Cooking at Home: Friday Night Dinners

ninainthechiUncategorized%s Comments

taco salad bar

Something we have gotten away from in the last few months has been Friday dinner at home. Work stress, general busy-ness, laziness…whatever it has been, eating out all weekend has become a thing. But with Spring seemingly here and a glorious weekend ahead with nothing planned, it was time to bring Friday nights home again.

I was in Colorado last week and had the most amazing roasted tomato salsa so with that as inspiration, I decided on a taco salad bar. The term “taco” is used very lightly here as I think the only thing Mexican about this meal is the fact that I made salsa, used chili powder on the protein and sliced up avocado and cilantro. But whatever. I wanted fresh and I wanted healthy and for full disclosure, I wanted wine because goodgodthisweek.

My favorite thing about meals like this is that while there is some prep time involved, it’s every man for themselves once you put each ingredient out. My husband wasn’t forced to eat kale if he didn’t want to and I was free to load up on green goodness, bypassing the steak. Everybody wins and at the end of the meal, we both agreed we need to do this for a dinner party soon.

Roasted Tomato Salsa

3 pints cherry tomatoes

1 poblano pepper

1 red onion

4 cloves garlic

handful cilantro

salt & pepper

Arrange the tomatoes, the poblano, garlic and onion (cut in thick slices) on a large baking tray. Season with salt and pepper and place under the broiler until they start to brown. You may have to remove the pepper and garlic early as they brown faster. After everything is roasted, place in a food processor with the cilantro and pulse until it’s at the consistency you want (I like mine well mixed but just before pureed). My food processor is small so I did this in a few batches and combined in a large bowl to stir everything together at the end.

Salad Ingredients

mixed greens

lacinato kale


asparagus (blanched)

sweet potatoes (roasted with a touch of honey and pepper)

red pepper (roasted)

red onion (leftover from the salsa, roasted)

shrimp (pan seared with lime juice, cilantro and chili powder)

skirt steak (pan seared with chili powder, salt, pepper and butter)

shrimp salad

{A pile of salad-y goodness for me}

steak salad

{Steak with a side of salad for my husband}

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As for the wine, I broke into our latest shipment of Club W. This monthly wine club is a lot of fun because I get to select what bottles arrive and with the sommelier videos on the app, sometimes I try things I might pass over at the wine store or have never heard of. This bottle of Valdiguie fit the bill last night as 1) I drank it while cooking per their suggestion, 2) it was red, 3) it was wine.

Friday night dinners at home are back.