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From Michael Chiarello, author of The Tra Vigne Cookbook, comes a collection of recipes on his favorite subject-and the favorite subject of home cooks everywhere-preparing meals for family and friends. These treasured recipes marry the rich traditions of his Italian culinary heritage with the casual style and fresh flavors of the Wine Country. Each outhwatering dish-such as Tuscan Shrimp with White Beans, Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon Salt, and Italian Fruit Salad with Sta Bene Honey Zabaglione-is sophisticated, yet simple to prepare. Gorgeous color images by award-winning photographer Deborah Jones show dishes that look too good to be this easy! The companion volume to his new 26-part series on public television, Michael Chiarello's Casual Cooking is perfect for stress-free weekday meals and spontaneous gatherings of friends and family. It doesn't get any better than this.
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Michael Chiarello is the real thing--a nice guy and a great cook, enviably telegenic, and privileged to live in the Napa Valley, northern California's Eden, where he's surrounded by the best raw ingredients and the most enthusiastic dinner guests on the subcontinent. On top of all that, he's absolutely generous about sharing his secrets--and his pleasures--with the rest of us, delivering a warm and inviting new world to the home kitchen.
Casual Cooking is a big, beautiful, and friendly guide to "cooking smart"--that is, by the author's definition, making the very best meal possible in the time available and with the ingredients you have on hand. His recipes, of the Italian cucina rustica by way of California persuasion, are thorough and clear. Without being patronizing, they leave nothing to guesswork. The flavor, the texture, the moisture, the appearance, the behavior of the dish and its synergy with other foodstuffs are all respectfully and lovingly noted in these pages. "Michael's Notes," in red, share the kind of tips and cautions only a tenured chef and terrific home cook would know. Some credit should no doubt go to Chiarello's mom, at whose elbow he began picking up these nuances and appreciations. The illustrations are plentiful and elegant enough to make this a coffee-table book, the content thorough enough to make this a serious working cookbook. --Schuyler Ingle and Joyce ThompsonAbout the Author:
Michael Chiarello is the best-selling author of The Tra Vigne Cookbook, the cookbook of one of the most popular restaurants in Napa Valley, which he co-founded, and Flavored Oils and Flavored Vinegars. In addition to his new TV series, being carried on 150 public television affiliates nationwide, he is the host of radio's Another Bite, syndicated to 400 stations, and creator of NapaStyle gourmet foods. He lives in Napa Valley.
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