Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Magical Feast

If you've ever met me, then you'll know that I LOVE the Harry Potter series.  And even though the books have been finished for a while now, there are still lots of ways to keep the magic alive with movies, games, "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" theme park, and even cookbooks! 
Yes, that's right, cookbooks!  
 I nearly swooned when I found The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook and immediately purchased it for my good writing buddy (and later for myself!)  Those feasts in the Hogwarts Great Hall always left me craving Butterbeer and English trifle, so my friend and I got together this weekend to try out some recipes.  After salivating through pages upon pages of magical recipes, we settled on Apple Blossom Glazed Pork, 1-2-3 Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bonbons, and Pumpkin Pasties. 
The recipes were fairly easy for a couple of Muggles to follow.  (Although, we did decide a few of them needed some extra-steps added to the margins all Half-Blood Prince-style.)  We started with the Apple Blossom Glazed Pork.  Everything went smoothly here, except for the fact that we couldn't find the "Pickled Watermelon Rind" that the recipe called for.  (Seriously, what the heck is that?  The people at my grocery store looked at us like we were wearing Luna Lovegood's roaring lion hat when we asked for it!)  Instead, we substituted mango chutney--because they're totally the same thing, you know.  ;)  Despite our bizarre ingredient substitution, the recipe was delicious and really easy to make--a definite winner!  And it makes a TON of meat!  (We had already sliced up tenderloin #2 by the time we snapped the picture below).
That sauce is 60% honey and 100% scrumptious!
The Pumpkin Pasties were NOT so easy to make.  The recipe only made enough dough for six pasties, and quite frankly that was all we could handle anyway.  The dough is made separately and has to chill for a while, and we never got it to quite the right consistency.  (I'm sure it also didn't help that I don't own a rolling pin, so my friend had to make do with a piece of PVC pipe my hubby scrounged up.  Classy, eh?)
Can you guess how often I make baked goods?
Once the dough was finally rolled and cut for the pasties, we could hardly fit any pumpkin filling inside or they wouldn't close.  The writer also left out the oh-so-important step that the rolled-out dough needed a dusting of flour or it would stick to everything.  As you can see, the entire recipe was a trial-and-error experience.  (At least being ugly didn't make them any less tasty!)
They DID get prettier with practice...
On the other hand, the 1-2-3 Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bonbons were easy-peasy to make.  We just combined the ingredients, dipped them in chocolate, let 'em cool, and voila!  They tasted like puppy-chow and buckeyes mixed together, although their serving suggestion was WAY too big.  (At 1 1/2 inches each, these rich, dense desserts even had my hubby struggling to finish just one!)  Next time, we'll make them bite-size.  (And they were sooooo good, there will definitely be a next time!)
Beautiful AND delicious!
Apart from some missing steps and ingredients we couldn't find, we decided this is a really fun book.  There are scores of yummy recipes we still want to try, from Roast Pheasant to Treacle Pudding.  And if all that tasty food isn't enticing enough, there are snippets of fun facts from the series sprinkled throughout the recipes, too!  If the end of the book series left you with a Harry Potter-sized hole in your heart, this is definitely a good way to fill it.  (Not to mention your tummy!)

Note: Coverart of The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook is from


  1. Tasty info :-) Thanks.
    P.S. I have eaten pickled watermelon rind; it was homemade. Never heard of buying it!

  2. Haha, that's what someone else has told me, too! I guess the book needs a recipe on how to make the pickled watermelon rind first!