This is the season for casual outdoor entertaining and here is my Southwestern Menu for Summer. Having a set menu is half the work and making it more than once, for different people, is a smart way to entertain.

I’ll probably serve this exact menu to two different groups of people over the summer and I might even make it once for myself, just because I love the unique flavours and the combination of it all together.

Dinner Club - A Southwestern Menu for Summer
Dinner Club – A Southwestern Menu for Summer

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Gourmet Dinner Club

My friends and I refer to our Gourmet Dinner Club simply as Gourmet. We’ve been meeting since 1988 so have enjoyed a lot of meals together. At one time it was all about the challenge; trying new dishes and cuisines and searching for exotic ingredients we had never heard of. Now it’s more about actually getting together.

With busy schedules picking a date is now the most challenging part. We haven’t kept meticulous records but some recipes and menus have become cherished favourites. For me both the Grilled Shrimp Martini and the Aztec Chocolate Ice Cream are standout recipes that I try to incorporate into my summer entertaining menus every year.

Dinner Club – A Southwestern Menu For Summer

Grilled Shrimp Martinis – be sure to serve these in martini glasses for that wow presentation.

Grilled Shrimp Martinis served on a dock.
Grilled Shrimp Martini -photo credit Jim Little


Grilled Achiote Chicken with Balsamic Marinated Grilled Vegetables

Slices of grilled Achiote Chicken from Yucatan.
Grilled Achiote Chicken -photo credit Jim Little

Saffron Rice

A dish of fragrant Saffron Rice
Fragrant Saffron Rice -photo credit Jim Little


Aztec Chocolate Ice Cream – I make the glaze and the custard for this homemade ice cream in advance. When the first guests arrive I ask them to turn the crank and freeze it in my Donvier ice cream maker.

Scoops of Aztec Chocolate Ice Cream with lime glaze.
Aztec Chocolate Ice Cream -photo credit Jim Little


I encourage to stretch beyond the typical backyard barbecue this season. Whether you are cooking for friends or have started a Dinner Club I hope you’ll consider this Southwestern Summer Menu. Let me know if you did in the comments below.

More Dinner Club Menus

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