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story.lead_photo.caption Pork Fajitas Photo by Kelly Brant

I'm hesitant to call this recipe fajitas, although it is based on the familiar Tex-Mex favorite.

But instead of steak, chicken or shrimp, I opted for very thinly sliced strips of pork tenderloin. To keep the lean pork from drying out and toughening, I used a Chinese technique that calls for coating the strips of meat with cornstarch.

Coating the meat in cornstarch binds the marinade ingredients to create a sauce, and it results in more tender meat by forming a barrier that protects the meat from the intense heat. The result is meat that is so tender it is almost silky. I often use this technique when making stir-fries and it made sense to use it here.

Chicken breasts or thighs can be substituted for the pork with no changes needed.

Pork Fajitas

1 (12- to 16-ounce) pork tenderloin, cut into 1/4-inch strips

½ to 1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon ancho chile powder

¼ teaspoon oregano

2 teaspoons cornstarch

Salt and ground black pepper

2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 poblano pepper, thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper thinly sliced

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lime, halved

Warm flour or corn tortillas, for serving

Desired garnishes such as salsa, cilantro, sliced avocado, sour cream and shredded cheese

In a large bowl, combine the sliced pork, cumin, ancho chile, oregano, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Toss well to coat; set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and onion and cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender and slightly charred.

Meanwhile, in a separate skillet (preferably cast-iron) or grill pan heat the remaining vegetable oil over high heat. Add the pork strips and any accumulated juices and cook, stirring frequently, until pork is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the pepper-onion mixture to the skillet with the pork and stir to combine. Squeeze the lime halves over all.

Serve in warm tortillas with desired toppings.

Makes 3 to 4 servings.

Food on 10/30/2019

Print Headline: Pork strips shake up traditional fajitas

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