I've been threatening to do this for some time, and tonight's the night: I'm cooking Lapin à la Dijon for dinner for a couple of friends.
I love doing dinner parties - casual ones, that is. I'm certain that if I were to attempt any sort of formal affair, my head would explode, but having a couple of folks over to dinner is an easy thing to do.
My menu is simple, and based on that of a French bistro: Rabbit in Dijon sauce, roasted asparagus, parmesan-roasted parsnips, and pommes persillade - parslied potatoes, for the non-French speaking. Nothing terribly daunting.
We will be starting with a chicken liver mousse, and finishing with a selection of French cheeses (including Palle's favourite Bleu D'Auvergne) with sliced pears, grapes, and fig-anise bread from Terra Breads.
The chicken liver mousse recipe is freakishly large. I had been intending to provide each person with their own little individual pots of mousse and heap a pile of sliced baguette in the centre of the table. If I do that, however, I will be faced with a daunting amount leftover, so I've opted for a large crock of mousse in the middle of the table, surrounded by baguette slices. If I manage to delay the rest of dinner long enough, perhaps it will all get eaten, but I would hate for my guests to be too full to try the bunny.
I tend to experiment on my dinner guests. It seems a swell time to drag out a recipe that I've been meaning to try, and tonight both the mousse and the parmesan parsnips fit the bill. The parsnip recipe comes with a solid nod from the Marquise, so I'm expecting it to be quite tasty - but if the nutty flavour of the parsnips isn't quite my guests' cup of tea, it will be a minor enough part of the dinner.
The bunnies came with their livers, so I have an extra treat up my sleeve. Pan-fried rabbit liver in butter with kosher salt. I should have enough for one little croustade each, an amuse-bouche if you will, to entertain my company while I rattle around with the asparagus. Wish me luck.