Seasoned Midgardsormr

Seasoned Midgardsormr“You can never have too many spices.”

—Ignis Scientia, FFXV

You’ll need wooden skewers for this recipe. Make sure to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling.

  • ½ tablespoon coriander seeds
  • ½ tablespoon cumin seeds
  • ½ tablespoon cardamom seeds
  • ½ tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seed
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seed
  • ½ teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • ½ tablespoon turmeric
  • ½ tablespoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 28-ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger (about 3 square inches)
  • 7 ounces plain Greek yogurt, such as Fage
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 large or 2 small lemons)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1½” cubes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Sesame seeds
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Cooked basmati rice

Combine the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom seeds, peppercorns, fennel seed, mustard seed, and cloves in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Toast until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Grind the toasted spices in a clean coffee or spice mill and transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in paprika, turmeric, nutmeg, and cayenne.

Pour the tomatoes and their juices into a food processor or blender and add garlic, ginger, and the bowl of spices. Blend until smooth.

In the bowl, whisk together yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and ¼ cup of the tomato mixture. Place chicken in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour in marinade and seal bag, removing as much air as possible. Place in refrigerator and marinate for 4 to 8 hours. Transfer the tomato mixture to a storage container and refrigerate.

Thread chicken tightly onto skewers. Heat the tomato mixture in a saucepan over medium heat. When it’s bubbling, stir in cream and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes.

Grill over medium-high direct heat for 3 to 4 minutes per side until well browned on all sides. Transfer skewers to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes.

In the center of each plate, place a large serving of sauce. Arrange skewers on top and garnish to taste with sesame seeds and cilantro. Serve with basmati rice.

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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.

Blue Mage Muffins

Instructor Trepe“Uses a whip. When in danger, uses monster skills she has learned. Her admirers in the Garden have formed a fan club.”

—Scan description of Quistis Trepe, FFVIII

  • 3 cups flour (360 g.)
  • 1 cup oat bran
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • ½ tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 12-oz. can of frozen 100% orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 12-oz. bag of frozen organic blueberries (about 2½ cups)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin pans with 24 unbleached baking cups.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oat bran, baking soda, and spice. Pour in the thawed orange juice concentrate, the blueberries, and 1 cup of water. Mix just enough to moisten all ingredients.

Divide the batter among the 24 cups and bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Remove muffins from the pan and place on a rack to cool.

Makes 24 muffins. Per muffin: 100 calories, 0.4 g. fat, 0.1 g. saturated fat, 0.2 g. poly. fat, 0.1 g. mono. fat, 0.48 mg. sodium, 154.7 mg. potassium, 22.7 g. carbohydrates, 1.4 g. fiber, 2.9 g. protein, vitamin C 29%, calcium 1%, iron 6%

Cockatrice Pie

Terra at the Returner hideout“Food! Food! Bring me everything ya got!”

—Sabin Rene Figaro, FFVI

This savory treat goes great with Narshe Spiced Wine or a tankard of strong ale on a cold winter night.

  • 1 16-oz. package of frozen puff pastry dough (2 sheets)
  • 2 cups prepared stuffing
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped cooked cockatrice or turkey
  • ½ cup turkey gravy
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes
  • ½ cup cranberry sauce

Defrost both sheets of dough at room temperature for 2 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unroll each sheet of dough and use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut each sheet into 4 squares.

You should now have 8 squares of dough. In the center of each square, place ¼ cup stuffing. Stir together the turkey and gravy and place ¼ cup on top of each pile of stuffing. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of mashed potatoes to each square, and top with 1 tablespoon cranberry sauce.

Start with the first square and fold each corner to the center of the pile, pressing the corners together until you have a messy bundle. Gently lift the bundle off the paper and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 7 squares.

Bake for about 25 minutes, until bubbling and golden-brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 8 pies.

Echo Herb Stuffing

Locke Cole in Thamasa“An herbal medicine used with minimal preparation. The leaves are ground up and swallowed to cure throat ailments.”

—description in Bravely Default

A natural companion to Echo Herb Chicken, this dish is also an excellent accompaniment to Roast Cockatrice. Use any leftovers to make Cockatrice Pie.

  • 1 pound sourdough bread
  • 1 pound hot Italian pork sausage
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion or two small onions, peeled and diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped (about 1½ cups)
  • 4 celery stalks, diced (about 1 cup)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1½ cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

The day before you want to serve the stuffing, cut the bread into ½-inch cubes. Spread the cubes out on a baking sheet and leave them uncovered on the counter or in the oven to dry overnight.

Remove the casings from the sausage and chop into ½-inch pieces. Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven and add sausage, onion, carrots, celery, and sea salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sausage is browned and onions are golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Transfer the bread cubes to a large bowl and add the sausage mixture from the skillet. Toss with parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary, and pepper. Add broth and toss until liquid is absorbed. Stir in the eggs.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9×13″ ceramic baking dish with cooking spray. Spread the stuffing in the dish, cover tightly with foil, and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the top is lightly browned and crisp, another 20 to 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Roast Cockatrice

XII cockatrice“Lo, the mighty cockatrice, proud-feathered sphere, known as much for its ill humor as its dire rotundity. The great naturalist Merlose once remarked: ‘…live they in the sands and other arid climes, whereabouts they moveth in a rolling fashion most peculiar.'”

—bestiary entry, FFXII

  • 3 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage, crushed
  • 1 12- to 16-pound cockatrice (you can substitute a turkey if necessary)
  • 2 large lemons
  • 8 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • ¾ oz. fresh thyme sprigs
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • About ½ bottle of white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc (1½ cups)
  • ¾ oz. fresh sage, stems removed, chopped finely
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Rub salt and dried sage together in a small bowl. Rinse the cockatrice inside and out with cold water, removing neck and giblets, if any. Drain, cavity down, before placing breast-side up on a rack in a large roasting pan. Pat dry with paper towels and sprinkle all over with about half the sage salt. Flip to breast-side down and sprinkle with the remaining sage salt. Refrigerate overnight, uncovered.

Set oven rack at lowest position and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drain off and discard any liquid from the roasting pan. Slice the lemons in half. Stuff the lemon halves, rosemary sprigs, and thyme sprigs inside the cavity.

Put the pan in the oven and begin roasting, uncovered. Meanwhile, mix together the olive oil, butter, wine, and sage. After the cockatrice has roasted for about 30 minutes, remove from oven and baste all over with olive oil mixture. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper and return to oven, making sure to turn the pan so the cockatrice cooks and browns evenly.

After another 30 minutes, remove from oven, turn breast-side up, and baste all over with olive oil mixture. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper and return to oven, again turning the pan.

Check on the cockatrice after another 30 minutes have passed, baste with the remaining olive oil mixture, and turn the pan. The breast should be beginning to brown; if not, continue roasting for another 15 minutes or so.

Reduce heat to 325 degrees and continue roasting. Every 30 minutes, baste with juices and and turn the pan. After the cockatrice has been cooking for a total of three hours, check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast. The bird is ready when the thermometer reads 160 to 165 degrees.

Transfer to a platter or carving board and let rest 30 minutes to 1 hour. Pour the pan juices into a clear measuring cup and refrigerate.

Meanwhile, place the roasting pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add apple cider. Scrape the pan until the cider boils and all the crisp bits are unstuck from the pan. Add chicken broth, stir well, and bring back to a boil. Cook until liquid has reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

Spoon off as much of the fat as possible from the measuring cup of juices. Add the juices to the pan and continue cooking, about 10 minutes more. Strain into a warm gravy boat and serve with the roast cockatrice and Echo Herb Stuffing, if desired. Save the carcass for Cockatrice Soup, and use any leftover meat to make Cockatrice Pie.

Zozo Pub Soup

Gau in Zozo pub“Zozo!? Never heard of it.”

—a thief, FFVI

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion or two small onions, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 head of garlic (about 8-12 cloves), peeled
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 4 pounds fresh tomatoes, washed well and stems removed
  • ½ tablespoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • Baguette and Gruyère cheese (optional)

Heat butter and oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic and paprika and cook for another minute or so, until fragrant. Add tomatoes and cook until they begin to break down, about 20 minutes, stirring frequently and reducing heat as necessary so the onion and garlic don’t burn.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly before transferring to a blender or food processor (you might have to do this in batches). Blend until combined. Pour the tomato puree back into the pot and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and bring to a gentle simmer. Add a few thyme sprigs and bay leaf and simmer over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.

Remove pot from heat and discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Stir in cream. Divide into 4 bowls and serve with toasted bread and cheese, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.  Per serving: 232 calories, 12.8 g. fat, 5.9 g. saturated fat, 1.1 g. poly. fat, 5 g. mono. fat, 28 mg. cholesterol, 925.4 mg. sodium, 1234.1 mg. potassium, 28.2 g. carbohydrates, 7 g. fiber, 5.7 g. protein, vitamin A 39%, vitamin C 88%, calcium 9%, iron 9%