Grill your own

James Carrier
Self-serve fajitas star at a Mexican-style outdoor dinner party


As anyone who has entertained outside knows, all of the action at a backyard grilling party takes place around the barbecue. Take advantage of that by letting guests grill tequila-marinated chicken breasts and vegetables for folding into warm tortillas, while others sample chilled tortilla soup and sweet white sangria.

This fun, host-friendly menu incorporates a lot of make-ahead steps, so preparation is easy. You can make the tortilla soup and the bite-size Mexican chocolate streusel brownies the day before the party; place the chicken in the marinade and mix up the sangria a few hours before your guests arrive. Heat up the grill and set out the soup when the doorbell starts ringing, and round out the menu (and accommodate a few more guests) by adding a pot of seasoned pinto beans to the spread, if you like.


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