Thursday, June 18, 2009

Swiss Fire Cooking

On Sunday, a bunch of us took the train to Einsideln, where my friends Silke and Olivier live in a cute swiss house in the country (3 hours of commuting daily).  We'd been talking about having cooking over a fire for a while, and Aline had a few classically Swiss techniques for us to try.

The town is pretty cute and has the most important Catholic pilgrimmage site in Switzerland.  There was some sort of holy day, so the streets were packed with church-goers and monks.  There was even a priest store selling supplies.  I don't know if you needed a permit to buy things or not.  

Their apartment was really cute and a ways from town.  We had a little apero on their terrace with artisan Belgian beer brought by Silke's parents on their last visit.  I 
also shared a Graubunden nuss-torte I'd gotten in St. Moritz.  The day was hot, and it was nice to just hang out outside.

For the fire, we walked up into the woods to a firepit.  They had logs chopped at the pit and a grill that you could lower down and lots of branches and twigs cut nearby.  Pretty plush-plush.  The view from our vantage was pretty amazing.  If you imagined a cute Swiss valley, that would be about it.  We started up the fire with ease, as the last user's coals were still hot, and prepared out meat items.  For Aline's Neuchateloise method, you season the meat with
 mustard, salt and pepper and then wrap it in parchment paper and several layers of newsprint. Then you tie it up like a present.  When the coals are hot but not firey (after and hour or so), you bury the packets in the coals (hoping they don't light on fire while you do it) and wait for another hour until they are cooked.  

In the meantime, we were hungry, so we broke out the sausages to cook on sticks.  There were several different methods used, but Aline's slit-end sideways method seemed to have the best results.  We also put some marinated veg on the grill.  The food was great, though the meat was a little scorched.

Afterwards, it looked like the rain had missed us, so I broke out the s'more material I'd brought and introduced them to the art of roasting marshmallows.  I think it was a hit.  Aline also had some sweet dough along that you wrap around a thick stick and cook over the fire before filling with jam.  Pain au trappeur.  Or "trapper's bread" for us English-speaking types.  It was pretty great too.  It did start raining during the marshmallow time, but we persevered anyway. 


Tiffany said...

Wow Ali, that looks really amazing. What a view!

Louis said...

We have to dig a hole in the backyard and try it. Maybe we can dig a hole in the parking lot at the townhouse...