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Recipes & Entertaining Ideas

Filtering by Tag: Blue Cheese

Salt & Pepper Potato Chips with Blue Cheese

Marc J. Sievers

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We have come to expect the traditional bowl of chips at a party. But let’s face it: that can get boring. You do not need to completely abandon the salty, crunchy deliciousness of potato chips, but you can make them a lot more interesting! My Salt & Pepper Potato Chips with Blue Cheese from my second cookbook, Table for Two, will immediately amp up the flavor factor at your next get-together and leave your guests wanting more! I love the addition of Stilton and the fresh zing of the lemon zest in this easy and elegant dish. For a party of two, this pairs perfectly with a glass of very dry champagne or bold red wine. Cheers!

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Salt & Pepper Potato Chips with Blue Cheese

Ingredients (serves 2, expand recipe as needed)

  • Salt & Pepper Potato Chips – 4 ounces, store-bought

  • Stilton Blue Cheese – 2 ounces, crumbled

  • Chives – 2 tablespoons, fresh, finely chopped

  • Lemon Zest – 1½ teaspoons

 Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2.  In an 8-inch cast iron skillet, or other oven-proof serving dish, add half of the potato chips.  Then evenly scatter over the chips 1 ounce of blue cheese, 1 tablespoon of chives, and ¾ teaspoon of lemon zest.

  3.  Add another layer of potato chips and the remaining blue cheese.

  4.  Place in the oven for 4-6 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

  5.  Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with the remaining chives and lemon zest.  Serve hot.

 Tip: Any brand of Salt & Pepper potato chips will work for this recipe.  Using a cast iron skillet allows this dish to go from oven to table, just remember to use a trivet to protect your tabletop.

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Watch: The Perfect Cocktail Party Pair

Marc J. Sievers

Hotel and restaurant bars can be a fabulous source of inspiration for entertaining at home.  And entertaining for two shouldn't be any less glamorous than for 10!  My Fried Blue Cheese Olives were inspired by a former menu staple at RL in Chicago, and fond memories of the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston helped me to create a simplified update on classic Amaretto Sour Martinis.  These are the perfect pair for a cocktail party just for two!  You can find both recipes in my cookbook Table for Two!

Truth be told, I love making cocktails at home but prefer not to be bothered with having to measure out a long list of ingredients and garnish with little drops and drizzles of things - I get bored way too fast for that!  My Amaretto Sour Martinis are so simple to make and can be made ahead of time and kept in a glass pitcher until you are ready to shake them over ice and serve them perfectly chilled.  

My Fried Blue Cheese Olives are almost as simple as the martinis and truly have that WOW! factor.  These are my go-to when I want to serve something warm with drinks.  You can't make them ahead of time, but they cook so quickly that you can make them just before your guest arrives - and then watch their face light up with excitement for such a delicious and perfect pairing!  

Series 5, Episode 2: The Perfect Cocktail Party Pair


Amaretto Sour Martinis 

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • Amaretto – 6 ounces (Disaronno® recommended)

  • Lime Juice – 2 ounces, freshly squeezed

  • Lemon Juice – 2 ounces, freshly squeezed

  • Honey – 1 tablespoon

  • Maraschino Cherries – for garnish

Directions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the amaretto, lime juice, lemon juice, honey, and a handful of ice. Shake until very cold, about 60 seconds (it is longer than you realize, but worth the work-out).

  2. Pour evenly into each martini glass.

  3. Serve immediately.


Fried Blue Cheese Olives

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • Canola Oil – 1½ cups

  • Egg – 1 extra-large, lightly beaten

  • Dried Breadcrumbs – ½ cup, plain

  • Blue Cheese Olives – 16, patted dry, at room temperature

Directions

  1. In a small sauce pan set over high heat, add the oil. Line a plate with a layer of paper towels. Set aside.

  2. Place the lightly beaten egg in a small, shallow bowl. In an additional small bowl, add the bread crumbs.

  3. Roll each olive through the egg, then through the breadcrumbs to evenly coat. Coat all of the olives and set aside together.

  4. Once the oil has reached 350 degrees F (use a candy thermometer to be accurate), and working in small batches, gently place the olives in the hot oil. Once golden brown, remove the olives with a small slotted spoon and place on the plate prepared with paper towel to drain.

  5. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

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Apple Salad with Croutons

Marc J. Sievers

One of my favorite things about writing recipes is surprising readers and my guests with complex flavors by using everyday ingredients!  My Apple Salad with Croutons made its television debut on WGN TV Midday News: Lunchbreak and the star of the dish was my simple and incredibly flavorful homemade vinaigrette!

I made the vinaigrette with cinnamon, honey, and apple cider vinegar as my secret ingredients.  All of those flavors are classic combinations with apple, and the addition of tart cranberries, intense Blue Cheese, nuts, and crunchy croutons creates a layered and complex salad with wonderfully everyday ingredients. A match made in food-flavor heaven!  In fact, I served this same salad on Thanksgiving Day, and the entire platter was devoured with guests actually asking for seconds – of salad!  


Apple Salad with Croutons

Ingredients for Salad (serves 8)

  • Granny Smith Apple – cored, and thinly sliced

  • Honey Crisp Apple – cored, and thinly sliced

  • Lemon - juice of 1 lemon

  • Apple Cider Vinegar – 1/3 cup

  • Honey – 1/3 cup

  • Cinnamon – 1 teaspoon

  • Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ¼ teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Olive Oil – ¼ cup

  • Dried Cranberries – ½ cup

  • Pistachios – ½ cup

  • Candied Pecans – ½ cup

  • Blue Cheese – 4 ounces, crumbled

  • Arugula or Spring Mix – 8 ounces

Directions for Salad

  1. Start by placing the cut apples in a large bowl of cold water. Add the lemon juice, and allow to sit until ready to serve.

  2. Meanwhile, mix vinegar, honey, cinnamon, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking vigorously. Set aside.

  3. Drain the apples.

  4. Arrange the greens down the center of a big platter. Add the apples, dried cranberries, pistachios, pecans, and blue cheese on top. Drizzle evenly with the vinaigrette.

  5. Serve immediately.

Ingredients for Croutons

  • Demi Baguette – cut into ½-inch cubes

  • Butter – 3 tablespoons, unsalted

Directions

  1. In a medium sauté pan set over medium heat, add the butter. Once melted, add the bread cubes.

  2. Toast for 5-7 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly brown.

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