what are we having for dinner?

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June 16, 2015

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Cuban Picadillo dinner!



Spanish Rice

Green Salad with Lemon Shallot vinaigrette

Cuban Bread

Oreo Cake

Cuban Picadillo

My mother made picadillo regularly when I was growing up in Florida.  I absolutely love the combination of flavors!  This recipe is easy to make, but be aware that it makes A LOT!  I usually freeze half of it to have later, when I’m pressed for time. I found this recipe on mylifeasamrs blog and adapted it.  It doesn’t include raisins as my mother’s did, so you can throw those in if you want to add another layer of flavor ~ 1/2 cup should do it. My husband isn’t a fan, so I left them off this time. Serve picadillo over rice with either cuban or french bread. Buen provecho!


2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

1 green pepper, diced

1 medium sized onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 pounds ground beef

2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp black pepper

3-4 dried bay leaves

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 can diced tomatoes

8 oz tomato sauce

5.75 oz jar of pimento stuffed green olives (about 1 cup)

4 oz jar of chopped pimentos

2 TBSP capers

cayenne to tasteIMG_9598

Add olive oil to a large heavy bottomed pot and heat over medium-high heat. Add green pepper and onion and saute for 2-3 minutes until softened. IMG_9600 Add the garlic and stir for another 30-45 seconds then add ground beef and cook (breaking meat apart with a spatula) until ground beef is fully cooked (about 6-10 minutes). IMG_9601 Add salt, oregano, cumin, pepper, and bay leaves. Stir until combined. Add Vino Seco and allow it to cook for 2-3 minutes. IMG_9602 Add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce and stir until combined. IMG_9603 Lastly add the olive, pimento, capers, and Sazzon & cayenne (if using) and stir to combine. IMG_9604 IMG_9605 Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20-30 minutes (stirring every so often).
You can serve picadillo with steamed white rice, but it’s so much better with yellow saffron rice or Spanish rice.  I picked up easy peasy Spanish Rice from my local Fresh Market.  It’s delicious! IMG_9606


MIXED GREENS SALAD with lemon shallot vinaigrette

I got this dressing from the editor of Bon Appetit magazine years ago.  It’s super easy and quick, and it became my go-to dressing immediately.  Perfect light dressing for a summer evening.

Mixed greens


1 large shallot clove, minced

2 TBSP lemon juice

1 TBSP rice wine vinegar

Salt, to taste ( I usually use ~ 3/4 tsp)

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil IMG_9607 Tear the greens roughly and place in a large salad bowl.  In a small bowl, place the shallot, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar and salt. IMG_9608 Whisk.  Allow to sit for at least 15 minutes.  Whisk in the olive oil and then pour over your greens.

IMG_9609 IMG_9610

My favorite dressing!

OREO CAKE (Adapted from twopeasandtheirpod) IMG_9597 What I SHOULD serve with the picadillo is flan, but I needed to make a birthday cake, so THAT’S what’s for dessert tonight.  It’s not cuban, but it’s pretty darn good.

Chocolate Cake:

2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 large eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk (or use milk + 1 TBSP vinegar to = 1/2 cup)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup butter

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 cup hot water

1 cup chopped Oreo cookies

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 – 8 oz. package cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup butter

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 tsp vanilla extract

Oreo cookies, chopped for topping the cake IMG_9580

To make the sheet cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 11×17 sheet pan with cooking spray or shortening and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt. IMG_9581 In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. IMG_9582 Set aside. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter on medium-low heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder and hot water. IMG_9585 Turn up the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the melted butter mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. IMG_9586 Stir in the egg mixture and mix until ingredients are combined. IMG_9590 Stir in the chopped Oreo cookies. IMG_9591 Pour the batter into the prepared sheet pan and tap on the counter a few times to distribute the cake batter evenly. IMG_9592 Bake the cake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center. While the cake is baking, make the cream cheese frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter, sifted powdered sugar, and vanilla together. IMG_9593 Beat with the beater blade until smooth and creamy. When the cake is completely cool, frost the cake with the cream cheese frosting. Sprinkle the cake with chopped up Oreo cookies. Cut into squares and serve. IMG_9594

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