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side dishes to go with fajitas

Nihon's picture

Well, the "let's have a couple of people over" suggestion I made to my husband has gone out of control - we're up to at least a dozen people now, with more probably on the way.  I'm planning to make fajitas on the grill - mostly chicken, although I may throw some portabella mushrooms on in case we have any vegetarians-in-hiding coming.  I'll be doing peppers and onions to go on the fajitas, and probably some guacamole and (if the kid gives me enough time) homemade salsa for chips as an appetizer. 

What I'm looking for is suggestions for side dishes I can make to go with this.  Requirements: 1) the farther ahead of time I can make it, the better, 2) goes well with Tex-Mex food, and 3) not ridiculously difficult to eat while standing up holding a plate in one hand, as we don't have enough chairs for everyone (and I can never shoo the people out from underfoot in the kitchen, anyway).

I'm thinking some sort of corn and black bean salad, but I don't have a recipe I like yet.  Or maybe some sort of rice dish ... but again, I don't have any at hand that I know I like.  Any suggestions?  Thanks in advance for your advice!


PS - I'm also looking for a good Mexican hot chocolate recipe, if anyone has one they'd like to share.

BoofyQ's picture

(post #31605, reply #1 of 24)

This is one of my favorite mexi-sides:

Black Bean & Couscous salad

* 1 cup uncooked couscous
* 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
* 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
* 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 8 green onions, chopped
* 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
* 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
* 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained
* salt and pepper to taste

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a 2 quart or larger sauce pan and stir in the couscous. Cover the pot and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, vinegar and cumin. Add green onions, red pepper, cilantro, corn and beans and toss to coat.

Fluff the couscous well, breaking up any chunks. Add to the bowl with the vegetables and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve at once or refrigerate until ready to serve.

soccermom's picture

(post #31605, reply #2 of 24)

I immediately thought of a rice salad. You can make it a day ahead, around Elizabeth's schedule, and I throw in whatever I like in a pasta salad--in your case, Mexican flavours. Of course, the rice can absorb a lot of dressing overnight, so I tend to finish it immediately before serving. Plus, rice salad takes care of those vegetarians-in-hiding :)





Jean's picture

(post #31605, reply #3 of 24)

Texas Caviar and Tostitos Scoops.

Veni, vidi, velcro        I came,  I  saw,  I stuck around.

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
soccermom's picture

(post #31605, reply #5 of 24)

I know what a prairie oyster is; is texas caviar the same thing? Or chili?





Adele's picture

(post #31605, reply #8 of 24)

A prairie oyster is a bull ball. 

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

soccermom's picture

(post #31605, reply #9 of 24)

Yes, that I know, but what's Texas caviar? :)





BoofyQ's picture

(post #31605, reply #10 of 24)

I believe that texas caviar = black eyed peas

soccermom's picture

(post #31605, reply #13 of 24)

Oh, ok. Thanks.





Billll's picture

(post #31605, reply #18 of 24)

Means caviar looks great, but use corn oil in your vinegarete and serve with corn tortilla chips, not saltines.  I don't use tabasco, just leave some seeds and ribs in the pepper.

Re-fried beans in lard are perfect too, on the side or in the fajita. Put pico de gallo in the fajita.

Edited 10/29/2005 1:28 pm ET by Bill

soccermom's picture

(post #31605, reply #19 of 24)

Yum, this sounds good. Not so much a low-cal meal though, LOL?



Edited 10/29/2005 4:34 pm ET by Canuck



chiquiNO's picture

(post #31605, reply #20 of 24)


1/2 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 teasp. sugar
1 teasp. oregano
1/2 teasp. salt
1 teasp. lemon-pepper seasoning
1/2 teasp. ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced

Meat of choice........2 lbs. boneless chicken breast, skirt steak, or flank steak.

Place meat choice in a glass pan. Top with all marinade ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 - 2 hours. Cook meat on the grill to desired doneness. This can also be perfectly done on a cast iron grill pan on the stove top, also. After meat is cooked allow to stand 10 minutes. Cut into thin strips. In a non-stick skillet place 1 cup of the marinade. Bring to a rolling boil and reduce down to evaporate the vinegar and leave just the oil in the pan. To this hot pan add 1 large onion sliced and a combination of red and green and yellow bell pepper strips. Stir fry until they begin to caramelize.(You may need to add a little more olive judge) Add the meat strips and stir until heated through and give it an extra squeeze of lime juice and a good sprinkling of chopped cilantro.

Assemble fajitas on flour tortillas, top with guacamole, fresh salsa and shredded lettuce and sharp cheese and sour cream!

My children love these!!!!!!Of course they pick out all the veggies and just eat the meat.

With the fajitas I like to make a bit of rice the way my Aunt Julie taught me.

Aunt Julie's Rice

2 cups Uncle Ben's Rice
1 whole clove garlic
2 green onions minced
1 tablespoon of chicken soup base
1 bay leaf

1 can yellow corn or Frozen corn, cooked
1 carton sourcream
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a large non-stick skillet, heat about 3 tabsp. Crisco oil. Add the rice, garlic (left whole), green onion, chicken soup base, and the bay leaf. Stir and cook until rice is a little transparent and about to brown. Add enough water to cover about 1/2 inch over rice mixture. Cover tightly and lower fire to a simmer. Cook until done about 20-25 minutes.

Fluff rice with a fork. Add corn and sour cream and toss well. Place in a casserole dish and sprinkle with the cheese. Heat in the oven at 350* for 20 minutes when ready to serve.

(Note: You may want to remove the whole garlic clove.....we like to eat it)

A huge green salad with sliced red onions, cubed avocado dipped in fresh lemon juice, mandarin oranges, and black olives tossed with some homemade vinegarette dressing rounds out the meal!!

Creole Vinegarette:

3 cups good strong olive oil (Extra-Virgin)
1 cup good red wine vinegar
1 heaping tablespoon creole or any brown whole-grain mustard
1 tabsp. dehydrated tarragon or basil(or even dried Italian seasoning is great)
1 teasp. salt
1-2 teasp. lemon-pepper seasoning
or freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teasp. Creole seasoning (Optional)

Place all ingredients, except oil in a blender. Start blending at a med. speed. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until well incorporated. Store in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. This makes plenty for lots of salads!!

Dessert around here is usually my Mom's Flan.

Chiqui from way down yonder in New Orleans


Gretchen's picture

(post #31605, reply #22 of 24)

Got to have some sauteed peppers and onions for fajitas--right?


chiquiNO's picture

(post #31605, reply #23 of 24)

Yes...they are listed in the directions, just not in the down a little further.  I just love this was given to me years ago from a Spanish friend.  I can never make enough!!  My kids don't like to eat the peppers and onions so I usually have a veggie one for leftovers the next day!!

Chiqui from way down yonder in New Orleans


Nihon's picture

(post #31605, reply #24 of 24)

Thanks for the suggestions, folks.  I ended up making the Texas Caviar, and it was a hit.  Of course, so were the fajitas ("You mean, YOU made these?"  Uh, yeah, that's why I was sauteing peppers and onions when you got here ...) and the little miniature pumpkin pies (with cinnamon whipped cream, of course).  I swear, if I make anything remotely homemade, it's like shooting fish in a barrel - doesn't matter what it is, it gets raves.  Of course, I'm not sure about the legitimacy of raves that come from the woman whose idea of having guests over is to buy a container of bean dip from the grocery, open it and a bag of chips, and put them on the counter next to the pre-sliced carrot and celery sticks STILL IN THE CONTAINER SHE BOUGHT THEM IN and call it "cooking."  That one still boggles my mind ...

Jean's picture

(post #31605, reply #14 of 24)

Mean posted the recipe for Texas Caviar eons ago. It's in T&T. We love it.

Be sure to scroll down for Mean's vinaigrette recipe. Yum

Oh, and this improves with age so be sure to make it in advance.

Veni, vidi, velcro        I came,  I  saw,  I stuck around.


Edited 10/27/2005 3:51 pm ET by Jean

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Nihon's picture

(post #31605, reply #15 of 24)

That looks pretty close to what I was hoping for.  I'll have to give it a try.  Thanks for the link!



DeannaS's picture

(post #31605, reply #4 of 24)

Mexican Red Rice

1 Med. ripe tomato, cut into 1/2" chunks, or 3/4 cup canned toms. drained.
2 tblsps canola oil or a combination of oil & unsalted butter
1 cup long-grained white rice
1/2 white onion, quartered & cut into 1/2" slices
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 fresh long green chiles, Anaheim or New Mexico varieties, roasted, seeded & chopped
1 3/4 cups Chicken stock or canned chicken broth
1/2 tspn sea salt
1 ripe plum tomato, chopped into 1/2" pieces

chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
1/2 firm but ripe avocado, peeled & sliced

Puree the tomato in a food processor or blender & set aside.

In a heavy medium-size saucepan or Dutch oven with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat.

Add the rice & onion, & toss until the rice turns a toasty golden color & has a nutty aroma. It will take 5-10 minutes, depending on the pot

Stir in the garlic & continue to cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, chiles, & chicken broth, & bring to a simmer. Taste & add salt if necessary. Cover the pan, lower the heat, & cook without peeking for 15 minutes, until all the broth is absorbed. Remove the pot from the heat & let it continue to steam, covered , at least 5 minutes more.

When ready to serve, add the plum tomato pieces & toss together in the pot. Decorate with chopped cilantro & slices of avocado.

"As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists." - Joan Dye Gussow

whatscooking's picture

(post #31605, reply #6 of 24)

A pot of beans could be made in advance.  And as others have said, rice seems like a natural fit.   I have made rice in advance with success.  The trick is that when the rice is done (after sitting 10 minutes), you need to turn it out on to a sheet pan to release all the steam and stop the cooking and to prevent any mushiness or clumping.  Once cool, you can store it in a container in the fridge and reheat by microwaving gently and stirring often throughout the process.

Also how bout a salad with greens, tomatoes, mexican crumbled cheese and tortilla strips?  You could use that chipotle vinaigrette that was in a recent issue of FC.  A corn dish would also fit in nicely with your menu.

Chicago-style deep-dish:  "Pizza for people who just aren't fat enough"
Anthony Bourdain

Glenys's picture

(post #31605, reply #11 of 24)

Salad of red lettuce, shaved white onion, crumbled cheese, slices or orange or mango and a fresh lime vinaigrette laced with tequila.

whatscooking's picture

(post #31605, reply #16 of 24)

Mmmm, that'll work.

Chicago-style deep-dish:  "Pizza for people who just aren't fat enough"
Anthony Bourdain

Gretchen's picture

(post #31605, reply #21 of 24)

What a great idea for a Tex-Mex side. Love it.


butterscotch's picture

(post #31605, reply #7 of 24)

I was just looking at FC issue #71 this morning. There's a  Mexican-style bean and rice dish that looks like it could be served either hot or as a salad--black beans, mixed with chili-flavored rice and fresh cilantro. This kind of thing would probably be convenient, since it can be made well in advance and only gets better as it sits.

mer's picture

(post #31605, reply #12 of 24)

What about flan for dessert. Easy to do a day or two in advance. :)

This sounds like a great party! Have fun!

pamilyn's picture

(post #31605, reply #17 of 24)

Webers Big Book of Grilling has a really good rice salad recipe. I'm at work though, don''t have the recipe. If you want it I will post it later. Let me know. Pamilyn

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls