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

12/25/2013 12:00 AM

12/24/2013 5:30 PM

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.

RECIPES

Spiced carrot soup

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 pounds carrots, peeled and diced

1 teaspoon five-spice powder

1 quart low-sodium chicken broth or stock

Heavy cream

Salt and ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

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.

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Peppered filet roast with Parmesan roasted cauliflower

Prep time: 20 minutes

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

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

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

Salt and ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 heads cauliflower, trimmed into 1-inch florets

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

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.

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Chocolate sorbet sandwiches

Start to finish: 10 minutes

Makes 12 sandwiches

INGREDIENTS

24 chocolate wafer cookies

11/2 cups sorbet (any flavor)

INSTRUCTIONS

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

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