What is the best addition to fajitas and so many other meals? Onions and Peppers for sure, but there is a certain way to prepare them. I am going to show you how to cut onions and peppers into strips for fajitas. Thinly sliced onions and peppers cooked over medium to medium-high heat start to carmelize and release tons of sweetness making them the perfect accompaniment to Mexican food.
What You Will Need To Cut Onions And Peppers Into Strips For Fajitas
- Sharp Knife
- Cutting Board
- Bell Peppers
Selecting Onions To Cut Into Strips
There are several types of onions to choose from – red onions, white onions, yellow onions, and sweet onions (Vidalia).
Red and white onions are a great choice for raw onion (intense flavor) in salads or burgers. Yellow onions (the workhorse of all onions) are great sliced or diced and sauteed for any dish, and Vidalia sweet onions are known for their sweetness which stems from the type of regional soil they are grown in.
My pick when they are in season is the sweet onion, it adds such depth to the overall sweetness with a milder flavor that you can’t find in other onions. However, all these onions when cut right and cooked over time will develop their natural sweetness turning them into a delectable treat. There is no right kind of onion, use any kind you like.
Selecting Peppers To Cut Into Strips
Green bell peppers are the go-to in the pepper world. As green peppers are left on the vine, they ripen to yellow, then orange and finally red. The sweetest of the bell peppers are the red ones, which have been left on the vine the longest.
For fajitas, I love a combination of green and orange peppers. Cooking any of these colors slowly over time produces amazingly sweet peppers. Choose peppers that are free from blemishes and mostly firm to the touch.
What You Will Need To Cook Onions And Peppers
- Large cast iron skillet or a stovetop grill pan (heavy bottom)
- Butter and olive oil
- Thinly Sliced onions and peppers
- Time – 45 minutes to 1 hour
How To Slice Onions Into Strips
Start with a sharp chef’s knife and a cutting board. Select the right type of onion for what you are cooking and peel off the loose skin. Next cut off the top end and the stem end, then set it upright and slice right down the center making 2 halves. Remove a layer or two of the onion skin. (Save the scraps for homemade broth)
Working with half of the onion at a time, lay it cut side down (the flat side). There are 2 different ways or directions you can make your thin strips – either with the lines of the onion or against them. Both ways will give you nice slices, cutting with the lines will give a more organic (uneven and/or textured) cut.
Slicing the onions against the lines or perpendicular will give you thinner more even cuts. I do this with red onions for pickling. But either way you thinly slice it is fine.
Fancy is not the name of the game here, just good old-fashioned onion strips. Some people leave the root end of the onion on while cutting, but I don’t bother with that. Keep the width between 1/8 and 1/4 inches for nice thin slices.
Slicing the onions against the lines or perpendicular will give you thinner more even cuts. I do this with red onions for pickling as well as for fajitas. But either way you thinly slice it is fine.
Thinly sliced red onions and orange bell peppers are a delicious flavor combination for chicken or pork fajitas. Use any onions and any peppers that you like. The key is to make the size of the strips thin enough that they will cook down and become sweeter.
How To Slice The Peppers Into Strips
Give your bell peppers a good rinse under water. Using a sharp knife, cut off both ends of the pepper. Next, set it upright on one end and run your knife around the inside separating the ribbing from the outer flesh. Remove the seeds and ribbing – saving the scraps for making homemade broth.
Make one cut down and then lay the pepper out flat. With your knife, make vertical cuts that are between 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. I take the two ends and chop them into larger bite-sized pieces for my kids to munch on or to be put in lunches.
How To Cook The Onions And Peppers For Fajitas
Place a large skillet (cast iron) on the stove and add some butter and olive oil. I use two tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil for one medium-large sized onion and two whole bell peppers.
After the butter has melted, add the onions and peppers to the hot skillet. Sprinkle them with salt. This is a very important step because the salt will draw out all of the moisture (water) to evaporate. After the moisture is gone, the caramelization can begin. Stir the onions around and cook for a couple of minutes then add the bell pepper slices.
Keep the heat on medium and cover the skillet with a lid for about 15 minutes stirring a few times to check the heat. The fats from the butter and oil will be all the moisture they need. Now be patient. Sometimes this process will take anywhere from 45 minutes to one hour – depending on how big your slices are. It is not a lot of hands-on so you can easily prepare other dishes while these cook.
After this time, your onion and pepper mixture should be soft and deliciously sweet.
Serving Onions And Peppers With Fajita Meat (easy recipe)
I keep my freezer well stocked with a variety of cooked meats that are ready to go into any meal I’m making. An important kitchen staple for us is pulled pork. After I make a large roast, (my recipe for that here) I portion out servings into freezer bags and store them for later.
One of my family’s favorite meals is pulled pork fajitas. Simply pull a bag of pulled pork out of the freezer and place it in a pan with a teaspoon or two of homemade fajita seasoning and 1/2 cup of water. Warm through.
Take some warm tortillas (flour or corn tortillas) and stuff them with the pork and a generous helping of onions and peppers. Add on some of your favorite toppings and some hot sauce and you’ve gone to food heaven.
Wrapping Up How To Cut Onions And Peppers For Fajitas
Fajita is the Spanish word for “little belts” so it’s not surprising that the fajita vegetables are cut into that shape! You can’t go wrong with Mexican cuisine, the fresh salsas and robust flavors….. combined with the perfectly cooked onions and peppers. Top your fajitas with avocado slices for the ultimate dining experience.
What will you top with your onions and peppers? Think french onion soup, atop a burger, with mushrooms on steak, or maybe the best way is on fajitas. Let me know in the comments below. I hope you enjoyed learning how to cut onions and peppers into strips for fajitas.
As always, thank you for spending your time with me. You are appreciated.
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