Saturday, 30 July 2011

Taste Le Tour - Review

This is a lovely little cookbook. Taste Le Tour Regional French Cuisine by Gabriel Gate published by Hardie Grant in 2011. It’s pretty – look at the cover, it looks like a pretty box

from an exquisite French patisserie shop. The cover is a little puffy too and this emphasises the luxury effect. It’s called Taste le Tour, as it is a book that travels through the different regions in France that the actual Tour de France bicycle race travels to. The difference being that you don’t need to be able to tackle the big race itself, you get to travel via your own cooker!

I think it’s a charming book, not only because I like pink things (!), but also because of its layout and charming illustrations by Francophile artist Antonia Pesanti. There are no photographs of the finished dishes, but there are some drawings of sweet dishes at the back. Antonia’s drawings give a delightful backdrop to the book.

Gabriel Gate is a Frenchman who trained as a chef in France before moving to Australia. He is now a cooking teacher, author and TV presenter. The food is presented in a classic format with chapters being: *Soups, Entrees and Vegetables* Fish and Seafood* Poultry and Rabbit* Beef, Lamb and Pork* and *Cakes and Desserts.

Now is the perfect time to cook from this book as July is the month of the Tour de France race. Though it would be a shame only to use it for one month of the year! The food is classically French and Gabriel’s recipes are easy to follow, I made three dishes (see below) and we liked them all. He tells you on each recipe which area it comes from. Some of the other dishes I have marked to try are: Silverbeet Gratin, Provencal Vegetable Bake, Chicken Casserole cooked in Reisling, Lamb Casserole with Green Olives, Summer Fruit Mousse and Raspberry Tartlettes. Here are the three I tried:

Raspberry Trifles

I made this as one big trifle. It comprises a cooked custard (crème patisserie), trifle sponges, raspberries and a little orange and Cointreau. The custard and cream are folded together for an easy trifle topping - and a delicious one too.

Prawns the Parisian Way

This should have been scallops the Parisian way, but when I went shopping there were no scallops… so prawns it was. A veloute sauce enriched with cream, egg yolk and cheese. It did indeed taste very chic and Parisiene. It was fast too. I’m going to make it again soon.

Apricot Compote

I love apricots, but they taste a whole lot better if they have been cooked. The sweet poaching liquid was flavoured with lemon, orange and vanilla. I took out some for little one, and then more or less followed the recipe by adding in a little Amaretto (instead of Armagnac). They were really delicious with or without the alcohol.

Next Review up: Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery


bakingteacher said...

lol I thought it was just me that got cookbooks because of their colour;) Great review, thanks for sharing.

Jacqui said...

Love the idea of the prawns instead of scallops because as they say they are not always available I'll be tryingbthis one out.

Coby said...

Kelly-Jane what a mouth-watering collection! I adore apricots right from the tree, but they deteriorate so fast, a beautiful simple recipe like that is just what is needed to keep them singing:D

Gabriel was the very first cooking show presenter I ever watched K-J:) He did a show called 'What's Cooking', and while I loved to watch him, I never made anything, as, I thought at that stage I just couldn't cook such fancy recipes;) These days he does a lot of healthy cooking, including classes and demos. Oh and PS, he takes a group of Aussies to France each dream on Coby;)

Nicola said...

Everything looks so delicious Kelly-Jane, what a lovely spread! I especially like the look of that trifle :-)

Pistachio and Rose said...

What seriously tempting food you have here! That prawn dish is right up my stree and don't even get me started on trifle!

viagra online said...

I just saw those amazing yummy photos and I must get that lovely little cookbook that you are talking about!!!!!