Recipes and photography by Sara Ghedina (a.k.a. One Girl in the Kitchen)
As anyone who’s ever dined with hobbits knows, second breakfast is one of the six most important meals of the day. Hobbits take their breakfasts seriously, piling their scrubbed wooden tables with bowls of fresh berries, stacks of oatcakes and seedcakes, pots of honey and crocks of sweet clotted cream butter, toast and freshly baked breads, cheese boards, cold chicken, pies both savory and sweet, grilled mushrooms (recently pilfered from the nearest farmer’s field, of course), sliced tomatoes, honey cakes, pitchers of cream, and the drink! Oh, the drink! Pots of tea, pitchers of foaming ale, white and red wines, coffee, mead—you need only ask your hobbit host for your desire and it will appear, as though by magic, from the well-stocked larder.
Here are three recipes—featuring the fresh, homespun ingredients that hobbits love (and a vegan substitute or two)— to get you started on your own hobbit-approved feast.
MUSHROOM AND VEGAN SAUSAGE POT PIES
This recipe uses vegan protein but can be made using regular Italian sausage as well—just be sure to cook it thoroughly before removing the skin and crumbling it in. You can make charming individual pies or throw everything into one big pie, messy but just as hobbit-friendly (and scrumptious)!
MUSHROOM AND VEGAN SAUSAGE POT PIES
for four individual pies, five inches in diameter
For the crust:
1½ cups flour
1 stick butter, cold
5 tbsp. iced water
pinch of salt
For the filling:
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 pound vegan ground protein
3 cloves garlic
1 carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 or 4 sprigs of thyme
¼ cup dry white wine
1½ cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp. all purpose flour
2 tbsp. butter, room temperature
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp. water
For the crust: In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt. Cut butter in small chunks, add it to the mixture and process until it resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.
With machine running, add water in a slow, steady stream. Pulse until dough holds together without being sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. If it is still crumbly, add more water, a few drops at a time.
Shape dough into a ball, flatten it out to a disk, and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 45 minutes.
For the filling, heat olive oil in a large pan, add onion and garlic, finely chopped, and cook for 2 minutes. Add celery and carrot and cook at medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add mushrooms, thyme leaves, salt, and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes until vegetables are soft. Add crumbled vegan protein and cook just until it gets hot. (It should be already cooked.) Add wine, and stir for a few minutes until alcohol evaporates, then add vegetable stock and bring to boil. Add flour and butter to the pan and cook for 5 minutes until sauce thickens, stirring often. Add fresh parsley, adjust seasoning, and turn off the heat.
Grease with butter each of the ovenproof pans, and distribute the filling equally among them.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface, divide it in 4 pieces, and roll them out to a circle about ⅛ inch thick and ½ inch larger than the pan diameter. Gently place them on top of each pie and pinch the edges together to seal. Mix egg yolk with water and brush the mixture on top of the pie crust. Using a sharp knife, cut a few vents on top.
Bake at 400°F for about 40 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Serve hot.
For the other two recipes, ROASTED TOMATO SOUP & HONEY WALNUT CAKE grab a copy of the Tolkien Issue: PRINT // DIGITAL
I have been reading Tolkien’s Letters and last night read how he was flown to Rotterdam in the 50’s for a publicity opportunity involving a group of enthusiasts that would include a Hobbit-like meal. One of the items was Maggot Soup, named after Farmer Maggot. Tolkien said the organizer didn’t take into account the ‘various names of English vermin’ before naming the soup.
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