BÄCO | RECIPE

130 recipes that redefine the way we think about flavour. 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. Josef Centeno is the chef and owner of Bâco Mercat, Bar Amá, Orsa & Winston, Ledlow, and P.Y.T. In Bäco, he draws on his multicultural heritage, formal training in top-notch restaurants such as Manresa and Daniel, a lifelong obsession with cookbooks, and his insatiable curiosity. Centeno’s cooking layers textures and explores how spices and sauces can be used to transform the most basic vegetables.

The following recipe is from Bäco by Josef Centeno and Betty Hallock, photographs by Dylan James Ho


 

 

Photographs by Dylan James Ho
Photographs by Dylan James Ho
Sautéed peaches and shishito peppers
with goat cheese, cashews, and saffron honey

Peaches and shishito peppers seem an unlikely combination. But the ripe, oral fruit and the mildly peppery Japanese chile both peak in summer and are oddly great together—a little sweet with a little spice. They also make for an interesting textural contrast: one yielding and juicy and the other slightly crunchy. It’s easy to get a lot of good charred browning on shishito peppers because they’re especially thin-skinned compared with other pepper varieties. The edges of the peaches get nicely caramelised. Creamy, tangy goat cheese goes with the sweetness of the peaches and the smokiness and heat of the shishito peppers. They’re mixed with crunchy cashews, and the dish is finished with lemon juice and musky- oral saffron honey.

SERVES 4

  • 1/4 cup [35 g] whole cashews
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 5 ripe peaches, pitted and cut into wedges
  • 1 cup [70 g] shishito peppers
  • Salt
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/3 cup [5 g] fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup [4 g] fresh chervil
  • 1/3 cup [4 g] fresh tarragon leaves
  • 3 Tbsp crumbled fresh goat cheese
  • 1/2 Tbsp saffron honey (recipe follows)

Heat the oven to 350°F [180°C]. Spread the nuts in a single layer on a small baking dish and place on a middle rack in the oven. Roast, stirring the nuts once for even cooking, until toasty and fragrant, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, coarsely chop and set aside.

Heat the butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat. When the butter melts and begins to foam, add the peaches and shishito peppers and sear, turning once with a spatula, until the edges are well browned, 3 to 4 minutes.

Pour off the butter from the pan and transfer the peaches and shishito peppers to a bowl. Toss with a pinch of salt and half of the lemon juice. Transfer half of the peaches and shishito peppers to a platter and sprinkle with half of each of the parsley, chervil, tarragon, cashews, and goat cheese.

Top with the remaining peaches and shishito peppers and sprinkle the remaining parsley, chervil, tarragon, cashews, and goat cheese on top. Drizzle with the remaining lemon juice and saffron honey. Serve immediately.

Photographs by Dylan James Ho
Photographs by Dylan James Ho

Fennel honey

Infusing a savory element into honey makes it that much more versatile. In dishes where honey might otherwise be just a little too cloying, it is instead
a little more nuanced. Use fennel seeds, fresh thyme or rosemary, saffron threads, long pepper, cubeb pepper, Sichuan pepper, lemon zest, mint, ginger, or dried chiles—these all add another layer of flavor to oral honeys. I use saffron, fennel, or cubeb pepper honey mixed into yogurt or drizzled on fried dishes such as ricotta fritters or crispy battered boquerones (marinated anchovy fillets).

MAKES 1⁄2 CUP [150 G]

1/2 cup [150 g] honey 2 tsp water
1/2 tsp fennel seeds

Put the honey, water, and fennel seeds in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer for 30 seconds, then immediately remove from the heat. Strain into a small lidded jar and discard the seeds. Store at room temperature for several weeks.

VARIATION

Cubeb honey, saffron honey, and fennel pollen honey: Substitute 1/2 tsp cubeb pepper or 1/2 tsp saffron threads (mixed with 2 tsp water). Or substitute a pinch of fennel pollen; stir in the pollen during the last few seconds of heating (do not strain).


Bäco by Josef Centeno and Betty Hallock, photographs by Dylan James Ho is out now  – find out more here.

National Chocolate Chip day!

Today is National Chocolate Chip day!

We thought the BEST way to celebrate this was with some delicious, soft chocolate chip cookies from the Chocolate Chip Cookie’s book from chroniclebooks!

SOFT

Bread flour, with its high gluten content, gives the cookie its soft bite, and an extra egg yolk helps bind the dough. It has a high percentage of brown sugar to white sugar, resulting in a deeper, more caramelized flavour.

Makes about 27 cookies

1¼ cups/155 g unbleached bread flour

¼ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

½ cup/115 g unsalted butter, at room temperature

¼ cup/50 g granulated sugar

¾ cup plus 1 tbsp/160 g packed dark brown sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

½ tsp pure vanilla extract

¾ cup/125 g semisweet chocolate chips

¾ cup/85 g chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4. Adjust the racks so they divide the oven into thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until smooth and well blended, about 1 minute. Add the egg and mix until completely combined. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and mix until completely combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined, scraping the bowl if necessary to incorporate the dry ingredients. Add the chocolate chips and nuts (if using) and mix on low speed until evenly distributed. The dough should be smooth, dense, and somewhat pliable. (This dough benefits from resting in the fridge, covered, for 12 to 24 hours before baking.)

Using a small ice-cream scoop or tablespoon measure, drop well-rounded balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets about 2 in/5 cm apart. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time, just until the edges turn golden.

When cool enough to handle, transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, the cookies will keep for 2 to 3 days.

Photographs copyright © 2013 by Antonis Achilleos

Abrams&Chronicle Books top tips for being a proper lush.

Is Riesling the ‘Best White Wine on Earth’?

Personally, we like a good box of Pinot Grigio, but we’re not fussy.

Wine’s wine, right?

Well, no. It’s all in the way you drink it. Allegedly.

So, without further ado, here are Abrams&Chronicle Books top tips for being a proper lush.

1. Never, ever leave wine behind. 

This applies to all situations. Including, not showing up at a dinner party empty handed and not leaving that final sip in the glass when the barman is shouting at you to leave the bar at 3am.

2. Always taste before you commit to a bottle.

Sure, you don’t know what you’re doing but, who are you to turn down free wine?

3. The vessel is everything.

Stuart Pigott says that the right glass will free up the aromas and make your wine all the more pleasing.

Your perfect glass is your call.

Just don’t drink it from a mug. Be better than that.

4. Match your choice of wine to your meal.

White with fish. Red with beef. Rosé over a bag of pub crisps.

5. Don’t drink the house.

It’s generally terrible. Don’t go mad though, next on the list will do the job.

This also applies to not drinking every drop of wine you have in your house. You are not Bridget Jones.

6. It’s all psychological.

Stuart believes that if you think a wine is expensive you’re more likely to think it tastes better. Luckily, lying to yourself becomes really easy when wine is involved eg. “Yes, we absolutely need another bottle”

He also tells us that Riesling has the smallest mark-up in price, and thus, we have been converted.

Help us, we’re poor but we love wine.

Bottoms up!

Best White Wine on Earth, 9781617691102, Stewart, Tabori & Chang, £15.99, July 2014

Pancake Day Treats!

For those wanting to try something more than lemon & sugar today (classic as it is!) Try our The Ultimate “Puffy” Pancakes from Yvette Van Boven’s Home Made Summer!

The Ultimate “Puffy” Pancakes

FOR A BIG PILE OF 20 PANCAKES

  • 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp (20 g) baking powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp (1 envelope) vanilla sugar, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 7 tbsp (100 g) butter, cut into chunks, plus more for the pan
  • 1½ cups (350 ml) milk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten

FOR SERVING

  • ½ pint (200 g) raspberries
  • ¾ cup (200 g) crème fraîche
  • superfine sugar for garnish

In a big bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and the plain and vanilla sugar (if using extract, add it later). Combine the butter and milk in a saucepan and heat over medium heat until the butter melts. Add the vanilla extract, if using.

Pour the warm milk-butter mixture into the flour mixture in the bowl while stirring, then whisk until all the lumps are dissolved.

Beat in the eggs.

Heat 1 teaspoon butter in a skillet over medium heat and pour three ladlefuls of batter into the pan, slightly apart so you have three small pancakes.

Cook for about 3 minutes, or until small holes break out on the surface, then flip and cook them for 2 minutes on the other side. Repeat with more butter and the remaining batter. Keep the cooked pancakes warm on a plate covered with foil in a low oven while you cook the rest.

Serve with raspberries, crème fraîche, and a sprinkle of super­fine sugar.