I had the chance to try a J.Corradi range cooker during a cooking show in London at the Heart&Home trade fair, though I'm very familiar with wood-fired cooking and I really value it. You can use it to make dishes with a fantastic flavour as it preserves ingredients and I particularly love wood-burning ovens. High temperatures are ideal to cook bread, a focaccia or a calzone. Low temperatures are instead perfect for slowly cooking vegetables or meat, which are often even cooked when the embers are out.
Here below are two recipes I made with a J.Corradi wood-burning oven at Heart&Home and that were literally polished off by our visitors. They were both made with puff pastry, which typically does not stand high temperatures. This means that in a wood-burning oven, it's best to leave it for the end, when the fire is less strong. However, J.Corradi range cookers always have a thermometer to understand when's the right time to put in the food.
1 packet ready rolled puff pastry
55 g butter, melted
2 tbsp freshly chopped flat leaf parsely
55 g freshly grated parmesan
1 egg yolk beated with 1 tbsp water
1. Preheat the oven to 210°C.
2. Place the pastry on a floured work surface and roll out slightly to create a square. Using a large sharp knife trim the edges of the pastry so that the straws cook uniformly.
3. Brush the pastry lightly with the melted butter and then cut the pastry in half.
4. On the first pastry half sprinkle over the chopped parsely and a quarter of the grated parmesan.
5. Fold the bottom half of each piece over the top half and gently press down. Brush the pastry with the beatene gg and sprinckle over the remaining parmesan.
6. With a large sharp knife cut the pastry, lengthways, into 1,5 cm strips. Hold the ends between your fingers and carefully stretch and twist the strips in opposite directions. Place the twisted strips onto lightly oiled backing sheets, spacing them evenly apart. Place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until crisp and golden.
7. Remove the cheese straws from the oven and allow to cook on the backing sheet for five minutes to firm up. Using a palette knife carefully transfer the cheese straws to a wire rack or serving plate.
COURGETTE, TOMATO & BASIL PESTO TART
1 packet pre-rolled puff pastry
2 large courgettes
4 ripe plum tomatoes
4 tbsp basil pesto
1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C
2. Slice courgettes 3-4 mm thick
3. Slice tomatoes 3-4 mm thick
4. Beat egg with a fork
5. Un-roll the pastry and cut into 4 squares, prick the centres with a fork leaving a 1 cm edge and brush with egg wash.
6. Brush the pricked area with a little of the pesto
7. Lay alternate layers of tomato and courgette, season with black pepper and top awith a large dessert spoon of the pesto on top.
8. Bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes.
9. Serve immediately with a tossed salad.
Chef Hugh Mc Givern
In his 30 years of experience as an Executive Chef, Hugh McGivern reached the four corners of the world. Originally from Glasgow, he served his apprenticeship in the army and then continued as Food Manager for the Carnival Cruise Lines, constantly travelling and adding international flavours and ingredients to his cuisine. From Michelin restaurants in London to the personal chef to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan, he also cooked for Barack Obama and most of the European Royal Families. Heavily involved in nutrition and rules for preparing health food, he has developed programs for people with dementia in collaboration with 3 English Universities.
The cooker that was tested by Chef Hugh McGivern is the J.Corradi model Country 180 LGE. It is a combined range cooker that works with wood logs/gas/electricity, with firebox, wood-burning oven, multifunction electric oven, cast iron cooking grate, stainless steel customizable hobs. This cooker is available in the "thermo" version also, in order to have hot water for radiators or underfloor heating.