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The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adrià Hardcover – October 3, 2011
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"The Family Meal shows that the chef who put [elBulli] on the map knows very well how to appeal to the everyday home chef and to the tastes of the discerning palate. "―Energy Times
"Wonderful. . . good straightforward cooking. "- Mark Bittman―
"This is the type of traditional food Ferran loves. "―Jeffrey Steingarten, VOGUE
"The recipes make you taste an everyday food in an entirely new way."―Julia Moskin, The New York Times
"The idea of El Bulli at home sounds far-fetched, but you can cook the restaurant's staff meals easily- without the foam. The step-by step visual recipes are precise but playful."―Bon AppÃ©tit
"Simple, deceptively elegant recipes . . .it's manna from the maestro for home cooks, both novice and notable."―BookPage
"Proves accessible even to novice cooks...Adria's fame and revolutionary style make this a defining cookbook."―BooklistStarred Review
"I've never been so excited about such a simple [Noodle Soup with Mussels]: cooking and eating it crystalized what is unique and wonderful about Mr. Adria's book. . . I learned an enormous amount about cooking from a master of the trade. "―Katy McLaughlin, The Wall Street Journal
"I can't stop cooking from this book . . . The only downside is that I had to come to terms with splotching grease on its lovely pages."―The Atlantic
"Even if you're more comfortable navigating cobblestone streets in platforms than wielding a microplane in the kitchen, this book will show even the most harried and clueless of cooks how to prepare a simple dinner at home. And, as an unexpected bonus, it will also be a meal that will forever impress guests. "―VOGUE.com
About the Author
Ferran Adrià is recognized as the most influential chef in the world. His legendary talent, creativity and gastronomic innovations have inspired chefs and food-lovers around the world for many years, at the helm of the iconic restaurant El Bulli in Spain. He is also the author of A Day at El Bulli.
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When I bought it, Amazon did not have any way to preview it. So, I'll try and tell you what's in it.
First, there are the basic recipes. Each one of these has step by step close-up pictures.
Picada, Tomato sauce, Sofrito, Bolognese sauce, Romesco sauce, Pesto sauce, Barbecue sauce, Teriyaki sauce, Chimichurri sauce, Croutons, and Aiolo. Most have two different quantities you can make depending on your needs.
Stocks: One nice tip he gives is that they reboil the stuff they made a stock with, calling it second stock....and then use that as the water the next time they make stock.
Fish stock, chicken stock, beef stock, and ham stock.
Now the meals. There are 31. Each one contains ingredients for 2, 6, 20, and 75 people. Each one contains step by step pictures and a timeline.
Meal 1: Caesar salad, Cheeseburger & potato chips, Santiago cake
Meal 2: Pasta bolognese, mackerel & potato stew, chocolate cookies
Meal 3: Vichyssoise, lamb w/mustard & mint, chocolate truffles
Meal 4: Beans w/clams, salt cod & vegetable stew, baked apples
Meal 5: Polenta & parmesan gratin, sesame sardines w/carrot salad, mango w/white chocolate yogurt
Meal 6: Potato chip omelet, pork loin w/ peppers, coconut macaroons
Meal 7: Saffron risotto w/mushrooms, Catalan style turkey, Yogurt foam w/strawberries
Meal 8: Roasted eggplant w/miso dressing, sausages w/tomato sauce, creme Catalane
Meal 9: Lime-marinated fish, osso buco, pina colada
Meal 10: Miso soup w/clams, Mackarel w/vinaigrette, almond cookies
Meal 11: Fried egg w/asparagus, chicken wings w/ mushrooms, sangria w/ fruit
Meal 12: Potato salad, Thai beef curry, strawberries w/vinegar
Meal 13: Farfalle w/ pesto, Japanese-style bream, Mandarin oranges w/Cointreau
Meal 14: Tomato & basil salad, crab & rice stew, coconut flan
Meal 15: Bread & garlic soup, Mexican-style slow-cooked pork, Figs w/cream & Kirsch
Meal 16: Noodles w/shitake & ginger, duck w/ chimichurri sauce, pistachio custard
Meal 17: Baked potatoes w/romesco sauce, whiting in salsa verde , rice pudding
Meal 18: Guacamole w/tortilla chips, Mexican style chicken w/ rice, Watermelon w/ menthol candies
Meal 19: Spaghetti w/tomato & basil, Fried fish w/garlic, Caramel foam
Meal 20: Cauliflower w/bechamel, pork ribs w/bbq sauce, Banana w/lime
Meal 21: Gazpacho, black rice w/squid, bread with chocolate and olive oil
Meal 22: Peas & ham, roasted chicken w/potato straws, pineapple w/molasses & lime
Meal 23: Tagliatelle carbonara, cod & green pepper sandwich, almond soup w/ice cream
Meal 24: Garbanzo beans w/spinach & egg, glazed teriyaki pork belly, sweet potato w/ honey & cream
Meal 25: Potatoes and green beans w/Chantilly, quail w/couscous, caramelized pears
Meal 26: Fish soup, sausages w/mushrooms, oranges w/honey, olive oil, and salt
Meal 27: Mussels w/paprika, baked sea bass, caramel pudding
Meal 28: Melon w/cured ham, rice w/duck, chocolate cake
Meal 29: Roasted vegetables w/olive oil, salmon stewed w/lentils, white chocolate cream
Meal 30: grilled lettuce hearts, veal w/red wine and mustard, chocolate mousse
Meal 31: Waldorf salad, noodle soup w/mussels, melon & mint soup w/pink grapefruit
There are not that many vegetarian options--and none of these are bargain meals. Still, Chef Adria gives good tips like on what to do with leftover almond pulp after making almond milk, tomato pulp, etc. Sounds like nothing is ever wasted.
This is a beautiful book. Even if you don't think you'll make an entire meal as written, I'm sure you'll enjoy the detailed instructions and fabulous recipes for many of the different courses.
Overall, it's a great book for someone that has advanced beyond cooking basics. An experienced chef might find the step-by-step instructions pedestrian, but find inspiration in some of the combinations/pairings. A fair amount of the recipes will be too advanced for someone armed with rudimentary skills.
There are a few errors and some recipes aren't readily accessible due to ingredient sourcing, specialized tools (i.e. an immersion blender and gourmet whip), or intermediate level cooking knowledge/skills (such as knowing the difference between soft and firm peaks, or how to whip cream with a mixer instead of a gourmet whip). Sauce and stock yields can end up over a gallon; halving or quartering ingredients may be necessary due to planned use or available storage space.
Having said that, I did purchase two additional copies for family and a foodie friend. I wish 4.5 stars (or 7 out of 10) were options, as that is where I'd prefer to rate it.
I love this book. Its nice because its a mix of kind of fun food & comforting homey food - exactly what you would get at a high end (best in the world) restaurant cooking up family meal. Chefs want to eat something comforting and familiar and they also want to play around a bit & have some fun. Family meal is always a good outlet.
But really the best part of this book is its format/lay out. If every cook book was presented this way, everyone would be an amazing chef. Clear, step by step directions, Shopping lists, everything you could want. Its incredible