Today’s Featured Recipes: Turkey Crepes with Pistachio Pesto

Turkey Crepes with Pistachio Pesto

Tony’s talking turkey this morning on North Dakota Today with Chris and Andrea, and is sharing two of our favorite Thanksgiving-inspired recipes: Turkey Crepes with Pistachio Pesto.

CLICK HERE to WATCH TONY on NORTH DAKOTA TODAY

Turkey Crepes are an elegant and creative way to utilize leftover turkey meat, or to put a new twist on your Thanksgiving Day menu. The focus of these two recipes is simplicity – these are elegant, yet uncomplicated dishes that you can easily make right at home. Tony even gives us permission to skip the hassle of making crepes from scratch, and encourages us to find fresh ones in the produce department of our local grocery store. As a busy mom, I love any kind of tip that helps me save time – thanks, Tony!

The pistachio pesto couldn’t be easier to make, but don’t let that fool you – with its wonderful nuttiness and buttery flavor, this pesto takes these basic turkey crepes to the next level. This pesto is incredibly versatile, and could also be used with chicken or fish, or even as a dip with hearty crackers. For this recipe, Tony uses pre-shelled and salted pistachios, so no additional salt needs to be added to the pesto.

CLICK HERE for the Turkey Crepes RECIPE

CLICK HERE for the Pistachio Pesto RECIPE

 Be sure to check out our Thanksgiving 101 section here on the blog for Tony’s Top Ten Turkey Tips (T to the 5th), Thanksgiving Wine Pairings and Turkey Thawing Guidelines.

Twenty Years Ago Today…

Twenty Years Ago Today, I woke up, went to the hair salon, and came out with amazingly big 80s hair, for the first, and only, time in my life. So grateful to have this image captured on film for our son to ridicule.

I also married the love of my life. I can’t believe it’s been 20 years, Tony…we made it! We have filled these 20 years with so many adventures, journeys, dreams, accomplishments, new beginnings, and love. Thank you for being my friend, husband, antagonist, champion, partner, lover, and the father to the other love of my life, Gio.

I look forward to enjoying the next 20 years with you, and love our new vow to fill them with dancing, date nights, dining with friends and whatever else life might throw at us.

This Thanksgiving I am grateful that, twenty years ago, a boy with the biggest brown eyes I had ever seen asked if he could carry my duffel bag aboard the M/V World Discoverer. He won my heart that day, forever, and I’m so glad that he chose to get lost with me.

Ti amo moltissimo, per me sei tutto, bello. Happy anniversary, Tony!

Whipped/Mashed Potatoes Q&A: How do I…?

As we expected, potatoes are a popular topic, especially at this time of year. We’ve received a couple of really good questions from our readers about our Whipped Potatoes recipe, and our answers are below:

Marilyn H. writes:
“Love the mashed potato ideas…but how do you strain a pot of potatoes, then put them back in the kettle on medium high heat for 10 minutes without scorching /burning them?”

Tony says:
Great question, Marilyn, and thanks so much for asking us. Of course, every stove is different, so what works on ours may not necessarily work on yours. If you think medium-high will be too hot on your stove, start out at a lower heat, and stir frequently.

If your pot seems to be getting too hot, remove it from the burner for a minute or two, adjust your heat down, and return it to the heat for another minute or two. If the potatoes seem to be getting a little brown, just remove from the heat – they should be ready. Five to ten minutes of extra cooking should be ample.

If you pay attention to the potatoes throughout this process, you should have good results.

M.B. asks:
“Can I make whipped potatoes ahead of time and keep them warm in a crock pot?”

Tony says:
Another great question – who wants to eat cold potatoes? The answer is a resounding yes, the crock pot is a great way to hold the whipped/mashed potatoes until you’re ready to serve them. Just follow these easy steps, and your potatoes should stay warm for up to 4 hours:

  1. Prep the crock pot: Grease the inside of the pot with butter, and pour a small amount of heavy cream into the pot (approx. 1 to 2 tablespoons).
  2. To keep food in the “safe-serving” zone, make sure you transfer the potatoes to the crock pot while they’re still warm – re-heating refrigerated food in a slow cooker is a no-no.
  3. Set the crock pot on LOW and stir at least once an hour, for up to four hours before serving.
  4. Stir the potatoes again before serving, as the cream may tend to separate.

Joyce G. asks:
“ I enjoy reading your columns and am planning to make your whipped potatoes for our Thanksgiving meal.  Your recipe specifies unsalted butter, but I only have the regular salted version on hand.  Is it ok to use that and just cut down on the added kosher salt?  How much salt should I use?  Thanks for your help!”

Tony says:
Very good question – Yes, you may use salted butter for this recipe. Taste the potatoes as they’re being mixed and then add kosher salt according to your taste. I would start with a half-teaspoon first and go from there.

The reason we use unsalted butter in all of our recipes is that this allows us to control the level of salt in the recipe, according to our taste. This is a classic rule among professional chefs, but many home cooks are accustomed to using salted butter.

Karen K. asks:

“How do you heat your make-ahead whipped potatoes?”

Tony says:
While there are whipped potato recipes geared for the purpose of making them well in advance of serving, ours isn’t one of them. For best results, we recommend serving the potatoes immediately once they’re ready. *See above answers for heating instructions.

Nona O. asks:
“Can I cook the mashed potatoes a day ahead and then re-heat in the oven the next day like in the morning and then put into a crock pot to keep warm until afternoon serving time?”

Sarah says:
We would not recommend doing this for this particular recipe, as we feel that the potatoes will just be too dry when it’s time to serve them. Instead, I’m going to recommend a recipe from Ree Drummond (a.k.a., The Pioneer Woman), which uses cream cheese.

My grandmother used to make a dish very similar to this one, which she would prepare the day before and bake on Thanksgiving day. To be honest, we don’t know how these will keep once transferred to a crock pot, but if you go this route, add a little cream to the pot before the potatoes go in, and be sure to stir every so often. Hopefully, that should work for you.

Here is Ree Drummond’s mashed potato recipe: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/11/delicious_creamy_mashed_potatoes/

Nona O. asks:
“Would you provide information on how one should re-heat the Sarello’s Whipped Potatoes. Temperature, time and any other suggestions”

Tony says:
Great question, Nona, thank you for asking it. For cold whipped potatoes, we recommend the following:

Place potatoes in a sauté pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add a 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of cream, and stir constantly to soften the potatoes and work the cream in. Keep stirring until well mixed and hot. If the potatoes start to dry up, add more cream. This process will take about 5 to 10 minutes.

CLICK HERE for the Sarello’s Classic Whipped Potato Recipe

If you have any questions you need answered before Thanksgiving, feel free to post them here on the blog or send us an email to dine@sarellos.com.

Be sure to check out our THANKSGIVING 101 section, which has Tony’s Top Ten Turkey Tips, Thawing Guideilnes, Wine Pairings, and Recipes.

Remember: We’re here for you, and you CAN do this! :)

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!