Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Today we reach Ron and Harry's first exposure to some decidedly foreign dishes:

"'What's that?' said Ron, pointing at a large dish of some sort of shellfish stew that stood beside a large steak-and-kidney pudding. 'Bouillabaisse,' said Hermione" 
(Goblet of Fire 251).

Bouillabaisse is, as Hermione goes on to say, a French dish which many find quite tasty. As a vegetarian (even before I was a vegetarian), I do not care to eat fish of any kind. While it is likely possible to create a vegetarian version of bouillabaisse, it would require creating so many subtly different flavors of seitan that I would be cooking for days.

However, if you do enjoy the flavors of seafood, I recommend that you give bouillabaisse a try. There is a promising looking recipe in The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Beef Casserole

Today's food item follows Malfoy's appearance as the amazing bouncing ferret (though it has nothing to do with that delightful scene):

"Harry and Hermione both laughed, and Hermione began doling beef casserole into each of their plates" (Goblet of Fire 207).

Beef cassrole is of course mentioned again in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Hagrid serves it to our trio... and in it they discover a suspicious talon! Casserole is, in my mind, an amalgam of veggies and protein and usually noodles. The recipe we're making today is from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, and has no talons. It reminds me more of a stew than a casserole, but it is tasty nonetheless. I'll be tweaking the recipe a bit for the vegetarian factor, so here we go!

You Will Need:
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1.5 pounds vegetarian steak substitute (I used Gardein Beefless Tips)
1 onion, finely chopped (my onions were really teeny, so I used two)
1 celery rib, finely chopped
3 Tbs all-purpose flour
3 cups No-Chicken broth
1 Tbs tomato paste
10 oz mushrooms, sliced (I only used 8oz)
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil in a large oven-safe skillet on the stovetop.
2. Add the onion and celery. Cook over medium heat until the onion turns brown, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, 10-15 minutes.

3. Sprinkle the flour over the onion and celery and stir until absorbed/dissolved.

4. Add the broth while stirring.

5. Add the tomato paste, mushrooms, beefless tips, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat.

6. Cover the skillet and transfer it to the oven. Bake the casserole for two hours. Stir at least every 30 minutes so the bottom doesn't burn.

7. Serve over mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta.

Even though this doesn't meet my personal qualifications as a "casserole" (definitely more of a stew, I think), it's still quite delicious, and an excellent protein source. It's also a super easy meal you can prep, go live your life for two hours, come back and it's ready to eat! Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


It seems recently all our food items appear with a reference to Hermione's stand on Elf rights. Today's food is no exception:

"'Er-- is this the new stand on Elf rights?' said Ron. 'You're going to make yourself puke instead?' 'No,' said Hermione, with as much dignity as she could muster with her mouth bulging with sprouts" (Goblet of Fire 198).

I adore Brussels sprouts. My carnivore brother thinks this is because as a vegetarian, I'm required to eat anything green. Usually I just steam sprouts and sprinkle them with some garlic salt. But today, we shall prepare one of the two Brussels sprouts recipes from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. I've made the "Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts" before, and it's quite delicious. However, since I've already made it (and since chestnuts are absurdly expensive), today we shall make Brussels Sprouts with Bechamel Sauce.

You Will Need:
1 pound Brussels sprouts (the cookbook calls for frozen, but why would you ever choose frozen over fresh? ew.)
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs flour
1 cup whole milk (I used half and half, 'cause that's what was in the fridge)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
pepper, to taste

1. I always opt to steam vegetables instead of boiling them, like this recipe suggests. Steaming them leaves less chance of smooshy veggies, and retains more nutrients. Steam your Brussels sprouts until tender.

2. Heat the butter in a skillet until foaming.
3. Add the flour and stir to combine.

4. Pour in the milk while stirring.
5. Add the salt, nutmeg, and pepper, and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until thick and bubbling.

6. Pop your sprouts in a serving dish and pour the bechamel sauce over them. Serve immediately.

Definitely be generous with your peppering "to taste,"and I would recommend adding a bit more salt. While not my favorite, this is definitely a good option for Brussels sprouts, especially for someone, perhaps someone young, who doesn't like to eat their green veggies. Creamy sauce is a good way to hide the nutrition! This would also be a good option for serving over asparagus. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Our next food item appears the morning after Hermione's short food strike for House Elf rights, which according to Ron, ended because she was hungry:

"'You're eating again, I notice,' said Ron, watching Hermione adding liberal amounts of jam to her toast too" (Goblet of Fire 194).

I have always been interested in making my own jam, and according to all the recipes I've found, it is quite easy to make. Alas, I could not find the necessary jar tongs for removing the boiled jars from the scalding water. 

Someday I will attempt to make my own raspberry jam, and I will probably use this simple recipe from Food.com. I recommend that if you have the right equipment that you try it as well!