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At Home with Michael Chiarello: Easy Entertaining Hardcover – September 8, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; 1St Edition edition (September 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811840484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811840484
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 1.1 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"As a chef," says Michael Chiarello in At Home with Michael Chiarello, "I can either build on a classic recipe or deconstruct it and put it back together with a new identity." The Napa Valley-based TV chef and author takes his own message to heart in this collection of 135-plus recipes for imaginative entertaining. Chiarello's formulas, for the likes of Grilled Salmon and Spinach Salad with Corn Juice "Zablione," Turkey Osso Buco, and "Short Stacks" with Shredded Chicken and Balsamic BBQ Sauce, do reflect his ceaseless invention; but unlike some other chef's recipes, these are cook-friendlier, with flavors rooted in "homier" Italian and American culinary traditions. His chapter on pasta and rice dishes, with the likes of Lasagna of Roasted Butternut Squash, and Bordetto of Shrimp-Stuffed Pasta Shells, is particularly good.

The book also provides useful advice for easier, more original party-giving in, for example, Entertaining 101, which includes counsel on choosing a dining area, scaling recipes, and wine do's and don'ts, among other topics. Readers should know that many of the attractive dishes require a kitchen workout, and that invention occasionally overruns best taste, as in, for example, a dish of fennel-flavored pork tenderloin with a dressing of molasses, sage, and balsamic vinegar. Still, the majority of formulas, which include tempting sweets like Molten Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes and Freeform Cheesecake Poured Over Fresh Fruit, should make guests very happy as well as expanding the cook's repertoire. With alluring photos, the artfully produced book should, in itself, get the entertaining-at-home urge going. -–Arthur Boehm

From Publishers Weekly

Chiarello's latest offers a plethora of recipes and tips that will be familiar to fans of the author's Food Network show on home entertaining and will appeal to anyone eager for fresh ideas about cooking for guests. Many dishes are well-known but have been tweaked, like the surprising Grilled Avocado and Tomato Salad, or the classic Italian melon and prosciutto appetizer that's become a creamy chilled soup served in cantaloupe shells. The book begins with a listing of flavorful pantry staples and proceeds through a wealth of items for every part of the menu, including creative drinks like Tomato Water Martini. Chiarello's tips on technique will help most cooks prepare even the difficult recipes with less frenzy; Party Method Fontina Risotto, for example, is done in two steps, but has the same delicious consistency as a risotto made in the old-fashioned (read: long) way. Each dish also has helpful notes on accompanying wines, presentation suggestions, etc., and a section at the end provides even more advice on entertaining. The inviting photos should seal the deal for anyone who doesn't already know Chiarello's warm California style from TV; this beautiful book is sure to make even cooks who are apprehensive about hosting a party keen to try. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

I have tried making a couple recipes in the book and they are wonderful.
Amee Y. Price
Love the pantry recipes - having these extras onhand make the ordinary extraordinary just like he promised.
Cynthia Goulet
The writing is friendly, the instructions are clear, and the pictures are gorgeous.
Esther Schindler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Esther Schindler TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Michael Chiarello's cooking shows -- and the books that accompany them -- are all about making people comfortable. The food is wonderful, with a strongly Italian influence, but his emphasis is on helping you entertain friends and family without driving yourself crazy.

One way in which this shows, in At Home with Michael Chiarello, is how many of the "big" recipes are spread over several days. A recipe for pea and potato raviolini with sage brown butter -- which certain sounds exhausting -- has you make the dough and prepare the vegetables the day before; roll and fill the ravioli in the morning; and cook them right before serving. It all sounds very do-able. And the recipes make me anxious to do it.

The book is separated into the usual chapters -- appetizers, soups & salads, pasta & rice, meat & poultry, etc. --but you'll find a high percentage of the book is devoted to appetizers, soups, and salads. This book is about entertaining, after all, when you do more than make a one-dish meal for the family. Most recipes serve 6-8.

Some of the recipes are very simple -- a bruschetta tart, or a super-quick minestrone -- while others are definitely complex. It's a good balance. I have my eye on a roasted artichoke pesto, and his roasted tomato soup with sunny-side-up crouton, both of which are likely to appear at my next dinner party.

Which is not to say that the entrees are anything to sneeze at. He has a "cheap and tasty pork and orange stew" that I'll make for just the two of us. His cioppino has a long list of ingredients but the book assures me it's worthwhile ("I know this recipe looks like a killer," Chiarello writes, "but it's really quite simple and the entire thing can be made 4 hours in advance.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia Goulet on February 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Am an admitted Chiarello fan but also a serious, experienced cook. Found this new book to be as good as his last one. Love the pantry recipes - having these extras onhand make the ordinary extraordinary just like he promised. Best section is the side dishes. If you are looking for new dishes for your vegetables, this is a great source. Most are good enough to stand on their own and do in this carnivore's home frequently. If you like things just a little different - buy this book. The recipes are clear, the writing entertaining and your friends & family will be impressed!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Elena Vakhrenova on January 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
To be honest I don't watch many of Michael's shows but the book is beautiful and perfect for those who are constantly on the lookout for entertaining recipes and ideas.

I like how the book is organized: Michael gives you detailed instructions on preparing for a party: all the way from what to do one and two days before to the hour before. This will be helpful for those of us who have their hands full with kids, work and balancing the demands of a household with preparing for a party.

There are imaginative ideas for serving and garnishing: Spoonfuls with Polenta Bites and Caramelized Mushrooms served in individual spoons; Pumpkin Risotto served in a Chinese spoon as an hors d'oeuvre; even the inside a squash for an individual serving and in a serving bowl on a buffet. The picture of a Prime Rib of Swordfish will make your mouth water and the result makes it well worth trying!

-EV/Cruising Cuisine-
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amee Y. Price on January 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoy watching Michael Chiarello on TV, and this book is a joy to read too. I have tried making a couple recipes in the book and they are wonderful. If you enjoy watching him, you will enjoy this book. Gives helpful hints on cooking and entertaining. I am very glad I bought the book.
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36 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Brenda Ortiz on October 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'VE BEEN WAITING AWHILE FOR HIS NEW BOOK TO COME OUT AND IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT. THE BOOK IS NICE AND LARGE THE PICTURES ARE GORGEOUS AND THAT'S JUST THE BEGINNING. THERE ARE EVEN COCTAIL RECIPES THAT'S SURE TO BE A PARTY PLEASURE. THE RECEPIES IN THIS BOOK SEEM EASY ENOUGH TO MAKE AND NOT KEEP THE BOOK JUST AS A COFFEE TABLE READ. HOORAY MICHAEL HAD DONE IT AGAIN AND I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXT BOOK.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michelle C on June 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got hooked on Michael Chiarello thru his TV show on the Food Network and just love his laid back style of food presentation and cooking. His recipes do not fail and frequently use very handy restaurant techniques to simplify the delivery of substantial quantities. There is a nice blend of recipes in this book for entertaining large groups or intimate dinners for two. Very clear instructions for what can be made ahead and what needs to be made the day of. Many of the items in the Pantry section have become must have staples in my kitchen. The Whole Citrus Vinaigrette is fabulous.

Some of the recipes are deceptively simple, but a small change of adding red pepper flakes to a pasta sauce of watercres, parsley, garlic, bacon bits and olive oil is a revelation.

At Home is Chiarello's best cookbook. Michael Chiarello's Casual Cooking is good, but not quite as comprehensive as this one. If you are torn between the two, At Home is the one to get for most usable recipes. Tra Vigne is a lovely book, but not nearly as user friendly for every day use. I pull out The Tra Vigne Cookbook: Seasons in the California Wine Country for Christmas dinner ideas (the beet salad is exceptional), but At Home for everyday cooking.
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