Forno Bravo Community Cookbook

Roasted Onion and Pineapple Salad

pineapple1 pineappple2

 

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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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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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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Mussels With Chorizo and Beer

Your first instinct might be to disagree, but mussels are actually a great food for entertaining: They’re cheap, they’re quick and easy to cook, and they give your guests a tactile connection to the communal aspect of sharing a meal as everyone dives in to a steaming pile of mussels to unearth the tender treasures hidden inside. What more could you need? Pairing mussels with chorizo is a classic combination, and this is my cook-with-what-you-got take on the dish, which came about recently when I had some leftover mussels from the restaurant and a bunch of hungry family members to feed.

mussels

2 T extra virgin olive oil
8 oz Mexican-style chorizo
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 bell pepper, sliced
1/2 jalapeno, or to taste, thinly sliced into rounds
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
12 oz beer, preferably a lager (I used Dos Equis)
15 oz whole peeled canned tomatoes
5 lbs PEI or other mussels
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Place the olive oil in a large skillet in your wood oven or on the stove over medium-high heat. Once it starts to smoke, add the chorizo and brown it off, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat as it cooks.

Once the chorizo is broken up and caramelized, add the onion and bell pepper, season with salt and pepper, and allow the vegetables to sweat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the jalapeno and garlic and cook the mixture for 3 minutes more. Add the beer and stir well to dislodge any delicious caramelized goodness from the bottom of the skillet. Bring the mixture to a boil and allow the beer to reduce by three-quarters.

While the beer is reducing, open the can of tomatoes, pour them into a bowl and use your hand to crush the tomatoes into little bits. You can just use diced canned tomatoes, but something about those big uniform chunks of canned tomato is just off-putting to me. So I prefer this method. Add the tomato to the skillet, re-season to taste, and allow the mixture to simmer gently for at least 15 minutes, until the flavors have all come together and the tomato liquid has reduced somewhat.

While your sauce is cooking, clean your mussels. If you haven’t cleaned mussels before, a quick primer: Place the mussels in a bowl of clean, cool water. As the mussels sit in the water they will filter out some of the sand and grit in their systems and leave it on the bottom of the bowl instead of in your teeth later. Use a brush to scrub the shells to dislodge any other dirt or barnacles that will come off and muddy up your final dish. Some of the mussels will have hairy fibers sticking out of one side of their shells. This is called the beard. Use your fingers or tweezers to pull these off by tugging them outward from the side of the shell. If a mussel is open, give it a squeeze or tap it on the edge of the counter. If it doesn’t close back up, throw it away. Same goes for any cracked or broken mussels.

Once your mussels are all clean, preheat a large roasting pan in your wood oven. Your oven should be very hot – pizza hot. Add the mussels to the dry pan and then pour the chorizo sauce over the top. Slide the mussels back into the oven and allow to cook just until the mussels open, rotating the pan once. If your oven is hot enough, this could happen in as little as 1-2 minutes. It won’t take any more than 5.

Remove from the oven, serve immediately with some crusty bread, and be happy.

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Spinach, Scallion and Chevre Frittata with Roasted Pepper Mayo

I love frittatas. They’re a lot like pizza, that other stalwart of the wood-fired oven: they’re quick, relatively easy, and the flavor combinations are practically endless. Frittatas work great as a simple weeknight meal, but they’re also a good party buffet food, since they’re often served at room temperature. This particular frittata turned out well, but feel free to use this recipe as a jumping-off point for any ingredient-mixing alchemy you care to pursue.

frittata

frittata1

For the frittata:
2 tsp olive oil
6 scallions
8 oz spinach
1 t butter
7 eggs
1/4 c half and half
1 tsp each fresh tarragon, chive and parsley, chopped
3 oz fresh chevre
salt and pepper to taste

For the mayo:
1 red bell pepper
juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
2 egg yolks
1 c vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste

Toss the scallions with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. roast in your wood-fired oven until soft and charred, about 6-7 minutes depending on the temp of your oven. remove from the oven and chop.

Roast the bell pepper as well: I just toss mine into the oven whole, right on the stone. turn occasionally, until the pepper is soft and charred all over, approximately 15 minutes. remove from the oven, put in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a pan over medium heat. add the spinach and cook, stirring constantly, until fully wilted, about 2 minutes. place the spinach in a strainer and allow any excess moisture to drain out. Once the spinach is cool enough to handle, use your hands to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. roughly chop the spinach.

Place a large cast iron or heavy-gauge saute pan over low heat and melt the butter in the pan. meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the eggs with the half and half and herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste. Once the butter is melted and you’ve swirled it around to coat the bottom and sides of the pan, pour in the egg mixture. Allow the eggs on the bottom of the pan to set for about 20 seconds, and then scatter in the chopped scallions and spinach. Do the same with the chevre. place in your wood-fired oven, on a rack if the floor is super hot. Allow to bake until the eggs in the middle are completely set, about 10-12 minutes depending on your temp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before you try to take it out.

While frittata is cooking, make the mayo. using a paper towel, peel the skin off of the pepper. remove the stem and seeds. Place the pepper, along with the lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste in the carafe of a blender. Puree until smooth. add the egg yolks and pulse to combine. With the blender running, slowly drizzle in the oil. you should end up with a medium-consistency mayo perfect for using as a sauce. If the mayo is too thin, drizzle in another 1-2 ounces of oil.

Remove the frittata from the pan. if there is some sticking, use a spatula to slowly work under the sticky spots before sliding the frittata out of the pan. Cut into wedges and serve with the mayo.
 

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Cold Grilled Eggplant

Ingredients

  • 2 eggplants
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs fresh basil, slivered
  • Salt
  • Preparation

    Fire the oven until hot. This dish uses high heat to sear the eggplant.

    Cut the eggplant into 1/2’ slices (they have to be the same thickness to cook evenly).

    Salt the eggplant and let drain for 30 minutes. Rinse well, then brush with olive oil (an actual brush works best).

    Grill the eggplant on a hot grill pan in a hot oven until brown and cooked through.

    Grill the whole pepper, and put it in a brown bag to sweat. When it is cool, remove the skin, core, and slice.

    Place eggplant and peppers in layers on your serving dish. Coat with the mixed oil and vinegars and put in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Top with mozzarella, a little more olive oil, and the basil.

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    Original post: http://www.fornobravo.com/brick_oven_cooking/brick_oven_recipes/appetizers/eggplant_salad.html

     

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    Pil-Pil Prawns

    Roast and serve this dish in individual terracotta dishes; it is authentic, and it looks great on the table.

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
    • 4 garlic cloves very thinly sliced
    • 1 small fresh red chili seeded and chopped
    • About half lb of raw Prawns, peeled
    • Sea salt
    • 2 Tbs of chopped fresh parsley
    • Lemon wedges
    • Bread to serve

    Preparation

    Fire your oven, and make sure it is still hot with a good flame. Heat the olive oil in the individual terracotta dishes.

    Add garlic and chili and cook for 1 to 2 minutes making sure that they do not burn.

    Add the prawns, sprinkle with salt, and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes at a brisk pace.

    Stir in the parsley.

    Serve quickly so that the prawns are still sizzling in the cooking juices.

    Serve with bread and lemon wedges.

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    Originally posted at: http://www.fornobravo.com/brick_oven_cooking/brick_oven_recipes/appetizers/pil-pil_prawns.html

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    Tomato, Basil, and Goat Cheese Tapas

    You can prepare the tomato base ahead of time, add it to a dish with a slice of goat cheese in the middle and grill it in your wood oven until the cheese is melted/toasted. Serve on toast points.

    Sauce

    • 6 +/- peeled tomatoes (Roma work nicely), diced
    • 1/2 onion, chopped fine
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
    • 2 tsp herbs de Provence
    • 1/4 cup fresh basil, slivered
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Preparation

    Sauté the sauce to reduce the liquid and thicken it; about 10 minutes. You can make a lot of sauce ahead of time; it will keep fine in the refrigerator for another tapa.

    Prepare toast points by slicing a baguette and toasting the slices. Butter with garlic butter (ali oli). These are served with the dish after roasting.

    Cooking

    Place a hot layer of the tomato basil mixture in a small low-sided terracotta dish (6’) and place a slice of goat cheese in the middle. The sauce and the cheese should be about 1/2 inch thick.

    Place in your wood oven under a nice flame until the goat cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Sprinkle with some fresh slivered basil.

    Serving

    Spoon onto the toast points and serve. Disappears quickly!

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    Originally posted at: http://www.fornobravo.com/brick_oven_cooking/brick_oven_recipes/appetizers/tomato_tapas.html

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    Pan Seared Prawns

    This recipes works well in a hot oven (700ºF) using a live fire and a hot, preheated steel pan.

    Ingredients

    • 1 lb of uncooked shrimp (peeled or unpeeled)

    Marinate

    • 1-2 gloves of garlic, minced
    • 2-3 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
    • 4 Tbs best olive oil
    • 1 Tbs white wine vinegar
    • 1 Tbs Balsamic vinegar
    • Salt and Pepper

    Preparation

    Fire your oven, and keep the fire going. This dish cooks at high heat with a live flame.

    Clean and butterfly the shrimp, then marinate for an hour in the garlic, parsley, oil and vinegar.

    A few minutes before you are ready to eat, pre-heat a cast iron grill pan or steel pan in a pizza-hot oven. Get it hot.

    Pull the pan out of the oven, and pour in everything. Grill for 1-3 minutes, until the tops are brown and bubbling.

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    Originally posted at: http://www.fornobravo.com/brick_oven_cooking/brick_oven_recipes/appetizers/grilledprawns.html

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    Grilled Eggplant

    Ingredients

    One eggplant, sliced into 1/8″ pieces
    2 TBS cooking olive oil
    2 TBS best olive oil
    2 TBS wine vinegar
    2 TBS balsamic vinegar
    1 TBS capers
    Herbs
    Salt and Pepper

    Brush the eggplant with olive oil, and set aside,

    A few minutes before you are ready to eat, pre-heat a cast iron grill pan in a pizza-hot oven. Pull the pan out, and lay the eggplant on the grill pan. Bake in a pizza-hot oven for 2-3 minutes, until the tops are brown and the bottom show nice sear marks.

    Serve hot or cold, topped with the oil, vinegar, capers and herbs.

    Variations

    Grilled zucchini
    Grilled red, orange and yellow peppers
    Grilled polenta

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    Originally posted at: http://www.fornobravo.com/brick_oven_cooking/brick_oven_recipes/appetizers/grilledeggplant.html

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