I hope this summer has brought many wonderful times with family and friends around your wood-fired ovens. With back-to-school days approaching and vacations coming to a close, this is the time of year to savor those final days of summer – and look forward to all the fall season brings.
On that note, we're featuring our Strada60 oven in this month's Wood-Fired Newsletter, because it is the perfect addition to any autumn tailgating gathering. Wow friends and fellow football fans with Pizza Napoletana "to go" thanks to this portable and lightweight oven that can fit into your truck, minivan or SUV. Read more about the Strada oven to the right – and get your orders in now before football season starts.
We've also included a nice new article from Peter Reinhart, our Pizza Quest host, on cooking four-minute steaks in a wood-fired oven. (Peter has a Forno Bravo Primavera60.) The article below is a very condensed version of his original post on Pizza Quest, so be sure to click through to view more steak-cooking tips and photos.
Finally, our featured recipe from the Forno Bravo Community Cookbook is a tartine topped with corn, rocket (arugula) and chevre. As chef moderator Dan mentions, a tartine is simply an open-faced sandwich that makes for a quick wood-fired meal. And it's a great way to make use of summer's bounty of produce – get creative!
Note that we want to see recipes from all of you on the Community Cookbook. We've made it super-easy to share your culinary creations and photos. In fact, there's no need to even create an account. Just click Post recipes and fill in the blanks. Everyone is invited to contribute, rate recipes, comment and ask questions. We really want this free wood-fired community resource grow.
In addition to the Cookbook, we hope you will stay in touch through the Wood-Fired Blog, Forno Bravo Forum, our Facebook page and/or any of our other online sites. Of course, you can always just call us at (800) 407-5119.
Here's to the joy that is wood-fired cooking,
P.S. Our marketing and information materials are in the process of getting updated looks, including the Forno Bravo logo and our oven datasheets. Here's a sneak peek of the Casa2G datasheet – we’ll be rolling others out soon.
Peter's Corner: Four-Minute Steaks
Peter Reinhart, our Pizza Quest host, baking instructor and baker extraordinaire, shares a guide to cooking the best steaks he’s ever had.
Here it is, as promised: a guide to the best steaks I've ever had, for a fraction of the cost of Morton's, Peter Luger, Ruth's Chris and all the others. Of course, you need the super high heat of a wood-fired oven, such as the sweet little Primavera60 in my back driveway. I made these steaks for a dinner party for my wife's birthday; we served a total of 12 people, and I could only fit in two steaks at a time, but it was no problem getting everyone his or her own steak within a few minutes of each other.
I used to call this method my "four-minute steaks," because they usually take two minutes per side when the steaks are cut to a 1 1/4-inch thickness. But, for this event, I had them cut to just under an inch thick, so they cooked much faster. A couple of people asked for theirs to be well done, so I did theirs first. Two minutes on each side. The rest were mediums or medium rares, so we rolled back to 90 seconds on each side for the mediums. For the medium rares, yes, one minute per side! Here are a few tips that make all the difference:
- Use rib eyes, cut to the thickness you prefer. I think the marbling and flavor is ideal.
- Get the oven roaring hot and then push back the coals and clear a space for your cast iron pan. Let the pan get white hot, at least five minutes or longer in the oven.
- Be sure to have heavy-duty oven mitts and gloves. I wore a pottery kiln glove and then slipped that same hand into an oven mitt, and that just barely gave me enough protection to grip the hot pan.
- Have a metal table standing by to receive the hot pan when you set it down (or set it into another cast iron pan, not hot, to protect your table).
- Use a timer to keep track. A few seconds of distraction can turn a rare steak into an ember.
- To prep the steaks, brush both sides with olive oil (not butter, which will burn) and then generously season both sides with kosher or sea salt, and lots of freshly ground black pepper. You really don't need anything else (fresh garlic will burn). Be generous with the salt and pepper – it will make a fabulous crust when seared into the meat.
- Once out of the oven, let the steaks sit for at least five minutes before serving, up to 15 for thicker cuts, in order for the juices to redistribute back into the meat.
Condensed from Peter's original post on Pizza Quest. For more tips, the full set of photographs and further explanation, visit: Peter's Blog, My Four-Minute Steaks!
Recipe: Corn Tartine With Chevre and Rocket
We hope you enjoy this month's featured recipe from the Forno Bravo Community Cookbook, written by our chef moderator Dan Compton.
Hurray! 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.