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Five stars for five-course meal


The From This Rock tour brought a delicious five-course meal to Hotel Port aux Basques. Here's a look at the evening's fare.

Gougères with blueberry confiture and smoked cheddar

This was a nice little starter, almost like a pre-meal dessert. It's a savoury pastry, filled with cheese.

It wasn't much more than a mouthful, which is probably for the best since there were four more courses to come.

Sautéed mussels, green tomatoes, mustard pickles sauce and fresh basil

Confession time. Despite living on the East Coast for my entire life, I had never tried mussels until this event. I have tried shellfish in the past, but was never a fan. Something about the texture just turned me off.

But I'm game. So I dug in.

First thing, shellfish prepared by a skilled chef is pretty good. I'm still not fussy about the texture, but I ate most of what was in the dish.

Confession number two. I'd never had mustard pickles before this event. I feel this is less egregious, as I'm from New Brunswick and they're not as big a thing there as here in Newfoundland.

They're good. For someone who doesn't eat a lot of pickles, I enjoyed the sauce.

Savoury dressing crusted cod with roasted root vegetables, brussel sprout-bacon hash and squash purée

This was the highlight of the evening for me. I love a good piece of fish, and this cod came courtesy of Codroy Seafoods right here on the southwest coast.

The cod was melt-in-your-mouth good, and once you throw a little bacon in the mix, you don't even have to tell me what else is in the dish. I'm sold.

With the vegetables added to the mix, this would have been a meal on its own, but we're nowhere near finished.

Ballotine of chicken with country-style stuffing, confit tomato and velouté sauce

Take a piece of chicken, stuff it, then slice it up and serve it with some peeled, roasted tomatoes. There it is. And it's delicious.

After the fish course, I wondered just how much room I'd have left for chicken.

Not sure why I worried. I would have eaten the entire piece if it had been put in front of me. This is how chicken should be cooked. It was tender and juicy, and combined with the stuffing, you've got a meal that could replace turkey dinner on Thanksgiving.

Strawberry shortcake

There's very little to say about the dessert, except that it was excellent. Juicy berries and fresh-made shortcake made it the perfect capper to the meal.

Related: From farm to table in Port aux Basques

bryan.tait@tc.tc

Gougères with blueberry confiture and smoked cheddar

This was a nice little starter, almost like a pre-meal dessert. It's a savoury pastry, filled with cheese.

It wasn't much more than a mouthful, which is probably for the best since there were four more courses to come.

Sautéed mussels, green tomatoes, mustard pickles sauce and fresh basil

Confession time. Despite living on the East Coast for my entire life, I had never tried mussels until this event. I have tried shellfish in the past, but was never a fan. Something about the texture just turned me off.

But I'm game. So I dug in.

First thing, shellfish prepared by a skilled chef is pretty good. I'm still not fussy about the texture, but I ate most of what was in the dish.

Confession number two. I'd never had mustard pickles before this event. I feel this is less egregious, as I'm from New Brunswick and they're not as big a thing there as here in Newfoundland.

They're good. For someone who doesn't eat a lot of pickles, I enjoyed the sauce.

Savoury dressing crusted cod with roasted root vegetables, brussel sprout-bacon hash and squash purée

This was the highlight of the evening for me. I love a good piece of fish, and this cod came courtesy of Codroy Seafoods right here on the southwest coast.

The cod was melt-in-your-mouth good, and once you throw a little bacon in the mix, you don't even have to tell me what else is in the dish. I'm sold.

With the vegetables added to the mix, this would have been a meal on its own, but we're nowhere near finished.

Ballotine of chicken with country-style stuffing, confit tomato and velouté sauce

Take a piece of chicken, stuff it, then slice it up and serve it with some peeled, roasted tomatoes. There it is. And it's delicious.

After the fish course, I wondered just how much room I'd have left for chicken.

Not sure why I worried. I would have eaten the entire piece if it had been put in front of me. This is how chicken should be cooked. It was tender and juicy, and combined with the stuffing, you've got a meal that could replace turkey dinner on Thanksgiving.

Strawberry shortcake

There's very little to say about the dessert, except that it was excellent. Juicy berries and fresh-made shortcake made it the perfect capper to the meal.

Related: From farm to table in Port aux Basques

bryan.tait@tc.tc

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