Well, it’s taken a while for me to find the time to stop and go over everything I cooked in the culinary whirlwind that was Gabriel Gaté’s Taste le Tour for 2013. Looking back I still can’t quite believe that I managed to cook 21 different dishes in 21 days while still getting through everything else that life requires…
So, what was my take on the Taste le Tour for 2013? Well, it’s got to be about fresh. Fresh, honest, full flavoured ingredients (my patch of continental parsley is ever so slowly recovering!). Fresh is just so underrated. These days we’re encouraged to think that ease and convenience is going to your pantry, opening a packet, stirring it in and serving it up and in my day job, I’ve helped circulate that myth. And what a myth it is. There is nothing more simple and tasty than a small dob of butter, a handful of fresh-cut herbs, pan-fried chicken and splash of white wine. It’s basic, honest, simple food. And it’s good. Better than good, in fact.
In the weeks leading up to this challenge, everyone joked with me about how much weight I’d gain eating these gorgeous French meals every night. My husband, completely dedicated to the task ahead, weighed himself and measured his waistline. The verdict? No net gain. Amazing, huh? And believe me, he did apply himself to the task of eating with considerable gusto! I believe the key was the use of fresh, real ingredients and the moderate (ahem!) use of those more indulgent things in the fridge and pantry (cheese and Tartiflette aside!).
I have thought long and hard about my favourite dish, and enjoyed some passionate discussions with a few of you about it as well. I’ve wavered over the Tartiflette and the Cherry Brandy Fruit Salad, not to mention the Corsican Cheesecake… but I think I have reached a decision. My standout recipe from the challenge is the Poached Beef with Spring Vegetables. I ate this standing at my kitchen bench while my husband bathed the kids. What started as a small taste ended in a haze of gastronomic bliss as the sounds of splashing and laughter faded to the background. For a meal that was on the table in less than 15 minutes, was so simple, clean, and full of flavour, it just had to be good for you. This was food to enrich the soul. A meal I walked away from feeling lip smackingly good as I went with a smile to stack the dishwasher. Thank you Gabriel.
So, what next from Musette du Jour? Well, I am looking forward to 2014 to see where Gabriel and the Taste le Tour team will take us next, but before then I have some time to fill. So, I invite you to join me in the coming months as I tempt you with a selection of my favourite recipes and new food discoveries… I am looking forward to sharing them with you!