I’ve been at Aquaforno for just over four weeks now, and wow! How has the time flown by?
Working with this piece of kit has been nothing but exciting, creating a very large handful of recipes that I am so excited for you all to see. But also learning so much about the Aquaforno, and its potential. In my first month I’ve been focusing on the grill, oven, and pizza stone as my main target. Making so many different types of pizzas and other great favourites, as we have just passed Diwali, and Bonfire Night, I had lots of fun creating the recipes with an emphasis on cooking them on the Aquaforno. The huge variety of recipes to create shows how versatile each part of the Aquaforno is and that it’s not just for your usual barbecue foods, but also how it’s a tool to bring everyone together for all different occasions.
I have been learning about the different types of fuel and the best way to get the most from it at all times. You can never go wrong with a proper fire and charcoal learning that feeding less but more often seems to give the best result in maintaining a regular temperature. Tim has also taught me how to become a pro wood chopper with an axe, it’s actually very therapeutic – never thought I would be saying that!
The pizza stone is in my opinion the most versatile attachment there is, as it’s great to be able to fire it up and get nice hot homemade pizzas in minutes, using it to make as an oven base for breads, puddings, pies, and stews. I think Annie, Karen and Tim have had more than enough samples to last them through the year! The stone helps to hold so much heat as its basically like using a hob. The pizza stone is a great way to separate the Aquaforno in half to make it useable in more than one section at a time, having the grills under to cook your steaks or fish, having the stone to bake your potatoes while putting a pot on the stone as well to make a sauce or cook a soup! But by having the stone it helped regulate the temp inside even when you are opening and closing the lid or the doors.
I’ve had a good time with the rotisserie I haven’t used it lots yet, but in my short time I have roasted a cauliflower, a whole stuffed turkey breast and even a whole butternut squash, to make pumpkin pie with. Cooking on a rotisserie is about slow and even cooking, it shouldn’t be limited to just large pieces of meat, as I hope to show everyone later to come.
The first four weeks have been about knowing the Aquaforno and thinking outside of the box as much as possible. I am very happy to be able to cook on it every day and try something new, because it’s just as much as a challenge for me, but it excites me to want to cook something that shouldn’t limit people to being in their kitchen all day, and enjoy the outdoors and great food, keeping warm at the same time.