Mexican cuisine has brought a lot of exciting recipes to the world. One of the more confusing but just as delicious of such recipes is Fajitas. Confusing because to many people not overly familiar with Mexican cuisine they believe the Fajitas is a wrap similar to the burrito when in fact the Fajitas are the meat stir fry that is served in a taco or tortilla. Confusion aside Fajitas is a great meal that brings together meat and vegetables. So much so nobody would blame you for keeping some and wanting to reheat the next day. You might also be entertaining and just want to make Fajitas in advance and reheat it. Whatever your reasons you can reheat Fajitas in many ways.
Fajitas is a meat and vegetable combination dish of Mexican origin. The Spanish name is derived from the cut of meat, skirt steak found in the plate section of a cow, that was originally used in the recipe. Faja is Spanish for strip or belt. New versions have been created over time that use other cuts of beef, chicken and even vegetables. The meat is usually fried with onions and bell peppers. Fajitas are often served on tacos or tortillas and topped with lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, cheese, refried beans and tomatoes. Fajitas are usually served separate from the tacos or tortillas and this is the perspective we will work with. What makes reheating Fajitas difficult?
Problems With Reheating Fajitas
The problems here are a few. While Fajitas contain meat and vegetables that are fried in a lot of oil and/or butter you also have the cold ingredients such as lettuce, sour cream and salsa to contend with. Some recipes get further complicated by adding shrimp which gives you another headache when it comes to reheating Fajitas. If you have any choice in the matter it is best to keep these elements separate before reheating them. This will save the laborious task of trying to separate one element from the next before reheating.
Before we get to reheating Fajitas we should talk about how to store your Fajitas properly. First things first you need to store your Fajitas within two hours of cooking. If they spend a long period at a warm temperature this encourages bacterial growth. Another important thing is to avoid mixing all the elements. It’s best to keep the different parts of the Fajitas separate to make storing and reheating easier. You can store the Fajitas in a plastic airtight container, to keep the moisture locked in. Alternatively, you can wrap the Fajitas in aluminium foil then place in your plastic container. You will need to wrap this tightly as the Fajitas will likely have a lot of oil which may leak. You can store Fajitas in the fridge in this way for 3 to four days. Freezing Fajitas is not ideal but because of the onions and bell peppers but if you must you can.
The first method and in most cases the best method to reheat Fajitas are on the stovetop. This method works well in reheating Fajitas and bringing it close to the freshly cooked state. One of the big concerns about Fajitas is how much oil its made with and how this impacts many reheating methods. On the stovetop, this may be more like a plus. You will need a non-stick pan. This method works best if you have the different elements of your Fajitas separated. The best way to go about it is to start by heating the meat mixture. Using medium-high heat setting, toss the meat regularly in the pan to spread the heat evenly. If you have shrimp as part of your Fajitas you should only add once everything else is hot in the pan for around 45 seconds to 1 minute. The shrimp will be heated by the rest of the Fajitas off the stove and will prevent overcooking the shrimp.
You can also reheat your Fajitas in the microwave without much trouble. Fajitas are traditionally made with a lot of oil and/or butter so when reheating in the microwave you will likely get a lot of excess oil being released by the Fajitas. Fortunately, you can mitigate this problem by using paper towels to soak up the excess oil before putting your Fajitas in the microwave. Use a blotting technique to get the best results. To reheat the Fajitas just place in a microwave-safe plate and run in 45-second bursts checking the Fajitas each time. If you want to include shrimp best to place it in the microwave when the other ingredients have warmed up and you have one interval to go.
Another great way to reheat Fajitas is in the oven. This is a very simple method and can bring the traditional sizzle you get with Fajitas when first prepared. The thing you need to watch out for is the oven drying out your Fajitas so you have to follow specific instructions. You will need an oven dish or tray to make this work. You must lay your Fajitas out evenly in the oven dish. Cover the oven dish with aluminium foil to reduce the moisture loss and keep your Fajitas soft in the process. You can also add a little bit of water, just enough to cover the base of the oven dish instead of covering in foil. Now, preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Once preheated switch to baking (from the bottom). How long you will need to do this for will depend on the depth of Fajitas in the oven dish. It will take around 30 minutes to get your Fajitas fully heated. This method is great because you get the best texture to the Fajitas.
You have three viable options for reheating Fajitas. While the oven method is the best from a texture standpoint the stovetop and microwave methods are much quicker though the microwave method can affect the texture of your Fajitas.