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Dover Post
  • Recipes from 'The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook'

  • With the premiere of the final movie of the series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2,” it’s a fitting time to examine the foods that add richness to Rowling’s magical world of good versus evil.

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  • Growing kids need a lot to eat, and author J.K Rowling made sure her wizards-in-training were well fed in the seven “Harry Potter” fantasy novels about adolescent Harry and his schoolmates at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
    With the premiere of the final movie of the series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2,” it’s a fitting time to examine the foods that add richness to Rowling’s magical world of good versus evil.
    “There are a lot of foods mentioned in the books, especially the first one,” said Dinah Bucholz, author of “The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook.” “When Harry finds out he’s a wizard, the first thing they do is have a bog feast, and 23 different foods are named.”
    Many of Rowling’s foods are fanciful, such as butterbeer, which is a butterscotch beverage, while others are traditionally British, such as crumpets and Yorkshire pudding.
    “The one thing I learned when I was developing recipes for the book is that the horrible reputation that British food has is undeserved. If you use good, fresh ingredients and use a deft hand, these foods are very good,” said Bucholz, a former English teacher who lives in Philadelphia, Pa.
    The 150 recipes in Bucholz’s cookbook are classic versions of some of the foods cited in the “Harry Potter” books. But because of copyright rules, dishes named by Rowling, including butterbeer, could not be used in the “unofficial” cookbook.
    Among the items Rowling describes as part of meals and feasts at Hogwarts: pumpkin juice, meat pies, tripe, stew, fried sausages, roast beef and chicken, shepherd’s pie, Cornish pasties, lamb chops, soup, steak and kidney pudding, black pudding, jelly slugs, fizzing whizbees, marshmallows, baked pumpkin, jacket potatoes, chips, peas, carrots, gravy, ketchup, custard tart, mint humbugs, ice cream, treacle tart, chocolate eclairs, jam doughnuts, rice pudding, fudge flies, pork chops, mashed potatoes, porridge, kippers, eggs and bacon, buttered toast with jam, cornflakes, turkey sandwiches, Christmas pudding, eggnog, trifle and Christmas cake.
    “It’s heavy but nourishing,” said Bucholz about the food in “Harry Potter.” “It’s very hearty country fare for working families.”
    Having a sweet tooth, the cookbook author admits her partiality to the desserts in her book.
    “I’m a sugar fiend. I really like the fudge and the tarts, toffee, nut brittle, eggnog and puddings. There’s lots of custard in British food, made with real milk and eggs.”
    Here are some recipes are from “The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook.”
    Poached Salmon in Honey and Dill Sauce
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    Page 2 of 3 -
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 ½ pounds salmon fillet, rinsed and patted dry, cut along the length into 4 pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Heat butter in saucepan wide enough to accommodate salmon fillets. When butter starts to foam, add onions, and cook until they are translucent, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
    Add flour, and stir until it is well blended. Pour in wine and honey, and cook, stirring constantly, until flour-butter mixture is blended in. Add dill.
    Sprinkle salmon fillets with salt and pepper and lay them in the pan, skin side down. Bring sauce to a simmer and continue simmering, covered, until salmon flakes apart when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.
    Occasionally scrape bottom of pan to prevent fish from sticking. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
    Note about recipe:In chapter two of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” Aunt Petunia serves salmon for dinner on the last evening of Aunt Marge’s stay.
    Makes 4 servings.
    -- “The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook” by Dinah Bucholz
    Almond-Ginger-Peach Treacle Tart
    Tart crust:
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup finely ground almonds
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold butter or margarine, cut into pieces
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
      Treacle filling:
      • 1 large peach, thinly sliced
      • 1 cup golden syrup or dark corn syrup
      • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs (6 to 8 slices fresh bread processed to crumbs in a food processor)
      • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
      • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
      • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for brushing the top
        Crust: Combine flour, ground almonds, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter, two knives or your fingertips, cut the butter into the flour until the flour is completely coated with fat; in other words, no white powdery flour remains and the mixture resembles coarse yellow meal. Or pulse in a food processor 15 to 20 times until the mixture resembles coarse yellow meal, and then transfer it to a large mixing bowl.
        Page 3 of 3 - Beat egg yolk with cream and vanilla, and pour it into the flour-butter mixture. Toss with a spatula until the dough clumps together, then knead briefly. Form 1/3 of the dough into one disk and the remaining 2/3 of the dough into another. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least two hours or up to three days.
        Filling: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove larger disk from refrigerator, and sprinkle both sides generously with flour. On a heavily flour-dusted work surface, roll out dough to an 11-inch circle. Fit dough into a 9-inch tart pan, and press in the bottom and sides. This dough is extremely hard to work with, but it’s also very forgiving, especially if you use margarine in place of the butter (sacrificing some flavor, but, oh well). You can gather it up, knead it and re-roll several times without it becoming tough. If it gets too soft, put it back in the fridge to firm up.
        Lay the thinly sliced peaches on the bottom of the tart. Warm the golden syrup in the microwave or a small saucepan just until it’s runny. Combine the golden syrup, breadcrumbs, chopped almonds and ginger in a mixing bowl, and mix well. Scrape the mixture into the tart shell, and spread it evenly over the peach slices with a rubber spatula.
        Remove the smaller disk from refrigerator, and sprinkle both sides generously with flour. On a heavily flour-dusted work surface, roll out the dough 1/8-inch thick. Cut the dough into strips with a sharp knife. Lay half the strips over the tart in one direction, and lay the other half over the tart in the opposite direction to form a lattice. Don’t try weaving the strips. Just laying them down will be hard enough, as the strips may break as you move them, and you’ll have to keep fixing and patching.
        Brush the strips with beaten egg and bake tart for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature with or without a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
        Note about recipe: In chapter 12 of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollow,” Harry feels sick and abruptly gets up from the table. Kreacher, out of newfound concern for his master, offers him treacle tart.
        Makes 8 servings.
        -- “The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook” by Dinah Bucholz
        Kathryn Rem can be reached at kathryn.rem@sj-r.com.