Forno Bravo Community Cookbook

Steak & Tomatoes

A late ode to the summer grill

Our local farmer’s market had a handful of late harvest tomatoes left and I just could not resist a simple, fast and delicious ode to a summer meal off the Tuscan grill. Once your fire has burned down most of the way and your are left with a great bed coals, spread the coals evenly across the hearth and insert your Tuscan grill centered over the coals. Allow grill to preheat for a few minutes prior to adding your foods.

1 each beef flank steak / flat iron or skirt steak
1 bunch green onion
8 -10 tomatoes, small – medium sized
olive oil
kosher salt & fresh cracked black pepper

Add a bowl of your favorite steak topping, dip or sauce … chimichurri for me!

Remove steak from package, rinse with cold water and pat dry. Set aside on a sheet pan or plate and season liberally on both sides with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Best to let the meat temper to room temperature approximately 15-20 minutes prior to cooking. Similarly once you have cooked the meat, let it rest for 2-3 minutes per pound to help retain juices.

Trim the roots and split the bulb end of the green onions. Place in a mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper and a touch of olive oil.

Using a larger metal skewer, or bamboo skewers that has been soaked in water (to reduce burning) align the tomatoes and season with salt, pepper and olive oil.

Once the Tuscan grill is hot, slide towards the oven opening and place the meat, onions and skewered tomatoes on the grill. Slide grill back over the coals and cook for 3-5 minutes. Using tongs, make a quarter turn of the meat and vegetables and cook an additional 3-5 minutes. Slide the grill towards the door, flip both the steak and vegetables and continue to cook until desired doneness … about another 5 minutes for medium. Remove from grill and oven, let meat rest and serve with your favorite sauce. Chef Bart … until next week feast well.

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Rating: 4.4/5 (5 votes cast)

fave pizza toppings

favorites of my pizza crowd..start with your best dough recipe
mine is 2 1/2 c bread flour 1/2 c seminola flour 1.5 cup water
2 tsp sugar one salt 2 1/2 tsp yeast knead cover/ rest 20 min and go

top with oil only bacon, blue chz bake then top with fresh scallions
or
saute shrimp butter garlic lemon zest..top pie with red sauce/shrimp sauce combo
bake then squeeze lemon parm chz light
or
cook round steak strips add jalepeno onion slices red pepper flakers
top pie with sauce meat mix and chz
or
sautee several kind of good mushrooms with a dash of good beer
top sauce cheeze
i could go all night haha!

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Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Prosciutto and Concord Grape pizza

Last week a few friends came over for dinner, after indulging on a few traditional top pizzas, challenges began being thrown my way. Conversation and creativity was flowing. One in particular challenge was, “how could you make a peanut butter and jelly pizza be good?” My answer, and interpretations, was found in breaking down the flavors and textures, salty, sweet, creamy and crunchy. The bellow recipe is what came together.

1 each dough ball
2 ounces / 3 slices provolone cheese
1-2 ounces sliced prosciutto
¼ cup concord grapes, sliced in half and seeded
1 spring thyme leaves, fresh
2 tblspn pistachios, toasted, chopped
Fresh cracked black pepper

Work and spread out your dough to desired shape and size. Place provolone cheese over the top, sprinkle thyme leaves, concord grapes and pistachios over the top and season with black pepper. Place in your Forno Bravo oven and cook until desired doneness. Remove from oven and immediately place slices of prosciutto over the top and serve. I think you’ll agree, though not true peanut butter and jelly the concord grapes provide the sweetness balancing the salty prosciutto while the cheese adds a neutral texture completing the experience. Chef Bart … until next week feast well.

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Rating: 3.7/5 (6 votes cast)

Caramelized Apple Pizza

Caramelized apple pizza

Just when I had wrapped up a wonderful evening of fresh pizza making, my family turned to me and with lost looks on their faces collectively said, “what no dessert?” Fortunately I had a couple apples handy and gelato in the freezer. I went to work on a quick dessert pizza. The family was thrilled and spared me to cook for them yet another day.

1 each dough ball
2 each apples, firm granny smith or similar, sliced thinly
2 tblspns butter
2 tblspns brown sugar
1 each juice from on lemon
1 spring thyme leaves, fresh
1 tspn sugar
1 pinch ground cinnamon
Kosher salt

In a sauté pan over medium-high heat place the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Heat the sugar until it begins to melt, bubble and begin to smoke. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter and lemon juice turning the mixture into a smooth caramel. Place back on the heat, lower temperature and add apples. Stirring occasionally, cook the apples until they are tender and covered in caramel, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside to cool.

Work and spread out your dough to desired shape and size. Spread the caramelized apple mixture over the top, sprinkle apples with fresh thyme and sprinkle the exposed crust with sugar. Place in your Forno Bravo oven and bake until desired doneness. Slice and serve, gelato optional. Hope you enjoy. Chef Bart … until next week feast well.

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Rating: 4.0/5 (8 votes cast)

BBQ Ribs

BBQ Ribs

Last week I posted a quick recipe and technique to utilize while your oven is heating up and this week I thought I’d share a post pizza party, oven cool down recipe for St. Louis BBQ ribs. The residual heat after an evening of cooking pizzas provides a great opportunity to utilize your Forno Bravo oven for a smoky slow roast. While there are countless rubs and marinades for ribs out there in the community, this is the one, that over the years family and friends have come to love the best.

2 racks St. Louis Pork Ribs
1 cup Ancho Chili Powder
¼ cup Brown Sugar
1 tblspn Mustard Powder
1 tblspn Cracked Black Pepper
1 tblspn Kosher Salt
½ tblspn Garlic Powder
1 cup Apple Cider

In a small mixing bowl combine the chili powder, brown sugar, mustard powder, salt, pepper and garlic powder and mix with a spoon until incorporated.

Rinse the pork ribs with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Place ribs on a work surface / sheet tray and using your hands gently rub and massage the spice mixture into both sides of the ribs. Place ribs into the refrigerator and let sit for 4-6 hours. If you feel organized and plan ahead the ribs can be rubbed down the day prior and let stand overnight.

Remove ribs from refrigeration about 30-40 minutes prior to cooking allowing then to temper to room temperature. Place one rack on a large sheet of aluminum foil and fold up the edges around the rack. Add ½ cup of apple cider, and wrap the aluminum foil to cover, leaving a few small gaps open so that smoke is allowed in and repeat for the remaining rib rack.

In this method we are cooking the ribs at a higher temperature for a shorter time than a traditional slow smoke. The addition of the apple cider will assist in braising the meat, making it tender and juice in a shorter time. You can choose to wait the additional time to let the temperature of your oven to drop 200 – 300 degrees and let the ribs go much longer approximately 6 hours.

Place the ribs on a Tuscan grill so that they do not rest on the hearth and air and smoke can circulate the meat. Close the door of your oven so that the remaining coals snuff out and add smoke the meat.

Once the ribs are fork tender, about 3.5 hours at 600 degrees, peel away the foil to expose the meat, transfer to a sheet pan and brush with your favorite bbq sauce on both sides and return to the oven for an additional 15 -20 minutes. Enjoy as a midnight snack or cool ribs overnight in the refrigerator and heat up the next day for a BBQ dinner. Until next week … Feast well – Chef Bart

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Rating: 4.0/5 (9 votes cast)

Fire Roasted Clams with Andouille Sausage

I am a big fan of utilizing the heat up and cool down times of the Forno Bravo oven. Here is a flavor packed simple quick sharable appetizer that is perfect for the heat up time prior to your pizza making. No Andouille – No problems substitute your favorite sausage or skip the meat and throw in a handful of fennel.

Fire Roasted Clams

1 pound littleneck clams, washed
6 cloves garlic, thinly slices
½ medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 cup tomato, medium dice
1 cup andouille sausage, sliced
3 tblspns butter
6 oz beer
1 tblspn olive oil
8 sprigs thyme
sea salt fresh cracked pepper

Add the olive oil to your cast iron pan or similar high heat pot and place in your Forno Bravo oven to heat. When the oil begins to smoke 2-3 minutes add all the ingredients, toss and place in the back into the oven. Let cook for 4-6 minutes, stir the clams, and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the clams have all opened.

Remove from the oven, spoon into a serving bowl and serve with great crusty bread.

Hope you enjoy until next week feast well!

Chef Bart

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Rating: 5.0/5 (7 votes cast)

Classic Dough & Smoky Tomato Sauce

I am thrilled to be a part of the Forno Bravo community, and I am excited to share recipes, techniques, videos, photos and musings through the lens of a professional chef. My first post, of course, has to be pizza. However, I promise that I will keep you on your toes with different dishes and cooking methods to show off the versatility of the Forno Bravo oven.

My first dough is adapted from, Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast, The fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza by Ken Forkish.

Ingredients
1000 g/ 7 ¾ cups Caputo “00” Soft White Flour
700 g/3 cups Water (90-95 F)
20 g/1 tbsp + ¾ tsp Sea Salt
2 g/½ tsp yeast

Yield – 5 | 340 g dough balls

Hydrate the yeast with 3 tablespoons of the 3 cups of water.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour and remaining water together with a wood spoon or hands until incorporated. Let the water-flour mix sit for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle dough with salt and yeast mixture and using damp hands make quarter folds in the dough until the yeast and salt are fully incorporated. Cover and set aside, let the dough rest for an hour. From the corners, fold the dough in on itself one time, cover and let rest at room temperature for 5-6 hours.

After dough has rested and doubled in size, divide into 5 – 340 gram dough balls. Dough will be slightly tacking, use a bit of extra flour for your hands and work surface as needed. Dough is ready for the oven.

This dough is 70% hydration and yields a traditional Neapolitan pizza. The crust will produce a crisp bite with a great chew, soft fermentation flavors with medium to large air pockets.

I would never argue against the use of San Marzano tomatoes for your sauce, but every so often I crave a little more depth and zip from my tomato sauce. Here is what has become the family favorite.

Smoky Tomato Sauce

6 – 8 each tomatoes, medium size
2 -3 cloves garlic, sliced
8 -10 each basil leaves, fresh
1 tblspn olive oil
1 pinch red chili flakes
sea salt / black pepper

Core tomatoes, slice in half lengthwise and score the bottom with an “x” cross cut.
Place tomatoes in a roasting pan, drizzle olive oil over the top and season liberally with salt and pepper. Add basil and chili flakes and place into the wood oven. I typically roast the tomatoes when the oven is warming up to capture the smoke flavor and a lower heat of 350-400. If planning ahead roast when the fire has died off and the pizzas are done for the day for your next cooking session.

Roast the tomatoes for 10-15 minutes, the skin should blister and the tomatoes should begin to break down and release some of their juice. Remove the tomatoes from the oven, using tongs pull off and discard the skins and transfer the contents to a small saucepot. Reduce the sauce by 2/3 over medium-low heat. During the cooking process, use a whisk to break up the larger pieces of tomato or use a food mill to break down to a smooth consistency. Remove from heat, taste, adjust seasoning if needed. Let sauce cool. Sauce can be stored covered in the refrigerator for 3-5 days our divide equally into ice trays and freeze to use later. One to two cubes equal the equivalent portion for one pizza.

Hope you enjoy, until next week – feast well!

Chef Bart

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Rating: 4.2/5 (13 votes cast)

Damascene pizzas

Damascene_pizzaThese pizzas from Damascus are not regionally known as pizzas. In essence, they are nothing but pizzas; they are even very similar to the Neapolitan pizza having the thin dough, and cook exactly like it in a minute or so in a WFO. However, they are not (regionally) known as pizzas but are named individually.
Lamb pizza (Sfieha):
½ kg lamb ground TWICE on the FINEST meat grinder blade
½ cup yogurt
¼ cup pomegranate syrup (made by evaporating and concentrating pomegranate juice for several hours on a very low heat).
1 handful size onion (ground with the lamb in the machine)
2 cloves smashed garlic
1 tablespoon spices: cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, pepper, cinnamon.
1 teaspoon salt
Pine nuts for garnishing
Some optional dough additives: corn oil, yogurt (not added here).

Cheese pizza (Fatayer Bjibneh):
1 kg fresh haloumi cheese
1 egg
Handful of chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt

Hot chili pizza (Mhammara):
Chopped hot marinated hot chili

Oregano pizza (Man’ousheh):
Zatar (readymade oregano blend) + olive oil

Any pizza dough applies but the shape of the dough is mandatory for each (Rounded rectangle for lamb, boat like for cheese, gear like for chili, and circular for oregano). It accentuates the individuality of them. They are proper for breakfast, dinner, or supper, but the lamb one is the most suitable for dinners. They are all minis; dimensions up to 8”.
These on the picture have been homemade by me and my wife today.

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Rating: 4.8/5 (8 votes cast)

Sauerkraut pizza

Sauerkraut Pizza

your favorite dough/crust shell, i use California Pizza Kitchen® recipe minus salt & honey, 25 cm or so diameter circular

if you are using a lower heat oven (< 450°F), pre-bake rolled out crust 3 minutes.

your favorite tomato-based sauce, i use Contadina® (roma tomato) squeeze

your favorite mozzerella cheese, i use "local brand" dry packed, grated course

160 grams par-cooked, fine-sliced link sausage, i use Johnsonville® or local brand, as lean as you can find

140 grams prepared sauerkraut, i use Claussen® jar "premium crisp" rinsed & drained

bake prepared pizza until mozzerella bubbles and sauerkraut is begins to get brown edges

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Rating: 4.0/5 (2 votes cast)

Buffalo chicken pizza

Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Cut 2 chicken filleted into small cubes, coat each with your favorite chicken wing sauce, then brown them in an open pan in the pizza oven. Lightly cover the pizza dough with a mixture of pizza sauce and buffalo wing sauce. If you like hot food use more wing sauce and if not, vice versa. Spread the chicken out on top, then add thinly sliced celery and finally blue cheese. Cook and enjoy.

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Rating: 4.3/5 (3 votes cast)