On a beautiful Saturday morning, Parnell Farmers’ Market celebrated their “Hello Spring” event with face painting, Walnut the clown (making super balloon animal hats), Old Macdonald’s barnyard petting zoo and the main course: Julie Biuso’s Out Standing In Their Fields cooking demo.
With 14 books under her belt and a 15th due out next month, Julie wears various foodie hats including writing, radio, television and teaching. I’m a subscriber to just one food magazine and Julie happens to be their food editor. Julie is well known for her accessible style of cooking and Taste magazine is my favourite for that same approach to food. Food shouldn’t be fussy!
The first dish, a hot and sour pork salad was zingy and smart. Using asian exotics like lime, palm sugar, coriander, mint and fish sauce it has punchy flavours that bring out the freshness of the produce.
Julie’s handy tips:
- Use soft brown sugar as a substitute for palm sugar
- Refrigerate onions to save your eyes
- Don’t be scared about using fish sauce as a seasoning
This recipe can be found on the Taste website.
Julie has a real passion for fresh food and hammered in the importance of fresh and quality produce. There’s no point in eating your greens if they’re wilted and sad. New Zealanders generally eat too much meat and Julie’s dishes used tasty, moderate amounts of meat and really celebrated fresh vegetables.
The second dish was asparagus, mint and bacon wraps cooked quickly on the BBQ. This is a summertime snack that has wide appeal. Perfect as a pre-dinner nibble with a summery sauvignon blanc or perhaps an icy beer. This recipe can be found on her website www.juliebiuso.com.
Two of her summer themed cookbooks were on on offer and Julie reminded us of situation we know well: standing at the BBQ, drink in one hand, tongs in the other and the overwhelming urge to keep the tongs dancing while you’re chatting away. It’s never necessary to turn a sausage 8 times. Resist this temptation. If nothing else, remember this for the coming BBQ season: Don’t keep moving food around on the BBQ. Give it a chance to start cooking.
I really enjoyed Julie’s teaching style. I’ve never really been interested in cooking shows that simply tell you what to cook. You can learn that from a recipe book. Julie teaches people how to cook. Once you learn how to cook, you can freestyle. And freestyling is where the fun begins.
Inspired and rearing to go, I picked up some cheese, salad veges and bread from the markets. I had some Black Rock lamb and mint sausages waiting in the fridge at home so I whipped up a yummy lunch on the sun for friends.
Special thanks to Zo from Two Spoons for pointing me to this project and Blair and Kylie from Out Standing who have been traveling with a custom built mobile kitchen, visiting loads of farmers’ markets in New Zealand to promote our fantastic produce and products. What a project!
If you are in Auckland next Sunday, be sure to check out Chef of the Year: David Schofield at Grey Lynn Farmers’ Market. More details here.