Cast your mind back to when I went to BritMums Live 2015… one of the brands that I spoke to was Santa Maria UK, makers of Mexican seasonings, toppings, sauces and meal kits, as well as a huge range of spices. They told us about their Fab Fajita Challenge, and provided us with some of their products to make fajitas at home – with our own secret ingredient. We love Mexican food in our family, so I was totally up for it!
Thank you for voting! I won the Santa Maria Challenge! #guacamoleandblackbeans
Me, being me, can’t just have one secret ingredient, but TWO! I know, I know, but there is no “less is more” when it comes to this woman! The first secret ingredient, I guess isn’t so fantastically secret, as it is guacamole – but, it is (in my humble opinion!) the best guacamole ever! I always, always make my own guacamole – it’s so easy to make and it always gets gobbled up when I make it at home or for parties!
- 2 large ripe avocados
- ½ red chilli pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
- ¼ red onion, finely chopped
- juice of 1-2 limes
- small handful of fresh coriander, chopped (optional)
- Halve the avocados lengthways and remove the stone
- Scoop the flesh out with a spoon and place into a bowl
- Mash roughly with a fork
- Stir the chilli pepper, onion and coriander (if using) into the avocado and then season to taste with lime juice and salt.
- Serve with tortilla chips as a dip, or as a topping for tacos and tortillas
I love packet mixes for Mexican food because it takes all the worry of making sure I have all the correct spices in stock. The fajita seasoning mix we had was medium, and had a nice kick to it without it burning your mouth off!
I made chicken fajitas (I have made beef fajitas in the past before, and they are equally delish) for this challenge – cutting chicken into bite size strips for easy fajitas building! I also tend to cook the meat separately from the vegetables (sliced bell peppers and onions), this way I make sure that the veggies are cooked, but still have a bit of a crunch to them, and the chicken is definitely cooked all the way through. Plus, it’s handy if someone wants to have vegetarian fajitas.
But what about my second secret ingredient? Well, it’s black beans! These give another texture to the fajitas, and again, are great for those wanting to have a vegetarian one. I save a little bit of the Santa Maria seasoning to add to the beans before frying off, until they are warmed through.
In addition to the seasoned chicken, vegetables, black beans and best ever guacamole, I also poured some sour cream into a bowl, and decanted the Santa Maria salsa into another. We had the regular salsa in our challenge kit, but there are some fab different flavours you can buy including Tropical Salsa, with mango, pineapple, and papaya, and a Garlic Salsa. I bet they’re great with tortilla chips! Finally, I warmed the flour tortillas and placed them in our handy dandy tortilla container, which has a hot stone at the bottom to keep them warm!
When it comes to fajitas night in our house, everything just gets placed on the table, and we all build fajitas to our personal tastes. Oh, and since hubs and I eat paleo, I avoided the tortillas, choosing to wrap my fillings in lettuce leaves!
My son sticks to salsa and chicken, with a few peppers and onions, but my husband and I tend to go the whole hog and put everything in our fajitas!
- 500g chicken breast, cut into bite size strips
- 2 bell peppers (your colour choice), deseeded and cut into strips
- 1-2 red onions, peeled, halved and cut into slices
- 400g tin black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 sachets Santa Maria Fajita Seasoning Mix Medium
- 4 tbsp oil
- 1 pack Santa Maria Plain Flour Soft Tortillas
- 1 bottle Santa Maria Salsa
- guacamole (see recipe above)
- sour cream or natural yoghurt (optional)
- lettuce leaves (instead of tortillas, optional)
- Place the chicken into a bowl, the vegetables into another, and the black beans into a third.
- In a jug or bowl, mix the Santa Maria Fajita Seasoning with the oil, stir to combine.
- Pour half of it the mixture over the chicken.
- Pour three quarters of the remaining mixture over the vegetables, and the final quarter over the black beans.
- Mix the seasoning well amongst the individual bowls of ingredients.
- Add the chicken to a very hot pan, and cook for 5 - 7 minutes until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, in another hot pan, cook the vegetables for 3-4 minutes, and in a final pan, gently fry the black beans until warmed through, 2-3 minutes.
- Alternatively, you could cook everything together in one big pan.
- Warm the tortillas according to the package instructions. Transfer to a plate.
- Transfer the cooked chicken, vegetables and beans to warmed serving dishes, and place in the middle of the table for everyone to help themselves.
- Serve the chicken, vegetables and black beans with Santa Maria salsa, guacamole and sour cream (optional), and let everyone construct their favourite combinations!
- You can also wrap the fajitas using lettuce leaves instead of tortillas if you wish.