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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Beef Fajitas and Black Bean Couscous Salad with Laird Jillian’s Blend

Even though I had a long day, we had such a yummy dinner this night. On nights I work late, I like having easy filling recipes that I can start the night before and quickly put together when I get home. I marinate the beef the night before as well as make the salad. The salad does not need to be put together more than thirty minutes before dinner. However, I do think it tastes better after sitting in the fridge for awhile. This side dish is very easy to put together. It is also healthy and satisfying. As it is a cold dish, it is also a great choice for potlucks and picnics.

WINE: 2007 Laird Jillian’s Blend, Napa Valley

This lush and beautifully layered wine is blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot. The winemaker did an excellent job of balancing fruit and earth. Berry and plum mingle with subtle spice and clove. The wine finishes with smoky clove and long tannins.

This was a fantastic pairing. I chose it as I could not decide whether or not to pair a Cab or a syrah with this dish!

RECIPE: Beef Fajitas
Servings: 4

• 1 14.5 oz can beef broth
• ½ cup olive oil
• 2 tbsp lime juice
• 1 ½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
• 3 tsp. cumin
• 1 tsp salt
• ½ tsp chili powder
• ½ tsp cayenne pepper
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
• 1 ½ lb. skirt steak
• Dozen tortillas, warmed

• OPTIONAL: Shredded cheddar cheese
• OPTIONAL: Pico de Gallo (See recipe below)
• OPTIONAL: 1 green Pepper, sliced
• OPTIONAL : 1 onion, sliced
• OPTIONAL: Sour Cream
• OPTIONAL: Guacamole (I am not including a recipe for this since I am allergic to avocado and never make this myself.)

1. Combine all ingredients from beef broth through cilantro in Ziploc bag. Seal and shake well.
2. Add skirt steak and marinate overnight.
3. Heat grill to medium high.
4. Without closing cover, cook steak for 3-4 minutes on each side until it is springy to the touch. This will result in medium rare steak.
5. Allow meat to rest for 10 minutes before cutting into it.
6. Slice into inch long pieces. Allow individuals to place meat in tortillas with optional toppings.
7. OPTIONAL: I like to heat my cast iron skillet in oven at 350° for ~ minutes. I then place sliced meat on this to serve.
8. OPTIONAL: Before I turn on grill, I slice green peppers and onion and sauté them with a little oil while I get everything else ready. When they are done, I serve them under fajita slices.

RECIPE: Black Bean and Couscous Salad
Servings: 6

• 1/2 cup uncooked couscous
• 1 cup chicken broth
• ½ red onion, diced
• 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
• 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
• 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed (I like the frozen roasted corn from Trader Joes_
• 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 3 tablespoons lime juice
• 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 tsp salt
• ½ tsp pepper

1. Cook couscous according to package directions using the broth in place of water.
2. When couscous is cooked fluff with fork and set aside to cool.
3. In a large bowl, mix together couscous, onion, red pepper, cilantro, corn and beans
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, red wine vinegar, cumin, salt and pepper.
5. Pour over salad and stir.
6. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

RECIPE: Pico de Gallo

• 1 tomato, diced
• 1 small onion, diced
• 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
• 2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
• ¼ tsp salt
• Juice of 1 lime

1. In a small bowl, mix together tomato, onion, jalapeño, cilantro and salt.
2. Squeeze lime juice over everything and then stir.
3. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. Refrigerate if letting sit longer.


  1. I predict that this side dish will become a staple in our home this summer!

  2. I made the Couscous Salad last night. One word: Yum! Thank you!