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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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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Rating: 3.5/5 (38 votes cast)

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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Rating: 4.3/5 (3 votes cast)

Juicy Lucy Burgers

juicy1 juicy2

 

 

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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Rating: 4.3/5 (9 votes cast)

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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Roast chicken with lemon and thyme

1 whole chicken
Lemon
Fresh thyme
Garlic
Salt pepper

Sprinkle salt and pepper in cavity and
Stuff with a few sprigs if fresh thyme and lemon chunks and garlic to taste.

Truss chicken and sprinkle with a good amount of salt and some pepper. Chop up some fresh thyme finely and sprinkle on entire chicken.

Put into oven with a temp around 550f no flame and close door

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Rating: 2.9/5 (9 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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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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Jerk-Spiced Shrimp With Slow-Cooked Collard Greens

shrimp

With summer finally upon us, this is a great light meal to coax out of your wood oven.

1 lb of your favorite shrimp, peeled and deveined (try Laughing Bird shrimp if you can get your hands on some – sustainably raised in Costa Rica, these beauties are sweet, succulent and delicious – and already cleaned and ready to go!)
5 green onions or scallions
2 serrano chiles, or habaneros if you like it hot
4 cloves garlic
1 piece fresh ginger the size of your thumb tip, peeled
7 allspice berries
10 black peppercorns
1 T fresh thyme
juice of 3 limes
1 C + 2 T vegetable oil
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1 lb collard greens
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

Roughly chop the green onions and chiles, removing the seeds and ribs of the peppers if you desire a less-spicy finished product. Place the green onions, chiles, 2 cloves of garlic, ginger, allspice, peppercorns, thyme and lime juice in the carafe of a blender. Season with salt. Turn on the blender and slowly pour in the 1 cup of vegetable oil. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Your jerk spice marinade will keep just fine in the refrigerator for a few days.

About 2 hours before you’re ready to cook shrimp, douse them in the marinade. Mix to coat on all sides. Set aside in the refrigerator.

While the shrimp are marinating, cook your collards. You are going to want a low- to medium-hot wood oven for this. Remove all the stems from the collards and discard. Roughly chop the leaves. Preheat a high-sided roasting pan or pot as big as your oven can hold. Mince the remaining 2 garlic cloves. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to the pan, then add the sliced onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and sweat, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Add the collards to the pot. If your pot isn’t big enough to hold all the greens, work in batches: Add as much as the pot can hold and allow them to cook down for 2 minutes. The greens will quickly wilt and then you should be able to fit in the rest.

Add the vinegar to the greens, season with salt and pepper, and cover loosely with foil. Allow the greens to slowly cook, stirring occasionally, until dark green and tender. Depending on how hardy your collards are, this could take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours. If the pot starts getting too dry and the greens are sticking to the bottom, add a little bit of water. Once the greens are done, remove from the oven and set aside.

To cook your shrimp, stoke up the oven and then preheat a large skillet. Drain any excess marinade off the shrimp. Heat the remaining oil in the pan and then add the shrimp. You will probably need to work in batches; the shrimp should be in a single layer and not too crowded in the pan. If you’re using smaller shrimp such as Laughing Bird, they will cook very quickly, approximately 45 seconds to 1 minute. Shake the pan once or twice and you’re done. For large shrimp, cook on one side until the flesh has turned opaque two-thirds of the way up the side. Turn over and cook on the other side until done.

Serve the shrimp on a bed of warm collards. Now, this is delicious just as it is. But if you have some leftover pickled peppers from making trout with crispy rice cakes, and you throw those on top, and if you’ve got some grits laying around, or maybe some leftover white rice from ordering Thai the night before, and you serve that alongside, you’ve got yourself quite a meal. Just sayin’.

 

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Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)