Glenhardie Dinner Club

A regular customer of ours, John Mc Allistar, belongs to the Glenhardie Dinner Club.  It’s a group of folks who get together for fun meals.  I first met John though a fellow employee, Russ Thornburn.  I haven’t seen Russ in a while – he’s been transferred to another store – but I see John regularly.  We always have some interesting chats about food or whatever…  He dropped off the menu and recipes for their “Men’s Night” Dinner coming up next week.  I thought I should share it.

The theme of the 2008 dinner is Venetian Style.


Hors d’oeuvre

Anchovie Y Pane

Venetian Delight


Ricotta Stuffed Ravioli with Vodka Cream Sauce

Seared Scallops with Aioli Sauce


Mixed Greens with Prosciutto, Blue Cheese, Walnuts, and Dried Fig Vinaigrette


Carvella Limoncello Origainale  d’Italia


Parmesan Crusted Tilapia with Sautéed Tomatoes


Sabayon with Strawberries


Domaine La Hitaire Les Tour (Pa #22111) …. (White)

Serves 10

This Venetian delight is known around the world for it’s distinct flavor, which is most pleasing and which surrounds the taste buds with positive satisfaction.

Preparation is rather simple. However the secret is in the ingredients, which while not hard to find, usually requires a trip to an Italian specialty store and a trip to an Italian bakery on the day which it will be prepared and served
• 1 small jar of anchovies in oil which contains approximately 50 anchovies
Source of Ingredients: Anchovies – Carlino’s in Ardmore or West Chester

• 1 loaf of freshly baked Italian bread stick approx. 1½ inches in diameter*
Source of Ingredients: Bread – BakeMiester in Norristown
1. Cut the bread in medallions approx. 3/8 inches thick approximately 30 medallions
2. Arrange the medallions on a serving tray
3. Prepare an hour before serving to prevent the bread from drying
4. Remove the anchovies from the jar one by one with a fork
5. Place 2 anchovies on each medallion in the shape of the “support our troops ribbon”
6. Serve


Serves 10

Overview: A truly remarkable sampling of some of the cuisine that has made Venetian recipes famous worldwide. It will be an adventure to be remembered for its exquisite taste, its elegant presentation as well as its distinct ability to truly blend with your favorite aperitif. You will be on a palate journey which you will long remember and often duplicate!
• One quarter pound each of Genoa salami, hot capacola, mortadella
• 1 stick of Margarita brand pepperoni
• ½ Pound each of provolone cheese and fontinello cheese
• 1 10oz jar of roasted peppers
• 1 can of artichoke hearts in water
• 1-pint container of assorted olives – for best presentation mix green, ripe and cured olives
• 1 loaf of fresh Italian bread
• Source of Ingredients: Everything can be obtained at Carlino’s in Ardmore or West Chester
1. Cut the pepperoni into small slices and make a pile on the tray
2. Cut the cheese into bite size slices and make a row around the small piles of meat
3. Cut the roasted peppers and place in an area of the tray
4. Place the artichoke hearts in an area of the tray
5. Place the olives in an area of the tray
6. For best presentation use your artistic ability to blend the colors in a pleasing culinary picture and have a serving fork on the tray
7. Finally slice the bread into small slices and place in a separate basket
8. Preparation: Roll the individual slices of meat and make individual piles on a large tray
9. Serving: Small plates and individual forks are needed


Serves 8
• 24 fresh ravioli stuffed with Ricotta cheese *
• 1 Container Vodka Cream sauce*
* Note: Purchase at the Sassano’s stand at the Strafford Farmers’ Market. Call (610) 688-1399 early on Wednesday to order raviolis and sauce for pickup on Saturday or Friday. Necessary since Sassano’s changes the fresh raviolis they carry week to week.
1. Boil Water in suitable pot
2. Add raviolis and cook for eight minutes or until “entire” raviolis is tender
3. Concurrently …Warm Vodka sauce in microwave
4. Place three ravioli on a small plate
5. Top with Vodka Cream sauce and serve .


Serves 8

Aioli Sauce: Makes 1 cup, enough for 16 Scallops
• 6 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• White pepper to taste
• 1 cup of Olive Oil
• Juice of one fresh lemon
• Zest of one fresh lemon, minced
• ½ teaspoon of cold water

1. Place minced garlic cloves in a bowl and whisk together with the egg yolks and salt. .
2. Very slowly, and whisking constantly, add the olive oil.
3. Whisk in the lemon juice, lemon zest and cold water.
4. Add white pepper to taste.
5. Put in a salad dressing cruet and refrigerate until ready to use
6. Bring to room temperature before serving. If it separates, shake, stir or whisk vigorously!

• 2 large dry scallops per person
(with tough muscle removed from side of each)
• 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
• 2 cloves of garlic, minced
• Salt and White pepper to taste

7. Wash scallops and pat very dry (necessary for proper searing).
8. Season with salt and pepper.
9. Heat olive oil and minced garlic in a medium-hot skillet.
10. Sear the scallops for 4 or 5 minutes per side. Do not overcook!
• 1 lb. of fresh baby spinach, washed and rough chopped
• 1 medium shallot, minced
• 1 bunch of scallions, finely chopped
• 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, minced

11. Heat olive oil in large fry pan over medium heat.
12. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds.
13. Add spinach, shallots and scallions; toss until barely wilted and still bright green, about 3-4 minutes.
14. (The raw spinach mixture can be assembled ahead and refrigerated until ready to cook.)
15. Put Aioli Sauce on one half of each plate
16. Add two scallops and drizzle more Aioli Sauce on top of scallops
17. Place some of the spinach mixture on the other half of the plate
18. Serve immediately


Serves 6
• 1 cup dried figs, diced
• 1 cup zinfandel wine
• 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, plus 3 tablespoons
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 1 teaspoon minced shallots
• 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
• 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• Salt and pepper
• 10 ounces mixed baby greens
• 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
• 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
• 1/4 pound prosciutto, thinly sliced in strips

1. In a 1-quart saucepan, combine the figs, zinfandel, red wine vinegar and the sugar.
2. Bring the contents of the saucepan to a boil and reduce to a gentle boil until the figs are reconstituted and the liquid has reduced to a glaze, about 8 to 10 minutes
3. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
4. Transfer 1/4 cup of the figs and all of the reduction liquid to a blender* with the mustard, shallots, garlic and balsamic vinegar. Blend until smooth, about 15 seconds.
5. With the blender running, add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, until completely emulsified and smooth.
6. Season with salt and black pepper and transfer to an airtight, non-reactive container.
7. Set the remaining figs aside to cool completely before assembling the salads.
8. To serve, place the greens in a large mixing bowl with the cooled figs, walnuts, blue cheese, prosciutto, and 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette.
9. Season with salt and pepper and divide among 4 salad plates to serve.
*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.

Serves 8

For the Fish
• Two large eggs
• Two cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs –available at Acme)
• One-half cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
• Four fillets of Tilapia (cut in half –length wise)
• One cup of Olive oil per 12” frying pan (suggest two pans )
• Bunch of parsley for garnish

1. Mix panko and parmesan cheese
2. Beat the eggs. Add salt and pepper. Dip the fish halves into the eggs, then into
the parmesan mixture (coat generously).
3. Add oil (about 1/8 inch) in a heavy skillet; and heat to 400 degrees
4. Add the fish and brown 2-3 minutes per side . (Do not overcook)
5. Remove the fish and place on paper towels, then onto serving plates
7. Spoon tomatoes onto center of fish and serve with parsley garnish

Note: Steps # 1-2 can be done a few hours ahead, refrigerate
and then do step #3 10 minutes prior to serving.

For sautéed Tomatoes :
• Ten small plum tomatoes (diced into small pieces)
• Three tablespoons olive oil for sautéing tomatoes
1. In a preheated sauce pan at medium heat, add olive oil
2. Then add tomatoes with their juice
3. Sautee’ tomatoes for 1-2 minutes
4. Place in bowl
5. Can be made several hours in advance
6. Micro wave to warm before serving


Serves 8

For Strawberries
• 1 to 1 1/2 pounds fresh ripe strawberries (3 pints)
• 1 tablespoon sugar, plus more to taste
• 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste

• 8 Pack of chocolate cups (approx. 2” high x 3” round) –Source: Candy Counter at Strafford Farm’s Market

1. About an hour before assembling the dessert, rinse the strawberries (stems on) and drain them on paper towels.
2. Slice off the stems and halve or quarter the strawberries lengthwise, depending on size, into a bowl.
3. Sprinkle over the sugar and the lemon juice; fold gently together to blend well. Taste a strawberry, add more sugar or lemon juice if needed,
4. Set aside to macerate.
For the sabayon
• 6 egg yolks
• 1 cup rum
• 1/3 cup sugar, plus more to taste
• Drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)
5. Make it ahead of time
6. Whisk to blend the yolks, rum, and sugar in the stainless-steel bowl. Rest the bowl in the saucepan over hot water
7. Whisk constantly for 4 to 5 minutes or more to cook the sauce, until it has the consistency of lightly whipped cream. Clear the bottom of the bowl constantly with the whisk so that the eggs do not scramble, and adjust the heat as needed.
8. Taste the sauce — the sabayon should never get so hot that you can’t stick your very clean finger in it — whisk drops of lemon juice or more sugar if you want.
9. When thick, foamy, and tripled in volume, remove from heat.
10. Have ready a large bowl partly filled with ice cubes.
11. Place sabayon bowl in the bowl of ice to cool
12. Set aside to cool.
For the whipped cream
• ½ pint heavy cream
• 1 tablespoon sugar

13. Beat until desired firmness
14. Place in covered container and refrigerate
For assembling
15. Spoon a portion of strawberries — 1/2 cup or more — into each cup
16. Top with 1/3 to 1/2 cup of cool sabayon.
17. Place cups on tray, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve
18. Just before serving, place spoonful of whipped cream on top of each cup
19. Serve

I tell ya, these folks know how to have fun!