Since Halloween is around the corner, I’ve decided to do a review on the Harry Potter Movies. Unless you’ve been living under a rock since 2001, you’re familiar with the series of movies based on the novels by J.K. Rowling. It begins with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) and ends with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011).
I have read most of the books and really enjoyed seeing them come alive on screen. I’ll even watch the reruns over and over again. The rich dark settings are filled with imagination and the music is wonderful. It really sets the mood.
The main characters Harry, Ron and Hermione share the kind of friendship we all wanted when we were growing up. One thing I love is that the stories are all about honor, loyalty and integrity. From the first we can sympathize with Harry, an orphan living with less than compassionate relatives. He feels alone and unloved. On his 11th birthday, a mysterious stranger named Hagrid collects him and takes him to board the train for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy, a large castle filled with ghosts, moving staircases and paintings that come alive. Harry meets Ron Weasley, a boy from a large but poor, pure-blood wizarding family known for their red hair, and Hermione Granger, a witch born to Muggle (non-magical) parents. The trio band together and use their skills to unravel the mystery of what makes Lord Voldemort tick and why he’s after Harry. By the end of his first year at Hogwarts, Harry realizes he’s found his place in the world and we are looking forward to the next movie. It’s a delightful story and people of all ages who enjoy losing themselves in a magical trip to a fantasy world will agree.
In honor of Harry Potter day on my blog, I’ve selected several dishes that sound intriguing. See what you think:
Molly’s Magical Meat Pie (As in Molly Weasley. I wonder if she’s cooked this for Harry?)
½ pound ground sausage (we like spicy to add more flavor)
½ pound ground beef
2 t minced garlic
2 t all spice (or nutmeg if you don’t have it)
2 t dried parsley (or Italian seasoning)
1 teaspoon paprika (optional)
2-3 T dried minced onion
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 cup cubed cooked potatoes (or you can use frozen hashbrowns)
Crust (or you can make your own)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a skillet, brown sausage and beef until almost cooked through. Drain fat. Add spices, garlic, and onion and cook for two more minutes. Add flour and stir. Add broth to the skillet. Bring to a boil and stir in the potatoes. Cook until heated through.
Place one crust in bottom of pie pan and trim to 1/2 in. beyond edge of dish. Fill with meat mixture. Place second crust on top and press edges of two crusts together and (if you want to be fancy—and who doesn’t?) flute edges.
Use extra crust to put a fun design on the top of your crust (as you can see, we did a lightening bolt and the deathly hallows symbol). When we do individual pies, we usually use extra crust to put the kids’ initials on top.
Brush egg wash on top of crust and prick several times with a fork. Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes or until pastry is lightly browned on edges. (You may need to cover with foil for the last few minutes.)
BUTTERBEER (To serve with the meat pie)
Start to finish: 1 hour (10 minutes active)
1 cup light or dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
6 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
Four 12-ounce bottles cream soda
In a small saucepan over medium, combine the brown sugar and water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook, stirring often, until the mixture reads 240 F on a candy thermometer.
Stir in the butter, salt, vinegar and 1/4 heavy cream. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the rum extract.
In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar mixture and the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Use an electric mixer to beat until just thickened, but not completely whipped, about 2 to 3 minutes.
To serve, divide the brown sugar mixture between 4 tall glasses (about 1/4 cup for each glass). Add 1/4 cup of cream soda to each glass, then stir to combine. Fill each glass nearly to the top with additional cream soda, then spoon the whipped topping over each.
And finally, we have Treacle Tart
1½ cups golden syrup (recipe follows or you can buy it on amazon for about ten bucks. You can also just substitute corn syrup, but it won’t be quite the same.)
Zest of 1 large lemon, finely grated
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp ground ginger
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (you can use panko bread crumbs, but, again, it won’t be quite the same)
9 in tart pan with removable bottom
2 pie crusts (recipe follows or you can use a store-bought one. The recipe here is more like a pâte sucré or sugar dough, so if you use a store-bought crust, it will be less sweet, but it still works.)
Preheat the oven to 400. Mix the flour and sugar in a bowl. Add the butter and mix until the dough resembles coarse bread crumbs. Mix the egg yolk with 3 tbsp cold water. Add to the dough and stir until it comes together.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 1/8 inch thick circle to line the tart pan. Trim the excess and prick with a fork. Chill for 30 minutes. Line with wax paper, fill with baking beans, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for 5 minutes. Remove and reduce the oven temperature to 375.
Warm the syrup in a saucepan with the lemon. Add the ginger. Sprinkle the bread crumbs in the tart shell (I know it sounds so weird, but it works), pour in the syrup, and let stand for 5 minutes. Use the dough trimmings to make a lattice top. Bake for 20–30 minutes.
See you next time!