Tsenoble Pork Tenderloin with Horseradish Sauce

Vaan taking the cab to Tsenoble“Good to be back, eh? My regards to your lord father, Master Ffamran… er, rather, Master ‘Balthier.’ Anon, anon.”

—Jules, FFXII

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pork tenderloin (about 2 pounds)
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 7 oz. plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons (45 g.) prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g.) Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tablespoon (7 g.) Louisiana-style hot sauce, such as Crystal
  • Snipped chives (optional)

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add pork and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, turning and seasoning occasionally, until all sides are golden and crispy, about 40–45 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the horseradish sauce. Mix together the yogurt, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and chives. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Check the tenderloin’s internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. Continue cooking and turning until thermometer inserted in center registers 140–145 degrees. Remove and let rest about 5 minutes. Slice into ½-inch-thick medallions and serve with horseradish sauce.

After you’ve finished eating, hand wash your cast-iron skillet with water and a soft sponge, then dry immediately and rub with a light coat of vegetable oil, such as grapeseed. Any leftover horseradish sauce goes great with smoked salmon and crackers, or on a baked potato.

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Archades Artichoke Dip

Archades“You’ve come to understand the difficulties of serving royalty.”

—Basch fon Ronsenburg, FFXII

  • 4 14-oz. cans of artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise (6 oz.)
  • ¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese (3 oz.)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (Cholula or Tapatio are recommended)
  • ½ cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese (2 oz.)
  • Warm baguette or crackers, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the artichokes, jalapeno, garlic, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and hot sauce. Transfer to a casserole dish and bake for about 15 minutes, until hot.

Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with cheddar cheese. Broil for about 2 minutes, until browned in spots and bubbly. Serve immediately with sliced baguette.

Rienna Barley Stew with Tchita Greens

Tchita Uplands“I do so love to cook! Why, the other day, I held an impromptu party at my house, and fed a new dish of mine to my closest acquaintances. Why, they told me ’twas a taste to tantalize the tongue of a philosopher of cuisine! Yet… their faces were sour as old Nanna cheese.”

—FFXII

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ lbs. beef stew meat, uncooked, cut into 1” pieces
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large onion or two small onions, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 8-12 garlic cloves (1 bulb), peeled and halved
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 10 oz. sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as pinot grigio
  • 10 oz. chopped kale
  • ¾ cup pearl barley
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 7 oz. plain Greek-style yogurt
  • Fresh chives

Heat butter and oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add stew meat in a single layer and season with salt and pepper. Brown on all sides, about 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium and add onions and garlic. Sprinkle with sage. Cook until onions are turning golden, about 10 minutes.

Add mushrooms and cook until all their liquid has been released and the pot is almost dry, about 15 more minutes. Slowly begin adding the wine, scraping the crusty bits from the bottom and maintaining a simmer.

Stir in kale. Once it’s wilted somewhat, stir in the pearl barley. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until stew meat and barley are soft and tender, about 2 hours.

Remove pot from heat. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and a little broth from the stew (this prevents curdling instead of adding the yogurt all at once). Stir the yogurt mixture into the stew until combined. Divide into bowls, garnish with chives, and serve.

Makes about 8 heaping 1-cup servings. Per serving: 336 calories, 14.7 g. fat, 5.2 g. saturated fat, 0.9 g. poly. fat, 6 g. mono. fat, 64.6 mg. cholesterol, 840.9 mg. sodium (this will be less if you use homemade chicken stock instead of storebought broth), 588.8 mg. potassium, 26.4 g. carbohydrates, 4.4 g. fiber, 25.7 g. protein, vitamin A 43%, vitamin C 62%, calcium 13%, iron 20%

Highgarden Terrace Salad

Highgarden Terrace in Archades“When I get enough chops, I’ll be ridin’ ‘igh in one o’ them cabs, and that’ll be the end of all this. I’ll be sittin’ pretty up in ‘Ighgarden, innit.”

—FFXII

  • 2 red bell peppers, washed and sliced into strips
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, washed and sliced into thin disks
  • 4 celery stalks, washed and cut into 2″ pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed and sliced diagonally, ½” thick (about 1 cup)
  • ½ yellow onion, peeled, quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise (about 1 cup)
  • 12 oz. cauliflower florets
  • 8-12 garlic cloves (1 bulb), peeled and halved
  • ½ cup coarse kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 14-oz. can of artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
  • 1 12-oz. jar of cornichons, drained and rinsed
  • 6 oz. pitted green olives
  • 16 oz. white balsamic vinegar
  • 8 oz. red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Place the bell peppers, jalapeno pepper, celery, carrots, onion, cauliflower, and garlic in a large soup pot. Stir in salt, and fill with enough cold water to cover. Refrigerate overnight.

The next day, drain vegetables into a colander and rinse well. Return vegetables to the pot and add Italian seasoning,  red pepper flakes, peppercorns, artichoke hearts, cornichons, olives, vinegar, and oil. Stir well, and fill with enough cold water to cover. Refrigerate for at least 2 days before using. The vegetables will last up to 1 month.

Tsenoble Stuffed Pork

Dr. Cid“Welcome to Tsenoble! And be proud you’ve made it this far.”

—FFXII

The recipe contest is over! I’ll post the winning recipe next week. In the meantime, here’s the runner-up, submitted by Raijer. This recipe is for the grill, but you can also roast it in the oven at 350 degrees. If you love mushrooms, double the amount and use extra wine and broth.

  • 2 1-lb. pork tenderloins
  • 8 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1 slice whole-grain bread
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 oz. crimini mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Arrange tenderloins side by side, with thick end of one tenderloin next to the thin end of the other. Cover with prosciutto slices.

Tear the bread into crumbs and mix with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, half the rosemary, and half the thyme. Brush on top of the prosciutto. Fold the tenderloins together and tie with kitchen twine.

Mix the remaining rosemary and thyme together with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and brush all over the pork. Sprinkle with salt and freshly-ground black pepper.

Prepare a grill to medium heat. Place pork over direct heat. Grill for about 5 minutes on each side. Move to indirect heat and cover. Continue cooking for about 30 minutes, until thermometer inserted into thickest part of pork registers 145 degrees. Transfer to a platter and tent loosely with foil.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet. Add mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes, until mushrooms begin to brown. Stir in garlic and cook for an additional minute. Pour in wine and broth and boil until sauce thickens enough to coat a spoon, about 15 minutes.

Cut roast into 8 pieces and top each slice with mushroom sauce.

Makes 8 servings. Per serving: 272 calories, 13 g. fat, 3.8 g. saturated fat, 1.3 g. poly. fat, 7 g. mono. fat, 97.5 mg. cholesterol, 855.6 mg. sodium, 694.7 mg. potassium, 3.8 g. carbohydrates, 0.5 g. fiber, 33.2 g. protein, vitamin A 2%, vitamin C 2%, calcium 2%, iron 11%

Rienna Wine Stew

Archades“Take a Dalmascan Barose wine, eh? It may lack the flavor and depth of some of your Archadian wines… but it has a certain strength of character.”

—Migelo, FFXII

A practical ardent would never waste good wine. If you have an open bottle you need to use up, try this recipe. The extra liquid stretches the ingredients—a frugality which any resident of Rienna would appreciate.

If you have leftover carrots and celery, you can save them to make Nanna Stew later. It’s a thicker, more traditional stew.

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion or 2 small onions, peeled and diced (about 1.5 cups)
  • 3 large carrots, scrubbed and sliced diagonally into 1″ pieces (about 1.5 cups)
  • 1.5 lbs. beef stew meat, uncooked, cut into 1″ pieces
  • ¼ cup flour
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 head of garlic (about 8-12 cloves), peeled and halved
  • 4-6 small potatoes (about 1.5 lbs.), scrubbed and cubed into 1″ pieces
  • 6  celery stalks, washed and diced (about 1.5 cups)
  • 1 tbsp. herbes de Provence
  • About a ½ bottle of red wine (1.5 cups)
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf

Heat butter and oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add onions and cook for 10 minutes, covered. Stir frequently and reduce heat if the onions are browning too quickly.  Add carrots and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, dredge the pieces of meat in flour. (The easiest way is to put the meat and flour in a plastic bag and shake until all pieces are fully coated.) Add the meat to the soup pot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.

Add garlic and stir well to combine. Add potatoes, celery, and herbes de Provence.  Stir and continue to cook, about 5 minutes.  Pour in wine and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot, until combined.  Cook for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low, add bay leaf, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.

Uncover and cook for 15 or so minutes until stew is slightly thickened. Remove bay leaf and serve.

Makes about 7 heaping 1-cup servings.  Per serving: 328 calories, 9.2 g. fat, 3.3 g. saturated fat, 0.6 g. poly. fat, 3.3 g. mono. fat, 64.5 mg. cholesterol, 176.9 mg. sodium, 245 mg. potassium, 17.7 g. carbohydrates, 2.5 g. fiber, 23.1 g. protein, vitamin A 39%, vitamin C 21%, calcium 4%, iron 14%

Old Archades Beans

Old Archades“Maybe if I ‘ave a chat with me mum I’ll forget about me empty belly.”

—FFXII

These beans can be served with ground pepper and drizzled with olive oil for an inexpensive meal.  If you want to be especially frugal, save the cooking liquid for Balfonheim Bean Soup.

  • 1.5 lb. dried white kidney beans (about 3 cups)
  • 12 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • 1 garlic bulb, cut in half to expose cloves
  • 1 large fresh rosemary sprig
  • ½ tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • Parmesan rind, if you have one
  • ½ tbsp. coarse kosher salt

Place beans in a large bowl.  Cover with room-temperature water (if you have hard tap water, use purified drinking water).  Discard any beans that are floating.  Soak at least 8 hours and no longer than 12 hours.  Check the beans occasionally and add more water if needed to keep beans covered.

Transfer beans to a colander, discarding the soak water.  Rinse well.  Place in a large pot.  Add broth and olive oil and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Meanwhile, tie up the garlic, rosemary, peppercorns, and parmesan rind in cheesecloth and add to the pot.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Discard cheesecloth bundle.  Add salt and continue to simmer until beans are tender, about 30 minutes to 1 hour longer.  Remove pot from heat, cover, and let cool for 1 hour.

Using slotted spoon, transfer beans to serving bowl.  Reserve bean cooking liquid, if making soup.  Makes about 9 cups of cooked beans.