Breaded Cutlet with Tomato

Breaded Cutlet with Tomato“A kitchen knife… Wonder if it’s a culinary battle he wants.”

—Ignis Scientia, FFXV

For the tomato sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion or 2 small onions, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 head of garlic (about 8–12) cloves, peeled
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the cutlet sauce:

  • ½ cup homemade tomato sauce (see recipe below)
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin

For the breaded cutlet:

  • 4 boneless pork loin chops, 4 to 5 ounces each, about 1 inch thick
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, plus more for frying
  • 1½ cups Japanese-style panko bread crumbs
  • Thinly shredded raw cabbage
  • Lemon wedges

To make the tomato sauce, heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned. Add garlic and cook for another minute or so, until fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, spices, and few grinds of black pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 1 hour, uncovered.

Remove from heat and transfer carefully to a blender. Process until smooth. Let the sauce cool before transferring to a tightly sealed container and refrigerating for up to 1 month, or freezing for up to 4 months.

Next, make the cutlet sauce by whisking together all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Finally, to make the cutlets, begin by removing the extra fat from the pork loin chops. Make small slits all over the chops with the tip of your knife, including on the connective tissue between the meat and the fat.

Place one of the cutlets inside a heavy-duty zipper-lock bag and pound gently to ¼-inch thickness, using a meat pounder or the bottom of a heavy skillet. Season well on both sides with salt and pepper and transfer to a plate. Repeat with the other three cutlets.

Arrange three wide, shallow bowls in a row. Place the flour in the first bowl. Whisk together the eggs and grapeseed oil in the second bowl. Place the panko in the third bowl. Working with one cutlet at a time, dredge in flour with your left hand and shake off excess. Transfer to the second bowl, keeping your hand dry, and use your right hand to turn the cutlet, coating both sides in egg. Lift and allow excess liquid to drain off, then transfer to the third bowl. Use your left hand to scoop panko on top of the cutlet and press gently to ensure an even layer of crumbs on both sides. Transfer to a clean plate and repeat with the other three cutlets.

Heat ½ inch grapeseed oil in a large wok or cast-iron skillet. Heat over high heat until shimmering but not smoking, about 350 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test the temperature by dropping a panko crumb into the oil. If it floats to the surface immediately, the oil is ready.

Using tongs, gently lower each cutlet into the oil. Fry until the bottom sides are set, about 2 minutes. Flip and fry until the other sides are set, about 2 more minutes. Flip again and cook about 3 minutes more, until golden brown on both sides.

Transfer cutlets to a cooling rack set over paper towels to drain. Season immediately with kosher salt. Cut each cutlet into three pieces by pressing the knife directly down instead of back and forth, to ensure the breading won’t come off. Then cut the larger pieces in half, using the same method, so that you end up with 6 strips of meat per cutlet.

Arrange a mound of cabbage on two plates. Divide the cutlets between the plates, placing the strips of meat on top of the cabbage. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and cutlet sauce.


Prime Garula Rib

Prime Garula Rib“Say, Ignis. How come you like cookin’ so much?”

“I find the true joy of cooking on the faces of those for whom I cook.”

—Noctis and Ignis, FFXV

For the roast:

  • 3 to 3½ pounds boneless beef cross-rib roast
  • ¼ cup espresso-ground dark-roast coffee beans
  • 8 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the sauce:

  • 16 ounces crème fraiche (2 cups)
  • 1 cup grated peeled fresh horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1 tablespoon minced scallion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

The morning of the dinner, prepare the beef. Combine coffee, garlic, bourbon, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Pat the beef dry and place fat side up on a rack set in a large roasting pan. Rub all over with the coffee mixture and refrigerate, uncovered.

Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate, covered.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Roast the meat for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue roasting until center of roast registers 130 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 1 hour more.

Carve thinly and serve immediately with a substantial red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Barolo and a simple salad tossed with olive oil and vinegar.

Coctura’s White Fish in Tomato Sauce

Coctura“Wow, this place is so romantic!”

—Prompto Argentum, FFXV

  • 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
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 8 ounces fresh tomatoes (about 1 medium tomato), seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 12-ounce jar pitted Kalamata olives, drained
  • ¼ cup (60 g.) drained capers
  • Zest of 1 lemon or 1 slice preserved lemon, chopped
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) dry white wine
  • 2 fillets of barramundi (sea bass) or other white fish, about ½ pound each
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 French baguette
  • Freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a 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 red pepper and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the wine, scraping the browned bits. Stir in tomatoes, olives, capers, and lemon.

Place the fish fillets in the pan, skin-side down if skin has not been removed, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon vegetables on top. Bring to a simmer, cover, and transfer to oven. Bake until fish is opaque in the center and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 130°F, about 12 minutes.

Turn off oven and remove skillet. Place baguette in oven for a minute or two to warm.

Divide fish and vegetables between two plates, sprinkle with parsley, and serve with the baguette.

Grilled Saxham Beans and Peaches

Noctic at Furloch Farms“Beeeans?”

—Noctis Lucis Caelum, FFXV

  • ½ pound trimmed green beans
  • 1 white peach, cut into ½-inch wedges
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Toss beans with ½ tablespoon olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, toss sliced peach and almonds with ½ tablespoon olive oil. Transfer beans to a grill pan and cook, stirring often, until beans are crisp and tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in peaches and almonds and cook for a couple minutes more, until peaches are tender. Toss with vinegar and serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.

Grilled Wild Barramundi

Grilled Wild Barramundi“You’re fishin’ up a storm.”

—Gladiolus Amicitia, FFXV

  • 2 barramundi (sea bass) or other white fish, about 1 pound each, cleaned and fins trimmed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 fresh marjoram sprigs
  • Olive oil

Clean and oil the grill grate thoroughly to ensure the fish won’t stick. Prepare grill for medium-high heat.

Pat fish dry and rub all over with olive oil. Season inside and out with salt and pepper. Sprinkle cavities with chile flakes and turmeric. Stuff each cavity with 2 lemon wedges, reserving the remaining 4 wedges for later use. Add 1 thyme sprig and 1 marjoram sprig to each cavity.

Place fish on the grill. Test after about 5 minutes by pressing up through the grate with a carving fork. If it doesn’t release easily, let it cook longer before attempting to flip it. Once it’s ready to flip, position a spatula on the other side of the fish to complete the roll.

Continue to cook until slightly charred and cooked through, about 135 degrees, 10–15 minutes total. Serve with lemon wedges.

Makes 2 servings.

Fisherman’s Favorite Paella

Fisherman's Favorite Paella“At this rate, we’re gonna fish this place dry.”

—Gladiolus Amicitia, FFXV

  • 4 medium Lucian tomatoes (about 1 pound)
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed saffron threads
  • 2 cups chickatrice stock
  • 1 cup dry Veldorian white wine
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 dozen medium Caem pinkshrimp, shelled and deveined, tails on (about 12 ounces)
  • 8 ounces fresh fish, skin removed and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 8 ounces Galahd chorizo, cut into thin diagonal slices
  • 1 medium bulbous wild onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 4 Kettier garlic cloves, peeled and minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 dozen Cleigne mollusks, scrubbed, beards pulled off
  • 8 ounces Saxham or Arborio rice
  • Coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Coarsely grate tomatoes into a bowl and discard the skins. Toast saffron in a large saucepan over medium heat for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add broth and wine, bring to a boil, reduce heat to very low, and cover.

Prepare grill for medium direct heat. Place a medium enameled paella pan on the grill and add 4 tablespoons olive oil. Season the shrimp and fish with salt and pepper and add to the pan along with the chorizo. Cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add onion and peppers and cook until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and continue to sauté, stirring frequently, until liquid evaporates and paste turns a shade darker, about 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, and paprika. Sauté for a few minutes, until garlic is golden. Add rice. Mix well and pat flat.

Pour hot saffron liquid evenly over rice. Simmer for 10–12 minutes without stirring, rotating pan if needed to cook evenly. Nestle in mollusks around the rim of the pan, hinge-side down. Arrange shrimp, fish, and chorizo on top. Continue to cook without stirring until mollusks have opened and rice has absorbed the liquid and is al dente, 5–10 minutes.

Remove paella from heat and cover loosely with foil. Let stand for about 5 minutes. Uncover and scatter with parsley. Makes 4 servings.

Tenebraean Garulet Winter Stew

Tenebrae Castle“Can you cut vegetables?”

“Can you be a little more specific?”

“Finely will do just fine.”

—Ignis and Noctis, FFXV

This recipe is slightly adapted from the version posted in Chapter 69 of Classified to be more accessible to non-European cooks. (Lardons, for example, are very difficult to find in North America.) Thanks to Sekiei for the original recipe.

  • 2½ pounds braising mountain garulet or lean beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 large or 2 small yellow onions, halved, peeled, and sliced thinly
  • Fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, flat parsley)
  • 1 bottle of full-bodied red wine, such as Syrah
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 big heads of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 long and thin Caem carrots, peeled and sliced thickly
  • 2 cups rich garulet broth or beef broth
  • 8 ounces lean lardons or cubed pancetta
  • 16 ounces small brown alstrooms, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 16 ounces frozen peeled pearl onions

Place the stew meat and onions in a large bowl. Reserve half the flat parsley for garnish. Tie the remaining herbs together with cooking twine to make one big or two small bouquets garnis. Add to the bowl and cover with wine. Add pepper and 1 teaspoon sea salt and mix well. Refrigerate overnight or at least 3 hours.

Remove the meat chunks from the marinade and transfer to a colander to drain. Set the marinade aside for later use.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a Dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Sear meat on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes. While the meat is cooking, remove the onions from the marinade and transfer to the colander to drain. Set the remaining marinade aside for later use.

Add onions to the pot and sauté for a few minutes, until soft. Dust meat with flour and mix well. Add garlic and carrots and cook for a few minutes longer, until garlic is slightly softened. Pour in the remaining marinade and bouquets garnis. If the liquid does not cover the contents of the pot, add garulet broth.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 2½ hours.

About an hour before serving, melt half a tablespoon of butter in a large heavy pan. Cook lardons on medium-high heat until they start to brown. Add alstrooms, and sauté for about 10 minutes more, until alstrooms have released their liquid and are browning. Remove lardons and alstrooms from the pan and set aside.

Add half an inch of water (about 4 cups) to the pan and bring to a boil. Add sugar and remaining 1½ tablespoons butter and cook until melted. Add pearl onions and boil until all liquid has evaporated. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until onions are golden. Remove from heat.

Remove the bouquets garnis from the soup pot and stir in lardons, alstrooms, and pearl onions. Serve with steamed potatoes or fresh pasta. Dish into bowls and garnish with parsley, sea salt, and freshly-ground black pepper.