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March 31, 2015

Beef Tenderloin for any ocassion

Even though I usually reserve beef tenderloin for special occasions, it is always a good choice for dinner. Because it is a lean and very tender cut of meat extra ingredients are usually added to enhance the flavor. Here are a few suggestions for preparing tenderloin and tips for trimming.

Marinated Grilled Beef Tenderloin
Our wine club tried this dish with a Zinfandel from Dry Creek CA and it was a wonderful pairing.

Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Smoked Bacon and Caramelized Onions>

Try this dish with a California Cabernet Sauvignon or a rich Syrah.

Stuffed Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce
This tenderloin will pair wonderfully with a big Italian Brunello.

Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Sides for Topping

The wine to serve with this dish will depend on the toppings you select. If you select mushrooms, try a Merlot or a full bodied Pinot Noir.

trimming a beef tenderloin

Posted by terri at 04:00 PM | Comments (0)

Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Caramelized Onions and Smoked Bacon

Whatever the occasion, beef tenderloin is an excellent choice for the main course. It is a lean, tender cut of meat that benefits from adding a few ingredients like bacon, garlic and onions.

Terri Geiser, Cooking instructor
Serves 8-10
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes for medium rare

o1 (~4 lb.) beef tenderloin, trimmed
o5 cloves garlic, minced
oKosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
o2 tablespoons cooking oil
o1 large onion, peeled and sliced
o8-10 strips thick cut smoked bacon, enough to wrap tenderloin

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Generously salt and pepper tenderloin. Place bacon strips in a single layer around tenderloin. Heat oil in a roasting pan on stove, medium high heat. Place tenderloin into the roasting pan and sear until brown on all 4 sides.

Place pan in oven and cook for 20-25 minutes for medium rare or until instant read thermometer reaches 135 degrees. If bacon begins to get too done, cover tenderloin with a sheet of aluminum foil.

When done, remove from the oven and transfer the roast to a platter to rest about 10 minutes before slicing into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
While tenderloin cooks, caramelize the onions.

To caramelize the onions, peel and cut 3 large onions in half then slice into strips. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet on medium heat, add onions. Slowly cook until onions start to turn golden then stir every few minutes until they are a rich golden brown. Do not salt onions, this will interfere with the browning process.

Serve tenderloin with onions.
See for tips on trimming and preparing tenderloin.

Posted by terri at 03:29 PM | Comments (0)

March 27, 2015

Moroccan Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

The touch of sweet from the brown sugar and the black pepper and paprika in this recipe pairs nicely with a Grenache wine. The wine is medium bodied making pork a good choice since it isn't high in fat. The flavors will dance off your taste buds.

Serves 6


1 (1.5 pounds) pork tenderloin, trimmed
Dry Rub mix:
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons cooking oil


Preheat oven 375 degrees.

Combine the rub ingredients, cumin through black pepper.You won't need all the rub so save to toss on grilled vegetables or use the next time you make this recipe.

Rub spice mix into the tenderloin, coating all sides. Set aside for 20 minutes for flavors to absorb into the tenderloin.

Heat oil in large skillet on high heat. Sear tenderloin on all sides to develop a golden brown crust. Remove from heat. Place tenderloin in a baking dish and continue to cook in preheated oven about 6-8 minutes or until thermometer reads 145-150 degrees F.

Allow to rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Wine Pairing: Medium Bodied Grenache from California

Posted by terri at 03:45 AM | Comments (0)

March 26, 2015

Huli Huli Chicken

Plan your own Luau and serve this packed with flavor chicken dish. We increased the flavor by cooking the sauce to reduce it by half.

Serves 10


10 pounds chicken wings and thighs
1 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1-2 drops Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and fresh grated black pepper to taste
Garnish with 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro


Wash the chicken parts and pat dry with paper towels. Season chicken with salt and pepper and grill over medium coals until juices run clear and chicken is done. Remove from grill and place in a shallow bowl that will hold the chicken with the sauce.

Mix all sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan. Heat on medium heat until reduced by half. Pour sauce over chicken and mix until all pieces are covered with sauce. Serve any remaining sauce on the side.
Top with chopped cilantro.

Posted by terri at 04:13 AM | Comments (0)

March Wine Dinner

With spring in the air our hosts felt it was a perfect time to celebrate Hawaiian style. We were expecting a lot of pineapple and we got it and so much more; great food, great wine and great pairings.

We started our Hawaiian Luau with a little bubbly and a fruit salsa with strawberries, apples and a whole lot of flavor. The sparkling wine was a Methode Champenoise Brut Rose from Gruett winery in New Mexico. Interestingly the founder of this winery began his wine making career in France. The story is very cool.
Gruett Winery
The wine, called "the juice of love", is made from 100% Pinot Noir

It has strawberry and floral notes with a zesty acidity and delicate finish, making it a great pairing with the fruit salsa.

The salad course was paired with CottonWood Creek white wine made with organic grapes.

Mixed salad greens were topped with pineapple, sesame seeds and pine nuts all tossed with a light sesame oil dressing.

The wine paired well with the salad bringing in fresh fruit with hints of pineapple and peaches with a slightly sweet finish.

Next was warm brie with crasins, served with apples and pears. There were crackers too but the pears and apples were delicious with the warm brie. Frog's Leap Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley was served to complete the ensemble.

A Hawaiian party wouldn't be complete without Huli Huli Grilled Chicken,

boasting with flavors of pineapple juice, brown sugar, ginger, and soy sauce.
Huli Huli Chicken

This dish was paired with Caymus Vineyard Conundrum, a mysterious white wine. The winemaker will never tell his secret about what's in there except to say there are 5 varietals that make up the recipe. The style was crafted as a "full flavored fruit, but also complex and balanced" in a blend designed specifically to pair with the creative dishes being offered by a new generation of chefs. The chicken and Conundrum made a good pairing.

Pulled pork took center stage with two wines.

It was up to us to decide which was best. The pork had a spicy kick to it and was served with a mango salsa that created a different flavor profile for the pairing.

I went out on a limb and introduced a third wine the Conundrum, that ended up being my favorite wine with the dish.

The last dish before the grand finale was an amazing smoked pork loin stuffed with pineapple.

The flavor was perfect and the wine, a French Bordeaux complimented the pork and pineapple perfectly.

The grand finale- an elaborate apple stack cake was spectacular. The presentation was beautiful and the flavors were delicious. The pictures speak for themselves.

Posted by terri at 03:23 AM | Comments (0)

March 21, 2015

Goat Cheese Ball

Create a goat cheese version of the traditional cheddar cheese ball- it's easy and delicious.

Wine Pairing:
Sauvignon Blanc


6 ounces goat cheese, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh basil, finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper


Heat cooking oil in medium saucepan on medium high heat. Add onions and peppers. Cook until softened. Set aside.

Combine cheeses in medium bowl and mix until incorporated. Add 1/2 of the herbs (reserve remaining herbs for garnish), onion mixture and stir to combine.

Form cheese into a ball and sprinkle black pepper and remaining herbs over cheese. Serve with crackers, toasted bread rounds and/or fresh vegetables such as carrot and celery sticks and sliced cucumbers.

Posted by terri at 03:27 AM | Comments (0)

March 19, 2015

Pairing food with Chardonnay Wine

For years people have been pairing Chardonnay with seafood because it works so well. Especially popular are shrimp and lobster dishes with rich sauces like butter and cream. Rice, pastas and other starches provide the right texture for Chardonnay to compliment compatible food ingredients.
Cilantro Lime Rice with Shrimp

Finding the right Chardonnay can be a challenge since the range of styles is so vast. Where the grape is grown and if it is aged in wood barrels, usually oak, plays a significant role in determining the flavors and textures of the wine.

Talbott Vinyards grows the grapes for Kali-Hart in Monterey CA, one of the best places on earth for growing Chardonnay. The Pacific ocean provides a constant breeze that helps maintain a consistent cool temperature, perfect for the grapes.

The wine has refreshing flavors of pineapple and honeydew with refreshing acidity. The long citrus and tropical fruit finish has the right hints of French oak and minerality to match the clean and fresh flavors in this recipe.

The slightly creamy texture and lime flavors in the rice provide a great balance with the wine. This recipe isn't heavy with butter or cream, just enough to complement the wine and not over power it.

Posted by terri at 02:15 PM | Comments (0)

March 12, 2015

Meatballs with Mushroom Sauce

Wine Pairing:

2012 Terra d'oro Barbera from Amador County.

This wine is layered with soft red fruit and rich spice.
The high acid and low tannins make it a very versatile and food friendly wine.

Taste this wine with this dish at Ashe's Wine and Spirits, Knoxville, TN
Friday, March 13, 2015

Makes 40-50 meatballs, depending on the size


For the mushroom sauce:

1 pound mushrooms, sliced (any kind)

3 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup all purpose flour

3 cups beef stock

salt and pepper to taste

For the meatballs:

1 pound ground beef

4 ounces ground pork sausage

1/4 cup milk

2 teaspoons mixed Italian dry herbs (any combination of your choice basil, oregano, thyme, sage)

•Salt and pepper to taste



Melt butter in large sauté pan. Sauté mushrooms in butter until golden. Blend in flour. Add broth. Cook stirring constantly until mixture comes to a simmer.

Reduce heat, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes until thickened. Meanwhile prepare the meatballs.

For the meatballs:

Combine all ingredients. Mix but mix gently to keep the ground beef tender.

Form about 1 tablespoon of mixture into a ball. Repeat until all the meat mixture has been shaped.

Heat skillet and cook meatballs in batches until browned on both sides. Add the meatballs to sauce and simmer for 30 minutes.

Can be made the day before. Reheat when ready to serve.

Cooking Wiser
Save time and reheat meatballs in a slow cooker.

Don't form tight meatballs, this makes them tough

To decrease fat use lean ground beef. Can omit the sausage but you will lose some of the flavor.

The meatballs can be made in advance and frozen for several weeks. Remove from freezer and thaw before cooking.

Posted by terri at 08:02 PM | Comments (0)