If you know me, you know I love hosting a good dinner party. I like to get elaborate with the meals I plan, test new things out on friends and showcase my recent obsessions and learnings. Ryan’s observation of me during the dinner parties is usually sipping on wine and focusing on the food prep instead of chatting with our guests. So we decided to put our heads together and consider which recipes I cook that would work well for a low-key dinner party where I can be more engaged with our guests than prepping our grub.
So I tried sheet tray fajitas for a dinner party we hosted this past Saturday evening. All you need to master this is two baking sheets, some good spices and the ability to chop all of the vegetables to relatively the same size. To plus up the meal, we prepared some guacamole (with help from our dear friend, Laurent) and a wonderfully fresh corn salsa.
Before our friends arrived, I prepped all of the vegetables for the fajitas and stored in a plastic bag in the fridge. At this point I should have also prepped the vegetables for the corn salsa and the guacamole, but there was so much to do and too little time to do it in. Around 30 minutes prior to sitting down to dinner, I seasoned the fajita vegetables and preheated the oven. While the oven preheated, Laurent and I prepped the guacamole and the corn salsa – we were all a few margaritas in (frozen peach margarita recipe below!) so I needed a bit of help (and company in the kitchen to pull everything together).
The dinner party was a success! Even though we sat down around 9:30pm for dinner because I was distracted by fun conversations, rendered unmotivated by margaritas, and everyone had bellies full of chips and salsa, we still sat around the table four around 2 hours. We finished off the meal with blueberry pie and vanilla ice cream and curled into bed around midnight – happy, full and exhausted.
Find all of the recipes below.
Fresh Peach Frozen Margaritas:
- 4 fresh peaches (I sliced mine earlier in the week and frozen them)
- 3 tablespoons of lime juice
- 1 1/4 cup of tequila
- 1/2 cup of triple sec
- 3 tablespoons of honey
- 2 cups of ice
Add all of the ingredients to the blender and combine until smooth. Pour into 4 margaritas glasses. If you prefer your margarita with salt like me, prior to pouring, rim the glass with a bit of lime juice and coat with salt.
Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas:
Serves 4 + left overs
- 40 large shrimp (I used frozen, shelled and cleaned)
- 1 red onion, halved and sliced
- 4 bell peppers; different colors, seeded and sliced*
- 1 jalapeno, sliced (seeded if you want less heat)
- 1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
- 1/3 cup of olive oil, divided
- 4 teaspoons of chili powder, divided
- 2 teaspoons of cumin, divided
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- crushed red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- 10 medium sized flour tortillas (2 packets of 5 wrapped in foil)
- shredded mexican cheese, greek yogurt, avocado, hot sauce and cilantro for topping
*Note: be sure to slice all of your veggies the same size to they cook evenly
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (if you oven has the convection option, use this) and line two baking sheets with foil.
In a large bowl, add all the the veggies. To the bowl add 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of chili powder, 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, a pinch of red pepper flakes and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Mix the ingredients in the bowl until the vegetables are evenly coated.
When oven comes to temp, arrange the vegetables in a single layer on one foil-lined pan and place on the middle rack and set the timer for 20 minutes.
In a medium sized bowl, add the shrimp (tails removed). Add the remaining oil and seasoning. Mix together so shrimp are evenly coated and arrange them in a single layer on the remaining sheet pan.
When the timer goes off on the vegetables, check them. Do you like how they have browned and are happy with how they are cooked? Pull them out. I like my vegetables a bit more brown so I let the vegetables stay in while the shrimp roasts. For the shrimp, place them on the top rack of your oven and cook anywhere from 6 to 8 minutes making sure that the shrimp is pink and firm (not translucent and blue). At this point, I also like to heat up the tortilla foil packets in the oven too.
When the shrimp are done, arrange two tortillas per plate. Place a portion of vegetables on each tortilla followed by 5 shrimp. Top the shrimp with any mix of the toppings that suits your taste (including the corn salsa and guacamole recipes below).
- 2 ears of corn
- 1 jalapeno
- 1/3 cup of cilantro, chopped with tender stems
- 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
- 1/2 red onion red onion, chopped
- salt to taste
Boil ears of corn in a pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes
- 2 avocados, diced
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1/3 cup of cilantro, chopped
- 5 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- juice from 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
In a medium bowl, mashed the avocados until they reach a consistency you prefer. Fold in the red onion, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice and vinegar. Taste and season with salt and pepper until you are happy with the seasoning.