4 Tips for Hearty Winter Chicken Dishes

Cold weather recipes generally center around roasts and heavy sauces or gravy. However, there is a way to keep things light yet comforting as we head towards the winter months.

1. Pair lean meats with hearty vegetables like brussel sprouts, butternut squash or sweet potatoes.

2. Add aromatic paste-like sauces and spices based on rich world flavors like cumin, fennel seed, curry, anise, smoked paprika and ginger. 

3. Use fresh herbs for an added kick.

4. Bake low and slow to give the flavors time to blend!

What Do Health Food Terms Really Mean

Amidst staggering obesity statistics, degenerative diseases thought to be caused by diet and a slew of marketing campaigns targeting the uninformed consumer, America is a nation at war.  The demand for healthy food options everywhere from hospital cafeterias to high-end restaurants climbs steadily to counteract years of research free consumption.

Despite positive effects of food awareness in certain groups or regions, the truth is that many consumers find it difficult to sift through what is healthy and what isn’t…and they have the marketing department to blame!

There is no shortage of companies willing to steer the consumer, stuck at a nutrition crossroads, in their direction. This informs their grocery shopping as well as their menu decisions. Filled with terms that vary slightly from Natural to All Natural or Cage-Free to Free Range, the road to healthy and clean eating is rife with semantic obstacles for would-be patrons.

At the grocery store or restaurant menu level, you can begin to sort through consumer intention versus consumption.


1: Organic. The consumer is looking for the healthiest food available and has been directed to everything from organic meats and vegetables to pre-made organic meals and organic friendly restaurants.

USDA certified organic foods are the cream of the crop and they have the price tag to prove it. Free of added hormones, antibiotics and, in the case of Rastelli organic cattle, raised on certified organic fields, this is the health enthusiast’s and restaurateur’s dream.

However, savvy customers are wise to the USDA’s list of non-organic items that can be used in organic food production. They are checking the label to make sure they are comfortable with all listed ingredients, so restaurant buyers must do the same.

2: Natural. The consumer is looking for something without added hormones or antibiotics, but doesn’t necessarily require strict organic regulations. They are confronted with the fact that natural is fairly non-descriptive.

That’s because Natural is not a regulated term. There are no certifications for it and certainly no qualms about using it on products that may not be as natural as they seem.

Loosely, Natural means minimally processed without additives. However, it does not mean that antibiotics were never used. To be safe, consumers are looking for labels and menu descriptions that say “All Natural;” implying free from added dyes, artificial ingredients and artificial flavors.


3: Free Range and Cage Free. The consumer is looking for something that is humanely raised and comes across two terms that seem fundamentally the same; with the word “Free” eliciting feeling of liberation and autonomy.

For Free Range animals that is basically the case. They are free to roam across their provided range environment at least part of the day throughout their lives.

Cage Free animals are not so liberated. Though they may escape the overcrowded conditions of their caged counterparts; cage free animals can be kept indoors full-time according to the “uncertified” definition.

Recently, US egg labels have added the term “barn-roaming,” referring to eggs that are laid by hens which are confined to a barn instead of a more restrictive cage.

Create A Great Labor Day Menu

Labor Day is about a lot of things, but very often the holiday is centered around food. The last major grilling day of the season requires more than traditional cookout fare. To create a great Labor Day Menu a great list of specials is a must. Here are a few items that can set your menu apart.

1. Organics  
Organic steaks are a stand out on any menu and while they may not be an every day item, creating a special healthy option for the holiday is a great way to test these premium products with your diners.

2. Fully Cooked Deboned Ribs In Sauce  

With an influx of customers who are enjoying the long weekend and looking for classic BBQ, Labor Day Menus need to be quick, easy and satisfying. Fully cooked items, like Bubba’s Q Deboned Ribs in Sauce (as seen on Shark Tank, Beyond the Tank and QVC) are simple and delicious. Plus, they save time in the kitchen!

3. Seafood for the Grill   

Hearty fish like Salmon or Cobia are great Labor Day items. They add dimension to the menu and create options for nutrition focused diners. They cook quickly and take well to simple seasoning and marinades.

Cook up these different and delectable items and enjoy your Labor Day weekend!

Has Burger King Created New Trend In Food Marketing?

Anyone who follows Burger King on Twitter is familiar with the hilarious, yet off-color nature of their new Offensively Spicy campaign for Fiery Chicken Fries. From curse words to innuendos, Burger King is pushing the envelope in food marketing.

A snapshot of Burger King's Twitter Feed

A snapshot of Burger King’s Twitter Feed

But with a ridiculous, though funny series of #HotterThan tweets and mock conversations featuring Fiery Chicken Fries, the brand has brought a very serious question to light. How far is too far with food marketing?

The food industry has always had a sensual image and the words used in product descriptions, ad campaigns and public communications often toe the line between sexy and scandalous. Burger King’s campaign is certainly doing just that.

What do you think of Burger King’s Offensively Spicy campaign and Shock Marketing in general?

3 Great Sides For T-Bone Steak

shutterstock_145058524While the T-Bone will be the focal point of any steakhouse dinner, pairing it with the right side dish is essential to creating the perfect meal. If you’re unsure what to serve with this bold and delicious cut, try these 3 great sides for T-Bone steaks with recipes from our chefs at Rastelli Market Fresh.

Macaroni and Cheese



  • 1 pound elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups milk
  • 5 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Cooking Instructions:

Bring a large bowl of salted water to a boil. Add the elbow macaroni and cook according to the package’s instructions. Rinse and drain the pasta and return the pot to the stove on low heat. Combine the remaining ingredients and stir until the cheese and butter have melted.

Parmesan Asparagus



  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Break off the ends of the asparagus spears and discard. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange the asparagus on the baking sheet and coat it with olive oil. Sprinkle the asparagus with the parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cheese starts to brown.

Garlic Roasted Potatoes



  • 3 pounds red potatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons parsley leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Instruction

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange the potatoes on a foil-lined baking dish. Mix together the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the potatoes. Sprinkle the potatoes with Parmesan cheese. Bake the potatoes for about 30 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown. Garnish the potatoes will parsley and serve.

How to Prepare Red Snapper

Named for their snapping teeth, Gulf Red Snapper can be found in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean and adjacent Atlantic waters. As the name suggests, it is a red colored fish growing to as much as 35 lbs; however, the most desirable sizes are between 1 and 5 lbs.

Red Snapper is a delicious and somewhat controversial fish that is great for fine dining, upscale pubs and taverns as well as seafood focused restaurants.

How can fish be controversial? Red Snapper prefer rocky ledges, ridges and reefs closer to the ocean floor in the southeast Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico; making them a difficult catch both for game and commercially.

Though Red Snapper are found in large schools of uniformly sized fish, which is ideal for restaurant application, they are less commercially available due to permit restrictions and changes in the quota system.

Because this highly regarded and valuable fish is often subject to fraud, Red Snapper is commonly sold skin-on to ensure true species identification. This is a lean yet soft and tender with a pinkish tone when fresh and pinkish-white when cooked.

Skin On Red Snapper

Skin On Red Snapper

How to Prepare Red Snapper:

Perfect for grilling whole or as fillets it is incredibly versatile. If you don’t choose to serve in sushi or ceviche applications, you can pan fry or steam Red Snapper with capers, chives, cilantro, grapefruit, guava, lemon, lime, mango, marjoram, mint, olive oil, orange, tarragon or white wine.

Ray Rastelli Is Recognized by South Jersey Biz Magazine’s Power 50

South Jersey Biz Magazine‘s Book of Lists was released this month and for the first time, the special issue featured a segment called Power 50.


South Jersey Biz Magazine’s Power 50 article spotlights and features quotes from the most influential men and women in the South Jersey. Rastelli Foods Group president, Ray Rastelli, was recognized this year for his accomplishments in food entrepreneurship.


Ray speaks about the challenges of entrepreneurship. You can also check out the article for a variety of career accomplishments, greatest business lessons and advice for the next generation of business leaders in the area from South Jersey’s 50 Power Players.

Healthy Steak Recipe for Summer with Top Sirloin

If you are looking for a healthy steak recipe for summer, then lean, flavorful and juicy Organic Top Sirloin is a great option. This cut is a great way to introduce organic to high volume crowds and adds flexibility to any menu. In the warmer months, pair Sirloin Steaks with seasonal vegetables and lighten your approach to red meat with this healthy steak recipe.

Organic Top Sirloin Steak over Pickled Radish and Corn Salad

Organic Top Sirloin Steak over Pickled Radish and Corn Salad

Roasted Organic Top Sirloin with Pickled Radish and Corn Salad

2 Ears Fresh Sweet Corn
6-8 Radishes, sliced thin
1 Red Onion, diced
½ cup Water
½ cup Red Wine Winegar
2 tsp Sugar
Zest and juice of ½ lime
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 Top Sirloin Steaks
Kosher Salt and Ground Pepper to taste
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Butter
1 Green Onion, diced

Preheat grill to medium. Shuck Corn and remove all threads. Lightly oil and place on grill for 10 minutes; rotating every few minutes. Set aside to cool.

Add Water, Vinegar, Sugar, Lime Zest, Lime Juice and Garlic to a large pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Add Radishes and Red Onion. Saute until radishes and onions are slightly translucent in color. Remove from heat, toss with corn and place in the fridge to cool.

Season Steaks with Salt and Pepper. Preheat a pan over medium high heat and add Olive Oil. When oil is heated (thinned) add Steaks and Butter. Cook for 5-6 minutes per side; basting with Butter. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Serve over slightly cooled Corn and Pickled Radish Salad. Garnish with Green Onion

Sliced Top Sirloin Steak Tower with Pickled Radish and Corn Salad

Sliced Top Sirloin Steak Tower with Pickled Radish and Corn Salad

Sliced Top Sirloin Steak over Pickled Radish and Corn Salad

Sliced Top Sirloin Steak over Pickled Radish and Corn Salad


Cedar Plank Bubba’s Deboned Ribs

Here are some basic things you need to know to appreciate this cooking tip:

  1. Ribs are delicious. Who doesn’t love the indulgence of a rib smothered in your favorite BBQ sauce? They are one of the only foods that let you lick your fingers in satisfaction and feel perfectly ok with it.
  2. Bubba’s Deboned Rib Steaks (as seen on Shark Tank and Beyond the Tank) are even better. Even more of the decadence and smoky flavor without the mess! The ribs aren’t just smothered, they are infused with that sweet BBQ sauce. And, no bones means there is nothing between you and your ribs.
  3. Cedar Plank DeBoned Ribs are the best. A cedar plank adds wood-smoked goodness to everything from Salmon to Steaks andBubba’s Deboned Ribs are no different.
Brittani Bo Baker bastes Cedar Plank Boneless Ribs

Brittani Bo Baker bastes Cedar Plank Boneless Ribs

Brittani’s Tip: Simply soak a Cedar Plank for 15-20 minutes while the grill is preheating. Center the ribs on the plank and place on the grill. Cover with an aluminum pan to maximize the smoke. Warm for 10-15 minutes; basting a few times with the BBQ sauce, until Ribs are heated through. Serve with crusty bread that has been toasted, drizzled with olive oil and lightly seasoned with salt to complement the sauce.

Margarita Shrimp Skewer Recipe

Summer grilling season is in full swing, now is the time to fire up your grill and impress friends and family with a great summer recipe!

Margarita Shrimp Skewers

Margarita Shrimp Skewers

Inspired by Rastelli Market Fresh Corporate Chef Kevin Guinta’s recent vacation to Jamaica these Margarita Shrimp are bursting with summer flavor.

¼ cup Honey
3 Tbsp Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice (about 2 Limes)
1½ tsp Lime Zest (about 2 Limes), finely minced
2 Tbsp Tequila
2 Tbsp Triple Sec

12 Jumbo Tail-On Shrimp (21/25 count), peeled and deveined
1 Tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 Garlic Clove, minced
¼ tsp Fine Salt
½ tsp Ground Cumin
½ tsp Chili Powder
¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
Lime Wedges, for garnish

For the Margarita Sauce:

In a medium bowl, whisk together Honey, Lime Juice, Lime Zest, Tequila and Triple Sec and set aside.

For the Shrimp:

Combine the Shrimp, Oil, Garlic, Salt, Cumin, Chili Powder and Cayenne; tossing to coat Shrimp thoroughly. Cover and place in the refrigerator for up to four hours. Thread three marinated shrimp onto each soaked skewer.

Preheat an oiled grill or grill pan to medium-high. Place the Shrimp on the grill and baste with the Margarita Sauce. Cook the Shrimp approximately two to three minutes, basting once or twice while they cook.

Turn the Shrimp and continue cooking until just cooked through, for about two minutes more. Remove the Shrimp from the grill and baste once more. Serve the skewers garnished with lime wedges.