from Jude's Kitchen: fresh from the sea

Chef Jesse Croy of the Sunset Bistro at Summerhill Pyramid Winery puts the finishing touches on a chef
Chef Jesse Croy of the Sunset Bistro at Summerhill Pyramid Winery puts the finishing touches on a chef's table special: ling cod with Meyer lemonade and nettles.
— image credit: Judie steeves/Capital News

This is an amazing province for those of us who love fresh, local food, with its incredibly-diverse agricultural sector and its bounty from the sea as well. Add in local wines that rival those from the best wine regions in the world, and it’s natural that the province should attract top chefs who are passionate about the intense flavours that come from the freshest possible ingredients and who love to be inspired by what’s available around them.

That results in opportunities for some amazing events involving food. For instance, for the next couple of months, you can join Summerhill chef Jesse Croy for a monthly seven-course, farm-focussed chef’s table dinner featuring all local organic ingredients, with winemaker Eric von Krosigk’s wine pairings for each course.

There are a maximum of 24 at each communal chef’s table event, with the next set for Thurs., Apr. 26, and the final one May 31. For reservations, call 764-8000/131 or e-mail

Then, on Mon., Apr. 16, everyone in the food industry in the Okanagan is invited to come together for a Farm Folk/City Folk event called Meet Your Maker; a day-long event designed to bring together food producers, processors, buyers and distributors to meet and discover opportunities to work together.

The idea is to build the backbone of a buy-local economy in the region. It’s at the Westbank Community Hall and guest speakers include Donna Dennison of Little Creek Gardens on Westside Road, and chef Michael Lyon. Go to

For lots of locally-inspired, seasonal recipes, pick up a copy of my new book, Jude’s Kitchen, published by the Okanagan Institute, wherever books are sold.

Jesse’s Ling Cod with Chanterelles, Cippolini Onion Rings, Nettles and Lemonade Butter

With fresh B.C., longline-caught ling cod available now at Codfather’s, Summerhill chef Jesse Croy came up with a delicate, delicious way to serve it, with a tall, cool glass of Summerhill Cipes Brut champagne-style sparkling wine. Jesse sources all organic ingredients, including flour, but that’s a personal choice you must make for yourself.

Onions & Mushrooms:

2 cippolini onions

1/2 lb. (227 g) chanterelle mushrooms

1 1/2 c. (375 ml) organic flour

1 tsp. (5 ml) baking powder

1 tsp. (5 ml) salt

1 tsp. (5 ml) white pepper

2 beaten eggs

1/2 c. (125 ml) milk

2 c. (500 ml) Panko bread crumbs

non-gmo sunflower oil for deep frying

Meyer Lemonade Butter:

4 Meyer lemons, juiced

zest from half of one lemon

1 shallot

2 tbsp. (30 ml) water

1/4 c. (60 ml) cold, unsalted butter, diced


4 tbsp. (60 ml) olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb. (454 g) fresh nettles or bitter greens


4   5-oz. (142-g) ling cod with skin on

salt & pepper, to taste

2 tbsp. (30 ml) unsalted butter

Heat oil for deep frying to 350 F and pre-heat oven to 400 F.

Slice onions into rings and tear chanterelles into quarters.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl, then beat eggs in another and pour bread crumbs into another.

Dredge onions in the flour mixture, then beaten eggs, then Panko crumbs and set aside.

Dredge mushrooms in flour mixture.

Deep fry onions and remove with a slotted spoon when golden brown and let drain on a paper-towel-lined plate. Deep fry mushrooms until golden brown, season with salt and set aside with onions.

Juice lemons, zest half of one, then dice shallot. In a small pot, heat shallot with the lemon juice, zest and water, bringing it to a boil and letting it bubble for about two minutes. Remove from the heat and swirl butter into the pot until melted. Keep warm until ready to plate.

For nettles, heat oil in a saute pan, mince garlic and add minced garlic to the pan with nettles. Add a couple of spoonfuls of water, cover and turn off. When they’re wilted, season and hold until ready to plate.

Dry the fish portions with a paper towel and season them with salt and pepper.

 In a heavy, cast iron pan, melt butter and add the fish, skin side down, spooning the melted butter over top of the fillets, while the bottom sears. Do not flip them. Finish them in a 400 F oven for about 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove and flip so the skin side is up. It should be crispy and the meat should be tender and flaky.

Jesse drizzled a little lemonade on each plate, added a mound of greens, topped with onion rings and then mushrooms, adjacent to the cod.

Serves 4.





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