Cuban Picadillo

To me, Monday nights can require a little festivity to get the week jump-started. I had some ground beef (vegetarians stop reading) and wanted to do something different with it, so I thought of Picadillo. I'm a native Floridian, born in Miami. Throughout my childhood, Cuban and Puerto Rican food has always been something I crave. You can get the recipe from Saveur magazine here. The recipe is part of a story called Mariana's Havana which says "in the kitchens of Cuba's venerable revolutionaries, the flame of traditional cooking still burns bright with lots of authentic Havana recipes." I loved the ingredients: green olives, capers, raisins, sherry, and scallions. First step requires mixing it all together and refrigerating it for 30 minutes. While that was cooling, I made rice the cuban way, starting with olive oil in a cast iron pan and frying the rice until it turns white. Then I added the water and half an onion cut into quarters. I used basmati, so the flavor was really nutty and really tasty. Dessert, you ask? A quick, easy Meyer Lemon cake mix from Trader Joe's. Mix it up, into the 9" square pan it went, and in 25 minutes a nice little cake. TJ's makes really good quality mixes; minimal ingredients and no preservatives. Yum!

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