Forno Bravo Community Cookbook

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 (4 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: 4.0/5 (2 votes cast)

Multi-Purpose Herb Oil by Peter Reinhart

Via Pizza Quest and Peter Reinhart > http://www.fornobravo.com/pizzaquest/instructionals/59-written-recipes/138-multi-purpose-herb-oil.html

My guess is that you will use this more than any other specialty topping, and you can make as much as you like because it will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator. Its original use was for focaccia but then I discovered it is also excellent drizzled over many types of pizza, and can also be used to marinate or flavor various ingredients, especially fresh, sliced tomatoes and thinly sliced potatoes (for potato parmesan focaccia or, even better, potato bacon focaccia (or pizza). I’ll give directions for making those in a future posting, as well as for my favorite herb oil clam pizza. I also use the herb oil as a bread dipping condiment, and even as a base for salad dressings. There are an infinite number of ways to make this, using both fresh and dried herbs in many combinations, so consider the following recipe merely a starting point until you create your own favorite combination.

Ingredients:

2 cups olive oil (extra virgin not required)

2 tablespoons dried basil

2 tablespoons dried parsley

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon fresh or dried rosemary needles

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons granulated garlic

(or 10 cloves fresh garlic, pressed and lightly sautéed in ½ cup olive oil)

1 tablespoon kosher salt or coarse sea salt

1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes (optional)

1 teaspoon paprika, hot or mild, smoked or unsmoked (optional)

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Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Quick Breakfast Pizza From Brad English, Pizza Quest

Via Brad English and Pizza Quest > http://www.fornobravo.com/pizzaquest/instructionals/59-written-recipes/471-another-breakfast-pizza.html

A Quick Breakfast Pizza

- Pizza Dough
- Peter’s Herb Oil
- Grated Aged White Cheddar
- Canadian Bacon
- Sliced Red Onion
- Salt Packed Capers to finish

Getting things done:

Pre-heat the oven to 550 and before you start cooking the pizza, change it to convection bake. [Or get your wood-fired oven ready.]
Spread out the dough and layer with the herb oil, cheese and top with the Canadian Bacon and sliced onion.

While the pizza is cooking, rinse off some of the capers and chop them up. When the pizza comes out of the oven, sprinkle the capers over the pizza.

Slice and serve!

This pizza was surprisingly good. I say “surprisingly” because I just used what was in my fridge that seemed like they would taste good and satisfy my breakfast quest that morning and I was happily surprised! Had my wife made sure there was an egg in the house, this would have been a great addition to this pizza! *Insert smile here :)!!! Add that to your list if you make this one.

The ham and the cheese both had some deeper flavors. The richness of the cheddar pulled out the smokiness in this otherwise simple ham. The salty briny capers were also a terrific accent that brought a lighter brighter note to the taste profile!

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Rating: 3.7/5 (9 votes cast)

Crushed Tomato Pizza Sauce by Peter Reinhart

Via Pizza Quest/Peter Reinhart > http://www.fornobravo.com/pizzaquest/instructionals/59-written-recipes/102-all-purpose-pizza-sauce.html

Makes Enough for 4 to 6 Pizzas

1 can (28 ounces) crushed or ground tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste, start with ½ teaspoon and then adjust as needed)
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil (optional) (or 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil)
1 teaspoon dried oregano (optional) (or 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano)
1 tablespoon granulated garlic powder (sandy, not the fine powder)
(or 5 cloves of fresh garlic, minced or crushed)
1 to 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or lemon juice, or a combination of both (optional–some brands are more acidic than others, but I find that most benefit from at least 1 tablespoon)

Stir all the ingredients together, adding the salt gradually, to taste. (The basil and oregano are optional. I use both because I find most of my friends associate the flavors with childhood memories, but in an authentic Napoletana marinara pizza, made with true San Marzano sauce, you would use only oregano, and not in the sauce but as a garnish after the bake. The flavors of the herbs and garlic will intensify when the pizza is baked, so resist the urge to increase the amount).

Do not cook this sauce–the tomatoes are already cooked when they go in the can and they will cook again on the pizza (of course, if using this over spaghetti or other pasta, in other words, if it won’t be cooked again in the oven, then you can heat it up in a pan). This sauce will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator.

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Rating: 2.8/5 (29 votes cast)

Seared Rainbow Trout With Crispy Rice Cake, Pickled Peppers and Roasted Lettuce


trout trout_pan

 

I love the delicate flavor and crispy skin of rainbow trout. Here in Chicago we are lucky enough to have an amazing sustainable trout farm, Rushing Waters, just a couple hours away, across the border in Wisconsin. If you’re not so lucky, substitute any freshwater fish you can get your hands on – or order from Rushing Waters online; they will ship to you overnight.

4 rainbow trout fillets, or other fish
2 bell peppers, whatever color you prefer
1 poblano pepper
5 C water
1 C champagne or white wine vinegar
1/3 C sugar
1 T salt
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 T pickling spice or a mixture of whatever you have on hand – coriander seeds, peppercorns, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, etc.
1 C long grain basmati rice
1/4 C rice flour
1 head romaine lettuce
5 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
2 T vegetable oil, or as needed
salt and black pepper to taste

First, pickle the peppers. Place the whole peppers on the floor of your wood oven and allow to roast, turning occasionally, until soft and charred on all sides. Remove to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow the peppers to steam for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small pot combine 2 cups of the water with the vinegar, sugar, 1 tablespoon of salt, garlic and pickling spices. You can just throw the garlic and spices in, but if you want to skip the step of having to pick them out of your peppers, tie them up in a small square of cheesecloth first and then add them to the brine. The fancy French cooking term for this is a sachet. Bring this mixture to a boil.

Once the peppers are steamed, use a kitchen towel to rub off the peppers’ charred skin and discard. Cut out the stems and seeds and slice the flesh of the peppers into thin strips. Put the peppers back into the bowl and pour the boiling pickle brine over them. Set aside and allow the peppers to marinate for at least 1 hour; they’ll only get better with age.

While the peppers are pickling, cook your rice. Actually, overcook your rice (slightly). Combine the rice with the remaining 3 cups of water and season with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until all the water is absorbed. Turn off the heat, cover the pot and allow the rice to steam itself for an additional 3 minutes after the water is gone. It should be soft and sticky but not a pot of mush. Allow the rice to cool to room temperature, then stir in the rice flour and season to taste with salt and pepper. Form the rice into flat, round cakes about 1/2 an inch thick and two inches in diameter. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet and pan fry the rice cakes until golden and crispy on both sides.

Cut the lettuce into quarters through the core so that the leaves stay together, coat lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in a roasting pan and cook in your wood oven until wilted and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, cut into strips crosswise and discard the core.

Preheat a large saute pan in your wood oven with the remaining oil. Season the fish with salt only. Once the oil has just begun to smoke, add the fish, skin side down, to the pan and roast in your wood oven. Rainbow trout is so thin that the fish should cook through completely without ever being turned. This should only take 3-5 minutes, depending on the temperature of your oven.

Place the rice cakes and roasted lettuce onto a serving platter. Remove the fish from the pan and place the fillets, skin side up, on top of the rice cakes. Toss the drained peppers and basil together and spoon over the fish.

Eat. Savor. Go back for seconds.

 

 

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Rating: 5.0/5 (4 votes cast)

Braised Chicken With Bacon, Fingerling Potatoes and Dried Fruit

braised_chix
This dish was inspired by a random flip through one of the many cookbooks that line a high shelf just outside the kitchen at the restaurant where I work. The (old) book was a survey of regional French cooking, and one of the recipes I stumbled upon was for a dish that combined potatoes, bacon and dried fruit into a kind of gratin or casserole. I decided to adapt those flavors into a rich, satisfying braise that makes for a great unfussy meal.

1 roaster chicken, broken down into 8 pieces
1 T vegetable oil
8 oz slab bacon, cut into lardons
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 C dry white wine
3 C good-quality chicken stock, or make your own (instructions follow)
1 1/2 lbs fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2 C dried prunes, roughly chopped
1/2 C dried apricots, roughly chopped
1 T dijon mustard
1 T unsalted butter
2 T fresh chopped parsley
salt and black pepper, to taste

First off, if you want your dish to have that extra little nudge of flavor that will  have people wondering what exactly you did to make it so delicious, make your own chicken stock using the castoffs from butchering your whole chicken. It couldn’t be easier: Throw the chicken back, neck and any trim onto a roasting tray with 2 small sliced carrots, 2 sliced ribs of celery and 1 sliced onion. Roast in a hot oven until the bones are well browned and the vegetables have caramelized. Place in a pot, being sure to scrape in all the brown bits from tray, and add 5 cups of water, a few peppercorns, a bay leaf, a sprig of thyme and any stems you have from the parsley in this recipe. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for a couple hours. Strain and voilà – better chicken stock than you can ever get in a store. And even if you don’t have time to make the stock before you make this dish, use the bones to make it anyway, freeze it, and you’ll have it for next time.

In a medium-warm wood oven, heat a roasting pan large enough to hold all the chicken. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Add the vegetable oil to the pan and then add the chicken pieces, skin side down. Brown the chicken until golden, then flip over and do the same on the other side. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add the bacon lardons to the pan and slowly render until the bacon is browned and crispy. If the bacon has given off a lot of fat, drain off the excess, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pan. Add the sliced onion to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and sweat, stirring often, until the onions are soft, about 6 minutes. Add the white wine and allow it to reduce by three-quarters.

Once the wine is reduced, add the chicken stock, potatoes, dried fruit and mustard to the pan. Bring to a simmer. Taste the liquid for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Nestle the chicken pieces back into the pan skin side up. Cover the pan with foil and cook for 15 minutes. You want the liquid in the pan to be just simmering. If it is boiling hard, your oven is too hot and your chicken is going to be dry. Try putting the pan on top of a rack so that it’s not in direct contact with the oven floor.

After 15 minutes, remove the foil and check the potatoes for doneness. If they are starting to get tender, remove the foil and allow the braise to cook for another 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes are completely soft. Otherwise, put the foil back on and cook, covered, for another 10 minutes before removing the foil.

When your potatoes and chicken are both tender, remove the pan from the oven. If your braise has a lot of fat floating on the top, use a spoon or small ladle to skim off the excess and discard. Remove the chicken from the pan and stir in the butter and parsley. Put the chicken back, adjust the seasoning, and you’re good to go. Serve over rice or noodles if you wish, or just enjoy your savory-sweet-smoky concoction as is with a nice saison-style beer or grüner veltliner near at hand.

 

 

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Rating: 4.1/5 (10 votes cast)

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

shroom_pizza2

shroom_pizza1

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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Rating: 4.3/5 (3 votes cast)

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.

zucc_pizza

zucc_pizza2

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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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)