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Recipes & Entertaining Ideas

Filtering by Tag: Garlic

Homemade Flavored Oils

Marc J. Sievers

Much of my inspiration comes from specialty food and grocery stores in my neighborhood.  In just a seven block area there are a number of major brand grocery stores as well as a handful of smaller shops and markets, fine-foods stores, and the ultimate food haven:  Eataly

With all of these options right near to me I tend to use them directly for inspiration.  I pop in and out of stores, take photos of what inspires me, take notes in a small notebook I carry in my bag, and even taste-test things that really look delicious.  After my adventures of the day, I either head back to my kitchen and start recipe testing ideas that came to me as inspiration from earlier in the day, or catalog them with a printed photo and my notes to pick up another day.

I keep a pretty well-stocked pantry at home, a bit overflowing with “high and low” ingredients—they are from specialty foods stores (the “high”), and everyday ingredients from my regular grocery stores (the “low”).  This combination not only makes recipe testing easier as I have a plethora of ingredients at my fingertips, but also more creative as there are more flavors to combine and pair together.

A staple in my pantry are flavored oils—some are homemade and some are store-bought.  I love using a basil olive oil drizzled on tomatoes, or a truffle olive oil on roasted potatoes, and my Lemon & Thyme Oil on just about anything!  You can serve this oil with big chunks of crusty bread with drinks or during dinner.  Drizzle it on a bed or arugula with crushed Pistachios, or on pasta with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.

For fun, I have also included some “extras”—my Orange & Honey Oil and my Shallot & Black Pepper Oil.  All three flavored oils can be used in so many ways, so have fun experimenting!


Thyme & Lemon Oil

Ingredients

  • Olive Oil – ½ cup

  • Thyme – 10 sprigs, fresh

  • Lemon – 1, thinly peeled

  • Garlic – 4 cloves, peeled, lightly smashed

Directions

  1. In a small sauce pan set over medium heat, add all of the ingredients.

  2. Allow the oil to come to a simmer, then lower the heat to low and cook for 3 minutes.

  3. Remove from the heat, transfer into a small glass bowl, and allow to cool completely at room temperature.

  4. Store in an air tight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Shallot & Black Pepper Oil

Ingredients

  • Olive Oil – ½ cup

  • Shallots – 1 tablespoon, finely minced

  • Black Pepper – ½ teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Sea Salt – ¼ teaspoon

Directions

  1. In a small sauce pan set over medium heat, add all of the ingredients.

  2. Allow the oil to come to a simmer, then lower the heat to low and cook for 3 minutes.

  3. Remove from the heat, transfer into a small glass bowl, and allow to cool completely at room temperature.

  4. Store in an air tight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Orange & Honey Oil

Ingredients

  • Olive Oil – ½ cup

  • Orange – 1, thinly peeled

  • Honey – ½ teaspoon

Directions

  1. In a small sauce pan set over medium heat, add the olive oil and orange peel.

  2. Allow the oil to come to a simmer, then lower the heat to low and cook for 3 minutes.

  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the honey.

  4. Transfer into a small glass bowl, and allow to cool completely to room temperature.

  5. Store in an air tight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Tip:  I like to make flavored oils in small batches to ensure they stay as fresh and flavorful as possible.  These oils can be stored in an air tight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.  Gently reheat the oil in a small saucepan set oven low heat until the oil liquifies again.  You can either serve the oil warm or at room temperature.  You can easily expand this recipe by two or three times for larger quantities.

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How to Roast Garlic

Marc J. Sievers

If you have never eaten or roasted garlic before you are in for a real treat!  When garlic is slowly roasted it takes on a slightly sweet flavor making it perfect to cook and bake with.  I love to use roasted garlic in pasta dishes, breads, and in my Roasted Garlic & Mascarpone Spread!  You can even enjoy roasted garlic on it’s own right out of the oven (after it cools a bit of course!), served to guests individually on small plates with canapé or appetizer forks during a dinner party or cocktail soirée!  Enjoy!


Ingredients (makes 12 heads of Roasted Garlic)

  • Garlic – 12 heads, medium size

  • Olive Oil – 1/3 cup

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 410 degrees.

  2. Start by cutting ½ inch off the top of each head of garlic.

  3. Place each head of garlic in the well of a muffin pan. Drizzle evenly with olive oil, making sure to rub the olive oil into the tops of the garlic cloves.

  4. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes.

  5. Remove the garlic from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.

  6. Using a small fork remove each garlic clove from the skin.

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Roasted Garlic & Mascarpone Spread

Marc J. Sievers

Whenever I am having guests over for drinks or dinner, I always like to start off the soiree with a canapé or hors d’oeurve that will pair perfectly with wine, champagne and mixed drinks. My recipe for Roasted Garlic and Mascarpone Spread is everyone’s “new favorite”! After the garlic has been roasted, it takes on a sweeter flavor and the mascarpone adds the perfect amount of creaminess and tang. Not only is this perfect to serve at a party, it’s also fabulous as a spread on sandwiches or as part of a picnic! Enjoy!

Sweet and savory, this simple hors d’oeuvres will set the tone for a sophisticated soirée!


Roasted Garlic & Mascarpone Spread

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • Garlic – 12 heads, medium size

  • Olive Oil – ⅓ cup

  • Mascarpone – ¾ cup, room temperature

  • Sea Salt – 1 teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – 1 teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Balsamic Vinegar – 1 cup

  • Sugar – 1 tablespoon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 410 degrees F.

  2. Start by cutting ½ inch off the top of each head of garlic.

  3. Place each head of garlic in the well of a muffin pan. Drizzle evenly with olive oil, making sure to rub the olive oil into the tops of the garlic cloves.

  4. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine the balsamic vinegar and sugar. Allow to come to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer, and reduce to ½ cup. About 15 minutes. Set aside.

  6. Remove the garlic from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.

  7. Next, in a medium bowl, combine the mascarpone, salt and pepper.

  8. Using your fingers, squeeze each clove of garlic out of its skin and into the mascarpone mixture.

  9. Gently mash the garlic with a fork and incorporate into the mascarpone mixture.

  10. Spread desired amount onto thin slices of baguette or crackers, drizzle with balsamic reduction and arrange on a serving platter.

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