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What Sam wouldn’t have given for a bag of fresh-dug taters to put in his rabbit stew! The brief but welcome stop on the journey to Mordor found him inspired to cook sumthin’ tastey and the “brace of coneys” that Gollum proudly presented to him conjured up thoughts of home. What a feast he could have made of it from his massive garden of vegetables back in the Shire. The scrawny rabbits promised to be tough and would need a good boiling to soften up. Good thing he still had some spices in his bag! He couldn’t imaging much worse than unseasoned rabbit for supper! Or maybe he could — another month of nothing but Lembas! That would just about do him in, he reckoned.
With the meat on the boil over the open fire, Sam noticed he was suddenly alone. He looked around and saw Gollum crawling off into the scrub and Mr. Frodo nowhere to be found. Sam bolted up to follow Gollum and suddenly came upon Frodo, who was lying on his belly and looking intently off into the distance. Oliphants! What a sight! Sam was thrilled to get a look at these massive creatures and hoped to live to tell about it some day after they returned from the journey.
No sooner had their delight turned to dismay as arrows began to fly from somewhere near them. Before they could escape, they found themselves in the company of Rangers from Gondor. The Rangers didn’t trust Sam and Frodo but they were hungry from their travels and smelled the boiling coneys on the fire. Their captain, Faramir, agreed to take up the matter of what to do with the two halflings after supper, which Sam had graciously invited them to share. Sam figured the best way to defeat an enemy was by kindness, and besides, he desperately did not want to walk away from the first decent meal he would have in weeks!
This recipe, as depicted, is a combination of two potato recipes — Potatoes Boulangere and Roasted Potatoes with Onions. I had picked up some multi-colored small potatoes at Trader Joe’s with this dish in mind. I added leeks, which are not called for in either recipe, but which I had on hand. You can put nearly any mix of spices you like in these dishes. Mine was done in a pressure cooker with chicken. So on the plate you see the potatoes, a bit of roasted chicken breast, and a dollop of champagne and shallot butter (store-bought). They were very tasty, but I know I’d prefer them browned in a pan or on the grill. Either way, they make a nice side dish to any meat or a yummy addition to a vegetarian stew, if that’s what you like! In case you’re looking for the Boulangere dish, I found the link to be broken on the Middle-earth Recipe site. But if you find the Roasted Potatoes and Onions dish, scroll around and you’ll also find Potatoes Boulangere!