Tag Archives: Entertaining

Build-Your-Own Grilled Pizza is Perfect for Fall Entertaining

Summer may be over, but that in no way means that it’s time to store the grill away for the season! In fact the crisper, cooler air make fall the perfect time for outdoor entertaining. Whether you’re looking for a delicious weeknight dinner or fun way to feed a house full of guests, a “Build-Your-Own” Grilled Pizza night is always a hit.

Homemade grilled pizza is less expensive and more flavorful than take-out and a fun way to get creative with friends and family. We always have a blast at our “Grilled Pizza Parties” in the Jeff’s Naturals kitchen.

So forget delivery. In less time, you can grill up even better pizza! Here’s how.

Step 1- Prep the Pizza Crust
There are plenty of resources to help you make your own pizza dough or you can pick up some pre-made pizza dough at your local supermarket in the bakery, dairy or in the frozen foods section. You can also check with your local pizzeria to see if they sell homemade pizza dough, just make sure you get enough to feed everyone! Roll out your dough into personal sized pizzas and grill on each side for 1.5 minutes.

Step 2- Provide a Variety of Sauces
For the pizza purists, make sure you offer plenty of traditional tomato based pizza sauce (homemade or store-bought). For variety, we recommend offering some fun alternatives like pesto (jarred or homemade), garlic/herb infused oils, ricotta cheese, salsa, wing sauce, BBQ sauce, or tapenade. The sky’s the limit so get creative!

Step 3- Add Pizza Toppings & Grill!
Family & friends will have fun building their own pizzas with a well rounded variety of toppings. Here are some suggestions on how to turn a plain pizza into a gourmet experience:

Plenty of cheese please! Honestly, it’s just not pizza without the cheese! Set out a variety of cheeses to choose from like mozzarella (shredded or fresh), shredded cheddar, sliced provolone,  grated Parmesan, Romano, crumbed feta, blue cheese, goat cheese, vegan cheese…you get the idea.

Pass the protein! You can’t go wrong with choices like grilled chicken or tofu, pepperoni and diced gourmet sausage.

Add a healthy variety of veggies. Veggies like sliced onions, peppers, olives, julienned basil and other herbs are delicious additions to round out the flavor of your grilled pizza. Our line of olives & peppers offer plenty of fun pizza toppings. Here are a few that will rock your socks:
Roasted Bell Pepper Strips
Sliced Golden Greek Peperoncini
✓ Diced Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes
Sliced Tamed™ Jalapeños
✓ Diced Garlic Stuffed Olives
✓ Finely chopped Jalapeño Stuffed Olives
Organic Sliced Greek Kalamata Olives
✓ Diced Marinated Artichoke Hearts
Imported Non-Pareil Capers

Once toppings are added, place your pizza back on the grill for a few moments to heat up the toppings and melt the cheese. Enjoy!

Here are some fun & delicious examples of homemade grilled pizza made right in the Jeff’s Naturals kitchen!

Grilled pizza topped with Sliced Tamed™ Jalapeños, Roasted Bell Pepper Strips and mozzarella cheese.
Grilled pizza topped with Sliced Golden Greek Peperoncini, light cheese and thinly sliced red onions.
Grilled pizza topped with Sliced Golden Greek Peperoncini, pepperoni, light cheese and thinly sliced red onions.

 

Grilled pizza topped with sliced cherry tomatoes, Sliced Golden Greek Peperoncini and Diced Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes.
Grilled pizza topped with sliced cherry tomatoes, Sliced Golden Greek Peperoncini and Diced Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes.
Mexican Street Corn Salsa with Jeff's Naturals Diced Tamed Jalapeño Peppers

Fresh From Jeff’s Kitchen: Mexican Street Corn Dip

In honor of Cinco de Mayo this week, we wanted to introduce a new Southwest/Mexican inspired recipe that is simple to make and darn delicious!

The recipe calls for our delicious Diced Tamed™ Jalapeño Peppers so you can enjoy the pepper flavor with less intense heat. However, feel free to crank up the heat by adding or subbing out 1/2 cup of our Sliced Hot Cherry Peppers, roughly chopped. Or, you can get creative and add about 1/2 cup of chopped Sunshine Mix Mild Banana Pepper Rings or Roasted Bell Pepper Strips!

Serve warm with chips along with a fresh margarita and your guests will be chanting “mas mas mas!”

Delicious & Hot Mexican Street Corn Dip In honor of Cinco de Mayo this week, we wanted to introduce a new Southwest/Mexican inspired recipe that is simple to make and darn delicious!  Serve warm with chips along with a fresh margarita and your guests will be chanting “mas mas mas!”

Mexican Street Corn Dip

Prep Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 10

INGREDIENTS
6 ears of corn on the cob, husked and cleaned
1 poblano pepper, cut in half and deseeded
½ red onion
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup crumbled Cotija cheese, plus some for topping
½ cup Jeff’s Naturals Diced Tamed™ Jalapeño Peppers, drained. You can substitute with our Sliced Tamed™ Jalapeños, roughly chopped.
1 lime, juiced
½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder, plus some for topping

PREPARATION
Preheat grill on high heat.

Grill corn for about 15-20 minutes on the hot grill turning frequently until nice and charred and corn is cooked. Grill poblano pepper and red onion for about 10 minutes, turning frequently until charred and tender. Remove from grill and set aside.

Once cool enough to touch the grilled vegetables-cut the corn off the cob and place into a medium sized mixing bowl. Dice the onion and poblano and add to the corn. Add mayo, Cotija cheese, jalapeno peppers, lime juice and chili powder. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Turn oven on broil. Place corn mixture into an oven proof baking dish, top with a sprinkle of Cotija cheese and light sprinkle of chili powder. Broil about 5 minutes, keeping a close eye on the dish. Serve
immediately with chips.

How to Prepare the Perfect Pasta Dish

Mama Mia! Since October is National Pasta Month, we wanted to give a salute to one of America’s favorite foods! In recent years, pasta has gotten a bad rap (think no carb diets) but we think that pasta dishes can actually be a healthy and filling meal, especially with some help from Jeff’s Naturals all natural line of olives, peppers, capers and sun ripened tomatoes.

Rigatoni_with_Puttanesca_Sauce_cropped

pic_Pasta-Nicoise

Mediterranian-Salad-1

What’s the secret to pasta perfection? It begins with cooking pasta itself. The National Pasta Association recommends the following steps to cook pasta perfectly every time:

1. Boil 4 to 6 quarts of water for one pound of dry pasta. (You can divide this recipe depending on how much pasta you are cooking.)

2. Add the pasta with a stir and return the water to a boil.

3. Stir the pasta occasionally during cooking.

4. Follow the package directions for cooking times. If the pasta is to be used as part of a dish that requires further cooking, undercook the pasta by 1/3 of the cooking time specified on the package.

5. Taste the pasta to determine if it is done. Perfectly cooked pasta should be “al dente,” or firm to the bite, yet cooked through.

6. Drain pasta immediately and follow the rest of the recipe.

Reheating Pasta

To reheat cooked pasta, portion out the amount you need and place in boiling water. For extra-easy draining, you can place the pasta in a stainless steel colander or strainer and then submerge in boiling water. Count 40 to 60 seconds of re-heating time for a four-ounce serving. Drain the pasta well, toss with sauce and serve immediately. Pasta can also be reheated in the microwave oven. Reheat single servings on high for 45 seconds at a time, checking between intervals for doneness.

To create the perfect pasta dish, you must also pair it with the right sauce. The National Pasta Association recommends pairing thin, delicate pastas (like angel hair or thin spaghetti)are better served with lighter, thin sauces. If it’s a heavier sauce you crave, it’s better to stick with thicker pasta shapes, like fettuccine. Pasta shapes with holes or ridges, like mostaccioli or radiatore, are perfect for chunkier sauces.

Now that you know the basics, grab a fork and dig into our newest pasta recipe using Jeff’s Naturals!

Jeff’s Naturals Mediterranean Pasta

Prep Time: 5 min.Total Time: 10 min.Serves: 4

mediterranean-pasta-jeffs-naturals
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts, sliced diagonally
1 cup Jeff’s Naturals Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes, drained, julienned
2 Tablespoons crushed garlic
1 pound angel hair pasta, fresh
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 jar (6.5 ounces) Artichoke Hearts, drained
1/2 cup Jeff’s Naturals Organic Sliced Greek Kalamata Olives, drained
6 ounce crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
PREPARATION

Boil water for pasta. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken strips until no longer pink in the middle, about 3 minutes on each side. Add sun dried tomatoes and crushed garlic to skillet. Sauté for 2 minutes. In the meantime, add the fresh pasta to the boiling water, cook until al dente, about 5 minutes.

Add the basil, artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese to the skillet. Sauté 1 minute. Stir in cream. Strain pasta and transfer to a large pasta bowl. Add the chicken sauté to the pasta and toss.

Season with oregano, salt and pepper before serving.

Visit National Pasta Association to see these and other great pasta cooking tips!

Three Recipes for a Delicious Easter Dinner

Easter’s the perfect time of the year to spend a moment together with loved ones and converse over a delicious, well-cooked meal. When you’re hosting, however, it can be very easy to feel overwhelmed with preparations.

Let us take some of the weight off your shoulders with these easy-to-prepare, healthy, succulent recipes made with Jeff’s Naturals line of all natural Mediterranean products).

Encrusted Salmon with Olive Pesto

Encrusted-Salmon-with-Olive-Pesto

Prep Time: 10 min  |  Total Time: 25 min  |  Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

For the Pesto:

  • 3/4 c. Jeff’s Naturals™ Whole Pitted Kalamata Olives
  • 1 c. Italian fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/3 c. basil leaves
  • 2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1/2 c. + 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil (divided)
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 c. toasted pine nuts
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Salmon:

  • 6 salmon 5 oz. each
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Lemon wedges for garnish

Directions:

Place all pesto ingredients in food processor and blend until thoroughly mixed into a textured pesto sauce.

Season 5 oz. salmon with salt and pepper. Drizzle roasting pan with olive oil and place salmon over it.

Spread pesto on the salmon and roast in oven at 375° F for about 10 to 12 minutes.

Squeeze fresh lemon on salmon just before serving.

Chef Notes: Also very good for sea bass, grilled steak, grilled shrimp and grilled chicken. Use as a spread on toasted bread topped with Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Peppers Strips and goat cheese.

Peperoncini Potato Salad

Peperoncini Potato Salad

Prep Time:  5min | Total Time: 25min | Serves: 4

Ingredients

Directions:

Place washed potatoes into a pot with cold water, season with salt so it tastes “salty like the sea” and bring water to a boil on high heat. Cook potatoes until they are easily pierced with the tip of a knife, about 15 minutes.

Drain and rinse under cool water. Cut potatoes into bite size pieces and place into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the peperoncini, capers, zest and parsley. Drizzle on the olive oil and gently toss to combine. Add a tablespoon or two of the peperoncini brine for some added “zing”. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Spring Spinach Salad with Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives

Recipe: Spring Spinach Salad with Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives

Prep Time: 20 min | Total Time: 30 min | Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

For the Salad:

For the Dressing:

  • 2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook bacon, drain and set aside to cool. Chop blue cheese stuffed olives crosswise, into rounds. Slice apple into 1/2-inch by 1/2-inch pieces. Chop bacon. Combine all ingredients with spinach.

Combine all dressing ingredients and whisk until combined, and drizzle over salad. Serve immediately.

Ten Fantastic Ideas For Your Cinco de Mayo Fiesta

Jeff's Naturals Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Sweet, sweet Cinco de Mayo! This festive holiday is a celebration of Mexican heritage and culture, but it is perhaps the wonderful Mexican cuisine that makes Cinco de Mayo such a favorite among foodies. What’s not to love about spicy dips & chips, margaritas, enchiladas, tacos and more?

Here’s a few of our favorite serving ideas using Jeff’s Naturals Products to help you plan the most fantastic Cinco de Mayo fiesta yet!

#1 Margarita Party Plate

Ingredients:
Jalapeño Stuffed Olives
Pepper Jack Cheese
Smoked Cheddar Cheese
Sliced Hot Cherry Peppers
Garlic Stuffed Olives
Spicy Italian Olive Antipasto

Accompaniments:
*Jalapeño Guacamole, Tortilla Chips,*Black Bean & Roasted Red Pepper Salsa, *Spicy Queso Dip, Cumin-roasted almonds, Fresh Lime Juice Margaritas, *Jalapeño Mangoritas
*Recipe below

#2 Watermelon Jalapeño Margaritas

Watermelon Jalapeño Margaritas

In a blender, puree 5 cups of seedless watermelon cubes and strain juice through a fine wire mesh sieve. Discard any pulp and seed remnants.

In a large pitcher, stir together watermelon juice, 1 cup silver tequila, ½ cup of Cointreau (you could also use triple sec), and ¼-½ cup of fresh lime juice. Add a splash of Sliced Tamed™ Jalapeño brine to taste and stir to combine. Keep cold until ready to use.

In a shallow dish, combine 3 tbsp. of kosher salt and 1 tsp. of chili powder.

To prepare the margaritas, rim each glass with the chili powder mixture by wetting the rim of the glass with Cointreau and dipping in the chili and salt. Pour the watermelon margarita over ice and serve with a garnish of watermelon cubes and jalapeño slices. Serves: 4-6

#3 Jalapeño Guacamole

Jalapeño Guacamole

Combine the following ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly: 1-1/2 lbs. firm, ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced, 1/3 c. Jeff’s Naturals™ Diced Jalapeño Peppers, 1 Tbsp. of salsa, 4 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, ¼ tsp. ground cumin, ¼ tsp. crushed garlic and Salt and pepper to taste.

Add more salsa to suit spiciness level. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with tortilla chips as an appetizer, or top off your favorite Mexican dishes. Serves: 6-8
Click here for original recipe.

#4 Black Bean & Roasted Red Pepper Salsa

Black Bean & Roasted Red Pepper Salsa

Drain and 1 1/2 jars of Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Pepper Strips and chop. In a large mixing bowl, toss red peppers with 1 can of  black beans (drained and rinsed), 1/2 cup of minced red onion, 3 Tbsp of fresh lime juice, 1/4 cup of Virgin Olive Oil, 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 2 Tbsp minced green onions (including tops), 1 Tbsp. Jeff’s Naturals Sliced Tamed Jalapeños, 1 tsp. crushed garlic and 1 tsp. salt. Refrigerate for 25 minutes and serve.

#5 Jalapeño Mangorita

Jeff's Naturals Jalapeño Mangorita

Fill a rock glass ¾ full with ice. Add 1 ½ oz. of tequila and fill with mango juice leaving just enough room for the juice of ½ lime, and a splash of Sliced Tamed™ Jalapeño brine. Stir to combine and serve with a lime wedge and slice of jalapeno. Serves: 1
Click here for original recipe.

#6 Macho Nachos

Recipe: Macho Nachos

Preheat oven to 450º F. Spoon 8 oz. light sour cream onto a large, shallow dish, spreading evenly. Top with 1-½ cup of rinsed black beans, ½ jar Jeff’s Naturals Sliced Hot Cherry Peppers (drained) and ½ jar Jeff’s Naturals Diced Tamed Jalapeños (also drained).

Place tortilla chips around edge of plate, lodging them firmly into the dip. Sprinkle entire plate with 1 cup of queso fresco and ½ cup of cheddar cheese. Heat in the oven for five minutes, or until cheese has melted.

Sprinkle with diced roma tomatoes, avocado and scallions on top of beans. Top with a dollop of sour cream to garnish. Serve with remaining bag of tortilla chips. Serves: 8
Click here for original recipe.

#7 Jalapeño Lime Margarita

Jalapeño Lime Margarita

Combine 4-6 cups of Ice, 1 (12 oz.) can frozen limeade concentrate, 1 cup tequila and ¼ cup of triple sec into a blender and blend until smooth. Add a splash of Diced Tamed™ Jalapeño Pepper brine to taste and blend again. Pour into a rimmed glass with salt and garnish with a lime wedge and jalapeño ring. Serves: 6

#8 Spicy Queso Dip

Spicy Queso Dip

In a medium saucepan melt ¼ cup of butter over medium-high heat. Add ¼ cup of 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 2 cups of whole 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 4 cups of shredded Mexican blend cheese, one cup at a time, and whisk until melted. Next, stir in the 1 c. Jeff’s Naturals™ Diced Tamed Jalapeño Peppers (drained with brine reserved) and 1 cup of drained and roughly chopped Jeff’s Naturals™ Roasted Bell Pepper Strips. If the sauce seems too thick, thin with some of the jalapeno brine or milk until you achieve the desired consistency. Serve with tortilla chips. Serves: 6-8
Click here for original recipe.

#9 Spice-it-up Jalapeño Martini

Pour 3 oz.of vodka and a splash of dry vermouth with 2 oz. Jeff’s Naturals Sliced Tamed Jalapeños brine into a martini shaker with ice. Shake at least 30 seconds and pour into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with 2-3 Jalapeño Stuffed Olives and enjoy!
Click here for original recipe.

#10 Creamy Jalapeño Dip

Recipe: Creamy Jalapeño Dip

Mix together, 1/4 cup mayo, 1/2 cup cream cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 1 cup Jeff’s Naturals Diced Tamed Jalapeños, 1/2 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley and salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Add jalapeño brine to taste as well. Serve warm or cold with crackers or a sliced baguette. Serves: 8
Click here for original recipe.

Five Fabulous Super Bowl Recipes Your Party Guests Will Love!

Football fan or not, if you are like most Americans, chances are you will be watching the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 2nd.

Super Bowl Sunday is a great excuse to gather friends and enjoy some great food!  Here are some recipes for crowd pleasing snacks and easy bites for your big bash using Jeff’s Naturals non-GMO products:

Super Bowl Recipes
From top right, Denver Bronco Macho Nachos, Seattle Seahawks Supreme Artichoke Dip, Gridiron Garlic Pepper Toast, Half Time Deep Dish Party Pizzas

Denver Bronco Macho Nachos

8 oz. light sour cream
1 1/2 c. black beans, rinsed
1/2 jar Jeff’s Naturals Sliced Hot Cherry Peppers, drained
1/2 jar Jeff’s Naturals Sliced Tamed Jalapeños, drained
4 roma tomatoes, diced
1 diced avocado
4 scallions, thinly diced
1 bag tortilla chips
1 c. queso fresco
1/2 c. cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spoon sour cream onto a large, shallow dish, spreading evenly. Top with black beans, Hot Cherry Peppers and Jalapeños.

Place chips around edge of plate, lodging them firmly into the dip. Sprinkle entire plate with queso fresco and cheddar. Heat in the oven for five minutes, or until cheese has melted.

Sprinkle tomatoes, avocado and scallions on top of beans. Top with a dollop of sour cream to garnish. Serve with remaining tortilla chips.

~ Print this Recipe ~

Seattle Seahawks Supreme Artichoke Dip

1 cup mozzarella, shredded
½ cup parmesan, shredded
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained and rough chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ tablespoon Jeff’s Naturals Tamed Diced Jalapeño Peppers
¼ cup 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 and bake for about 15 minutes or until bubbly around the edges. Serve hot with pita chips or bread cubes.

~ Print this Recipe ~

pic_jalapeno-guacamoleJeff’s Super Bowl of Guacamole

No Super Bowl party would be complete without classic chips & dip! Set out this Jalapeño Guacamole made with our famous Tamed Sliced Jalapeño Peppers with your favorite tortilla chips and watch it disappear!

1 1/2 lbs. firm, ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
1/3 c. Jeff’s Naturals Tamed Sliced Jalapeño Peppers, chopped roughly
1 Tbsp. of salsa
4 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp. cumin, ground
¼ tsp. crushed garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Add more salsa to suit spiciness level. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with tortilla chips.

~ Print this Recipe ~

Gridiron Garlic Pepper Toast

1 c. sliced onion
1 jar of Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Pepper Strips, drained
3 minced Garlic
5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 tsp. fresh basil, julienned
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 loaf (1 pound) French bread
1 c. (4 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese

In a skillet, sauté onion, Roasted Bell Pepper Strips, garlic and olive oil. Add basil and garlic salt set aside. Cut bread into 1-in. slices and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Broil each side for 1-2 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush remaining oil on one side of bread. Top with pepper mixture and cheese. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and your toasty appetizer is ready!

Print this Recipe ~

Half Time Deep Dish Party Pizzas

1 store bought pizza dough
¼ c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup Jeff’s Naturals Roasted Bell Pepper Strips, drained
1/2 cup of Jeff’s Naturals Sliced Greek Kalamata Olives, drained
½ sm. onion, thinly sliced
½ c. sliced mushrooms
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 c. shredded mozzarella
1 c. Pizza Sauce

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prep a muffin tin by lightly oiling the inside of every other cup. Divide pizza dough into 6 pieces. Lightly dust kitchen counter with flour and roll out each piece of dough to about 6 inch rounds. Line every other muffin cup with the dough and press into the molds around the sides and bottom.

Drizzle olive oil to coat a sauté pan on medium high heat. When hot, onion, mushrooms, and garlic; sauté about 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Drain vegetables of any excess liquid.

To prevent mini deep dish pizzas from being soggy on the bottom, first sprinkle mozzarella cheese, then add Roasted Bell Pepper Strips, Kalamata Olives and sautéed vegetables. Next, spoon some pizza sauce inside the cup and top with a few more pieces or shredded mozzarella, if you choose.

Use a pastry brush and lightly oil the edges of the pizza crust. Place into the oven and cook about 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove from cups when cool enough to handle.

~ Print this Recipe ~