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Let’s Talk Food: Taste of the Hawaiian Range 2018 around the corner

Taste of the Hawaiian Range 2018, the largest agricultural showcase, is set for 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at the YMCA Minuke Ole Park in Waimea, as well as indoor classroom presentations and the evening gala at the adjacent Mana Christian Ohana complex, behind Parker Ranch Center, at 67-1182 Lindsey Road.

The Agriculture Festival from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. offers livestock displays, educational exhibits, local product samplings and sales, food trucks and beverages.

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“Find out how to attract bees to your landscape, visit a ‘plant doctor’ for help on garden questions and taste test local beef jerky, breadfruit, honey and more,” suggests event co-chair Jeri Moniz.

There will be pony rides for a nominal fee for the keiki, as well 4-H youth with their farm animals. A 4-H booth will commemorate the organization’s 100th year in Hawaii.

You can learn how agriculture is the science, art, and practice of producing food at agricultural and culinary-themed presentations from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in the classroom complex behind Mana Christian Ohana hall, where there also will be an all-day exhibit of invasive species.

All these events are open the the public and geared toward farmers, ranchers and culinarians. If you have any questions, there will be Q&A sessions. Talks will include a wide range of topics from the Food Safety Modernization Act, invasive species, federal worker protection standards or proper pesticide use and safety to Hawaii tea production, agricultural technology with Smart Yield, best use practices for beef carcass and cutting-edge GMO research and technology involving CRISPR-cas9.

Leading the 2018 installment of Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101 is Chef Edwin Goto of Waimea’s Village Burger and Noodle Club. He will demonstrate how to prepare beef flank steak and pork belly. Tickets for this event are $10 and can be purchased online or at the door.

The event also will feature Merriman’s, Waipio Cookhouse, Roy’s Waikoloa Bar &Grill, Daylight Mind, Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa, The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai, Ippy’s Hawaiian BBQ, Puako Provisions and Catering and Hawaii Community College’s culinary students from Hilo and Palamanui campuses.

This year, Taste offers some new veggie-centric stations by Under the Bodhi Tree and Redwater Cafe. Taste desserts also will be available by college culinary students.

Culinary chairperson Sandy Barr Rivera says two chefs are excited to prepare dishes using more natural beef than usually found in our markets. She notes that “it is known in ranching circles to be rich in flavor with a good texture.”

Tickets for the gala event can be purchased online for $50 and at Parker Ranch Store, or will be available at the door for $60.

For more information, visit www.TasteoftheHawaiian Range.com, on Facebook at Tasteofthe HawaiianRange or @TasteHI on Twitter and Instagram.

“Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education plus encouragement and support of locally produced ag products. The quality and growth of this event are rooted in business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. It is supported by the University of Hawaii at Hilo; College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii at Manoa; county Department of Research and Development; Hawaii Community College; UH-Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management; Hawaii Beef Producers; Hawaii Cattlemen’s Association; Hawai’i Cattlemen’s Council; Hawai’i Farm &Food magazine; Kamehameha Schools Land Asset Division; Kamuela Grown; Kulana Foods; and Pacific Media Group — KBIG, KAPA, The Beat. Volunteers and sponsors are welcomed, contact Dr. Russell Nagata at rtnagata@gmail.com.”

Foodie bites

Chef Edwin Goto will demonstrate cooking with flank steak.

Other names for it are skirt steak or London broil.

It is a lean cut from the butt of the cow, has an intense flavor and texture and because it is a little tough, should be thinly sliced and cut against the grain for the maximum tenderness.

It is a great cut for tacos, fajitas and Chinese beef broccoli or beef tomato.

Here is P.F. Chang’s recipe for Mongolian Beef, using flank steak:

P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef

Serves: 4

2 teaspoons + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 pound flank steak, thinly sliced, cut against the grain

1/3 cup cornstarch

2 green onions, sliced

Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in small pan over medium low heat. Add ginger and garlic and stir just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add soy sauce, water and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Let boil 3-5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Set aside.

Slice the flank steak into 1/4-inch slices and toss with cornstarch. Gently shake off any excess.

Place 1 tablespoon at a time of oil in a pan or wok and heat over medium high heat. Cook the beef in small batches for about 2 minutes. It does not need to be cooked all of the way through; it will cook completely when combined with the sauce.

Once all the beef has been cooked, combine with the sauce and heat over medium until hot and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in the green onions.

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Hawaii Community College’s Culinary Department’s Cafeteria has been open since last Thursday. Hours are 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Takeout orders are welcome and can be made by calling 934-2559. There are baked goods, salads, sushi and sandwiches also available at the Cafeteria.

Email Audrey Wilson at audreywilson808@gmail.com.