Jude’s Kitchen: Earth wind fire

Two of my favourite foods are at their best right now: B.C. prawns and local asparagus, so I’m in heaven.

Chef Stuart Klassen decided to char the lemons in this dish. Touches like this lift professional chefs’ dishes a step above home cooking.

Chef Stuart Klassen decided to char the lemons in this dish. Touches like this lift professional chefs’ dishes a step above home cooking.

Two of my favourite foods are at their best right now: B.C. prawns and local asparagus, so I’m in heaven.

Add to that an upcoming visit to Kelowna from some of the best chefs in this province, and life couldn’t get much better.

They will be collaborating with top local chefs, who are among the best in Canada, and the top upcoming young chefs, with their fresh creativity, and you can be certain that the eats at the Nature Trust of B.C. fund-raiser, Earth Wind Fire 2011, will be scrumptious.

Hosted by executive chef Stuart Klassen of the Delta Grand, the Canadian Culinary Junior Team and chefs from Culinary Team B.C. will be sizzling for the Sat., June 18 event at the Grand, along with local chefs Geoffrey Couper, Mark Filatow, Rod Butters, Bernard Casavant, and Willi Franz.

Some of our top wineries will be pouring along with a sparkling wine reception by Summerhill; and beer from Okanagan Springs Brewery and Tree Brewing.

Auction items include a 1,000-bottle Great Wall of B.C. Wine, and a tower of scotch, all assembled by Tom Kennedy, along with fun trips fishing, hiking, eating and drinking, and lots of other great items.

This is a truly memorable evening, complete with live entertainment, and you know you’re helping a great cause.

This year, the funds raised will go toward purchase of a 2,000-hectare Twin Lakes ranch near Penticton, which would help protect an extremely diverse chunk of natural Okanagan habitat into the future.

If it can be purchased, it would become the third biodiversity ranch in the Okanagan to be owned by the Nature Trust, and would provide connectivity with the White Lake ranch.

As a kid, I remember fishing trips to Twin Lakes with my Dad and how peaceful it was out on the water as we trolled for trout.

It was a quiet opportunity to have a rare talk—unless the excitement of a fish on the line got in the way.

On the drive there we’d pass through grasslands where the trill of the meadowlark thrilled me with its intricate notes and the smell of sun-warmed sagebrush and pine resin imprinted themselves on my brain and in my heart.

Do your part to conserve some of this important Okanagan landscape and have an unforgettable evening at the same time.

For tickets to Earth Wind Fire 2011, e-mail: rrivers@naturetrust.bc.ca; call her at: 1-866-288-7878, ext. 226 or go to: www.naturetrust.bc.ca

You could even put in a bid on a copy of my new book, Jude’s Kitchen, as well as the local outdoor guide book I co-authored with Murphy Shewchuk, Okanagan Trips and Trails.

Both are also available for purchase at local bookstores, the B.C. Wine Museum and Kelowna Museum.

 

 

B.C. Spot Prawns with Charred Lemon Cucumber Salsa

 

 

It’s the little extras, like Chef Stuart Klassen’s decision to char the lemons in this dish, that carry professional chefs’ dishes to that next step from home cooking—and that’s why we go out to dinner, right? This is an example of the difference creativity in the kitchen makes when you have a professional background. And, it’s the sort of very special flavours and combinations you’ll also enjoy at Earth Wind Fire 2011.

 

 

2 lemons

1 lb. (454 g) B.C. spot prawns

1 tbsp. (15 ml) olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

 

 

Salsa:

1 cucumber

1 red bell pepper

6 sprigs cilantro

salt and pepper, to taste

 

 

10 sheets of won ton wrappers

salt and pepper, to taste

 

 

Sriracha hot sauce

 

 

Char the lemons by cutting them in half and placing each, flesh side down, on a hot barbecue until the flesh is charred.

Shell and clean the prawns. Bring a pot of water to simmering and squeeze in the juice from two charred lemon halves.

Add the prawns and blanche for two minutes. Remove the prawns and set aside to cool.

Once cool, toss them with salt, pepper and olive oil.

To make the salsa, slice an English cucumber lengthwise as thin as possible, then stack two layers together and slice again lengthwise, creating long, thin strips, like spaghetti. Cut these across to make small dice.

Cut the pepper into large wedges, remove all the membrane and slice them into thin strips. Cut across the thin strips to make small dice.

Mince the cilantro and put it all into a small mixing bowl.

Squeeze the juice from the other charred lemon over the mixture and season it with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss it all together.

To make won ton crisps, cut the won ton wrappers diagonally to make triangles and heat an inch of vegetable oil in a shallow pan to fry them. Remove when crisp and brown, then drain them on absorbent paper, sprinkling with salt.

Stu recommends using Sriracha brand hot sauce, which comes in a squeezable bottle, to squeeze a pattern on the serving plate,  then put the salsa in the centre of the plate and arrange the prawns and crisp, salted won tons.

Serves 5.

 

Kelowna Capital News