Oglop-Oiled Popped Corn

Zidane in a Dali cornfield“Oglops eat vegetables?”

Princess Garnet, FFIX

You don’t have to eat microwave popcorn! Making it on the stove is easy. If you’re the kind of person who likes to cook bacon for lazy Sunday breakfasts, save the bacon fat in a ramekin in the fridge and use it for this recipe — the flavor is amazing.

If you prefer a vegetarian version, coconut oil is an excellent alternative. Oglop oil, of course, can be easily obtained in Dali’s cornfields as well as Milla’s Oil Shop in Lindblum.

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon oglop oil, bacon fat, or coconut oil (about 14 g.)
  • 6 tablespoons of popcorn kernels (about 72 g.)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (about 14 g.)
  • Italian seasoning, crushed
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat the salt and oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add a few popcorn kernels and cover the pan. When they pop, add the rest of the kernels in an even layer. Cover, remove from heat, and count 30 seconds.

Return pan to heat. The kernels should begin popping soon, all at once. Once they begin popping, gently shake the pan by moving it back and forth over the burner. Keep the lid slightly vented to let the steam escape.

When the popping slows to 1 or 2 seconds between pops, remove the pan from heat and dump the popcorn immediately into a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with spices and cheese to taste. Serves 2.

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White Mage Pozole

Garnet as a white mage“Heal the body, heal the heart.”

–Dissidia Final Fantasy, White Mage Lore

For an extra-smoky flavor, try cooking the pork shoulder on the grill instead of using the oven.

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 2-lb. boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt)
  • Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8-12 garlic cloves (1 bulb), peeled and halved
  • 1 jalapeno chile pepper, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 2 15-oz. cans pinto beans, undrained
  • 2 14-oz. cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 28-oz. can white hominy, drained
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • ¾ oz. cilantro, washed and chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Diced avocado (optional)

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line a small roasting pan with foil. Mix cumin, garlic powder, and paprika in a small bowl. Rub spice mix all over pork, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place in pan. Cut half the onion into slices and arrange on the pork.

Pour ½ cup water into the bottom of the pan, cover tightly with foil, and roast until meat is very tender, 5-6 hours. Let pork rest until cook enough to handle.

Using two forks, shred into bite-size pieces and refrigerate. Pour the juices into a separate container and refrigerate.

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic, jalapeno, and Italian seasoning, and cook for another minute or so, until fragrant.

Add the diced fresh tomatoes and stir until softened, about 2 minutes. Pour in beans, canned tomatoes, hominy, and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Add pork to the pot. Simmer uncovered for an additional 30 minutes. Meanwhile, skim the fat from the top of the refrigerated juices and bring to room temperature.

Pour in pork juices and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro and lime juice, and serve. Top with avocado, if desired.

Makes about 11 heaping 1-cup servings.  Per serving: 302 calories, 16.6 g. fat, 5.2 g. saturated fat, 1.7 g. poly. fat, 7.6 g. mono. fat, 54.8 mg. cholesterol, 917.1 mg. sodium (this will be less if you use homemade chicken stock instead of storebought), 241.5 mg. potassium, 19.2 g. carbohydrates, 4.2 g. fiber, 18.4 g. protein, vitamin A 5%, vitamin C 19%, calcium 7%, iron 14%

Gysahl Pickles

Adelbert Steiner (and Princess Garnet) at South GateTall Guard: “Oh, it’s your least favorite food… the Lindblum delicacy, gysahl pickles. I can’t believe how many you brought with you!”

Steiner: “They are my favorite! I cannot start the day without them.”

Tall Guard: “Yeah, sure. People who like ’em all say that.”

—FFIX

This recipe calls for half of a sweet yellow onion; use the other half for Nalbina Black Beans.

  • ¾ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dill seed
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb. Persian cucumbers
  • ½ sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic bulb (about 8-12 cloves), peeled
  • 1-quart jar, with a tight-fitting lid

In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, salt, dill seed, and peppercorns. Add bay leaf and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.

Wash cucumbers, trim the ends, and quarter lengthwise. Place them in the jar with the onion and garlic. Pour the vinegar mixture into the jar and add enough water to cover the vegetables. Seal tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 day before serving. The pickles will last up to 1 week.

Bahamut’s Baseball Steak

Bahamut“That’s the last eidolon, Bahamut, the Dragon King!  He’ll win for sure!”

—Princess Garnet, FFIX

  • 1 10-oz. baseball steak (top sirloin, about 1.5″ thick)
  • ½ tbsp. olive oil
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • Garlic powder

Prepare a grill to high heat.  Make sure you have enough room on the grill to cook the meat over direct heat, and then to move it to indirect heat later.

Brush the steak on both sides with olive oil.  Sprinkle with kosher salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Place steak over direct heat and cook, covered, for 4 minutes.  Flip, re-cover, and cook 4 minutes longer.

Move steak to indirect heat and continue to cook an additional 4 minutes.  For medium-rare meat, the internal temperature should reach 135°.

Remove to a plate, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 1-2.