Matthew Mead / The Associated Press

This dinner party menu works for New Year’s Eve or any special occasion. Start with carrot soup, then peppered filet with Parmesan roasted cauliflower, followed by chocolate sorbet sandwiches.

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  • Spiced carrot soup

    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Cook time: 25 minutes

    Serves 6


    tablespoon olive oil

    medium yellow onion, diced

    pounds carrots, peeled and diced

    teaspoon five-spice powder

    quart low-sodium chicken broth or stock

    Heavy cream

    Salt and ground black pepper


    In a large stockpot over medium-high, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and carrots and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the five-spice powder and the chicken broth, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook until the carrots are tender, about another 10 minutes.

    Working in batches if necessary, carefully transfer the soup to a blender and purée until smooth. Return the soup to the pot. Stir in a bit of heavy cream, just enough to thin to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, then heat until hot.

    Per serving: 120 calories; 35 calories from fat (29 percent of total calories); 4 g fat (1.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 5 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 11 g sugar; 4 g protein; 170 mg sodium.

  • Peppered filet roast with Parmesan roasted cauliflower

    Prep time: 20 minutes

    Cook time: 1 hour 5 minutes (or more for roast)

    Serves 6


    One 3-pound Chateaubriand (center-cut filet mignon roast), trimmed

    Salt and ground black pepper

    tablespoons olive oil, divided

    heads cauliflower, trimmed into 1-inch florets

    cup grated Parmesan cheese


    Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Generously season the roast with salt and pepper.

    In a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the roast and sear for 3 minutes per side. Place the roast in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.

    Meanwhile, in a large bowl toss the cauliflower florets with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the Parmesan, and a bit each of salt and pepper. Spread the florets on a rimmed baking sheet, add to the oven, and roast for 30 minutes, or until tender and browned.

    Remove the roast from the oven when internal temperature reaches 130 degrees (for medium rare), cover with foil and allow it to rest for 10 minutes (final temperature will be 135 for medium rare). Slice and serve with cauliflower.

    Per serving: 430 calories; 180 calories from fat (42 percent of total calories); 20 g fat (7 g sat.; 0 g trans fats); 135 mg chol.; 10 g carb.; 4 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 56 g protein; 820 mg sodium.

  • Chocolate sorbet sandwiches

    Start to finish: 10 minutes

    Makes 12 sandwiches


    24  chocolate wafer cookies

    11/2  cups sorbet (any flavor)


    Scoop 2 tablespoons of sorbet onto the underside of 1 chocolate cookie. Press a second chocolate cookie onto the top to form a sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies to make 12 sandwiches. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

    Per sandwich: 90 calories; 15 calories from fat (17 percent of total calories); 1.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 11 g sugar; 1 g protein; 90 mg sodium

What’s Cooking: Easy New Year’s Eve dinner party

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013 - 12:00 am

You’re ready to kick off the new year, and you want to do it with a stylishly delicious meal. But you probably don’t have time to master fancy new kitchen skills. Or to shop for a million ingredients.

We’ve got you covered. We created a simple, elegant meal that won’t tax your time or your kitchen cred. We offer up classic French flavor in easy recipes that deliver rich flavor just right for a winter meal. Start with a spiced carrot soup, then move on to a perfectly roasted filet. Finish the evening with chocolate sorbet sandwiches, the perfect partner for the sparkling wine you'll be drinking.

Read more articles by Alison Ladman

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