No humble snack
IF you think a mandarine’s only place is in a lunchbox or an orange belongs on the football field at half-time, then Kim McCosker wants you to think again.
The Sunshine Coast chef and co-founder of the 4 Ingredients cookbooks said citrus fruits’ attributes went far deeper.
“They are a full-bodied, flavoursome medium,” she said.
“They can be incorporated into everyday meals for added nutritional benefits and flavour. A little bit of imagination goes a long way.”
Kim has been appointed the ambassador for Citrus Australia’s 2011 Aussie mandarine and orange campaign for 2011.
She may have been born in the heart of apple country in Stanthorpe, but citrus has always held a special place in Kim’s kitchen. Her family moved to a citrus farm in Mundubbera, west of Bundaberg, where she grew up surrounded by orchards.
“All my life, I saw my father work his hardest to produce the best fruits,” Kim said.
“My mother was very clever cooking with citrus and injecting flavours into the food. She would infuse everything with mandarine juice and would make these amazing citrus pancakes.”
Kim’s passion for citrus is evident throughout our chat.
She excitedly rattles off dozens of delicious-sounding recipes that are enhanced by the addition of a mandarine or orange zest. She mentions recipes for citrus pancakes, mandarine and dill fish, mandarine sticky chicken wings, and mandy moments.
And they are all simple and easy and can be whipped up with just four ingredients.
“There are tons of really simple ideas. My role is to say to Australia, ‘Look at these fabulous fruits’,” she said.
“There’s so much you can do with the fruit, the pulp, the zest. It will blow your mind.
“I love that I can grab some citrus and a few other ingredients and make a fantastic meal that is so full of flavour.”
Kim originally startedin finance.
She was a working mum of three and travelled for work.
When she was home, she loved to cook but didn’t want to waste hours in the kitchen.
“When you get home, you want to cook good healthy meals for your family but quickly. You want to get into the kitchen and get out,” she said.
From this desire, the 4 Ingredients cookbooks were born.
“I could always cook but my real passion was to make good healthy food quickly,” she said.
“Being in the kitchen and cooking can be something really stressful. I want to help people to know that you can do it and it doesn’t have to be too hard.
“People often ask why they are so successful (the 4 Ingredient books) and yes the idea is great but b
ehind it is two women who are very passionate.”