cover image At Home with Michael Chiarello

At Home with Michael Chiarello

Michael Chiarello, . . Chronicle, $40 (240pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-4048-4

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.)