Every year, Jeffery and I spend New Year’s Eve in Paris with friends. We hire a taxi to drive us all over the city at night to see the sights lit up for the holidays. We take a bottle of Champagne to drink on the steps of the Sacre Coeur with the Eiffel Tower sparkling like a diamond in the background. We walk across the Seine in the Pont des Arts and marvel at the view of the Louvre museum all illuminated. And finally, we stop at the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz for a delicious cocktail to warm us up. Then around 11pm, we all come home for an elegant late-night supper. It sounds wonderful and romantic, doesn’t it?
But oops! There’s a problem! Of course I want to cook a memorable dinner on New Year’s Eve. But how can I do that when I’ve been out carousing with Jeffrey and our friends all night? This is what I do: make dinner ahead!
This year, I’m going to make my Provençal Fish Stew. I’ll cook the soup stock and make the garlicky rouille and toasts in advance. When we get home before midnight, all I need to do is reheat the soup, add the fish and mussels and cook the stew for 10 minutes. Elegant New Year’s Eve dinner and no stress! Now that’s something to celebrate!
EXCERPT CREDIT: MAKE AHEAD COPYRIGHT 2014 INA GARTEN. PUBLISHED BY CLARKSON POTTER. ALL PHOTOS BY QUENTIN BACON.