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Recipes & Entertaining Ideas

Filtering by Tag: Herbs

No-Cook Heirloom Tomato & Fresh Herb Salad

Marc J. Sievers

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Living in downtown Chicago, I don’t have the space to have a vegetable garden, but I am lucky enough to live around the corner from a fabulous farmer’s market.  It is my favorite place in the city to buy fresh produce, especially heirloom tomatoes and fresh herbs.  My No-Cook Heirloom Tomato & Fresh Herb Salad is the perfect way to use up your bounty of beautiful, colorful tomatoes and to make sure none of your herbs go to waste.  Add this recipe to your rotation if you are looking for a make-ahead dish!  This salad can sit at room temperature for several hours, allowing all of the herbs to slowly infuse the olive oil.  I like to serve this with crusty bread to soak up every last drop of the oil since it is just bursting with so much flavor!

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Ingredients

  • Heirloom Tomatoes – 3 pounds, varying sizes and colors

  • Olive Oil – ½ cup, plus more for serving

  • Fleur de Sel – 1 ½ teaspoons, plus more for garnish

  • Black Pepper – 1 ½ teaspoons, freshly cracked, plus more for garnish

  • Basil – ½ cup

  • Parsley – ½ cup, whole leaves, Italian flat leaf variety

  • Mint – ½ cup, whole leaves

  • Dill – ½ cup, whole fronds

  • Chives – ½ cup, trimmed 1 ½ -inch lengths

  • Tarragon – ½ cup, whole leaves

Directions

  1. Cut the large tomatoes in thick slices, the medium ones in wedges and the smaller ones in half.

  2. Choose a large platter or shallow serving bowl and arrange the tomatoes so you have varying sizes and colors mixed together and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with Fleur de Sel and black pepper.

  3. Next, scatter the tomatoes with all of the fresh herbs.  Drizzle with more olive oil and garnish with more Fleur de Sel and black pepper.

Tip: Not only is this a fabulous salad, I also love to toss it with freshly cooked pasta, red pepper flakes and ciliegine (small balls of fresh mozzarella) for an earthy dinner – perfect for weeknights and company, too!

Summer Tip: Whether you buy your tomatoes from the farmers market, farmstand or grocery store, I like to leave them in a warm sunny window for at least 4 hours before serving.  The sun will warm them up and help release the aromatics from the fresh herbs – a perfect summer treat!

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Fines Herbes French Omelette

Marc J. Sievers

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One of my favorite dishes to make is a classic French omelette.  In fact, it has become my house meal, what I always serve to guests the first time they visit my home.  French omelettes are easy and really fabulous when they are made with just a handful of fresh ingredients.  My Fines Herbes French Omelette lets the fresh herbs shine while tucked inside a beautifully folded simple French omelette.  It’s the perfect quick weekday meal and a great way to make use of leftover herbs.  Don’t let the technique scare you!  Getting the fold just right does take some practice, but if you take your time (and remember it’s all in the wrist!), you will be whipping up these omelettes in no time.  And I really do mean ‘no time’.  This omelette only takes 30 seconds to cook!  Who doesn’t love a 30-second meal?

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Ingredients (makes 1 omelette, multiply recipe as needed)

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

  • Sea  Salt – ¼ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ¼ teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Dill  – ¾ teaspoon, finely minced

  • Tarragon - ¾ teaspoon, finely minced

  • Chives - ¾ teaspoon, finely minced

  • Parsley – ¾ teaspoon, finely minced, Italian flat leaf variety

  • Butter  – 1 tablespoon, unsalted

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, beat the eggs, salt, pepper and fresh herbs until the yolks and whites are fully incorporated.

  2. In a small bowl, beat the eggs, salt, and pepper until the yolks and whites are fully incorporated.

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

  4. Add the butter and swirl it around to evenly coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Once the butter is completely melted and the foam has started to subsided, pour the eggs into the center of the butter (be careful to not let the butter turn brown).

  5. Allow the eggs to sit for just a 5 - 10 seconds before you begin swirling the pan over the heat, until the edges just start to cook and the center of the eggs begin to bubble.

  6. Continue the swirling motion for another 5 - 10 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Gently turn the pan upside down over the plate. The omelette will then drop into position.

  9. Garnish with more salt, pepper and fresh herbs and serve.

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Carrot, Leek, & Potato Soup

Marc J. Sievers

There is nothing I find more satisfying than a big bowl of warm soup this time of year!  My Carrot, Leek, & Potato Soup is filled with fresh vegetables that are cooked until just tender, then puréed into a thick and luscious soup that is perfect for a cool evening dining al fresco, a casual supper, or a weekend lunch.  In fact, this soup is so hearty that all you need to serve alongside it is a basket a crusty French bread, a green salad, and a bold red wine—the ultimate in casual yet chic comfort food!  Best of all, you can store containers filled with this fabulous soup in the freezer for those extra-chilly nights when only a bowl of piping hot stick-to-your-ribs kind of soup will do!


Carrot, Leek, & Potato Soup

Ingredients (makes 5 quarts)

  • Yellow Onion – 1 small, ½-inch dice

  • Red Onion – 1 small, ½-inch dice

  • Leeks – 7 stalks, washed, ½-inch dice, both light green and white parts

  • Carrots – 6 large, peeled, ½-inch dice

  • Yukon Gold Potato’s – 5 large, peeled, ½-inch dice

  • Red Pepper – 1 large, ½-inch dice

  • Garlic – 8 cloves, rough chopped

  • Butter – 12 tablespoons, unsalted

  • Parsley – ½ cup, rough chopped, flat leaf, plus more for garnish

  • Thyme – 2 tablespoons, rough chopped

  • Black Pepper – 2½ teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Sea Salt – 2 teaspoons

  • Vegetable Stock – 10 cups

  • Half and Half – 1½ cups

  • Parmigiano-Reggiano – freshly grated, for garnish

Directions

  1. In a large heavy bottomed pan or stockpot set over medium heat, add the butter.

  2. Once the butter is hot, add the leeks, as well as both yellow and red onions, red peppers, garlic, parsley and thyme. Cover and cook for 12-14 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Next, add the vegetable stock, salt, pepper, potatoes, and carrots. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are tender.

  4. Working in small batches, transfer the soup into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, and process until coarsely puréed.

  5. Return the puréed soup back into the pot. Whisk in the half and half and re-heat over medium heat until hot.

  6. Ladle into individual serving bowls and garnish with fresh parsley and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

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Fancy Schmancy Butter!

Marc J. Sievers

OK!  So let me start by giving you the true definition of what I call “Fancy Schmancy Butter”:

Compound butters (French: “Beurre composé”, pl. “Beurres composés”) are mixtures of butter and supplementary ingredients. Primarily, they are used to enhance flavor in various dishes, in a fashion similar to a sauce. [Wikipedia]

Now that we have all the formalities out of the way, doesn’t that just sound delicious?!  I have been making (and eating!) fancy schmancy butters for years.  They are all the rage is fabulous bistros and high-end eateries all of the world.  They can be made in a wide variety of flavors, textures and even colors and are as simple as chopping, dash-ing, and mixing!  Whether you are serving something savory or something sweet, my fancy schmancy butters are guaranteed to add a burst of flavor and a creaminess to anything you can dream up!

Three distinct flavors; endless serving possibilities!


Herbed Butter

Ingredients

  • Butter – 1 stick, unsalted, at room temperature

  • Lemon Zest – 2 teaspoons

  • Dill - 2 teaspoons, finely minced, fresh

  • Parsley - 2 teaspoons, finely minced, Italian flat leaf variety

  • Chives - 2 teaspoons, finely minced

  • Honey – 1 teaspoon

  • Sea Salt – 1/4 teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – 1/2 teaspoon, freshly cracked

Directions

  1. Place all the ingredients into a small bowl and mix until combined.

  2. Cut a strip of parchment paper 4½ -inches wide and place the mixture on the short end of the paper. Roll into a log about 1 inch in diameter, rolling the parchment paper around the butter mixture. Twist ends to close. Chill overnight.

  3. Serve by cutting into 1/2 inch thick slices.


Tip: Pairs perfectly with roasted and steamed vegetables, grilled chicken and fish, pasta and toasted baguette.


Countryside Butter

Ingredients

  • Butter – 1 stick, unsalted, at room temperature

  • Orange Zest – 1 tablespoon

  • Strawberry Preserves – 2 tablespoons

  • Sea Salt – 1/4 teaspoon

Directions

  1. Place all the ingredients into a small bowl and mix until combined.

  2. Cut a strip of parchment paper 4 1/2 inches wide and place the mixture on the short end of the paper. Roll into a log about 1 inch in diameter, rolling the parchment paper around the butter mixture. Twist ends to close. Chill overnight.

  3. Serve by cutting into 1/2 inch thick slices.


Tip: Pairs perfectly with biscuits, french toast and pancakes.


Sweet Butter

Ingredients

  • Butter – 1 stick, unsalted, at room temperature

  • Brown Sugar – 2 teaspoons

  • Milk Chocolate – 2 tablespoons, rough chopped

  • Sea Salt – 1/4 teaspoon

Directions

  1. Place all the ingredients into a small bowl and mix until combined.

  2. Cut a strip of parchment paper 4 1/2 inches wide and place the mixture on the short end of the paper. Roll into a log about 1 inch in diameter, rolling the parchment paper around the butter mixture. Twist ends to close. Chill overnight.

  3. Serve by cutting into 1/2 inch thick slices.

Tip: Pairs perfectly with pancakes, croissants and warm baguette for an unexpected twist for dessert.

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

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