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.

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.

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.

Ignis’s After-Hours Coffee

ignis-3“I might have answered before, but yes it is.”

—Ignis Scientia, FFXV

If you don’t have a coffee maker at home, ask for the tall size at Starbucks.

  • 4 ounces (½ cup) heavy whipping cream
  • 12 ounces (1½ cups) brewed coffee
  • 4 ounces (½ cup) whiskey
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Use an electric mixer to whip cream until thick, but not stiff. Set aside.

Place the coffee, whiskey, and sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat and stir to combine. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot but not boiling, about 5 minutes.

Divide between two coffee mugs and top with whipped cream. Makes 2 servings.

Takka’s After-Hours Chili

takka“Y’all wanna fetch some edibles for me?”

—Takka, FFXV

This one isn’t listed on the menu at Takka’s Pit Stop, probably because one of the main ingredients is whiskey. But if you can get on Takka’s good side, he might offer you a bowl after hours.

Make sure you buy Spanish chorizo, not Mexican chorizo (they’re quite different). If you can’t find Spanish chorizo, you can substitute another cured and smoked sausage like salami. The spicier the better!

Finally, when you’re done cutting up the pork shoulder, save the bone in your freezer for stock. I usually have a big bag with vegetable ends, chicken bones, and other assortments. When it gets full, I dump it into a pot, add water, and simmer low for a few hours. Homemade stock is one of the best things you can do to improve your cooking, and it’s easy.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 to 4 pound pork shoulder, bone removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 to 8 ounces raw bacon (half a package), cut into ½” strips
  • 1 large onion or two small onions, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 14-oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 14-oz. cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  •  4 cups chicken broth
  • 200 ml whiskey such as Jim Beam, divided
  • 4 ounces Spanish chorizo, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed and chopped
  • Sour cream
  • Chives

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork and season with salt and pepper. Brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and beginning to crisp, about 10 minutes. Add onions and celery and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Stir in beans, chipotles, cumin, broth, and ½ cup whiskey and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours, until pork is tender.

Stir in chorizo and remaining ¼ cup whiskey. Simmer, uncovered, until flavors are blended, about 10 minutes more. Stir in cilantro. Ladle into bowls and serve with sour cream and chives. Makes about 9 servings.