Fajita Panini with Chipotle Mayonnaise

Total Time:
1 hr
20 min
30 min
10 min

4 paninis

  • 1 pound top round sirloin, sliced into 1/4-inch wide strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeds and stem removed and sliced into 1/4-inch wide strips
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed and sliced into 1/4-inch wide strips
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeds and stem removed and sliced into 1/4-inch wide strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch ground black pepper
  • 8 pieces panini bread, cut in 1/2
  • 1 recipe Chipotle Mayonnaise, recipe follows
  • 4 ounces shredded Pepper Jack cheese
  • Pico de Gallo, for garnish
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish
  • Place the sirloin strips, smashed garlic, kosher salt, pepper, lemon juice, and cumin in a plastic zip-top bag or container and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  • Drain and discard the liquid off of the marinated steak, remove and discard the garlic cloves and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add the reserved steak and the bell peppers and cook, stirring 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes, or until the steak is at the desired degree of doneness. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the pepper, remove from the heat and set aside.

  • Spread 1 tablespoon of the Chipotle Mayonnaise over each half of the panini bread. Divide the steak, onion, and pepper mixture over 4 pieces of panini bread. Top with shredded cheese and the other panini half.

  • Heat a panini press or grill pan over high heat. Spread 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil over the top of each panini and 1 tablespoon over the bottom of each panini. When the panini press or grill pan is hot, place the paninis onto the hot surface and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sandwich is golden brown. If using a grill pan, place the sandwich onto the hot surface, place a skillet on top of the sandwich and firmly press down on the skillet to flatten the sandwich. You will need to turn the panini over and repeat the process for another 1 to 2 minutes. Serve hot.

Chipotle Mayonnaise:
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, seeds removed and roughly chopped (about 2 teaspoons)

  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon dried crushed oregano

  • Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend on high until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a clean container and refrigerate until ready to use or serve.

  • Yield: about 3/4 cup

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