from Jude’s Kitchen: desert salmon

To celebrate this year's record run of Okanagan River sockeye, get your tickets to the Pacific Salmon Foundation gala in Kelowna Aug. 2.

Tyler's Anise & Black Pepper Seared Salmon

Tyler's Anise & Black Pepper Seared Salmon

You could say, with this year’s reduced runs of wild sockeye salmon along B.C.’s coast, that we are feeding the whole region this year with the abundant salmon run that has returned to the Okanagan up the Columbia River.

It’s being hailed as the largest run of sockeye salmon to return to the Okanagan in a century, and to celebrate, the Pacific Salmon Foundation and the Okanagan Nation Alliance are presenting a gala dinner and auction in Kelowna Thurs., Aug. 2 at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort.

All funds raised will go towards habitat conservation efforts for the kokanee and sockeye salmon in the Okanagan Valley.

As Tracey Bussanich of the ONA notes, it’s ironic that people from around the province are coming here to the desert to fish for sockeye this year.

But, Chef Stuart Klassen of the Delta Grand is pulling out all the stops, and is working with colleagues from the Okanagan Chef’s Association to surprise you with their creative ways to present salmon, along with some other very special main dishes from Stuart’s kitchen to tempt your taste buds.

The ‘Many Happy Returns’ gala dinner will lead off with a patio reception featuring chefs from such notable Okanagan fine dining establishments as RaudZ Regional Table, the Hooded Merganser,and the Grapevine at Gray Monk setting up appetizer stations where you can nibble on their creations. As well, Jonathon Crofts of Codfather’s Seafood Market is serving fresh oysters.

Live music and the Kinsura performing arts troupe will entertain you, while a surprise celebrity host welcomes you.

As you nibble you can browse amongst the silent auction items which will include First Nations traditional artwork, jackets, blankets, and many other items, including a copy of Jude’s Kitchen, featuring 200 simple recipes for local B.C. foods in season.

A live auction later will include helicopter tours, fishing getaways and romantic dinners.

For tickets contact Tracey at 707-0095 or

Incidentally, I must share my latest discovery, which is excellent with salmon: sea asparagus is a crunchy salty green, harvested by the sea, that packs quite a nutrition punch. It’s at Buy the Sea in West Kelowna. Thanx Mike!

Tyler’s Anise & Black Pepper Seared Sockeye Salmon with Shaved Summer Vegetables

This creation of Codfather’s Chef Tyler Groenestyn’s looks simply scrumptious and would make a refreshing appetizer for a group of friends to munch on while having a sip of wine on the patio.  With the fresh, citrussy flavours, herbs and hints of spice, try this with Mission Hill Family Estate’s 2010 Pinot Gris, a crisp, clean sipper with a hint of spice.

Preserved Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

1/2 preserved Meyer lemon

4 tbsp. (60 ml) calamondin vinegar

6 tbsp. (90 ml) olive oil

1 tbsp. (15 ml) smooth Dijon Mustard

Squeeze the juice out of the lemon and combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl whisking until they come together.


Herb Oil

1/2 bunch (1 oz.) fresh parsley

1/2 bunch (1 oz.) fresh chives

1/2 bunch (1 oz.) fresh basil

1 c. (250 ml) olive oil

1 tsp. (5 ml) salt

1 tsp. (5 ml) pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix on high speed until they have blended well.

Strain through cheesecloth or coffee filter until all the oil is extracted.

Store the oil in the fridge for up to one week.

Shaved Vegetable Salad

2 radishes

1/4 fennel bulb

1/4 cucumber

1 tsp. (5 ml) salt

1 tsp. (5 ml) pepper

3 tbsp. (45 ml) preserved Meyer lemon vinaigrette

Using a mandolin, thinly slice the vegetables and set aside.

Dress the vegetables with the preserved Meyer lemon vinaigrette

garnish with baby arugula leaves.

Seared Salmon

8 oz. (230 g) sockeye salmon fillet

2 tbsp. (30 ml) anise seed

2 tbsp. (30 ml) sea salt

1 tbsp. (15 ml) whole black peppercorns

2 tbsp. (30 ml) grapeseed oil

1 tbsp. (15 ml) preserved Meyer lemon vinaigrette

1 tsp. (5 ml) herb oil

1 tbsp. (15 ml) baby arugula leaves

Using a mortar and pestle, grind anise seed, sea salt and peppercorns.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.

Remove the skin and pinbones from the salmon fillet.

Season both sides with the spice mixture.

Add oil to the heated frypan and sear the salmon fillet for 45 seconds on each side.

Allow the fillet to rest for one minute before slicing it into quarter-inch thick pieces.

Garnish the sliced salmon with the shaved vegetable salad, lemon vinaigrette, herb oil and arugula leaves.

Serves two as a meal, but it can be doubled or tripled to serve more, or it could be served as an appie.



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