Author: Rowling, J.K.
Book: Harry Potter series
Difficulty rating: Pride & Prejudice, mainly because the timing is difficult, cooking so many things at once
Deliciousness rating: Outstanding
The four long house tables were laden with tureens of porridge, plates of kippers, mountains of toast and dishes of eggs and bacon (Rowling UK 68, US 86).
Breakfast is a pretty important meal, generally speaking, and at Hogwarts, it’s filled with an extra sense of anticipation. At the table, students are often discussing an event that they’re excited or nervous about — exams, Quidditch matches, the latest attack by the Heir of Slytherin…. Poor Harry, he’s always finding himself unable to eat, for one reason or another.
Hogwarts breakfast seems pretty fantastic, especially to savory food enthusiasts like myself. Here’s the menu:
- Eggs (fried or scrambled)
- Fried tomato
- Cereal (e.g. cornflakes)
- Orange juice
- Pumpkin juice
- Milk (mostly eaten with cereal)
We couldn’t have all of the above at once, although we certainly gave it our best shot. In the end, we ended up making bacon, sausage, fried eggs, kippers, fried tomatoes, toast with butter and marmalade, porridge, orange juice, and tea. (Hogwarts doesn’t serve tea at breakfast, but we decided that we should have tea with every HP meal we make, as it is the most commonly consumed item in the series.) After reading this article about the full English breakfast, we also added a can of Heinz beans and HP sauce.
Bacon, sausage, fried eggs, kippers, fried tomatoes, toast with butter and marmalade, porridge, orange juice, and tea
- 1/2 cup steel-cut oats
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tsp of salt
1. Toast the oats in a dry frying pan for about 3 mins — keep moving them around over medium heat “until fragrant.”
2. Put into a medium saucepan with milk and water.
3. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.
4. Turn the heat down to very low. Cook until you get to the desired texture — at least 10 mins, probably more. When it’s most of the way done, add the salt.
BACON, SAUSAGE & FRIED TOMATOES
Ingredients & Supplies:
- British-style bacon (often labeled “back bacon” or “Irish bacon” in stores)
- Quality sausages (we got classic bangers at Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe)
- Tomatoes, cut in half the hamburger-bun way
- Black pepper
- Meat thermometer
1. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat.
2. Put the bacon in one pan so the pieces are not overlapping.
3. When the bacon is opaque, curled up at the edges, and a little blackened, take it out and put it on a plate.
5. While bacon and tomato are cooking, heat other frying pan over medium-low heat. Put sausages into the pan.
6. Cook until browned on one side, about 10 mins. Flip and cook for another 5 mins.
7. Start taking internal temperature. Don’t poke too many holes! Cook until the inside registers 145 degrees.
8. Take the sausages off the heat and let them rest for 5 minutes.
The greatest mystery to us was the kippers. Neither Jenne nor I had eaten them before. Kippers, according to Wikipedia, are cold-smoked whole herrings. Okie dokie. The problem — there wasn’t a whole lot of information on the internet about how exactly one eats kippers. Some said to put eggs on a bed of kipper. But then what? Do you eat it all with toast? Some said to flake kipper into scrambled eggs. There was an utterly bewildering explanation on how to cook a kipper, where they instructed the chef to stick a whole herring into a jug and pour boiling water over it. This all mystified us even more. We could only find tinned kippers at the British food store, although I supposed we could’ve gotten herring and smoked it ourselves. But even we’re not that crazy…yet.
Still feeling woefully uninformed about the kipper consumption process, we called our real live British friend, Cam, for advice. She was not a fan of kippers herself, but her foodie father had considered them a great delicacy and bought them regularly, freshly smoked by the people who had caught the herring in the North Sea. She remembered kippers being eaten warm or hot with bread and butter. She further consulted her copy of Forgotten Skills of Cooking, and suggested us that we might pan-fry the kippers in butter.
- Tinned kippers
- KerryGold butter
1. Melt the butter in the bacon/tomato pan over medium heat.
2. Put the kippers in and wait for them to warm and sizzle.
- Good white English bread
1. Cut slices of good white English bread.
2. Toast, or you can broil it if you have no toaster.
3. Spread thickly with butter and marmalade.
- PG Tips tea
- Orange juice
1. Pour yourself orange juice and tea.
2. Make sure to take the teabag out before the tea gets too strong.
Did it measure up?
Cam (our real live British friend) told us that the English breakfast is typically a pretty mediocre meal that features a good sausage, and we agree that the banger was the best part! But we enjoyed the rest of the food too. She also said that the “fry-up” is often used as a hangover cure. Makes sense — it’s so greasy, salty, and protein-packed, it seems like it’d cure anything you got.
The bacon is pretty different than American bacon. It tastes like bacon, but with the texture of ham. We thought it would be chewy, more like Canadian bacon. Canadian bacon < British bacon < American bacon.
We liked the kippers so much more than we thought. I figured I’d like it, but I LOVED it with the eggs on toast. We also expected them to be strong and fishy, but they aren’t. Recommended!
The tomato is probably important because it adds vitamins to a meat-heavy meal, but I wouldn’t have missed it. It wasn’t bad. I just didn’t love it.
On the other hand, Heinz beans are disgusting. They are like white beans in SpaghettiO sauce. I even like SpaghettiOs, but I still thought it was gross. It serves us right for adding a dish that was not in the official HP breakfast line-up. The porridge didn’t turn out very well. It had a faintly dusty taste — Jenne suspects that some of the oats she used were old. She would also use less milk next time.
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. London: Bloomsbury, 1997.
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1999.