Catie’s Kitchen: Ferran Adrià, The Family Meal Review

I feel so grown up talking about cookbooks in this blogpost! Baking and cooking has evolved from something I did with my mom, to something I do can do on my own. I’m preparing meals for myself, my family, my friends. I’m baking cakes, cookies, desserts and pies and I’m loving it! There a multiple ways for researching recipes. You can ask friends and family for recipes, try looking in magazines and papers, use your family’s recipes, search the internet for food blogs and recipe websites or.. get your hands on a cookbook.

That’s what I did. I have such a soft spot for cookbooks. Not only are they a great source of inspiration to me, they’re usually beautifully designed. To me cookbooks are like art, like something you collect and treasure. I’m lucky to have parents who also love cooking and therefore have quite the substantial cookbook collection. Through using their books I’ve learned what I like and what I don’t. In this blogpost I’m sharing my thoughts on the first cookbook I bought. The author is Ferran Adrià and the book is called The Family Meal.

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You might’ve heard the name Ferran Adrià before. He, together with his brother and a companion, is a Spanish chef cook in his restaurant El Bulli. His restaurant has three Michelin stars. Adrià has published his recipes in five books. The Family Meal is one of them. I bought the Family Meal because of its unique concept. All the recipes in the book are from meals Adrià serves to his employees in his restaurant.

The book exists of meals instead of single recipes. Each meal consists of an appetizer, main course and dessert. The structure is also quite unique. The first page shows you the names of the courses, followed by a photograph of all the needed ingredients. Then you’ll find every ingredient accompanied by the measurements for 2 people, 6, 20 or 75 people. Instead of a textual explanation, this book will give you a detailed photograph and text for each step you need to take.

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I made an appetizer (that could be transformed into a side dish) and a main meal from two different meals. The main dish are sausages with mushrooms and the side dish is a potato salad with Frankfurters. I added bread to make it complete.

Instructions: Since I’m quite visually oriented, the pictures really helped me to figure out each step. I like the fact that you can make the meal for 2 – 75 people and that you don’t have to calculate the measurements yourself. There are some different techniques used in this book, but they’re all explained and accompanied by photographs.
Recipes: Complete meals instead of single recipes. I really like that idea, but I didn’t use it. I created my own meal with two different recipes and it worked out fine. When you don’t have the inspiration to create a meal yourself, you can easily use a planned meal from this book to serve to your guests. The ingredients are fairly easy to get a hold of. There’s even a guide in the beginning of the book, explaining all the essential ingredients you should have in your home.
Taste: All the dishes were delicious. My family loved it and so did I. The taste is unique, the food is filling and great for every day and special dinners.

I’m really positive, aren’t I? So what didn’t I like? There are a lot of recipes that ask for complete fish or meat with the bones still in it. When I use meat or fish I remove skin and bones and make it look more appetizing (well to my West-European Mindset). To me the recipes that show a whole fish (with eyes and skin) laying on a platter aren’t that appealing. I guess you can change the recipe to make it suit your wishes though.

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For anyone who would like to try a cookbook that has easy to prepare, great for everyday, unique recipes, this is a good option!

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