Yorkshire Puddings, Steak with Stilton and Caramelized Onions


While The Friends of English Magic don’t actually practice magic, and are only moderately well-read, they certainly do eat well! The Old Starre Inn in Yorkshire looked like it had some decent pub fare, so that’s what I set out to make.

Just a note, the Yorkshire puddings were very eggy – there was a comment on the original recipe that you could use less with success. These were made with batter rested half an hour per the recipe, but there are also a lot of tips to let this rest in the fridge overnight for better results. I may come back and try this with one less eggs, and a longer rested batter.

Yorkshire Pudding

From The New York Times

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon/5 grams kosher salt
  • About 1/4 cup rendered beef or pork fat, olive oil or melted butter (I used the little bit of rendered fat from the steaks, below, plus about a tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 400°. Mix eggs, milk, flour and salt and let rest 30 minutes.

In a muffin tin, add a spoonful of fat to the bottom of each cup, then transfer to the oven to heat for 5-7 minutes. Remove, and equally divide the batter between the cups. Bake for 10-12 minutes until puffed, golden and crispy. Serve immediately.

Steak with Stilton and Caramelized Onions

Adapted from Food.com

For the onions
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter on high heat. Cut an onion into medium sized rings. Cook until slightly charred, then lower heat to medium to caramelize the rest of the way. Remove from heat.

For the stilton sauce
Mix together 2 ounces stilton, 1/2 cup toasted and finely chopped walnuts, and 1 tablespoon butter

For the steaks
Since you have the goodies above, the steaks only need to be flavored with salt and pepper. I used super cheap thin cut sirloin, but you can use whatever you want and cook appropriately. Sprinkle well with salt and pepper and allow to come to room temp (just 15 min for my cut), then sear each side on a screaming hot pan (3 min each side). If you have a thicker cut you can move to the oven to cook through. Rest for 20 minutes or so, then serve with stilton sauce and onions.

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 31: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

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Violet Beauregarde’s Three Course Dinner


Violet Beauregarde, the gum-smacking, slang-slinging, disobedient daughter of a car salesman, is the second child to meet her demise in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, but not before enjoying a lovely three course meal in the form of gum.

Before she’s rolled away to be juiced, she enjoys tomato soup, roast beef with a baked potato, and then the cause of her downfall: blueberry pie.

Without Willy Wonka’s assistance, I was unable to create this gum exactly as it was described (probably a good thing), but I did create the meal that inspired it! This tomato soup was completely simple, yet fabulous thanks to the slow roasted tomatoes – I’ve already made it again since. The roast beef was nicely cooked with a red wine gravy. And the blueberry pies were miniature with an almond crust, a sweet bite at the end of a lovely meal. Don’t feel bad for Violet, all in all it’s not a bad way to go.

Tomato Soup

  • 2 pounds roma tomatoes, cut into thick slices
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1/2 an onion, sliced
  • olive oil, salt & pepper
  • 5 cups chicken broth (homemade and flavorful if possible, I made mine from the bones of an Arabic style roast chicken)
  • cream to garnish

Heat oven to 350°. Toss tomatoes with a good amount of olive oil, salt and pepper, and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet (or two if you don’t have a very large one). In another baking dish, toss the onions with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cut the top off a head of garlic and wrap it in foil, drizzled with a little olive oil. Put everything in the oven.

Bake, flipping the tomatoes every half hour and stirring the onions once in awhile, until tomatoes are cooked and caramelizing and onion is golden (tomatoes will take about an hour and a half, onions probably only a half hour – check and make sure not to burn). Leave garlic in until roasted and soft, an hour to an hour and a half.

Puree tomatoes, onions, and garlic in a blender with a little chicken broth, then pour into a pot. Stir in the rest of the chicken broth, adjusting seasoning if necessary, and gently heat, slowly simmering for 15 minutes or so. Serve hot with a little cream for garnish.

Roast Beef

I shall direct you to Simply Recipes, whose detailed method I followed pretty much exactly, including making the red wine gravy.

(Mini) Blueberry Pie (with almond crust)

For the crust

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • good pinch salt

Blitz together almond flour and butter in a food processor, then blitz in egg and salt. Press into a prepared mini muffin tin and bake (before filling) at 350° for 8 minutes.

For the filling
I made this lightly sweetened, still very tart. You can increase the amount of honey to 1/2 cup if you’d like.

  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

In a small saucepan, heat half the blueberries with honey and salt. Mix cornstarch in 1/4 cup of water and add to the saucepan, stirring until blueberries are broken down and mixture is thick. Remove from heat, and stir remaining blueberries into the mixture.

Spoon into the crusts in the mini muffin tin and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Cool in the muffin tin before removing.

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 21: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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Alison’s Emergency Sausage Rolls


Have you ever been so busy torturing your husband with a glue gun that you just didn’t have time to prepare your dish for the neighborhood potluck? Well in such an occasion these are great to have in the freezer. (Confession, I didn’t actually try freezing these – but I bet they’d do ok).

These savory homemade sausages are fragrant and sweet from the fall flavors of apple, carmelized onion, sage and warm spices, and are wrapped in puff pastry, the harried housewife’s best friend. They’re fantastic with mustard, and were a hit with 50% of our household – 100% if you don’t count my picky husband and our two year old who thinks he’s a fruitarian.

Alison’s Emergency Sausage Rolls

Makes 40 rolls. You can easily half this recipe, or do what I did and make 20 rolls and just eat the leftover sausages by themselves for breakfasts

  • 1 pound ground beef (pork or lamb would also work)
    2-3 tablespoons flavorless oil, plus more for frying
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala, or mixture of spices such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice, cumin, black pepper, etc.
  • 1 packed tablespoon sage, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 pieces bread, well toasted and crumbled into breadcrumbs
  • salt to taste, I used a teaspoon and then another good pinch
  • 4 sheets puff pastry, partially thawed
    small amount flour for rolling
  • 3-4 egg yolks, beaten
  • kalonji/nigella/onion/black seeds or sesame seeds for sprinkling

Heat oil on medium high and fry onion until it is well caramelized completely golden, being careful not to burn. In a medium bowl, combine onion, garlic, apple, garam masala, sage, breadcrumbs and salt, then combine the mixture with the beef.

Heat a small amount of oil on medium high. Take palmfuls of the meat, roll and shaped into long sausage shapes. Fry in batches, rolling over after a minute or two, until they are browned on all sides and cooked through. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

At this point, preheat oven to 350°

On a floured board or counter, roll out the puff pastry. Slice each sheet lengthwise. In each half, line sausages down the length of it and roll it all up, placing on a cutting board seam-side down. Brush with egg yolk, sprinkle with seeds, and cut into 1 1/2 inch rolls (about 5 small rolls from the long roll). Place on prepared baking sheets about an inch apart and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.

Serve warm with mustard.

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 16: Orphan Black

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Brisket Sandwich

OB Brisket sandwich

To keep her energy up from her exhausting schedule, Tatiana Maslany loves to chow down between takes on the brisket sandwiches provided on set. She’s mentioned brisket in several interviews and even has “Acting. Brisket” as her bio on Twitter. Gotta love this girl.

To make the brisket sandwich, simply toast a couple of brioche or ciabatta bread halves, spoon on & spread out a small mound of coleslaw, & then lay on several slices of cooked brisket, warm or cool, slathered with a little sauce. Place the other bread half on top and you’re all set!

 Oven Roasted Brisket

  • 3 lbs. Beef Brisket
  • 1  Cup Sprite or other soda or even beer!
  • 1 Cup Tomato Paste
  • 2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Molasses
  • 1/3 Cup Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper Powder (or more or less to taste)

Pre-heat your oven to 225ºF & place the brisket in a large roasting pan, fat side up. In a blender combine the rest of the ingredients (adjusting measurements to your taste) & then pour the mixture over the meat, making sure the top is well coated. Cover the pan & meat tightly with foil & bake for up to 3 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 190ºF. Remove from the oven & let rest until cool enough to cut off the layer of fat (if there is one).

Turn your oven to broil & transfer the meat to a foil lined baking tray & re-coat with sauce (either pour some on or brush it on). Place the meat under the broiler until the top gets darker & a little crispy. Pull it out, flip it over & coat with more sauce & broil. Remove from oven & let cool for at least 10 minutes, longer is totally fine & then slice thinly.

Pour the remaining sauce into a bowl or cup & use alongside the meat for pouring or dipping.

 Apple Vinegar Coleslaw

(adapted from a recipe on Southern Living)

  • 1/2 Head Shredded Cabbage
  • 1 Cup Grated Carrots
  • 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Canola Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tsp. Dry Mustard
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Mayonnaise (optional)

Place the chopped cabbage & carrots in a large bowl. Put the remaining ingredients in a blender & blend until well combined. Pour over the cabbage & carrots & toss to coat. Serve immediately or cover & put in the fridge for a little while for the flavors to settle.

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 16: Orphan Black

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