Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Quidditch World Cup Barbeque
by McGonagirl, Hagrid, Dumbledwarf, Hermi2, Fluffy

Menu: Saxon Witch's Magical Red Powder | How to Prepare and Cook a Roast | Herby Potatoes | No-Magic Vegetable Kebabs | Helga Sauce | Deceptively Spicy BBQ'd Cobbler | Grilled Lemon Squash

The Weasleys invited Harry and Hermione to camp with them during the Quidditch World Cup match events, and it was a surreal experience for the two kids who had always lived among Muggles before. The camping area was packed with witches and wizards playing at being Muggles ... they really didn't have much of a clue what they were doing. There were so many incongruities, yet the wizard world seemed oblivious to them. It's a good thing they had spells to keep Muggles from really seeing them for what they were. Harry and Hermione found themselves biting their tongues when tempted to correct Mr. Weasley.

One of the surreal incongruities was how the wizards and witches cooked. They have a longer and larger tradition of cooking outdoors, but they wished to "blend in" and were told by the Ministry of Magic that they should try to simulate a British-style "barbeque" -- or outdoor grililng -- as it seemed closest to the open-fire cooking common in the wizarding world. But they'd only read about them, mostly ... so the results were often mixed. They knew that the grill should be pot shaped, so they used cauldrons and fitted with metal grills. It wasn't quite right, was it? And Mr. Weasley really had no idea how the thing was supposed to work, so he heated the cauldron from the outside, rather than putting the coals and wood inside, as was traditional with Muggle grills. None of the food he tried to cook turned out at all, but he was so excited to try that he refused to do otherwise. The children under his care were getting very hungry ...

A couple of witches from Saxony were parked next to the Weasley campsite. The children had admired the vintage motorcycle and sidecar on which the two women had flown in. Next to it was a dainty little puptent. Though Harry and Hermione knew that it was a sort of "pocket universe" within like their tent -- much more room inside than it appeared -- they were completely unprepared for the two massive women who emerged, squeezing past the tent flap!

The bigger of the two took one sniff at Arthur Weasley's attempts and brushed him aside with a grunt. She pulled the meat -- charred on the outside and raw in the middle -- off the grill and mumbled a spell to return it to it's raw state. She gestured to the smaller, blonde witch, who ran inside the tent and brought out a whole battery of antique cooking materials and a jar of red powder. The big witch sprinkled the powder over all the food, tended the fire so it burned cooler than Arthur had created it, tied the roast into an even shape, and placed it over the griddle rack and put another shallow cauldron over the top to act as a lid. She'd created an impromptu oven!

She then ordered the gang to scrape vegetables, boil water, chop ingredients for a sauce, fetch firewood, and assemble a dessert. She did it with the gravelly voice of a Teutonic drill sargeant, and her companion cheerfully helped and corrected all the children's efforts.

When the time came, the roast came out succulent, with the magical powder seasoning the meat beautifully. By then, a crowd had gathered, their mouths watering at the delicious smells, and many groups offered what they'd brought to the big Saxon witches. So they also roasted chicken, turkey, pork and other meats, and even vegetables with the powder and it was all really tasty! Even a very embarassed Arthur Weasley gratefully cheered the Saxon witches for saving them from starvation.

Menu: Saxon Witch's Magical Red Powder | How to Prepare and Cook a Roast | Herby Potatoes | No-Magic Vegetable Kebabs | Helga Sauce | Deceptively Spicy BBQ'd Cobbler | Grilled Lemon Squash



Saxon Witch's Magical Red Powder
The Saxon witches are actually quite well known in the wizarding world. They traveled a lot and had lived long lives, collecting information and crossing boundaries where necessary. They were especially well known for their knowledge concerning local customs and usages of plants and herbs. No one knew their names, as they never answered questions which didn't suit them. Those questions came up only rarely; their appearance was formidable and it was said even He Who Must Not Be Named took pains to avoid them if possible.

No one knew where they picked up the formula for this spicy red powder, but it contained more than a hint of meso-America, western-Europe, central-Europe and a bit of Asia. The recipe was no secret, but the Saxon witches only let you have it if they liked you. The big one took a liking to Hermione and she listed the ingredients to the student in a heavy accent that was barely discernible. Hermione was surprised that the ingredients were things any Muggle could get in a supermarket. The big witch made the girl promise to keep it sealed in an air-tight jar and to keep in a cool, dark place, to keep the spices from degrading. Hermione was too frightened not to agree!

    makes nearly 5 cups of magic powder
  • 1 cup sweet paprika
  • 1 cup garlic powder
  • ½ cup black pepper, ground
  • ½ cup onion powder
  • ¼ cup cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup oregano, ground
  • ½ cup thyme, ground
  • ¼ cup cumin, ground
  • ¼ cup white sugar
Combine everything in a gallon jug or a big bowl and shake or stir together (with the lid on) very well. Store in a clean glass jar with an air-tight lid. A brown-glass jar would be better! You can also store this in smaller jars and keep it in a cool, dark place. Or put a pretty label and ribbon on it and give it as a gift!

When you use it, pour out a bit more than you think you need, then put the lid back on tightly. This way, you won't goop up the whole mixture by dipping dirty/greasy/contaminated fingers into the mix.

Massage this powder into meat and leave for one to 6 hours as a dry marinade. Or sprinkle as a seasoning after cooking; use on meat or vegetables or bread or potatoes or pasta ... It magically transforms food!

NOTE: You can adjust the heat by modifying the cayenne pepper or using hot instead of sweet paprika to proportions you prefer.

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How to Prepare and Cook a Roast
The Saxon witches tended to murmur to each other and talk to the food they were preparing when they were handling it, and the only helpers they demanded were the girls, Hermione and Ginny. Ron, his brothers and Harry were happy to watch from a distance.

From the two fat witches, the girls learned that meat needs to be flat to grill, but shaped like a cylindar to roast. They explained how the heat hits the roast on the surface and sears it, and the heat to cook the rest of the roast migrates from the outer edges inwards. Thus if you want to avoid Mr. Weasley's result of a burnt roast on the outside that's raw in the middle, best to lower the heat to cook the roast evenly. Raising the heat only means you burn the outside before the heat gets to move into the inside. It makes sense! Follow the rules limned below to cook ANY roast.


  1. Trim the meat of excessive fat and gristle. Keep some fat on to lubricate the meat. Cut away any bones, but keep these.

  2. Consider how to roll the roast up to form an even cylindar shape. That means no bits poking out in a lopsided manner, and certainly no unsecured flaps! If you have a flattish piece of meat, you can roll it up like a jellyroll. The skinner the cylindar, the faster the meat will cook. So a long, thin roll will cook faster than a short, chubby one.

  3. Use 100% white cotton butcher's twine to tie up the roast. Do not use multi-color or non-cotton or blended materials string or rubber bands or anything else! Using anything other than cotton will result in melted nasty flavored burnt string contaminating your roast.

  4. Tie the roast by cutting enough pieces to tie the roast every two inches or so, long enough to loop around the roast and comfortably make a double knot or a small bow. You want to make a "surgeon's knot" -- loop one end of the string in through the other, as if you were starting to tie a bow, then loop it through again. Pull tight, then make a knot to secure. Clip off the excess string. Repeat up the length of the roast.

  5. To give the roast a nice brown surface, heat up a pan over direct heat and add a bit of oil. Brown the surface of the roast by placing the meat in the pan and leaving it for a minute or two till that surface is nicely browned, then rolling it to an unbrowned part, leaving it for a couple of minutes, repeat. Use tongs to hold the meat in place if necessary.

  6. After browning all the surfaces (even the end bits), place on a roasting rack in a roasting pan OR put the bones you trimmed off the roast on the bottom of a roasting rack, and place the roast on top of that. You can add things like onions, garlic, herbs, etc. under the meat too, if you'd like.

  7. Season large pieces of meat after it is cooked. Smaller pieces can be seasoned before, as the seasonings won't burn while in the oven. Herbs can be added to the bones, or tucked under the string. Use the Saxon Witch's Magical Red Powder if you'd like, too.

  8. Cook the meat over medium to slow heat -- no higher than 350°F/160°C.

  9. Baste the meat with the pan juices every 30 minutes for a fat roast, every 10 minutes for a skinny one.

  10. Use an oven thermometer to test for doneness. Be sure you know how to use your thermometer ... some have to be sunk at least an inch into the meat.

  11. You should hesitate to cook meat for too long or it will go dry. However you like it, remove it from the oven about 10°F/5°C before it's as hot as you'd like it. Let the meat rest for up to 30 minutes before cutting into it. In that time, the heat will continue to cook the roast, and the liquid in the meat will get a chance to stop jumping around and reabsorb into the protein fibers. The result is a juicier roast.

  12. Wrap all leftovers after they've cooled to room temperature, and keep meat chilled below 40°C/5°C to prevent bacteria from blooming. But eat cooked meat within a day or so.

Chart of temperatures for roast meat:
Your thermometer needs to read out the following temperatures:
Fresh ground beef, veal, lamb, pork
160°F
Beef, veal, lamb-roasts, steaks, chops
Medium rare 145°F
Medium 160°F
Well done 170°F
Fresh pork-roasts, steaks, chops
Medium 160°F
Well done 170°F
Ham, Cook before eating
160°F
Ham, Fully cooked, to reheat
140°F
Ground Chicken, Turkey
65°F
Whole Chicken, Turkey
180°F
Breasts, roasts
170°F
Thighs and wings, all poultry
Cook until juices run clear.
Stuffing (cooked alone or in bird)
165°F
Egg dishes, casseroles
160°F
Leftovers
165°F
Information courtesy the U. S Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service


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Herby Potatoes
Arthur Weasley had read about "roasting potatoes in the embers" and ended up igniting them! The smaller of the two witches quietly pulled out a bag of spuds -- they apparently carry them with them everywhere. They ARE Saxon, after all. To Arthur's surprise, the blonde witch boiled a pot of water and dumped the potatoes in, smiling when he tried to gesture to her that they should be roasted! He supposed perhaps she didn't speak English, since she basically ignored him. Still, he watched her, fascinated by the simple preparation for the delicious recipe. It smelled good, too!

  • potatoes, whatever type you like, as many as you want
  • butter, chopped and softened to room temperature (or melted is okay)
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • fresh herbs, chopped, to taste (try parsley, thyme, rosemary)
Scrub the potatoes well, and cut them into golf-ball sized chunks; smaller ones can remain whole. Boil the potatoes till they are tender -- that's when the tip of a paring knife poked into the potato pulls out easily. Drain immediately and place in a very large, round-bottomed bowl and melt the butter over them, as much as you think you'd like. Toss the fresh chopped herbs over, again as much as you'd like, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss in the bowl (or mix carefully so you don't bash up the potatoes). Serve family style.



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No-Magic Vegetable Kebabs
Arthur had tried to balance vegetables between the griddle bits without them falling through the gaps. He didn't succeed, and most of the vegetable pieces ended up as charcoal at the bottom of the cauldron. Rolling her eyes, the big witch with the sproingy hair fished out a bunch of thin bamboo stakes from her rucksack and approached the hapless wizard. Arthur nearly dropped the vegetables Hermione and Ginny had prepared, he was so frightened of being impaled! But the witch handed the girls a fistful of stakes and showed them how to thread the vegetables onto them. Then she placed them on the grill -- voilà! An easy, obvious way to keep veggies from falling through the grates, and they didn't even need magic to do it!

Allot two long bamboo skewers per kebab and soak them in a bowl or bucket of cold water while you gather everything together. This will prevent them from igniting if the grill gets too hot.

    Cut up the vegetables:
  • mushrooms -- if they are big, cut them in half or quarters; otherwise, leave them whole; wipe them down with a damp cloth or peel them
  • tomatoes -- wash and drain
  • zucchini -- wash, cut into thick coins
  • onions -- peel and cut into 8 wedges; be sure to trim the root end carefully to keep the wedge layers together
  • peppers -- core, quarter and cut those in half crosswise
Using the two skewers, pierce the vegetables on. Try to get those vegetables on there securely. Using two skewers instead of one keeps the vegetables from spinning, so it's easier to turn the veggies on the grill for more even cooking. Put the vegetables on in the same order, unless you know some people like some things more, or don't like them.

Brush the vegetables with oil and place on a hot grill. Cook till softened and charmarks, then turn the vegetables and cook again, about 10 minutes total. Season with salt, pepper, and Magical Powder to taste. Serve one skewer per person.

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Helga Sauce
When asked for this recipe, the big witch said, "Helga." No one could figure out if that was the name of the blonde witch, or some other witch, or if the big witch had misunderstood the question and it was her name. Or maybe it really was the name of the sauce? Maybe in some odd language, it actually meant "sauce" ... No matter, Hermione and Ginny got instructed how to put it together, and they referred to the sauce itself as "Helga," so that's what everyone calls it.

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup tomato juice or ketchup or tomatoe purée
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
Whisk together in a pot and heat gently till bubbling. Makes two cups. Rather than putting it on the food as it grills, serve it as a sauce after the food is cooked.

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Deceptively Spicy BBQ'd Cobbler
The only time the Saxon witches used magic was to chop up the hot peppers for this unusual dessert. They had a small bag of them stashed in the wicker basket strapped to the back of their sidecar, with an export receipt stamp from the West Indies. They were orange-red in color and Ron thought they looked a lot like candy. One bite proved how mistaken he was! Even the big, fat witches wouldn't touch the pepper, knowing it's potency! They had to use magic to help Ron halt his suffering ... Ginny laughed that Ron's eyeballs actually were three-quarters of the way out of their sockets! If you're a Muggle (or just want to play at being one), use rubber gloves to handle these peppers! (This incident later gave Fred and George some ideas for fun and marginally harmless gags ...) Anyway, it was a great dessert on the grill!

  • 1 scotch bonnet or other hot pepper, cored, seeded, deveined, kept in one piece (or a couple of pieces -- you'll remove it after you're done)
  • 32 oz / 900 g canned peaches in syrup
  • ½ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • ½ teaspoons cinnamon, powdered
  • ½ teaspoons nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 10 oz / 275 g tube of refrigerator biscuit dough (about 8 biscuits in a tube) -- or make your own biscuits with about 1 cup of flour, or 1 cup of instant biscuit mix, like Bisquick
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
Dump the scotch bonnet pepper, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg into a pot. In a lidded jar, shake together the cornstarch, reserved peach syrup and lemon juice, then dump into the pepper mixture. Heat and stir continuously till the mixture thickens, then remove the pepper and throw it away.

Lightly grease a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven. Lay the peaches on the bottom, then pour the warm peach juice sauce over them. Lay the biscuits evenly over the peaches, or drop dollops over it all. Sprinkle over with sugar. Place the lid on the pan, and bury in hot embers, shoveling some of the hot coals on the lid as well. Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, till the biscuits are browned and the peaches are bubbling. Cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

(If you prefer to cook in a conventional oven indoors, heat the oven to 400°F / 185°C. Lightly grease a cakepan or 8" / 20 cm square baking pan. Lay over the biscuits, sprinkle over with sugar, and bake till browned, uncovered.)

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Grilled Lemon Squash
"Not everything needs to be done on the grill," protested Hermione, as the blonde witch placed the cut side of lemon halves on the grill. Again, the woman just smiled and kept the lemons on the heat till they started to brown and the smell of lemons perfumed the air. She pulled them off the grill and straight into a pot, where the other witch squashed them up with sugar and water till the mixture boiled (is this why in England, this type of cordial is called a "squash"?). She made Hermione hold out her cup, and mixed the syrup with water and ordered her to drink. The girl tried to silently plead for help from her friends, but neither Ron nor Harry would make eye contact with her, so she sighed and took a sip. It was smoky and a little warm, like a lemon tea, "Ohmigosh, it's so good! Harry, Ron, you've got to try it!" Taking this as ultimate approval, the witches put a measure of rum into their lemon syrup and toasted each other for a job well done.

  • 4 lemons, cut in half
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water
Cut the lemons in half and place on the grill till they go warm and juicy. Place in a pot with the sugar; with a heavy spoon, squash the lemons to release the juice. Add the water, then bring to a boil till a syrup is formed. Allow to cool to room temperature, then strain through a fine mesh sieve or a double layer of cheesecloth, if desired. You can simply store the concentrated syrup with the lemons in it, if you prefer.

To serve, dilute the syrup with cold water and ice to taste -- start with a one-to-one ratio mixture. For adults: you can mix the syrup with water and rum, to taste.

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