Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pumpkin Juice

Harry and Ron soared above the train, flying past dancing clouds and beautiful landscapes. Harry's shirt stuck to his back as the heat from the sun bored down upon them. Maybe eating all of those toffees from the car wasn't such a great idea after all. The thoughts of glistening glasses of pumpkin juice must be torture!

"The toffees had made them extremely thirsty and they had nothing to drink. ...He had stopped noticing the fantastic cloud shapes now and was thinking longingly of the train miles below, where you could buy ice-cold pumpkin juice from the trolley pushed by a plump witch." (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J.K. Rowling, Chap.5)

Pumpkin juice is one of those curious drinks that piques the interest of all, wizard and non-magic folk alike. I had actually planned on waiting to make the pumpkin juice recipe until Halloween, but obviously I just couldn't help myself.

One tiny setback that occurred when trying to make this was the fact that I actually could not find a pumpkin to cook; At least not the type that you should cook. So I did what any resourceful cook would do...Head straight for the baking aisle! Luckily the local grocery store almost always carries canned pumpkin in the winter months. So canned pumpkin it is!

While visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter over the summer, I got the amazing opportunity to try all of the treats from the wizarding world. One of those treats being pumpkin juice. Every since then I have been dying to try to make it own my own, well that and butterbeer. So I added a few things to this recipe in an attempt to mimic the pumpkin juice I had in the Three Broomsticks. Happy cooking!

Trivia Question: What did Dumbledore leave Ron in his will after his death?

Pumpkin Juice
 1/12 cups canned pumpkin or (1 small pumpkin, known as sugar pumpkin or pie pumpkin)
2 cups apple juice (I used Apple Cider)
1 cup white grape juice (I used White Cranberry Juice)
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/2 and 1/4 teaspoon of Wassail spice blend (I used the Biltmore brand)

Directions for the canned pumpkin: Take the pumpkin and spoon it into an empty apple juice container and add the juices. Cap the container and shake until well combined. Strain through a fine mesh colander into a large bowl. Transfer the strained juice back into the original jug. Add the spices and give it one last good shake and Voila! You have homemade pumpkin juice.

Directions for the Cooked pumpkin:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the pumpkin in half pole to pole and scoop out the seeds. Don't worry about the stringy fibers; they are hard to remove and won't affect the results, place the pumpkin halves face down on a baking sheet and roast 45 minutes to 1 hour until soft. Remove from the oven.
2. When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and discard the skin. Place the cooked pumpkin in a large fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl and push the pumpkin through using a rubber spatula. Scrape and mash as you push; it will take several minutes. Discard the pulpy mass left in the sieve. Stir the sieved pumpkin in the bowl to evenly distribute the juices, and then measure out 1 cup.
3. Place the cup of sieved pumpkin in a pitcher along with the apple juice, grape juice, and pineapple. Stir vigorously until the pumpkin is completely dispersed. Chill the juice until it's very cold.
4. Before serving, stir the juice well, as the pumpkin will settle to the bottom. Fill crystal goblets with ice cubes and pour the juice over the ice.

Makes 5 cups.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Custard Tart

Professor Snape would really love to see Harry and Ron expelled after crashing Mr. Weasley's flying car into the Whomping Willow. But Dumbledoor reminds Snape that that punishment is for Professor McGonagall to decide. Dumbledoor then distracts Snape by leading Snape to the Great Hall by promises of Custard Tarts being served. (See Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 5. From, the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook)

Mmm...Custard! The age old, brittish treat! and why wouldn't it be? After first having the custard in Knickerbocker Glory, I fell in love! There just isn't anything else like it! I absolutely LOVE this comfort food. This recipe had a lovely butter, flaky crust, filled with the creamy loveliness from the custard.
I have to admit that if you have never made a homemade pie crust or tart crust...then you have no idea what kind of mess you are able to make. I had flour everywhere! the counters, my face, and my clothes. It really was a very comedic sight. As we all know, flour is easily cleaned up, so don't let this stop you from making a delicious dessert! Using a food processor to make the crust just simplifies the recipe completely. Store bought crust has nothing on this!

(this is pretty much what it looks like, just a bit more homemade.
I would have had my own pic on here but I accidentally erased it.)
Harry Potter Trivia -  Who is Harry's Godparent?

Tart Crust
1 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 Cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. For the crust, place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the flour mixture. Pulse until the mixture resmbles coarse yellow meal without any white powdery bits remaining, about 15 puses. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Beat the egg yolk with the cream and vanilla and pour in into the frour-butter mixture. Toss with a spatula until the dough clumps together. If the dough is dry add 1 more tablespoon heavy cream (better too wet than too dry). From into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a floured surface to an 11-inch circle. (if it is too stiff for rolling out, let it first rest on the counter for 10 minutes.) Fold it into quarters, brushing off excess flour with a pastry brush after each fold, and then unfold it into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Ease the sides gently into the pan and press the dough gently against the sides. Use the rolling pin to roll the overhang off of the pan.

3. Freeze the tart shell for 10 minutes. Line the pan with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights. (uncooked pinto beans work well, and are inexpiensive) Bake until the dough is dry and set, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and pie weights, reduce the heat to 350 degrees F, and continue baking until the crust is golden, another 8 minutes.

4. Prepare the custard while the crust is baking. Heat the milk and cream in a small saucepan until hot but not simmering (do not boil). In the meantime, whisk the yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until smooth. Temper the yolk mixture by slowly pouring in 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture while whisking vigorously. Pour the yolk mixture into the saucepan and continue to coook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the wooden spoon scrapes up thickened bits of custard. Do not let the mixture simmer or boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.

5. Raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Pour the hot filling into the hot crust and bake until the custard puffs up and is still jiggly when you move the pan, about 15 minutes. Remove the tart from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool. The custard will set up as it cools. Cool completely before serving.

Serves 8

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Harry's First Birthday Cake: Chocolate Layer Cake

As the storm raged outside, Harry counted down the minutes until his birthday. Not knowing that when the clock stroke 12:00Am he would be meeting a half-giant named Hagrid, learn about his parents, and realize he was a wizard. Not to mention receiving his first birthday cake, and what a tasty first birthday cake that would be.

"Anyways Harry," said the giant, turning his back on the Durselys. "A very happy birthday to yeh. Got summat fer yeh here, I mighta sat on it as some point, but it'll taste all righ." From an inside pocket of his black over coat he pulled out a slightly squashed box. Harry opened it with trembling fingers. Inside was a large, sticky chocolate cake with Happy Birthday Harry written on it in green icing.
(Doesn't it look yummy?)

When most people hear the word cake, especially chocolate cake, the reaction is usually..."Mmm" while drooling over the spectacular images in their heads. As it so happens, I am the weirdo who is impervious to the "chocolate cake's" effects. I am just not a cake person. I prefer pies, brownies, ice cream, things like that. So you may be wondering, why make the cake? Well, besides my oath to make every recipe in the book, my boyfriend likes chocolate cake and his birthday was coming up.

So I thought to myself. "Hmm...it could be fun making a cake! I'm doing it! So determined to make his birthday as special as possible on a small pocket book, I set out to plan a surprise night out with our friends and make him a birthday cake. This happened to be the first time I had ever made a cake, but I'm glad I picked this one. It was pretty simple to make, although I didn't realize I should stand over the oven to check to see if it finishes baking before the specified time, (mistake). The cake didn't burn, but it was a bit dry. As it so happens baking is not my strong point, in most part it is because of the whole concept of time (which I have a major problem with anyways.) and the fact is, that cake will dry out easy as well as other things if you don't watch them carefully!

I made this cake (secretly) while at home watching the Harry Potter Marathon on TV, you know the one that was going to air the first sneak peeks of the new Deathly Hallows part 1 trailer! (I think it was a world premier) Either way, I had a blast watching Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone while making this cake and eating the icing as I was watching the movie and quoting the lines (I know, major dork, right?). It was an awesome thing to make this cake while watching the scene to this movie.

The next night, all of us piled up in my car and headed to a really cool Irish pub about an hour away. It happened to be really warm that night and we had the cake in the floor board covered up so the birthday boy wouldn't see. To make a long story short, we had to leave the cake in the car because we had to park in a garage and walk a couple of blocks to get to bar. We had a great time and didn't get back to the car until several hours later. This cake is super awesome! I don't even like cake and I like this one. The Icing is very creamy, which literally melts into your mouth Mmm...With this said, this cake is a rich heavenly delight that does NOT need to be in a warm environment. The icing started to slide down the cake a little bit, and the wording was completely gone by then, but it still looked good and tasted great! So my advice is keep it cool and it will be nice and pretty. On the other hand, it was made by Hagrid, so its made to look a little messy and homemade looking :) Well, I really hope you try this one out because it is really good! So good, that I made it the other day just to eat! funny right? Well, Happy Cooking!

Trivia Question: What are the three unforgivable curses?

Chocolate Cake
3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8ounces) butter, at room-temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze
8 ounces chopped bitter sweet chocolate (I used the chips for convenience)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 stick (2 tablespoons) butter
1/4 cup corn syrup

Chocolate Frosting
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter (I use unsalted for all my recipes)
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 of the above chocolate glaze recipe

Green Icing
1 cup confectioners' sugar
Water to form a paste
Green food coloring

1. To make the cake layers, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
3. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each until incorporated and scraping down the sides as needed. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the hot cocoa mixture and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and stir on the slowest speed until combined. Finish by scraping the bottom of the bowl with a spatula and folding it in. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 20 minutes, (mine didn't take as long, so keep an eye on it.) until the cakes feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached. Be careful, as this cake over bakes easily. Cool the layers in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and cool completely.
4. To prepare the glaze, place the chocolate, heavy cream, butter, and corn syrup in a bowl and microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Cool the glaze until it is thick but still pourable.
5. To prepare the frosting, place the butter, confectioner's sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy, scraping down sides as needed, about 7 minutes. Add half of the cooled glaze and beat until combined. If the frosting is too soft to spread, chill for 10 minutes and beat again. Chill another 10 minutes and beat again if necessary.
6. To make the icing, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time to the confectioners' sugar and mix to form a thick paste. Work in food coloring to tint it to the desired shade of green. (remember, it is better too thick, than too thin)
7. To assemble the cake, place one layer top-side down on a cardboard round. Spread 3/4 cup of frosting over the top over the cake and smooth it to the edges. Place the second layer top-side up over the first and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. Pour the remaining glaze over the cake and smooth it to the edges, allowing it to drip unevenly over the sides. (If the glaze is too stiff, warm briefly in the microwave and whisk to distribute the heat evenly. You may need to wait again for the glaze to cool.) If you have any frosting left, use it to pipe a decorative border around the bottom of the cake. Place the icing in a pastry bag fitted with a #3 round tip and write "Happy Birthday Harry" on top of the cake. The cake will look homemade. It's supposed to; Hagrid made it!

Serves 16

Tip: Instead of a pastry bag, you can use a sandwich bag. Snip off a small hole in one corner, fill it with the icing, and squeeze it through the hole.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Harry wryly observes that Voldemort won't get killed off while Harry's busy making canapes and vol-au-vents. He's frustrated that Mrs. Weasley is keeping him so busy with preparations for Bill and Fleur's wedding that she leaves him no time for planning an attack. (harry potter and the deathly Hallows, Chap.6).

Okay, you guys asked for an appetiser, so here it is! Well, as easy these are to make, they weren't my favorite. This little appetizer was so cute! with so many possibilities on the different ingredients you could use and the shapes you can create. However, this particular recipe has ingredients in it that I do not care to much for. I made two out of three of the canapes; the Olive-Cheese Topping, and the Smoked Salmon Topping. Even though I was not crazy about this recipe...It does mean you won't be. I just happen to not be a very big fan of olives, tomatoes, or smoked salmon. The smoked salmon topping was pretty good, given my dislike for smoked salmon. To create different shapes, you can get out your old cookie cutters and go to work!
(by the way, sorry for such a late post! I know its been awhile ;)

Harry Potter Trivia: What is Professor Dumbledor's full name?

1 Loaf good-quality sandwich bread
butter, for greasing the skillet

The Toppings
Olive-Cheese Topping: mayonnaise, mozzarella cheese sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices, pitted olives
Smoked Salmon Topping: Cream cheese, smoked salmon, chopped scallions
Sour Cream- Anchovy Topping: sour cream, anchovy fillets packed in olive oil, grape tomatoes.
Toothpicks for holding the fillets in place.

1. To make the canapes, use a round 2-inch cookie cutter to cut circles out of the bread. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Take a cold stick of butter and rub the tip of it over the surface of the hot skillet. Add as many pieces of bread as fit into the skillet. Toast over medium heat on each side until golden brown, a few minutes per side. Repeat the buttering between batches. Make as many as desired.

2. For the Sour Cream-Anchovy Canapes, spread sour cream on the canapes. Dab the fillets with a paper towel, then cut in thirds and lay over the sour cream, 1 fillet per canape. Push a toothpick through a grape tomato and press into place on top of the anchovy.

3. For the Olive-Cheese Topping, use the 2-inch cutter to cut out circles of cheese. Spread mayonnaise on the canapes. Lay the circles of cheese over the mayonnaise. Push a toothpick through an olive and press into place on top of the cheese.

4. For the Smoked Salmon Topping, spread cream cheese on the canapes. Lay a piece of smoked salmon on top, then sprinkle with the chopped scallions.
Make as many as desired!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Roast Pheasent

Malfoy is feeling left out, but Harry would rather hang out with his friends, than accept the invitation to dine with Professor Slughorn aboard the Hogwarts Express, where Slughorn passes around pheasant to the select members of the 'Slug Club" (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chap. 7) (The unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook)

Ahh roast pheasant...This dish dates back to the feudal times, and is still loved today. This recipe has very little ingredients which is good for the cook on a budget. You will love how simple this is, just chop up your vegetables, put in the chicken and pop it into the oven and viola! you have a dish that looks like it took a day of slaving over the stove. When in reality it just hung out in the oven for about a hour and a half. So put this baby in, set your timer, and sit back and relax.

Now, this was my first whole baby chicken I have ever cooked. This little person has only ever cooked with chicken breasts. Yes I said it...it is shameful I know ;) but it is the truth, just plain ole chicken breast from the grocery store. So naturally this was a whole new experience for me. The recipe doesn't say what size chicken to buy, so I got a 5lb one so that it would be enough to feed the whole family. The great thing about this recipe is that it is great for anyone trying to watch their weight. It has very little fat, and has a lot of flavor, especially the vegetables in it! I have to be honest, this chicken looked so pretty I didn't what to cut it, but I was starving so I did so gladly. It was so tender and juicy! You have Got to try this one! Just make sure you have some time on your hands to do so.

My boyfriend decided to use the left overs the next day to make a chicken sandwich. So there you go, now you have lunch for the next day! We loved the fluffy mashed potatoes so much that we decided to make it again to go with it.
Roast pheasant and fluffy mashed potatoes
Okay, so I asked all of you (in the poll) what you would like to see more of, so I have decided to grant you that wish for APPETISERS! ;) So, weekend I will be making canapes, I have a feeling this will be interesting, so tune in with me. Happy cooking!

Harry Potter Trivia:  According to the movie, what was the first spell that harry potter knowingly cast?

Note: Don't forget to type your name with your answers into the comment box!
Roast Pheasant
1 onion, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
2 celery ribs, cut into chunks
2 carrots, cut into chunks
4 garlic cloves
1 pheasant (I used a 5 lb)
olive oil for brushing on the pheasant
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup water

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lay the onion slices in a roasting pan and scatter the celery, carrots, and garlic cloves on top.
2. Rinse the pheasant in cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. Place the pheasant in the roasting pan, breast side up, wings tucked under. Brush the olive oil over the pheasant and sprinkle it with the salt and pepper. Pour the water into the roasting pan.
3. Put the pan in the oven and roast for 45minutes, or until the juices run clear. (mine took about a hour and a half)
4. Remove the pheasant from the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Note: the best way to check if it is done, is to pierce the breast with a knife and see if the juce is clear.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Knickerbocker Glory

"Dudley pretends to cry when he discovers that Harry will have to come along with him on his birthday trip. Aunt Petunia, fooled by his antics, assures Dudley that she won't let Harry spoil his special day. Little does she know! But before the day ends in disaster, Harry enjoys the Knickerbocker glory he has been allowed to finish when Dudley complains his doesn't have enough ice cream." The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook.

For most of you (like me), probably do not know what Knickerbocker glory is. For all of those people, I will give you a bit of history on it. This is a good summertime, parfait-like treat that was first recorded in the United States in the 1930s, but instead of taking of here, it found its way across the ocean and became popular in England. How did it get it's curious name? some say from striped knickerbockers: the layers of ice cream, jelly, custard, fruit, and whipped cream look like striped knee breeches. Knickerbockers was also a term used to refer to New Yorkers, so this could be the origin as well. (courtesy, of The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook).

I was particularly excited to make this recipe upon first flipping through the cookbook. It seemed to be a very interesting desert. I was pretty excited because it was so different from anything else I had tried, since it contained custard, whipped cream, and ice cream that is all made by hand (with the exception of the ice cream). This recipe would be good a simple desert for a diner party or such, because of its beautiful presentation and ability to make ahead. The great thing about this is that most of it is made ahead, then you just basically combine it in layers in a pretty dish :)

To be totally honest, I would have to say that the desert had a really good flavor. The custard was soooo good. I have to admit that once I finished the custard, I was licking the spoon. Oh man, who can resist warm, creamy custard? Not me! The combination of the custard, ice cream, whipped cream, and fruit made a very creamy, and delicious treat. The jello in the desert gave the desert a nice twang, but a weird texture. Taking a bite of this creates a very different texture that shocked my palate at first. So, my first bite was a little shocking, from the contrast in texture, but the flavor was delicious. The flavor was so good, I almost made me another this morning, and I almost dipped back into the custard bowl again this evening as well. But considering me trying to watch my figure somewhat ;) I decided not to, but I make no promises for tomorrow.
                                                           I told you it was pretty ;)
Before I post the recipe, I want to let you all know that today I am giving you all your first Harry Potter trivia question. I will post a new question up every week along with the weekly recipe. At the end of the Harry Potter Project (when all of the recipes are made), the person with the most correct answers will receive their very own cookbook. Just simply post your answers into the comment box. If you do not have a google account, just select anonymous, and put your name into the comment box with your answer. So good Luck! I will see you all back here this weekend when I will be attempting to make Roast Pheasant! Happy Cooking!

Harry Potter Trivia Question: What were the names of Harry Potter's Parents?

Knickerbocker Glory
2 cups custard (recipe follows)
Whipped cream (recipe follows)
2 cups any flavor Jell-O (prepared in advance) (I happened to use strawberry)
Chopped toasted nuts, such as peanuts (I used pecans)
2 cups chopped fresh fruit (such as, peaches or berries. I used strawberries and blueberries)
1 pint vanilla ice cream
Chocolate syrup

1. Prepare the custard, whipped cream, and Jell-O in advance; Chop and toast the nuts ahead as well. (If you are new to toasting nuts as I, just simply heat your oven to 350 degrees F. and place your chopped nuts on a baking sheet and cook for just a few minutes, you do not want to brown them).

2. Wash and chop fruit into bite-size pieces.

3. Set out six tall sundae glasses. Divide 1/2 pint of the ice-cream into the bottom of the six glasses. Evenly divide 1 cup of the fruit into the glasses. Then evenly divide 1 cup of the Jell-O over the fruit and 1 cup of custard over the Jell-O. Repeat the layering once with the remaining ice cream, fruit, Jell-O, and custard.

4. Top with the whipped cream, toasted nuts, and chocolate syrup. (If you want to save time and do not wish to make the whipped cream, you can buy it, it does taste the same. Although, isn't everything better from scratch? It is fun to do together as a family as well).

1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 1/2 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Combine 2 tablespoons of the sugar with the cornstarch and salt in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the milk and cream and stir until the cornstarch dissolves. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.

2. Cook the milk mixture over medium-high heat until the mixture is just starting to bubble and thicken. reduce the heat to low. Temper the yolks by slowly pouring 1/2 cup of the hot mixture into the yolks while whisking constantly. Pour the yolk mixture into the saucepan, stirring constantly.

3. Turn the heat back up to medium-high. Cook, stirring constantly but gently, until the mixture is thick. Once the mixture starts to thicken, it must be handled gently or the cornstarch will lose its thickening power. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

4. Strain the custard through a sieve into another bowl. (you may need to push it through the sieve with a rubber spatula; this gets rid of lumps.) Cover the custard with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming, and chill until it is set.

Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place the heavy cream, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl and whip until firm peaks form and stay in place when you lift up the beater and turn the bowl upside down.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


(This soup is one of the nine recipes from the Goblet. When students from various places come to Hogwarts to compete in the tri-wizard tournament).

"Cock fighting is a cruel and abhorrent sport, but like it or not, it did take place in days of old (unfortunately also today in some parts of the world). After a fight, the Scots took the dead rooster and served it up to the sports lovers in a soup made with leeks, barley, and most unusual, prunes. This version includes rice but leaves out the prunes to create a full meal in one dish. If you want a more authentic dish, leave out the rice and add 2 cups pitted prunes to the soup a 1/2 hour before it finishes cooking." The unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook

Okay everyone, here is the awaited Cock-a-Leekie soup! Sorry I didn't post it Saturday night, but I was kind of set back by the dreaded "first of the month" bills, but after scavenging around for the ingredients, I am back with soup! Now that we are done with the apologies, I must say this was a really good soup! one thing I LOVE about this soup is the number of ingredients. This only calls for six ingredients! yes, I said six! and most of these six, I bet you already have in your kitchen. So this would be a perfect meal to have during the week. This was a super simple soup that packs great taste. In this recipe I did things a bit different than the book, in the chicken department, that is.

The recipe calls for 6 chicken thighs, rinsed and patted dry. I ended up using about a pound of chicken breast. Simply for the reason of already having this type of chicken already on hand. My chicken happened to be still frozen when I got home, so needless to say I was running it under hot water to thaw it while I prepared the onions and leeks. Well, I became a little flustered when I realized I had no paper towels to pat them dry, and I was going to have to sear it while wet and we know how that will end. At this point I grabbed a glass of wine and wished that I had of gone to the grocery store and bought the chicken thighs, while I quickly dropped the chicken into the sizzling pot.

Crack! Pop! Crack! is all I heard for about five minutes, not daring to go near it. We all know that water and oil do not get along with each other, the oil tries to throw the water out of its territory. I knew this would happen, but it was all I knew to do, is just let them battle it out. All the while my mom comes into the kitchen to spectate my chicken throw down while saying, "are you sure it is supposed to do that?" so with wine in hand, chicken in the pot popping and cracking, mom saying. "it needs to be turned down" and such. I was wondering if this should call for a proper meltdown....hmmm, right conditions, check! lots of noise, check! glass in hand, check! mom in background, check!...I think it might qualify. Well, just then, while I am standing back watching the chicken fuss, mom steps into the ring and shows the chicken who is boss! she cautiously approaches the stove and stretches out her hand, avoiding the evil chicken's wrath and turns down the eye. We all watched as the chicken eventually calms down.

Yay! one for mom! and zero for chicken! mom saves the day with a blow to the chicken, its K.O. for the chicken folks! After, the chicken show was over I cut up the semi-raw chicken into chunks so it would cook faster, and even though it was wet to start out with, it still browned a bit, so I was happy. Then I added the other ingredients just as the recipe directed. From then on out everything worked out fine. So, without my small little mishap, the soup turned out great and  very delicious. So, I recommend you try this recipe for the family, they will love this soup on a cold day. Just make sure you have your paper towels around so you can pat your  chicken DRY. Also, I know that I promised you guys Knickerbocker Glory for desert, and I am going to fulfill my promise. Tonight I am going to be making this desert and it will be posted by tomorrow evening. I hope you all enjoy this recipe. See you all here tomorrow! Happy cooking!
(this was taken with my phone, so I apologize for the size and clarity).
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 chicken thighs, rinsed and patted dry
1 med. onion, chopped
1 lb leeks, washed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 cups of water
1/2 cup long-grain white rice
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. heat 1 teaspoon oil in a wide pot. Add 3 of the chicken thighs, skin-side down, and cook on both sides until they are golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a large plate. Pour out the fat, wipe out the pot, and add another teaspoon of oil. Repeat for the remaining 3 pieces of chicken.

2. Pour out the rest of the fat, wipe out the pot, and heat the remaining tablespoon oil. Add the onions and cook until they are translucent, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the water, rice, and chicken. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour, until chicken is tender. The rice will be completely soft and almost melted into the soup.

4. Remove the chicken from the soup. Using a wide spoon such as a serving spoon, skim the fat off the top of the soup. Remove the chicken meat from the skin and bones and chop into bite-size pieces; then return it to the soup. Season the soup with the salt and pepper. Yields: 8

(Note. if you use chicken breasts without the bone, as I did, you will not need to follow step four, with the exception of the salt and pepper).