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.

Dali Scrambled Eggs with Kale and Pumpkin Seeds

Dali Inn's Breakfast Service“You hungry?

“You VERY hungry?”

—Eggmeister, FFIX

This is a quick and nutritious way to start your day. You can use a different kind of cheese each morning to keep things interesting. Feta cheese and goat cheese are two excellent options.

  • 1½ ounces raw kale, torn into pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ounce cheese
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • Pinch of smoked paprika
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ ounce (15 grams) roasted and salted pumpkin seeds

Fill a 4-cup microwavable bowl with kale and add 2 tablespoons of water. Cover loosely and microwave for 1 minute. Drain the liquid from the bowl. (If you’re using a glass bowl, be careful — they get really hot!)

Crack both eggs into the bowl and add cheese and spices. Whisk together, cover loosely, and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and cook an additional 30 seconds until cooked but not dry. (You might have to adjust these times depending on your microwave.)

Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving.  Per serving: 356 calories, 24 g. fat, 8 g. carbohydrates, 3 g. fiber, 28 g. protein, vitamin A 103%, vitamin C 86%, calcium 24%, iron 23%

Ruby’s Mini-Theater Chili

Ruby's Mognet letter to ZidaneCinna: “H-Hey, Ruby! I heard you started a mini-theater.”

Ruby: “That’s right, darlin’! My plays are a hit!”

Blank: “Cool! Let’s go watch!”

Marcus: “Yeah!”

Ruby: “Alright, cowboys! Zidane… You ain’t comin’, are ya? That’s awright, darlin’. Come on over whenever you want. Let’s go, boys!”

—FFIX

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 lbs. ground beef (chuck), 85% lean
  • 4 tablespoons hot chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 14-oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes with green chiles
  • 4 15-oz. cans of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Finely diced white onion
  • Finely diced green jalapeno peppers
  • Oyster crackers or saltine crackers

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add the ground beef, use a spatula to break into bite-sized pieces, and sprinkle with chili powder, flour, salt, sugar, cornstarch, cumin, and coriander. Cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 6–8 minutes.

Add tomatoes, beans, and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.

Remove lid and continue to simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in vinegar and serve hot with cheese, onion, jalapeno peppers, and crackers for toppings.

Makes 12 heaping 1-cup servings. Per serving (does not include toppings): 414 calories, 19.6 g. fat, 7 g. saturated fat, 0.7 g. poly. fat, 9.1 g. mono. fat, 77.1 mg. cholesterol, 1224.7 mg. sodium (this will be less if you use homemade chicken stock instead of storebought), 340 mg. potassium, 27.4 g. carbohydrates, 7.3 g. fiber, 29.9 g. protein, vitamin A 2%, vitamin C 7%, calcium 8%, iron 24%

Dead Pepper Hot Sauce

Zidane Tribal  in Chocobo's Forest“The Dead Pepper has been our favorite food for 5,000 years…”

—Gold Choco, FFIX

This is a thick, richly flavored hot sauce that’s great on eggs or burritos. It’s also a fantastic sauce when you’re grilling chicken — brush it over the chicken about 10 minutes before taking it off the grill.

  • 1 20-oz. mason jar
  • 2 medium tomatoes (about 8 oz.), washed well and stems removed
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • ½ white onion, peeled and sliced thickly
  • ½ oz. dried chiles guajillos, stems removed (about 2–4 peppers)
  • ¼ oz. dried chiles de arbol, stems removed (about 8–12 peppers)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • ½ teaspoon turbinado sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water

Put a heavy frying pan over medium heat and toast the tomatoes, garlic cloves, and onion until they char slightly, about 10 minutes. When they’re almost done cooking, open the windows in your kitchen. If your stove has an exhaust fan, turn it on.

Push the vegetables to one side and add chiles, stirring frequently so they don’t burn. Cook for 1 or 2 more minutes, until they char slightly. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

Transfer the contents of the frying pan to a blender. Add salt, oregano, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, and water. Let the mixture soak for about 15 minutes, until chiles have softened. Blend well, then taste sauce. If it’s flat or bitter, add another teaspoon or so of salt and blend.

Pour the hot sauce into a mason jar or other container that can be tightly sealed. Refrigerate for at least 1 day before serving. The sauce will last about a month in the fridge.

White Mage Chicken Chili

Eiko's kitchen in Madain Sari“Good food not only delicious! Good food made with heart! This very important when cooking for friends!”

—Quina Quen, FFIX

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion or two small onions, peeled and diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 head of garlic (about 8-12 cloves), peeled and halved
  • 16 oz. chicken sausages, uncooked, casing removed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, sliced thinly
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 lbs. plum tomatoes, diced
  • 2 14-oz. cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 14-oz. cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 16 oz. cooked, shredded home-smoked chicken or storebought rotisserie chicken
  • ¾ oz. cilantro, washed and chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Grated white cheddar cheese (optional)

Heat butter and oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for about 20 minutes, covered. Stir frequently and reduce heat if the onions are browning too quickly. Add garlic and cook, uncovered, for about 15 more minutes.

Add sausage and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add spices. Stir in the jalapeno peppers and cook for about 2 minutes before slowly pouring in the chicken broth, scraping up the browned bits. Stir in the beans and increase heat. Add the tomatoes and their juices and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.  Stir in chicken and cook, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro and lime juice and serve with cheddar cheese for sprinkling on top, if desired.

Makes about 8 heaping 1-cup servings.  Per serving (does not include cheese): 457 calories, 16.6 g. fat, 5.2 g. saturated fat, 1 g. poly. fat, 4 g. mono. fat, 92.9 mg. cholesterol, 1435.8 mg. sodium (this will be less if you use homemade chicken stock instead of storebought), 477.1 mg. potassium, 38 g. carbohydrates, 13.9 g. fiber, 36.5 g. protein, vitamin A 11%, vitamin C 26%, calcium 15%, iron 25%

Madain Sari Stew

Madain Sari“I’m gonna cook my specialty: rock-fisted potato stew!”

—Eiko Carol, FFIX

Please note that adding an oglop for seasoning is inadvisable.

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 4 serrano chile peppers, minced
  • 1 head of garlic (about 8-12 cloves), peeled and minced
  • 2 medium potatoes, about 1 lb. total, peeled and cubed, ½” pieces (choose waxy boiling potatoes, not russets)
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed, ½” pieces (about 5 cups)
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes (fire-roasted variety preferred)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ tbsp. salt
  • ½ tbsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice, or ground cinnamon
  • 4½ oz. smooth, unsalted peanut butter (about ½ cup)
  • 3 oz. roasted, unsalted peanuts (about ½ cup)
  • 6 oz. baby spinach

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.  Stir in peppers, garlic, potatoes, and squash, and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.

Add tomatoes, broth, salt, and spices, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.  Mix in peanut butter and continue to cook an additional 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in peanuts and spinach.

Makes about 8 heaping 1-cup servings.  Per serving: 377 calories, 21.6 g. fat, 4.6 g. saturated fat, 4.8 g. poly. fat, 10.4 g. mono. fat, 7.9 mg. cholesterol, 974.2 mg. sodium (this will be less if you use homemade broth instead of storebought), 785.4 mg. potassium, 37.7 g. carbohydrates, 6.7 g. fiber, 10.4 g. protein, vitamin A 93%, vitamin C 57%, calcium 12%, iron 14%

Kupo Nuts

A moogle“Kupo!”

—a moogle

  • 30 g. grapeseed oil (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 10 g. sesame oil (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1½ tablespoons crushed red pepper
  • ½ tablespoons ground black pepper
  • ½ tablespoons Chinese five-spice blend
  • 1 pound raw almonds
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and spice and stir to distribute evenly. Add almonds and stir to coat. Cook until almonds begin to darken slightly and mixture is fragrant, stirring frequently, about 10-15 minutes.

Transfer to rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and let cool completely.

Per 31 g. serving (about ¼ cup): 182 calories, 16.5 g. fat, 1.2 g. saturated fat, 3.9 g. poly. fat, 10.8 g. mono. fat, 145.3 mg. sodium, 6 g. carbohydrates, 3 g. fiber, 6 g. protein