Cooking Video: Sarello’s Red Curry Scallops

This week on North Dakota Today Tony showed the viewers how to make our Signature Sarello’s Red Curry Scallops. We featured this recipe on the blog and in our column a year ago, and you can CLICK HERE to read the article or HERE for the recipe.

CLICK on the PHOTO BELOW to watch Tony’s video presentation, and then let us know if you have any questions or comments – we LOVE to hear from our readers!

Thanksgiving Prep: Our Top 8 Things To Do THIS Weekend…

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and early preparation is the KEY to a successful holiday for your guests AND YOU. Below is our list of the Top 8 things to get done during the weekend before Thanksgiving. We hope our suggestions will help you get and stay organized during the crazy lead-up to Turkey Day.

This weekend:

  1. Make a list of all the foods you’re preparing and write down the serving dishes and utensils each dish will require. Check your inventory and purchase any items you may need.
  2. Plan which LINENS (tablecloth, napkins, etc.) you will be using, and wash/iron them this weekend or purchase new ones if needed.
  3. Check your storage container and plastic bag inventory and stock up if necessary.
  4. Clean out your refrigerator and pantry to make sure you have ample room to store the ingredients and completed dishes.
  5. Review your recipes, prepare your grocery list and do most of your shopping this weekend.
  6. Check the timing for each recipe to determine what can be done in advance, and schedule the time on your calendar for each recipe.
  7. If you plan to buy a frozen turkey, it has to be purchased this weekend to allow ample time for thawing. You’ll need about 1 pound of uncooked turkey for each guest.
  8. Check out my Top Ten Turkey Tips, Thawing Guidelines, Wine Pairings, and Recipes, and be sure to let us know HOW DO YOU GOBBLE? by taking our poll on the right side of this page!

How To Make Perfect Whipped Potatoes – Every Time

Very few foods say comfort like real Whipped Potatoes do; in fact, they ooze comfort. Out of all the wonderful dishes we’ve served at Sarello’s over the past thirteen years, our whipped potatoes have remained a staple on our menu, and a favorite among our guests. Our whipped potatoes are so consistently good that, for many years, a certain well-known potato farmer has enjoyed joking with Tony that they must be made from instant potatoes.

Whipped (or mashed) potatoes are a common dish on many holiday tables, and each year at this time we receive an influx of requests for our recipe. With only four ingredients, there’s nothing complicated or unusual about our recipe, but a few extra steps along the way will ensure an excellent outcome, every time. This is what Tony calls “adding the love.”

We use Idaho (Russet) potatoes at the restaurant, which are usually large, up to one pound each, with brown skin and white flesh. They have a high starch content and are low in moisture, which makes them ideal for mashing or baking. The drier texture of the Idaho potatoes when cooked will result in fluffier whipped potatoes.

Once the potatoes are cooked, we come to another important step. After draining the potatoes, we return them to the stock pot and continue to cook them over medium-high heat for about ten minutes to cook off the excess moisture. This ensures that the potatoes are as dry as possible so that they will fully absorb the cream and butter.

If you’ve ever made whipped potatoes, you’re already aware that heavy cream and butter are key components in this dish. We hate to say it, but for really flavorful, fluffy potatoes, the more cream and butter in the dish, the better. For this recipe, be sure to use unsalted butter and real cream, not milk or half and half.

We always warm up the cream and butter before adding them to the cooked potatoes, so as not to shock the potatoes. First, mix the butter, cream and salt together in a small pot over medium-low heat, until all the butter has melted and the ingredients are fully incorporated. Next, add this mixture to the potatoes, in stages, as they are being whipped.

Once the potatoes are ready, use a mixer with the whip attachment, which works better to incorporate air into the potatoes so that they are fluffy, light, and smooth – and ready to melt in your mouth.

To make whipped sweet potatoes, follow the same recipe but add a half-cup of light brown sugar and one tablespoon of ground cinnamon when melting the butter and cream mixture.

A good rule when planning your menu is to allow about one half-pound of potatoes per person. I’d take that one step further and add two or three more potatoes to account for leftovers. I have fond memories of my mother making potato croquettes for breakfast from our leftover whipped potatoes.

The cold potatoes can be formed into balls or patties, then dredged in an egg-wash followed by plain or panko breadcrumbs, and fried over medium-high heat until golden brown and completely heated through. The oil in your pan should come up to about half the height of the croquettes.

If you’re looking for more recipes, turkey tips and ideas, we invite you to check out our THANKSGIVING 101 section and feel free to contact us with any questions.

Sarello’s Classic Whipped Potatoes

Serves: 10 to 12

Ingredients:
6 Idaho potatoes, peeled ( approximately 5 to 6 pounds, or a ½-pound per person)
1 stick butter, unsalted
2 ½ cups heavy cream (whipping cream 35%)
2 tablespoons kosher salt

Directions:
Fill a large stock pot with plenty of water and boil the peeled potatoes over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 60 minutes. Use a set of tongs to check for doneness by squeezing a few of the potatoes, which should break apart when done.

Strain the potatoes over the sink, and return them to the stock pot. Continue to cook over medium-high heat for ten minutes, stirring occasionally with a spoon. This will remove any excess moisture.

Transfer the potatoes to a mixing bowl and use the whip attachment or beaters, on a medium-high setting, to whip the potatoes. As this occurs, heat the cream, butter and salt in a sauce pan over medium heat, until the butter is melted, about five to seven minutes, stirring constantly.

Reduce mixer to low speed and slowly add the warm cream and butter mixture to the potatoes in several stages, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula after each addition. Once all the liquid is added, turn mixer to high and whip for 2 to 4 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Check for seasoning and adjust to taste.

To store: Cover with plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days.

Tony’s Tips:

  • To make whipped sweet potatoes, follow the above recipe but add a half cup of light brown sugar and one tablespoon of ground cinnamon when melting the butter.
  • To ensure leftovers, add 2 to 3 potatoes to this recipe.
  • For smaller groups, simply halve the recipe.
  • To make potato croquettes from leftover whipped potatoes, simply form them into balls or patties, dredge in egg-wash then plain or panko breadcrumbs, and fry in oil over medium-high heat until golden brown and heated through. The oil in your pan should come up to about half the height of the croquettes.

Tony’s Autumn Apple Salad

This week on North Dakota Today Tony demonstrated a simple and delicious recipe for an Autumn Apple Salad, using locally grown Honeycrisp apples. This salad is a great blend of textures and flavors: a tangy cider vinaigrette balances out the sweet tartness of the apples, while the cheddar cheese and candied walnuts provide both flavor and texture.

If you missed Tony’s cooking segment on North Dakota Today this week, you can click on this link to watch it online: Tony’s Autumn Apple Salad. We’ve also posted the recipe for you below, and would love to hear from you if you try this, or any other recipe.

Let us know: Have you ever tried a Honeycrisp apple before? What is your favorite apple variety, and why?

Tony’s Autumn Apple Salad

For questions, comments or suggestions, contact Tony at:
E-mail: dine@sarellos.com
Twitter: @thelostitalian or @sarellos
Facebook: Sarello’s & The Lost Italian page

Serves: 4

Ingredients:
2 Honeycrisp apples, cut into 1/8-inch slices
2 cups candied walnuts (see recipe below)
1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup apple cider vinaigrette (see recipe below)
1 bag mixed greens, washed
1 head of Romaine lettuce, washed and cut into pieces
1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt, divided

Directions:
In a large bowl, toss the mixed greens and Romaine lettuce and one half teaspoon of the salt with the cider vinegar. Place the greens on a serving platter or plates, then top with apple slices, candied walnuts and shredded cheese. To finish, drizzle a tablespoon of cider vinegar over the top of the salad and sprinkle with the remaining salt.

Tony’s Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Directions:
Combine all the ingredients in a small mason jar, squirt bottle or covered container and shake vigorously for about ten seconds. You can also use a whisk to combine the ingredients together in a mixing bowl for about one minute, until the oil and vinegar have emulsified (meaning that they are no longer separated).

Refrigerate for up to one week and shake well before serving.

How to make Candied Walnuts

Ingredients:
2 cups walnuts (packaged in halves)
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
½ cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil – for greasing sheet pan

Directions:
Combine first five ingredients in a saute pan over medium heat. Cook for approximately five minutes, stirring often and making sure that the sugar and butter are completely melted. The walnuts should appear shiny and sticky, and the liquid should have a syrupy consistency.

Brush a sheet pan with the vegetable oil, coating the entire surface so that the walnuts don’t stick. Pour the walnut mixture onto the pan and spread out to an even layer.

Allow the walnuts to cool, then cover the sheet pan with plastic wrap or transfer the nuts to an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to ten days.