Paella on the Grill: This recipe calls for using a roasting pan on the grill, and it looks so cool. And it features all my paella favorites—chicken thighs, chorizo, shrimp, and clams. (Personally, I’m not a fan of mussels, and squid is pretty hard to cook right in this dish.) Best of all, making something on the grill lets me hang out where the party is.
Big Salad with Make-Ahead Sherry-Shallot Vinaigrette: Given that the main course requires some effort, I keep the rest of the meal simple. Marcona almonds, some Spanish cheeses, and a mix of olives to start. Then a big salad with whatever looks good at the farmer’s market: ideally two or three local greens, thinly sliced radishes, shaved fennel, and a sprinkling of fresh herbs from my garden. The sherry vinegar adds a Spanish touch, and this miracle dressing can be made up to one week in advance.
Cocktail/Beverage: I offer a crisp Albarino from Spain and make The Best Sangria for those who want something red, fruity, and chilled.
Dessert: Orange-Cardamom Latin Flan. This creamy Latin American riff on the Spanish classic is my favorite version of this recipe. This impressive dessert can be made up to four days in advance. And serving something chilled is perfect for summer entertaining.