April 03, 2005

Bunny night

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.


Anonymous said...

Hi! It's me. I am in unknown territory...blog territory frightens me and I feel lost as though in a haunted forest at night. Eeeek! Was interested to see what Bunny night was, perhaps Easter celebration....or maybe good ole' Hugh Hefner popped in to check out the bunny ears. Not sure. nevertheless, just thought I'd say hello. Take care and hopefully you will get this "blog" message. I am such a newbie at "blogging"! Signed, Merrywitch

Dawna said...

Hi Merrywitch!

Bunny night was just a chance for me to cook a dish that I've been blathering about to some of my friends for quite a while. When I realized that it had been almost 10 years since I last made it, I figured it was time once again.

As for Easter - it's funny, but that was one of the dates under consideration when we were trying to sort out scheduling the dinner! Didn't work though. I suppose it would be something on the order of reindeer pie for Christmas - although a Catholic friend of mine traditionally has rabbit pie for Easter, so I guess it's not too far beyond the pale.

Dawna said...

PS: Welcome to scary blogger-land!