White SangriaSummer entertaining is great-as long as you don't get stuck in a hot kitchen during your own party. Plan ahead so you can hang with your friends; this menu is loaded with lots of make-ahead dishes, so you can get a lot of the work done in advance and just put the finishing touches on the festive main dish as your guests arrive. This helpful menu planner will tell you what to do when.
First things first, you need a tasty cocktail. Offer this light, festive thirst quencher when your guests arrive.
Active time: 10 minutes | Total: 30 minutes | To make ahead: Prepare through Step 1, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Finish with Step 2 just before serving.
1 1/2 cups mixed colorful bite-size melon pieces, such as cantaloupe, honeydew, Ogen or Charentais
1/3 cup sugar
1 750-ml bottle crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
1/4 cup brandy
2 tablespoons Triple Sec or other orange-flavored liqueur
3/4 cup sparkling water or club soda
Lime or starfruit slices for garnish
Small mint sprigs for garnish
1. Stir melon and sugar together in a large pitcher. Let stand for 15 to 30 minutes to draw out the juices.
2. Just before serving, stir wine, brandy, Triple Sec (or other orange liqueur) and sparkling water (or club soda) into the pitcher. Add ice cubes to 6 glasses. Fill the glasses with the sangria, spooning some of the fruit into each glass. Garnish each drink with a slice of lime (or starfruit) and a sprig of mint.
Makes 6 servings, 1 cup each.
Per serving: 199 calories; 0 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrate; 0 g protein; 0 g fiber; 14 mg sodium; 192 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (20% daily value), Vitamin A (15% dv). 1 1/2 Carbohydrate Servings. Exchanges: 1 1/2 other carbohydrate.
What else is on the menu?
Green Olive & Almond Spread-Serve this simple but unique spread with zucchini or cucumber rounds or fire-toasted thin baguette slices.
Grilled Tomato Gazpacho-Grill the vegetables for this refreshing soup earlier in the day or even the night before. Try serving the gazpacho in clear Spanish wine tumblers to show off the rich color.
Summer Paella-Paella started as an outdoor dish. Grilling seafood, zesty sausage and vegetables before combining them with saffron-scented rice replicates that traditional character. This takes a little planning to get everything finished as needed, but the results are worth it. The first time, for simplicity, do the grilling and slicing before cooking the rice. If you have a side-by-side grill and burner, later you can perform both tasks simultaneously, which makes you look like a cooking wizard. Note that perfectly done paella rice will be dry and the slightest bit toothsome: it's not creamy or overly moist.
Grilled Peaches & Angel Food Cake with Red-Wine Sauce-Grilling luscious seasonal fruit is the perfect way to end an outdoor celebration. Here, peaches soften and caramelize over a moderate fire before melding with a fruity red-wine sauce and toasted slices of (store-bought) angel food cake.
By Carolyn Malcoun
When associate editor Carolyn Malcoun came to Vermont to attend New England Culinary Institute, she knew she didn't want to work in a restaurant but knew that she wanted to do something in the food industry. Luckily she discovered EatingWell, where she's able to combine her love of food and writing.
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