As lazy summer afternoons drift into starry evenings, the casual summer entertaining bug bites.
Whether you're on the patio, porch, deck or enjoying indoor comfort, easy summer entertaining calls for contemporary flavors. Summer appetites are heightened by dishes with big flavors, lots of color and simple, seasonal ingredients.
Beckon your guests with a menu that starts with stylish appetizers. Finger foods like bruschetta and colorful salsa for dipping help set the welcoming tone. Nothing says "summer" like something cooked outdoors, and a super-flavorful basting sauce will keep any entrée moist over a hot grill.
The right mix of food, people and atmosphere makes for a flavor-packed recipe for a memorable summer evening.
Honey Mustard Salmon
Preparation Time: 10 minutes. Cook Time: 15 minutes. Serves 4
1/2 cup real mayonnaise
2 tablespoons deli mustard
2 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 salmon fillets or steaks (about 1 pound)
In medium bowl, combine all ingredients except salmon. Reserve 1/3 of mayonnaise mixture.
Grill or broil salmon, brushing with remaining mayonnaise mixture, until salmon flakes with a fork, turning once. Serve salmon with reserved mayonnaise mixture and garnish, with green onions.
Nutrition information per serving: 330 calories, 230 calories from fat, 25g total fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 60mg cholesterol, 360mg sodium, 7g total carbohydrate, 0g dietary fiber, 6g sugars, 19g protein
Black Bean Salsa
Preparation Time: 10 minutes. Serves 4.
1/4 cup mayonnaise flavored with lime juice
1/4 cup Crema Mexicana or heavy cream
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1, 19-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1, 11-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
In medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, Crema Mexicana, vinegar, cumin, salt and pepper. Add remaining ingredients except chips and toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve, if desired, with lime wedges and chips.
Nutrition information per serving: 640 calories, 140 calories from fat, 16g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 15mg cholesterol, 570mg sodium, 98g total carbohydrate, 22g dietary fiber, 3g sugars, 31g protein
Warm Gingered Chicken Salad
with Crispy Greens
Preparation Time: 20 minutes. Cook Time: 12 minutes. Serves 4
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon orange juice
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/4 pounds)
6 cups torn romaine lettuce leaves
1 small bunch watercress (optional)
4 ounces snow peas (optional)
2 oranges, peeled and sectioned or 1, 11-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained (optional)
In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, ginger and salt. Reserve 1/4 cup mayonnaise mixture for grilling. Stir orange juice into remaining mayonnaise mixture; reserve for greens.
Grill or broil chicken, brushing with reserved 1/4 cup mayonnaise mixture, 12 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked, turning once.
In large bowl, toss lettuce and watercress with reserved orange juice mixture. To serve, arrange sliced chicken over greens, then top with snow peas and oranges.
Nutrition information per serving: 400 calories, 220 calories from fat, 24g total fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 80mg cholesterol, 390mg sodium, 18g total carbohydrate, 4g dietary fiber, 5g sugars, 30g protein
Creamy Artichoke Bruschetta
Preparation Time: 15 minutes. Cook Time: 1 minute. Makes 20 appetizers
1, 16-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped drained sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 loaf Italian or French bread (about 15 inches long), cut into 1/2-inch slices and toasted
In small bowl, combine all ingredients except bread. Evenly spread artichoke mixture on toasted bread. Broil 1 minute or until golden. Serve immediately.
Nutrition information per serving: 90 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 170mg sodium, 11g total carbohydrate, 0g dietary fiber, 0g sugars, 2g protein
Keeping summer dishes healthy
Making smart decisions for healthy summer menus has never been easier -- there are great choices already in your pantry.
A staple in many kitchens, Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise adds flavor and moisture to basting sauces, marinades and dressings, while providing essential healthy fats and oils, and as always, no carbs.
Containing a healthy balance of mono- and polyunsaturated fats, Hellmann's contains omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. Made with simple, wholesome ingredients like oil, eggs, vinegar and salt, Hellmann's contains no trans fats, which are linked with an increased risk of heart disease. For more information, please visit www.mayo.com.
From Family Features Editorial Syndicate