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Recipes & Entertaining Ideas

Filtering by Tag: Caramelized Onions

Balsamic Roasted Pearl Onions

Marc J. Sievers

There is something very satisfying about simple food that is less about the fuss and all about the flavor.  From the ingredients, to the preparation, to the taste, some of the best-tasting dishes can be the simplest to make.  My Balsamic Roasted Pearl Onions have only five ingredients, take hardly any real kitchen effort, and just roast away in the oven, giving your kitchen an aromatic hint of sweet onions and tangy vinegar. 

Besides my Balsamic Roasted Pearl Onions being so incredibly simple to make, they can be served in a variety of very savvy ways.  Give these few ideas a try:

·         As part of a roasted vegetable platter,

·         As a side with a French Omelettes and green salad,

·         As part of cocktail hour alongside Roquefort cheese, slices of baguette, roasted cashews, and other little nibbles.

If you decide to serve as part of cocktail hour, have some small cocktail forks on hand so guests can pick up each onion with ease.  And make sure to invite guests to savor the luxurious balsamic syrup with pieces of baguette.

Sometimes the most flavorful and enjoyable dishes can come from the simplest of ingredients, like pearl onions.  And what a benefit that this is also one of the easiest!


Balsamic Roasted Pearl Onions

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • Golden Pearl Onions – 10ounces, fresh

  • Olive Oil – 1 tablespoon

  • Balsamic Vinegar – 2 tablespoons

  • Sea Salt – ¼ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ¼ teaspoon, freshly cracked

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a small oven-proof dish with aluminum foil. Set aside.

  2. Bring a small pan of water to a simmer. Drop in the whole pearl onions for 5 minutes to help loosen their skins. Drain the onions. Using a small knife, cut off the ends and peel each onion.

  3. Add the peeled onions, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to the prepared dish.. Toss to evenly coat.

  4. Roast for 35-40 minutes, tossing 3 times during the cooking process, until the onions are tender and the vinegar has reduced to a think syrup.

  5. Serve hot or room temperature.

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French Savory Tarts

Marc J. Sievers

Onion & Goat Cheese Tart

One of the best and most versatile recipes a savvy home cook should have in their repertoire is a simple pastry dough recipe.  Well, are you in for a treat!  One of the components for my Savory French Tart happens to be a buttery pastry crust made with a recipe that does not require any specialty equipment, ingredients, or large amounts of time.  The dough can be transformed into either a sweet or savory base by just adding or subtracting ingredients like white pepper, rosemary, sugar, and other fresh herbs and spices.  You can then use the dough for tarts, pies, quiches, and crostatas.

With the holiday season fast approaching I am always thinking of recipes that I can make in advance, have multiple uses,  and serve to my guests in a few different settings.  My Savory French Tart fits the bill!  I can make it ahead of time and serve it with a simple salad and a bowl of White Bean Soup with Fresh Parsley Pesto for a dinner party, I can serve it at cocktail hour for an hors d’oeuvre, or even as part of a buffet, the list goes on and on!  Happy entertaining!


Watch my webisode of From My Kitchen to Yours - Savory French Tarts for a complete tutorial:


French Savory Tarts

Ingredients (serves 4 - 6)

Crust

  • Flour – 1½ cups, all-purpose

  • Butter – 1 stick, diced, unsalted, very cold

  • Sea Salt – 1 teaspoon

  • Sugar – 2 teaspoons, granulated

  • White Pepper – ½ teaspoon

  • Rosemary – 1 tablespoon, fresh, finely minced

  • Water – 8 tablespoons, very cold

Caramelized Onions

  • Yellow Onions – 4 cups, thinly sliced

  • Butter – 2 tablespoons, unsalted

  • Olive Oil – 3 tablespoons

  • Garlic – 3 cloves, finely minced

  • Sugar – 1 teaspoon, granulated

  • Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ½ teaspoon

Custard

  • Eggs – 4 extra-large, at room temperature

  • Heavy Cream – 1 cup

  • Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ¾ teaspoon

  • Nutmeg – ¾ teaspoon, freshly grated

Directions

Crust

  1. Place the flour, salt, white pepper, sugar, and fresh rosemary into a medium sized bowl. Whisk to mix ingredients.

  2. Next add the butter. Use a pastry blender to quickly break the butter into pea-sized pieces.

  3. Add the ice water and with your hand slightly cupped quickly work the water into the flour.

  4. Lightly flour you work surface (a granite or marble countertop is ideal as it keeps the dough very cold).

  5. Press the dough into a roughly shaped ball.

  6. Using the heel of one hand and rapidly press the dough in small amounts onto the board and away from you. Repeat this process two times. Doing so will ensure that the butter has been completely blended.

  7. Gather the dough into a smooth ball, dust lightly with flour, and wrap it in waxed paper.

  8. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

  9. Butter an 11½ inch tart pan.

  10. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  11. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it onto a lightly floured work surface.

  12. Quickly roll out the dough to be slightly larger than your pan and to be about ⅛-inch thick, making sure to lift and turn the dough during the rolling process to prevent it from sticking.

  13. Fold the rolled piece of dough into quarters and gently place it in ¼ or the prepared tart pan. Unfold the dough inside the tart pan.

  14. Gently press the dough onto the bottom of the tart pan. Then lift the edges of the dough from underneath and work it around the sides of the tart pan. Trim off the excess dough by rolling your pin over the top of the pan.

  15. Prick the bottom of the dough all over several times with the tines of a small fork. Line the dough with parchment paper and fill it to the top with dried beans or pie weights.

  16. Place the tart pan onto a sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes.

  17. Carefully remove the parchment paper and beans, prick the bottom of the dough again with a small fork, and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Set aside. Leave the tart pan on the sheet pan.

Caramelized Onions

  1. In a large sauté pan set over medium heat, add the butter and olive oil. Add the onions, salt, pepper, and sugar.

  2. Cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are very tender and caramelized.

  3. Add the garlic and continue cooking for another 1 to 2 minutes, making sure the garlic does not burn.

  4. Spread the onions in an even layer on the bottom on the partially baked tart shell.

Custard & Assembly

  1. Whisk the eggs, heavy cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a small bowl.

  2. Pour the mixture slowly into the tart shell over the onions.

  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top of the tart is slightly puffed and golden.

  4. Allow to cool for 20 minutes, then unmold the tart from the pan.

  5. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Optional Garnish: Before baking, dot the top with goat cheese and ⅛-inch thick sliced rounds of peeled red onion.  Bake as directed.

Tip: Finished tart can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.  Allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.

Idea: You can make the dough 2 days ahead of time.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.  Follow all preparation and baking instructions as written.

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