Tag Archives: Rick Pierson Cooking

Super Tuscan – Sette Ponti Crognolo

Sette Ponti Crognolo

In March our tasting group chose to match small plates to Italian Super Tuscan wines.  The Sette Ponti Crognolo 2009 was one of the more outstanding wines within the chosen price range of $30 -$35.

Super Tuscan wines are blended wines some with Cabernet others with Merlot.  This Sette Ponti Crognolo is 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot.   To read more

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Fig Sauce


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Pork tenderloin is one of the best pork cuts it is delicate and tender suitable for your every day dinner table, dinner with guests or for that “date” night dinner for two. For this “date night” meal we are grilling on an indoor grill on the Viking.  Click here for the recipe.

The wine chosen for this meal is Craggy Ranch Winery – New Zealand. This 2009 Pinot Noir has fragrant aromatics of plum, red fruits and spicy earth. The palate is pure and very finely textured. This wine finishes with length and poise. A Wine Spectator rated 90 pts. and selling between  $39.99 to $45.00 a bottle, was a gift from friends who recommended it highly. – We were not disappointed. Thank you Rachel and Paul a great choice, it married beautifully with the tenderloin and figs.

Coq au Vin

The weather outside is frightful…..dinner by the fire is soooooooo delightful!  We have been cooking Coq au vin for over 10years.  It is one of our favorite fall/winter recipes.

Coq au vin didn’t originate on the 1960s TV show “The French Chef” but that’s where Julia Child translated the original coq au vin into the simple dish that it currently is, made with mushrooms, onions, bacon, red wine, and naturally chicken.

Here we provide the easy step by step instructions for a fabulous and “famous” chicken dish a smashing your Sunday evening supper or like us empty nesters and nice romantic meal by firelight.

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Tomahawk Ribeye Steak

The tomahawk ribeye (or cowboy cut ribeye) is a specialty cut ribeye steak. This ribeye

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steak is extra thick –  2 or more inches prime beef with a portion of the rib bone still attached.   Each steak is roughly 40 oz.   Due to the required size of the meat and the bone, only 2 steaks can be cut from each side of the ribs to make a total of 4 steaks from a whole beef. – Hence the extra cost.

Click here for recipe




Rack of Lamb for Two


Rack of Lamb with Mustard Thyme-Crust
Mashed Potatoes
Green French Cut Beans

Wine Choice
Beringer, Knights Valley
2006 Cabernet Sauvigon

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This is great for an intimate pre New Year’s Eve dinner for two..

1 1/4 Lb. Rack of Lamb (trimmed)
1 Tablespoon Garlic minced
1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme (chopped)
1-cup Plain Bread Crumbs
1/3 cup Grey Poupon Mustard

Rack of Lamb:
Prep time 45 minutes Plus roasting

Whisk mustard, garlic and chopped thyme in small bowl and blend.  Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper.  

Place lamb on baking sheet, rounded side up.  Spread mustard evenly over lamb both sides of lamb. (Lamb can be prepared up to 6 hours ahead. Refrigerate uncovered.)
Preheat oven to 425′ F.
 Roast lamb until thermometer inserted into center registers 125′ F for rare, about 25 minutes.  Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired, and serve. Stir bread crumbs and oil in medium skillet over medium heat until crumbs begin to crisp, about  5 minutes.  Cool slightly.  Press crumbs onto mustard coating lamb.  Place on roasting rack in a roasting pan.  

  Roast lamb until thermometer inserted into center registers 125′ F for rare, about 25 minutes.  Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired, and serve.

French Cut Green Beans
While rack is in the oven, trim the green beans, place in skillet and cover with water. Bring to simmer using high heat.  Turn to low and simmer for no more than 5 minutes.  Turn off and let set on the stove until ready to drain and serve.  Beans should be crisp and not over cooked.

This meal is best staged before serving… enjoy!


Californians mix Grilled Italian Style Steak with French Wine – Living up to American Tradition

Bistecca Forentina,is a fancy sounding title for an Italian steak -over the coals BBQ, which can be a quite delicious meal.  Cooked on the campfire as a favorite for cook outs or on you home charcoal BBQ or grill.  We like to grill.  The Italian version cooks the steak roughly 4 inches over the coals.  The best Bistecca Forentina is made from the best Italian beef – Chianina beef.  This beef comes from huge white oxen raised, nearArezzo in the Val di Chiana.  Due to their size a steak from these monoliths can weigh as much as six pounds!  This beef has exceptional flavor and unlike so much of European beef is really tender.  For recipe and cooking helps click here.

Here in the states Angus combines excellent taste with tenderness you would use a Porterhouse steak.  The Porterhouse is the largest steak cut from the Loin group. All meat cuts are grouped on the basis of location. Chuck, Rib, Loin, Sirloin, Round, Shank & Brisket, Plate & Flank, Other.  The parts of the beef that had the most muscle use are the tougher pieces, such as the meat coming from the Round.  Loin and Sirloin are of course the most tender. (for a beef chart hereclick )

A fabulous steak such as the Porterhouse requires a bold red wine.  We like the Château La Nerthe 2000, from the area surrounding the village of. Château La Nerthe is an intriguing estate located near the village of  Châteauneuf du Pape, Rhone wine region ofSouthwestern France.  Dating back over 800 years it could likely be one of the oldest wineries.  An intriguing fact is that it was American root stock that saved the estate’s vineyards from an attack of Phylloxera (1870) when then owner Joseph Ducas grafted his vines onto the American root stock. The Le Nerthe estate grows the thirteen varietals as defined by appellation regulations.  The principle red grape used in this wine is the Grenache which is the dominantly planted variety (62%)  There will also be Syrah (18%), Mourvedre (15%) and Cinsaut (4%) with a tiny percent of the remaining varietals.  These variances fall to the winemaker resulting in slight differences in the wine from vintage to vintage.

In addition to a wonderful bouquet, this wine has a silky texture to the raspberry, boysenberry and plum fruit; layered with sweet spice. This wine is best served in a large burgundy glass; even nicer is a burgundy with a chimney variation.  This really allows the full fragrance of the bouquet to tantalize your nose.  It’s best to decant an hour before drinking to let the wine breath.

So, what do you do with the left over steak?  If any… Sandwiches are always good.  However, for hot summer evenings thin sliced steak served cold as the basis for a steak salad is delicious and refreshing.  Or marinated in Olive oil and wine vinegar, served with potato salad on the side also makes a good Indian Summer supper on hot nights.  This easy and tasty recipe is my mother-in-laws (God bless her) who grew up in the days without air conditioning.  As such it is also an “eye ball” recipe, meaning that the amounts of ingredients vary based on the amount of meat.

You’ll need freshly chopped garlic, some sweet basil, lots of freshly chopped curly parsley sea salt & freshly ground pepper.  Put sliced beef in pie plate or low bowel.  Add the aforementioned ingredients toss with some extra virgin olive oil then pour in enough red wine vinegar to cover.  Chill in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

I have used this recipe for left over roast as well as steak and it is a summer favorite.

Chicken Saltimbocca


(Italian: jumps in the mouth)
in this case Chicken Saltimbocca… is a popular recipe in not only satlimbocca_w-24Italy, but also Switzerland, Greece and Spain.

It was in Florence that we experienced our first Saltimbocca which can also be made from veal or pork.

Our first Saltimbocca was at this table in Florence!cruise_2003_112


The espresso and desert were also wonderful!



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Chicken Marsala

chicken_marsala-10w_r6s4Chicken marsala is an Italian-American dish made from chicken breasts, mushrooms, and Marsala wine. The dish dates back to the 19th century, when it most likely originated with English families who lived in western Sicily, where Marsala wine is produced.[1] The chicken is coated in flour, briefly sautéed, and then removed from the pan, which is then used to make a Marsala reduction sauce. The sauce is made by reducing the wine to nearly the consistency of a syrup while adding onions orshallots, as well as mushrooms.  Continue for recipe

Bistecca Forentina

ribeye-steak-300x200Bistecca Forentina, fancy sounding title for an Italian steak -over the coals BBQ, can be a quite delicious meal. This can be cooked on the campfire as a favorite cook out or on you home charcoal BBQ or grill. We like to grill. The Italian version cooks the steak roughly 4 inches over the coals. The best Bistecca Forentina is made from the best Italian beef – Chianina beef. This beef comes from huge white oxen raised, near Arezzo in the Val di Chiana. Due to their size a steak from these monoliths can weigh as much as six pounds! This beef has exceptional flavor and unlike so much of European beef is really tender. Here in the states Angus combines excellent taste with tenderness, you would choose the Porterhouse steak.

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