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Recipes & Entertaining Ideas

Filtering by Tag: Winter Dish

Vegetarian Chili

Marc J. Sievers

I love recipes that you can make in advance of entertaining that actually taste even better after it sits for a couple of days in the refrigerator and the flavors all blend together!  My Vegetarian Chili - dubbed “I Get a Kick Out of You Chili - is from my cookbook Entertaining with Love and is a perfect example of just that.  This hearty chili is packed with fresh vegetables, black beans, and meatless ground, making it as substantial as a traditional chili made with ground beef.  You can either make this dish entirely on the stovetop, or partly in a slow cooker, whichever method you decide the end result is the same – fabulously delicious!  Best of all, you can top this chili with sour cream, fresh parsley, tortilla chips, avocado wedges, or even charred fresh jalapeños, allowing your guests to be creative and make it their own!  

This recipe is from my cookbook Entertaining with Love.


Vegetarian Chili (serves 6)

Ingredients

  • Butter – 3 tablespoons, unsalted

  • Yellow Onion – 1 large, medium diced

  • Red Onion – 1 large, medium diced

  • Fire-Roasted Tomatoes – 1 (28-ounce) can, crushed

  • Tomato Paste – 3 ounces

  • Garlic – 6 cloves, minced

  • Black Beans – 1 (15-ounce) can

  • Orange Bell Pepper – 1 large, medium diced

  • Red Bell Pepper – 1 large, medium diced

  • Hot Paprika – 1½ teaspoons

  • Cumin – ½ teaspoon

  • Crushed Red Pepper – 1 teaspoon

  • Cayenne Pepper – ¼ teaspoon

  • Chili Powder – 3 tablespoons

  • Kosher Salt – 2 teaspoon, divided

  • Black Pepper – 3 teaspoon, divided

  • Meatless Ground Beef – 12 ounces, Quorn® Grounds recommended

Directions

  1. In a Dutch oven or stock pot, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Once hot, add the diced onions and sauté for 3 minutes. Season with ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Then, add the bell peppers and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes. Next, add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.

  2. Add the beef grounds and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 5 minutes.

  3. In a small glass bowl combine all of the remaining spices: Chili Powder, Cumin, Cayenne Pepper, Hot Paprika, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of black pepper.

  4. Thoroughly drain the black beans and add to the onions and peppers. Add the can of crushed fire-roasted tomatoes. Stir all together. Bring to a gentle simmer, and then reduce the heat to low.

  5. Add the combined spices and the tomato paste. Stir to mix thoroughly.

  6. Place the lid on the Dutch oven and reduce the heat to simmer/low. At this point you can transfer the contents to a slow cooker and set to low heat. On the stove, keep covered and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. In the slow cooker set to low heat cook for 3 hours.

  7. Serve hot.

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

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Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Marc J. Sievers

Winter is in full swing in Chicago—as it is in so many other parts of the country!  We’ve had snow, the wind whipping off of Lake Michigan, and the result for me has been a craving for a big bowl of piping hot soup.

It was just a few days ago that I got the craving for roasted cauliflower florets with bleu cheese sauce for dipping (a favorite snack of mine!), and I decided to make the roasted florets into a soup.  I wanted a soup that would be satisfying, creamy, and filled with fresh vegetable flavors.  I happened to be out of fresh Rosemary and Thyme, so to flavor the soup I turned to my bottle of Herbes de Provence—and I am glad I did! 

My Roasted Cauliflower Soup has beautiful flavor from the dried herbs, including a light floral taste from the lavender.  And since I had two slices of Max Poilane bread left from my loaf, I made those into Butter Croutons to have float atop my luxurious Roasted Cauliflower Soup.  Ryan opened a bottle of chilled Rosé, I filled two huge bowls full of soup, and we watched some old episodes of The French Chef as we enjoyed the snow fall that evening.  It doesn’t get better than this!


Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients (serves 4 as main course, 6 as soup course)

  • Cauliflower – 2 heads, just florets

  • Olive Oil – 6 tablespoons, divided

  • Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ½ teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Butter – 2 tablespoons, unsalted

  • Carrot – 1 large, peeled, and ½-inch diced

  • Yellow Onion – 1 small, ½-inch diced

  • Garlic – 4 cloves, finely minced

  • Herbes de Provence – 1 teaspoon, dried, lightly crushed

  • Vegetable Stock – 4 cups

  • Half and Half – 1 cup

  • Green Onions – 3 stalks, trimmed, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. Place the cauliflower florets onto a sheet pan and toss with 4 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, until lightly browned and tender.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large heavy-bottomed pan set over medium heat, add the butter and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once hot, add the carrots and onions. Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender.

  4. Add the garlic and Herbes de Provence and cook for another 1-2 minutes more, being careful not to burn the garlic.

  5. Add the stock, raise the heat to high, and bring to a slow boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.

  6. Add the roasted cauliflower. Using an immersion blender or food processor, pureé the soup until smooth and thick. Stir in the half and half. Reheat over medium heat until just heated through.

  7. Garnish with green onions and croutons. Serve hot.


Butter Croutons

Ingredients

  • Bread – 2 slices, cut into ½-inch cubes

  • Butter – 3 tablespoons, unsalted

Directions

  1. In a medium sauté pan set over medium heat, add the butter. Once melted, add the bread cubes. Toast for 5-10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly brown.

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

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A Soul-Warming Dish: Sweet Potato Curry

Marc J. Sievers

Winter is one of my favorite seasons because the food can be so comforting, earthy, and filling!  Now that we are well beyond the (typically) over-indulgent holidays we have the opportunity to explore more flavors and ingredients beyond the staple dishes and recipes often repetitively (or traditionally) served in November and December.

To “spice up” your palate and repertoire there is nothing quite like a big bowl of my fragrant Sweet Potato Curry to warm you up while watching the snow fall.  It’s also a dish with a refreshing depth of flavor that not only comes from the spices but also the roasted sweet potatoes and fire-roasted canned tomatoes.

Roasting vegetables is my favorite way to cook them as the caramelization brings out their natural sweetness and imparts (and retains) the most flavor.  While the fire-roasted tomatoes have a kick (they are usually made with green chilies), you can always use crushed tomatoes for a milder flavor.

This recipe was inspired by classic Indian cuisine but uses ingredients familiar to the American palate and that are readily available at any local grocery store.  Get ready for a heart and soul-warming dinner; it is just 30 minutes away!  Eat well, laugh often, and share the love!


Sweet Potato Curry

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • Sweet Potatoes – 2 large, peeled, ½-inch diced

  • Olive Oil – 4 tablespoons, divided

  • Sea Salt – ¾ teaspoon, divided

  • Black Pepper – ¾ teaspoon, freshly cracked, divided

  • Red Onion – 1 small, ½-inch diced

  • Red Pepper – ½-inch diced

  • Garlic – 4 cloves, finely minced

  • Peas – 1 cup, frozen

  • Half and Half – ½ cup

  • Fire Roasted Tomatoes – (2) 15 ounce cans

  • Yellow Curry Powder – 2 ½ teaspoons

  • Turmeric – ½ teaspoon

  • Cumin – ½ teaspoon

  • Honey – 1 tablespoon

  • Parsley – ½ cup, Italian flat leaf, freshly chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. Place the sweet potatoes onto a sheet pan and toss with 2 tablespoons of oil olive, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing once half way through the cooking time.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large sautée pan set over medium heat add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, red onions, and red peppers. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the onions and peppers are tender.

  4. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes longer, being careful not to burn the garlic.

  5. Next, add the tomatoes, peas, half and half, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, honey, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of pepper.

  6. Allow to come to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes uncovered.

  7. Transfer to a large serving bowl and add the roasted sweet potatoes. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

Tip: This dish pairs well with Basmati rice.  For a healthy alternative serve it with a fresh green salad and cucumbers.

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

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