Cumin is definitely my all-time favorite spice. Just by opening the jar I am enveloped in a warm puff of brown smoke, flown to an exotic land that is a direct contrast to Boston’s cold, drizzly day.
Foodie confession: I use cumin in everything.
From a rustic vegetarian chili, to a spicy Indian curry, to some salmon I’m just throwing on the grill, just a little (or a lot?) of cumin adds such a depth of flavor and fun that you really can’t go wrong. I’ve been known to go on cumin overload, dumping almost half my jar into whatever is simmering in the pan. But honestly, it just makes the dish better.
My Mom was visiting for the day yesterday and suggested I try serving up some of her quick and easy weeknight fajitas. When I realized that one of the five ingredients (and only spice) was cumin I knew that these sizzling babies were going to be on the menu. They didn’t disappoint. I threw them together in less than 20 minutes, perfect timing between Z coming home and my online class starting. And with just a few accompaniments of fresh salsa verde and a dollop of sour cream, you don’t need all of the usual cheese and tomato shebang. You just savor the cumin and lime juice in all of its glory.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 chicken breasts, sliced into 1″ strips
1 onion, sliced into 1″ strips
1 green pepper, sliced into 1″ strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 – 3 tablespoons of cumin
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Salt and pepper
Corn or flour tortillas, salsa verde, and sour cream to serve
Heat the oil in a non-stick pan. Add the onion, pepper, and garlic and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
Add the chicken strips and cook until no longer pink in the middle, about 5 minutes.
Add the cumin and toss the chicken and vegetable mixture until everything is nicely coated and the cumin almost forms a paste. Add the lime juice and stir throughout.
Lucky me, I have enough leftovers for fajita salad for lunch tomorrow! If only I could make a cumin salad dressing too.