November 6, 2011
A Friday Night Affair

The plan was simple: cook dinner in PJs, drink wine in PJs, hang out in PJs…and go no where.

Step one: figure out what we want to cook. Thankfully, my friends and I are of a similar mindset, and so we started menu planning early on Friday afternoon. We emailed recipes around, coming up with ideas, and thinking about what might be delicious. Finally we landed on the following: carnitas, tortilla soup, guasacaca sauce, homemade tortilla chips, and salad.

The carnitas are basically little delicious morsels of pork that are marinated in cumin and garlic and other delicious things, before simmering in their own juices for about half an hour. At the last minute you throw in a little milk which then caramelizes and makes even more deliciousness.

The tortilla soup was a hodge-podge of different recipes and ideas, but it was basically stock, tomato sauce, sauteed carrots/onions/peppers, and a bunch of spices. The one interesting addition was lime juice - I put some in half way through and then the rest we used as a garnish at the end for a hint of freshness.

Guasacaca sauce is an avocado-based salsa with cilantro, parsley, lime juice, and some other stuff that I can’t remember. (Colleen was in charge of the sauce.) It was a deliciously fresh topping, and also worked well as a dip for the homemade tortilla chips that we made by cutting corn tortillas into triangles and tossing them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and cumin. They went in the oven at 450 for about 10 minutes.

Salad was just about the same one that I made the other night, with carrots, cranberries, parmesan cheese, romaine lettuce, and this one also had green peppers and avocado thrown in. The dressing was a dijon balsamic vinaigrette.

The table was covered with little bowls of all different kinds of toppings, it was hard to choose, so we mostly just went with a little of everything.

Colleen’s bowl was certainly the most artfully put together:

Overall, a wonderful dinner with lovely friends - the perfect way to spend a relaxing Friday evening.

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