Paris: New Year’s Eve with No Main Course and a Mousse+Pudding Mash-up

 As soon as I was able to shoo everyone out of my kitchen – who knew I could squeeze 14 people in there? – we poured Champagne (from a jeroboam – thank you Christian) and nibbled:

Gougeres, as always (page 4)
Oysters and oysters and more oysters (from Regis)
Sweet and Spicy Cocktail Nuts (page 18)
Lyonnaise Garlic and Herb Cheese with Crackers and Black Radish Slices (page 20)
And then we sat down for dinner:
Salmon Rillettes, smoked salmon and blini-sized Matafan (pages 26 and 356)
Foie Gras (thank you Helene) with fig chutney
Paris Mushroom Soup, our ‘plat de resistance’ (page 72)
Cheese, including my favorite and our New Year’s Eve star: Mont d’Or
Top-Secret Chocolate Mousse, made with Valrhona Manjari chocolate (page 421)
Rice Pudding, because it’s good luck to have something you can count in the hundreds, like rice – oh, and because it’s so good and Michael loves it (page 429)
Salted-Butter Break-ups, the sight of which almost made my friend, Bernard, cry, since they were cookies his grandmother had made for him when he was very, very young and he hadn’t had one since (page 400)
There weren’t nearly as many leftovers as I’d thought there would be, but there was some mousse (I’d quadrupled the recipe) and some rice pudding, too, which brings me to the picture up top.  
Every hour or so on Saturday, Michael would reach into the fridge and eat a spoonful of either mousse or rice pudding.  Then in the evening, he pulled them both out and scooped a little of each into a clean bowl and mixed them together vigorously.  One spoonful and he was mmmmming.  He continued mmmmming through a hefty portion of the mix and then came the inevitable: ‘Could I remake the dessert as a chocolate-mousse rice pudding?’  Hmmm.  I could.  And I might one day just to surprise him.  But I like the idea of options, so I think I’ll continue to make them in tandem but not together and that way you can mix and match.  
It’s good to start the New Year with a discovery and almost better to start it with options and (delicious) possibilities.
Again, wishes for sweetness for you and yours in this New Year.


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