By Karin Calloway

Karin Calloway is a working mom living in Augusta, Ga., with multiple freelance jobs and a ton of dirty dishes.

Sophisticated Southwestern

Southwestern cuisine is most often associated with Tex-Mex items like grilled steak fajitas. And while fajitas are great for casual entertaining, the flavors of the Southwest can be featured in an elegant dinner party menu.

Our Sophisticated Southwestern menu serves six to eight, and starts with a luscious Chilled Avocado-Lime Soup. The soup is topped with a dollop of Crab Ceviche, making this a company-worthy starter.

You can't have Southwestern cooking without a little spice, and Chile-Rubbed Tenderloin uses a Southwestern seasoning blend that you can purchase at your supermarket to give this elegant cut of beef loads of flavor. Salsa is a Southwestern staple, and here the fresh salsa ingredients are broiled and blended into a Roasted Salsa Puree. This fat-free sauce is full of complex flavors! A dollop of Avocado Relish and a scattering of crumbled feta are the finishing flourishes.

Coming up with Southwestern side dishes usually means serving some sort of rice and beans, but Cumin-Cheddar Mashed Potatoes have Southwestern flavor and will satisfy your "meat and potatoes" guests. Southwestern Succotash is a veggie-packed sauté that's flavored with cumin.

A Frozen Strawberry Margarita Pie is the perfect finale, and is a snap to prepare with a Viking Food Processor. A pretzel crust adds a nice salty crunch, and fresh orange zest adds extra character to the filling.


Recipes:

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
These potatoes are flavored with fresh rosemary and are roasted along with some quartered shallots and whole garlic cloves. The potatoes also make an excellent accompaniment to grilled or broiled steak
Chile-Rubbed Tenderloin with Roasted Salsa Puree, Crumbled Feta and Avocado Relish
This Chile-Rubbed Tenderloin with “Roasted Salsa” Puree, Crumbled Feta and Avocado Relish packs loads of Southwestern flavor and can be the feature of a sophisticated dinner party menu.
Frozen Strawberry Margarita Pie
Frozen pies are the perfect, cool way to end a summer meal, and they’re a boon for busy cooks since they must be made in advance. My Frozen Strawberry Margarita Pie is the perfect finale to a Southwestern menu, and can be whipped up in a snap in your Viking Food Processor.