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The eccentric old wizard Radagast the Brown is the Middle-earth version of St Francis of Assisi! The animals of the forest come to his home for refuge and healing. His magic potions sometimes even bring them back from the brink of death! He is even able to communicate with some of them using the Westron language – most notably his prized Rhosgobel rabbits.Everyone knows rabbits are swift of foot, but this breed of rabbit is even faster than usual, and much bigger – up to two feet long not counting the legs! So it only makes sense that they would work wonderfully to pull a wizard’s sleigh! Able to dart quickly in new directions to evade enemies such as giant spiders, bats, wargs, and grissly orcs, they are excellent at creating a diversion so a company of dwarves, a hobbit, and a wizard can escape into the caves that lead to Rivendell! It may seem improbable that a team of rabbits can perform such feats, but, when Gandalf suggested the wargs and orcs would over power them, Radagast defiantly replied, “These are no ordinary rabbits! These are Rhosgobel Rabbits! LET THEM TRY!”
As a point of clarification, please note that this is not a Middle-earth Recipe from the “LOTR Scrapbook” site but is a creation of my own, and the suggestion for the name of the dish came from my husband.
Radagast’s Rhosgobel Rabbit Sausage Sauté
6 large sausages
1 large sweet onion
2 cloves of garlic, smashed (more if you really like garlic)
2 large fresh tomatoes, diced (or canned if not in season)
Fresh ricotta cheese
Salt and pepper
White rice, prepared in advance
Obtain a package of six large sausages of your liking from the local market – chicken, pork, or turkey. They come with a variety of seasonings these days!
Grill the sausages, preferably over a flame, but a cast iron skillet works well indoors too.
While sausages are grilling, slice or dice the onions and tomatoes. Remove the sausages from the grill and cut them into one inch rounds.
Heat a large heavy skillet to medium high and add two tablespoons of olive oil and the smashed garlic. Stir it quickly so the garlic doesn’t burn, then add the sausage pieces. Immediately add the white wine and let it cook off a bit, stirring the sausage a couple of times. You’re just keeping the meat warm and letting it soak up the flavors.
Turn down the heat to medium and push the sausage to the side of the skillet and add the onions, salt and pepper, sautéing until nicely browned and translucent. Then add the tomatoes and stir all of the ingredients together, cooking another 2 minutes or so.
If you like cheese with your “rabbit” consider adding fresh ricotta cheese in serving spoon-size portions around the top and let it melt into the mixture for a few minutes.
Serve over steamed white rice, noodles, or potatoes! You might also add sauteed mushrooms or peppers to this dish.
This post, which has been a long time coming since my last one, is in honor of the milestone of more than 50,000 site views! Thanks for noticing!
Frodo lived alone at Bag End for years after his uncle Bilbo left. Now that he was back from saving Middle-earth and the Shire was restored, he tried to settle in to his former way of life. But it didn’t seem like home without his dear friend Sam. Sam and Frodo became house mates and, after Sam married Rosie, Frodo welcomed the couple to stay.
One day soon after moving in, Sam found an interesting box in the closet of his room. The box was hidden at the back where the light was very dim along with several other boxes of various sizes. Taking it into the light he discovered a thick book held shut with a strip of leather. It was with utter delight that he opened the slightly dusty cover and read these words: “A Collection of Favourite Recipes by Primula Brandybuck Baggins.”
Sam was excited to show Mr. Frodo this treasure and began to call for him to come quick! Something in Frodo cringed to hear his friend call out this way, wondering if he were again in danger. So he was relieved to see Sam sitting on his bed bent over a book! “Look Mr. Frodo!” Sam shouted. “It’s your mum’s old recipe book!” Frodo took the book in his hands and a warmth came over him as he carefully leafed through it. Sam excitedly proclaimed that he would cook the meal of Mr. Frodo’s choice from that book this very night!
Indeed, there was! “Stuffed Pumpkin,” Frodo answered. As he said the words aloud they felt familiar, somehow. Sam set to work straight away and soon their home was filled with wonderful fragrances that promised a delicious meal. Frodo continued to ponder the feelings that stirred within him. He wasn’t sure if he was happy or sad or somewhere between. By the time he and Sam filled their bowls, Frodo’s memory came fully back to him of times his mum carried her stuffed pumpkin steaming hot from the oven with a proud smile on her face. He remembered fondly sitting at table with his parents and in his heart he could almost hear her in the next room telling him to wash up for supper.
Frodo looked up from his bowl. Putting down the spoon he sat back for a moment. Sam began to question his cooking as Frodo’s face was hard to read. “Is everything all right Mr. Frodo?”
And Frodo looked at his friend with a slow growing smile and a twinkle in his eyes. Because he finally understood. Frodo softly answered, “I’m home, Sam. I’m finally home.”
Women as far back as the Third Age have known the secret that most men have yet to comprehend. The greatest aphrodisiac is a man who can cook. Especially one who cooks well and often!
First Couple of The Shire and the parents of thirteen children, our dear Rosie and Sam might have kept the romance in their lives by cooking together. Rosie’s Shire Pie is pure comfort food and if this dish is any indication of traditional Hobbit fare it is no wonder why these folk can be a bit on the portly side. There is enough butter in the cornmeal crust to cause a heart attack in one sitting! Perhaps Sam would have lived beyond his 102 years if Rosie had known about low-fat cooking. But there is no substitute for a butter-laden recipe because that is what puts the “comfort” in comfort food.
If Rosie were a modern woman she might have welcomed some of our time-saving techniques in the kitchen. Arriving home from her job as manager of the Green Dragon she sets straight away to preparing dinner for fifteen. Since Sam works from home, he has done much of the prep work (lucky Rosie! – wait, lucky SAM!) yet a gaggle of little Hobbits hangs on her ankles and clamors for her attention. Modern Rosie might do what this cook did – open up a can of cream of mushroom soup for the sauce. That saves just enough cooking time to let you plant a big kiss on the cheeks of each little Gamgee, pat them on the bottoms and send them off to set the table!
Cooking notes: With the unused dough I cut out acorn shapes with a cookie cutter and put them back in the fridge while the pie was baking to keep the butter firm. Then I baked the acorns for 15 minutes in the 375 degree oven. I was going to make crackers out of them but they are so flakey they don’t hold up to that purpose. So I plan to freeze them to put on top of the next Shire Pie because this is a very rich dish before you add the buttery crust. If making from fresh dough I’d still cut them out and space them evenly around the top but with at least an inch between each one.
In the interest of full disclosure, the recipe depicted has green beans and corn added, which is not in Rosie’s original. I used a large square casserole instead of a pie pan and the crust took a bit longer than 30 minutes to brown up and get flakey – check your oven and adjust accordingly. There wasn’t enough sauce in my recipe using just one can of mushroom soup so it was dry. Next time I will add more milk or take time to do the sauce as stated in the recipe.
This crust will be a staple for me – the texture of the cornmeal gives it a nice touch and it is as flakey as any puff pastry you have ever eaten! I envision a cutout piece of it on top of baked sweet potatoes with brown sugar and marshmallows. You might be able to put a dollop of soft whipped cream cheese and chives on top of them and serve as appetizers. I’ll have to experiment some more and tell you how things turn out!
I recently tried the recipe again and switched the amount listed for flour and cornmeal. The original calls for a greater amount of cornmeal than flour. Switching it to more flour than cornmeal made a firmer crust. And it also made some nice crackers with the leftover dough which I confess to eating not a little of before it was baked!