Friday, April 1, 2011

Dinner plans and pairings.

Okay, so here is how my mind works - you might find inspiration, I don't know. I might just need to get this out of my system.
I'll be cooking for dear friends soon who are in the process of moving which is why I offered to bring the dinner. Basically I will prepare everything, cook it, tupperware it up and bring it to their place. They won't let me do a whole menu kinda thing because they don't want to burden me...
Oh well, so they get to do a salad... 

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I bought adorable small tart pans (fluted removable bottom tart pan - favorite cooking item name. Ever.) that make generous individual serving each. So I knew I wanted to make quiches as the main course and remembered Suzy writing about this quiche at her daughters 2nd birthday back in February. I loved the flavors she put together. I mean, how wrong can you go: roasted tomatoes, fennel, goat cheese in a luscious crust? For my own preferences I need more vegetables to cream/egg filling and will stick to my standard pate brisee which doesn't contain eggs.

But this is not where it gets interesting. (For me, maybe you but I doubt that.)

Interesting for me is dessert. Because I am already baking the main dish I know I don't want to bake dessert too - how lame is that? And weird. Which, unfortunately means that this fantastic cake was not an option although I a) spotted the first German rhubarb today and b) need make as much with produce not available in my future home (e.g.: rhubarb and asparagus!!). So, no rhubarb cake.

Before I had thought of this cake, I had mousse au chocolat stuck in my head. I pretend my quiche is French - Suzy, is it?! - and therefore why not make a mousse? And besides, I have never made mousse au chocolat at home and it's kind of old school. So, yeah, that's set.

And now, I have conflicting thoughts about the dessert. Because of the rhubarb. I know - I am picking my brain because of a pretty pink stalk of a vegetable that is only in season a couple of weeks a year.
But! I recently bought this wonderful book by Dorie Greenspan and guess what? She has a recipe for roasted rhubarb. She writes in this recipe the rhubarb keeps its structure but cooks in a syrup of juice and sugar. Hello, caramelized rhubarb! 
Now, mousse au chocolat and roasted rhubarb in one dish is a no go, right? It doesn't sound right, right? 
I so badly want to try it, but Dories suggestion of pairing the rhubarb with cake (see thought about baking) isn't appealing and pairing it with riz au lait (rice pudding, duh!) isn't cutting it because, rice and milk. No. (Not in general. Just not now.)

Do you see my dilemma? In the end, I might just make a raspberry coulis to go with the mousse and bake a cake with rhubarb for myself during the week. 
Things could be worse. Like, you read all this and want to help me make a decision and there isn't really anything to say...

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