Monthly Archives: August 2011

Cookbook Preview: The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria

Cookbook Preview

The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria

How would you like to put a meal on your families table that comes directly from one of the world’s greatest chefs? If you’re reading this post then I think that may be of some interest.

Famed Chef Ferran Adrià has penned a cookbook that will allow you to do just that. The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria is a collection of recipes from staff meals at his iconic restaurant elBulli. Just imagine being able to enjoy the same meals that the servers, chefs and other restaurant staff ate on a daily basis at the famed eatery.

There are almost one hundred recipes that can be prepared by just about anyone. These elegant dishes are organized into three course meals and can be made for 2, 6, 20 or 75 people. If you want to enjoy a simple, but, delicious meal for two or if you’re looking to deliver a knockout experience for a special get together you’ll have some amazing guidance.

The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria hits booksellers on October 3, 2011.

Author: Ferran Adrià
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Phaidon Press (October 3, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0714862533

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Cookbookman.com will have a full review of this title closer to the release date.

It All Starts With A Trunk Full Of Wood

I didn’t anticipate that farming would require carpentry skills.

Building Materials

I don’t have a carpenters union card in my wallet. I can easily identify a claw hammer from a rubber mallet. But, don’t let that fool you. Carpentry is not something that I consider to be among my list of skills. It’s not that I can’t build things, it’s just that the outcome may be a little unpredictable.

Our farm plot at this moment is a work in progress to say the least. The soil, if you can call it that, has lots of clay in it. Weeds seem to like those growing conditions, but, apparently not vegetables. Most of the Spring seedlings have long been washed away by heavy rain. Our tomatoes are growing, but, the peppers are struggling. An intervention is needed.

After checking out what some of my farming neighbors had resorted to, I knew what needed to be done. I had to construct a couple of wooden boxes to grow my plants in. Once built, I could fill them with some nutrient rich, organic growing material and have the perfect environment to reap a giant vegetable harvest in six to eight weeks. That’s the plan anyway.

A trip to the local hardware store and I had all of the necessary components for my project. Eight, four foot pieces of lumber, a box of deck nails and an assortment of filler. I was ready to build.

In order to not reinvent the wheel, I modeled my boxes after my neighbors. Easy construction and perfect for the intended use. I picked the hottest day of the summer to date and set about my work. After about an hour of hammering, straightening and sweating, things looked pretty damn good (my assessment). Have a look.

Planter Boxes

I just needed to pull the weeds inside the boxes and fill them up. I think those bags of dirt weighed in at about seven hundred pounds total.

Planter Boxes

Now we’re talking! Those are a couple of sweet looking boxes. All ready to plant. Since our peppers were really having a tough time growing where they were, I figured I would transplant them to a new home.

Pepper Plants

Don’t they look happy? I also planted some sweet peas and bush beans. One box for each. You can see the tomatoes in the back left corner of the image. They’re hanging in there. They need to be staked though.

Just in case you were wondering, here’s my next door neighbors box.

Planter Box

I guess there’s always next year for me…

Cookbook Daily: The Cheating Chef’s Secret Cookbook

Cookbook Daily

The Cheating Chef's Secret Cookbook: 517 Delicious Dishes in 4 Steps or Less

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the title to this newly released cookbook may be more than a little misleading. The word cheating is a bit over the top. Handy kitchen tips and tricks may be more accurate. That’s not to say that it doesn’t contain some very useful cooking info. Reader’s Digest has put together a nice collection of over five hundred recipes that any home chef can tackle with relative ease.

You’re not going to find Eric Ripert’s secret for his perfectly crisped fish or the missing piece to the puzzle of Thomas Keller’s Oysters and Pearls, but, there are some tricks that will turn a perfectly unspectacular dish into something a little more special.

This cookbook may not turn your home kitchen into Chez Panisse, but, it has some great, practical techniques for you to use everyday.

Author: Editors of Reader’s Digest
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Readers Digest (July 21, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1606522418

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