Description from Amazon
The Magic of Fire: Hearth Cooking: One Hundred Recipes for the Fireplace or Campfire Hardcover – March 1, 2004
William Rubel (Author), Ian Everard (Illustrator)
Open-hearth cooking is probably the least-explored atavism in the modern kitchen. Culinary purists who unflinchingly butcher their own fowl or grind their spices with a mortar and pestle tend to draw the line at the hearth; even campers do what they can to make their fires more like stoves. But traditional cooking specialist Rubel’s pursuit of “the poetry of fire” makes a compelling case for the allure of hearth cooking. Despite the prerequisites basic firebuilding technique and an arsenal of equipment that would not look out of place in a medieval dungeon Rubel’s recipes are surprisingly straightforward. They run the gamut from delicate desserts (steamed custards, clafouti) to the inevitable roast beasts (wild duck, leg of lamb), and he describes the type of flame necessary for each dish (as in, “a mature fire with gentle to moderate flames”). The erudite and apparently well-traveled Rubel intersperses recipes for Gigot la ficelle and Ember-baked Trout with anecdotes that begin “when I was in Northern Kenya…” or “while studying mushroom cookery in China, near Myanmar….” He does not address the impracticalities of fireplace cooking (the hazards of unintended conflagrations, the purgatorial heat), merely recalling that a guest once had to remove his shirt in midwinter at one of Rubel’s meals. Those brave enough to follow Rubel’s footsteps will undoubtedly consider this book a classic work of its kind. It may also appeal to readers who want to take the manly art of barbecue to a new level, and it will be irresistible to slow-foodies.