from Jude's Kitchen: wedding food

lettuce cups - judie steeves/Capital News
lettuce cups
— image credit: judie steeves/Capital News

June is traditionally wedding month, although since it’s the wettest month of the year in the Okanagan, I certainly hope you’re not planning an outdoor one here in June!

If June is a favoured month for weddings, it must see a lot of anniversaries too, and these appies would do just as well to celebrate an anniversary as a wedding.

I remember as a kid, watching in amazement as my folks sorted through the garbage out on the patio, still in their best duds, after their friends had all headed home from their silver anniversary party, because a number of the silver forks and spoons were missing.

Apparently, they’d accidentally been scraped off the plates into the garbage.

So, I’m a big fan of serving food at such parties that doesn’t require cutlery. Cleanup is easier too, of course.

Now, all you have to worry about is a gift for the happy couple.

Why not send them off to a cooking class together? I love Indian food, so I took one taught by Jas Dosanj of Poppadom’s and it was simply fabulous. Great fun; great food; and I learned lots.

Several family members just returned from a tour of India where they gathered all kinds of ideas for new recipes, so watch for fresh dishes every time you go.

Incidentally, a terrific wine to accompany your curries is Intrigue Wines’ 12, which is a blend that tells the story of the 2012 harvest year. It’s riesling, gewurztraminer, pinot gris and muscat canelli grape varietals and is a fruity but refreshing wine that’s smooth and beautifully balanced. It’s great for just sipping too.

Jas is also doing some specialty classes, including one this month called Gluten-free India. It’s Sun., Jun. 16, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., so you need to register right away, at or by calling them at 778-753-5563.

There are a couple of great Indian-inspired recipes in my book, Jude’s Kitchen, which is available wherever books are sold.


Spot Prawns with Tarragon

If you leave the tips of the tails on, they make fine handles, so you wouldn’t need cutlery, or each could be skewered with a toothpick to reduce the need for cutlery. You can double this to serve more people.

1 lb. (454 g) poached spot prawns


2 green onions

2 tsp. (10 ml) fresh tarragon

2 tsp. (10 ml) Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. (15 ml) fresh lemon juice

2 tsp. (10 ml) tarragon vinegar

1/4 c. (60 ml) olive oil

coarse sea salt, to taste

fresh-ground black pepper

fresh tarragon leaves, to garnish

Mince the green onions and tarragon and mix together in a small bowl or jug, along with the mustard, lemon juice and vinegar.

Gradually whisk in the olive oil, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Drizzle this over the cold, poached, shelled prawns, and garnish with a few leaves of fresh tarragon.


Lettuce Cups with Ginger Pork & Mint

These crisp, refreshing little bites are full of flavour and make great finger food. No cutlery is needed, though a plate would probably be nice. These can be as small, or large, as the lettuce cups you use.

baby lettuce leaves, for the cups


1/2 c. (125 ml) zucchini

1/4 c. (60 ml) red pepper

4 green onions

1 clove garlic

1 tbsp. (15 ml) minced ginger

drizzle of oil

1/2 lb. (227 g) lean ground pork

1/4 tsp. (1 ml) chili flakes

1/2 tsp. (2 ml) sea salt

freshly-ground black pepper


2 tbsp. (30 ml) Asian sweet chili sauce

2 tsp. (10 ml) fresh lime juice

1/4 tsp. (1 ml) Sriracha hot sauce

sea salt, to taste

fresh mint, to garnish

Rinse lettuce leaves and dry well.

Cut zucchini and red pepper into very small cubes and mince green onions, garlic and ginger.

Drizzle a little oil into a wok or frypan over medium-high heat and add the ginger and pork, stirring until the meat has lost most of its pink. Season with salt and pepper.

Push to the side and add zucchini, cooking for a minute or two.

Add red pepper and green onions and garlic and cook for a minute or two longer.

Season with chili flakes and stir in. Remove from the heat.

Combine drizzle ingredients, except the mint.

Close to serving time, put a dollop of filling in each of the lettuce cups and drizzle each with the sauce.

Garnish with fresh mint leaves, chopped or whole.


Make 30 or 40, depending on the size.



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