with cling film and let it rise for at leats an hour or until doubled in size

after an hour, remove the dough and on an oiled work surface, cut into 12 equally sized pieces.  Roll these pieces into balls and flatten into round tortilla shapes.  You can either set these aside, separated by sheets of greased-proof paper, or you can cook them now

to cook them, simply heat a large frying pan and dry fry them for roughly 2 mins on either side.  You are looking for a few small brown spots to know they are ready

to make the roasted vegetables on the BBQ, simply pace all the vegetables into a large bowl, drizzle with the olive oil and then sprinkle with the packet of OEP – stir around to ensure all the veg are coated and then pour all the vegetables into the centre of a large sheet of foil.  Fold up the edges of the foil to create a little foil teepee and place on a warm BBQ for 20 mins – open the teepee after this tie and let the veg crisp up a little for a further 5 mins (the same can be done in the oven in a large casserole dish covered in foil)

serve with sour cream and smashed avocado and lime juice, rolled inside the fresh tortilla

eat and of course, enjoy!

I was commissioned to write this article by the kindly people at Old El Paso and a version of this recipe will be published on their website



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