Summertime Cooking Videos from The Lost Italian

The Lost Italian has two great summertime cooking videos to share with you this week, featuring Tony’s last two recipes from his recent appearances on North Dakota Today. Just click the play button in each video box to watch!

Fresh cherries are in season and we love the old-fashioned flavor of Cherries Jubilee, featuring fresh, pitted cherries cooked in a succulent cherry, brandy and orange sauce and served over vanilla ice cream.

Use this cherry pitter to make the process even easier!

Insalata Italiana is an easy update to the classic Caprese Salad, and features diced tomato, fresh mozzarella and avocado lightly tossed in our simple red wine vinaigrette.

Make sure to have some good, crusty bread on hand to soak up all the juices!

Wild for Walleye, Italian-Style

We’re debuting a new summer menu this week at Sarello’s, and I am happy to announce that one of my all-time favorite items has swum its way back into the mix: Parmesan-Pepper Walleye.

Mention walleye to almost any local and you’ll find that we are pretty much crazy about this king of the lake. So what is about walleye that makes it such a local favorite, even for non-anglers? For starters, walleye is widely available throughout our region, even in rural areas where fresh seafood can be difficult to get.

This mild, white lake fish is extremely versatile and can be enjoyed pan-fried, deep fried, oven-baked, grilled – you name it. It is sweet and flaky, with a lightness that contrasts nicely from some richer fish varieties like sea bass or salmon.

We’ve served walleye in a variety of different ways at Sarello’s, but this parmesan-pepper preparation is by far the most popular among our guests. Our son, Gio, isn’t a big fan of fish in general, but even he can’t resist this savory local specialty when it’s prepared this way.

To begin, create a simple breadcrumb coating of Japanese breadcrumbs (a must for this recipe), black pepper, parmesan cheese, granulated garlic and salt. Dredge each walleye fillet first in flour, followed by a quick dip in egg wash, and then coat each piece completely in the breadcrumb mixture.

Next, we fry the fillets in vegetable oil over medium-high heat until golden brown all over, and then transfer them to a baking sheet to be finished off in a 400-degree oven for about 12 to 15 minutes. The breading seals in the heat and ensures that the fish stays moist.

When I prepared this recipe over the recent holiday weekend, I served it with Lemon Aioli and a Caprese Orzo Salad, a combination of flavors which just sings, “Summer is here!” This is one of our all-time favorite meals, and it was a big hit with our entire family. The walleye was crunchy, flavorful and light, and the made-from-scratch lemon aioli made a great alternative to the more conventional tartar sauce, especially for mayo-phobes like Gio and me.

 

The Caprese orzo salad offers flavors that are mellow, easy, and of the season, just like the walleye. Orzo is the little pasta that looks similar to rice, and we tossed it in extra-virgin olive oil with sliced grape tomatoes, cubes of fresh mozzarella cheese and a little fresh basil, creating great color on the plate.

With a little advance preparation, this is a pretty quick meal to assemble. The breadcrumbs and aioli can be prepared up to one week in advance and set aside until ready to use. Several hours before serving you can bread the walleye fillets and prepare all of the ingredients for the salad: cook the orzo, slice the tomatoes, cube the mozzarella. Give the orzo at least one hour to chill in the refrigerator before adding the other ingredients, and wait to dress it with fresh basil, olive oil and seasoning until just ready to serve.

Once you’re ready to serve, sit back and wait for the wave of oohs and aahs to begin, because this meal is always a crowd pleaser. Then pour yourself a glass of Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, or for even more local flavor try the Bear Creek La Crescent, and savor the satisfaction of a delicious summer meal.

What’s YOUR favorite way to eat walleye? Is there a fisherman/woman in your family? Leave your answer in the Comments below. Happy Summer!

RECIPES
Parmesan Pepper Walleye
Lemon Aioli
Caprese Orzo Salad 

 

Italy on the Prairie: A Special North Dakota Dinner Event

Join Tony, Sarah and Giovanni at 6 PM on Sunday, July 20th at the spectacular Coteau des Prairies Lodge for a prairie dinner experience unlike any other! The Lodge is located an easy 90-mile drive south of Fargo-Moorhead – come just for dinner, or make arrangements to stay the night in one of their comfortable and well-appointed rooms. 

We had the opportunity to spend a night at the lodge last spring, and were blown away by the stark beauty of the area as well as the amazing hospitality and luxurious accommodations at the lodge.

We are so excited to be partnering with the Breker Family for this special event featuring a Six-Course Italian feast and wine pairings for $65 per person. Enjoy delicious Italian food and wines surrounded by some of the best prairie scenery we’ve ever experienced.

Prepare yourself for an evening of feasting and fun, complete with course introductions and a live cooking demonstration by The Lost Italian!

Italy on the Prairie Menu

Antipasti
An assortment of Italian Cured Meats and Cheeses with Prosecco

Insalata
Insalata Caprese

Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato Slices and Basil, drizzled with Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

Primo Piatto
Tony’s Gnocchi alla Puttanesca
Light pillows of homemade potato pasta tossed in a traditional Sicilian sauce of garlic, white wine, tomatoes, kalamata olives, anchovies and capers

Intermezzo
A cool refresher to cleanse your palate

Secondo Piatto
Pollo Tricolore
Scaloppine of Chicken breaded and stuffed with

Roasted Red Peppers, Fontina Cheese and Basil Pesto 

Dolce
Grand Marnier Zabaglione with Fresh Berries
A light, frothy custard infused with Grand Marnier liqueur,
served over a variety of fresh berries

$65 per person
includes wine pairings with each course

For more information and to make Reservations, click the photos above, visit cdplodge.com or call 701-680-1175.

Our Favorite Summertime Foods!

We love the Fourth of July, and celebrating with food is at the heart of our festivities. Here are some of our favorite summertime recipes – Sarah’s favorites are the Walleye Cakes, Bacon Pancakes, and Easy Potato Salad, Gio loves the Flourless Chocolate Torte Bars, the Bruschetta, and the Roasted Red Peppers, and Tony is big on the Grilled Sirloin Roast, Grilled Bison, and the Watermelon Feta Salad – to name a few. :)

Of course, it wouldn’t be a true feast without a little homemade Limoncello to finish the meal, would it? Not only does this Italian liqueur aid in digestion, but it will leave you feeling relaxed and mellow – just in time for the fireworks!

From our family to yours, we wish you a safe, happy and DELICIOUS Fourth of July!

Nasello Family Fourth of July Favorites:

Drinks
Homemade Limoncello
Sangria

Appetizers
Zack’s Rough Cut Guac
Bruschetta
Tony’s Marinated Olives
Corn Hummus

Fish
Baja Fish Tacos
Walleye Cakes
Tom’s Crusted Macadamia Nut Mahi Mahi

Meat
Grilled Bison with Chimichurri Sauce & Salmoriglio Sauce
Grilled Top Sirloin Roast with Horseradish Sauce
Indonesian Pork Satay
Mojito Chicken with Grilled Corn Salsa

Salads & Side Dishes
Tuscan Bean Salad
Insalata Caprese
Easy Potato Salad
Pesto Pasta Salad
Watermelon Feta Salad
Roasted Red Peppers
Green Beans Nasello
Grilled Vegetables and Red Wine Vinaigrette
Insalata Italiana -Tomatoes, Avocado & Fresh Mozzarella
Peach Summer Salad

Dessert
Patriotic Flourless Chocolate Torte Bars
Cherries Jubilee
Red Wine Peaches
Rhubarb or Lemon Granita

Breakfast
Homemade Bacon Pancakes
Raspberry Friands (Australian Almond tea cakes)
Easy Fresh Fruit Salad
Rhubarb Coffee Cake