Glen Oak shares recipes for holiday season

First Posted: 4/4/2012

Whether observing Passover or Easter, a suggestion from Patrick Williamson, Glen Oak Country Club executive chef, is to take advantage of seasonal produce when planning a menu for the upcoming holidays.

Passover begins in the evening April 6, and ends April 14, and Easter is observed April 8.

At Glen Oak Country Club, Clarks Summit, 250 Oakford Road, Clarks Summit, the traditional foods served at both Easter and Passover are available at the club for both holidays. Passover meal will include Matzo Ball Soup and Brisket of Beef, and on their Easter buffet table, diners will find omelet stations, leg of lamb, ham and carved roast beef.

According to Williamson, seasonal fresh asparagus is a great accompaniment for lamb and he also suggested serving roasted sweet potato.

Jeff Spagna, CCM, Glen Oak Country Club manager said, “During Passover, we totally recognize the holiday and we prepare the traditional foods that are enjoyed during the Passover season, and a lot of our members will come to the club to order and some will order it to have at their homes. We also observe Easter and offer a dinner buffet on Easter Sunday.”

Chef Williamson, who grew up in a restaurant family in the Philadelphia area, said of his recipe for Matzo Ball Soup, “A member came to me and asked if I would make that recipe for him. When I made it, he commented about how much he liked it. The matzo balls were soft and light. I made the chicken broth myself, so it was a very light broth. The carrots and chicken broth are the staples for Matzo Ball soup. I like the simplicity of it.”

The Coffee Rubbed Lamb Leg offers a “sweet and savory taste sensation” said Williamson, and the spring lamb is the ideal ingredient. “I like this recipe for the richness of the flavors. The rub on the lamb will create a sweet but savory flavor which goes very well with the earthiness of the lamb. When you make the rub, don’t be afraid to taste it, as the coffee takes a back seat to all the other flavors exploding around it. I also like the way the recipe is simple and clean of too many ingredients that will mask the flavor of the lamb.”

Coffee Rubbed Lamb Leg

Recipe provided by Patrick Williamson

1 cup coffee grounds

½ cup brown sugar

1 Tablespoon chili powder

1 Tablespoon black pepper

½ Tablespoon kosher salt

½ Tablespoon smoked sea salt

1 leg of lamb

2 onions diced

4 sprigs of thyme

For the rub, combine coffee, sugar, chili powder, pepper and salts in a food processor and grind. Set aside mixture and prepare lamb. Trim the lamb of excess fat and roll in the rub. Using a roasting pan big enough to cook the lamb, place it over high heat. Sear on all sides and remove from the pan. Add onions in the pan and sauté until translucent. Add thyme and place lamb on top of the onions and thyme. Cook in a 350 -degree oven for 50 minutes or until internal temperature is 145 degrees. Remove and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Matzo Ball Soup

Recipe provided by Patrick Williamson

3 eggs

6 to 9 cups chicken stock

¼ cup minced or grated onion

¼ cup melted rendered chicken fat or canola/extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup matzo meal

4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Mix eggs and ½ cup stock. Add onion, oil or rendered fat, parsley, salt, pepper and mix well. Add matzo meal and mixture should be wet. In a bowl, cover and refrigerate for one hour or overnight. Form matzo into 1- inch balls and place into simmering salted water. Use chicken stock to cook the matzo balls, but be sure to double the quantity of stock. Cook the balls for 30 minutes. Place carrots into stock and simmer until tender. Add matzo balls and serve.

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