Calgary’s Chef Judy Wood of Meez Cuisine is a busy woman. In addition to being Chef and owner of Meez, she’s Judy Wood Cuisine and runs Lougheed House Restaurant. Meez are well known for their storefront pick-up and take-home dishes, but they also do full event catering and simple drop-offs for events big and small.
Chef Wood encourages families to sit down, talk and laugh and eat together. Busy schedules can get in the way; many people don’t have time to cook a family meal, let alone sit down and eat it together, so she hopes her concept helps with that and healthier choices, instead of processed food.
For tips, Chef Wood points out a classic. “My motto is simple – always the best. Go for recipes with the fewest ingredients, but choose the best ingredients you can get in season.” But at the same time, for those looking for a little extra inspiration, “If there is something you make at home – try to think how you could do it as an hors d’oeuvre.”
Acknowledging the difficulty of managing restrictions, Wood says, “It is a bit difficult with so many dietary preferences out there. I do try to appease all needs by ensuring I have vegetarian or even vegan-friendly dips with veggies, gluten-free crackers for cheese boards, and olives, nuts or tempura beans for an appetizer with some crunch.”
For a yummy, make-ahead treat that works as an appetizer or with a salad and roasted potatoes as a main, try Chef Wood’s fish croquettes!
2 Tbs butter
1 medium onion, diced
285 g white fish fillet (sole, basa, tilapia )
¼ cup (60 mL) cream
285 g potatoes, boiled & mashed (you can also use leftover mashed potatoes)
2 Tbs (30 mL) grainy mustard
2 Tbs fresh dill
1 Tbs (15 mL) lemon juice
1 cup flour (can substitute rice flour)
2 eggs, beaten with a fork
1 cup breadcrumbs for dredging (can substitute gluten-freed)
2-3 cups (500-750 mL) canola oil for shallow frying
To taste salt and pepper
Herb & Lemon Aioli
2-3 cloves garlic
1 Tbs (15 mL) lemon juice
1 cup (250 mL) mayonnaise
3 Tbs fresh parsley, minced
2 Tbs fresh dill, minced
2 Tbs chive, minced
1 Tsp (5 mL) lemon zest
- Pre-heat oven 350º F.
- In a frying pan, melt butter and add onions. Cook 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
- Place fish and cream in a baking dish and bake in oven for 5 minutes. Remove and cool, then shred into small pieces.
- In a large bowl, place the fish, cream, potatoes, eggs, mustard, dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix and taste for seasoning. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the mixture and shape into croquettes. Freeze.
- For aioli, mix all the ingredients together.
- Place the flour, egg and breadcrumbs into separate bowls. Once croquettes are frozen, dip them into the flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Freeze again so they are firm before cooking. Once ready, heat oil on medium to 365º F. Add croquettes and fry for a minute or two on each side. Drain on paper towels.
- Serve warm with the aioli on the side.