Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Certain Death Mushroom Hash

by Runt & SuSu

When pilots are sent out on a certain death mission, the Imperial government fed them as best they could -- meat and lots of saké. It was a way that the young pilots could feel compensated in advance of their deaths. Likewise, Rebel Alliance pilots had a rich, favorite dish served to them; it's how they knew how serious the upcoming mission was. If it was a fairly standard sorti, they got regular grub. If it was highly dangerous, they got "last rites" sort of meals. Typically, these were not the best foods around, but the best they could beg, borrow, or steal.

Still, the Alliance cooks normally could count on having staples on hand like potatoes or dried sliced mushrooms, or onions and garlic. If they were lucky, they might even have cream -- fresh or soured -- and/or cheese. These are the basis for this luxurious dish. And even though it signaled a guaranteed suicide mission, there were enough pilots that had survived enough battles to crave this dish. It is frankly too rich to have too often, but if you're going to die, why not eat something not really good for you?

Wes Janson and Derek "Hobbie" Klivian, for instance, would defiantly say they'd go on any Kamikaze mission, just to be fed this dish more often. Too bad his commanding officers took them to their word! (The fact that this dish has no meat in it makes it more special -- it meant their digestion was less dodgy in the morning of the mission.)

  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 lb/1 kg large potatoes, peeled, cubed (about 4 potatoes -- either floury like Russet or waxy like Red Pontiacs are fine)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup dried mushrooms, soaked in 1 cup of hot water to rehydrate (keep the water)
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, freshly ground, to taste
Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet and cook the onion and half the garlic till it all starts to soften. Add the potatoes and stir to coat, then pat down gently, making a single layer. Cover and cook over low heat with occasional stirring to prevent sticking. About 20 minutes into the cooking, dump the rehydrated mushrooms into a sieve and save the mushroom juice. Let the juice settle, in case there is sand or grit in the mushrooms. Decant the liquid into the potatoes in the skillet and let the mixture boil dry, uncovered, stirring the potatoes so they absorb the flavorful liquid. Cook till the potatoes are tender.

Heat oven to 350°F/160°C. In a large skillet or pot, melt the butter, then add the mushrooms and garlic. Sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the cream, and cook till reduced by about half, then add the sour cream. Into this mixture, add the hash browned potatoes, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Turn out into a large baking dish, then place in the oven for about 20 minutes. Serve 8 immediately.

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