Tony and Sarah Nasello
FARGO — I didn't understand biscotti when Tony first introduced me to it years ago. This strange-looking, dry, oblong Italian cookie had nothing in common with the chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies I knew. But once I'd had my first taste of biscotti, I kept coming back for more. This popular cookie can be traced back to the days of the early Romans, who valued it for its hard texture and long shelf life which made it well suited for long journeys.
Pork tenderloin is typically my go-to protein whenever I need a quick and easy dinner. This extra-lean cut of meat is full of flavor, super versatile and as lean as a skinless chicken breast. It's even easier to work with, too, because several servings can be gleaned from one tenderloin. Last week, I had an evening event to attend, so I needed a dinner plan that could be executed, from start to finish, within a 90-minute window.
Chocolate cake holds a special place in my heart, especially on Valentine's Day. I still have the very first Valentine I ever received from Tony, which came to me back in 1993 all the way from Antarctica. We were both working for Clipper Cruise Line at the time, Tony aboard ship and I in the St. Louis home office, and we had been dating for almost a year.
A crudités platter may not be considered standard fare for Super Bowl Sunday, but when it's artfully presented with a creative variety of raw veggies, we'll wager that it can hold its own against any hearty contender. Especially when it's served with this week's Avocado Green Goddess Dip. This recipe was inspired by the very ripe avocados I found last week at the Hornbacher's store on 32nd Avenue in south Fargo. Even moderately ripe avocados can be hard to come by in our part of the country, and I couldn't resist bringing home a bagful.
Every year around this time, mid-January to February, I find myself pulling out my old Clipper Cruise Line cookbook and revisiting some of our favorite recipes from our years at sea. Clipper Cruise Line, now no longer in existence, was a small-ship cruise line devoted to providing the very best experience in the world of luxury expedition cruises.
FARGO — This week's featured recipe has become one of our family's favorite go-to chicken dishes. Three Herb Chicken and Mushrooms is easy to prepare, elegant in appearance, affordable and — most importantly — delicious. Gio (our son) and I discovered this dish last summer when my Aunt Margie (Mathison Hance) made it for us during a visit to her home on Pelican Lake. Our visits there are always memorable, as there is hardly anyone on earth more fun than Aunt Margie (also known as The Great Pumpkin in our family).
We normally begin a new year with a super-healthy dish, but after nearly a week of battling post-Christmas stomach and cold flus, all our little family wanted was some comfort to ring in the New Year. Thank goodness for Giovanni's Comforting Pasta Bolognese. Our 12-year-old son, Giovanni (or Gio), created this recipe last fall after watching an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on Food Network.
We love finding ways to take a classic dish and turn it on its head, and this week's Savory Smoked Salmon Cheesecake does just that. The original recipe was created by former Sarello's executive chef, Christian D'Agostino (now co-owner of The Boiler Room, Barbacoa and the soon-to-open Twist), with jumbo lump crab meat as the main ingredient, and it was always a hit with our guests who were delighted by this unexpected delicacy.
Recently, we attended a holiday cocktail party hosted by our dear friends, Daniel and Shannon Hedrick of Fargo. The evening was a small gathering of about a dozen old friends who first met through our affiliation at Sarello's, our former restaurant, either as employees or beloved customers, all who have now become dear friends. Daniel was the very first server we hired when we opened our restaurant, Sarello's, 16 years ago, and quickly won our guests over with his excellent service and passion for good food and wine.
FARGO — Every year around this time, we receive dozens of emails from our readers who are looking for ideas of what to serve on Christmas Eve. This week, we take our inspiration from the Italian tradition of serving fish on Christmas Eve with our recipe for a classic fish stew called Cioppino. Like so many Italian favorites, cioppino (choh-PEE-noh) originated among the peasant, or working class, before becoming a popular favorite in high-end restaurants.