April 2014 YMCA VIP Dinner Party

We’re doing a dinner party for special friends of the Lancaster Family YMCA, and by popular demand, here is the menu and the recipes.  I won’t repeat the recipes that are already on this blog, but rather I will simply add the link or the search parameter.

The menu:

Roasted Red Pepper Terrine

Baby Spinach and Spring Mix Salad with 18th-Century Dressing

Roasted Salmon with Shallots and Whole-Grain Mustard

Caramelized Leek Risotto

Roasted Broccoli

Almond-Strawberry Shortcakes


Here’s the plan:

Roasted Red Pepper Terrine


4 large red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, sliced & diced

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup feta, crumbled

1 cup goat-cheese chevre (thank you, LindenDale Farms at Central market), or part-skim ricotta

1 tsp fresh or 1 pinch dried oregano

1 tsp fresh or 1 pinch dried basil


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F

2.  Pulse peppers in a food processor until thick paste; add remaining ingredients and process until well blended

3. Pour batter into 6 ramekins; place ramekins into a roasting pan, fill the roasting pan with hot water halfway up the sides of the ramekins

4.  Bake for 60 minutes and test; the terrine is done when a toothpick comes out clean and dry. If the tops begin to brown, cover loosely with foil.  Allow terrine to cool completely, then refrigerate until serving.

5.  Unmold terrines from ramekins and serve with fresh-made crostini and a side of basil pesto.

Crostini:  Slice a whole-wheat baguette to 1/2-inch slices; brush lightly with melted butter infused with garlic and lemon juice, then broil or grill until lightly toasted on both sides. Serve immediately.


Young Spinach and Spring Mix Salad with 18th-Century Dressing

Toss spinach, spring mix, and dressing;  top with crumbled crisp bacon (or turkey bacon), a crumbled hard-cooked egg, and thinly sliced red onion rings.

Dressing:spinach salad 3


1 cup canola oil

1/3 cup tarragon vinegar

1/4 cup honey

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 1/4 tsp table salt

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp celery seed


Combine all ingredients in a large screw-top jar and shake well to blend.

You can substitute cider vinegar and 1/2 tsp tarragon for the tarragon vinegar



Ingredients:JC Salmon

2 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons chopped shallots

4 6-ounce center-cut salmon fillets

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon white wine

1 tablespoon coarse-ground mustard

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.


Coat a 9 x 13 baking dish – use either a glass or enamel-coated baking dish, not a metal dish – with the butter, making sure to coat at least an inch of the sides of the pan. Add the shallots, salt and pepper to the baking dish and toss to mix. Arrange the salmon fillets on top of the shallots and pour 1/2 cup of the wine over the fish.

In a small bowl, mix the remaining tablespoon of wine and the mustard until they are completely blended. Brush the mixture evenly over the salmon, then sprinkle the bread crumbs on top. Bake on the center rack in the oven for 6-8 minutes.

To finish, place the baking dish under the broiler, about 6 inches from the heat and remove the fillets when the bread crumbs begin to slightly brown. Sprinkle the salmon fillets with the parsley and serve immediately with a lemon wedge.

Caramelized Leek Risotto

(2-4 servings)

2 tablespoons butter
1 large leek
salt and pepper
3/4 cup arborio rice
3/4 cup white wine
4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup grated Romano or Parmesan
1 tablespoon freshly minced chives

1.  Trim off the dark green part and root of leek, reserve for a future use. Cut remaining leek in half lengthwise then into 1/3″ half moons, and wash thoroughly, then dry on paper towels.

2.  In a heavy bottomed pot melt butter over medium heat, add leeks and stir to coat. Cook leeks stirring every five minutes or so until they start to brown. Let the leeks lightly brown evenly, turning the heat down a bit if you like as you don’t want them to burn. It should take about 25-45 minutes; patience here is the key.

3.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then add rice. Stir to coat and cook, stirring regularly for 2 minutes. Add wine and continue stirring until two thirds of the wine has evaporated. Start adding chicken stock in 1/2-cup ladelfuls, stirring often.  Reduce the temperature to a very light simmer. Continue adding stock until rice is tender and just a little bit al dente, 25-30 minutes.

4.  Turn off heat and stir in cheese and chives. Taste and correct for seasoning.


Roasted Broccoli and Garlic


1 head broccoli
2 -3 garlic cloves, peeled & coarsely minced
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh Parmesan cheese, shredded


1.  Preheat oven to 400°F.
2.  Cut broccoli into florets and put in a large mixing bowl; add garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss in bowl to coat well.
3.  Place broccoli in a 9×13 casserole dish; roast, uncovered, for 15-25 minutes, until the tops are lightly brown;  broccoli should be tender but slightly crispy.
4.  Remove from oven and sprinkle generously with shredded Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.


Almond Cornmeal Strawberry Shortcakes


6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature, plus a little more to grease the muffin tins
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus a little more for the tins
3/4 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 pound strawberries
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.    Butter and flour 6 jumbo muffin tins (1 cup capacity size), set aside
3.    In food processor, blend 1/2 cup almonds with sugar until finely ground.
4.   Add butter, eggs, vanilla and salt, process until combined, scraping sides of bowl as necessary
5.   Add flour and cornmeal; pulse just until moistened.
6.   Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin tins; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup sliced almonds.
7.   Bake until golden (20-25 minutes), until a toothpick comes out clean.
8.   Cool five minutes in tins, then remove and cool completely on a baker’s rack.

1.   Hull and quarter strawberries.  Combine with 1/3 cup sugar.
2.   Let stand until syrupy, tossing occasionally (at least a half hour, and up to 6 hours, covered and refrigerated)
3.   In a mixing bowl, whip cream with 1 Tbsp sugar until soft peaks form.

To serve:
1.   With a serrated knife, split shortcakes horizontally in half.
2.   Place bottom half on serving plates.
3.   Top with sweetened strawberries, then whipped cream, and cover with shortcake tops.

For a slight variation, add 1 Tbsp Amaretto DiSaronno (did you make your own?  See below) to the strawberries along with the sugar.

Serve immediately.  Makes 6.

About Cheff

Lancaster Eats highlights the best resources our community has to offer. From farmers to markets to vendors to retailers, we highlight those members of our wonderful food community who are striving to improve the presence of the commercial and retail food industry for all the citizens of Lancaster. The food we eat and drink is important to every single one of us, and we believe that everyone is entitled to safe and healthy food and drink. We hope to engage the citizens of our city and county who care about the food we eat and the environment in which we live. We know there are many people in the community who are doing wonderful things that benefit the people of Lancaster, as customers and consumers. We hope you will let us know who they are so that we can learn and inform those who eat and drink. That, as we know, is all of us. We are all in this together. Let's build a community.

Posted on April 26, 2014, in Recommendations. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. The salmon and risotto are my favourites here. For dessert the strawberry shortcakes look delicious too. Thanks for sharing!

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