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!

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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.

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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.

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