Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Lorien Mushroom Risotto

by GilArda and the Cave Troll

When the Fellowship reached the safety of Lothlorien, they were sick at heart at the loss of their beloved and wise leader, the wizard Gandalf. They spent a month in the enchanted land regaining their strength and coming to terms with their tragedy.

Although the meals they ate were not considered feasts by their hosts, the members of the Fellowship were overwhelmed at the sumptuousness of every meal they were offered. One item that made a particular impression on them was a creamy rich rice dish reminiscent of present-day Risotto Bianco. Sam, being an accomplished cook, wanted to add this dish to his repertoire, so he followed the elves who prepared the meals around and watched them prepare it several times.

When the Fellowship took their leave from Lorien, their supplies included a generous supply of the special short grained rice that formed the basis for the dish. In the early part of their journey down Anduin the Great, Sam had the leisure and opportunity to recreate the delicious rice dish a couple of times. The second time he made it, he remembered the dried mushrooms he had received from Farmer Maggot long ago before they had even left the Shire. "Couldn't hurt to toss 'em in too," he thought to himself.

Not a voice was heard during dinner that night as the Travelers devoured every last grain of the luscious dish and kept peeking into the pot hoping for more.

  • ¼ to ½ cups butter
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cups uncooked rice, short-grain
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 to 3 cups chicken stock or broth, hot
  • 2 tablespoons butter plus extra for serving
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 2 cups of water (keep the water)
Melt the butter in a skillet and gently sauté till onions are soft but not browned. Stir in the rice and cook till it becomes opaque. Add the wine and let heat to boiling, letting the liquid absorb into the rice. You will need to stir constantly. Squeeze the mushrooms of juice, and chop finely. Add the mushrooms to the rice. Add the mushroom juice half a cup at a time. As the liquid is absorbed, add another half cup. When all the mushroom juice is absorbed, add a half cup of chicken stock, stir till absorbed, and keep repeating, adding more as each addition is absorbed. When the rice is soft to the bite and not chalky at all -- this takes about 20 minutes -- add extra butter (to taste) and the grated parmesan.

Serves 4 immediately as a main course, or 6 to 8 as a side dish.

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