DALLAS — If you’re planning to celebrate Mexican heritage on Cinco de Mayo, or you just like fun — and fairly fast — Mexican food, easy dishes are possible to whip up in your own kitchen.
Cody Kyttle, manager of CK’s Cantina & Grill in Dallas, showed us how to grill chicken, fish and veggie tacos and steak fajitas with true Mexican flair.
A little oil on a flat grill or heavy frying pan is best for grilling the chicken — use breast meat — and the tortillas separately.
“I usually spray a little soybean oil,” Kyttle said. “I use soybean oil because it has no calories.”
Or you can use just about any cooking oil.
Cook the breast meat for a few minutes, then chop it with a spatula, then season the meat with your spice of choice. Kyttle uses his own special house spice, and he’s not sharing the recipe. But he will tell us he livens up tacos with queso fresco, a fresh Mexican cheese, and lime. He serves those with tomatillo salsa, an avocado lime sauce and pico de gallo, which is a fresh, uncooked salsa, on the side.
Kyttle said a 6-ounce chicken breast chopped up can make about three tacos.
Instead of chicken, you can use fish, shrimp, steak, or for the vegetarian or vegan in the house, sliced red and green peppers, red onions, mushrooms and zucchini.
For fish tacos, he prefers tilapia.
“You can use any fish you want,” Kyttle said. “Tilapia holds up on the grill.”
The traditional fajita meat is skirt steak, but flat steak will work, too, Kyttle said.
Grill the meat as well as the tortilla, then add some thinly sliced red and yellow peppers and red onion. Then chop the meat and mix it with the veggies.
Kyttle recommends using a pound to a pound and a half of skirt steak.
“We use 6 ounces to make an order,” he said.
The grilled fajita meat — it also could be chicken or shrimp — along with the peppers, onions and pico de gallo are served on a hot skillet, with corn or flour tortillas, Spanish rice, refried beans, lettuce, tomato, Monterrey Jack cheese salsa and sour cream on the side.
There are variations and combinations, and the side dishes make for a tastier and more festive meal.
CODY KYTTLE’S CHICKEN TACOS
Skinless chicken breasts (A 6-ounce breast will make about three tacos.)
Corn or flour tortillas
Soybean oil or other cooking oil
Queso fresco cheese
Tomatillo salsa or sauce of choice
Grease a flat grill or heavy frying pan, then grill chicken pieces, eventually chopping with spatula. Grill tortillas separately.
Season the meat with your spice of choice, place in tortillas, add queso fresco cheese and lime. Serve with salsa on the side or with rice and refried beans.