The era of celebrity chefs has its rewards. We get to see them perform in stadium-size venues and on the small screen. We can buy their signature knives and saute pans. And now, in addition to lining our kitchen shelves with recipe collections from their restaurants, we can learn how to make what they feed each other.

Two new cookbooks highlight the world of staff meals, wherein those who make, serve and work through dinner every night do the same for themselves, together, as a family.

That explains at least half the title of “The Family Meal: Home Cooking With Ferran Adria” (Phaidon; $30). Although Adria, the author and modern master of avant-garde cuisine, refers to this food as “ordinary,” plenty of the book’s three-course menus and ingredient combinations will be foreign to American home cooks and their families.

The Spanish chef shares recommendations for essential elements of pantry, fridge and freezer, and he has provided almost 100 recipes that are scaled in servings for 2, 6, 20 and 75. (Whew. That’s a lot of testing.) You’d expect him to create something different from the usual recipe directions, and he has. Captions surprinted on step-by-step photos take the place of 1-2-3 directions; some of those captions are not particularly in-depth, so I’d say that not all the recipes are built with an unskilled home cook in mind.

What “Family Meals” does particularly well is expose veins of shiny ore, in the form of Adria kitchen secrets – even though it’s unlikely I’ll try them all. As soon as the freezer fairy comes to make room, I will be making “second stock,” which is the result of cooking the strained solids from a first cooking of stock in enough water to create another round. The second stock is then used as the liquid base the next time you make a stock. You could understand how that might appeal to waste-not types and how the practice would add flavor.

“Off the Menu: Staff Meals From America’s Top Restaurants” by Marissa Guggiana (Welcome Books; $40), takes a standard approach in presenting its 108 recipes. Along with a one-page introduction from each of the chefs at more than 50 restaurants, the author includes their answers to an “Escoffier Questionnaire.”

Guggiana characterizes staff meals as “last night’s leftovers, turned into a feast,” but these recipes start from scratch and are, on the whole, uncomplicated. They come with wine-pairing suggestions, and a reader does not feel compelled to re-create any menus as presented. The fare reflects the melting pot of hands found in American restaurant kitchens: Thai, Vietnamese, Salvadoran, Moroccan, Italian, Cajun and more.

No Adria-quality secrets are divulged, but there are tidbits to treasure. More than one chef gives a nod to David Thompson’s “Thai Street Food” (Ten Speed Press), the critically acclaimed yet below-the-radar cookbook of 2010.

And in the everything’s-better-with-bacon mode, it’s no surprise that almost one-quarter of the book’s recipes involve some kind of pork, whether it’s meatballs (Hatfield’s in Los Angeles); scrambled eggs (Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Tarrytown, N.Y.) or, yes, cookies (Abattoir in Atlanta).



Servings: 6

Simple and seems like a good idea: elements of praise that apply to this quick dessert from legendary Spanish chef-restaurateur Ferran Adria. He suggests serving it as the third course of a meal that includes a polenta and Parmesan gratin and sesame sardines with carrot salad. Adapted from Adria’s “The Family Meal: Home Cooking With Ferran Adria.”

5 ounces white chocolate, preferably with at least 33 percent butterfat, such as Valrhona Le Blanc 35 percent

3/4 cup plain whole-milk or low-fat yogurt

24 skinned hazelnuts, toasted and caramelized, for garnish (see note)

3 large ripe mangoes (about 1 1/4 pounds total)

Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a large heatproof bowl. Suspend the bowl over a medium saucepan filled with a few inches of barely bubbling water (over medium heat). Let the chocolate melt slowly, stirring occasionally until smooth.

Place the yogurt in a mixing bowl, then gradually stir in the melted white chocolate to form a sauce. Cool to room temperature.

Break the caramelized hazelnuts into coarse pieces.

Peel the mangoes and cut their flesh away from the pit, creating long, thick half-moons, or cut into bite-size chunks. If you leave them in long strips, figure 4 strips per serving.

Divide the mango among individual plates. Spoon equal amounts of the yogurt mixture over each portion, then sprinkle with the hazelnuts. Serve right away.

Note: Toast hazelnuts in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat for 4 to 6 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally so the nuts turn a slightly darker shade of brown all over. Cool. To caramelize the toasted hazelnuts, lay a piece of parchment paper or a silicone liner on a heatproof surface. Heat ¼ cup of sugar and ¼ cup of water in a small, dry skillet over medium-high heat, stirring just until the sugar has dissolved. Cook without stirring for several minutes to form a lightly golden syrup. Add the toasted hazelnuts and stir to coat, then use a slotted spoon to transfer the nuts to the paper or silicone mat, separating them so they won’t stick together. Cool completely.

Nutrition per serving (using low-fat yogurt): 160 calories, 3 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 10 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 40 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber, 14 g sugar



Servings: 2

In Ferran Adria’s new cookbook, this is the first course of a staff meal that includes glazed teriyaki pork belly and sweet potato with honey and cream. Adapted from Adria’s “The Family Meal: Home Cooking With Ferran Adria.”

2½ ounces frozen whole-leaf spinach, defrosted

2 medium-size ripe tomatoes, cut into large chunks, with juices (may substitute about ½ cup tomato puree, such as Pomi brand)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium cloves garlic

2 cups canned, no-salt-added garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained

Generous pinch ground cumin

1 cup homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth

2 large eggs

Generous pinch kosher or fine sea salt, plus more for serving

Generous pinch freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cornstarch

Cold water

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Cut the spinach into ½-inch pieces and add to the pan; cook for 1 minute, then use a Chinese skimmer to drain. Place the drained spinach in a bowl.

Place a fine-mesh strainer over a separate bowl.

Use an immersion (stick) blender, a food processor or a regular blender to puree the tomatoes and their juices, then transfer to the strainer. Let the tomato puree drip into the bowl; do not press. This should take about 15 minutes; the yield is about ½ cup.

Heat the oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and the strained tomato pulp; cook for a few minutes, so the garlic becomes fragrant, then add the garbanzo beans and the cumin; stir for 30 seconds. Add the broth; increase the heat to medium-high and bring just to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low.

Bring a separate small saucepan of water just to a boil over medium-high heat. Carefully crack the eggs open into separate small containers, then pour them one at a time into the water. Poach to the desired consistency; remove from the heat.

Stir the spinach into the garbanzo beans, then season with the salt and pepper.

Whisk the cornstarch together with a little cold water to form a slurry, then stir it into the bean mixture, increasing the heat as needed so the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from the heat.

Divide between wide, shallow bowls. Place a poached egg at the center of each portion. Sprinkle each egg lightly with salt. Serve right away.

Nutrition per serving: 520 calories, 25 g protein, 54 g carbohydrates, 24 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 225 mg cholesterol, 420 mg sodium, 15 g dietary fiber, 12 g sugar



Servings: 2 to 4

In Ferran Adria’s new family meal cookbook, this dish is part of a staff meal of sausages with tomato sauce and a Catalan version of creme brulee. The miso dressing also goes well with other roasted vegetables, such as zucchini or potatoes.

Dashi powder is available at Japanese markets and at Grand Mart stores. Adapted from “The Family Meal: Home Cooking With Ferran Adria.”

2 small-to-medium whole eggplants (1½ pounds total)

¼ cup water

2 teaspoons dashi powder (see headnote)

½ teaspoon red miso paste

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (see note)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the whole eggplants on the baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, turning them over halfway through. Cool on the baking sheet.

Meanwhile, combine the water, dashi powder, miso paste, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and sunflower oil in a tall jar or pitcher. Use an immersion (stick) blender to puree until emulsified and thickened. (Alternatively, combine the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Seal and shake until emulsified.)

Peel the roasted eggplants and discard the skin. Cut the flesh into long, ½-inch-wide strips, then arrange the strips in a serving dish. If necessary, use the immersion blender to re-emulsify the dressing.

Spoon the dressing evenly over the eggplant. Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds.

Note: Toasted sesame seeds are available at Asian food markets, or you can toast the raw seeds in a small, dry skillet over low heat for 5 minutes.

Nutrition per serving (based on 4): 140 calories, 3 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, 11 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 640 mg sodium, 6 g dietary fiber, 4 g sugar



Servings: 6 to 8

This is a menu favorite at the famous Brooklyn restaurant, and a staff favorite there as well. Executive chef Sean Rembold calls it “a winter mood enhancer.”

If you can’t find Tuscan kale (sometimes called dino kale) with its long leaves and dramatic dark color, curly kale can be substituted. Adapted from “Off the Menu,” by Marissa Guggiana.

4 medium cloves garlic, each cut in half

¾ to 1 cup olive oil, as needed

Freshly squeezed juice from 1 lemon (2 to 3 tablespoons)

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 large parsnip, trimmed, peeled and cut crosswise into very thin slices

1 to 1½ bunches Tuscan kale, rinsed well and dried (may substitute curly kale)

¼ cup walnuts, toasted and crushed (see note)

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more as needed

Place the garlic cloves in a small saucepan. Add enough of the oil to cover them and cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, until they become quite soft. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cloves to a mini food processor or blender; strain and reserve the oil for another use, if desired.

Add the lemon juice and about ½ cup of (unused) oil to the garlic in the mini food processor or blender. Puree to form an emulsified vinaigrette, then taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Have a rimmed baking sheet at hand.

Toss the parsnip slices in a little oil and spread in an even layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Roast for about 8 minutes, or until tender.

Remove and discard the ribs from the kale. Cut the remaining leaves into ¾-inch-wide ribbons and place in a large serving bowl, along with the roasted parsnips, crushed walnuts and ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese. Add enough of the lemon-garlic vinaigrette plus more Parmesan to create a creamy consistency.

Serve immediately.

Note: Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium-low heat for about 4 minutes, shaking the pan as needed so the nuts brown evenly without burning. Cool completely before crushing.

Nutrition per serving (based on 8): 210 calories, 4 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 18 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 150 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 1 g sugar