Forno Bravo Community Cookbook

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Post recipes, comments and photos of your best wood-fired cooking. You can even create your own blog.
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Pizza du Vully

This recipe is based on a famous pie from the lake region of Switzerland called Vully.
It consists of a sweet dough topped with cream, sugar and butter.

It is an ideal finish to a pizza night and can be served with a sweet desert white wine.

Ingredients are:

Base:
Flour, milk, egg yolk, melted butter, yeast.

Topping:
Cream, caster sugar and butter.

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Roasted Onion and Pineapple Salad

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As any Hawaiian pizza lover knows, pineapple is delicious when paired with salty, savory ingredients. This warm salad is a lighter, bread-less take on that idea.

3 red onions
3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 fresh pineapple
1 bunch lacinato kale
4 oz feta cheese
10 fresh mint leaves, chopped
salt and black pepper to taste

Cut off the ends of the onions and remove the outer peel, leaving the onions whole. Place the onions in the center of a large piece of foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the thyme and bay and wrap the onions tightly in the foil. Place near the coals in a moderate wood oven. You want the onions to slowly roast in their own juices, so the oven shouldn’t be too hot. Rotate occasionally, and cook until the onions are very soft and fragrant, 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on your oven temp. When the onions are done, remove them from the foil and set aside, reserving any juices that have collected.

Meanwhile, prepare your pineapple. Cut off the top and bottom so that the pineapple will stand upright on your cutting board. Using a knife, cut off the outer skin in strips. Lay the pineapple on its side and cut 1/2 inch-thick rounds. Use a paring knife to cut the core out of the middle of each round. Toss the pineapple with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in a single layer in a roasting pan and cook in your wood oven until nicely caramelized, flipping once, about 5-8 minutes. Set aside.

Remove the stems from the kale and discard.  Roughly chop the leaves. Preheat a large wok or skillet in your wood oven. Add the remaining olive oil. When it starts to smoke, add the kale, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, until the kale is wilted, 2-3 minutes.

Using a sharp knife, gently cut the roasted onions into 1/2 inch rounds. To assemble the salad, shingle alternating layers of onion, pineapple and kale on a serving platter. Sprinkle the mint over the top, then the feta cheese. Drizzle with any remaining onion roasting juices and enjoy.

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Roasted Sockeye Salmon With Braised Couscous, Roasted Green Beans, Heirloom Tomatoes, Basil

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Here’s a recipe for making the most of your farmers market’s most ubiquitous offerings: If yours is anything like mine, green beans, tomatoes and basil are at just about every stand. I pickle half the green beans in this recipe, for even more variation in flavor and texture.

When it comes to salmon, in my opinion nothing beats sockeye for taste, texture and pure, simple beauty. If you can get your hands on it, try Alaskan Copper River sockeye. Sustainably wild-caught, Copper River sockeye will have a flesh that is almost ruby red in color, as well as an unparalleled flavor.

2 stalks celery
2 small carrots
1 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
1 T butter
1 C Israeli couscous (you may also find it in the store as Palestinian couscous, ptitim or pearl pasta)
1 C white wine
3 C vegetable stock
1 lb green beans, washed and ends trimmed
1 C white wine vinegar
2 C water
1/4 C sugar
1 T salt
2 T pickling spices to your taste (garlic clove, thyme, bay, fennel seed, mustard seed, coriander, chili flake, etc.)
2 T vegetable oil
3-4 various heirloom tomatoes
1 oz fresh basil leaves
4 5-oz portions of salmon
extra virgin olive oil, to taste
salt and black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, start the couscous: Cut the celery, carrots and onion into a small dice and mince the garlic. In a large skillet or shallow, wide pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the mirepoix and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Add the couscous and toast for 1 minute. Add the wine and increase the heat to high. Allow the wine to reduce until the pan is almost dry, then add the stock. Cook until the couscous is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

When your pot of water is boiling, blanch half of your green beans for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove and place in a single layer to cool. To pickle the remaining beans, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pickling spices in a pot. Bring to a boil. Add the remaining green beans and cook until slightly tender but still crunchy. Remove from the heat and allow the beans to cool in the pickling liquid.

While the beans are cooling, slice your heirlooms in whatever manner you find most appealing. I cut mine in quarters and then into thin slices that I could shingle on the plate. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

To roast the beans, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large roasting pan in your wood oven. You will want a hot oven for this procedure. Drain the pickled beans from the brine. When your oil is smoking, add the blanched fresh beans and the drained pickled beans to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are just tender and have taken on some nice charred edges, about 4-5 minutes. Remove and set aside.

To cook your fish, heat the remaining vegetable oil in a saute pan in your wood oven. Season the fish with salt only. When the oil is smoking, add the fish to the pan and return to the oven. Sear the fish on one side only – the heat of your oven will be enough to cook the other side. Sockeye is best served medium, which means a skewer inserted into the center of the flesh should come out warm to the touch. This fish will cook quickly, probably 3-6 minutes depending on the temperature of your oven and the thickness of your portions. When done to your liking, remove the fish from the pan to rest.

To serve the dish, place a pile of couscous in the middle of a plate. shingle some heirloom tomato slices along one side. Place the fish, seared side up, on top of the couscous. Top with some of the roasted beans and tear a few basil leaves over the plate with your fingers. Drizzle the beans and tomatoes with some olive oil, and you’re good to go.

I recently came across a white wine variety that was new to me, called Müller-Thurgau, which would pair perfectly with this dish. The particular Thurgau I tasted was from northern Italy, but the grape is also grown in Austria, Germany, Hungary and elsewhere. This crisp, mineral-laden relative of riesling would be a great complement to both the tomatoes and beans in this dish.

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Roasted Stone Fruit With Oat Streusel

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I can’t speak for the rest of the country, but this summer of 2013 is an amazing season for fruit. It started with the strawberries and cherries in the early part of the season, and it has continued on with the myriad varieties of stone fruit now available from local farmers. White and yellow peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums – they’re all unbelievably sweet and juicy. Use this recipe to take advantage of the bounty. (Plus, it’s really easy to remember, so you can break it out any time at a moment’s notice!)

100 g all-purpose flour
100 g rolled oats
100 g brown sugar
zest of 2 lemons
1/2 tsp salt
100 g butter, cubed
3 lbs various stone fruit – I used all of the above
1/2 C sugar, or to taste
your favorite vanilla ice cream

Combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, zest and salt in the bowl of a mixer. Mix well. Using the paddle attachment, cut in the butter until the mixture forms pea-sized chunks. Cover and refrigerate.

Meanwhile, halve the stone fruit and remove their pits. Place them in a wood-oven-safe baking dish. Sprinkle with the sugar to taste – if your fruit is super-delicious you may not need any; if it’s a little under-ripe you may need a bit more. Crumble the streusel topping over the fruit.

Cover with foil and bake in your wood oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until the streusel is browned and the fruit is soft. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly to avoid scorched tongues, and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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Focaccia

This is a post on how to bake focaccia in a wood fired oven, with a fabulous and very different recipe that incorporates potatoes from New York baker Jim Lahey:

http://www.playinwithmyfood.com/home/2013/7/10/foccacia-in-a-wood-burning-oven

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Corn Tartine With Chevre and Rocket

tartineHurray! Fresh local corn is here for the season. Let’s celebrate with some easy, delicious corn tartines. Tartine is just a fancy word for a piece of bread with a bunch of stuff on it, aka an open-faced sandwich. It is a great oven application for a quick meal, so take this recipe as a guide and let your imagination go.

3 ears local sweet corn
3 radishes
1 jalapeno pepper
1 fresno pepper
8 oz rocket (arugula)
1/4 C fresh parsley, chopped
4 oz chevre
4 thick slices crusty bread
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil, or as needed
1 clove garlic, peeled
juice of 1 lemon
salt and black pepper, to taste

Soak the ears of corn, unshucked, in cool water for half an hour. Remove and place directly in a medium-hot wood oven. Put the ears on the coals, in the fire, wherever, as long as you’re watchful. Rotate frequently. When the husks are charred on the outside, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Shuck the corn and cut the kernels off the cobs.

Shave the radishes into thin rounds with a mandolin or sharp knife. Remove the seeds from the peppers and chop finely. In a bowl, combine the corn, radishes, peppers, rocket and parsley. (I like the pungent taste of big, mature rocket arugula here, but if all you can find is baby arugula, by all means use that.) Season well with salt and pepper and drizzle generously with olive oil. Toss well to combine and set aside.

Brush your bread with a thin coat of olive oil on both sides. Place on a sheet tray or roasting pan and place in your wood oven. Toast until golden, 2-5 minutes depending on how hot your oven is, turning once.

Remove the bread from the oven. Rub the clove of garlic thoroughly over the surface of the bread. (If your bread is too delicate for this operation, you’re using the wrong kind of bread!) Spread some chevre over each slice. Top with a pile of the corn mixture. Place in the oven and allow to roast just until the top of each pile begins to char and the cheese gets melty, about 3-6 minutes.

Remove from the oven and squeeze some lemon juice over the top of each tartine. Serve warm with an IPA alongside and you’re ready to appreciate summer’s bounty.

 

 

 

 

 

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Bacon croutons

1 pound bacon
2 cups bread cubes (preferably left over pizza oven bread) cut into 1/2 inch pieces

While heating up your oven for pizza, place bacon in a cast iron fry pan and place in oven door, keep an eye on it and rotate bacon as so it won’t burn. Once the bacon is crisp, remove the fry pan from the oven being careful because it will be hot, remove bacon to side dish, place the bread cubes into the fry pan and toss with the bacon fat. Place the fry pan back into the oven to toast the bread, this only takes about 2 minutes tossing bread every 30 seconds or so.
I use half of the bacon as a pizza topping and the rest is cut into bacon bits and added to a Caesar salad along with the croutons.
Note: this will be the best bacon you have ever had so refrain from eating all of it before it makes it onto a pizza or the salad.

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Juicy Lucy Burgers

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Claims to the origination of the Juicy Lucy are hotly debated, but we do know the first versions emerged from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and spread around the country from there. And anyway, who really cares? It’s a burger with gooey delicious cheese in the middle. That’s what really matters. I made two versions for this recipe, one plain-old cheese-filled patty, and one with the addition of pickled hot peppers. Let your imagination run wild. Just remember that, as with topping a pizza, moderation in stuffing a patty is key, or you’ll never get the burger to hold together.

24 oz your preferred ground beef
6 oz colby cheese, or whatever you decide to use
1 oz pickled hot peppers, or make your own (see below)
4 hamburger buns
lettuce, tomato, red onion, mayo, mustard – you know the drill
salt and black pepper, to taste

Divide the ground beef into four 6-ounce portions. Then divide each portion into two balls, about two-thirds to one-third by weight. To form the patties, it helps to have a ring mold somewhere around 4 inches in diameter. You can also use a large cookie cutter, or even the lid to a sour cream container in a pinch.

Pat the larger portion of the patty out into a flat disk the diameter of your mold and place it inside. Form a lip around the edge so that you have a meat crater. Place 1.5 ounces of shredded cheese inside the crater. Add a scattering of peppers if you desire.

(If you want to make your own, it’s really easy. Bring to a boil 1 cup of white wine vinegar, 2 cups of water, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/3 cup of sugar and a clove of garlic. While you’re doing that, slice your preferred hot peppers into thin rounds. When the brine boils, pour it over the peppers. Cover with plastic and let sit for at least 15 minutes. That’s it.)

Pat out the smaller portion of meat into a flat patty large enough to cover the crater. Place it on top of the cheese. Using your fingertips, poke down around the outside of the patty to crimp the two sides together. Remove the mold and check the patty for holes. If you find any, pinch them together the best you can. Repeat with the other three burgers.

Refrigerate well. When you’re ready to cook, season with salt and pepper. Preheat a cast iron pan or your favorite burger cooking implement in your wood oven. Cook the burgers until they’re warm inside. Remove, put on a bun, top as you see fit, eat, and be proud of America.

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An Open Letter From James

Forno Bravo Community Cookbook
Everyone’s Invited to Join In!

Hello, Wood-Fired Oven Lovers.

Okay. I think we made a mistake. We included two pieces of similar news regarding the Forno Bravo Community Cookbook in the same publication (our June newsletter) – and it was confusing for our readers. We’re sorry about that.

So, let me try to clarify things here.

As you probably know, we recently started a special program to provide Primavera ovens to a few professional chefs, in exchange for their serving in an official capacity as consistent, regular contributors to the Community Cookbook. This is a fun way for us to build momentum and grow the Cookbook.

We have heard from a number of our community members who say they think that means we only want to have professional chefs posting recipes in the Cookbook. But nothing could be further from the truth! And we are very sorry if we implied as much and caused any offense.

The Community Cookbook is, as the name says, a community resource. We created it specifically so everyone could share their own experiences, recipes and comments in a community setting. We want everyone to join in and enjoy it! That is why we’ve just released a new, easier-to-use version of the Cookbook.

But from some responses we’ve received, I can see we were not clear about what we were trying to do.

Forno Bravo is all about community. For the past 10 years, we have enjoyed seeing each other’s ovens and recipes, making comments, giving tips, and getting to know a great community of people. Of all the things Forno Bravo has accomplished, I am the most proud of the group of people that has come together to create our wonderful community.

We want everyone to post recipes, make comments on other members’ recipes, and even create your own wood-fired cooking blog on the Community Cookbook. Jump in!

-Post recipes and your photos (you don’t even have to register to do this – we’re making it that easy): http://www.fornobravo.com/cookbook/post-your-own-recipe/

-Create your own blog. Sign up and write about your own cooking experiences and ideas. It takes just a few moments to set up your (free) blog via the Cookbook: http://www.fornobravo.com/cookbook/wp-signup.php

-View other members’ recipes to get ideas and inspiration. Comments and ratings welcome!: http://www.fornobravo.com/cookbook/

In summary, I want to sincerely express how much we appreciate all of you and your contributions to the world of wood-fired cooking. Please, light your ovens this weekend and let us know how it goes. We are looking forward to seeing all of your culinary creations.

– James

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