Dalmascan Tomato Salad

Rogue Tomato“Here’s the bill I posted for the Rogue Tomato, the mark I’ve petitioned to have hunted. Do you want to hear all the details?”

—Tomaj, FFXII

This vegan summer salad is light and refreshing, but also quite hearty and filling — exactly what you need at the end of a long hunt.

  • ½ cup white quinoa (about 3 oz.)
  • ½ cup red quinoa (about 3 oz.)
  • 1 pound Persian cucumbers
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 1 15-ounce can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3–4 small tomatoes
  • ¼ ounce fresh mint

Place quinoa in a small pot and add 1½ cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Cook until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15–20 minutes. Set aside, covered.

Meanwhile, wash the cucumbers, remove the ends, and slice thinly. Transfer to a medium bowl and add 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and ½ teaspoon salt. Toss to combine.

Preheat broiler with rack in highest position. Dry garbanzo beans on a paper towel and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Broil, shaking sheet halfway through, until golden and crispy, about 8 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together tahini, turmeric, cumin, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons water, ¼ teaspoon salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Slice tomatoes and sprinkle lightly with salt. Pick mint leaves from stems.

Divide quinoa between two bowls. Visualize each bowl as being divided into three sections. Place tomatoes in one section, cucumbers in another section, and chickpeas in the last section. Top with dressing and mint leaves.

Makes 2 bowls of salad. Per bowl: 871 calories, 36 g. fat, 583 mg. potassium, 1421 mg. sodium, 114 g. carbohydrates, 22 g. fiber, 28 g. protein, vitamin A 53%, vitamin C 68%, calcium 13%, iron 44%

Chocobo’s Paradise

Choco returns to Mene“Oh!!! Legend was true, kupo! I’ll tell you a secret. I’m looking for paradise on earth!”

—Mene, FFIX

Make sure you have plenty of fresh limes on hand for this delicious summer treat. The mug should be chilled in the freezer prior to preparing the drink.

  • 1 16-ounce mythril mug (you can substitute copper)
  • ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) fresh lime juice
  • Ice cubes
  • 2 ounces (¼ cup) rum
  • 6 ounces (half a bottle) ginger beer
  • Lime wedge
  • Fresh mint

Pour or squeeze fresh lime juice into the mug and add 2 or 3 ice cubes. Add rum and fill with ginger beer. Stir and serve with a wedge of lime and a sprig of mint.

Dali Scrambled Eggs with Kale and Pumpkin Seeds

Dali Inn's Breakfast Service“You hungry?

“You VERY hungry?”

—Eggmeister, FFIX

This is a quick and nutritious way to start your day. You can use a different kind of cheese each morning to keep things interesting. Feta cheese and goat cheese are two excellent options.

  • 1½ ounces raw kale, torn into pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ounce cheese
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • Pinch of smoked paprika
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ ounce (15 grams) roasted and salted pumpkin seeds

Fill a 4-cup microwavable bowl with kale and add 2 tablespoons of water. Cover loosely and microwave for 1 minute. Drain the liquid from the bowl. (If you’re using a glass bowl, be careful — they get really hot!)

Crack both eggs into the bowl and add cheese and spices. Whisk together, cover loosely, and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and cook an additional 30 seconds until cooked but not dry. (You might have to adjust these times depending on your microwave.)

Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving.  Per serving: 356 calories, 24 g. fat, 8 g. carbohydrates, 3 g. fiber, 28 g. protein, vitamin A 103%, vitamin C 86%, calcium 24%, iron 23%

Costa Del Sol Carnitas Tacos

Cloud and Mukki in Costa Del Sol“Damn! Sure is hot here! But I sure feel better now that I can say good-bye to this sailor suit.”

—Barret Wallace, FFVII

  • 4 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 32 corn tortillas
  • 1 red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 4 ripe avocados, peeled and sliced
  • 4 thinly sliced red radishes
  • 8 limes, cut into wedges
  • Flaky sea salt

Place the pork in a casserole dish. Combine the salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano and sprinkle all over the pork. Marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel most of the papery outer skin from a whole head of garlic, leaving the bulb intact. Trim a half-inch off the top to expose the cloves inside. Repeat with the second bulb. Tuck the bulbs between the pork pieces, cut sides facing up, and drizzle with olive oil.

Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for about 90 minutes. Remove the foil, reduce heat to 300 degrees, and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the pork pieces and bake for 30 more minutes.

Remove the casserole dish from the oven and allow the pork to cool. When it’s cool enough to handle, shred the meat, removing bits of fat. Warm the tortillas over the stove.

Serve tacos with cabbage, avocado, and radishes. Squeeze a lime wedge and some soft garlic on top before eating and sprinkle with sea salt. Makes 32 tacos, enough to serve 8–10 people.

Selphie’s Pizza Party

Sephie and Squall“Approach your target inconspicuously at a dance party… There may be missions requiring this sort of subterfuge. It’s expected of SeeD to learn various skills.”

—Squall Leonhart, FFVIII

  • 2 16-ounce balls of pizza dough
  • 8 ounces pizza sauce
  • 8 ounces burrata cheese
  • 5 ounces sliced pepperoni
  • Fresh oregano
  • Fresh Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
  • Crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and let rise for 30 minutes.

Use your hands or a rolling pin to flatten and stretch the first ball of dough. Transfer to a baking sheet or floured pizza peel and spread with half the pizza sauce. Tear open a ball of burrata and drizzle the cream all over the sauce. Pull the cheese into shreds and arrange evenly on the pizza. Top with half the pepperoni and sprinkle with oregano.

Transfer the pizza to a baking sheet or pizza stone and bake for about 10 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and crust is golden. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Repeat with the second pizza and serve with grated Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 873 calories, 31 g. fat, 109 g. carbohydrates, 8 g. fiber, 38 g. protein, iron 27%

Ivalice Stewed Chicken with Olives

Ivalice“Food would be a start—the good stuff, mind you.”

—Balthier, FFXII

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, peeled, quartered lengthwise and sliced thickly crosswise (about 1½ cups)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • One 2-ounce can anchovies, drained and chopped
  • 1½ lbs. skinless boneless chicken thighs, uncooked
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ras el hanout
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth, divided
  • 8 ounces fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup (180 grams) whole-wheat couscous
  • 1 12-ounce jar pitted Kalamata olives, drained
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or large, deep oven-safe skillet with lid.  Add onion and garlic and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring frequently and reducing heat as needed to prevent burning. Add anchovies and spices and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Push anchovies and vegetables to the side and add chicken. Sprinkle with flour and season with salt and pepper. Brown on all sides, about 15 minutes.

Slowly pour in the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan. When the wine is at a simmer, slowly pour in ½ cup broth. Add tomatoes and their juices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until chicken is very tender.

Uncover and stir in olives. Cook for 15 or so minutes until sauce is slightly thickened.

Meanwhile, place couscous in a large Tupperware container. Heat 1½ cups broth to boiling and pour over the couscous, stirring once to make sure that the liquid is evenly distributed. Cover tightly and set aside for at least 10 minutes.

Fluff couscous with a fork and divide into 4 bowls, about 4 ounces of couscous per person. Divide stew into each bowl, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.

Rikku’s Mix

Rikku's Mix Overdrive“A little bit of this, a little bit of that…”

—Rikku, FFX-2

Do you have half-empty bags of egg noodles, brown rice, and elbow macaroni in your cupboard that never seem to get used up? Frozen hashbrowns that are heading towards freezer burn? Random cans of salmon, sardines, or tuna that just get pushed to the back? Use this recipe as a blueprint for fusing your stockable items to create something more delicious. You can include any cheeses you like, but if you’re having trouble deciding, a high-quality white cheddar is especially good. Grate it yourself instead of buying the pre-shredded kind, which is coated with additives to prevent clumping.

  • 12 ounces of dried pasta or rice, or 20 ounces frozen cooked potatoes, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion or two small onions, peeled, quartered lengthwise and sliced thickly crosswise
  • 2 leeks, trimmed, halved, thickly sliced, and rinsed well
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2½ cups (20 ounces) chicken broth
  • 1¼ cup (10 ounces) half-and-half
  • 6 ounces cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (such as Crystal)
  • 2 6-ounce cans of fish (such as salmon, tuna, or sardines), drained
  • 8 oz. frozen peas or other vegetables (about 1½ cups), thawed
  • 2 ounces panko, crushed potato  chips, or parsnip chips
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about ¼ cup)
  • A dash of smoked paprika
  • 1 lemon, washed well
  • Fresh dill
  • Fresh chives

Prepare the pasta  or rice according to package directions but slightly undercooking it by a few minutes.

In a large oven-safe skillet or Dutch oven, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally and seasoning with salt and pepper, until soft and golden, about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slowly pour in wine and continue cooking, scraping the bottom of the pan, until pan is almost dry, about 2 minutes.

Add flour and stir until onion and leeks are coated. Stir in broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and stir in half-and-half. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is bubbling. Stir in cheese and hot sauce, then add fish and peas. Break the fish up with a spatula, add pasta, and stir until combined.

Turn off heat and sprinkle evenly with panko or chips, Parmesan cheese, and paprika. Bake uncovered until bubbly around the edges, about 15–20 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes, then zest one-quarter of the lemon over the top. Use scissors to trim fresh dill and chives over the top. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.