Friday, February 24, 2012

Jelly Slugs

Today's new item appears during Harry's first (illegal!) moments inside Honeydukes:

"'And get another box of Jelly Slugs, dear, they've nearly cleaned us out--'" said a woman's voice" (Prisoner of Azkaban 196).

Jelly slugs are one of the Harry Potter treats for which I cannot find an existing recipe. So I made one up!

You Will Need:
1.5 cups water
2.5 cups granulated sugar
1/2 oz (1 Tbs) plain gelatin
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup your favorite juice
vegetable oil (for greasing the pans)

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and gelatin, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until boiling.

2. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 230 degrees. This will take a long time.

3. When the mixture reaches 240, place the pan in a large bowl of ice to stop the cooking action. Immediately stir in the juice and salt. Allow the mixture to cool.
4. Grease a mini-muffin pan (or a slug mold) with vegetable oil. Use a tablespoon to fill the muffin cups with the cooled mixture. Place the pan in the refrigerator for several hours.

5. When the "jelly muffins" have set a bit (several hours later), use a sifter to sprinkle cornstarch on top to help them set further. Place in the fridge overnight.
6. Pop the jelly "slugs" out of their molds (using a toothpick helps) onto a sheet of wax paper. They will be like less-firm Jell-O Jigglers. 

These Jelly Slugs are really silly. They taste just like jelly (and are extremely, almost painfully, sweet!). They don't, however, last very long out of the fridge-- they'll eventually liquify. They end up being like the texture of the slime left behind by real slugs, which I find thoroughly amusing. Oh well, it was a fun experiment, but it's probably a better idea to leave the Jelly-Slug-making to Honeydukes!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Toothflossing Stringmints

My friends, we have reached a very important moment! Today, we have reached the half-way point in the list of foods that appear in the Harry Potter series! It seems appropriate then, that today's food item comes straight from the fabulous imagination of J.K. Rowling:

"'We can do all our Christmas shopping there!' said Hermione. 'Mum and Dad would really love those Toothflossing Stringmints from Honeydukes!'" (Prisoner of Azkaban 190).

Unfortunately, toothflossing stringmints really do appear only in the brilliant imagination of Ms. Rowling. There is a recipe to be found on a couple different websites (they're all the same recipe, and I'm not sure which site owns the original), but licorice is a major component. It seems to me that licorice is infinitely too thick to ever floss one's teeth. And stringmints are later described as "splintery," which in my opinion negates all possibility of licorice and/or whipped egg whites being ingredients.

So alas and alack, toothflossing stringmints are only to be found in the Wizarding World. If you find a way to make them, let me know! But until then, I guess we're all stuck with regular old dental floss.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bowl of Fruit

It seems to me that having a bowl of fruit in a hospital wing is pretty unsanitary, but nonetheless, our next food item appears during one of Harry's many stays in the Hogwarts Hospital Wing:

"Hagrid sent him a bunch of earwiggy flowers that looked like yellow cabbages, and Ginny Weasley, blushing furiously, turned up with a get-well card she had made herself, which sang shrilly unless Harry kept it shut under his bowl of fruit" (Prisoner of Azkaban 183).

It is likely that the bowl on Harry's side table is filled with whole fruit. But below I have a list of the fruits that have appeared in every fruit salad to appear on my family's table for my entire life. Of course, you can substitute whatever you'd like when you prepare your own!

You Will Need:
1/2 watermelon, cubed
1 caneloupe, cubed
1 honeydew (or honey rock, depending on where you're from!), cubed
green grapes
red grapes
strawberries, hulled and quartered
raspberries (sometimes... but sometimes they can get squishy... so use your own judgement)
pineapple (unless you're like me and it makes you itchy!)

Mix everything together and enjoy! Yum!

Friday, February 10, 2012

"New Kind of Fudge"

Ron introduces our next new food item while he (perhaps insensitively) describes all the exciting things he and Hermione saw in Hogsmeade village while Harry was stuck in the castle:

"'Honeydukes has got a new kind of fudge; they were giving out free samples, there's a bit, look-'" (Prisoner of Azkaban 158).

We've made a couple different kinds of fudge on this culinary journey, but today's fudge has to be delicious enough to be from Honeydukes! I have seen recipes for Chocolate-Cinnamon Fudge a couple places recently, so while it may not be "new," it's new to me, and it seems to be everywhere all of a sudden! I am slightly adapting a recipe I found on "A Cozy Kitchen," which was originally adapted from a recipe by Giada De Laurentiis

You Will Need:
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups dark chocolate chips
3 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature (oops, I forgot the chopped and warm part, and it definitely made things a little difficult!)

1. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8" baking pan. Lay parchment or wax paper in the pan, allowing excess flaps to come up over at least 2 sides (this will help you pull out the fudge later).
2. In a medium glass or stainless steel bowl, combine the evaporated milk, chocolate chips, and butter. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water (you don't need more than an inch or two of water), creating a double-boiler.

3. Stir the mixture as it heats, being sure to scrape the bottom, as it can burn even though we're cooking with steam. Continue stirring until the mixture is smooth.
4. Remove from the heat, and quickly (and completely!) stir in the cinnamon and vanilla.

5 . Scrape the melty mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Refrigerate for two hours (until firm-- 3 or 4 hours might be better) before cutting into pieces.

Mmmmmm, this is decadent and delicious and delightful! While not technically magical, I think it's tasty enough to at least stand up against some Honeydukes fudge! Enjoy!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hot Butterbeer!

Yes, the moment has finally arrived! The most popular food item in the Harry Potter series is finally upon us, following Ron and Hermione's very first trip to Hogsmeade:

"By the sound of it-- everywhere. Dervish and Banges, the wizarding equipment shop, Zonko's Joke Shop, into the Three Broomsticks for foaming mugs of hot butterbeer, and many places besides" (Prisoner of Azkaban 158).

Butterbeer is the most popular item for sale at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and is available cold or frozen. These options are a natural choice, since Orlando's average temperature in the summer is around 100 degrees, and it falls below 50 for maybe a month or two each year. However, the first (and several more) mentions of butterbeer in the books specify that it is in fact a hot beverage. Since there are tons of butterbeer recipes out there (and I do think that the bottled version sometimes enjoyed by the characters is probably cold), I will feature butterbeer on this blog with each first mention in the remaining books. Our first recipe is for hot butterbeer and comes from here.

You Will Need:
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup butterscotch topping (I couldn't find this, so I used melted butterscotch chips)
2 Tbs whipped butter, at room temperature
1.5 cups vanilla cream soda (I used diet, since just the other ingredients shoot this beverage close to 400 calories per glass!)

1. Combine the condensed milk, butterscotch, and butter in a microwave safe container and heat in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir (if not completely melted and smooth, heat for a few more seconds).

2. Pour the vanilla cream soda into another microwave safe vessel and heat in the microwave. Be careful, because if it gets too hot, the carbonation will disappear. Start with about 45 seconds.
3. Divide the warm butterscotch mixture between two glasses or mugs. Fill each glass with half the warmed cream soda. Stir gently.

This is super delicious! The carbonation does dissipate quickly, but it's still so yummy! It's no surprise that in the winter, our favorite trio hits up the Three Broomsticks every chance they get to warm up with foaming mugs of hot butterbeer! Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Shredded Lettuce

Even though Hagrid's Flobberworms don't seem to particularly enjoy shredded lettuce (in fact, Hagrid later confesses that several of them die from eating too much of it), it is still our next new food item to appear in the series:

"'Why would anyone bother looking after them?' said Ron, after yet another hour of poking shredded lettuce down the flobberworm's slimy throats" (Prisoner of Azkaban 142).

There are an awful lot of things for which one could use shredded lettuce. One of the most obvious (and simplest!) is taco salad. As a vegetarian, this recipe is one that I throw together quite often for a quick and well-balanced healthy lunch. So here we go!

You Will Need:
2/3 cup Morningstar Farms Meal Starters, grillers style (or other vegetarian grounds)
1 packet (you won't use it all) pre-made Taco Seasoning
2 cups shredded lettuce
Your Favorite Salsa
Shredded Cheese, if desired

1. Cut up your lettuce into strips, if you haven't already, and arrange on your plate. Pour your ground grillers into a microwave safe bowl and sprinkle on taco seasoning to taste. Microwave for 1-2 minutes.

2. Pour your heated "meat" onto the pile of lettuce. 
3. Add as much salsa as you'd like, and sprinkle with cheese if desired.

So simple! So tasty! I highly recommend you give this super easy taco salad a try the next time you're looking for a tasty and nutritious meal! Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Steak and Kidney Pudding

Steak-and-kidney pudding is one of the many foods to appear in the Harry Potter books that Americans view as being categorically British. It is no surprise then, that it is served for lunch at Hogwarts:

"'They wouldn't fire him, would they?' said Hermione anxiously, not touching her steak-and-kidney pudding" (Prisoner of Azkaban 119).

Steak-and-kidney pudding doesn't sound too appetizing, but the steak-and-kidney pie I made in October turned out to be one of my favorite things to appear on 'In the Kitchen with Harry Potter.' So don't judge a food by its name! Today we shall make steak-and-kidney pudding, according to the recipe found in The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook

For the Crust, You Will Need:
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1.5 sticks unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup ice water

For the Filling, You Will Need (I've changed the amounts slightly, so heads up!):
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tbs all-purpose flour
1 cup No-Chicken Broth
3 Tbs tomato paste
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
3 portobello mushroom caps, diced

1. For the crust, whisk together the flour, salt, and pepper. Scatter the butter over the flour and rub the mixture together with your fingers.

2. Sprinkle the water over the mixture and fold together with a spatula. Eventually you may need to use your hands to form a ball. If the dough is too dry, add more water 1 Tbs at a time.
3. Remove 1/3 of the dough for the lid, reserving the rest for the base. Form both pieces into disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate while you make the filling, at least 30 minutes.
4. For the filling, cut your beefless tips into smaller pieces (I just cut them in half), and microwave for 1.5 minutes. Set aside.
5. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and saute over medium heat until golden brown. Add the garlic and saute a few seconds, until fragrant.
6. (The order from now on is different from the carnivore recipe) Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir together.

7. Stir in the broth, then stir in the tomato paste. The mixture will be very thick, so be careful to scrape the bottom so nothing burns. 

8. Add the salt, pepper, and mushrooms and stir together well.

9. Add the beefless tips and mix well. Cover and cook for awhile, up to ten minutes.

10. Uncover, raise the heat a bit, and boil another 5 minutes (unless it seems way to thick already!), thickening the mixture even more.
11. Scrape the filling onto a rimmed baking sheet and spread it out so it will cool quickly (you want it to be close to room temperature).

12. Grease and flour a 2-quart casserole/pudding dish with a tight-fitting lid. On a generously floured surface, roll out the large disk of dough into a 14" circle. Fit the circle into the prepared casserole dish, allowing the excess to hang over the rim. Roll the second disk into an 8" circle. *If your dish is smaller than 2-quarts (like mine), judge the necessary circle sizes for yourself.*

13. Scrape the filling into the pastry-lined dish. 

14. Cover the filling with the smaller circle, and fold the excess up over the edges. Seal the edges (as well as you can) with a fork, leaving a bit of room for the dough to expand.

15. Cover the dish with its lid and place it on a "trivet" (the top of a jar works well) inside a large pot. Fill the pot with water so the water reaches halfway up the sides of your pudding dish. Cover the pot and simmer for 2.5 hours. Check the pot often to make sure the water does not boil away.

16. Use oven mitts to remove the pudding from the pot. To serve, you can try to invert the pudding onto a serving dish (if you want to be fancy), or you can simply scoop servings right out of the pudding dish.

YUM! This is delicious! Though I'm not really surprised, since the filling is exactly the same as for steak-and-kidney pie, which I also loved. The only real difference between the pudding and the pie is the way it's cooked (and a slightly different crust). If you have the time (because this recipe takes at least 3 hours from start to finish), I highly recommend that you give this one a try! And if you have slightly less time, I suggest you take a trip through my archives and make the pie version! Enjoy!

Monday, February 6, 2012


Our next new food item is one that appears quite a few times in the Harry Potter books.

"'Ron, cheer up,' said Hermione, pushing a dish of stew toward him. 'You heard what Professor McGonagall said.' Ron spooned stew onto his plate and picked up his fork but didn't start" (Prisoner of Azkaban 110).

It's always intrigued me that stew is in the same category as soup, but doesn't really have much liquid to it. And the broth that exists is really more like thin gravy. Anyway, I was never a big fan of stew when I was a kid, but maybe I'll be a bigger fan of a vegetarian version. 

There are a couple different recipes for stew in The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. Most of them have a whole lot of ingredients, and each one is very different from the others. I'm sure they're delicious, but today I opted instead to find a recipe that kind of combines those other recipes into one simple stew. And I found it at, so surely it is British to the core. I changed the ingredient amounts so that you can make it with just one bag of vegetarian "beef" instead of 2.5. Today we shall make Stout Stew with Carrots!

You Will Need:
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1 bag (8 or 9 oz) Gardein Beefless Tips
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2.5 carrots, chopped
1/2 Tbs flour
250mL (1/2 a can) Guiness
1/2 a No-Beef Boullion Cube (Though after tasting the finished product, I might recommend using a whole cube, even though they're bigger than normal cubes!)
Pinch of sugar
1 Bay Leaf
Small spring of Thyme (or a little shake of ground thyme, which is what I did)
Mashed potatoes or parsnips, for serving

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil in a large oven-proof skillet (with a lid! ...or I guess you could use tinfoil).
2. Add the onion and carrot to the dish, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown.

3. Scatter over the flour and quickly stir so it doesn't burn. Immediately add the beefless tips. Stir occasionally, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan so the flour doesn't burn.

4. After a few minutes (I kind of played it by ear, since vegetarian "meat" doesn't really have to cook to a specific temperature), add the Guiness and crumble in the boullion cube. Season with a pinch of sugar and salt and pepper to taste. "Tuck in" (such a British phrase, I love it) the bay leaf and thyme and bring to a simmer.

5. Give one more good stir, cover the skillet and place in the oven. This is the time to make your mashed potatoes/parsnips!
6. When your mash is ready, pull the stew out of the oven and serve over a mound of your chosen mashed veggie.

This is pretty tasty! However, I definitely recommend being heavy-handed with your spices. Also, I personally think it tastes better the next day (yay for yummy leftovers!). So the next time you want something hearty and simple, give this stew a try!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fried Tomatoes

Fried tomatoes are a major component to a traditional English breakfast, so it is no surprise that they appear on the Hogwarts breakfast tables:

"Feeling slightly more cheerful, Harry helped himself to sausages and fried tomatoes" (Prisoner of Azkaban 97).

A recipe for fried tomatoes appears in The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, but it is for what I consider to be a more Southern-American-style fried tomato rather than the fried tomatoes I recall from my study abroad program in Grantham, England. Regardless, they are tasty, so we shall prepare our tomatoes according to Ms. Bucholz' recipe.

You Will Need:
Tomatoes, sliced into 1/4" slices
3 Tbs vegetable oil
Flour for dredging
salt and pepper to taste
toast, for serving if desired

1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Dredge the sliced tomatoes in the flour.

3. Place the dreged tomatoes in the hot oil and fry on both sides until golden.

4. Transfer the fried tomatoes to a paper-towel-line plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with hot buttered toast (and baked beans, and veggie sausage, and fried mushrooms, if you want to get really authentic!).

These fried tomatoes may not be authentically British, but they certainly are delicious! I highly recommend you whip some up for breakfast (or lunch, or a snack, or whatever) sometime soon! Enjoy!