Send Marc a message!

Use the quick form on the right to send Marc an email.

         

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Headshot-WIDE-Marc_Sievers.jpg

Recipes & Entertaining Ideas

Filtering by Tag: 2013 Q3

Classic French Omelette

Marc J. Sievers

A French style omelette is such a fabulous recipe to have in your repertoire!  They are thinner and more elegant than an American version.  With that being said, you can serve them for breakfast, brunch, and especially dinner.

I love having friends over for dinner and surprising them with my Classic French Omelette and a glass of champagne!  It is such a simple technique that once you have mastered it, you will be able to make a perfect (parfait!) omelette in a matter of seconds.  The recipe outlined below is for my Classic Omelette as well as my Savory Omelette.


Watch my webisode of From My Kitchen to Yours - French Omelettes (filmed in Williams-Sonoma Lincoln Park's grand gourmet kitchen!) for a complete tutorial:


Classic French Omelette

Ingredients (makes 1 omelette, multiply recipe as needed)

  • Eggs – 2, extra-large, at room temperature

  • Butter – 1 tablespoon

Directions

  1. Start by beating the eggs until the yolks and whites are fully incorporated.

  2. Place an 10-inch non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Allow the pan to get very hot, but not smoking.

  3. Add the butter and swirl it around to evenly coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Once the butter is completely melted, the foam has subsided, pour the eggs into the center of the butter.

  4. Allow the eggs to sit for just a few seconds before you begin swirling the pan over the heat.

  5. Continue the swirling motion for roughly 20 to 25 seconds. Once the eggs begin to set and there is just a little bit of wetness in the center, jerk the pan several times back and forth in order to fold the eggs onto itself. The finished omelette will end up in the far lip of the pan.

  6. Grasp the handle of the pan from underneath and rest the far lip of the pan (where the Omelette has formed) slightly off-center onto the bottom of a dinner plate.

  7. Gently turn the pan upside down over the plate. The omelette will then drop into position. Et Voilà, a classic French omelette!


Savory Omelette

Ingredients (makes 1 omelette, multiply recipe as needed)

  • Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ½ teaspoon

  • Lemon Zest – 1 teaspoon

  • Garlic – 1 clove, finely minced

  • Yellow Onion – ½ cup, thinly sliced

  • Triple Cream Brie – 2 slices, ¼-inch thick

  • Parsley – ¼ cup, freshly chopped

  • Olive Oil – 1 tablespoon, plus more for garnish

Directions

  1. In a medium sauté pan set of medium heat add the olive oil and onions. Allow to cook for 7 to 8 minutes, or until lightly brown and tender.

  2. Next add the garlic and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, be careful not to burn the garlic. Turn off the heat and set aside.

  3. Add the lemon zest, salt and pepper to the beaten eggs and follow cooking and plating instructions for the classic omelette.

  4. Once the omelette is plated, top with the brie, onion mixture, and fresh parsley. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and serve immediately.

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

Print Friendly and PDF

Baked Pumpkin Spiced Donuts with Maple Glaze

Marc J. Sievers

A few weeks ago I posted on my Facebook page that I finally caved in and bought a donut pan and that I wanted your feedback on what recipe to create for the ultimate donut.  Well, you guys were certainly creative!  I had requests ranging from simple vanilla bean all the way through tequila-lime, but the MOST requested was pumpkin.

Well, I couldn’t just create any old pumpkin donut, I wanted to create the most delicious, moist, and flavorful donut I could dream up.  Since Autumn is one of my favorite seasons, I created Baked Pumpkin Spiced Donuts with Maple Glaze!  These little rings are loaded with classic spices, canned pumpkin, and are glazed with maple syrup and vanilla bean seeds.  Get ready, cause “It’s Time to Make the Donuts”!  Happy baking!


Baked Pumpkin Spiced Donuts with Maple Glaze

Ingredients (makes 2 dozen)

Donut Batter

  • Flour – 2 cups, all-purpose

  • Baking Powder – 1 ½ teaspoons

  • Sea Salt – 1 teaspoon

  • Cinnamon – 1 teaspoon

  • Nutmeg – ¼ teaspoon

  • Ground Ginger – ¼ teaspoon

  • Cloves – ¼ teaspoon

  • Honey – 2 tablespoons

  • Light Brown Sugar – 1 ½ cups

  • Vanilla – 2 teaspoons, pure extract

  • Pumpkin Puree – 1 ½ cups, canned pumpkin, not pie filling

  • Eggs – 3, extra-large, at room temperature

  • Vegetable Oil – ½ cup

Maple Glaze

  • Maple Syrup – 8 tablespoons, pure, Grade A

  • Heavy Cream – 3 tablespoons

  • Confectioners’ Sugar – 2 cups, sifter

  • Vanilla Bean Seeds – 2 pods

  • Sea Salt – 1/4 teaspoon

Directions

Donut Batter

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment set to medium speed mix the pumpkin, honey, eggs, vanilla, sugar, and vegetable oil until completely mixed, about 5 minutes.

  3. In the meantime sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger.

  4. Reduce the mixer to low speed and gradually add the dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated.

  5. Spray the wells of a standard sized donut pan with Baker’s Joy.

  6. Using a small spoon fill each well about ¾ full of batter.

  7. Bake for 17-18 minutes, or until a lightly golden brown.

  8. Line a sheet pan with plastic wrap or a piece of parchment paperand place a wire cooling rack on top.

  9. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the donuts from the pan and place on the wire rack to cool for 5 minutes.

  10. Wipe out the donut pan, spray with Baker’s Joy and repeat the process until all the batter has been used.

  11. While the donuts are slightly warm, drizzle the tops of each one with maple glaze. Allow the donuts and glaze to cool completely before serving.

These are best served the same day.

Maple Glaze

  1. Place the confectioners’ sugar, seeds of both vanilla beans, heavy cream, salt, and maple syrup in a small bowl.

  2. Stir until completely mixed and smooth.

Idea: Lining your sheet pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper with make cleaning up the excess glaze that dripped off the donuts a cinch!

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

Print Friendly and PDF

Deux Madeleine

Marc J. Sievers

Every recipe I write always has a story behind it.  Whether it’s from a childhood memory, something I have tried at a restaurant, or even from a particular type of music I’ve heard, I am constantly on the lookout for new inspiration!  Just a few days ago I was shopping with a friend at a cookware store when I stumbled upon a madeleine pan that was on sale (like seriously on sale!), and my imagination started running wild with ideas of different flavor combinations.  I put the pan in my basket and continued shopping.

My friend instantly started telling me stories about her many trips to Paris and how lovely all the madeleines are.  Her story telling was so detailed, I could almost picture myself walking down the streets of Paris and popping into bakeries to try these amazing little cakes.  I was making her dinner that night but asked if it would be OK if we skipped dinner and I just made her madeleines instead?  I think you know her answer!

After a few rounds of testing different flavors (and a few bottles of wine!), my recipe for Deux Madeleine was complete!  These amazing delicate little cakes are lightly flavored with almond and some with almond, pistachios, and chocolate.  The batter is so simple to make and can be flavored so many different ways.  In fact, from start to finish you will have fresh madeleines in under an hour!  I hope my little story of inspiration gives you the courage to try something new and different, especially this recipe.  Happy baking!


Deux Madeleine

Ingredients (makes 22 - 24 cakes)

  • Flour – 2/3 cup, all-purpose, plus more for dusting the pan

  • Baking Powder – ¼ teaspoon

  • Butter – 1 stick, unsalted, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing the pan

  • Eggs – 2 extra-large, at room temperature

  • Almond Extract – 1 teaspoon

  • Sea Salt – ⅛ teaspoon

  • Powdered Sugar – 1 cup, plus more for dusting

  • Pistachios – 2/3 cup, roughly chopped

  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips – 2/3 cup

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Butter and flour a standard size madeleine pan.

  3. Start by sifting the flour, sea salt, and baking powder into a small bowl. Set aside.

  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs and almond extract on medium-high speed until it thickens, about 5-6 minutes.

  5. Reduce the speed to medium and gradually add the powdered sugar. Beat an additional 5 minutes.

  6. Turn off the mixer and gently fold in the flour mixture, then the melted butter. Mix until smooth.

  7. Allow the batter to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  8. Next, Spoon the batter into the wells of the pan, filling about ¾ full.

  9. Bake for 8-9 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cakes to cool for 3 minutes in the pan. Then remove the cakes and allow to fully cool (fluted side down) on a wire rack.

  10. Wipe out the pan, flour and butter the wells, and repeat the steps above until all the batter has been used.

  11. Dust with powdered sugar and serve at room temperature.

  12. Madeleine’s can be stored in an air tight container for up to 3 days.


Pistachio & Chocolate Madeleine

  1. Follow the steps above.

  2. After filling each well with batter, sprinkle evenly with chopped pistachios and follow baking and cooling instructions.

  3. In a heat-proof bowl set over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate chips, stirring occasionally.

  4. Once melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

  5. Place the melted chocolate into a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip.

  6. Drizzle the chocolate over the cooled madeleine.

  7. Allow the chocolate to fully set before serving or storing.

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

Print Friendly and PDF

Fool-Proof Ricotta

Marc J. Sievers

Have you ever had ricotta cheese and thought, “Eww, this is grainy, tasteless, and just plain disgusting!”?  Well, me too, and I’m Italian!  Those thoughts could have me swimming with the fishes, if you know what I mean.

When I was a kid my family was always in the kitchen whipping up savory and sweet masterpieces, but I never really liked ricotta cheese.  In fact, I used to hate it as much as I do kale chips (sorry, they will never replace the kettle cooked potato varieties).  Fast forward a “few” years and I now am eating my Fool-Proof Ricotta on toasted Italian bread, crackers, or even by the spoonful!

My recipe is simple, has very few ingredients, and can even be made with all organic ingredients.  It is full of sweet flavor but has the lightest texture you have ever tasted.  Serve my Fool-Proof Ricotta as a hors d’oeurve with fresh honey comb and basil leaves, as a filling for lasagna, or even make it into a ricotta cheesecake.  Mangia!


Fool-Proof Ricotta

Ingredients (makes 1½ cups)

  • Whole Milk – 4 cups

  • Heavy Cream – 2 cups

  • Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon

  • Lemon Juice – ¼ cup, freshly squeezed

Directions

  1. In a large sauce pan set over medium-high heat add the milk, cream, and sea salt.

  2. Allow the liquid to come to a full boil, then remove it from the heat and add the lemon juice. Let it rest for 5 minutes.

  3. In the meantime, line a fine mesh sieve with 6 layers of damp cheesecloth. Then set it over a very large bowl.

  4. After 5 minutes, pour the milk mixture into the cheesecloth and allow the cheese to drain for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. During the draining time, fold the ends of the cheesecloth in onto itself and gently press to expel excess liquid, do this at least 4 times. This will ensure you end up with an extremely luxurious and creamy ricotta.

  5. Scrap the cheese from the sides of the cheesecloth and transfer it into a serving bowl. You can also place it into an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Note: Depending on the size of the bowl, you may have to empty the liquid a few times during draining.

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

Print Friendly and PDF

Fall Fruit Crostata

Marc J. Sievers

Autumn is my favorite season, and it is just around the corner!  I love the chill in the air and the crunch of autumn leaves when you walk.  The food that the season brings is by far my favorite to cook (and eat!).  Lately, I have been turning to crostatas—which are open-faced pies—and filling them with different combinations of fruits and adding a little twist to the crust, white pepper!  The pepper is such a wonderful contrast to the sweet fruits and really adds the perfect amount of spiciness, which creates a delicious combination of layered flavors.

Crostatas are often my “go-to” for entertaining.  I can make the dough ahead of time and leave it in the refrigerator.  Not long before my guests arrive I gather my combination of fruits and other ingredients, throw it all together, and fill the house with a fabulous smell to welcome my guests.  Not only is the house filled with a beautiful fragrance, but your guests will think you have been baking all day.  My Fall Fruit Crostata is perfect for a first course, brunch, lunch offering with a salad, or for dessert with vanilla-bean ice cream.  It is a fabulous dish for any soirée!


Fall Fruit Crostata

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • Flour – 1 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons, all-purpose, divided

  • Butter – 1 stick, unsalted, very cold

  • Comté Cheese – ½ cup, freshly grated

  • White Pepper – ¾ teaspoon

  • Sea Salt – ¾ teaspoon

  • Sugar – ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon, granulated, divided

  • Water – 8 tablespoons, very cold

  • Bread Crumbs – 4 tablespoons, plain variety

  • Lemon Juice – 2 tablespoons, freshly squeezed

  • Nutmeg – ¼ teaspoon

  • Cinnamon – ¼ teaspoon

  • Honey – 2 tablespoons

  • Granny Smith Apples – 2 large, peeled, cored, and sliced ½-inch thick

  • Bosc Pears – 2 large, peeled, seeded, and sliced ½-inch thick

  • Black Plums – 2 large, peeled, pitted, and sliced ½-inch thick

  • Egg Wash – 1 extra-large egg lightly beaten mixed with a splash of water

Directions

  1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add 1 ½ cups of flour, butter, 1 tablespoon of sugar, white pepper, and sea salt. Pulse the food processor 10 times or until the butter is the size of small peas. Add the Comté cheese and pulse 2 more times.

  2. Next, with the food processor running, slowly add the cold water down the feed tube. As soon as the dough forms a ball, turn off the food processor.

  3. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and quickly shape it into a disc. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

  5. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the apples, pears, plums, lemon juice, ½ cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour, honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss to evenly coat the fruit and set aside.

  6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place onto a lightly floured surface.

  7. Roll out the dough to form a circle that measures 15-inches by ½ -inch thick.

  8. Transfer the dough to a parchment-covered sheet pan. Sprinkle evenly with breadcrumbs.

  9. Spoon the fruit and the juices onto the pastry, leaving a 2-inch boarder from the edge.

  10. Turn the edge of the pastry in over the fruit. Brush the dough with egg wash. Sprinkle the dough with course sanding sugar.

  11. Bake for 60-80 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush the entire top with apricot glaze.

Serve either warm or room temperature.


To make the glaze:

  1. In a small saucepan set over medium heat add 1/3 cup of apricot jelly and 2 teaspoons of spiced rum.

  2. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

Print Friendly and PDF

Oven Mac 'n Cheese

Marc J. Sievers

I have yet to come across someone who doesn’t love mac ‘n cheese!  It’s one of those universal comfort foods that can be made in hundreds of ways, with or without toppings, baked, and even fried!  It can cheer you up on a rainy day, enjoyed by the bowl fill while watching a movie, or served during game night with friends (I’m a champ at monopoly!).  My Oven Mac n’ Cheese uses 4 distinctive cheeses and is topped with fresh garlic bread crumbs made from a toasted baguette.  All in all, this dish is sure to bring smiles and accolades from those who indulge!


Oven Mac 'n Cheese

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • Demi Baguette – cut lengthwise

  • Butter – 2 tablespoons, unsalted, at room temperature

  • Garlic – 2 cloves, finely minced

  • Sea Salt – 1½ teaspoons, divided

  • Black Pepper – 1½ teaspoons, divided

  • Heavy Cream – 1½ cup

  • Whole Milk – 1½ cups

  • Semi-Soft Fontina – ½ pound, grated

  • Red Leicester – ½ pound, grated, available at Trader Joe's

  • Gruyere – ½ pound, grated

  • Parmesan – ½ pound, grated

  • Elbow Macaroni – 2 pounds, dry

Directions

  1. Preheat broiler to highest setting.

  2. Place the garlic, butter, and ½ teaspoon each of sea salt and black pepper into a small bowl. Mix until well combined.

  3. Spread each cut side of the baguette evenly with the butter mixture.

  4. Place the baguette halves cut side up onto a sheet pan. Place under the broiler for 3 - 5 minutes, or until golden brown.

  5. Remove from the broiler and place the toasted baguette into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until the texture resembles course breadcrumbs. Set aside.

  6. In a medium sauce pan set over low heat add the milk, heavy cream, and 1 teaspoon each of sea salt and black pepper.

  7. Bring to a simmer then turn off the heat and cover the pan with a lid. Set aside.

  8. Next, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a rapid boil. Add dry pasta and cook for half of the suggested cooking time.

  9. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

  10. Drain the pasta and return it back into the pot. Add the grated cheeses, warm milk, and cream. Mix until well combined.

  11. Transfer the cheesy pasta into a 5 quart baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with garlic bread crumbs and place into the oven uncovered. Cook for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the sides are bubbly. Serve hot.

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

Print Friendly and PDF

Cheers! St. Germain with Bubbles!

Marc J. Sievers

I recently did an interview for Blendabout.com, a social dinning website that matches people with common interests into small groups for meals at restaurants all over the country.  BlendAbout schedules group meals for approximately six people that share the same interests, allowing users to connect and mingle comfortably.  They asked me all about cocktails, a topic I do know a thing-or-two about!  I wanted to create a cocktail that was something guests would be impressed by, with a unique flavor profile, and could be made easily in large quantities.

Since I love St. Germain which is an elderflower flavored liqueur, I knew I wanted to highlight the beautiful, floral notes.  My St. Germain with Bubbles is now the most requested cocktail from clients when I am hosting their dinner parties!  Cheers!


St. Germain with Bubbles

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • St. Germain – 6 tablespoons, divided

  • Champagne – (your favorite) – 1 bottle, chilled

  • Basil – 6 leaves, small

  • Blueberries – 18, gently smashed (using the back of a spoon)

  • Lemon Juice – 6 teaspoons, divided

  • Lemon Curls – for garnish

  • Sugar – 6 cubes

Directions

  1. Start by filling 6 flutes with champagne.

  2. Next, evenly divide the St. Germain and lemon juice into each flute.

  3. Garnish with basil, blueberries and lemon curls.

  4. Right before serving, drop a sugar cube into each flute.

Tip: While the basil and blueberries do not add a lot of flavor directly to the aperitif, it’s an unexpected (but FABULOUS!) surprise at the end when you bite and get the spiciness of the basil and sweetness of the blueberry.  It almost acts as a palette cleanser and readies your taste buds for what’s next!

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

Print Friendly and PDF

Cheers! The Tuscan

Marc J. Sievers

On of my favorite movies is Under the Tuscan Sun!  I love watching  it and imagining myself cooking, eating, and drinking luscious food and wine on a blanket under a big tree. In this blissful Italian daydream I would need a cocktail.  And what better way to capture the essence of the countryside than with oranges, lemons, rosemary, and Amaretto, my creation The Tuscan!  This total crowd pleaser can be mixed in advance, stored in the refrigerator, and poured over ice to get the party started.  Cheers!


The Tuscan

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • Amaretto – ¾ cup

  • Vodka – ¾ cup

  • Grand Marnier® – Splash to taste

  • Rosemary – 3 sprigs

  • Lemonade – 2¼ cups

  • Orange – 3 large slices

Directions

  1. First, fill 6 double old fashioned glasses with ice. Zest 6 large peels of orange.

  2. In a large cocktail shaker, muddle the leaves of 3 sprigs of rosemary and all the orange slices to a rough pulp. Add ice to the cocktail shaker.

  3. Pour in the Amaretto, vodka, Grand Marnier®, and lemonade. Top the shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Remove the top and pour through a fine strainer evenly into each glass.

  4. Garnish each glass with ½ of a fresh rosemary sprig and one large orange peel. Serve immediately.

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

Print Friendly and PDF

Fig & Stilton Salad

Marc J. Sievers

Whenever fresh figs are in season and available at farmers markets, I always get so excited for the endless possibilities for cheese plates, salads, and desserts!  My Fig & Stilton Salad combines a unique flavor combination of Black Mission Figs, Stilton, and dark chocolate all dressed with an orange vinaigrette.  This is the perfect salad with a glass of champagne or Sauvignon Blanc while dining al fresco during the last few weeks of summer.  Just add a fresh baguette and some honey butter and voila, you have a chic and delicious salad for your guests.


Ingredients (serves 4)

  • Orange Zest – 1 tablespoon

  • Orange Juice – 1/3 cup, freshly squeezed

  • Honey – 1 tablespoon

  • Sea Salt – 3/4 teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – 3/4 teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Olive Oil – 3/4 cup

  • Arugula – 5 ounces, washed & drained well

  • Black Mission Figs – 8, quartered

  • Pecans – 1 cup, halved

  • Stilton – 3/4 cup, crumbled

  • Dark Chocolate – 4 tables, freshly grated

  • Fleur de Sel – for garnish

Directions

For the Orange Vinaigrette:

  1. Combine the juice, zest, honey, sea salt, and black pepper into a glass bowl. Mix until well incorporated.

  2. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.

  3. Set aside.

For the salad:

  1. Toss the arugula with the vinaigrette and arrange on a large serving platter or bowl.

  2. Evenly distribute the figs, pecans, Stilton and dark chocolate over the dressed arugula.

  3. Garnish with Fleur de Sel.

  4. Serve immediately.

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

Print Friendly and PDF

Goat Cheese French Toast Soufflé

Marc J. Sievers

Having people over for brunch is about to get even more delicious!  My Goat Cheese French Toast Soufflé is the perfect dish to make when you want to sip champagne with friends and do the least amount of cooking possible.  It’s packed with sweet (honey), savory (goat cheese), & citrus (orange) flavors and has the most airy-light texture.

You can also pair this with freshly sliced strawberries topped with julienned basil leaves.  After making this, you may never want to make traditional French toast again.  Happy brunch-ing!


Ingredients (serves 6)

  • Challah bread – 8 slices ¾-inch thick

  • Eggs – 4, extra-large, PLUS 1 extra-large yolk

  • Half-n-half – 3 cups

  • Honey – 3 tablespoon, divided

  • Light Brown Sugar – 2 tablespoon

  • Orange Zest – 3 tablespoon

  • Orange Juice – 1 tablespoon

  • Vanilla – 1 tablespoon, pure extract

  • Cinnamon – 1 ½ teaspoon

  • Nutmeg – ¾ teaspoon

  • Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon

  • Goat Cheese – 5-ounces, crumbled

  • Butter – 3 tablespoons, unsalted

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Start by arranging the first layer of bread in a 9-inch square by 2-inch deep baking dish. Make sure to fill in any gaps with small pieces of bread.

  3. Next, evenly distribute the goat cheese onto the first layer. Then, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of honey.

  4. Arrange the remaining slices of bread on top of the goat cheese and honey. Make sure to fill in any gaps with small pieces of bread. Set aside.

  5. In a large glass bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-n-half, vanilla, sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, orange juice, orange zest, and remaining 2 tablespoons of honey.

  6. Pour the custard over the bread, gently pressing the bread down. You may need to move the bread from the around the edges slightly in order for the custard to seep down. Allow the mixture to set for 10 minutes.

  7. Dot the top of the bread with butter.

  8. Place the baking dish in a larger pan and add enough hot tap water to the larger pan to come halfway up the side of the baking dish. This is called a water bath (or bain marie) and is used when baking a custard to slow down the cooking process so the milk will not boil and curdle the eggs.

  9. Cover the larger pan tightly with aluminum foil, tenting it so the foil doesn’t touch the bread. Make two slits in the foil to allow steam to escape.

  10. Lastly, bake for 45 minutes. Then remove the aluminum foil, and bake for another 35 to 40 minutes. The bread with be puffed up and golden brown.

  11. Serve immediately.

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

Print Friendly and PDF

Heirloom Tomato & Roasted Artichoke Capellini

Marc J. Sievers

Having friends over for a casual dinner is about to get seriously delicious!  My Heirloom Tomato & Roasted Artichoke Capellini is the perfect meal to throw together during the week or on the weekend.  It’s filled with easy-to-find ingredients and you do not need to be a whiz is the kitchen to whip up this flavorful meal!  Pair it with a rustic sour dough boule, a simple green salad, and a bottle (or 2!) of wine.  Mangia bene, vivi felice!


Heirloom Tomato & Roasted Artichoke Capellini

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • Artichoke Hearts – (2) twelve-ounce bags, frozen

  • Olive Oil – ⅓ cup PLUS 2 tablespoons

  • Sea Salt – 1½ teaspoons

  • Black pepper – 1½ teaspoons, freshly cracked

  • Capellini – 1 pound, dry

  • Shallots – 2 medium, finely diced

  • Mini Heirloom Tomatoes – 4 cups, halved

  • Garlic – 10 cloves, finely minced

  • Lemon Zest – ⅓ cup

  • Crushed Red pepper Flakes – ¼ teaspoon

  • Crushed Tomatoes – (2) 15-ounce cans

  • Heavy Cream – ⅓ cup

  • Butter – 2 tablespoons, unsalted

  • Basil – ½ cup, roughly chopped

  • Pecorino – ½ cut, freshly grated

  • Bocconcini – eight-ounces, quartered

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

  2. Place the frozen artichoke hearts on a sheet pan.  Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

  3. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing twice during cooking.  Remove from the oven and set aside.

  4. Next, in a 14-inch sauté pan set over medium-low heat, add ⅓ cup of olive oil and the butter.

  5. Once the olive is hot, add the shallots, garlic, crushed red pepper, sea salt, and pepper.

  6. Cook for 8 - 9 minutes, stirring occasionally until the shallots and garlic are tender but not browned.

  7. Add the heavy cream and crushed tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  8. Then add the lemon zest, roasted artichoke hearts, and mini heirloom tomatoes.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes, then cover with a lid and turn off the heat.

  9. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.  Cook the capellini according to package directions.

  10. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it well, and add it to the sauce.

  11. Lastly, toss the pasta with the sauce, basil, and bocconcini.  Garnish with pecorino and more salt and pepper to taste.

  12. Serve immediately.

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

Print Friendly and PDF

Orange Petits Fours

Marc J. Sievers

I was so excited to have my fabulous friend Holly over the other day to finalize testing my recipe for Orange Petits Fours!  She loves food, wine, and life as much as I do.  We both agree, these are little cakes filled with the perfect amount of sweetness and decadence.  The cakes are beaming with citrus flavor, while the ganache has just the right amount of edge from the Grand Marnier.  After we baked and decorated almost 100 of these little cakes, Holly took over and shot this amazing photo!  I opened a bottle of Côtes du Rhone, poured two rather-full glasses, and we toasted to a job well done!  Thank you Holly for all the fun in the kitchen!

These are the perfect little sweet-treats for any soirée!


Ingredients

Batter Ingredients (makes 55 individual cakes)

  • Butter – 1 stick, unsalted, at room temperature

  • Sugar – 1 cup, granulated

  • Eggs – 2 extra-large, at room temperature

  • Orange Zest – ¼ cup, freshly grated, plus more for garnish

  • Orange Juice – ¼ cup, freshly squeezed

  • Flour – 1 ½ cups, all-purpose flour

  • Baking Powder – ¼ teaspoon

  • Baking Soda – ¼ teaspoon

  • Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon

  • Buttermilk – ¼ cup PLUS 2 tablespoons, at room temperature

  • Vanilla – 1 teaspoon, pure extract

  • Honey – 2 tablespoons

Orange Syrup Ingredients

  • Sugar – ¾ cup, granulated

  • Orange Juice – ¾ cup, freshly squeezed

Dark Chocolate Ganache Ingredients

  • Dark Chocolate – 1 pound, finely chopped

  • Heavy Cream – 1 ½ cups

  • Grand Marnier – 4 tablespoons

  • Honey – 4 tablespoons

  • Sea Salt – ¼ teaspoon

Directions

Batter

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 24 count mini cupcake pan.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add the eggs, 1 at a time allowing each to fully incorporate. Then add the orange zest.

  4. In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

  5. In another bowl, combine the orange juice, buttermilk, honey, and vanilla.

  6. With the mixer set to low speed, add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined.

  7. Using a 1 ¼ inch metal scoop, fill the wells with a level scoop of the batter.

  8. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pan.

Orange Syrup  

  1. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the sugar and orange juice until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.

  2. After 10 minutes remove the cakes from the pan, place them on a wire rack set over a sheet pan lined with plastic wrap, and spoon 1 teaspoon of orange syrup over each little cake. Allow the cakes to cool completely. TIP: Spooning the warm syrup over warm cakes will allow it to be absorbed better.

  3. Next, Wash, dry, butter and flour the mini muffin pan and repeat the same steps above until all the batter and orange syrup is used.

Chocolate Ganache

  1. In a heat-proof bowl set over barely simmering water, heat the heavy cream, honey, dark chocolate, and salt until just melted, stirring occasionally.

  2. Remove from the heat and add the Grand Marnier. Stir to combine.

  3. With the little cakes still set on a wire rack over a sheet pan lined with new plastic wrap, drizzle the top and sides of all the cakes with the warm ganache. Garnish with more freshly grated orange zest and insert a party pick into each cupcake for easy serving. Allow the ganache to set completely. Do not refrigerate.

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

Print Friendly and PDF

It's FIG-alicious!

Marc J. Sievers

Like many of you, I have been enjoying farmer's markets all summer!  This time of year Black Mission Figs are just about everywhere.  They have a very delicate texture, small crunchy seeds, a sweet-earthy flavor, and a vibrant pink-colored interior.   I recently wrote a recipe for BlendAbout.com highlighting these delicious figs in my Fig & Stilton Salad recipe.  The response was so great that I wanted to write two more recipes showcasing this beautiful fruit and very similar ingredients, showing you how layering ingredients in different ways can create a whole new dish!

Since I love rustic and earthy food I wanted to create a bruschetta with figs.  I started out with some of my favorite ingredients like baguette, basil, and Spanish onions.  After a few rounds of testing (and eating!), my recipe for Rustic Fig Bruschetta was finished!  It’s loaded with caramelized onions, garlic, Stilton, figs, and some other lip-smacking ingredients!

Next, I wanted to create a canapé that would be perfect for a summer cocktail soirée with champagne, of course!  Since the interior of a fig is so beautiful, I wanted to showcase both the color and texture.  I always keep my favorite black pepper water crackers on hand, and I knew instantly that I wanted to balance the slightly spicy cracker with a bit of sweetness and fresh flavors.  My Fresh Fig Canapé is both visually beautiful and flavorful, it’s sure to be a smash (darling) at your next gathering.

I hope my recipes for Fig & Stilton Salad, Rustic Fig Bruschetta, and Fresh Fig Canapé show you that it only takes a few fresh and quality ingredients to prepare beautiful, elegant, and simple dishes!  Next week I have some FABULOUS breakfast dishes to share with you!  How does Orange Custard French Toast and Orange Summer Pound Cake with Dark Chocolate Glaze sound?!  See you in a week!  Sending love from my kitchen to yours!


Rustic Fig Bruschetta

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • Spanish onion – 1 ½ cups, thinly sliced

  • Olive Oil – 2 tablespoons, divided

  • Butter – 2 tablespoon, unsalted

  • Sugar – 1 teaspoon, granulated

  • Garlic – 4 cloves, roughly chopped

  • Sea Salt – ¼ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ½ teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Black Mission Figs – 5 medium, cut ¼-inch thick

  • Honey – 1 tablespoon

  • Demi baguette – cut in half length-wise

  • Basil – ¼ cup, freshly chopped

  • Stilton – 1/3 cup, crumbled

Directions

  1. Start by heating the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a 12-inch sauté pan set over medium-low heat.

  2. Add the onions, and cook for 20-22 minutes or until the onions are very tender and caramelized.

  3. Next, add the salt, pepper, sugar, and garlic and cook for an additional minute, being very careful not to burn the garlic. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  4. Preheat the broiler.

  5. Using the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, evenly butter each cut-side of the baguette. Place prepared baguette onto a baking sheet.

  6. Place under the broiler and cook until golden brown on top, about 2 to 4 minutes.

  7. Remove from the broiler and set aside.

  8. Lastly, layer each half of the baguette with the onion mixture, cut figs, and Stilton. Evenly drizzle with honey.

  9. Place under the broiler again, until the cheese is nicely melted, about 1 to 3 minutes. The edges of the bread can burn easily, so make sure to keep your eye on it.

  10. Lastly, remove from the broiler and top with fresh basil.

  11. Cut into large pieces and serve immediately.


Fresh Fig Canapé

Ingredients (serves 10 - three per person)

  • Black Mission Figs – 8 medium, cut ¼-inch thick

  • Stilton – ½ -inch sized crumbles, 30 total pieces

  • Basil – 30 small fresh leaves

  • Dark Chocolate – 1/3 cup, freshly grated

  • Black Pepper Water Crackers – 30 (plain water crackers will also work)

  • Black Pepper – for garnish, freshly cracked

  • Honey Comb – ½-inch sized pieces, 30 total (regular honey will also work)

Directions

  1. Simply layer each cracker with a slice of fig, a piece of Stilton, a piece of honey comb, a basil leaf, a small pinch of black pepper, and top with a sprinkling of dark chocolate.

  2. Arrange on a silver platter or flat board.

  3. Expand recipe as needed.

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

Print Friendly and PDF