Category: Homepage | Published: 10 Dec, 2018
Unique Winter Comfort Food From Your Pizza Oven
While you may have loved using your pizza oven throughout the summer for outdoor parties and get-togethers or family dinners under the stars, there’s no need to abandon it throughout the colder months, leaving it standing forlornly on your patio!
There are so many delicious recipes you can attempt that lend themselves perfectly to chilly days and evenings, so, whether you decide to invest in an awning, some blankets and a simple outdoor heating system – or you’d prefer the food to be brought indoors once ready – you can enjoy your wood-fired oven whatever the weather. Here are a few things you can prepare:
Breads and Flatbreads
Of course, creating a flatbread is very similar to putting a pizza together – but there are so many different toppings you can use instead of the classic tomato and mozzarella. Try simple goats’ cheese, rosemary and black pepper, opt for olive, pesto and parmesan shavings or even tackle bacon and pineapple! You can find myriad recipes for regular breads too, from sundried tomato and cheddar to garlic and basil or caramelised onion.
Of course, the perfect companion to a fresh loaf of crusty bread is…
Soup and Stew
Yes, soup is amazingly easy to create in a wood-fired oven and serves as an ideal quick meal or snack throughout winter. It’s a great additional food to cook alongside others, as you can pop it in the oven while it’s heating up in preparation for a denser dish or cooling down afterwards. Soups and stews are fantastically versatile, so you can experiment with any of your favourite flavours – however, we reckon that a wood-fired oven will best complement earthy-flavoured ingredients such as pea and ham, pumpkin, sweet potato and lamb stew.
Baked Mac and Cheese or Rice Pudding
Anything with a thick, goopy sauce is ideal for baking in a hardy pot within a wood-fired oven. Tangy macaroni cheese and rich rice pudding are both vastly improved by the presence of a browned, caramelised crust on top, and the trick to this is a generous sprinkling of sugar granules atop the rice pudding or a dusting of parmesan over the macaroni cheese. Both take less than half an hour and can be popped in the oven while it’s cooling after baking your main course.
Brownies and Cookies
If you can’t indulge your sweet tooth at this time of year, when can you? It’s dangerously easy to whip up the batter for your favourite kind of cookie, brownie or blondie and just slide it into the oven when it’s cooling. Make sure you take them out after twenty minutes at the latest (ten minutes for cookies!), as any more and they’ll be hard and overcooked as opposed to beautifully soft and gooey.
This delicious pink fish works famously well when cooked using any method involving wood chips, so a wood-fired oven provides the perfect means to prepare salmon with any seasonings you prefer. Remember to sear your salmon chunks skin side down for five minutes before baking it a little longer. It shouldn’t take more than half an hour overall in a hot oven!
Possibly the easiest and most versatile of all the foods on this list, jacket potatoes provide quick, easy comfort food and can be topped with anything from tuna and sweetcorn to coronation chicken, bolognese or even good old cheese and beans. For the best results, bake them for over an hour in an oven that’s just cooling down. Avoiding foil and instead prick them with a knife and rub oil into them for wonderfully crisp skins.
Pies and Tarts
The trick to baking more complex recipes is to pre-heat the oven to the hottest level possible then let it cool. Heat will be retained for long enough to cook the crust and filling right through (typically around 45 minutes), but it may be worth having a bit of a practice to get it just right and avoid any soggy bottoms or burnt tops! We strongly recommend having a bash at a rich steak and ale pie, as wood-firing will create a deep, unique and sumptuous flavour that complements red meats beautifully.
If you’ve just started thinking about investing in a pizza oven of your own, ELB Fireplaces highly recommend the UUNI 2 – a device that is perfect for stone baking and wood firing your favourite dishes in as short as ninety seconds.