The book is part memoir and part manifesto from the down-to-earth critic, who shares his tips and his passion for tasting with oenophiles and beginners alike. Asimov will pick three of his favorite wines from Dry Creek Kitchen’s Sonoma County wine list for tasting.
The tasting and talk is free with purchase of a book ($24.99) or $15 without. For tickets, go to the Copperfield’s in Healdsburg, the store’s box office (copperfieldsbooks.com/boxoffice) or at the door, if available.
If the talk whets your appetite for more, stick around and dine with the author at the Dry Creek Kitchen, where chef/owner Charlie Palmer will serve a three-course tasting served with two wines selected by Asimov. The three-course menu with wine pairing is $74. 431-0330.
And if you’ll be dining at home tonight, here’s a recipe for Prosciutto-Crusted Chicken – a twist on the classic saltimbocca of Rome – from Palmer’s 2006 cookbook, “Charlie Palmer’s Practical Guide to the New American Kitchen.” Serve with some baked polenta with Parmesan and Broccoli Rabe, and a light and faintly oaky chardonnay.
For the compound butter:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
For the chicken:
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 slices prosciutto
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Fresh sage leaves
Compound butter: NI a small bowl, mix together the butter, shallot, sage and lemon juice and season with salt and white pepper
For chicken: Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board and butterfly them. Holding the knife parallel to the cutting board, slice in from the thicker side about three-quarters of the way through to the thinner side. Open out the butterflied breast and lightly score the inside in a crisscross pattern.
Lay the butterflied breasts cut-side up on a sheet of waxed paper. Spoon an equal amount of compound butter onto the center of each breast, then roll each one lengthwise into a cylinder.
Lay out pairs of prosciutto slices, overlapping them halfway. Roll the chicken in the prosciutto so it’s completely wrapped.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, seat the chicken on all sides. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 12 to 15 minutes. About halfway through, add a knob of butter and a few sage leaves to the pan, and baste the chicken as it finishes cooking. Cook the chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle registers is 155 degrees.