Princess on the Pea-Butter Sandwiches

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Water streamed from her hair down her clothes into her shoes, and ran out at the heels. Yet she claimed to be a real Princess.

“We’ll soon find that out,” the old Queen thought to herself. Without saying a word about it she went to the bedchamber, stripped back the bedclothes, and put just one pea in the bottom of the bed. Then she took twenty mattresses and piled them on the pea. Then she took twenty eiderdown feather beds and piled them on the mattresses. Up on top of all these the Princess was to spend the night.

–”The Princess on the Pea” by Hans Christian Andersen

“Princess pea-butter” sandwiches are specifically mentioned in the “Ever After High” stories. Turns out, they’re the most popular lunch food from the Castleteria! Check out our “Ever After High” episode here!

Princess on the Pea-Butter Sandwiches

  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 Cup Frozen Peas + extra for decorating
  • 2 Tbsp. Honey
  • 1/2 tsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • Bread Slices
  • Asiago Cheese Slices

In a chilled mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, beat the cream on high for about 10 mins (put a large sheet of plastic wrap over the bowl & mixer so the liquid won’t splatter everywhere!). The butter solids & milk will separate. Beat until the solids form together. Strain the butter & milk through a cheese cloth (the butter milk can be used in other recipes) & return the butter to the mixing bowl.

Put the frozen peas into a food processor & pulse until the peas are broken into a sort of fine powder. Put this into the mixing bowl with the butter & add the honey, lemon juice, & salt. Beat on medium high for several minutes to combine thoroughly. Squeeze & strain again through the cheese cloth & put into a serving dish or container.

Lay a slice of cheese out flat & use a small sharp knife to cut a crown shape. Spread some of the pea-butter over a slice of bread, & then place the cheese crown in the center. Cut a whole pea in half, put a tiny bit of pea-butter on the cut side of it, & then fix it to the center of the crown. Store pea-butter in fridge with plastic wrap or lid. Before using, let it soften a little on the counter before spreading.

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 52 : Hans Christian Andersen

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Basilton’s Shepherd’s Pie

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He shoves a casserole dish into my arms, then grabs some forks. “Milk?” he asks. “Coke?”

“Milk,” I say. I’m grinning, I can’t stop grinning. He puts the carton on top of the casserole, grabs some cloth napkins from the drawer, then heads back up to his room. It’s a struggle to keep up.
. . . .
I sit down next to him, and he takes the casserole dish from me and casts a quick, “You’re getting warmer!”—then opens the lid. It’s shepherd’s pie.

“Do you need to eat?” I ask. “Or do you just like it?”

“I need it,” he says, scooping up a bite, avoiding my eyes, “just not as much as other people do.”

“How do you know that you’re not immortal?”

He hands me a fork. “No more questions.”

We finish the shepherd’s pie, eating out of the bowl on Baz’s lap. He chews with his hand over his mouth. I try to remember whether I’ve ever seen him eat before.… I finish the milk. He doesn’t want any.

When we’re done, he sets the dishes outside his door, then starts a fire in the fireplace with his wand.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Basilton’s Shepherd’s Pie

  • 1 1/2 Russet Potatoes, peeled & diced ~1/2″ pieces
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Half & Half
  • 1/4 Cup Butter, sliced
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tbsp. Oil
  • 1 tsp. Minced Garlic
  • 1 Lrg. Carrot, peeled & diced
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 lbs. Ground Lamb
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Rosemary, minced
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Thyme, minced
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Sage, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Parsley, chopped
  • 1 Cup Stock (can be veal, beef, veggie, etc.)
  • 1 Can Peas, drained

Put the potato cubes on a large pot with the salt & enough cold water to cover the potatoes, & then cover the pot with a lid. Bring to a boil, & then uncover & reduce the heat to a simmer for about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes & then put them back in the pot.

In a small pot on medium low combine the half & half with the butter & heat until the butter melts. Add this mixture to the potatoes, adding pepper to taste & more salt if desired, & mash until smooth. Stir in the egg until fully combined.

Grease a deep pie dish or casserole dish & then press half of the potato mixture into the bottom & up the sides. Set aside for the meat mixture.

In a large pan on medium high, heat the oil, & then add in the garlic, onions, & carrots & sauté until just tender. Stir in the meat & cook until no longer pink. Sprinkle on the flour & toss to coat. Stir in the tomato paste, Worcestershire, & herbs, & cook for a couple minutes, & then add in the broth. Bring to a boil & then turn down to simmer for about 10 minutes so the juices can thicken.

Heat your oven to 400ºF. Spoon the meat mixture evenly into the dish with the potatoes. Layer the rest of the potato mixture on top of the meat, starting at the edges & working your way into the center. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top has gotten a little golden brown. Remove, cool a bit, & serve with 2 forks & a jug of milk!

carry-on-shepherds-pie-bitecarry-on-shepherds-pie-bite-closeup Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 34 : Carry On

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Cratchit’s Homemade Stuffing

christmas-carol-stuffing“At last the dishes were set on, and grace was said. It was succeeded by a breathless pause, as Mrs Cratchit, looking slowly all along the carving-knife, prepared to plunge it in the breast; but when she did, and when the long expected gush of stuffing issued forth, one murmur of delight arose around the board, and even Tiny Tim, excited by the two young Cratchits, beat on the table with the handle of his knife, and feebly cried Hurrah!” —A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Cratchit’s Homemade Stuffing

  • 1 Loaf of White Bread
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 4 Cups Celery (including leaves), chopped
  • 2 lrg. Onions, Chopped
  • 1 Stick Butter, cut up
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh, chopped Sage
  • 1 1/2 tsp. fresh, chopped Rosemary
  • 1 tsp. fresh, chopped Thyme
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Cups Dried Cranberries
  • 1 – 2 Cups Chopped Pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 Cup Chicken or Turkey Broth (if not stuffing into bird)

Toast the bread slices on large trays in the oven until just beginning to golden (if you’re putting this in a fowl, reserve the end pieces). Remove & cut into 1/2″ cubes. Put the cubes into a huge bowl & toss with the beaten eggs to coat (it’s easiest to use your hands).

In a large frying pan on medium high, melt the butter, & then add in the celery& cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the onion & cook until tender. Add in the spices & toss to coat (you can adjust the measurements to taste). Lastly, add in the cranberries & optional nuts & cook for a couple minutes more. Toss the celery/cranberry mixture with the bread cubes.

If you’re putting the mixture into a turkey, goose, or chicken, do so now & then close up the openings with the reserved end slices. Bake the fowl as directed. If you’re baking this dressing separately, heat your oven to 350ºF & grease a large baking dish. Put the dressing in & pour the broth over it. Cover with foil & bake for about 30 minutes, & then remove the foil & bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until the top pieces are crispy & brown.

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 51: A Christmas Carol

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Turniphead Cawl

When brainstorming a dish for Howl’s moving castle, I thought Welsh Cawl might be a nice choice – is the national dish of Wales from whence hails Howl, and although Sophie hates turnips she has somewhat affectionately named the stalky scarecrow Turniphead. I carved little faces into my turnips, so Halloweeny (keep Halloween in your heart all through the year).

Recommended, do the meat and broth step the day before so it has time to cool and you can spoon off the fat.

Turniphead Cawl

  • 1.5 pounds bone-in lamb shoulder, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • flavorless oil
  • salt & pepper
  • herbs (I used several sprigs of thyme and a sprig of rosemary)
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and sliced into half moon
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into half moons
  • 3 medium turnips, peeled, halved, and carved into faces
  • handful parsley finely chopped

Salt and pepper the meat and heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium high in a large soup pot. Brown in two batches, then add 6 cups water and the rest of the meat into pot, stirring well to scrape up any brown bits. Add herbs, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer for an hour.

Cool completely in the fridge. Scrape off fat and discard. Strain the meat out to a plate, and strain the broth.

In the soup pot, gently heat 2 teaspoons oil. Add leaks and carrots to the pot and gently stir to coat, cooking several minutes until wilted and soft. Add broth, meat, and turnips. Bring up to a simmer and simmer until turnips are soft and can be easily pierced with a paring knife, 10-15 minutes.

Arrange in a bowl and serve hot, garnished with parsley.

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Calcifer’s Breakfast Skillet

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Inspired by the copious amounts of bread and cheese, and bacon and eggs, consumed in Diana Wynne Jones’ novel Howl’s Moving Castle, plus the inclusions of it in the Studio Ghibli film, here’s a tasty breakfast–or any time of day–combination! I decided to do this in a cast iron skillet because that’s what is used in the film! Onions are also included because they taste great in this dish, and because chopped onions feature in a scene in the book too. 😉

Calcifer’s Breakfast Skillet

  • 1 pkg. Thick Cut Bacon
  • 1/2 Large Onion, julienned
  • 1/2 Loaf Sourdough Bread Round
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 10 Eggs (plus 1 egg white, see below)
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese (freshly shredded is best!)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Thinly Sliced Ham for biscuits (“Country Ham Biscuit Slices”)
  • 1 Egg White
  • Small Slice off the side of a tomato OR Red Bell Pepper (roasted or fresh)
  • Large Black Olive

Heat your oven to 350ºF. In an iron skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until done, but not too crispy. Drain the grease in between batches, reserving just a small amount. Place the bacon on a paper towel-lined plate, & then cut the bacon into bite-sized pieces.

Put a small amount of bacon drippings back into the pan & sauté the onions until just tender. Drain if needed & put the cooked onions with the bacon pieces off to the side.

Melt the butter in the pan. Slice & cut the sourdough into about 1″ chunks, & then lay them in the pan & coat them with the butter. Cook the pieces until slightly golden & toasted, & then turn off the heat. Position the bread pieces to cover the bottom of the pan.

In a bowl, whisk the 10 eggs with the milk, adding in salt & pepper to taste. Stir in the bacon pieces, onions, & 1/2 of the shredded cheese. Pour this mixture over the bread, & then sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Cut the ham slices as needed & position them on top of the skillet to create Calcifer’s body. Slide into the oven & bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the egg is no longer runny or jiggly.

While the skillet is baking in the oven, melt a little bit of butter in a small clean pan (or use oil) & cook the egg white on low heat with the lid on. Once solid, but not browned, remove the egg & cut out 2 circles for Calcifer’s eyes. Place the eyes on Calcifer’s ham body when the skillet comes out of the oven.

Cut 2 small circles from the black olive & place them on the egg white circles to be Calcifer’s pupils. Cut a bowl shape/half circle from the tomato slice (make sure this slice is from the side of the tomato so that you have the smooth skin) or pepper slice, & place it for Calcifer’s mouth.

howls-moving-castle-skillet-slice Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 49: Howl’s Moving Castle

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Turkey-and-Cranberry Burrito

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“Everyone else had families, and went east or west or just down the block for Easter or Thanksgiving, but not Gillian. She could always be counted on to take a holiday shift, and afterward she always found herself drawn to the best bar in town, where special hors d’oeuvres are set out for festive occasions, hard-boiled eggs tinted pale pink and aqua, or little turkey-and-cranberry burritos.” —Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

The recipe below is very simple and more like general direction more than a recipe with measurements and such; you can adapt it to how you like.

Turkey-and-Cranberry Burrito

  • Flour Tortilla
  • Cooked Turkey Breast, shredded or cut into bite-sized chunks/strips
  • Mayonnaise
  • Whole Cranberry Sauce
  • Leafy Green, like Romaine Lettuce
  • Toasted/Candied Nuts, like pecans or walnuts
  • Dried Cranberries, like Crazins (optional)

Lay the tortilla out & place a few leaves of lettuce down the center (you can spread a little mayo on the tortilla first if you like).

Toss the turkey meat with mayo & cranberry sauce to your desired amount & ratio, & then scoop a mound onto of the lettuce. (If you don’t want to toss the meat with the mayo & cranberry, that’s totally fine. You can simply layer everything.)

Top with nuts & (optional) dried cranberries, & then gather up the bottom & sides of the tortilla & wrap like a burrito. Secure with toothpicks (& mayo if needed).

* If you’d like to make blue eggs, boil 1 1/2 cups of water with about 8 roughly cut leaves of red/purple cabbage, until the water has turned a very deep color. Stir in about 1/8 tsp. baking soda & the water will become blue! Let the water cool a bit, & then submerge a few peeled hardboiled eggs until they are the desired color.

For pink eggs, simply boil some peeled beets in the same amount of water in a seperate pot until the color is rich, let cool, & then place a few more peeled, hardboiled eggs in.

(If you don’t care about making natural dyes, you can do a super duper easy method by mixing a bit of pink & blue food coloring into two containers of water respectively, & then putting the peeled eggs in.)

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 46: Practical Magic

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Rye Popovers with Welsh Rarebit Sauce

Miss Peregrine’s school is located in Wales, and to my American sensibility the most iconic Welsh food is Welsh Rarebit (please comment and school me if there are more dishes I should know). As far as dishes go though, this is a good one, the sauce is simply amazing. One of my peculiar children declared “dis is yum!”

I made the lovely rarebit creamy cheese sauce flavored with dijon, worcestershire sauce and ale (I used pumpkin beer!) but rather than on rye toast, I made some light and airy rye popovers to evoke Emma (yes in the book it’s Olive) who is lighter than air. I wonder if she’s a good cook – she’s probably great at things like popovers, soufflees, meringues, puris, foams and lattes.

Just a note, in a rare twist I adapted nothing this time, both unaltered recipes came out really nice.

Rye Popovers with Welsh Rarebit Sauce

For the popovers
Recipe from Food.com

  • 3⁄4 cup rye flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Heat over to 450° and grease a muffin tin.

Whisk together flours and salt, then add milk, butter, and eggs. Mix well and divide between muffin cups.

Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350$deg; and bake for another 5 minutes. Cool on a rack. Serve with rarebit sauce, below.

For the rarebit sauce
Recipe from Alton Brown

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/4 cup beer (porter is best, I used a lighter pumpkin beer, also good)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3/4 cups shredded cheddar

On low heat in a saucepan, heat butter and flour, whisking continuously for several minutes (do not let flour brown). Whisk in in dijon mustard, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper until well combined. Whisk in beer and cream, and add cheddar. Cook, whisking constantly, for 5-7 minutes until cheese is melted completely and mixture has slightly thickened. Remove from heat and serve warm with popovers.

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Codfish Pudding

Equal parts British nursery food for darling little children and the worst insult to effeminate one-handed pirates, this turned out awfully delightful!

I based my dish on this recipe from Cook it Simply with a couple adjustments in ingredients and cooking method (Do I look like I have suet? Or a pudding basin? But I got through it, oh the cleverness of me!). The result was like a crustless mini quiche – super tasty, and I think the lemon zest brought out the pleasant fishy flavor and brightened it several shades above stereotypically tasteless nursery fare.

It was very good warm the night of, my kids loved it, and because I am a monster who eats straight from the fridge can offer that it was even good cold the next day.

Codfish Pudding

Adapted from Cook it Simply

  • 1 pound skinless cod, sliced into small cubes
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 slices bread
  • handful parsley

Heat oven to 350° and grease a muffin tin.

Combine cod, butter, lemon zest, salt, pepper, eggs, and milk. In a food processor, blitz bread and parsley to fine crumbs. Stir into cod mixture.

Divide evenly between muffin cups. Place the muffin tin on a large rimmed baking sheet in the oven, and add water to the baking sheet to about three quarters full.

Bake for one hour (start checking at 50 minutes, it’s fine for the tops to brown but if they start getting too done cover with foil) until the mixture is fairly solid. Remove to a rack and cool 15-20 minutes.

Gently remove each pudding, I spooned around the rim to loosen it and used two spoons to lift it to the plate. They’ll get less delicate as they cool.

Garnish with a little extra chopped parsley and serve warm, or enjoy later room temp or even cold.

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Ecto-Cooler Sorbet

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Ecto-Cooler Sorbet

  • 2 Cups Hi-C Ecto-Cooler
  • 1/2 + 2 Tbsp. Cup Vanilla Simple Syrup

Stir together the two ingredients in a pitcher & pour into an ice cream maker. Follow the ice cream maker’s directions for sorbet (churning until frozen, about 20 minutes or so) & there you go! If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a large baking dish (like a rectangular casserole dish) lined with plastic wrap & place in the freezer. When you’re ready to serve, break the frozen sorbet into chunks & pop the pieces into a blender to make it smoother.

Serve in a pre-frozen/chilled little bowl & top with Carrie’s Stay Puft Fluff! It makes for a really neat texture experience. 🙂

This is a super easy recipe, and one that you can substitute in another green drink (like Tampico or something) if you can’t find Ecto-Cooler! You’ll need to adjust the syrup content though, which is no big deal to figure out. Simply pour your juice into a pitcher & carefully plop a (hot-water rinsed) fresh egg into it. Add vanilla simple syrup little by little until a nickel-sized circle of the egg’s shell can be seen floating above the surface. Remove the egg & then stir up the mixture & continue with freezing process. This is a trick from Zoe Bakes!

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 43: Ghostbusters

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Jack Skellington Cabbage & Shirataki Soup

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Jack Skellington Cabbage & Shirataki Soup

  • 3 Cups Water
  • 3 Vegetable Bullion
  • 1/2 Small Red/Purple Cabbage, outer leaves removed, chopped
  • 1/2 Large Red Onion, julienned
  • Shirataki Noodles
  • Seaweed/Nori Sheet

In a large pot on high, bring the water & bullion to a boil. Add the cabbage & keep on high until it comes back to a boil. Cover & turn down to a simmer. Cook until the cabbage is just tender, about 5 minutes.

Add in the onions & cover again, simmering until the onions are soft, about 10-15 minutes.

Drain the shirataki noodles & rinse them under cold water. Spoon some of the soup into a serving bowl. Place a small mound of the noodles on top, then gently spread them out a bit to flatten the top of the mound, adding noodles if needed to cover any gaps.

Cut eyes, nose, & mouth shapes from the seaweed/nori & place them on top of the noodles (tweezers can help with the placement of the tiny pieces).

Now it’s ready to serve! Let the person who is eating it fold the noodles into the soup & watch the noodles gradually change color! It looks like Ooogie Boogie’s insides! (Haha, blek! But it’s tasty ;). )

Great served with buttered toasty bread. If you have black sesame, poppy, or chia seeds, sprinkle some onto the bread for effect.

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Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 47: The Nightmare Before Christmas

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