Exotically seasoned dishes with Spanish and Afro-Caribbean influences are the perfect complement to balmy weather—and they're surprisingly easy to cook.
Palm tree, wicker, and bamboo accents are the perfect backdrop for any warm weather feast, whether it's Polynesian or Caribbean in theme. This particular summer party features classic Latin American-inspired dishes of simmered meats, rice, beans, yucca and plantains, all brightened by traditional mojo, salsa verde, and sofrito sauces. For the cook, we've assembled a number of crowd- pleasing, easy-to-execute recipes, most of which use standard pantry ingredients. For guests, these richly flavored dishes—washed down with ultra refreshing mojitos—will conjure visions of palm trees swaying to sultry mambos and cha-cha-chas. A table set up in the sun and adorned with colorful, island-inspired motifs is an invitation to linger in the tropical escape of your own backyard.
Our tangy, citrus-infused recipes and palm leaf-bedecked table decorations are synonymous with summer. We take the party outdoors, tiki-style, where the playful prints and bright exotic flavors are just right for celebrating warm, sunny days.
The bold colors of the food play a major role in your table's palette. A rainbow of cut tropical fruit stimulates the eye and the appetite, as do plates full of yellow plantains, black beans, red onions, caramel flan, avocado salad and pink grapefruit daiquiris. Mojitos steeped with fresh, crisp mint are perfect for afternoon sipping.
Set the table with a carefree island spirit as well. Drape a palm tree themed runner casually off-center. Use earthy terra cotta dishes and weighty hand-blown glassware alongside woven baskets, tropical wood and bamboo accents to deliver an easy-going, rustic ambiance.
In cooking, be liberal with the lime, parsley and cilantro. Mojo, a traditional sauce of garlic, parsley, oregano, and white wine makes a light, vinegary marinade for cooking. Salsa verde, the Cuban cousin of chimichurri, is a dipping sauce of garlic, parsley, cilantro, oregano, olive oil and lime juice. Sofrito, with its smoky, cumin-infused tomato and bell pepper base, is an excellent accompaniment for grilled meats and stews.
Finally, cement the cheery, exotic tone with the right soundtrack. Iconic singer Celia Cruz, mambo master Perez Prado and the famous Buena Vista Social Club are our go-tos for this playlist. That leaves only the Cuban cigars to finish the meal. A tasting of Cohibas, Romeo y Julietas and Gloria Cubanas may not be officially on the menu, but would certainly complete the party.
A vintage tiki theme is perfect for your tropical feast. We offer many outdoor dishware collections that are so beautifully designed that it's almost impossible to tell they're made of unbreakable melamine.
The plates of the Luau Collection each feature a different tropical theme. The elaborate Rope Collection pieces have the look of hand-painted Tuscan ceramics, only these are completely shatterproof. Shaped like ivy leaves, the ceramic- like Ivy Figural Salad Plates add a bright splash to outdoor meals.
Icy mojitos and daiquiris are best served in our Mai Tai Glassware. The distinctive green tint of recycled Coke bottles are refined by unique patterns etched by hand. The Tall Mai Tai, Footed Daiquiri, Double Old-fashioned, and large Scorpion Bowl glasses will fill all your summer cocktail needs.
Have fun setting your table with island-themed serving pieces. Accessories like our Palm Entertaining Stand comprised of sculptural metal palm trees, Carved Turtle Cutting Board and Bamboo Flatware are playful yet practical flourishes. Wicker accents like the Glass and Woven Tray, and the All-Weather Flatware Caddy and Chargers add instant tropical flair.