Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Jobal Naberrie's Side Dishes
by Susu

Padmé Naberrie -- who was named "Amidala" when she ascended to public service on Naboo -- is a politician and diplomat, thus she learned to eat what was presented to her, using a technique that was sort of eating without actually tasting or consuming the food. Outside of her mother's home, food was of secondary interest to her. During dismal state and committee banquets, sometimes sponsored by beings with food desires completely foreign to her, she would mentally recount the dishes her mother would typically serve to keep her spirits up and to help her appetite. Over time, she came to realize that what made her mother's food so wonderful were the accompaniments and side dishes. There were made to complement the main dish, but they were also fantastic on their own. Padmé recalled the many midnight kitchen raids that she and her sister Sola would make, eating the cold leftovers with only the light of the appliances to illuminate their little crime.

When things got tense and she needed to maintain her perspective Padmé would sometimes recite her mother's recipes to herself. She told Dormé, her senatorial decoy and aide, that it was a way to remember the comforts of home, and to remind herself that she is no different that any other being -- she had parents who loved her and wanted the best for her. The being sitting on the other side of the table being stubborn about the negotiation -- he or she had parents and family, too.

Dormé took to remembering Padmé's murmurrings, not only to help her impersonate the Senator better, but because the recipes sounded good! When the situations seemed really hopeless, the aides would make these special dishes for Padmé; the Senator was always delighted and astonished at their efforts. She was so taken with the side dishes that she'd sit on the floor, like she did with Sola when they were kids, and eat the treats straight out of the serving bowl, with a spoon!

Menu: Cornbread Dressing | Bread Stuffing | Double-Baked Stuffed Potatoes | Garden Bounty Stew | Cheese and Pasta | Mushroom Polenta | Green Rice | Crunchy Croûtons | Mushrooms with Breadcrumbs | Creamy Potato Casserole | Brown Sugar Sweet Potatoes | Honey & Pepper Rutabagas | Gingered Carrots



Cornbread Dressing
When Sola and Padmé were little, they would yelp at the tiny pieces of onion in some of the food, going so far as to tediously pick them out of sauces, making a little pile of them on the edge of the plate before they'd eat the sauce. Knowing they'd either tire of their pickiness or just eventually learn to enjoy onions as an ingredient, Jobal simply evolved a stuffing that didn't have onions in it. Knowing that children love sweet corn, she made the new stuffing out of cornbread and dotted with corn kernals, too. It was so good that sometimes she'd end up making cornbread just to make the dressing to accompany any roast. She still serves this onion-less dressing for her grandchildren and other picky eaters.
    Cornbread
  • ¼ cup bacon grease or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups cornmeal (yellow, medium grind)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, melted
Heat the oven to 450°F/210°C. Place the oil or grease in a baking pan, and place that in the oven to heat. If you have one, a cast iron skillet is ideal, or a square cake pan. Mix together cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper. In another bowl, mix together the buttermilk, lemon juice, egg, and melted butter. Quickly add the wet mixture to the dry and stir just to combine. Remove the hot skillet from the oven, carefully swirl to evenly distribute hot grease, and quickly pour the cornmeal batter into the hot pan. The edges will start cooking in the hot fat immediately. Bake for 20 minutes, or until there is a firm smooth crust that is starting to brown. Pull out of the oven and let it sit in the pan on a cooling rack for a few minutes, then run a knife around the edges, then turn out onto a cutting board or serving place. Serve hot with butter.

    Dressing
  • 1 batch cornbread
  • 1 lb./450 g canned mushrooms, chopped (reserve the liquid)
  • 1 lb./450 g canned kernal corn, with liquid
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, dried and crumbled
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • poultry stock, hot
Heat the oven to 350°F/160°C. Cut the cold cornbread into rough cubes. Place in a large bowl. Dump in the mushrooms (with canning liquid), corn (with canning liquid), cheese, and rosemary, then mix well. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Place in a greased baking tray or crockery oven-safe dish. Carefully ladle in stock to your preference and place in the oven. Bake till hot, puffy and the top is crusty and brown.

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Bread Stuffing
This started out as a rich, many ingredient stuffing, the only one offered at the Naberrie table. As children, Padmé and Sola couldn't deal with some of the stronger flavors here, so Jobal developed the cornbread version, above. Since that dressing is now presented alongside this one, this recipe lost the ingredients that migrated to the kid-pleasing concoction: mushrooms, corn, and cheese. Even without those components, this is still a rich stuffing.

This version is made up of whatever bread she had on hand. Jobal would often save the heels of bread, crusts, and leftover pieces in the freezer till she needed them. She'd roughly tear the bread up, mixing different types -- brown, whole-grain, white, crusty -- giving her stuffing a nice variation in taste and texture from bite to bite. The quantity of ingredients is actually quite variable, since it depends on how much bread there is. (By the way, breads like bagels or soft pretzels also make GREAT stuffing! Just be sure that some inner crumb is exposed to soak up the stock, unless you like really dry stuffing. If you use a salted or seasoned bread, be careful about seasoning the mixture.)


  • 1 cup butter (1 stick butter) or bacon grease, or the fat rendered while making stock or when cooking a roast
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • half a bunch celergy, diced (top half, including the leaves, is ideal)
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • equivalent of a large loaf of bread, about 1 lb./450 g bread, torn up
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • strong stock, hot; quantity varies according to dryness of the bread and your personal taste
Melt the fat in a large skillet or pot and cook the onion, garlic and celery till wilted and cooked through. Add thyme and sage and stir. In a very large bowl, place the cut up/torn up bread, and dump cooked vegetables over. Mix together thoroughly, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place in a greased roasting pan, then carefully ladle over with strong hot stock till the bread is moistened to your liking. Bake in 350°F/160°C oven for about 30 minutes till the bread puffs up and the top is crusty and browned.

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Double Baked Stuffed Potatoes
No matter what's in the oven, Jobal makes sure she places potatoes in any empty space so they can bake along with the main dish, whether she needs them for the meal or not. Even if baked potatoes are not part of that meal, they are a versatile ingredient to have on hand. Anyway, as a humanitarian worker, Jobal could not in good conscience waste resources, and baking potatoes was a good way to use excess heat. Thus many of her best recipes -- the ones she felt good about serving -- made good use of odds, ends and leftovers!

    For every 2 servings:
  • 1 potato, baked
  • 1 strip of well-cooked bacon, crumbled
  • ¼ cup cheese, grated (cheddar or parmesan is good), divided
  • 2 tablespoons cream or sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chives
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
Split the baked potato in half along the long axis. With a spoon, scoop out the pulp, leaving a "rind" of potato flesh about ½ inch thick to form a "boat." Mash the extracted flesh, as smooth or as coarse as you please. Mix together with the bacon, 3 tablespoons of cheese, cream, parsley and chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pile the mixture back into reserved potato shells, and top with the remaining cheese. Bake in a 375°F/170°C oven till the potatoes are warmed through, cheese is melted and lightly browned.

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Garden Bounty Stew
The Naberries are avid flower, vegetable and herb gardeners. They lived in the countryside before their children started school, but even in the capital city of Theed, they managed to live in a house with enough grounds to plant crops. Flowers from the cutting garden filled vases year round, and every meal was blessed with harvested edible plants. At the height of the hot weather, the plants would bloom quickly, and Jobal had to scramble to keep up with the profusion. She'd can or bottle vegetables when she had a lot of one thing. But sometimes, she would run across some vegetables she'd missed during the big weekly harvest. So she'd sometimes have a large amount of a variety of vegetables, all at once. It would be a shame to let it go to waste -- no matter how plentiful the crop was -- so she developed a quick and simple vegetable casserole to deal with the bounty. Once cooked, the mixture could be frozen, to be thawed for soups, stews and casseroles once the garden was not so prolific. But actually, it rarely lasted that long!
  • 1 very large eggplant, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 large bell peppers (any color), roughly chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, peeled, cubed, OR 2 lbs/1 kg cherry or grape tomatoes, as is
  • ½ cup total dried herbs: basil, oregano, marjoram, thyme
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • salt, to taste
Place the eggplant cubes in a colander set in the sink, and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat and leave to extract bitter juices out of the eggplant for an hour. When the time is up, rinse the pieces in cold water, squeeze and blot dry.

In a microwave-safe, lidded container, place olive oil, onion, garlic and stir together. Cover and microwave on high for about three minutes, stir, and add eggplant, return the microwave for another 5 minutes. Stir, and check to see if the eggplant is cooked; if not, return to the microwave for another 5 minutes.

Stir in the peppers and tomatoes, cook another 5 minutes, then stir in the herbs, pepper and salt, and cook for another 5 minutes.

If you do not want to cook this recipe in a microwave, it can be done on the stovetop in a very large pot, or a wok. Cook the vegetables in the same order as above.

Serve as a side dish, or 6 as a main meal. Serve over rice or with bread.

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Cheese and Pasta
This is definitely a hefty side dish that should actually be a full meal, completely unadorned and unaccompanied. Indeed, that's the way Padmé prefers it, straight out of the chiller. When it's first cooked, it can be goopy and liquidy. As it sits and chills, it gets more solid, till at last it can be cut into blocks! Sometimes Jobal slices it up and panfries the slices for a delicious but caloric treat.

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 3 cups cheese, grated
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered chili or cayenne
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 pound pasta, cooked
  • ½ cup fine breadcrumbs
In a saucepan, melt the butter and cook with flour, stirring over medium-low heat. When the flour starts to color, add milk and whisk the mixture while it's heating. Be sure to scrape the corners so that the flour is evenly distributed in the milk. When the mixture thickens, add the cheese, nutmeg and chili and stir. The mixture should be a bit gluey when it's thickened. Season with salt to taste.

Butter a baking tray and put the pasta in it (can use any shape or strand, but small tube pastas like macaroni or shells work best). Pour the cheese sauce over and fold to combine completely. Sprinkle over with breadcrumbs. Place in an oven heated to 400°F/195°C till the top is browned and the cheese sauce is bubbly.

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Mushroom Polenta
This dish stretches a handful of mushrooms, where the fungi could perfume and flavor a whole pot of cornmeal. When they were smaller, Jobal made the dish with a finer grind of cornmeal, to make it more like babyfood. As her children grew older, she used the more traditional coarser meal. On sitting, the polenta thickens and congeals, so it can be sliced and panfried for breakfast the next day. That is, if Jobal didn't find spoonmarks in the dish from her night-time raiders!

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ tablespoons oil
  • 2 shallots or 1 small onion, minced
  • ¼ to ½ cup mushrooms, chopped or sliced
  • 2½ cups milk, hot
  • ¾ cup cornmeal
  • ¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 3 tablespoons cheese, grated
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
Grease an 8-inch square baking pan. Set aside.

Heat the oil and melt the butter in a skillet. Cook the shallots in the butter till golden, then add mushrooms and cook till the juices have evaporated. Set aside.

In a large pot or saucepan, heat the milk to boiling and then gradually whisk in the cornmeal, to avoid lumps. Stir in the pepper sauce and cheese. With a wooden spoon, beat till the mixture thickens, then add the mushrooms. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into the buttered baking pan and serve immediately, or allow to cool.

To serve after cooling, slice the polenta and place on a buttered baking dish and bake at 375°F/170°C for 15 minutes. If desired, top with melted butter and/or grated cheese.

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Green Rice
This is a comfort dish that is actually lefover creamed spinach combined with leftover rice and heated together to form a creamy green-flecked mess. It's green color was weird enough that kids would eat it! It's also delicious enough to raid the refrigerator in the middle of the night. Jobal remembers that Padmé went through a phase when she was about three years old when she would eat nothing else. At least it was reasonably nutritious!

    Creamed Spinach
  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups cooked, chopped spinach (you can buy this frozen and already chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ½ cup cream or milk
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • nutmeg, grated, to taste
Melt the butter in a skillet and cook the spinach in it till hot and any water is evaporated. Sprinkle over with flour and mix it into the buttery spinach, avoiding lumps. Add the cream and cook for about 5 minutes, till the sauce is thickened and a nice pale green color. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Serves four as a side dish.

    Ratios for Green Rice:
  • ½ unit milk
  • 2 units rice
  • 1 unit creamed spinach
  • butter, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
Heat the milk and rice together till hot, then add the creamed spinach. Flavor with butter, salt and pepper to taste.

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Crunchy Croûtons
Jobal hated to waste bread, and if she had a substantial amount of a loaf left, she'd make flavorful croûtons, for use as a garnish for salads, to use instead of breadcrumbs in many dishes, or as the main ingredient of a stuffing. Sometimes she'd pack them in a jar to give as a housewarming gift, along with a casserole and salad. It was always well-received, and people begged her for the recipe. Like many intuitive cooks, she had no recipe, and Padmé volunteered to stand at her elbow and watch how she did it, measuring as her mother proceeded. Since then, her mother would include a card with the very simple formula on it every time she gave the crunchy morsels away. Padmé grinned when she learned that many people just ate them straight out the jar as a snack, they were so good! She did, too!

  • 6 cups bread loaves or rolls, cut into one-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
Heat the oven to 250°F/115&#deg;C. Place the bread cubes on a large baking sheet, so they sit more or less in one layer. Sprinkle over with olive oil, then toss the bread cubes to evenly coat. Sprinkle over with each of the seasonings, and toss again. Place in the oven till browned and crunchy. If you like them dried out all the way through, it will take about 30 minutes. This is what you should do if you plan to give the croûtons as gifts. If you like them with a bit of chew, start checking them at about 15 minutes. Times vary from oven to oven, so keep close watch on the bread cubes. Makes 6 cups.

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Mushrooms with Breadcrumbs
Sola and her mother would go to the local woods and parks to pick mushrooms, since they preferred the savor of the uncultivated fungi. They were expert pickers and could gather many bushels in just a few hours; in contrast, Ruwee and Padmé never picked them. They had been told by a soothsayer that they could not ever touch them in the wild, for if they did, they would inadvertently poison their loved ones!

Padmé valued this very easy recipe, since finding something as earthy and natural as woodland mushrooms on Corusant was impossible. It was something she could only have if her staff planned for it by bringing dried or frozen wild mushrooms with them from Naboo. Domestically-grown fungi were just not the same!


  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • ½ cup parsley or tarragon, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 lb/1 kg wild mushrooms, ripped
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup bread crumbs
Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet and add the bacon, parsley or tarragon, garlic and red papper. Cook with frequent stirring. Add the mushrooms and cook till the juices have exuded, then thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In another skillet, heat the remaining olive oil with the bread crumbs and toss together till the crumbs are browned. Serve the mushrooms with the crumbs sprinkled over each serving.

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Ruwee & Sola's Potato Casserole
Though Ruwee Naberrie was a decent enough cook, he left the arena of the kitchen to his wife, who was really talented. But from time to time, he had to step in when his wife was away or sick. When Jobal was pregnant with Padmé, she was forced to spend a lot of time at the summer retreat in Varykino to escape the heat of the city. Ruwee was teaching at the university, and had Sola with him, who had started school, so the two of them stayed in Theed. This dish was very unlike Jobal's meals, and was made quickly with packaged and canned foods. In addition, Ruwee and Sola really enjoyed "one-dish" meals -- they'd cook something in one dish, and eat out of it, too! Sola liked this potato casserole best, and always teased Padmé that no matter how much she ate, Sola would always have had more, by dint of the fact that she was simply born first!

  • 2 lb/1 kg potatoes, shredded (you can buy this frozen, sometimes called hash browned potatoes. Thaw for 30 minutes before proceding with this recipe)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, melted (1 stick)
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup crushed cornflakes or potato chips
Heat the oven to 375°F/170°C. Mix together the potatoes, onion, mushroom soup, sour cream, butter and cheese in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into a 9" x 13" pan and press to an even thickness with a spatula. Sprinkle 1 cup crushed cornflakes or potato chips over the top. Bake for an hour, till the topping is golden brown and crisp.

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Brown Sugar Sweet Potatoes
This side dish is delicious done in the oven, but the Naberries commonly made it by taking advantage of the times they needed to light a bonfire to rid the property of burnable trash. The girls helped Jobal prepare this simple dish, which they'd toss into the embers of the fire. They'd tear into the packets and scorch their fingers and tongue, but it was worth it! Any extras were taken home and could be converted into pies, cake or even ice cream, or simply be eaten cold as is!

    Per serving:
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 sweet potato, scrubbed
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
Heat the oven to 400°F/195°C. In a small bowl, cream together the brown sugar and butter. Split the potato horizontally. Spread the sugar and butter mixture, half on each split. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Stack the halves back together and wrap tightly in foil. Place on baking sheet and bake in the oven for about an hour, till the potato is cooked through. Or place in the embers of a fire or barbecue for a similar amount of time. If you eat this hot, beware that the sauce will be very hot!

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Sweet & Peppery Rutabagas
This root vegetable was one Sola and Padmé always insisted should be grown in the garden in Theed. The leaves were so big that the young girls used to pick them and put them on their heads as rain- or sun-covers; sometimes they'd use the stout stems for pretend sword fights, or as framing for temporary houses they'd build in the garden for their dolls. When the plants were young, the bulbous roots were tender and sweet, and they'd enjoy eating them like apples. When it came time for harvest, Jobal would be lucky to find a few large roots that had escaped her daughters' snacking! This is how she prepared the tougher, older roots.

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 lb/450 g rutabagas, cubed to about ½ inch dice
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
In a saucepan, melt the butter, then add the honey and mix together. Stir in the rutabagas and pepper. Toss to coat and cover, then cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or till the rutabaga is tender. Add salt to taste and sprinkle with parsley before serving.

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Gingered Carrots
Most people like carrots, especially children. But one can get tired of plain carrots, chopped into coins and boiled, served buttered. When the girls were small, sometimes Jobal would make a fancier, more sophisticated carrot dish for her and Ruwee. The girls insisted on having some, reasoning that their parents were reserving the better of the two dishes for themselves! Jobal realized this was a good way to get the picky eaters to try new dishes -- thus broadening Sola and Padmé's palates.

  • 4 cups carrots, coarsely grated
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoons butter (½ stick)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
Combine all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan with a lid. Bring it all to a simmer, cover and cook till tender, about 5 minutes.

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Special Potatoes By: Rosie