When planning a menu for a pool party , select a variety of cold and hot (preferably grilled) dishes. Serve small, light bites buffet-style all day, replenishing plates as they go empty.
Offer guests a cool treat the moment they arrive in the form of watermelon wedges with lime ice. Served with tortilla chips, shrimp and avocado ceviche make a nice alternative to classic guacamole.
Skewered hot dogs with toasted croissants and spicy, cold gazpacho round out the menu. For these delicious recipes please, .
1 1/4 cups lime sugar, recipe below
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups water
4 whole star anise (optional)
1 3/4 cups fresh lime juice (10 limes)
1/2 chilled watermelon, cut into slices or wedges
- Boil sugars, water, and star anise, stirring, until sugars are dissolved.
- Pour syrup through a fine sieve into a bowl, discarding solids. Cool syrup.
- Stir in lime juice.
- Freeze in a 13- by 9- by 2-inch glass dish, stirring occasionally with a fork, until liquid is frozen and granular, about 6 hours.
- Serve lime ice on watermelon.
Make ahead: lime ice may be made 2 days ahead and kept frozen, covered.
Lime Sugar 
2 1/4 cups sugar*
- Remove zest from limes in strips with a vegetable peeler and cut away any white pith from zest (pith imparts a bitter flavor).
- Chop zest (about 1/2 cup), then grind in a food processor with sugar until mixture is pale green with bits of zest still visible.
Makes about 3 cups.
Make ahead: lime sugar may be made 3 days ahead and kept, chilled, in an airtight container.
*The sugar becomes aerated in the food processor; do not pack when measuring.
- Fruit, Appetizers
- North American
2 pounds medium shrimp
1/4 cup (about 3 limes total) freshly squeezed lime juice
6 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
2 to 4 Serrano chiles, finely chopped
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
2 large ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons salt
Tortilla chips, for serving
- Fill a large pot with 1 quart water. Cut 4 limes in half, and squeeze their juice into pot; add lime halves. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat; let mixture steep about 10 minutes. Return to a boil.
- Add shrimp to pot. As soon as water returns to a rolling boil, pour shrimp mixture into a colander; discard cooking liquid and limes.
- Return shrimp to pot; cover, and let stand 15 minutes.
- Transfer shrimp to a baking sheet and spread them out; let stand until cool enough to handle.
- Peel and devein shrimp, and cut into thirds. Transfer to a medium bowl; stir in 1/4 cup lime juice and the scallions, chiles, vinegar, thyme, and oregano. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- When ready to serve, stir avocados, cilantro, and salt into shrimp mixture. Serve with tortilla chips.
Serves 8 to 10.
- Seafood, Appetizers
- South American
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
6 cups finely shredded green cabbage (from 1/2 small head)
3 fresh red chiles such as Fresno, seeded and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 croissants, split but still attached on one side
4 large hot dogs
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
- In a large bowl, stir the honey with the sherry vinegar until the honey is dissolved. Add the shredded cabbage and red chiles, season with salt and toss. Let stand until the cabbage is slightly softened, tossing a few times, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, blend the butter and the mustard. Gently spread the cut sides of the croissants with the butter.
- Light a grill. Thread each hot dog lengthwise onto a thick metal or wooden skewer. With a small, sharp knife, make cuts at an angle in 3 rows down each hot dog, about 1/2 inch apart, cutting partway into the hot dog. The cuts should look like rounded half circles. Lightly run the knife down the center of the cuts to halve the half circles.
- On a large plate, mix the ketchup with the soy sauce, oil and garlic. Turn to coat each hot dog with the mixture.
- Grill the croissants over high heat, cut side down, until toasted, about 30 seconds. Turn and grill the other side for about 10 seconds.
- Grill the hot dogs over high heat all over, until nicely charred and the cuts open up, about 2 minutes total; the hot dogs should resemble pine cones.
- Mound the cabbage salad on one half of each croissant, set the hot dogs on top and serve.
- Main Dishes, Sandwiches
- North American
3 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into large chunks
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into large chunks
1 small yellow onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into large chunks
1 mild green chile pepper or jalapeño, seeded and cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, cut into chunks
water, if needed
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange or pineapple juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Place tomatoes, cucumber, onion, red bell pepper, green chile pepper and garlic in a large bowl.
- In batches, puree vegetables in a blender or food processor until smooth, adding a little water if mixture seems too thick. Strain each batch through a medium sieve to remove peel and seeds.
- Whisk in the orange or pineapple juice along with the salt. Chill well before serving.
Nutrition Info: Per serving (About 17oz/490g-wt.): 100 calories (10 from fat), 1g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 4g protein, 22g total carbohydrate (6g dietary fiber, 14g sugar), 0mg cholesterol, 320mg sodium
- Other, Soups/Stews