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New Years Eve dinner--looking for a one pot WOW

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I'm thinking something seemingly simple and delicious to contrast all the roasts and fancy sides of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Maybe a one pot item such as cassoulet or a fish stew with local crab or beef bourguignon. Not a soup, but soupy would be good.

Any thoughts?

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  1. When I was growing up (in the dark ages) we always had fondue on New Year's Eve. One pot for the fondue (cheese, beer or wine, maybe a little garlic), a basket for the bread cubes, and a bunch of fondue forks. Vegetable crudite to help the digestion. It's a nice celebratory dinner.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Euonymous

      Braised boneless short ribs -- sublime comfort food, and definitely fit for a special holiday meal.

    2. I think what you suggested in your post, either the cassoulet, bouillabaise or bourguignon are the best of the lot for one pot wow dinner fare. Actually, I'd go with the bourguignon or a bouillabaise. A good cassolet is a thing of beauty, but I find it to be a bit rustic for a New Year's celebration. Plus cassolet is not so great with Champagne, imo.

      On the subject of fondue, it seems to have come back into vogue, and I fondly remember fondue parties, also from back in the dark ages. The whole fondue shebang can really be ramped up, various cheeses, an unusual and usual assortment of things to dip, and might be a fun interactive celebratory meal.

      2 Replies
      1. One of our regular New Years Eve dinners is a game stew. It may make an appearance this year as I've got the meat - a mix of venison, pheasant and rabbit. If so, then the starter will be flash-fried pigeon breasts on a few salad leaves, mustard dressing.

        1. Pot au Feu
          Beef Bourguignon
          Steak and Guiness Pie (a nice change and a big hit!)
          Melted Leek and Chicken Pie

          4 Replies
          1. re: chefathome

            Ooh, melted leek and chicken pie sounds really good! Can you please post your recipe?

            1. re: saucedjen

              It is actually Jamie Oliver's recipe. Oops - he calls for leftover turkey but we used chicken as we are not big turkey fans. And he calls it "sweet leeks" but in reality this is melted leeks. We used quite a bit of bacon as we had it to use up. Anyway, you are sure to like the crust as well - it uses puff pastry with fresh sage leaves and chestnuts between the layers. It is easy and very tasty and a wee bit different than the usual!

              http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/tu...

              1. re: chefathome

                Julia does this with rabbit pieces, melted leeks and a lovel yherbed biscuit topping. great food for feeding a crowd.

                1. re: toodie jane

                  What an excellent idea! Rabbit is scrumptious - I do not have it as often as I would like.

            1. re: Brock Lee Robb

              Yes, Coq au Vin is great. I love it with egg noodles and a simple green salad.

            2. jambalaya with lots of shrimp and sausage

              1. I think cassoulet just screams 'occasion'. I think it is perfect for new years. It's true, it's not the best with champagne, but if you do a true French menu with the cassoulet earlier in the evening followed by lighter courses, the champagne would fit in perfectly with the latter courses. Now, it's true that with such a heavy dish, you have to be ready to commit to a very long meal and a late night... but what better night than new years for something like that?

                Also, beware of doctors appointments after cassoulet. I have an annual cassoulet party and one year I happened to have a routine cholesterol check two days after the party. My doctor called me into his office for a stern lecture after the numbers came back through the rough. I was flabbergasted since I'm generally quite healthy. After a secondary check confirmed good cholesterol levels we realized that my decadent meal had given me an alarming false reading. Definitely made me realize that once a year is plenty for a menu like that...

                On the other hand, if you want something that doesn't take two whole days and half a butcher shop to make, check out Donna Hay's meat pies. They are stunningly beautiful and sinfully delicious.

                1. I make cioppino for New Years all the time. Here's my recipe, however the seafood choices change depending on what's available at the market. Serve with a piece of crusty bread and a glass of wine.

                  http://www.examiner.com/cooking-in-no...

                  1. French "Cassoulet" has been our New Year's Day tradition for decades now, because it uses up the last bits of the Xmas Roast Goose. That said, I only make it for New Year's Day because I like lighter fare for New Year's Eve. Cassoulet is wonderful, but it definitely is NOT "light" - lol!!

                    For New Year's Eve we pretty much "graze", as in lots of little dishes to graze on & pick through. Always, ALWAYS include lentil soup, herring in sour cream sauce, caviar, a cheese platter, chilled shrimp with cocktail sauce, etc., etc. The few times I've done a full meal, it's been plain boiled lobsters, since all I need do is pop them into a pot of boiling water, melt some butter, & cut some lemons. Plus they're nearly always on sale around here for the holidays.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Breezychow

                      I love the idea of lobster. I'm not sure if there's anything that gives you more payoff for less effort.

                    2. Moroccan lamb tagine is also fabulous.
                      Although it is rustic we often enjoy sausage and lentils braised in red wine.

                      1. For years and years Chinese food on NYE was deemed a Good Luck meal and we still adhere to that. Although no take away at casa G & G... we make our own. However, on New Year's Day it's very simple fare as we begin to get back on a more healthy meal pattern. Sometimes it's chicken soup with a salad after. This year it will be lentils and fresh Italian spicy sausages. I like to include a homemade bread as well.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Gio

                          Cotechino? Thanks for the reminder. We're in SF where I can buy some.

                          1. re: c oliver

                            Yes... cotechino. I have a Batali recipe I'm going to try this year:
                            http://www.babbonyc.com/rec-cotechino...

                            1. re: Gio

                              I did his Cotechino in Jail last year. Scroll down past the stupid pictures of the kitten :) It was really good.

                              http://www.diningwithbatali.com/2009/...

                          1. re: roadfix

                            osso buco? Can make the day before and reheat.....

                          2. Ina made some awesome looking lobster macaroni and cheese on her show today-it screamed New Years to me. Here is the link to her recipe-there are others out there as well...never made any of them but it is on my to do list.
                            http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: margib

                              I've made this before and it's incredible.

                            2. We do a Chinese Hot Pot for NYE. It's always so much fun. Then the guys have corned beef sandwiches while watching football and the ladies head out to a huge yarn store sale and then lunch at an Indian buffet for New Years Day. It's tradition!

                              1. Really simple? Pre-made cioppino sauce-a semi tangy one at Safeway and most fish marts- with the usual fish, shrimp, crab, clams, mussels. Doctor the sauce if you want with celery, Old Bay, etc. -- outstanding with bread to mop up the sauce. The jar even tells what order to put the seafood into the mix.

                                1. Paella. It's pretty, you can include chicken, shrimp and sausage. Prepare completely in advance and put in to bake as guests arrive. Serve with orange fennel salad, crunchy bread and flan for dessert. Have fun!

                                    1. I love this recipe from Giada. It's her Beef Stew with Marsala and Butternut Squash.

                                      Trust me, it's fabulous.

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: mcel215

                                        How about Black Eye Peas for good luck and a good budget - our southern brothern would'nt dream of NYE without them

                                        1. re: sparky403

                                          We do either a pot of black eyed peas with some type of pork (ham hocks, etc) or hoppin' John, either of which must be accompanied with a pot of greens (mixed, kale, mustard, collards, etc for money in the new year) and some cornbread or hushpuppies. On the side, maybe some fried chicken...lol...now, this might not be fancy, but it definately could be wow....

                                          1. re: Cherylptw

                                            Oh thank you Cheryl for reminding me, I've done that meal before but it's been many years, so that's what I'm doing for New Year's dinner in 2011!

                                            1. re: Cherylptw

                                              That's our traditional New Year's Day meal, too - only the meats change.

                                          2. re: mcel215

                                            Yum. Could you post your version of the recipe, or give us a link? Thanks!

                                            1. re: bayoucook

                                              Here's the link for Giada's recipe. It sounds almost too simple to be a knock out, but it is.

                                              http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gi...

                                          3. I do like the curry chicken idea, or a thai coconut curry soup served with rice noodles. That will give you some serious milage. Don't forget the beer!

                                            1. What did you decide on?