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Cooking: A New Year's dinner party

Personally, my favorite thing to do for New Year's Eve is to sit down to an enjoyable and relaxing dinner party. I prefer spending the last few hours of the year with the people I care about the most; eating an authentic meal, sipping wine and toasting to the year to come over glasses of champagne.

These recipes will serve a party of six. Happy New Year to all.

Rosemary and Garlic Roast Beef

3 pounds boneless Rib Eye roast

¼ cup fresh rosemary, chopped

¼ cup (about 20 cloves) garlic, chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

4 tablespoons butter, divided

4 cups of a variety of Mushrooms, sliced to about the same size

1 cup of stock

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Season the roast generously with salt and pepper.

Mix together the rosemary, garlic and two tablespoons of olive oil, stirring until they are well combined and set the mixture aside.

In an oven-safe skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat, heat two tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is smoking hot, sear all sides of the meat.

Remove the skillet from the heat. Then brush the herb and garlic mixture all over the roast.

Place the roast, still in the skillet, into the preheated oven and cook a little over an hour or until a meat thermometer reads 135F degrees (medium-rare.) Let the roast rest for at least 10 minutes before serving (final temperature should be 145F for medium rare.)

While the roast is resting, sauté the mushrooms over medium heat with two tablespoons of butter until cooked through and there is no longer any liquid in the pan. If you'd like you can season them with salt and pepper.

Remove the roast from the skillet and bring the skillet to the stovetop. Add stock to the pan and deglaze the pan, scraping all the bits from the bottom. Allow it to simmer until it has thickened.

Add the mushrooms to the sauce and then stir in the remaining two tablespoons of butter, stirring until the sauce is smooth. Then, place the roast back in the skillet with the sauce and spoon it over the top.

Serve while the roast is still hot.

Asparagus Cordon Bleu

2 bunches of asparagus, tough ends trimmed

6 thin slices prosciutto

1 cup gruyere cheese, grated

2 tablespoons butter

¼ cup panko

Fresh parsley, chopped

Olive oil

Salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a baking dish by brushing it with olive oil. Prepare an ice bath as well.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt, drop the asparagus into the salted water and cook for 15 to 30 seconds or until the asparagus turns a bright green. Remove it and immediately put them into the ice bath.

Let them cool thoroughly then pat them dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel.

Divide the asparagus into six even bunches and wrap each bundle in the prosciutto and place them in the prepared baking dish, top them with the grated cheese.

Combine the butter and panko in a small bowl and sprinkle it over the top of the cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the breadcrumbs have browned.

Sprinkle the asparagus with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Mashed Cauliflower

2 heads of cauliflower, cut into florets

4 tablespoons butter

2 cloves of garlic, grated.

salt and pepper

3 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped

Bring a large pot of water to a boil before adding the cauliflower florets. Cook them for about 6-minutes, or until they are tender enough to pierce with a fork.

Once the cauliflower is finished cooking drain it really well and pat the florets between several layers of paper towels until they are dry.

Place them in a large mixing bowl. Add in the butter and garlic and with an immersion blender or a potato masher combine the ingredients until they are creamy.

Finish by seasoning the cauliflower with salt and pepper and stirring in the fresh chives.

Serve immediately while it is still hot.

Creme Cups

2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin

1 cup sugar

4 cups heavy cream

3 cups sour cream

2 teaspoons almond extract

fresh strawberries, raspberries or blueberries

In a medium saucepan, mix the gelatin, sugar and heavy cream, stirring it until the sugar dissolves.

Continue stirring over low heat until the mixture is slightly thickened. Remove it from the heat and fold in the sour cream and extract. Pour the mixture into custard or dessert cups and chill it for 2 to 3 hours.

Just before serving, spoon the fresh berries of your choosing on top.

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