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Recipes & Entertaining Ideas

Filtering by Tag: Puff Pastry

Salt & Pepper Puff Pastry Croutons

Marc J. Sievers

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More often that not, croutons are an almost forgotten addition to salads and soups. They tend to be pretty flavorless and have a texture that can be, let’s say, a little too crunchy. Who says that croutons can’t be refined? My Salt & Pepper Puff Pastry Croutons are the perfect way to elevate any salad. You can either toss them in, or even serve on the side (in a beautiful basket) as an especially chic bread course!

Believe me, they are so delicious, you might not have any left to make it to the table for your guests! Speaking of guests, these croutons make a fabulous canapé (just sprinkle them with Parmesan or Gruyère) to serve with drinks as your guests arrive. If you are new to baking with puff pastry, one thing to keep in mind is to work quickly. The pastry will become more difficult to handle as it warms up. These can be made in any shape you like, so if you have any fun cookie cutters on hand, get as creative as you want!

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Salt & Pepper Puff Pastry Croutons

Ingredients

  • Egg – 1 extra-large, lightly beaten

  • Water – 1 tablespoon

  • Frozen Puff Pastry – defrosted overnight in the refrigerator

  • Flour – for preparing work surface

  • Fleur de Sel – 1 teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – 1 teaspoon, freshly cracked

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.  Set aside.

  2. In a small bowl, beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water.

  3. Place 1 sheet of thawed puff pastry onto a lightly floured surface.  Brush with the beaten egg.  Sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon of Fleur de Sel and 1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper. 

  4. Using a cutter of your choice, cut the sheet of pastry into shapes.  Transfer each piece of pastry to the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 10 - 15 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.

Tip: You can make these croutons up to two days in advance and store in a sealed container.  Simply reheat on a baking sheet in a 350 degrees F oven for 5 - 10  minutes and you will have perfectly crisp puff pastry croutons!

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Buttery Pinwheels

Marc J. Sievers

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Baking with frozen puff pastry doesn’t have to be intimidating! By working carefully, you can make the most of every delicious, flaky layer of this delicate but satisfying freezer staple. My elegant Buttery Pinwheels, crisp and fresh from the oven, can be served at breakfast with jam, at lunch with fresh fruit and a green salad, or at dinner with salted butter.   

They are also perfect to make ahead for entertaining a crowd! Just assemble, refrigerate and bake right before your guests arrive.  Or you can even bake them ahead of time, store them for up to two days in an air-tight container and re-crisp them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes – et voila! Watch my video below as I show you step by step how to make these beautiful pinwheels yourself. It’s easier than you think!

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Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.   

  2. In a small bowl, beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water and set aside.  Place 1 sheet of thawed puff pastry onto the baking sheet.  

  3. Cut the pastry into 4 individual squares.  For each square, use a paring knife to cut from each corner toward the center, stopping 1-inch from the center.   

  4. You will have a 1-inch circle in the center of each square, and all of the corners will be cut in half.  To create each pinwheel, lift one half of a corner and fold the point toward the center of the square.  Continuing around the square, fold each of the three remaining corner points toward the center of the square, and gently press all 4 points together to form a pinwheel shape.   

  5. Brush the dough with the beaten egg.  Bake for 16 – 18 minutes, until the pinwheels are puffed and golden brown.

Tip: Before baking, you can sprinkle a bit of Parmesan or Gruyere cheese onto each pinwheel and serve these with a glass of wine or champagne as a fabulous hors d’oeuvre!

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Apple & Herb Wellington

Marc J. Sievers

When I began testing this recipe for my new cookbook Table for Two: Cooking and Entertaining for You and Your +1, the combinations of ingredients seemed endless (and they really are!).  I finally settled on a selection of fresh herbs, apple, fragrant fennel and onions.  To give it even more “body”, I added Gruyère cheese that I diced into very small cubes.  This prevented the filling from getting too heavy with melted cheese, and instead created pockets of gently melted Gruyère that added the right amount of richness to the finished dish.  Keep in mind, this recipe does make two larger portions, so I like to serve it alongside a salad dressed in my French Bistro Vinaigrette

What I love most about this recipe is that you can interchange the fresh herbs and filling and have it adapt to be season specific.  During the fall and winter, I like to use fresh sage and rosemary (a perfect vegetarian main course for the holidays!), and replace the parsnip with butternut squash.  In the spring and summer, I love using basil and chives, and replace the apple with zucchini.

Like this recipe, so many other recipes from Table for Two are adaptable to help make entertaining as easy, elegant, and as truly delicious as possible, for you and your plus one!


Apple & Herb Wellington

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • Olive Oil – 3 tablespoons

  • Fennel – ¾ cup, ½-inch diced

  • Yellow Onion – 1 medium, ½-inch diced

  • Parsnip – 1 medium, peeled, ½-inch diced

  • Pink Lady Apple – 1 medium, ½-inch diced

  • Thyme – 2 teaspoons, finely minced, fresh

  • Sea Salt – ¾ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ¾ teaspoon

  • Garlic – 2 cloves, finely minced

  • Parsley – 3 tablespoons, finely minced, Italian flat-leaf variety recommended

  • Whole Cashews – ⅓ cup, rough chopped

  • Golden Raisins - ⅓ cup

  • Parmesan Cheese – 2 tablespoons, freshly grated, Parmigiano-Reggiano recommended

  • Gruyère Cheese – 3 ounces, ¼-inch cubed

  • Frozen Puff Pastry – 1 sheet, thawed overnight in the refrigerator

  • *Egg Wash – 1 extra-large egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon of water

Directions

1.     Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.  Set aside.

2.     In a medium sauté pan set over medium heat, add the olive oil.  Once hot, add the fennel, onion, parsnip, apples, thyme, salt, and pepper.  Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very tender, but not brown.

3.     Add the garlic and parsley and continue cooking for another 1 minute, being careful not to burn the garlic.  Transfer to a medium bowl to cool for 5 minutes.  Once cooled, stir in the cashews, raisins, and both cheeses.

4.     Next, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the thawed puff pastry dough to be roughly 12x14-inches.  Cut the dough in half creating 2 pieces measuring 12x7-inces.

5.     Divide the filling evenly onto half of each piece of dough, leaving a ½-inch border.  Brush the border with egg wash*, and fold over top the other half of each side of the dough.  Using the tines of a fork, seal the edges by of the dough by pressing the tines lightly into the dough.  Do this on all three sides or each packet.  Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

6.     Brush the tops with egg wash*.  Using a small knife, cut three slits on the top of each packet.

7.     Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed up and golden brown.

8.     Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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Apple Turnover with Brie

Marc J. Sievers

When I was little and would watch my Nan bake, she would always give me left-over scraps of pie dough to play with.  I would wrap them around apple slices and sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar, and little did I realize then that I effectively had an instant apple turnover!  Now, 35 years later, I am still doing just that, except I have a little more culinary knowledge under by belt.

I love taking simple ingredients and injecting some new life into an old favorite, like a classic apple turnover.  My Apple Turnover with Brie has been given a Marc Sievers-twist with store-bought puff pastry, creamy Brie, lemon zest, and two different types of ground peppers:  Pink Pepper and White Pepper.  The pink peppercorns have a slightly sweeter and more floral flavor with a lemony undertone, while the white peppercorns have a much more distinctive peppery heat.  Each lends unique aromatics to help make a classic apple turnover more flavorful and complex!


Apple Turnover with Brie

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • Frozen Puff Pastry - 1 sheet, thawed in the refrigerator

  • Apples – 2 Pink Lady, cored and ½-inch chopped

  • Butter – 1 tablespoon

  • Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon

  • Pink Peppercorns – ¼ teaspoon, freshly cracked (mortar and pestle works perfectly)

  • White Pepper – ¼ teaspoon

  • Sugar – 2 tablespoons, granulated

  • Lemon Zest – ¾ teaspoon

  • Brie – 4 ounces, divided

  • *Egg Wash – 1 egg lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon of water

Direction

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. Begin by laying out the thawed sheet of puff pastry on a floured surface. Lightly roll into a 10-inch by 14-inch square.

  3. Cut 4 equal-sized rectangles, place onto the prepared sheet pan then place into the refrigerator.

  4. Next, in a medium sized sauce pan set over medium heat, cook the apples, sugar, salt, lemon zest, butter and both ground peppers for 15-20 minutes, or until tender but not mushy.

  5. Remove the sheet pan from the refrigerator.

  6. Spoon equal amounts of the apple mixture onto one-third of each rectangle, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges.

  7. Then, top the apple mixture with one ounce of Brie per pastry.

  8. Brush all edges with *egg wash and fold the remaining two-thirds of the dough over the filling. Gently press the edges to seal completely using a fluted pastry cutter or fork. Repeat until all turn-overs have been assembled.

  9. Place into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill.

  10. Remove from the refrigerator, brush the top of each pastry with the egg wash and then cut three small slits through the top layer of each pastry for steam to escape.

  11. Place into the pre-heated oven and bake for 17-20 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.

  12. Serve slightly warm or room temperature.

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

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Roquefort & Preserves Squares

Marc J. Sievers

The smell of puff pastry baking in the oven is what I would imagine patisserie-heaven would smell like.  Now, add Roquefort cheese and strawberry (or fig) preserves inside and you have a delicious, simple, and unexpected hors d’oeuvre to serve to your guests at your next soirée!

The beauty with my recipe for Roquefort & Preserves Squares is using frozen store-bought puff pastry, good quality store-bought or home-made preserves.  Also, you can assemble this a few hours in advance, leave it in the refrigerator, and bake it right before your guests arrive, et voilà!


Watch my webisode of From My Kitchen to Yours - Parisian Cocktail Party for a complete tutorial:


Roquefort & Preserves Squares

Ingredients (makes 12 squares)

  • Puff Pastry – 1 package (2 sheets), defrosted

  • Strawberry Preserves – ¾ cup

  • Roquefort – ¾ cup, crumbled

  • Egg – 1 whole, extra-large, beaten

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. Begin by laying out one thawed sheet of puff pastry on a floured surface. Lightly roll into a 11-inch by 14-inchrectangle. Place it on the sheet pan.

  3. Spread the strawberry preserves onto the pastry, leaving a ½-inch border around the entire pastry.

  4. Sprinkle the crumbled cheese evenly on the preserves and within the border.

  5. Next, lightly roll the second piece of puff pastry into a 11-inch by 14-inch rectangle, as you did for the first. Then, brush the border of the first pastry with the egg wash. Lay the second pastry square directly on top of the first square, lining up the edges. Be careful not to stretch or pull the pastry out of shape.

  6. Brush the top of the pastry with the egg wash, and then cut five slits through the top layer of pastry, for steam to escape. Allow to chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

  7. Place into the pre-heated oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Turn once mid-way through the baking time. Bake until puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Cut into strips or squares. Serve warm or room-temperature.

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

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