Ohhhh, Yeaaah! Spicy Pork Tenderloin with Bacon Marmalade

This morning on North Dakota Today Tony demonstrated his recipe for a spicy dry rub pork tenderloin, and turned it up a notch by adding a sweet and spicy bacon marmalade on top of the tenderloin just before serving.

To watch his morning segment, just click on the photo below. To get the recipes, just click here: SPICY PORK TENDERLOIN with BACON MARMALADE

Spicy Dry Rub Pork Tenderloin

Cook with US this fall at Sarello’s!

Class trio collage

Join Us This Fall for a Public – or Private – Cooking Experience

We’re cooking up creativity at Sarello’s this fall and would love to have you join us! Check out our roster of upcoming culinary events, all of which are open to the public – or gather your friends, staff and coworkers together to create a private culinary experience – in our house, or yours.

We offer hands-on and demonstration classes for cooks of all ages, and every session includes samples of the featured foods as well as recipe packets for you to take home. However you choose to join us, you’re in for an evening of fun, food and friendship!

To register for any of our classes,
or to create your own culinary event,
call 218.287.0238 or email us to dine@sarellos.com.

For all classes: A credit card is required to confirm your space, but no charges will be made until day of class, if necessary. You will pay for your class upon arrival/registration at time of class. Cancellations made within 72 hours of class date will be charged full price unless we are able to fill your space from our wait list. No-shows will be charged full price.

6 PM, Thursday, September 10, 2015
Class length: approx. 3 hours
Class Fee: $70 per person

This class is THE perfect date night! Joins us for this small group, hands-on culinary experience and learn to make some of our favorite Italian dishes, featuring Chicken Tricolore, Insalata Caprese and Red Wine Peaches.

Sept 10 Hands-On collage

Once you’ve mastered each dish, we’ll sit down together and enjoy our creations. Class price includes all food and use of required equipment, recipe packet and glass of prosecco. Wine and beer will be available for purchase.

For best results, class size is limited for our hands-on experiences to a maximum of 14 students.

Hands-On collage

FALL FLAVORS: A Demonstration Class
6 PM Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Class length: approx. 2.5 hours
Class Fee: $50 per person

For this demonstration-style class, Tony and Sarah will demonstrate the classic Scaloppine method and will showcase two easy Italian specialties, Pork Piccata and Pork Pizzaiola. In addition, we’ll round out the menu with our autumn-inspired Apple Spinach Salad and Fresh Fruit Galettes.

Sept 22 Demo collage

Sit back and enjoy an evening of culinary entertainment and fun in a comfortable group setting, complete with samples of each featured dish, a recipe packet and glass of prosecco. Wine and beer will be available for purchase.

Our demonstration classes are great for couples, office groups, a girls’ (or boys’) night out and anyone who has an adventurous spirit.

Demo class collage

KIDS CAN COOK! A Hands-On Experience
10 AM, Saturday, October 3, 2015
Class Length: Approx. 3 hours
Class Fee: $55 per child

In this hands-on class, our young students will learn how to make chicken cutlets in the Scaloppine style, featuring two classic variations: Sicily Chicken and Chicken Parmigiana.

Kids Can Cook Chicken Parm collage

We kicked off our Kids CAN Cook Series this summer with great success, and we’re ready for more fun this fall!

We’ll round out the class with a couple of our favorite side dishes and sit down together to enjoy our creations for lunch.

Kids ages 8 to 14 welcome; 6 & 7 year olds OK if older sibling also attending.

Our Kids CAN Cook series is specifically catered to a young audience, and we find that kids are more food-adventurous when surrounded by their peers. Parents are encouraged to leave their kids in our care for the duration of the class, or wait in the comfort of the lounge until end of class.

Kids Can Cook collage

INVITE THE LOST ITALIAN TO DINNER! A custom, in-home experience
We love helping you expand your culinary prowess, and where better to do it than in the comfort of your own home? We would love to work with you to create a customized, in-home experience for you and your guests, complete with food demonstrations, culture and cuisine presentations, and fun. If you’re looking for a new idea for a dinner party or cooking event, we think you’ll love what we have to offer.

TLI in y our home collageTo register for any of our classes or events,
or to create your own culinary event,
call 218.287.0238 or email us to dine@sarellos.com.

Steak Florentine: Welcome to Delicious.

bistecca alla fiorentina

“It’s like beef juice and herb marination had a baby, and they called it Delicious.” This was our 10-year-old son Gio’s description last week after his first experience with Bistecca alla Fiorentina, and Tony and I couldn’t have said it any better.

Bistecca alla Fiorentina, or Steak Florentine as it’s called in the United States, is a fancy name for a simple dish that originated in Florence, Tuscany. In Italy, the use of the term, alla fiorentina, in this case, refers to a specific type of meat which comes from the Chianina breed of cattle, famous for its great tenderness and flavor.  Florentine cuisine is as varied as it is delicious, and in addition to this interpretation, the use of the term is also applied to dishes featuring either spinach or beans.

There is no exact recipe for Steak Florentine, which has endless variations and styles. The cut of the meat is a defining characteristic. The Porterhouse and its lesser twin, the T-Bone, are the best cuts for this dish, as their great marbling of fat throughout the cut gives the meat its incredible flavor. This is a perfect dish to share and, with each steak featuring both a tenderloin and strip steak alongside the bone, there’s plenty of meat to go around.

Tony’s interpretation echoes a popular standard for this dish and highlights the use of fresh herbs for flavor. We are at the peak of summer, which also means that fresh herbs are at their best and you can use any that are currently growing in your garden. For Tony, this means an abundance of sage, rosemary and thyme for this recipe.

When cooking the meat, make sure your grill is hot, clean and lubricated so that the meat doesn’t stick to the surface. A gas grill is fine, but coal or wood would be even better for this dish. Tony mixes his freshly cut herbs in a small bowl with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and brushes each side of the steak before bringing to the grill.

Once the meat is on the grill, let it cook for three to four minutes before touching, so that the steak gets a good sear and begins to caramelize. Once grill marks are achieved, flip the steak and continue grilling until desired temperature is reached. Tuscans like their steak rare to medium-rare, which is also how we take it, but no matter what temperature you desire, Tony always encourages using a meat thermometer to ensure a good result. Let the meat rest for at least five minutes before serving.

When buying the steak, look for the thickest cut of T-bone you can find, up to about three pounds. Steak Florentine is typically carved before serving, and Tony recommends separating the meat from the bone first, and then carving it against the grain.

Traditionally, Steak Florentine is served with just a salad and a nice glass of Chianti, and the grilled veggie salad we featured here last week would be a perfect fit. Or, you could step away from the grill and serve it with our Tuscan Bean Salad, Honey Gorgonzola Hearts of Romaine, or a classic Caprese, all of which can be found on our blog at www.thelostitalian.areavoices.com.

This is a large, rich cut of meat, so the side dishes should be light by Italian standards, which makes it a perfect fit for a summer evening. Delicious, indeed.

Steak Florentine
(Bistecca alla Fiorentina)

Serves: 1 to 2

1.5 – 2 lbs. T-Bone Steak
1 ½ teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 ½ teaspoons fresh sage, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
¼ extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon crushed black pepper

Pre-heat grill to medium-high heat. Make sure grill is hot, clean and lubricated before use.

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together, except the steak, until well combined. Brush both sides of the steak with the marinade and grill immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to one hour. Bring meat to room temperature before grilling.

Place steak on the grill and don’t touch for 3 to 4 minutes, so that the steak gets a good sear and begins to caramelize.  Use tongs to lift a corner and check for grill marks, then turn steak 45 degrees and cook for another 3 minutes to achieve “X” marks. Once achieved, flip steak over and repeat.

insert a meat thermometer in both sides to check for desired doneness, then remove from grill and let rest for at least five minutes. Cut the meat away from the bone and carve against the grain before serving. Enjoy with a simple salad and a glass of Chianti.

What We’re Eating: Tony’s Grilled Veggie Salad

Grilled Vegetable Salad

Lately, we have been obsessed with grilled vegetables, and we’ve been delighted by the abundance of wonderful produce already available at our local farmers markets. Over the past 15 years, we’ve developed some wonderful relationships with some of the farmers who supply our local markets, and high on that list are Jim and Connie Driscoll, of Driscoll Farms in Glyndon, MN.

Following a prolific annual flower season with several satellite nurseries now closed for the season, the Driscolls have turned their attention to harvesting beautiful, fresh veggies for our community, and their current offerings include zucchini, yellow squash, sweet corn, bell peppers,cucumbers, onions, beets, and tomatoes – a selection that is sure to grow come August.

In the past, Tony would visit Jim and Connie at the Dike East Farmers Market several times a week on his way to Sarello’s, from mid-July until the end of the season  in early October. However, due to flood protection planning, that location is not available this summer. Instead, you can find them and several other members of the Northern Plains Farmers Market at their new location in the west parking lot of West Acres Shopping Mall, every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM.

This year the Driscolls have added a second location and can also be found at the Moorhead Ace Hardware store every Wednesday and Friday from 10 AM to 5:30 PM. We are grateful to all the farmers in our area who participate in our local farmers markets and provide us with the opportunity not only to buy fresh, local produce, but also the chance to meet the farmer who grows it.

We recently returned home from a week-long family reunion along the Delaware coast, which was attended by about 45 members of my extended Anstett family. Each night a different family was responsible for preparing dinner for the lot of us, and nearly every family had a variety of grilled vegetables in the mix.

On our night, we prepared mahi mahi fish tacos, a Mexican orzo salad, fresh guacamole, roasted corn salsa, spicy red pepper aioli, Manzanillo mixed salad and an extra-large batch of grilled vegetables. In spite of our efforts, we noticed that, just like every other night, the grilled veggies were the first to run out. Even the kids loved them.

What is it about the grilling process that makes vegetables taste so good? According to Tony, it’s a combination of taste and texture – the high heat of the grill caramelizes the plant’s natural sugars, which enhances the vegetable’s sweetness and alters its texture in a pleasing way. In addition, a wonderful smokiness occurs when grilling, even with a gas grill, which we enjoy not only by taste, but also by smell. This aroma prepares our palates for the goodness that’s about to come when partaking of grilled vegetables.

Grilled veggies can be enjoyed all season long and, in addition to the selection I’ve mentioned above, you can add mushrooms, asparagus, fennel, radicchio, and even lettuce to the mix of what to grill. At our recent pop-up dinner event at Sarello’s, we featured a variety of grilled vegetables in a green salad, a preparation which surprised, and delighted, many of our guests. Whichever way you serve them, grilled vegetables are sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Grilled Veggies on Grill

Note the size of the veggies on the grill, before cutting.

Grilled Veggies on platter

See how the peppers and zucchini are cut smaller after grilling, while onions can be kept whole, as shown, or separated.

Tony’s Grilled Vegetable Salad

Serves: 4 to 6

2 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise ¼ to ½-inch thick
2 medium yellow squash, cut lengthwise ¼ to ½-inch thick
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1 ½ to 2-inch thick pieces (large enough not to fall through grill)
12 Crimini or baby portabella mushrooms, whole
1 large red onion, cut into ¼-inch rounds (keep rounds whole for grilling)
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 bag mixed greens with Romaine leaves
Red wine vinaigrette

For the vinaigrette, combine ¼ cup red wine vinegar with ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil and shake or whisk until well mixed. Set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the zucchini, yellow squash, red bell peppers and whole mushrooms with the olive oil, salt and pepper until well coated. Keep the onions separate and drizzle them with a light coating of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper on both sides.

Grill veggies over direct, high heat until grill marks are achieved on one side, and then turn to grill other side, approximately 3 minutes per side. Remove from grill and rest until just cool enough to handle.

Cut vegetables into small pieces 1 to 1 ½  inches in size, and quarter or halve the mushrooms. Toss the veggies in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of red wine vinaigrette. In a separate bowl, toss the mixed greens with 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the greens on a serving platter and top with grilled vegetables. Garnish with toasted pine nuts, serve and enjoy.

  • Toast the pine nuts in a medium saute pan over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • For a heartier variation, top the salad with crumbled gorgonzola cheese and grilled chicken breast.