Forno Bravo Community Cookbook

Ricotta Gnudi With Roasted Cabbage and Marconi Peppers

This recipe requires some patience and planning, because the gnudi take three days to make. Before you run for the hills, I should clarify: The gnudi take about 10 minutes to make – they’re really easy – but three days before they’re ready to use. So plan ahead, and your foresightedness will be rewarded. In case you’re asking yourself what in the world a gnudi is, a quick explanation – the word comes from the Italian for “naked,” so named because they are sort of like ravioli without their pasta clothing. The recipe I’m using here for these delicious cheesy dumplings comes from April Bloomfield, chef of the Spotted Pig and other restaurants in New York.

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1 lb ricotta cheese
2 oz heavy cream
2 oz parmesan cheese, finely grated
1-2 C 00 semolina flour or as needed
3 Marconi peppers, or orange bell peppers
2 T vegetable oil
1 head red cabbage, core removed and shredded
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C vegetable stock
1 T Dijon mustard
1/2 T fresh chopped savory or thyme
1 T unsalted butter
salt and pepper, to taste

To make the gnudi, combine the ricotta, cream and parmesan in the bowl of a food processor. Season with salt and pepper and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. Cover the bottom of a sheet tray or baking dish with a 1/4-inch layer of semolina flour. Using a 1/2 oz ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, portion the gnudi mixture onto the flour. Give your hands a nice coating of flour and then use your palms to roll each gnudi into a uniform ball shape, placing each back in the layer of flour. Once all the gnudi are rolled, place the sheet tray or baking dish in your refrigerator, uncovered. Allow the gnudi to rest for three days, gently shaking them or re-rolling them once a day to keep a thin coating of flour over their entire surface.

On the day your gnudi are ready, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, roast the peppers in your wood oven until soft and charred all over. Remove, place in a bowl, cover and allow to steam for 10 minutes. Peel and slice into thin strips. Set aside.

Preheat a large skillet or roasting pan in your wood oven. Add the vegetable oil and heat until just smoking. Add the shredded cabbage, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 2 minutes more. Stir in the vegetable stock, mustard, savory and sliced peppers and bring to a boil.

At this point, add your gnudi to the pot of boiling water. Cook until the gnudi float, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the gnudi from the water and add them to the cabbage pan along with the butter. Cook one minute more to allow the liquid in the pan to tighten up slightly and coat the gnudi. Transfer to a serving platter and enjoy the fruits of your extended, albeit light, labor.

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Pizza With Roasted Mushrooms, Cherry Tomatoes, Red Onion and Basil

If some evil, freedom-hating pizza dictator locked me in a cage and told me I could only have one topping on my pizza for the rest of my life, I would probably go with mushrooms. So here’s a recipe for a simple, more “traditional” pizza sporting some flavors that play well together, while still highlighting my personal desert-island topping.

You will notice that I roast my mushrooms before I put them on my pizza. While raw mushrooms have their place (where, I do not know), it is most definitely not on pizza. I think this accomplishes two things: First, you get more flavor out of your shrooms by pre-roasting and getting some nice Maillard reaction happening; second, roasting the mushrooms separately removes a lot of water that would otherwise end up in your pizza, leaving you with a less soggy pie.

As always, please refer to my first pizza post for my ramblings on dough: http://www.fornobravo.com/cookbook/index.php/12-recipes/pizza/172-pesto-asparagus-and-egg-pizza

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For the pizza sauce:
1 1/2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 C yellow onion, sliced
1 1/2 cloves garlic, smashed or coarsely chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh basil
1 14.5 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

For the pizza:
1 T extra virgin olive oil
4 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
4 oz mozzarella cheese
1/4 red onion, sliced paper thin
10 sungold cherry tomatoes, halved
4 fresh basil leaves, torn
Freshly grated parmesan, as needed

To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, season, and sweat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are just starting to turn golden around the edges. Add the thyme and basil and allow to toast for 15 seconds, then add the tomatoes, using a spoon or your hands to break up the flesh. Reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer until it has thickened considerably. Remove the thyme and basil sprigs and use a stick blender or food processor to puree the sauce until smooth. If your sauce is still too thin return to the heat and allow it to reduce to proper pizza sauce consistency.

Meanwhile, roast your mushrooms in your wood oven. Preheat a skillet large enough to hold the mushrooms in a single layer. Add the olive oil to the pan; it should smoke. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and return to the oven. Do not stir your mushrooms for 2 minutes. You want your shrooms to sear, and stirring too much or too soon is going to drop your heat, causing the mushrooms to start leaching out water and steaming. Roast the mushrooms, stirring once or twice, until they are golden brown and delicious, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

To assemble your pizza, stretch or roll your dough using your preferred method. Top with a thin layer of sauce. Sprinkle with the mozzarella. Top with the roasted mushrooms, halved sungolds and red onions. Give the whole pie a dusting of parmesan, then transfer to your wood oven and bake until done. Remove the pizza from the oven and top with the torn basil leaves. Portion as appropriate and consume as desired. And then, if you’re like me, make another one.

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Zucchini and Roasted Red Pepper Pizza With White Wine Cream Sauce

First off, I need to give credit where it’s due: The idea for this pizza is lifted from Pizza Orgasmica in San Francisco. When my wife and I lived in the Bay Area, the Ecstasy, as it’s called on their menu, was our favorite pie of theirs, and it led me to mess around with creating a white wine cream sauce recipe so I could mimic it at home. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

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Once again, please refer to my first posted pizza recipe for my ramblings on crust: http://www.fornobravo.com/cookbook/index.php/12-recipes/pizza/172-pesto-asparagus-and-egg-pizza

For the white wine cream sauce (enough for 4 pizzas):
4 T unsalted butter
1 C shallots, minced
1 1/2 C dry white wine
8 oz crème fraiche
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

For the pizza:
1 red bell pepper
1 zucchini
4 oz mozzarella
freshly grated parmesan, as needed

To make the cream sauce, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook slowly, stirring often, until well caramelized. The shallots should have a nice mahogany hue. Add the white wine and increase the heat to medium high. Bring to a boil and allow the wine to reduce until the pan is almost dry again. Remove from the heat and allow the shallot mixture to cool for 5 minutes. Place back over a low flame and whisk in the crème fraiche, mustard and remaining tablespoon of butter. Once incorporated, adjust the seasoning and set aside.

While you’re preparing the sauce, have the red pepper roasting in your wood oven. Simply place the pepper on the floor of the oven and allow to cook, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides and soft. Remove from the oven, place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow the pepper to steam for 10 minutes. When it’s cool enough to handle, uncover and use a kitchen towel to rub off the blackened skin. Slice the flesh into thin strips and set aside.

For the zucchini, all you need to do is slice very thin rounds using a mandoline or sharp knife.

To assemble the pizza, roll out your dough using your preferred method. Spread with a thin layer of the white wine cream sauce. Sprinkle with half the mozzarella. Top with some of the roasted red pepper strips and zucchini rounds. Hit it with the rest of the cheese and a dusting of parmesan. Move to your wood oven and bake until crusty, bubbly and delicious. Take the pizza out of your oven. Slice it. Eat it. Be happy.

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Potato, Roasted Radicchio and Thyme Pizza With White Wine Cream Sauce

Here is the second installment in what I have taken to calling My Own Personal Pizza Month here at the Forno Bravo online cookbook. For brevity’s sake, I’m only going to talk pizza construction in this article; for my crust recipe, please refer to last week’s post for pesto, asparagus and egg pizza, found here: http://www.fornobravo.com/cookbook/index.php/component/content/article/12-recipes/pizza/172-pesto-asparagus-and-egg-pizza.

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For the white wine cream sauce (enough for 4 pizzas):
4 T unsalted butter
1 C shallots, minced
1 1/2 C dry white wine
8 oz crème fraiche
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

For the pizza (enough to top 1 pie):
1 small Yukon gold potato
1 small head radicchio
1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1 T fresh thyme leaves
4 oz low-moisture mozzarella, shredded
freshly grated parmesan cheese, as needed

Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook slowly, stirring often, until well caramelized. The shallots should have a nice mahogany hue. Add the white wine and increase the heat to medium high. Bring to a boil and allow the wine to reduce until the pan is almost dry again. Remove from the heat and allow the shallot mixture to cool for 5 minutes. Place back over a low flame and whisk in the crème fraiche, mustard and remaining tablespoon of butter. Once incorporated, adjust the seasoning and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, peel the potato and slice into very thin rounds using a mandoline or sharp knife. Blanch the potato slices in the boiling water for 1 minute, or until tender but still holding their shape. Remove from the water and shock in an ice bath.

To prepare the radicchio, cut the head into quarters through the root end. Slice the core out of each quarter and then slice each quarter into thin strips. Heat a large sauté pan in your wood oven. Add the vegetable oil; when hot, add the sliced radicchio. Season with salt and pepper and roast in your oven, tossing frequently, until wilted and beginning to caramelize, about 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and place in a strainer to allow any excess moisture to drain off.

To assemble the pizza, roll out your dough using your preferred method. Spread with a thin layer of the white wine cream sauce. Top with half the mozzarella. Shingle the potato slices over the surface of the pizza, then add the remaining mozzarella. Distribute the roasted radicchio over the pie. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves and finish with a dusting of freshly grated parmesan.

Transfer to your oven and cook for however long it’s taking to finish pizzas. Remove and allow to cool for five minutes, then slice and serve.

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Pesto, Asparagus and Egg Pizza

I’ve been posting recipes here in the Forno Bravo cookbook for months, but oddly enough I have yet to tackle pizza, one of the cornerstone outputs of our wood-fired beauties. Perhaps it was a subconscious reticence to test my mettle against seasoned pros – like telling Mario Batali how to make pasta. But here we are: I’m posting a pizza recipe, and will be doing so for the next few weeks. I hope they are worthy.

You will notice that my dough recipe is slightly unorthodox. Instead of using a high-gluten flour, I use regular all purpose and then add vital wheat gluten. I find that this produces a dough that is lighter and more crispy, while still maintaining a nice chewy consistency on the inside.

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For the dough (makes 4 pizzas):
1.5 C warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
1.5 tsp honey
3.5 C AP flour plus as needed for dusting
1 T vital wheat gluten
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 T extra virgin olive oil

For the pesto (enough for 4 pizza and then some):
1/4 C pine nuts
1.5 oz freshly grated parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 C extra virgin olive oil
3 oz fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper as needed

For the pizza (to top 1 pie):
3 oz asparagus
4 oz fresh mozzarella
freshly grated parmesan as needed
1 fresh chicken egg
cornmeal as needed

To make the dough, combine the water, yeast and honey and allow to bloom for about five minutes, or until slightly foamy. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, wheat gluten and salt. It is important that the wheat gluten is thoroughly cut into the flour – adding liquid straight to wheat gluten will result in a rubbery mass. Once the dry ingredients are mixed, add the water mixture along with the olive oil and knead with the dough hook attachment until the dough is smooth and proper gluten development has occurred, about 8 minutes.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator overnight to retard. The next day, about 3 hours before you’re ready to make pizza, take the dough out of the refrigerator, put in a warm spot, and allow the dough to rise until it is double its original size.

While the dough is doing its thing, prepare the rest of the ingredients for the pizza. To make the pesto, first toast the pine nuts in your wood oven, tossing frequently, about 2-3 minutes. Place the nuts, parmesan, garlic and olive oil in the carafe of a blender. Season with salt and pepper. Start the blender, and with the motor running add the basil leaves in 3-4 batches, working quickly to avoid excess oxidation. Blend just until smooth, adjust seasoning and set aside.

To prepare the asparagus, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Trim the woody ends from the asparagus, then cut each spear into 1-inch pieces. Blanch in the boiling water for approximately 30 seconds, then drain and allow to cool.

Once your dough has risen, remove from the bowl and divide into four equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, dusting with flour as necessary. Cover the dough balls with a slightly damp dish towel and allow to proof for 15 minutes.

When you’re ready to make pizzas, shape one ball into a disc using your preferred method. Place on a peel liberally dusted with corn meal. Spread on a thin layer of pesto. Top with the mozzarella and asparagus. Add a sprinkling of fresh parmesan.

Transfer to your wood oven and bake. As you all know, cooking time is going to vary depending on how cranked up you have your oven. As a result, this also affects the timing on egg placement. If you’re running super hot, crack an egg into the middle of your pizza right before you go into the oven. If your cooking time is more in the 5-6 minute range, wait 2 minutes after you’ve started baking your pizza and then add the egg. You may need to play around with it – what you’re looking for is a nice set white and a runny yolk to meld into the cheese and sauce and create unctuous, creamy deliciousness.

Once the pizza is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Show it off to all your friends, then use a fork to pierce the yolk and distribute it around the pizza. Slice and serve.

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Wood-Oven S’mores

Summer’s here, school’s out, and the weather’s fine. What better way to celebrate than with a little outdoor dessert-making session? Pretty much everybody knows how to make a s’more, but my one personal complaint about them is that the chocolate never melts. Here I’ve come up with a work-around, replacing the traditional chocolate bar with a rich fudge sauce that I think moves the s’more to an even higher plateau of deliciousness.

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4 oz butter
2 C cream
3/4 C brown sugar
3/4 C sugar
1 1/4 C cocoa powder
1 bag of your favorite marshmallows
1 box of your favorite graham crackers
Some sticks, whittled to a point on one end

To make the fudge sauce, combine the butter, cream, brown sugar and sugar in a medium-sized sauce pot. Place in your wood-fired oven (not too hot!) or over a medium-low flame on your stovetop and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. When the butter is melted and the sugar has dissolved completely, remove from the heat. Place the cocoa powder in a heat-proof bowl and add the cream mixture slowly, whisking vigorously. To avoid lumps, first add only enough liquid to create a stiff paste, then whisk in the remaining cream.

If you make your fudge sauce ahead and then refrigerate it before use, you’ll end up with a thick, spreadable concoction with a consistency similar to nutella – which, come to think of it, you could easily substitute here. If you use it right away it will be a bit runnier and hence a bit messier, but just as delicious, and possibly even a bit more fun for the kids. Just be sure to hose them off before you let them back in the house.

I think you know the rest, but just to be sure: Skewer a couple marshmallows on your sticks and toast in the oven to your personal desired doneness. Spread/drizzle one square of graham cracker with your fudge sauce, add your toasted marshmallow, and top with another square of graham cracker. Devour, wipe off your sticky hands and face, repeat.

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Oven-Roasted Whitefish With Braised Celery Root Remoulade

Here’s another classic French dish reinterpreted for the wood oven. This is a great one for dining al fresco on the beautiful spring nights that are now upon us (at least in Chicago – go figure).

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4 portions whitefish, skin on
2 T vegetable oil
For the braised celery root:
2 lemons, zest and juice
1/2 C white wine
1/2 C white wine vinegar
1 1/4 C water
1/4 medium onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
2 sprigs fresh thyme
8 fresh parsley stems
1 large celery root bulb
1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For the remoulade:
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
Juice of 2 lemons, zest of 1
1 clove garlic, minced
2 1/4 C vegetable oil
2 T capers, drained and chopped
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
2 T fresh chives, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

In a small pot, combine the lemon zest and juice, white wine, vinegar, water, onion, carrot, 1/2 tsp salt, peppercorns and herbs. (For the lemon zest, use a peeler to remove strips from the outside of the citrus and add them to the pot whole.) Bring to a boil, then cook at a bare simmer for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to steep until you’re ready to use it. (For the food nerds out there, what you’re making here is a court bouillon.)

Meanwhile, cut the celery root into a julienne: Use a peeler or knife to remove the tough outer skin of the root. Cut the celery root in half from top to bottom, then cut each piece into half-moon-shaped slices approximately 1/8-inch thick. Cut the slices into matchstick-shaped pieces 1/8-inch thick.

Preheat a large roasting pan in your wood oven with the 1 1/2 teaspoons of vegetable oil. Strain the solids from your court bouillon and reserve the liquid. When your pan is hot, add the celery root and cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely caramelized, probably 2-3 minutes. Add the court bouillon liquid to the pan and return to the oven. Cook until the celery root is tender, probably another 5-6 minutes depending on your oven temperature.

Remove from the oven. Strain off the liquid and discard. Allow the celery root to cool to room temperature.

To make the mayonnaise base of the remoulade, combine the egg, yolk, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. (You can use a microplane for both the lemon zest and the garlic – much faster and easier than a knife.) Pulse briefly to combine. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil. Remove from the food processor and fold in the capers, parsley, chives and chilled celery root. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as necessary.
Finally, heat a large saute pan or skillet in your wood oven. Remove your fish from the refrigerator and allow it to temper. Season the each portion with salt. Unless you have a really large pan and/or oven, you will probably need to cook your fish in batches. Add half the oil to the pan. When the oil just begins to smoke, add two portions of fish, skin side down. Roast in the oven until the flesh has gone from translucent to white, the fish is warm in the middle when pierced with a knife or skewer, and the skin is nicely crusted, about 4-7 minutes depending on the temperature of your oven. Repeat for the remaining portions.
Serve the fish skin side up with a scoop of the remoulade on top. All you need to do is maybe wilt a little spinach, perhaps pour a glass of chenin blanc, and your first outdoor meal of the spring is ready to go.
 

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Cherry Clafoutis

This is a recipe I adapted from the inimitable Julia Child. I honestly don’t know why people don’t make or serve clafoutis more often – it’s one of the easiest desserts imaginable, you can make one with pretty much any fruit you’d care to, and it’s absolutely delicious. Maybe it’s the scary-looking French name. Call it a deep-dish crepe for all I care, just make one for your next dinner party and wow your guests. I used frozen cherries here because it is February in Chicago, but if they’re in season feel free to go for fresh. (I’m also a big fan of peach clafoutis.)

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1/3 C plus 1/4 C sugar
1 1/4 C half and half
3 eggs
1 T plus 1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
butter for greasing your baking dish
16 oz frozen pitted cherries
vanilla ice cream or whipped cream to garnish

Place the 1/3 cup of sugar, the half and half, eggs, vanilla, salt, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in the carafe of a blender. Blend until combined and smooth – it shouldn’t take any more than 15 seconds. Allow the batter to sit for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, butter an oven-safe round glass pie plate. Once the batter has rested, pour a small amount into the bottom of your baking dish so that it is covered by a quarter-inch. Place on a rack in your medium-hot wood oven – you want an air temp around 400F. Allow to bake for 4-5 minutes, until the batter has set.

Spread the cherries evenly over the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup sugar over the cherries, then pour in the remaining batter.

Return to your oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, depending on the temperature of your oven. The clafoutis is done when it’s golden brown and set – a paring knife should come out clean when inserted into the middle.

Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes, then slice like a pie and serve with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. And one last thing – I thought better of it. Please don’t call it a deep-dish crepe. Embrace your inner Francophile. Say it with me: Cla-foo-TEE.

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Pan-Roasted Pike With Sherry-Glazed Mushrooms and Polenta

You really can’t go wrong here: great fish, deep roasty-toasty mushrooms, rich polenta. Still, I was happy with how this one turned out. Polenta takes on a wonderful smoky flavor when cooked in the oven. I think the walleye pike works well for this dish, but if you can’t find that where you are, substitute barramundi (Asian sea bass) or even halibut.

4 4-5 oz portions of pike
1 T vegetable oil
butter for basting
for the polenta:
5 C water
1 C dry polenta
1 oz parmesan cheese, grated
3 T butter
salt and pepper to taste
for the mushrooms:
1 T vegetable oil
7 oz shitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
5 oz oyster mushrooms, cut off the stem
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 serrano chile
1/2 fresno chile
1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 C sherry
1 1/2 T butter
salt and pepper to taste

Start by making the polenta. In a 4-quart saucepot, bring the water to a boil. Pour in the polenta, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a rack inside a medium-hot wood oven. Allow the polenta to cook, stirring frequently, until soft and creamy. Depending on the polenta you are using, this can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour – just keep an eye on it and stir often. You may need to add more water during the cooking process if you are getting too much evaporation due to a hotter oven. Just stir in more in quarter-cup increments until the polenta is back to the consistency you want. Once the polenta is cooked, remove from the oven, stir in the parmesan and butter, cover and set aside.
While the polenta is cooking, get your mushroom prep ready. If your oyster mushrooms are really big, you can tear them into smaller pieces. Otherwise, leave them whole. For the peppers, cut into thin rings. For more heat, use the rings from the stem end; for less, cut from the opposite end.

Preheat a large, shallow roasting pan or saute pan in your wood oven. Add the oil. You want your pan to be very hot for this maneuver – the oil should look like water moving around in the pan, not viscous. If it starts to smoke, that’s great; don’t worry about it. Add the mushrooms to the hot pan, season with salt and pepper, stir once quickly to distribute the oil and return to the hot wood oven.

Now leave your mushrooms alone for at least 2 minutes. People’s tendency is to want to stir in situations like this, but you want your shrooms to get a nice sear on them, and moving them around is only going to cause them to slowly heat up and begin leaching out their liquid. Then you’ve got steamed mushrooms, which will still taste good, but it’s not what we’re going for here. Examine your mushrooms – if they are starting to get brown and crispy around the edges, you’re safe to stir. Stir them up and return to the oven for another round of movement-less roasting. Your mushrooms should be nice and golden-brown and roasty after about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chiles to the pan and allow to cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds. Add the thyme and cook for another 20 seconds. Add the sherry and butter and return to the oven, stirring frequently. Let the sherry reduce completely, about 1 minute, until you’re left with beautifully glazed mushrooms. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Finally, cook the fish. Preheat a large saute pan in a hot wood oven. You want your pan very hot for this. I actually cheated and preheated my pan on the stovetop, but if you have your oven cranking it should be plenty hot. Season your fish with salt. Add the oil to the pan. When you start to see wisps of smoke coming off the oil, add the fish to the pan presentation side down. For pike, this is going to be the side opposite of where the skin was. Put the fish in the oven and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of your pieces. Check your fish: The flesh around the outside of the fillets and creeping up to the top should have turned from translucent to white. At this point it is about 75 percent done. Add a knob of butter to the pan and allow it to foam. Turn over your fillets and use a spoon to pour the butter over the fish, cooking for another 30-45 seconds. To check for doneness, insert a metal skewer or thin knife into the center of the fillet. You should feel no resistance, and when you place the metal that was inside the fish against your lower lip, it should feel warm. Remove from the pan and blot dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.

To plate, place a mound of polenta in the middle of your serving vessel. Place the fish on top of the polenta, and some of the mushrooms on top of that. Get ready to live!
 

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