Just like that, the 2013 holiday season is around the corner! This time of year brings festive gatherings with friends, family and coworkers. And, of course, food plays a starring role in these get-togethers. For those of us fortunate enough to have a wood-fired oven, cooking around the holidays can be a real treat. Not only are you able to serve the kind of delicious food that only cooking with fire can deliver, but you also have the chance to wow the uninitiated with the joys of all things wood-fired.
So in this month's newsletter, we're focusing on holiday cooking, giving you some recipe ideas and culinary inspiration for the festivities ahead. To the right, we've included handy links to turkey and side dish recipes. Below, find a fun idea from Brad English, via Pizza Quest, for pizza rolls. We think the kids at your table will love these, Brussels sprouts and all. (Adults, too!) There's also a recipe for a kale, pineapple and onion salad to bring a bright, light note to your holiday menu.
On behalf of the entire Forno Bravo team, a happy and safe holiday season to you all. We recognize we have the best customers and community out there and are very thankful.
P.S. That's our Giardino oven pictured up there to the right, an authentic pizza oven available at a price a lot lower than you might think. If you're planning to order a Forno Bravo oven for yourself or someone else for the holidays, get those orders in soon. Call us at (800) 407-5119 or visit www.fornobravo.com.
Peter's Corner: Brad's Wood-Fired Pizza Rolls
Peter Reinhart, our Pizza Quest host, baking instructor and baker extraordinaire, shares a new instructional from Brad English.
Wood-Fired Pizza Rolls by Brad English
What's a pizza roll?
If you fold a pizza, it's called a calzone. If you roll it up, it's a stromboli. I've seen something in between simply called a sausage roll. I found out recently when breaking in my new wood-fired oven and learning to use a metal pizza peel that what starts out as a pizza may end up flipping over while going in and end up coming out of the oven something more like a calzone! When this first happened to me, a light bulb went off and I said to myself: "So that's where the CALZONE comes from!" Or, maybe they made calzones first and one unfolded as it was slid into some ancient wood-burning oven and the poor guy slinging it in said to himself: "Atsa da pizza!"
Should I fold? Should I roll? I ended up sort of doing both. They came out great in the wood-fired oven. The high heat of the wood oven melted everything nicely inside and set up a great crispy charred crust all around.
Pizza dough, your favorite recipe
Sliced cherry tomatoes
Chopped red onion
Hot Italian sausage
Sliced cherry tomatoes
Chopped red onion
Hot Italian sausage
Roasted Brussels sprouts
I made the first roll like a pizza. After I spread the dough, I just started topping it and I realized that I made a pizza! So, I just sort of lifted the sides and joined them and then folded the whole thing into a roll. What was nice was where the dough was pinched together: It was clumpy and doughy and gave the roll some more texture and a real rustic look. When I made the second one, I wised up and put the toppings in one place anticipating the end result! Either way works! In fact, my first accidental calzone looked like a disaster, but tasted amazing. It was more of a pizza-roll-over. Can I coin that term?
The great thing about these is that they not only tasted great but they also saved really well. When we were done eating, we sliced up the rolls into snack-sized slices and tossed them into a baggie. The next day they came out, went into the oven and baked up to near perfection again.
Condensed from Brad's original post on Pizza Quest, where you can see the full pizza roll gallery of photos.
Recipe: Roasted Onion and Pineapple Salad
We hope you enjoy this month's featured recipe from the Forno Bravo Community Cookbook, written by our chef moderator Dan Compton.
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.