I was briefly visiting our local bookstore about a week ago, and I was immediately drawn to a cookbook. I leafed through for about five minutes, turned the book over, saw what a bargain it was, and paid cash on the spot. OK, this has happened to me with several cookbooks, a few of which were more expensive than this one. It’s The Family Meal, Home cooking with Ferran Adria. It is a basic cooking book, with recipes from the staff (“family”) meals at el Bulli. The recipes are for basic three course meals from foods that are pretty readily available at supermarkets, according to the authors. The concept is a good one- teaching pretty basic cooking skills with step by step photos. But this gets even better. What sold me on it was not Ferran Adria’s name, but the timelines of when to start cooking each recipe so that the dinner comes off easily (timing multiple dishes is really the hardest part of cooking, I think), and the recipe quantities- all recipes in the book are given in quantities for 2, 6, 20, or 75 people. I love a good basic cookbook, and this one has some recipe combinations that are somewhat adventurous. Yes, there are recipes for spaghetti bolognese, cheeseburgers, flan, guacamole, and other classics, but there are also some intriguing combinations, particularly in the dessert courses… watermelon with menthol candies? I’ve got my eye on a couple of these desserts for my next dinner party. I will be testing out a few of these recipes with my newest tool. It was this book that suggested to me that a siphon was a good thing to have at home. I am anticipating fun:
I expect to see mousses and similar whipped foamy recipes to feature shortly. What’s not to like?