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Recipes & Entertaining Ideas

Filtering by Tag: Homemade

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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Homemade Sweet Cream Butter

Marc J. Sievers

After an in-depth experience testing recipes in the kitchen honing in on just the right flavor, I am sometimes amazed at how the simplest of things can be just as good as the complex.  Take for example my Homemade Sweet Cream Butter.  It is one of the simplest of recipes, and at the same time one of the most delicious.  With the holidays ahead I am always looking for new ways to inject some savvy-flair when entertaining.  My Homemade Sweet Cream Butter is perfect for smearing on freshly baked bread during any meal!  It takes just minutes to make and adds a bit of “old-fashioned” warmth and love to any occasion.


Ingredients (makes 1 cup)

  • Heavy Cream – 2 ¼ cups, very cold

  • Sea Salt – 1/8 teaspoon

Directions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment add the heavy cream and sea salt.

  2. Turn the mixer to the lowest setting and place a clean dish towel over the bowl.

  3. Gradually increase the mixer speed until you reach the highest setting.

  4. Whisk the cream for 10-12 minutes. It will first turn into whipped cream, then start separating into solid butter and buttermilk. Once it begins to separate, reduce the mixer speed to medium. The butter is ready once it forms a ball in and around the whisk.

  5. Remove the solid butter from the bowl and place in into a sieve. Under running cold water gently squeeze excess buttermilk from the butter.

  6. Place the butter into a pastry bag fitted with a fluted tip. Pipe the butter into serving dishes and serve at room temperature. You can also store the butter in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 3 weeks.

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