RECIPES

All recipes provided by Eleanor Fahrner Mailloux from her cooking book titled, “Oppis Guet’s Vo.” Compiled for The Alpen Rose Garden Club in Helvetia, WV and available for purchase at The Hutte Restaurant.

SAUERBRATEN HÜTTE

Combine 3 cups vinegar, 3 cups water, 1 onion sliced, 3 bay leaves, 3 cloves, 1 tsp salt, 2 whole peppers and 1/2 lemon sliced.

Marinate 3 – 4 pounds beef (rump roast is fine) in combined spices and liquids for 3 days. Turn meat once a day. Save vinegar broth.

Brown meat in hot fat on third day. Remove meat from fat and brown 1/2 cup flour until thickens. Add meat to gravy and cover. Bake in 325° oven 2 1/2 – 3 hours. Turn and baste often. About 30 minutes before meat is done, add 1/4 cup red wine, 2 gingersnaps and one tblsp sugar. Serve with homemade noodles.

RÖSTI (SWISS FRIED POTATOES)

Wash and peel two medium size potatoes. Coarsely grate potatoes into a large bowl. Squeeze grated potatoes with your hands to release liquid.

Transfer to hot skillet with a generous bit of butter, pressing the potato with a spatula into an even layer. Salt and pepper each side to taste while cooking rösti over medium to medium-low heat until each side is golden brown. Serve with applesauce, sauerkraut, or sour cream.

PFEFFERNÜSSE

We literally make them by the peck at Christmastime. They keep forever (in our house forever is two or three days) and are at their best when dunked in hot coffee and eaten in the company of close friends.

4 eggs , 2 cups sugar, 4 cups flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 2 tsp pepper, cloves, cinnamon, allspice

Cream eggs and sugar until smooth. Mix dry ingredients thoroughly and add to eggs and sugar. Let stand overnight in cool place. Form in small nuts (size of walnuts) and place on cookie sheet, a drop of brandy can be placed on top of each nut. Bake at 350-375° for 12 to 15 minutes and give me a call when done.

HELVETIA SWISS CHEESE

Of all the fames of Helvetia, the Helvetia Swiss Cheese is the star. In the very beginning, we had a village cheese maker, but as time passed by, the duty became that of the housewife. Almost every home in Helvetia made this delicious cheese. Today, the art has dwindled down to not more than 5 or 6 families.

Why is Helvetia Swiss Cheese so highly prized? Well, first it’s a real bellringer in flavour and is very hard to come by.

We do not know of any area in the United States today that makes our kind of cheese. I have been told by a cheese maker from Switzerland that the Helvetia Cheese is the same as that made high up in the Alps and not for export.

Every family has a little different method of cheese making and each one is positive that his is the right and only way. Also, each cellar differs in moisture and temperature, and while the cheese is curing, it takes on varying qualities. Below is a composite of the various methods. I wouldn’t dare give anyone person credit for the recipe. My neck would be in the cheese press!!

With the aid of a dairy thermometer and the natural sense of sight, smell and feel, the cheese maker is able to control the processing of the curds.

Take 4 gallons of milk and keep in a cool place overnight. In the morning, skim off the heavy cream. To this milk add four gallons of whole morning’s milking. This makes altogether 8 gallons of milk. Pour the milk into a large metal kettle (we have a fifty-gallon brass one up at Hill Top that the first cheese makers used. Hill Top is a suburb of Helvetia – they’ll love that!). Back to the cheese making.

  1. Heat milk to 86 degrees
    1. Dissolve 1/2 rennet tablet in 1/2 cup water and add to milk. Stir well.
    2. Turn off heat and cool for 45 minutes to one hour.
  2. Heat again to 120 degrees, cutting through the mixture constantly with a wooden cheese knife or work with hands.
    1. Let cool then pour off whey.
    2. Ladle into cheese molds which have been lined with cheese cloth.
    3. Weigh down to press out excess whey with old flat irons or rocks.
    4. In one hour, turn in mold and put in dry cheese cloth. Repeat again in four hours.
  3. Turn every day and wash cheese and shelves with warm water to prevent mold.
  4. About once a week you rub salt into the cheese.
  5. Let ripen for four weeks or longer.

Makes four pounds of cheese.

Cut into thick slices and serve with hunks of brown bread and country butter and invite me. I’ll bring the Swiss Coffee.

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