The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

December 24, 2013

New Year's party with complex flavor, easy to cook


By Alison Ladman

NEW YORK — 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.

SPICED CARROT SOUP

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 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

Directions

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 puree 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.

Nutrition information 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

Start to finish: 45 minutes

Servings: 6

Ingredients

• 3-pound Chateau Briand (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

Directions

Heat the oven to 425 F.

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 for medium-rare.

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 and roast for 30 minutes, or until tender and browned.

Remove the roast from the oven, cover with foil and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with the roasted cauliflower.

Nutrition information per serving: 430 calories; 180 calories from fat (42 percent of total calories); 20 g fat (7 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 135 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 56 g protein; 820 mg sodium.

CHOCOLATE SORBET SANDWICHES

Start to finish: 10 minutes

Makes 12 sandwiches

Directions

• 24 chocolate wafer cookies

• 1 1/2 cups sorbet (any flavor)

Directions

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.