I get heartburn bad, really bad.
This isn’t your sissy “I need a Tums” indigestion, but the go-see-your-doctor-and-find-out-what-you-have-to-give-up-to-make-it-stop-before-it-kills-you heartburn.
I think it started my first year of college when I was working four different part-time jobs and trying to carry 15 credits. Like the Phoenix, I rose from the ashes of that year with an inferno in my chest, but a nice used car in my driveway.
It wasn’t until a couple of years later (trying to guess how long I’ve been in college? Not telling) that I finally sought medical treatment.
I laughed when my doctor told me what I had to give up to end the pain. The list included coffee, chocolate, tomatoes and most spicy foods, the very four categories I would demand if left on a deserted island. The fifth, obviously, would be all starches.
Well, I compromised with the doc and decided I could possibly limit spicy foods. The rest of the list, of course, would remain staples of my diet and I would continue to suffer. Some days, those that are less stressful, are OK. Others require a sleeve of Tums and a lot of milk.
What I lost in the deal was fire-in-your-mouth, tears-in-your-eyes buffalo wings. Gone also were the regular gut-ripping burritos from Chevy’s. Honestly, I’ve also backed off from the O.J. in the morning and certain Italian dishes laden with tomatoes.
One dish that I could not give up was fajitas. Think caramelized onions, saut/ed green peppers, salsa, guacamole, cheese, great marinades and soft tortillas. Chicken or steak, it doesn’t matter.
Yikes, I need antacids just thinking about this meal.
Generally I don’t make this sizzling dish at home because I would never think twice about hopping in the car and driving 60 miles south to Littleton to indulge in fajitas at The Brewery Bar at the Park Meadows Mall.
Unfortunately, these days I’m too busy, too lazy and too broke to head south too often. To remedy this craving recently I hopped on foodnetwork.com, my favorite stand-by spot for easy recipes.
Going into the search, I knew of only one man to trust with the job: Bobby Flay. Known nationally for his intense flavors and personal style on barbecue and southwestern food, Flay owns four restaurants, including Mesa Grill and Bolo.
I tweaked his creation a bit, but essentially it was grilled chicken breasts marinated in a combo of olive oil, lime juice, jalape/os, poblanos and salt and pepper. Inside the tortillas, there were saut/ed onions and peppers and all the fixin’s.
This food column has garnered me some new friends. Go figure? It has also propelled me off the couch and out from in front of the television. Yes, I’m taking a break from “Sex in the City.”
This week, Aubrey (remember, she’s the picky eater) stopped by and so did my colleagues Kate, Tanner and Justin. Aubrey doused her fajitas with too much sour cream while the rest of us gobbled them down, spiciness and all.
I won’t lie, I slammed a bunch of Tums afterward and prepared for the burning acid to begin attacking me. It wasn’t so bad this time. I must be pretty relaxed.
L’chaim and B’tay Avon (To life and Eat well).
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons lime juice
2 cloves garlic
2 jalapenos, seeded
1 Poblano pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
10 flour tortillas
Flatten chicken breasts to 1/2-inch thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap with a mallet or rolling pin. Place chicken breasts in glass baking dish. In a blender combine oil, limejuice, garlic, jalapeno poblano, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and pour over chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and let chicken marinate for 30 minutes.
In a large skillet over medium heat oil, add onions and peppers and cook until they are tender and begin to brown.
Grill the chicken on each side for 4-5 minutes. To serve, slice chicken into even strips. Serve hot with onions, peppers and all the fixin’s.
Staff writer Liz Sunshine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.