The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria tops my list.  Enjoy another tasty little review shared with us by Linda Avery, Board Member of Les Dames D’Escoffier Chicago Chapter.  And then, add it to your list, if only just to make this insanely delicious pork belly recipe.  Easy recipes (from Adria, no less!) that make you look like a Michelin star chef.  Now that’s a gift!"> The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria tops my list.  Enjoy another tasty little review shared with us by Linda Avery, Board Member of Les Dames D’Escoffier Chicago Chapter.  And then, add it to your list, if only just to make this insanely delicious pork belly recipe.  Easy recipes (from Adria, no less!) that make you look like a Michelin star chef.  Now that’s a gift!"> The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria tops my list.  Enjoy another tasty little review shared with us by Linda Avery, Board Member of Les Dames D’Escoffier Chicago Chapter.  And then, add it to your list, if only just to make this insanely delicious pork belly recipe.  Easy recipes (from Adria, no less!) that make you look like a Michelin star chef.  Now that’s a gift!"> Cookbook Review: The Family Meal | Linda Avery | witf.org
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Cookbook Review: The Family Meal

Written by Linda Avery | Nov 30, 2011 12:38 AM

The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria
by Ferran Adrià
photos by Francese Guillamet

Facts: Phaidon Press Inc. 384 pages, $29.95 (or Amazon.com at $17.15)
Photos: Grab a calculator and do the math (see 4th paragraph below: Open the Book)
Recipes: 93 plus basic recipes
Give to:  Everyone that has to cook for a family, or a cooking enthusiast that demands perfection at every meal!


The name Ferran Adrià immediately summons thoughts of molecular gastronomy: his famous spherical olives which appear as jellied green blobs jiggling on a spoon but burst to fill the mouth with the flavor of intense olive juice. Or the frozen Gorgonzola balloon, a hollow white sphere, about eight inches across and the color of fresh ricotta, topped with a grate of nutmeg meant to be broken (with your fist?) and eaten in shards.

Ferran Adrià is the father and inspiration of a creative culinary era of deconstructing the dish and reassembling in a way you’ve never seen. His three Michelin star restaurant El Bulli closed last July after 24 years. He will reopen in two years most likely transforming the space as he transforms food.

When I first saw The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria, I wondered if I need buy a chemistry set or cylinder of liquid nitrogen. No, this truly is home cooking, the maestro demonstrating in detail how a dish should be done. You see, “the family meals” are the repasts of his restaurant family; the menus of dinners prepared and eaten daily by his staff of 75. He insisted on good food, easy-to-find ingredients that are mostly fresh and, the aggregate couldn’t be expensive. (I think I read that the cost could not exceed €6/person but I can’t confirm).

adria trio001Open the Book. There are 31 meals within. Each meal has a starter, a main, and a dessert. Recipe ingredients are listed for 2, 6, 20 or 75 and carefully calculated (not mathematically but via testing at each level) for each group. So using a bit of math, we know that 31 meals x 3 recipes equals 93 recipes.

Each recipe has photos showing every step i.e. about 15 photos per recipe. That’s almost 1,400 photos not counting the photo stack of appetizer, main and dessert preceding the meal, photos of utensils, types of fish and more. It’s a blog but on paper i.e. each step of every recipe is a photo with instructions superimposed. One almost doesn’t need to read English.


Aside: is this some sort of Bizarro world? Maybe the first caveman's recipes were chiseled into a rock wall. Then the Egyptians invented paper making recipes were portable and accompanied by illustrations and later photos. Fast-forward to the internet: food blogs have photos of every step of the recipe. Is this where the world turns around? Now photos of every step put back on paper? Should we be sharpening our chisels?


Here is the entrée from Meal 24 which consists of Garbanzo Beans with Spinach & Egg, Glazed Teriyaki Pork Belly, and Sweet Potato with Honey & Cream. I've only shown ingredient amounts to serve 6.

Glazed Teriyaki Pork Belly

porkbellydish003

Teriyaki is a sweet Japanese sauce used for marinating before roasting or broiling. You can make the teriyaki sauce yourself or use a good-quality, store-bought sauce.

Serves 6
Ingredients
For the teriyaki sauce
(Makes 4 1/3 cups)
1/3 cup lemongrass, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
3 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups soy sauce
1 3/4 honey

For the pork belly
2 1/2 pounds pork belly
10 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
12 black peppercorns
3 garlic cloves
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 1/2 cups teriyaki sauce

Method
For the teriyaki sauce
1. Using a rolling pin or other heavy utensil, crush the lemongrass and ginger.

2. Put the chicken stock, sugar, and soy sauce into a large saucepan.

3. Add the honey.

4. Add the crushed lemongrass and ginger. Put the pan over medium heat, bring to a boil, then boil for 15 minutes.

5. Strain and reserve.

Make the pork belly
1. Put the pork into a large pan with the water. The pork should be well covered, so add more (water) if necessary. Add the salt and peppercorns.

2. Coarsely chop the onions and add to the pan with the garlic.

3. Bring the water to a simmer.

4. Cook the pork covered, for 1 1/2 hours, until cooked through, adding more water if necessary to cover. Remove and place on a cutting board.

5. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

6. Cut the pork into strips about 3/4 inch thick.

7. Place the pork in a roasting pan in a single layer, then cover with the teriyaki sauce.

8. Roast the pork for 30 minutes, regularly basting with teriyaki sauce to glaze.

9. Serve the pork with spoonfuls of the teriyaki sauce.

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