Tag Archives: Appetizers

Jeff's Naturals Olives and Peppers

A Festive Holiday Party Menu

Holiday Party Menu

An uncomplicated holiday menu!  Expecting company this holiday season?  Whether you are expecting a houseful of relatives or a smaller intimate gathering, we know there is a lot to plan and to think about.

While we can’t help with everything, we CAN help uncomplicate holiday entertaining for you! From hand stuffing olives with feta, blue cheese or locally grown garlic to roasting red peppers, we have already have done much the work for you right here in Napa Valley.

Simply pick up your favorite Jeff’s Naturals products at your local food store (or order online), crack open a jar and get creative by pairing our olives and peppers with your favorite appetizers and dishes.

Here are some simple suggestions for a fabulous and easy holiday spread you can serve while relaxing and enjoying with friends and family.

A Festive Holiday Party Menu

Antipasto Platter
Crescent Rolls with Gruyère and Sun-dried Tomato & Basil
Baked Jalapeño Stuffed Olive Cheddar Puffs
Spinach and Feta Olive Turnovers
Spiked Hot Apple Cider
Jeff’s Greek Peperontini
Jeff’s Casteltini

Antipasto Platter

JN Antipasto Platter Grande

Sliced meat: Pick a variety of cured meats such as prosciutto, salami, and bresaola.

Cheese: Choose a variety of cheeses- a hard cheese, soft cheese, and stinky cheese will give your guests nice options. Try Manchego, Brie, and Blue Cheese, fresh Mozzarella or Burrata – the more cheeses the merrier!

Olives & Peppers: It wouldn’t be an Antipasto platter without the right combination of olives and peppers! You can be creative, but we recommend selecting from one or more of the following:
Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives
Whole Castelvetrano Olives
Feta Cheese Stuffed Olives
Roasted Bell Pepper Strips
Garlic Stuffed Olives
Whole Golden Greek Peperoncini
Organic Pitted Whole Greek Kalamata Olives
Jalapeño Stuffed Olives

Be sure to pour some Jeff’s Naturals Spicy Italian Olive Antipasto into a bowl.

Fresh Fruit: A variety of fresh fruit such as a bunch of grapes, slices of cantaloupe, halved fresh figs, and cherry tomatoes.Add sliced baguette and assorted crackers
PREPARATION

Pull cheeses from the refrigerator about one hour prior to guests arriving. Place all the antipasti items on a large platter. Set out serving utensils, toothpicks, and cheese knives for the guests to serve themselves. And of course, wine is a great accompaniment to any antipasti platter also!

Build Your Own AntiPasto Platter

Crescent Rolls with Gruyère and Sundried Tomato & Basil

Recipe: Sun-Ripened Dried Tomato Crescent Rolls
Click Here for Recipe

Baked Jalapeño Stuffed Olive Cheddar Puffs

Recipe: Baked Jalapeño Stuffed Cheddar Puffs

Click Here for Recipe

Spinach and Feta Olive Turnovers

Recipe: Spinach and Feta Olive Turnovers

Click Here for Recipe

Jeff’s Naturals Spiked Hot Apple Cider

Spiked Apple Cider

Click Here for Recipe

Jeff’s Greek Peperontini

Jeff's Greek Peperontini
Click Here for Recipe

Jeff’s Casteltini
Jeff’s Casteltini

Click Here for Recipe

How to Build the Perfect Antipasto Platter

Jeff's Naturals Antipasto Platter

Want to know a the trick to serving elegant party food with a minimal amount of time and effort? Set out an antipasto platter and watch it disappear.

Antipasto is typically a combination platter made up of olives, vegetables, peppers, cheese, meats, breads, crackers, etc. It’s commonly referred to as mezze, tapas or antipasti. Whatever you call it, antipasto platters are perfect for a romantic alfresco dinner, backyard barbeque, Friday night cocktails, a terrific tailgate party or even a fun weeknight dinner with a European flair.

“When it’s done right, an antipasto plate will bring a relaxed spirit and friendly, casual conversation to your meal,” it says in this Whole Foods antipasto guide. “No matter the occasion, serving antipasto is the perfect way to slow things down and savor great food at a dinner, picnic, cocktail party—you name it.”

The key to a great antipasto platter is to serve small bites of tasty food. Choose colorful ingredients that compliment each other and serve on a large, attractive platter. If the occasion is right, enjoy with wine.

To help take the guesswork out of what to include on your antipasto platter, follow our “antipasto platter matrix” :

Step One. Begin with bread and/or crackers

Choose 1-2 from the following

Water Crackers
Sliced Baguette
Crisp Flatbread
Pita Bread cut into triangles
Focaccia Bread
Toasted Garlic Rounds

Step Two. Arrange bread/crackers around the edge of the platter and add in your meats and/or cheeses.

Choose 2-3 from list below

Camembert cheese
Havarti cheese
Feta
Gouda
Goat Cheese
Smoked Provolone
Shaved Parmesean
Brie
Marinated Fresh Mozzarella
Gruyère
Thinly Sliced Genoa Salami
Shaved Prosciutto
Natural Pepperoni
Smoked Ham
Sardines
Smoked Salmon
Manchego cheese

Vegan Options:
Olive Tapenade
Hummus
Roasted Vegetables

Step Three: Add in fruits & vegetables

Choose 3-4 from list below

Marinated artichoke hearts
Roasted Red Peppers
Garlic-Stuffed Olives
Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives and/or Feta Stuffed Olives
Fresh Cantaloupe
Red Grapes
Sliced Apples
Castelvetrano Olives
Dried Cranberries
Sweet Pickles
Dried and/or fresh figs
Whole Kalamata Olives
Jalepeño Stuffed Olives
Sliced Cucumbers

Step Four: Add the finishing touches

Choose 1-2 of the following

Whole Golden Greek Peperoncini
Capers
Roasted Almonds
Walnuts
Pine Nuts

Step Five:  Serve with your favorite beverage, relax and enjoy!

Game Day

What’s On Your Game Day Menu?

Game Day FoodThe “Big Game” is coming up, are you ready? Millions of us will gather with family and friends on Sunday February 1st to watch a (hopefully) suspense-filled football game while enjoying tasty snacks and appetizers. If you are hosting, delicious appetizers are a must.

Chef Natalie, our “Chef in Residence” has been hard at working creating tasty party recipes using only the best ingredients. Click here to see our growing recipe collection of salads, soups, appetizers and entrees to delight your taste buds.

Score major points with these crowd pleasing appetizer dishes for your big bash using Jeff’s Naturals™ non-GMO products:

Spicy Queso Dip

¼ c. butter
¼ c. flour
2 c. whole milk
4 c. shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 c. Jeff’s Naturals Diced Tamed Jalapeño Peppers, drained with brine reserved
1 c. Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Pepper Strips, drained and rough chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the roux is pale yellow and frothy, about 1-2 minutes. Do not allow the roux to brown.

Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens and comes to a boil, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the cheese, one cup at a time, and whisk until melted. Next, stir in the jalapenos and roasted peppers. If the sauce seems too thick, thin with some of the jalapeno brine or milk until you achieve the desired consistency.

Great dip with chips or drizzled over broccoli or baked potatoes.

Creamy Jalapeño Dip

1/4 c. mayo
1/2 c. cream cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 c. Jeff’s Naturals™ Diced Tamed Jalapeños, add brine to taste as well
1/2 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together. Serve warm or cold with crackers or a sliced baguette.

Grilled Pizza with Bacon, Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onion

1 favorite store bought frozen pizza dough (makes 2 small pizzas)
¼ c. extra virgin olive oil
½ c. Jeff’s Naturals™ Roasted Bell Peppers & Caramelized Onions
1 jar pizza sauce
½ c. bacon crumbles or cooked Italian sausage crumbles
½ c. blue cheese crumbles

Heat grill on high heat. When grill is heated, brush olive oil on grill grates, use half the pizza dough and roll out and stretch until desired thickness is achieved. Carefully lay dough onto oiled grill. Dough will start to bubble and char. After about 2-3 minutes, flip dough over and spoon on some pizza sauce. Evenly distribute peppers and onions. Sprinkle blue cheese and bacon crumbles on top. If adding olives, add those as well. Grill for about 2-3 minutes and slice and serve hot.

Cheese Stuffed Fried Green Olives

1 wedge of manchego cheese, or your favorite cheese
1 jar Jeff’s Naturals™ Whole Castelvetrano Olives, drained & pitted
1 c. flour
3 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 c. panko bread crumbs, ground finely
Vegetable or canola oil for frying

Cut the manchego cheese into small rectangle pieces so they’ll fill the hole of the olive. Place one cheese plug into the center of each olive. Prepare the breading station with 3 separate shallow bowls. Use one for flour, one for eggs, last one for panko. Drop the stuffed olives into the flour first, remove and gently shake off any excess, place into beaten eggs to coat, then drop into panko and roll around until fully covered with breadcrumbs.

Heat a few inches of oil in a saucepan to 350º F. Fry olives in small batches until golden brown in color. Remove with a slotted spoon and place olives onto a plate with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Let sit for 5-10 minutes and serve warm.

Supreme Artichoke Dip

1 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ c. parmesan cheese, shredded
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ c. mayonnaise
2 jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained and rough chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
½ Tbsp. Jeff’s Naturals™ Tamed Diced Jalapeno Peppers
¼ c. Jeff’s Naturals™ Roasted Bell Pepper Strips, drained and diced
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400º F. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients. Place into an 8×8 baking dish. Bake for about 15 minutes or until bubbly around the edges. Serve hot with pita chips or bread cubes for dipping.

Baked Jalapeño Stuffed Olive Cheddar Puffs

4 oz. butter (softened)
1 c. all purpose flour
2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1 Tbs water
1 jar Jeff’s Naturals® Jalapeno Stuffed Olives (drained)

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer for several minutes. Add in the flour, cheese and spices. Mix for one minute, add the hot sauce and water and mix until combined. Transfer the dough to a piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a disk. Chill in the refrigerator for one hour.

Once the dough is chilled, scoop one tablespoon at a time. Press the dough flat in the palm of your hand. Place an olive in the center and wrap the dough around the olive and roll into a ball shape. Once wrapped, chill the balls for 10 minutes in the freezer.

In the meantime, preheat your oven to 400º F. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve this appetizer warm.

photo credit: runneralan2004 via photopin cc