Bäco: Vivid Recipes from the Heart of Los Angeles by Josef Centeno and Betty Hallock

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Sautéed peaches and shishito peppers with goat cheese, cashews, and saffron honey

    • SheilaS on September 18, 2020

      Great combination of ingredients. I really enjoyed eating this. The herbs called for were parsley, chervil and tarragon. I used parsley, mint & thyme. The recipe calls for 5 ripe peaches, no weight given, and 1 cup (70g) shishitos for 4 servings which sounded peach-heavy for me so I used more peppers and was happy. I see the previous commenter found the peppers overpowered the dish. If you make it, just use what you'd like to eat!

    • Kduncan on September 10, 2019

      Everything came together nicely. Though my shisito peppers were huge, hence overpowered all the bits.

  • Creamy dill dressing

    • TrishaCP on July 06, 2020

      This was very tasty with the creme fraiche- but I like Frogcake's suggested yogurt substitute so this doesn't have to be a special occasion dressing.

    • Frogcake on October 08, 2018

      A delicious dressing with a lot of great dill flavour! I’ve made as written (the best) but to reduce calories and substitute herbs when I had no dill, I have made a variation as follows: equal amount of chopped parsley, half a cup of Greek yoghurt, quarter cup of buttermilk and quarter cup of cream, a tablespoon of cider vinegar.

  • "Caesar" Brussels sprouts

    • rglo820 on December 05, 2017

      This was missing a pop of flavor, especially relative to the amount of work (making the bread crumbs, preparing the Brussels sprouts, pickling the onions [although I skipped this last step and just soaked them in half lemon juice/half water for 15 minutes]). Next time I might leave the bread crumbs as croutons, shave the parmesan rather than grate it, and maybe add an egg yolk to the dressing for body as it was a little thin.

  • Caraway bread crumbs

    • rglo820 on December 05, 2017

      Really flavorful and relatively simple to make.

  • Salted cucumbers with avocado and ginger-soy dressing

    • meggan on November 16, 2020

      Easy to whip up and quite yummy.

  • Creamy Romanesco soup with grapefruit, nigella, and fresh horseradish

    • meggan on November 02, 2017

      We did not have fresh horseradish and that might have made a difference to this bland but nicely textured soup.

  • Sweet potatoes with aonori mascarpone butter, feta, and honey

    • meggan on November 05, 2020

      The homemade butter is a nice touch but I don't know how necessary. Probably could have just used regular butter and sprinkle of seaweed. Beyond that, this is a nice flavor combo. Be sure to get nice sweet potatoes and not the stringy old ones I got.

  • Berberé chicken and creamy pecorino rice

    • meggan on November 12, 2020

      I was super excited about this and it was a little underwhelming. The rice was good but the chicken could have used more. Perhaps more time to marinate in the spices?

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

    • meggan on April 19, 2020

      Did this lazy man style which meant braising the thighs on the bone and using canned tomatoes. It was good but could have used some more acid.

  • Cumin-spiced beef and lamb patties with pine nuts and raisins

    • meggan on November 06, 2020

      I left out the beef because lamb is fine on its own. Even with all the spices and additions, this didn't really seem that different than a regular lamb burger.

  • Harrough

    • VineTomato on December 31, 2017

      Did not have the requisite chillis but needed a teaspoon for the mortar-and-pestle romesco so decided to make enough for one serving using piquin chillis which I toasted with the seeds at the beginning. What a fragrance! Will be making again as soon as I get my hoard of chillis from the Cool Chile Co - just need to read through my other cookbooks and identify what chillis I need - and figure a space to store them all - my spice and grain shelf is packed to the max!

  • Bäco bread

    • VineTomato on January 02, 2018

      I used olive oil in place of ghee and it worked just as well - so could be a vegan dish. This is probably the most success I’ve had with a flat bread so far. Only problem was I left them in the oven at 150 for too long and they got a bit hard and crispy. Actually it tasted like Ligurian bread and could be another recipe idea - perhaps with fennel seeds and chilli flakes!

    • bwhip on December 02, 2017

      We love this flatbread! So good. Will be a great accompaniment to many dishes. Pretty easy to make, and the instructions for each step, including making the ghee, were quite clear. Excellent.

    • sosayi on September 21, 2018

      Recipe available (sort of) here: https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/baco-bread Changes from print: 1) online calls for olive oil in place of ghee; 2) online calls for 1 teaspoon of salt versus 2 t in the book; and 3) online calls for 3 cups of flour, while the book states it's 3 2/3 cups or 440 g. The book also gives a weight for the ghee as 80 g.

    • sosayi on September 21, 2018

      We made this recipe last night and it turned out amazingly. Even if I don't end up buying the book (library loan), I'll make this bread over and over again. Only change I made was the put the bread into a 200 degree F oven (about 95 C) to stay warm, which worked out perfectly and didn't cause the bread to crisp up at all.

  • Panko-crusted shrimp with chives and Mexican Sriracha

    • VineTomato on January 02, 2018

      Excellent! At first this had me a bit worried as the panko did not appear to be sticking. best fried prawns we’ve made. Next time might add some flavour to the flour - paprika, garlic powder. The Mexican Sriracha was divine. Served with flatbreads and poblano feta dip.

  • Mortar-and-pestle romesco

    • VineTomato on December 31, 2017

      I brought this book a few months back and just took a proper look at it - everything looks so delicious and right up my street. I made this to top some roast potatoes. I did not have piquillo peppers so used plain roasted peppers in olive oil. I also did not have all the requisite chillis to make the spice - so I made my own version using piquin peppers - it was still good. Will make again 100% to recipe and then will branch out and maybe do some slow roasted tomatoes instead of the peppers - oh yum! Planning on making a few more recipes from this book tonight, so stay posted!

  • Chermou-lata

    • VineTomato on March 18, 2019

      Amazing! The first section of this book is filled with the most delicious spice blends and flavour concoctions - I want to make them all! I had run out of sumac so had to do without but this was still delicious. I also reduced the amount of oil. Served with scarlet runner beans and burrata.

  • Poblano-feta dip

    • VineTomato on January 02, 2018

      A lovely dip, but reminds me of an Indian raita, in particular the one in Meena Pathak’s Flavour of India. That put me off a little as I was expecting something different. Poblano chiles are difficult to come by in the UK, so used a green pepper and jalepeno combination.

  • Mexican Sriracha

    • VineTomato on January 02, 2018

      Amazing but incredibly spicy - perhaps because I used plan old dried Indian chillis. I really need to build my collection of Mexican chillis and learn more about the heat and characteristics of each one. I divided everything by 3 as I can’t go through such a large amount of sauce - it worked fine.

  • Eggplant with avocado, Persian cucumbers, herbs, and cipollini-buttermilk dressing

    • khopkins1012 on July 07, 2018

      This is savory while still maintaining that summer freshness that I crave on a hot day. It keeps well as leftovers served cold. It stays in my summer dinner rotation. Bon Appetit published an adapted version of this recipe https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/pan-seared-eggplant-with-buttermilk-dressing. I use Greek yogurt instead of buttermilk because I am more likely to have it in my fridge. I also can't normally find Persian cucumbers or Japanese eggplants in my local stores so I use the standard varieties with success.

  • Eggplant purée with sumac and garlic

    • khopkins1012 on June 26, 2019

      The strength of Josef’s recipes is that you can substitute ingredients based off your tastes and what’s in your fridge AND still have a successful dish. I was out of garlic so I subbed a small shallot. I left the sesame paste and fancy pepper out completely because I had neither.

    • sosayi on September 21, 2018

      This was delicious and pretty easy to make. I think next time I'd change the cooking method slightly for the eggplant. Instead of starting on stovetop, I'd just cook the entire tray in the oven and flip a few more times. I used regular yogurt (lactose free) in place of the lebni or greek yogurt called for and think it was fine. The large quantitiy of sumac really adds a great, and different, flavor to what is a fairly basic eggplant puree otherwise. My husband couldn't get enough. Served with the flatbread, fava hummus and lebni (again, lactose-free yogurt) with za'atar from the same book.

  • Rutabaga and pancetta with lemon, anchovy, and capers

    • bwhip on January 30, 2018

      This was really delicious! Made it tonight as a filling for soft tacos, and it was a big hit. Haven’t cooked with rutabagas before, and we really enjoyed them. Lots of bright, fresh flavor with the delicious, lemony herb dressing, and of course you can’t go wrong with pancetta. Great recipe.

  • Lamb and tomato stew with chickpeas and curry leaf Meyer lemon pickle

    • bwhip on December 02, 2017

      Great flavor, with really interesting ingredients. This makes a really large batch! Turned out fairly thin, so I think next time I would cut the puréed tomato and stock in half.

  • Baharat-spiced porchetta

    • bwhip on July 04, 2019

      Excellent. Super tender, so flavorful, especially perfect when combined with the fine herbes salsa verde and Baco bread from the same cookbook. Delightful.

  • Fava "hummus" with mint and pecorino cheese

    • sosayi on September 21, 2018

      While we really like the flavors on this, it needed a bit of tweaking. As written (and this might be b/c it's converted from a larger quantity restaurant recipe), the hummus is just too, too thick. It didn't even really puree, it was sort of a very coarse chunky mash. I upped the quantity of lemon juice and olive oil (just adding until it came together more and tasted right), which seemed to do the trick. Served with the Eggplant puree, flatbreads and za'atar lebni from the same book.

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

    • sosayi on September 21, 2018

      Really great flavors! We served the eggplant puree and the fava hummus on separate serving dishes (they were separate recipes and we wanted to save the leftovers that way) and kept the yogurt and za'atar portion separate, but the combo on the flatbreads was amazing. No changes, and I'll riff off of this for some time.

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Reviews about this book

  • Eat Your Books

    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.

    Full review
  • Eat the Love

    Baco is the sort of California restaurant cuisine that I adore. Fresh, vibrant, easy to understand but also unique enough to make you think “huh, why didn’t I think of that flavor combination?”

    Full review
  • Food52

    Lots of vegetables. The chapters are split into flavor profiles...there’s plenty here that’s more than manageable for home cooks.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 1452154686
  • ISBN 13 9781452154688
  • Published Sep 05 2017
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 320
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Chronicle Books

Publishers Text

Visually stunning and conceptually fresh, this is the cookbook of the season from Josef Centeno, the chef credited with capturing the myriad tastes of Los Angeles on the plate. Recipes span from simple to show stopping, exploring sauces, soups, mains, salads, and desserts, too. More than 130 vivid photographs convey the beauty and excitement of Chef Centeno's extraordinary cooking.

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