Imaginative recipes to make your mouth water

You don’t always know about the food and flavours you’re going to love. It’s great when you can bring the restaurant, dinner party or barbecue into your own home with recipes for some of the most delicious meals.

Modern cuisine and travel has allowed us to discover and enjoy herbs and spices, flavours and textures, dishes and cooking techniques from every corner of the globe.

At the Alfresco Chef, we bring wonderful recipes from around the world home to you. We want you to get the most out of your wood fired oven and cooking accessories with recipes from expert chefs both here in the UK and further afield. It’s about you having lots of fun with wood fired cooking!

So get inspired and take a look at the mouth-watering dishes and recipes we have here.

Our simple and delicious pizza dough recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g Strong White Bread Flour or ‘00’ F lour
  • 2 Tsp Dried Active Yeast (follow pack f or instructions)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 300ml Tepid Water
  • Flour (for dusting)

METHOD

  1. In a large mixing  bowl, bring all ingredients together until just combined.
  2. Knead dough on a floured worktop for 5 -7 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
  3. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to  rove until doubled i n size (Approx. 4 5 minutes).
  4. Turn the dough out onto a dusted work surface and divide into 4 even pieces and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
Shape your dough
  • On a dusted work surface, use a rolling pin and hands to shape the dough into a thin circular base.
  • Transfer to a floured pizza stone or peel, add the tomato base sauce and desired toppings. Cook pizza in a conventional oven at 230c or
    a fan assisted oven at 210°c for 10 minutes.
  • Alternatively, cook in a wood fired pizza oven at around 400c turning regularly until cooked (approx. 90-180 seconds depending on the toppings used).

Our perfect tomato sauce recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 x 400G Tinned Plum Tomatoes
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic
  • Handful of Chopped Fresh Basil
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

METHOD

  1. Peel and finely slice the garlic cloves.
  2. Place a frying pan on a medium heat add the olive oil and garlic.
  3. Once garlic begins to colour, add the basil and tomatoes, using a wooden spoon to break up the tomatoes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and pass through a sieve to remove the garlic and basil.
  5. Pour sauce back in to the pan and bring to the boil, then Lower the heat to a simmer for roughly 5 minutes to reduce the sauce until it is a perfect consistency for spreading on your pizza base.

Our ultimate wood fired garlic bread...

  1. Dust your pizza peel with flour and place your shaped dough on top.
  2. For the garlic butter, combine 50g of soft butter, 1 clove of minced or grated garlic and a crack of black pepper.
  3. Spread the butter mix over the base.
  4. Sprinkle over a handful of Parmesan and drizzle with truffle or olive oil.
  5. Cook in a wood fired oven at around 400°c turning regularly until cooked (Approx 90-120 seconds)

Margherita - A Classic!

Add grated or torn pieces of mozzarella to the base and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Once cooked, add fresh basil Leaves to garnish.

Vegetarian

Add grated or torn pieces of mozzarella to the base, along with sundried tomatoes, slices of mushroom, pepper, onion and a sprinkle of oregano.  If desired, garnish with fresh rocket or basil Leaves.

Capricciosa

Add grated or torn pieces  of mozzarella to the base, along with prosciutto ham, sliced mushrooms, sliced marinated artichoke and chopped black olives.

Ember wood fired steak 

Choose your favourite cut of steak, season to your liking, and cook in the Alfresco Chef Ember to add delicious wood fired flavour!

Time: This depends on the cut of steak and your cooking preference.

If you are using a temperature probe, here are the internal temperature guidelines

  • Rare - 50°C
  • Medium rare - 55°C
  • Medium -60°C
  • Well done – 70°C
Method
  1. Take the steak out of the fridge half an hour before cooking.
  2. Rub your desired seasoning into the meat.
  3. Preheat your wood fired oven to around 350°
  4. When your oven has reached temperature, pre heat oil  in a cast iron pan.
  5. Once the oil is smoking hot, remove the cast iron pan and add your cut of steak.
  6. Put back into the oven and close the door. If necessary, top up with small pieces of wood or use a handful of pellets to maintain temperature.
  7. Check every 2 minutes, turn and place back into the oven and close the door.
  8. Once your steak is cooked to your liking, remove from the Ember and Cast-iron pan, leaving to rest on a plate for a few minutes.

Serve, Slice and Enjoy!

  TIP: To add extra beefiness, why not use beef dripping, instead of oil! 

'Dirty' wood fired steak 

Choose your favourite cut of steak (our favourite is Rib-Eye!), season to your liking, and cook over glowing embers in your Alfresco Chef oven to add delicious wood fired flavour!

Your steak can be cooked directly on top of the embers or you can use a cast iron pan or grill rack.

Time: This depends on the cut of steak and your cooking preference

If you are using a temperature probe, here are the internal temperature guidelines

  • Rare - 50°C
  • Medium rare - 55°C
  • Medium -60°C
  • Well done – 70°C
Method
  1. Take your steak out of the fridge half an hour before cooking.
  2. Rub with your desired seasoning and oil.
  3. Build the fire in the middle of the oven and allow the wood to start burning down to glowing red embers. You will need to burn enough wood, to make a thick layer of embers.
  4. Once the wood starts to burn down, using a rake carefully break the embers into blocks in the middle of the oven – Making sure the ash is underneath the glowing embers.
  5. Once ready, place the cast iron pan, rack on top of the glowing embers and add your seasoned cut of steak. Alternatively, add the steak directly onto the Embers to get that authentic wood fired char.
  6. Keep the door off the oven and turn ever couple of minutes.
  7. Once your steak is cooked to your liking, remove from the oven, and leave to rest on a plate before serving.

Serve, Slice and Enjoy!

TIP: If you are using a cast iron grate or pan, pop this in the oven to preheat up whilst you wait for the wood to burn down.

Baked spuds

Wood Fired Roast Potatoes

  1. Parboil your potatos and allow to cool.
  2. Whilst cooling, fire up your wood fired oven to a temperature of around 200-220°c
  3. Keep the oven door closed to maintain the temperature, adding small pieces of wood if the temperature drops.
  4. Add oil or fat to the cast iron pan and preheat in your wood fired oven.
  5. Once the oil/fat is beginning to smoke, carefully add the potatoes to the pan and season to your liking.
  6. Stir to evenly to coat the potatoes with oil. Place into your wood fired oven and close the door.
  7. Cook for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
  8. If the desired colour is reached before potatoes are cooked, loosely attach a foil hood to the pan to prevent the potatoes from burning during the rest of the cook.
Serve and enjoy!

Wood fired spatchcock chicken

There is nothing better than a wood fired chicken!

At the Alfresco Chef, we love to cook our chicken spatchcock to get more of the wood fired flavour all over the skin.

Time:  Approx 45 - 60 minutes - depending on the size of your chicken (Internal temperature - 75°C in the middle of the breast)

Method
  1. Fire up your oven to its optimum temperature.
  2. Once achieved, allow the wood to burn to embers and the temperature to drop to around 180°C to 200°C.
  3. For a more uniformed heat, spread the embers along the back of your oven using an ember rake or brass brush and close the damper.
  4. Keep the door slightly ajar to maintain the temperature inside the oven as the wood burns down.
  5. Whilst the oven is heating, use good scissors to cut along each side of the chickens back bone to remove.
  6. Turn your chicken breast side up and press down on the breastbone to flatten.
  7. Rub olive oil into the chicken and season with salt and pepper and your desired herbs.
  8. Transfer the chicken to a heat proof baking tray (skin side up). Place into your oven and close the door.
  9.   Rotate the chicken every now and then to allow even colouring on the skin.
  10. Once ready, remove from your wood fired oven and allow to rest before carving and serving.

Why not serve with a fresh salad and wood-fired potato wedges 

TIPS:

  • If the oven cools throughout the cook, use small pieces of wood or kindling to restore the temperatures – opening the damper to allow the wood to burn fully before closing again.
  • If you have reached the desired colouring on the skin before the chicken is cooked, place a foil hood loosely around the edge of the tray that is closest to the fire. This will act as a heat deflector and prevent the skin from burning.

Wood fired potato wedges

Roasted, Wedged or Jackets – You can do them all in your wood fired oven!

These wood-fired wedges are one of our firm favourites at the Alfresco Chef! They are the perfect accompaniment at a pizza party or as a side to steak or chicken!

Time: Around 30 minutes

Method
  1. Fire up your oven to its optimum temperature.
  2. Once achieved, allow the wood to burn to embers and the temperature to drop to around 200°C to 220°C
  3. For a more uniformed heat, spread the embers along the back of your oven using an ember rake or brass brush and close the damper.
  4. Keep the door slightly ajar to maintain the temperature inside the oven as the wood burns down.
  5. Whilst the oven is heating, slice your potatoes into chunky wedges.
  6. Add to a pan of boiling water and par boil for 8 minutes. Drain in a colander and leave to steam dry for a couple of minutes.
  7. Transfer to a roasting tray and evenly coat with olive oil and season to your liking.
  8. Place into your oven and close the door.
  9. Regularly turn the potatoes to achieve an even colour
  10. Once ready, remove from your wood fired oven.

Serve and enjoy!

TIPS:

  • if the oven cools throughout the cook, use small pieces of wood or kindling to restore the temperatures – opening the damper to allow the wood to burn fully before closing again.
  • If you have reached the desired colour before the potatoes are cooked, loosely attach a foil hood around the edge of the tray that is closest to the fire.  This will act as a heat deflector and prevent the skin from burning.

Padron Peppers - A perfect pre-dinner snack

Best served with an ice cold beer!

Quick, easy and can be done whilst heating up your oven ready for pizza!

Time: Approx  5 minutes

METHOD

  1. Fire up your oven.
  2. Whilst your oven is getting up to temperature preheat oil in a cast iron pan inside the oven.
  3. Once the oven reaches 350°C remove the cast iron pan and carefully add your Padron peppers.
  4. Place back into the oven and cook until the peppers start to soften and the skin starts to colours and blisters slightly
  5. Remove from oven and sprinkle with rock salt.
  6. Remove carefully from the cast iron pan.

Serve and enjoy!

Roasted glazed salmon fillets

For the glaze, you’ll need a mixture of soy sauce, honey and chilli flakes!

 

Time: approx. 20 minutes (Internal temperature - 63°C)

 

METHOD

  1. Pre heat your wood fired oven to around 200°C
  2. Whilst the oven is reaching temperature, heat up the oil in a cast iron pan.
  3. Once to temperature and the oil is hot, remove the cast iron pan and place salmon in skin side up.
  4. Put back into the oven and close the door. If required, top up with small pieces of wood.
  5. After 15 minutes, remove from the oven and add glaze.
  6. Place back into the oven for the last 5 minutes.

JACKS TIPS

To ensure the salmon is cooked thoroughly, I recommend using a Internal Temperature Probe! If desired, loosely attach a foil hood to the pan to prevent the salmon from burning.

Roasted skin on chicken

You can use breast, wings or thigh meat! 

 

Time: approx. 20 -25 minutes (Internal temperature - 75°C)

 

METHOD

  1. Pre heat your wood fired oven to around 200°C
  2. Pre heat oil in a cast iron pan in the oven.
  3. Once to temperature and the oil is hot, remove the cast iron pan and place chicken skin side down to render down the fat in the skin.
  4. After 10 minutes, remove and turn the chicken.
  5. Put back into the oven and close the door until fully cooked. If required, top up with small pieces of wood.
  6. Once cooked (internal temperature 75°C) remove pan and rest the chicken before serving.

JACKS TIPS

To ensure the chicken is cooked thoroughly, I recommend using a Internal Temperature Probe! If desired, loosely attach a foil hood to the pan to prevent the chicken from burning.

‘FRY UP’ Breakfast Pizza

There is nothing better than a good old English Fry Up!

Why not ditch the toast and add your favourite breakfast ingredients to your pizza base or give Jacks toppings a try…

Toppings

Egg, bacon, black pudding, sausage, mushroom, passata, red leicester cheese and torn mozzarella

Method

METHOD

  1. Precook the bacon, sausage and black pudding and slice ready to add to the base.
  2. Pre heat oil in a cast iron pan.
  3. Crack an egg into a pan and slightly fry.
  4. Dust your pizza peel or board with flour and place your shaped dough on top.
  5. Spread the passata onto the dough, leaving space at the edge to allow for a crust.
  6. Add toppings onto the base and place egg in the middle, cover the egg with a small amount of kitchen foil to stop the yolk from burning.
  7. Cook pizza in a wood fired oven at around 400°C turning regularly until cooked (approx. 90 depending on the toppings used).

Why not finish it off with Ketchup or Brown Sauce!

Wood fired focaccia bread

Infused with tomatoes, olives and rosemary, this wood fired focaccia is a tasty alternative to store-bought bread!

Ingredients
  • 500g strong bread flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 400ml cold water 
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt 
  • Chopped rosemary
  • 6 finely chopped cherry tomatoes 
  • Black and green olives 
Method
  1. Sift the flour, salt, yeast and 2 tbsp rosemary into a bowl
  2. Add the olive oil and water to the dry ingredient mix and knead well until you have formed a dough ball
  3.  Gently hand stretch the dough, pinching and folding the sides into the centre. Turn the bowl 90 degrees and continue to repeat this process for 3-5 minutes
  4. Once done, tip the dough onto the silicone dough mat, brush with oil and knead for 5 more minutes
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film or a tea towel and leave for 30 – 60 minutes in a warm, dry spot
  6.  Once doubled in size, divide the dough into two portions and flatten
  7. Brush the dough with extra virgin oil and sprinkle with remaining chopped fresh rosemary, crushed olives, cherry tomatoes and sea salt
  8.  Leave to rise for about 20 minutes
  9. Fire up your wood fired oven then allow to cool to 180-220°c
  10.  Cook your focaccia until golden in colour (approx. 20 minutes)
  11.  Once cooked, remove and brush with some extra olive oil and let it rest for 10 minutes