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.

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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.

 

Selphie’s Pizza Party

Sephie and Squall“Approach your target inconspicuously at a dance party… There may be missions requiring this sort of subterfuge. It’s expected of SeeD to learn various skills.”

—Squall Leonhart, FFVIII

  • 2 16-ounce balls of pizza dough
  • 8 ounces pizza sauce
  • 8 ounces burrata cheese
  • 5 ounces sliced pepperoni
  • Fresh oregano
  • Fresh Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
  • Crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and let rise for 30 minutes.

Use your hands or a rolling pin to flatten and stretch the first ball of dough. Transfer to a baking sheet or floured pizza peel and spread with half the pizza sauce. Tear open a ball of burrata and drizzle the cream all over the sauce. Pull the cheese into shreds and arrange evenly on the pizza. Top with half the pepperoni and sprinkle with oregano.

Transfer the pizza to a baking sheet or pizza stone and bake for about 10 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and crust is golden. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Repeat with the second pizza and serve with grated Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 873 calories, 31 g. fat, 109 g. carbohydrates, 8 g. fiber, 38 g. protein, iron 27%

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.

Festival of the Hunt Stew

Festival of the Hunt in Lindblum“I heard there are traditional Festival of the Hunt dishes. Do you know where they serve them?”

—FFIX

  • 1½ lbs. beef stew meat
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 6 oz. raw bacon, cut into ½” strips
  • 12 oz. smoked kielbasa, sliced into ¼”-thick rounds
  • 1 large yellow onion or two small onions, peeled and diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 10 oz. sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 oz. dried pitted prunes, chopped
  • 8 oz. fresh Roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 lbs. drained raw sauerkraut (2 18-oz. jars)
  • 1 sourdough baguette or cooked egg noodles

Cut the stew meat into bite-sized pieces, about 1” square. Dredge the meat in flour. (The easiest way is to put the meat and flour in a plastic bag and shake until all pieces are fully coated.) Set aside.

Heat a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bacon, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in kielbasa, onion, and mushrooms, and continue cooking until browned, about 20 more minutes. Add the stew meat in a single layer and sprinkle with caraway seeds and allspice. Brown on all sides, about 20 more minutes.

Stir in prunes, tomatoes, and salt, and cook until the tomatoes are beginning to break down, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Slowly pour in wine, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan as you go. Pour in beef broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, add bay leaves and peppercorns, and cover. Simmer for about 2 hours, until beef is very tender.

Remove from heat and stir in honey and sauerkraut. Set aside and grill or toast slices of sourdough bread, if using. Divide stew into bowls and serve with the grilled bread or over noodles.

Makes 7 heaping 1-cup servings. Per serving (not including bread or noodles): 398 calories, 14.4 g. fat, 4.6 g. saturated fat, 0.1 g. poly. fat, 103.3 mg. cholesterol, 1790 mg. sodium, 403.4 mg. potassium, 31.6 g. carbohydrates, 2.2 g. fiber, 37.1 g. protein, vitamin A 5%, vitamin C 60%, calcium 3%, iron 18%

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%

Landisian Beef Stew with Bacon, Bratwurst, and Beer

Basch and Noah fon Ronsenburg“After Vayne’s ruse I had abandoned hope for honor… yet never did I forget my knightly vows. If I could protect but one person from war’s horror… then I would bear any shame. I would bear it proudly.

“I could not defend my home. What is shame to me?”

—Basch fon Ronsenburg, FFXII

  • 22 oz. bottle of strong Belgian-style ale, such as Stone’s Cali-Belgique IPA
  • 1½ lbs. beef stew meat
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 6 oz. raw bacon, cut into ¼” strips
  • 1 pound of carrots, scrubbed and sliced diagonally into 1” pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 15 garlic cloves (about 1½ bulbs), peeled and halved, divided into two piles of 10 cloves and 5 cloves
  • 2 large yellow onions, quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise (about 4 cups)
  • 2 bratwurst sausages, uncooked, casing removed and cut into 1″ pieces (about 7 oz. total)
  • 10 oz. sliced crimini mushrooms
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 cups homemade chicken stock or beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ oz. flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 crusty French baguette

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.

Cut the stew meat into bite-sized pieces, about 1” square. Dredge the meat in flour. (The easiest way is to put the meat and flour in a plastic bag and shake until all pieces are fully coated.) Set aside.

Heat a heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crispy, about 10 minutes. Add carrots, 10 cloves of garlic, and onions. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden-brown and tender.

Stir in sausage and mushrooms and cook until browned on all sides, about 20 minutes. Add the stew meat in a single layer and season with salt and pepper to taste. Brown on all sides, about 20 more minutes.

Slowly pour in 1 cup of beer and 2 cups of broth, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan as you go, and bring to a boil. Stir well and add sugar, bay leaves, and a few sprigs of fresh thyme.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for about 1½ hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the meat is soft and tender. Remove from heat. Discard thyme and bay leaves. Using a garlic press, add the remaining 5 cloves of garlic to the pot. Stir in vinegar and parsley, and serve with crusty bread.

Makes about 5 heaping 1-cup servings. Per serving (does not include baguette): 513 calories, 22.9 g. fat, 9.2 g. saturated fat, 0.1 g. poly. fat, 118.5 mg. cholesterol, 604.1 mg. sodium, 645 mg. potassium, 31.4 g. carbohydrates, 4.2 g. fiber, 42.6 g. protein, vitamin A 62%, vitamin C 19%, calcium 7%, iron 19%