Baco by Josef Centeno

Josef Centeno is the chef credited with capturing the myriad tastes of Los Angeles on one plate. In his debut cookbook written with food writer, Betty Hallock, Bäco: Vivid Recipes from the Heart of Los Angeles, he delivers his food – vibrant and fresh with influences taken from the melting pot of cuisines that make up this fascinating food paradise.

Recipes span from simple to show stopping, exploring sauces, soups, mains, salads, and desserts, too. Vibrant, perfectly presented dishes fill this book which is broken down by flavors starting with spicy, salty, pickled, preserved as the first chapter and ending with bubbly, sweet, sour and vivid with a world of flavors and textures sandwiched between.

Bäco is both approachable and elegant. Something as simple as his recipe for Salty caramel where he adds an essence of citrus is mind blowingly delicious – I will never go back to regular caramel. A recipe for Lengua “schnitzel” with brown butter, capers, and cherry tomatos (beef tongue) follows a Tomato-dill papparedelle with caraway bread crumbs which shows the range of dishes you will find here.  I may not have time to test dozens of recipes for every book Eat Your Books does a promotion on (I don’t feed the Navy or have the budget to do so) but I have learned so many new and interesting tidbits to bring a punch of flavor to a dish (citrus in caramel or the caraway bread crumbs on pasta are just a few examples). Taking inspiration from a cookbook makes it a keeper for me – not only workable, interesting and complex recipes but also little twists to make recipes that I have to whip up on the fly more special.

Special thanks to Chronicle Books for sharing the following recipe with our members today and for providing three copies of this beautiful book in our contest below open to US and Canada members.

 



Rutabaga and pancetta with lemon, anchovy, and capers

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Serves 4 to 6

Rutabagas are one of my favorite winter vegetables. A cross between a cabbage and a turnip, they taste like a rich, less starchy potato when cooked. I like their like-a-carrot-but-less-sweet earthiness with meaty pancetta (Italian cured but not smoked pork belly) or bacon and all the flavors of a bright-sharp salsa verde, including tangy Dijon mustard, briny-rich anchovies, tart lemon, and aromatic garlic. The pancetta is just crisped but still tender, and the rutabaga has a lush quality. Use an extra just-picked herb or sliced scallions as garnish for an element of freshness. This might be considered a side dish, but I eat it with a salad of greens and call it dinner.

NOTE: White anchovies, also known as boquerones, are anchovies cured in vinegar (or vinegar and olive oil), causing the fillets to turn white. They’re available at select supermarkets and online.

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup [7 g] fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 white anchovy fillets, rinsed and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup [60 ml] olive oil
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp capers, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 rutabaga, about 3 lb [1.4 kg], trimmed and peeled
  • 4 oz [115 g] pancetta or slab bacon (1/2 in [12 mm] thick, if sliced)
  • 2 Tbsp avocado or olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 scallions, green part only, cut into very thin slices on the bias

MAKE THE DRESSING: Whisk together the parsley, anchovies, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, capers, garlic, mustard, red pepper flakes, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

Cut each rutabaga in half and cut each half into 3/4-in [2-cm] slices. Lay each slice flat and cut into large 3/4-in- [2-cm-] wide batons. Add the rutabaga to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Cut the pancetta into lardons that are 1/2 in by 1/2 in by 11/2 in [12 mm by 12 mm by 4 cm]. Line a plate with paper towels. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat, add the pancetta, and sauté until the fat renders, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Transfer to the paper towel-lined plate to drain. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Add the rutabaga and sauté until tender and the edges are well browned, about 5 minutes. Add the pancetta, garlic, and salt and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat. Add the lemon juice and toss with all but a couple of tablespoons of the dressing.

Transfer to a platter. Drizzle the remaining dressing and scatter the scallions over the top. Serve immediately.

From Bäco by Josef Centeno and Betty Hallock, photographs by Dylan James Ho and Jeni Afuso (Chronicle Books, 2017).

The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US and Canada and UPDATE – EYB is offering one copy worldwide excluding CA and US.  One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on February 17th, 2018.

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99 Comments

  • lebarron2001  on  January 9, 2018

    I would make Sweet potatoes with aonori mascarpone butter, feta, and honey

  • hedder14  on  January 9, 2018

    I've spent a great deal of my life in Ca. The sound of this book is amazing. I would love to try the Caeser Brussel sprouts as I'm a huge fan of sprouts

  • Angryyew  on  January 9, 2018

    Sautéed broccolini with Mexican Sriracha and queso fresco

  • Sueskitchen  on  January 9, 2018

    Anytime I find a unique recipe that includes rutabaga has my attention!

  • Kristjudy  on  January 9, 2018

    Potato croquettes

  • lisaevanoff  on  January 9, 2018

    Panko-crusted shrimp with chives and Mexican Sriracha

  • lpatterson412  on  January 9, 2018

    Sweet and sour huckleberries!

  • skipeterson  on  January 9, 2018

    Blistered green beans with fenugreek-chipotle tomato sauce

  • matag  on  January 9, 2018

    Chicken escabeche with mint

  • EmilyR  on  January 9, 2018

    Sautéed peaches and shishito peppers with goat cheese, cashews, and saffron honey. I've eaten at the sister restaurant next door (P.Y.T) and it is incredible!

  • kmn4  on  January 9, 2018

    Cacik – boy, do I miss Turkey…

  • contest718  on  January 9, 2018

    Jicama salad with mango, fennel, cucumber, peanuts, and lime and fish sauce vinaigrette

  • jmay42066  on  January 9, 2018

    Panko-crusted shrimp with chives and Mexican Sriracha

  • heyjude  on  January 9, 2018

    Kochkocha

  • heyjude  on  January 9, 2018

    Kochkocha

  • jr0717  on  January 9, 2018

    The recipes on the first page alone caught my eye! I'd love to make the pickled rooibos grapes!

  • AnnaZed  on  January 10, 2018

    Pomegranate and Concord grape molasses

  • ravensfan  on  January 10, 2018

    "Caesar" Brussels sprouts

  • lean1  on  January 10, 2018

    Jicama salad with mango

  • janv  on  January 10, 2018

    Coffee-rubbed prime rib with mint and rose pickled red onions

  • infotrop  on  January 10, 2018

    Orange-scented creamed spigarello with almonds and Aleppo pepper sounds like fun, if I can track down spigarello broccoli….

  • tcjanes  on  January 10, 2018

    Beets bi tahina

  • sgump  on  January 11, 2018

    I was just talking about jicama last night, so the jicama salad with mango, fennel, cucumber, peanuts, and lime and fish sauce vinaigrette sounds refreshingly lovely!

  • rchesser  on  January 11, 2018

    Pomegranate and beet molasses

  • vinochic  on  January 11, 2018

    Lebni with eggplant purée, fava "hummus," and za'atar

  • tarae1204  on  January 11, 2018

    Panko-crusted shrimp with chives and Mexican Sriracha

  • ktwalla  on  January 11, 2018

    Pan Fried Rainbow Trout with Brown Butter, Meyer Lemon, Green Olives and Chives

  • sarahawker  on  January 11, 2018

    Virginia peanut and coriander dukkah

  • DarcyVaughn  on  January 12, 2018

    Creamy grits with blistered tomatoes, pickled serrano chiles, and sunflower-miso tahini

  • Steben  on  January 12, 2018

    Panko-crusted shrimp with chives and Mexican Sriracha

  • Julia  on  January 12, 2018

    All of the pickles,Caesar Brussels sprouts.

  • Dannausc  on  January 13, 2018

    Caraway croutons

  • LaurenE  on  January 13, 2018

    Jicama salad with mango, fennel, cucumber, peanuts, and lime and fish sauce vinaigrette

  • robynsanyal  on  January 13, 2018

    Almond and sumac dukkah

  • Laura1  on  January 14, 2018

    jicama salad

  • lgroom  on  January 14, 2018

    English pea and dill "hummus."

  • love2laf  on  January 14, 2018

    Rutabaga and pancetta with lemon, anchovy, and capers

  • PennyG  on  January 14, 2018

    I'm enamored by dukkah right now, so Marcona almond, coconut, and rosebud breakfast dukkah!

  • SnarkyLarane  on  January 14, 2018

    I bet that coffee-spice rub would be amazing on all sorts of meats!

  • lindaeatsherbooks  on  January 14, 2018

    I would make the Hazelnut and fennel dukkah first.

  • Shelley.b  on  January 15, 2018

    Caraway croutons

  • tennyogirl  on  January 15, 2018

    The tomato dill paparadelle sounds pretty great.

  • bettinab  on  January 15, 2018

    Potato croquettes

  • kbennall  on  January 16, 2018

    Poblano-feta dip

  • ljsimmons  on  January 17, 2018

    Panko-crusted shrimp with chives and Mexican Sriracha

  • Siegal  on  January 18, 2018

    I want to try the car way croutons

  • trudys_person  on  January 18, 2018

    Pistachio Cheesecake sounds delicious!!

  • antpantsii  on  January 18, 2018

    Berberé-spiced meatballs

  • Livia  on  January 19, 2018

    It has got to be the Bulgur pancakes with grape leaves, raisins, and goat cheese

  • lauriesk  on  January 19, 2018

    I would definitely try the Chimichurri first.

  • bettinab  on  January 19, 2018

    Pea and dill hummus

  • milgwimper  on  January 19, 2018

    mint and rose pickled onions. curious flavorings.

  • GillB  on  January 19, 2018

    Almond and Sumac Dukkah

  • Scotsman61  on  January 20, 2018

    Rutabaga and pancetta with lemon, anchovy, and capers

  • lapsapchung  on  January 20, 2018

    Cashew and coconut breakfast dukkah

  • RSW  on  January 20, 2018

    Cashew and coconut breakfast dukkah

  • lindagroene  on  January 20, 2018

    I would make the salad with the asian pears.

  • Bakersdozen  on  January 21, 2018

    I want to try the Poblano-feta dip.

  • kerrin1976  on  January 21, 2018

    Baco bread

  • annieski  on  January 21, 2018

    Pistachio cheesecake with matcha sugar (page 286)

  • BMeyer  on  January 21, 2018

    coffee rub for meats

  • luccio  on  January 21, 2018

    English Pea Hummus

  • priyamaine  on  January 21, 2018

    The lime and fish sauce vinaigrette looks fantastic!

  • rlmiller  on  January 21, 2018

    Quick cherry “almostarda”

  • v.t  on  January 21, 2018

    Caraway bread crumbs or fresh ricotta!

  • bstewart  on  January 21, 2018

    The baco bread!

  • Julia  on  January 21, 2018

    Fresh ricotta

  • RickPearson54  on  January 22, 2018

    baco bread

  • fiarose  on  January 22, 2018

    all of the spice rubs and blends sound so great; also loving the caramelized cauliflower with mint, pine nuts, lime, and yogurt!

  • gloriole  on  January 22, 2018

    Creamy grits with blistered tomatoes, pickled serrano chiles, and sunflower-miso tahini

  • tararr  on  January 23, 2018

    Sautéed broccolini with Mexican Sriracha and queso fresco

  • Sfgordon  on  January 23, 2018

    Cashew and coconute breakfast dukkah or berbere spiced meatballs sound great!

  • kennethjohngilmour  on  January 24, 2018

    would like to try the mint and rose pickled red onions found on page 22

  • jd5761  on  January 24, 2018

    Potato croquettes for me

  • MaryCunningham86  on  January 26, 2018

    Beets bi tahina

  • cora429  on  January 27, 2018

    Braised chicken with leeks, tomatoes, berberé, thyme, and yogurt

  • SheenaSharp  on  January 27, 2018

    "Caesar" Brussels sprouts

  • Jenamarie  on  January 27, 2018

    Hazelnut and fennel dukkah

  • geoff@kupesoftware.com  on  January 28, 2018

    Almond and sumac dukkah

  • vali  on  January 29, 2018

    Panko-crusted shrimp with chives and Mexican Sriracha

  • Maria.luiza  on  January 30, 2018

    Potato croquettes

  • lene  on  January 31, 2018

    I'd try the Curry leaf Meyer lemon pickle

  • Toomanybooks88  on  January 31, 2018

    Id try Five textures of chocolate

  • lils74  on  February 1, 2018

    I would make Panko-crusted shrimp with chives and Mexican Sriracha – Yum!

  • contrarywise  on  February 2, 2018

    New ideas for rutabagas always! Pancetta and salsa verde sound like a great addition to one of my favorite vegetables so I book marked the recipe linked above.

  • HelenB  on  February 3, 2018

    Baco bread

  • t.t  on  February 3, 2018

    Urfa biber shichimi togarashi

  • sunset34  on  February 4, 2018

    berbere chicken and creamy pecorino rice

  • cambridgecook  on  February 5, 2018

    grapefruit dill shrub

  • mjes  on  February 5, 2018

    Walnut-miso bagna cauda

  • shaz4  on  February 10, 2018

    Pistachio cheesecake with matcha sugar

  • stitchan  on  February 11, 2018

    Citrus and dry-cured olive salad

  • choppergirl  on  February 11, 2018

    Salted cucumbers with avocado and ginger-soy dressing

  • verorenee  on  February 11, 2018

    Almond and sumac dukkah

  • wester  on  February 16, 2018

    The first recipe already looks amazing: Mint and rose pickled red onions.

  • Katti  on  February 16, 2018

    Panko-crusted shrimp with chives and Mexican Sriracha

  • Karla123  on  February 16, 2018

    Citrus and dry-cured olive salad…sounds splendid!

  • JenJoLa  on  February 17, 2018

    Red endive and blood oranges with blue cheese, dukkah, and Banyuls vinaigrette

  • orchidlady01  on  February 17, 2018

    Marcona almond, coconut, and rosebud breakfast dukkah

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!