(Family Features) Warmer months provide the perfect opportunity to entertain your nearest and dearest outside, whether it's a casual back yard cookout or an elegant dinner on the patio. When preparing for a gathering, think about the overall flavors of your meal and look for recipes that incorporate similar ingredients.
If you're going for a Southwestern theme, look for dishes that call for fresh tomatoes, onions and cilantro. For a Mediterranean or Italian meal, try recipes with onions, garlic and parsley. No matter the occasion, opt for simple, flavorful and quality ingredients to add some extra panache to your favorite dishes.
When entertaining, remember that while your focus should be on the main dish, providing appetizers that complement the meal can keep guests happy while you finish cooking. And when deciding what to serve, remember that easy crowd favorites are often best.
For example, you can serve a colorful display of sliced celery, carrots, bell peppers and fresh bread with a gourmet cheese spread like Boursin Garlic & Herb Gourmet Spreadable. The rich flavor and light, spreadable texture will pair nicely with crisp seasonal vegetables for an appetizer that will impress your guests and leave you with plenty of time to focus on the main course.
On warm afternoons and evenings, serving an array of refreshing beverages like cucumber, lemon or strawberry-flavored water is sure to be a hit. If you want to add a sophisticated touch, offer your guests sparkling mineral water in addition to still water. And no matter what beverages you serve, make sure the ice bucket is always full.
For an elegant yet casual dinner party, try these flavorful Stuffed Mushrooms paired with seasonal Grilled Salmon and Cucumber Radish Relish.
For more easy and delicious recipes for appetizers, entrees and even desserts, visit www.boursincheese.com/recipes.
Grilled Salmon and Cucumber Radish Relish
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1/4 cup julienne radish
2 tablespoons each lemon juice
chopped scallion to taste
chopped dill or parsley to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
In medium bowl, combine cucumber, radish, lemon juice, scallion and dill. Season with salt and pepper.
4 8-ounce salmon fillets
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1 package (5.2 ounces) Boursin Shallot & Chive
Preheat grill or broiler on high. Sprinkle salmon fillets with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Grill or broil about 8 minutes. Spoon about 3 tablespoons Boursin on top of each fillet; continue cooking for another 2 minutes, until salmon is cooked through and Boursin has softened.
Serve with Cucumber Radish relish.
Makes: About 16 mushrooms
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
1 package (10 ounces) white mushrooms
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup unseasoned dry breadcrumbs
1 package (5.2 ounces) Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Remove and chop mushroom stems. In 12-inch skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat and cook mushroom stems and onions, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until tender.
In medium bowl, pour mushroom mixture over breadcrumbs. Stir in Boursin, parsley, salt and pepper. Evenly spoon mushroom mixture into mushroom caps; arrange on baking sheet.
Bake 20 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender and golden. Sprinkle with cheese.