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At Home with Michael Chiarello: Easy Entertaining Hardcover – September 8, 2005
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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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolutely love this book. Amazing recipes that are both delicious and easy!Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Love Chiarello...always have and always will. Most of the time his recipes can be difficult to prepare...usually a lot of steps but this book is different. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Deblyn
We made several recipes from the book for a dinner party. We were able to prepare most of the food before our guests arrived as the instructions suggested. Read morePublished on April 4, 2014 by Reader
She says she likes it and uses it often. This is a great help for those of us who want something a little different and food recipes loaded with flavor.Published on March 22, 2014 by PWDmomma2
Our cookbook club used this book recently. Ten different dishes were prepared from this book and we enjoyed every one of them. Read morePublished on December 11, 2012 by K M Miller