This dish was inspired by a Cuban Dish, Vaca Frita. Instead making the beef crispy we stir fried it and seasoned it with fresh lime juice. Served with a simple Avocado Salad with thin slices of red onion. A light and refreshing dinner, perfect for a hot summer night or a cold San Francisco one!
I was inspired to make this dish after reading an article in Food and Wine magazine about Cuban Food. I have always been intrigued about Cuban food, even though, I have never had it. Lenny has had bad experiences with it and thinks it is all about grilled cheese (??). When I told him about this woman, Lourdes Castro, that I read about and that I was going to try out or sort of try out a recipe, he just said, “we’ll see”! I always love to hear a story about a cook and/or chef who is self taught, something romantic about it. Lourdes Castro did not learn from her mother, in fact, she said her mother is a bad cook. She did not become interested in food until she went to college in NY and then she became a self taught chef. She hosts cooking classes about Cuban Food and has written cookbooks. She shared a recipe for Vaca Frita: Crispy Beef, which is a beef dish that is marinated in lime juice and then cooked until crispy. Unfortunately, when I read the recipe (or thought I read the recipe), I neglected to see that I needed a green pepper and that I needed to boil the meat, let it marinate for an hour and a half and then cook it crispy; there was no way this was going to happen on a work out night.
Instead, I sliced the meat thinly and then I sauteed it with garlic and onions and seasoned it with lots of fresh lime juice and salt and pepper. Served along side was a simple avocado salad and warmed corn tortillas. The lime juice in the meat was a great compliment to the creamy avocado and red onions. This dish was flavorful, very easy to make and a big hit! The only thing missing was a mojito!
Recipe: Lime Infused Beef Stir Fry
1 lb beef flank, grass fed preferred, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt, to taste
fresh cracked pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Saute the onions until caramelized, about 15 – 20 minutes. Add the garlic, stir and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Raise the heat to a high medium, add the beef, and quickly stir fry until cooked to your liking. Add the onion mixture and the lime juice. Stir and cook for about 3 – 5 minutes, until fragrant and heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve. Eat.
Recipe: Avocado Salad
2 avocados, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 of a small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
sea salt, to taste
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
Arrange the avocado and onion slices on a plate. Drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with the sea salt and pepper. Serve. Eat.