Masticated Movies: Hobbit Food

You’ve decided that this is the weekend that you draw the shades, put on your comfy-ugly-pants, update your AIM status to “AFK”, and watch Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, beginning to end. Good for you. That’s 11 hours and 26 minutes of captive eating time.  Now what’choo gon’uh snack on?

You could be boring and just do popcorn, or potato chips. You likely have strong opinions about Red Vines vs. Twizzlers. And perhaps you’ll round out the sad party with a pint of ice cream, too. But you’re not like any other movie watcher; you’re a marathoner. Marathon movie watching requires sustenance. A stick to your rib meal that won’t require periodic reheating trips away from the TV. A tasty spread good enough to be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You’ve got to really think about this, don’t you? NO YOU DON’T.

Yes, I have seen the very impressive “Elf bread” that the Lord of the Rings fans with skill have created. No, that is not what I am talking about here. I am not attempting to make an imaginary food real, or recreate any specific meal. Rather, I will be giving you a menu that is fun to consume while watching any of the films, and is versatile at any time of day. It captures the true meat and PO-TAY-TOES eating habits of Hobbits. It’s a primal feast and lacks any la-de-dah frilly ingredients. This is real food. This is Hobbit Food.

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 ◊ WARNING – you might get Mordor-level heartburn from eating this – Get the TUMS

The Basics to Achieve the Meal

  • 16oz (1lb) Kielbasa sausage (or any cylindrical meat you prefer)
  • Cabbage (small, green)
  • Onions (I prefer sweet, yellow, or white – red is not right for this)
  • POTATOES (the three versions below call for different types, pay attention)
  • Spicy (preferably coarse or whole-grain) mustard
  • Crunchy rustic bread (whassup local bakery, you lookin’ fine today)
  • BEER
  • And for dessert: sliced red applies and peanut butter
    • I’m not putting instructions for this. I’m not doing it.

The Proper Dinner Version

  1. Open two (15oz) cans of whole baby white potatoes, and slice (or buy it already sliced, and just drain)
  2. Diagonally slice your rope meat into 1″ pieces (or slice like you are about to trick your dog into eating medicine hidden in a hotdog)
    • place in bowl, flick some paprika on it, and set aside
  3. Wash, and coarsely chop one head of green cabbage, omitting tough white butt-stem
    • find a the biggest bowl you own (or get a laundry basket) and fill with your crumbly cabbage bits
    • make a terrible huge mess out of chopping the cabbage, and spend more time cleaning it up than chopping it
  4. Chop onion last because it makes you cry and you can’t see and you start dribbling snot everywhere and OMG YOUR EYES THEY ARE BURNING HALP
  5. Heat 1 tbsp BUTTER (yessss, my preciousss) in large skillet/pan, on med-high heat
  6. Once butter is melted, add chopped onions and poke around so they make that beautiful sizzling-crackling noise (add garlic here if you are crazy for garlic, whatev)
  7. Add cabbage, one panicked fistful at a time, and consider that you didn’t get a big enough pan for ALL THIS FREAKING CABBAGE (you should have done this is a stew pot instead, probably)
    • Add 1/4 cup cold water, cover pan, and let simmer for about 10 minutes
    • watch as cabbage shrinks… and cooks down some more… and gets all shiny and translucent. START TO GET HUNGRY
  8. Once there is more room in the pan (selfish ass cabbage), add drained and sliced potatoes, poke around, add a PINCH each of salt and black pepper
  9. NOW GET SUPER DUPER HUNGRY
  10. Add your meat chunks. If you purchased Kielbasa, it’s likely already “cooked” (smoked), you just need to get the meat nice and hot, and hopefully (if you’re lucky) with a little brown pan-sear on one side
  11. ADD ANOTHER TBSP OF BUTTER IF YOU’RE FEELING FRISKY
  12. Stir and poke and poke and stir your Onion-Cabbage-Potato-Meat Stir-Fry until it looks nice and hot
  13. Plate it up, boo – grab a fork, and a napkin
  14. Dribble spicy mustard over ENTIRE thing
  15. Serve with crunchy, crusty, rustic French/Farm bread
  16. EAT IT

The Snackable Platter Version

  1. GET A BIG ASS SERVING TRAY HONEY CAUSE THIS IS GONNA BE EPIC
  2. Slice bread and arrange in a fancy-schmancy ring around plate
  3. Potato Variations
    • Make mashed potatoes (instant or from scratch, your call): put in center of plate like a little mountain of carbs
    • Pan fry canned, sliced baby white potatoes
    • Bake white and/or red potatoes, quartered
    • Or hashbrowns, tater tots, whatever freaking potatoes sound DELICIOUS at the moment
  4. Slice the meat diagonally into 1″ pieces, and pan fry for 6-8 minutes
    • arrange meat fingers on either side of potato tower
  5. Artfully add four baby piles of mustard around platter
  6. Open one (14oz) can sauerkraut (or the refrigerated bag kind), and arrange in a little river of stinky pickling juice
  7. Scoop everything with sliced bread, dunk into mustard, and
  8. EAT IT

The CrockPot Version

  1.  Wash 5 baby white potatoes, and 5 baby red potatoes totaling TEN PO-TAY-TOES, and cut into quarters, and put in slow cooker
  2. Add the following to slow cooker, on top of potatoes
    • one (14oz) can undrained sauerkraut
    • one (14oz) bag shredded, coleslaw “mix”
      • or you could prepare a whole head of cabbage but it’s a real pain in the ass
    • sliced pieces of tube meat (Kielbasa, or other)
    • roughly chopped onion
    • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
    • 2 cups cold water
  3. The spices (a sprinklin’ of each)
    • Salt
    • Black pepper (x 2 sprinklin’s)
    • Celery seed
    • Caraway seed
    • Dried thyme
  4. Cook on low for 6-8 hours
  5. Squirt ~1 tsp spicy mustard on top of each helping, and mix in
    • Stir in a dollop of sour cream for a creamier, bisque-like dish
  6. Toast sliced rustic bread, and dunk while you
  7. EAT IT
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