Cooking for the parents

For my Dad’s last birthday (in September) I gave him one of the infamous ‘gift certificates’ that people like to give out for birthdays and which are never redeemed. This time everything was different, I checked my calendar and noted that there was one week-end (last week-end) in January where we had nothing planned yet. So we invited my parents over for a ‘fancy’ menu.

I didn’t know how hard it would be to cook for my parents. I wanted to impress them but it shouldn’t become an expensive impression as well. My mother told me that onions and a lot of garlic wouldn’t be good for her. This information made choices even harder. Now I would have to make an “in-expensive yet impressive” three course menu without onions that should be healthy and not too high in calories.

Another restriction: no experiments. I have a hand for failing most spectacularly where I can get the best effects.

But I managed quite okay to my own surprise. Here’s the menu:

Avocado filled with Shrimpsalad
Pike-perch baked with fresh herbs on olive potato-mash
Pannacotta with roastaed rhubarb and ginger

Served with a bottle of white wine (name I never heard and forgot promptly) from my father. The last 2 recipes thx to the Naked Chef. My mother was duely impressed.

I prepared the pannacotta the day before. In the morning I prepared the fish, the shrimpsalad and the rhubarb and when my parents came an hour early of course I had to clean up the kitchen but the food was ready. I didn’t have a lot of work to do anymore because it had all been done before. That is what’s most important when having guests.

My mother was most impressed with the rhubarb – first because it’s the wrong season and second because it kept its form instead of being mashed up. That is the point where for once I followed the recipe. In the recipe it said: “grill the rhubarb” so I put it on a tray in the oven sprinkled sugar over the pieces and waited the appropriate amount of time. The rhubarb with the ginger and the pannacotta was a perfect fit. Simply a great dessert that’s being added to my repertoire permanently. Btw: I served the Pannacotta in nice cocktail glasses!