Takka’s Garula Stew

ignis-pot-simmer

“Everything looks damn tasty.”

—Gladiolus Amicitia, FFXV

If you can’t find garula, try substituting beef chuck.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 to 4 pounds garula, excess fat removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 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, quartered lengthwise and sliced thickly crosswise (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles, chopped
  • Crumbled blue cheese
  • Chives

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef in a single layer. Sprinkle with flour and season with paprika, salt, and pepper. Brown on all sides, about 15 minutes.

Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and beginning to crisp, about 10 minutes. Add onions and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Slowly pour in the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan. When the wine is at a simmer, slowly pour in broth. Bring to a boil and add potatoes, carrots, and chipotles. Return to a boil, remove from heat, and cover. Bake for about 1½ hours, until meat and vegetables are tender.

Ladle into bowls and serve with blue cheese and chives. Makes about 7 servings.

Advertisements

Rikku’s Mix

Rikku's Mix Overdrive“A little bit of this, a little bit of that…”

—Rikku, FFX-2

Do you have half-empty bags of egg noodles, brown rice, and elbow macaroni in your cupboard that never seem to get used up? Frozen hashbrowns that are heading towards freezer burn? Random cans of salmon, sardines, or tuna that just get pushed to the back? Use this recipe as a blueprint for fusing your stockable items to create something more delicious. You can include any cheeses you like, but if you’re having trouble deciding, a high-quality white cheddar is especially good. Grate it yourself instead of buying the pre-shredded kind, which is coated with additives to prevent clumping.

  • 12 ounces of dried pasta or rice, or 20 ounces frozen cooked potatoes, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion or two small onions, peeled, quartered lengthwise and sliced thickly crosswise
  • 2 leeks, trimmed, halved, thickly sliced, and rinsed well
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2½ cups (20 ounces) chicken broth
  • 1¼ cup (10 ounces) half-and-half
  • 6 ounces cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (such as Crystal)
  • 2 6-ounce cans of fish (such as salmon, tuna, or sardines), drained
  • 8 oz. frozen peas or other vegetables (about 1½ cups), thawed
  • 2 ounces panko, crushed potato  chips, or parsnip chips
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about ¼ cup)
  • A dash of smoked paprika
  • 1 lemon, washed well
  • Fresh dill
  • Fresh chives

Prepare the pasta  or rice according to package directions but slightly undercooking it by a few minutes.

In a large oven-safe skillet or Dutch oven, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally and seasoning with salt and pepper, until soft and golden, about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slowly pour in wine and continue cooking, scraping the bottom of the pan, until pan is almost dry, about 2 minutes.

Add flour and stir until onion and leeks are coated. Stir in broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and stir in half-and-half. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is bubbling. Stir in cheese and hot sauce, then add fish and peas. Break the fish up with a spatula, add pasta, and stir until combined.

Turn off heat and sprinkle evenly with panko or chips, Parmesan cheese, and paprika. Bake uncovered until bubbly around the edges, about 15–20 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes, then zest one-quarter of the lemon over the top. Use scissors to trim fresh dill and chives over the top. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.

Ovenmeister’s Potatoes

Alexandrian chef“A good shake o’ salt ♪ Potato, potato ♪ “

—Eiko Carol, FFIX

This is one of those very simple recipes, like Tifa’s Premium Heart, where you might say, “Everyone knows how to do that.” But when I was growing up, we cooked potatoes in the microwave — I didn’t learn how to prepare a proper restaurant-style baked potato until I was an adult. The extra baking time is worth it!

  • Russet potatoes, up to 4
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Butter
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Snipped chives
  • Freshly-ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a baking sheet on the lower rack to catch drippings.

While the oven is heating, scrub potatoes and pat dry. Poke each potato deeply with a fork about 5 or 6 times. Coat lightly with oil and sprinkle with salt.

Place the potatoes directly on the top rack of the oven. Bake about 1 hour, until skin is crispy and flesh underneath is soft. Remove from oven and use the fork to create a dotted line down the length of the potato. Press the ends of the potato towards each other until the line cracks open. Be careful, the steam will be very hot!

Place each potato in a bowl and serve with butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese, chives, and black pepper for topping.

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.

Elixir Soup

Terra and elixir in Narshe“Show me the alchemist who doesn’t wish in his heart of hearts to know the secret behind making an elixir, and I’ll show you a fraud! Of course, he might already know it… but it’s taboo to reveal the ingredients.”

—Tyak, Master Chef, FFXII

Okay, so you already know to start a pot of White Mage Chicken Soup when you feel like you might be getting sick, right? Well, this is the soup to cook when you’re feeling stressed out, rundown, and in need of some serious super-strength mind and body healing power. It’s packed full of ingredients to reduce your stress levels and make you stronger.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large yellow onion or 2 small onions, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped (about 1½ cups)
  • 3½ oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced very thinly
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1½ pounds beef stew meat, uncooked, cut into 1″ pieces
  • ½ tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup dry green split peas (about 6 oz.)
  • 1 pound fresh plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 12 oz. sweet potato (1 large or 2 small), peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • Fresh oregano sprigs
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 5-inch pieces of dried seaweed (optional)
  • 12 oz. broccoli florets
  • 6 oz. baby bok choy, chopped
  • 1 head of garlic (about 8–12 cloves), peeled and grated or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger (about 3 square inches)
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons to ¼ cup)
  • Diced avocado and fresh basil leaves (optional)

Heat olive oil and coconut oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat just until the oil begins to shimmer. Add onions, reduce heat, and cook for about 10 minutes, covered. Stir frequently and reduce heat as needed if the onions are browning too quickly. Add carrots and mushrooms and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Add chicken and beef and sprinkle with sea salt, cayenne pepper, coriander, cumin, and turmeric. Brown on all sides, about 15 minutes. Stir in split peas and cook for about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and sweet potato and continue cooking for another minute. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Add oregano, thyme, bay leaves, and seaweed. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover.

Simmer, stirring occasionally, until stew meat and split peas are soft and tender, about 2 hours.

Remove from heat and stir in broccoli, bok choy, garlic, ginger, and lemon juice. Cover and let rest for about 5 minutes, until the broccoli is bright green and crunchy-tender. Divide into bowls and top with avocado and basil, if desired.

Makes about 12 heaping 1-cup servings. Per serving (not including avocado): 319 calories, 9.2 g. fat, 3.9 g. saturated fat, 0.9 g. poly. fat, 2.5 g. mono. fat, 79.1 mg. cholesterol, 966.4 mg. sodium (this will be less if you use homemade chicken stock instead of storebought), 724.5 mg. potassium, 25.2 g. carbohydrates, 6.1 g. fiber, 34.2 g. protein, vitamin A 62%, vitamin C 58%, calcium 9%, iron 17%

Edea’s Orphanage Soup

Edea's Orphanage“This place is beautiful.”

“Yeah, the flower field… I forgot all about this place.”

—Quistis and Squall, FFVIII

  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise (about 2 cups)
  • 8 oz. carrots, scrubbed and sliced diagonally into 1” pieces (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 fennel bulb, ends removed, halved, and sliced thickly
  • 1 turnip, scrubbed and cut into 1″ pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 2 lbs. small multicolored potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 head of garlic (about 8-12 cloves), peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 16 oz. chicken sausages, uncooked, casing removed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  • 10 oz. shredded kale and cabbage
  • Freshly-grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrots, fennel, turnip, potatoes, and garlic. Toss with olive oil, Italian seasoning, sea salt, smoked paprika, and red pepper. Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast, stirring once or twice, until lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Heat butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add  sausage and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Scrape the roasted vegetables and oil into the pot. Add the tomatoes and their juices and stir well. Slowly pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Stir well, add a few sprigs of fresh thyme, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.  Stir in shredded kale and cabbage and serve with Parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top, if desired.

Makes about 10 heaping 1-cup servings.  Per serving (does not include cheese): 457 calories, 12.2 g. fat, 3.9 g. saturated fat, 0.5 g. poly. fat, 2.6 g. mono. fat, 36.1 mg. cholesterol, 1573.9 mg. sodium (this will be less if you use homemade chicken stock instead of storebought), 773 mg. potassium, 29.9 g. carbohydrates, 4.8 g. fiber, 13.2 g. protein, vitamin A 45%, vitamin C 67%, calcium 10%, iron 14%

Spoony Bard Soup

Edward and Tellah“My daughter Anna was tricked by a silver-tongued bard.”

—Tellah, FFIV

For this recipe, use pre-shredded cheddar cheese from the supermarket — it’s packaged with cornstarch to facilitate melting. If you prefer to buy block cheese and shred it yourself, just add 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and toss well.

  • 22 oz. bottle of craft beer
  • 6 oz. bacon (about 4 slices)
  • 8-12 garlic cloves (1 bulb), peeled and halved
  • 3 medium carrots, scrubbed and chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 serrano chile peppers, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 12 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Minced chives
  • Frozen or homemade french fries

Open the 22 oz. bottle of beer and measure out 1 cup.  Set aside.  Pour the remaining beer into a glass and enjoy it while making the soup.

In a saucepan, fry bacon until crispy. Remove bacon from pan and set aside. Add garlic, carrots, and peppers, and sauté in the bacon fat, stirring occasionally, until carrots begin to brown, about 10 minutes.

Slowly stir in broth, milk, and the reserved 1 cup of beer.  Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Continue simmering for 15 minutes, being careful not to boil.

Whisk in shredded cheese, a handful at a time. Serve over french fries and top with chives and crumbled bacon.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving (does not include french fries): 561 calories, 43.9 g. fat, 21.6 g. saturated fat, 1.8 g. poly. fat, 7.2 g. mono. fat, 113.7 mg. cholesterol, 885.9 mg. sodium, 249.5 mg. potassium, 10.4 g. carbohydrates, 0.8 g. fiber, 26.5 g. protein, vitamin A 45%, vitamin C 5%, calcium 70%, iron 2%