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Recipes & Entertaining Ideas

Filtering by Tag: Sliders

Veggie Sliders

Marc J. Sievers


This is a two-parter!  First, the Fresh Thyme Mayo was something I created back in 2011 for a TV show Ryan and I competed on for Food Network called Bobby’s Dinner Battle: Battle Chicago where three teams of two people cooked for Bobby Flay (he was in my kitchen!) and other judges for the title of Best Home Cook of Chicago.  This Mayo was a huge hit and ultimately helped us win!  Second, Ryan and I absolutely adore hotel bars — a favorite spot of ours is Gibson’s Chicago where Ryan orders the filet mignon sliders and a vodka martini (shaken, of course).  I am always a bit envious since I have yet to come across a vegetarian version in any bar.  But now I can re-create a similar atmosphere at home, vodka martini included!

IMG-Signature-Marc 100px.jpg


INGREDIENTS (Makes 6 sliders)

Fresh Thyme mayo:

  • Mayonnaise – ¼ cup

  • Dijon Mustard – 1 teaspoon

  • Thyme – ½ teaspoon, finely minced, fresh

  • Lemon Zest – ½ teaspoon

  • Lemon Juice – 1 tablespoon, freshly squeezed

  • Sea Salt – 1/8 teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – 1/8 teaspoon, freshly cracked


Veggie Sliders:

  • Cannellini Beans –1 can (15 ounces), drained and rinsed

  • Basil – 3 tablespoons, finely minced, fresh

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

  • Olive Oil – 3 tablespoons, divided

  • Butter – 1 tablespoon, unsalted

  • Red Onion – 1 small, ¼-inch diced

  • Thyme – 1 teaspoon, finely minced, fresh

  • Rosemary – 1 teaspoon, finely minced, fresh

  • Oregano – ¾ teaspoon, dried, lightly crushed

  • Sea Salt – ¾ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ¾ teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Red Pepper Flakes – ¼ teaspoon

  • Garlic – 3 cloves, finely minced

  • Dried Bread Crumbs - ⅓ cup, plus 1 tablespoon, plain variety

  • Egg – 1 extra-large, lightly beaten, at room temperature

  • Half and Half – 1 tablespoon

  • Parmesan Cheese – 3 tablespoons, freshly grated, Parmigiano-Reggiano recommended

  • Pretzel Slider Buns – 6, split

  • Gruyere Cheese – ¾ cup, freshly grated, for topping


Fresh Thyme Mayo:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients into a small bowl and mix until incorporated.

Veggie Sliders:

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.  Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a small bowl.  Set aside.

  2. In the bowl of a small food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the drained beans, basil, and parsley.  Pulse until the beans are almost smooth, but still have a bit of texture.  Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.

  3.  In a 10-inch sauté pan set over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the butter.  Once hot, add the red onions, thyme, rosemary, oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Cook for 5-7 minutes until the onions are soft, stirring occasionally.

  4. Next, add the garlic and cook for another 60 seconds, being careful not to burn the garlic. 

  5. Scrap the onion mixture and any remaining olive oil into the bean mixture.  Add the breadcrumbs, egg, half n half, and Parmesan cheese to the same bowl.  Using a fork, combine all of the ingredients being careful not to compact the mixture. 

  6. Using a 2 ¼-inch scoop, form 6 balls by lightly rolling the mixture between the palms of your hands.  Place each ball onto the prepared half sheet pan.

  7.  Bake for 10 minutes, then using a spatula, gently flatten each ball into a patty about 1 ½-inches thick.  Then brush the tops with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the split buns, cut side down, onto the same sheet pan to toast as the patties finish baking. 

  8.  Return the half sheet pan to the oven and bake another 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.  

  9.  Assemble each slider with as much grated Gruyere and Fresh Thyme Mayo as desired, and serve hot. 

Tip: Aside from topping these with Gruyere cheese and my Fresh Thyme Mayo, they can be topped with caramelized onions and Roquefort cheese, Fontina and marinara sauce, or really almost any combination!  Just remember, this recipe does have heavy Italian-inspired flavors, so make sure to play up on that!

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As Seen on Food Network! Creamed Spinach & Chicago Sliders

Marc J. Sievers

The winner's trophy in our (cleaned) kitchen! (We drank the Champagne that came in it...)

In January, Ryan and I were crowned the Best Home Cooks of Chicago on Bobby's Dinner Battle hosted by Bobby Flay on Food Network!  Being on national television I really wanted to push the boundaries of my culinary skills, so I decided to attempt creamed spinach -- something I have eaten many times in fabulous restaurants but never made at home.

Marc and Ryan competed on Food Network's  Bobby's Dinner Battle: Battle Chicago  hosted by Bobby Flay—and won the title of Best Home Cooks of Chicago!

Marc and Ryan competed on Food Network's Bobby's Dinner Battle: Battle Chicago hosted by Bobby Flay—and won the title of Best Home Cooks of Chicago!

After a crazy whirlwind of four hours in the kitchen, I remember carrying the bowl of my Creamed Spinach over to the eagerly-waiting dinner guests (including Bobby Flay!) practically shaking from both excitement and nervousness!  It was a hit for all six guests that day.  Some even said it was the best creamed spinach they had ever had!

On the other end of the spectrum, we also attempted our version of sliders.  Let's just say they did not receive the same praise as my Creamed Spinach.  After the episode aired, I took the critique in stride and gave our sliders another try.  I remade the recipe into Chicago Sliders and cooked them to perfection, topped with my Fresh Thyme Mayo.

I stepped in front of the camera again, this time at From My Kitchen to Yours (my web series on YouTube) to share these recipes with you.  Happy cooking!

Creamed Spinach

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • Spinach – 1 pound, fresh

  • Heavy Cream – 1½ cups

  • Butter – 4 tablespoons

  • Parmesan – ¾, freshly grated

  • Flour – ⅓ cup, all-purpose

  • Salt – ½ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – 1 teaspoon, freshly cracked


  1. Start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. In the meantime, fill a large bowl with ice and cold water.

  2. Once the water comes to a boil, cook the spinach for 30 to 45 seconds. Immediately strain the spinach and plunge into the bowl of ice water. This is called "shocking" and will stop the cooking process and allow the spinach to retain its vivid green color.

  3. Remove the spinach from the ice water and squeeze all the excess liquid from the spinach. Place into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment.

  4. Next, cook the butter and flour in a medium sauce pan set over medium heat, stirring constantly, about 3 to 5 minutes.

  5. Add the heavy cream, salt, and pepper. Beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens, or about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and add the parmesan.

  6. Transfer the white sauce into the bowl of the food processor. Pulse 15 to 20 times or until desired consistency is achieved.

  7. Transfer back into a small sauce pan and gently re-heat before serving.

Chicago Sliders

Ingredients (makes 8 sliders)

  • Ground Beef – 1⅓ pounds, Organic, Grass Fed

  • Parsley – ¼ cup, freshly chopped

  • Garlic – 3 cloves, finely minced

  • Butter – 2 tablespoons

  • Olive Oil – ¼ cup

  • Gruyere – 1½ cups, freshly grated

  • Salt – ¾ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ¾ teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Mini Pretzel Buns – 8, lightly toasted

  • Arugula – For garnish and topping


  1. Combine the beef, salt, pepper, garlic and parsley in a large bowl. Using (two) forks, gently fluff and mix the mixture until incorporated.

  2. Gently shape the meat into 8 small patties, being very careful not to compress the meat.

  3. Next, in a large skillet set over medium heat, add the butter and olive oil.

  4. Cook the sliders for 3 minutes on one side, then flip each one, top with cheese and cover the pan for an additional 3 minutes. Covering the lid will ensure the cheese gets nicely melted!

  5. Serve will arugula, Fresh Thyme Mayo and pretzels buns for the ultimate Chicago Slider!

Fresh Thyme Mayo


  • Mayonnaise – ½ cup

  • Mustard – 1 tablespoon, whole grain

  • Thyme – 1 teaspoon, freshly minced

  • Lemon Juice – ½ lemon

  • Lemon Zest - 1 teaspoon

  • Salt – ½ teaspoon

  • Black pepper – ½ teaspoon


  1. Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and mix until incorporated.

  2. Use on sliders, sandwiches, or for dipping artichokes.

  3. Enjoy!

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