Michael Chiarello's Napa
Three new ideas from a simple pot of rice. We'll set up a risotto bar with lots of creative toppings, make a warm vanilla-flavored Rice Pudding with summer fruit, and mix a beautiful Insalata di Riso with asparagus, fava beans, peas, lemon, ham and herbs. Then we'll see the wine country from the Napa Valley Wine Train.
Simple dishes show off the flavor of new peas and asparagus. We'll make a Cheater's Chicken Stock (when there's no homemade stock on hand), a bright green Spring Pea Soup, a quick, tender and lemony Peas and Cipolline dish, and Halibut with Asparagus and Salsa Genovese. We'll see the vineyards of the wine country covered in golden mustard blossoms, and drop in on the Mustard Festival.
Foods that warm the heart and soothe the soul. A ten-minute technique for making olives bright and lively, homemade mozzarella, which we serve en carrozza - in a "carriage" of bread dipped in egg and anchovies - and turkey polpettone filled with a center of melting cheese. We'll learn the stories behind the valley's scenic, historic stone walls.
Discover a lemon marinade and other secrets for preparing artichoke hearts. We'll sear a sea bass and make an artichoke salad with red onions, kalamata olives, lemons, and other Mediterranean flavors. We'll cook baby lamb chops and artichokes and serve them with a creamy, tangy egg-lemon sauce. And we'll cross the hill to see the other food and wine-loving valley, Sonoma.
Soup makes a meal and, with a few techniques, becomes a sauce the next day for fish, poultry or meat. Summer Corn Soup, served warm or cold, makes a beautiful yellow sauce for scallops. Tart apples and sweet butternut squash make a soup that becomes a full-bodied sauce for pork chops. We'll visit a ghost winery and meet some third-generation California winemakers.
Our favorite pantry secret stays in your freezer. Compound butters are flavored with fresh herbs and spices, rolled into logs, and kept cold to retain all their flavor. We'll make a Garlic Thyme Butter, a Basil Chive Butter for steak, bruschetta or corn, and a Bagna Cauda Butter for fresh clams and pasta. And we'll visit some of the architectural gems of the Napa Valley.
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