Final Fantasy Recipes is now on Instagram!

Zack, Tifa, and Sephiroth in Nibelheim“Mr. Sephiroth! Please let me take one picture for a memento! Tifa, can you ask him for me too……?”

“Cheeeeese!”

“Great, thank you! I’ll give each of you a copy once I get it developed!”

—photographer in Nibelheim, FFVII

I’ve gotten a few requests to post photos of the recipes, and I have to say, I’m no food photographer… but the only way to learn is by doing (this is so true when it comes to cooking). So what the heck, I’m going to give it a shot. Please bear with me if my photos suck at first. You can find Final Fantasy Recipes on Instagram as tonberrykitchen. Feedback welcome!

Cosmo Canyon Chicken and Rice

Cosmo Candle“Bonfires are funny, aren’t they? They make you remember all sorts of things.”

—Tifa Lockhart, FFVII

For the chicken:

  • ¼ cup lime juice (about 1 or 2 limes)
  • ¼ cup organic tamari soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon hot chili powder
  • ½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
  • 4 skinless, boneless organic free-range chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup white wine

For the rice:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 10½ oz. long-grain brown rice, jasmine or basmati (about 1½ cups)
  • 8 oz. raw tomatoes, washed and chopped
  • 1 carrot, scrubbed and chopped (about ½ cup)
  • ¼ yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 4 cups chicken broth

Mix together lime juice, soy sauce, cumin, coriander, chili powder, olive oil, honey, and garlic in a shallow baking pan, stirring thoroughly. Lay the chicken breasts in, breast-side up, then flip to breast-side down. Cover and refrigerate for an hour, turning the breasts over halfway through.

While the chicken is marinating, heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the rice and saute until it starts to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, carrot, onion, garlic, and salt. Stir and continue cooking for about 10 more minutes, until onions are translucent.

Slowly pour in broth, bringing to a simmer. Continue cooking until all the broth has been absorbed. Lower heat to very low and cover for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for 15 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Turn the chicken breasts to breast-side down and pour the white wine over them. Bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping the breasts after about 10 or 15 minutes. Check that the internal temperature has reached at least 160 degrees.

Arrange 4 plates. Put a half-cup scoop of rice on each plate and pat it down to make a nest for the chicken. (You’ll have rice left over; save it to serve at another meal with Ifrit’s Adobo-Achiote Chicken.) Place each breast on a plate and top with the pan juices. Serves 4.

Costa Del Sol Guacamole

Hojo on Costa Del Sol beach“Wait a minute. I’m going to look for my guidebook. It says, Costa del Sol is the gateway to the West. And has a prominent world renown resort, which has been around for ages.”

—a tourist in Costa del Sol, FFVII

When you’re done with this recipe, you’ll be left with half a tomato, half a chile pepper, and lots of onion and cilantro. Use them to make Costa Del Sol Sashimi Cocktail!

  • 4 ripe avocados
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh tomato (about ½ small tomato)
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
  • ½ serrano chile pepper, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Tortilla chips

Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop the insides into a large bowl. Add tomato, onion, chile pepper, cilantro, garlic, salt, and lime juice. Mash until combined and stir in black pepper. Serve with warm tortilla chips.

Vincent’s Red Juice

Vincent Valentine in Nibelheim“Cool? Hmmm… I guess that’s just how I am, sorry.”

—Vincent Valentine, FFVII

He wants you to know that the stuff you hear about garlic is total fiction.

  • 1 lb. organic Roma tomatoes
  • 6 oz. organic spinach
  • 10 oz. organic kale
  • 1 organic beet (root and leaves), scrubbed well
  • 3 raw garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 lb. organic carrots (about 6 carrots)
  • 5 oz. organic celery (about 2 to 4 stalks)
  • 1 fresh lime, quartered
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Start your multispeed juicer on setting 1 and add tomatoes. Increase speed to setting 3 and add spinach. Increase speed to setting 4 and add kale. Increase speed to setting 5 and add beet root, beet leaves, garlic cloves, carrots, and celery.

Remove pitcher from the juicer. Squeeze the lime quarters into the pitcher and and stir in salt. Juice can be stored overnight in the refrigerator if necessary, but is best when served immediately.

Makes about 24 to 32 ounces of juice, depending on the size of the beet: 570 calories, 5.3 g. fat, 0.8 g. saturated fat, 2.4 g. poly. fat, 0.5 g. mono. fat, 1427.2 mg. sodium, 5767.9 mg. potassium, 123.1 g. carbohydrates, 27 g. protein, vitamin A 1003%, vitamin C 666%, calcium 85%, iron 77%

Total cost for all ingredients is about $9 at Trader Joe’s.

Tifa’s Premium Heart

Tifa and Cloud at Gold Saucer“Deep in my heart I heard you calling my name.”

—Tifa Lockhart, FFVII

This might sound like a simple recipe, but a lot of people don’t know how to prepare artichokes.  They’re fun to eat, and at the end, you get the best part—the heart.

  • 2 artichokes, washed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

In a large pot, bring lightly salted water to boiling.  While the water is heating, use a sharp knife to cut the stem off each artichoke.  Slice off the top 1″ of each artichoke.  With scissors, snip off the pointed end of each leaf.

Add artichokes to the pot and return to boiling.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.  Remove artichokes and drain upside down on paper towels.

Melt butter.  Stir in lemon juice and serve in two small sauce bowls.  Serve each artichoke in a salad bowl.  Put an empty bowl on the table for the discarded leaves.

To eat an artichoke, pull off one leaf at a time and dip the base of the leaf into the butter sauce.  Use your teeth to scrape off the tender flesh.  Discard the leaf.  Continue removing leaves until the fuzzy choke appears.  Scoop out the choke with a spoon and discard.  Pour the rest of the sauce over the artichoke heart and eat it.

7th Heaven Bar Burgers

7th Heaven“You have to go through the slum in Sector 6 to get to Tifa’s 7th Heaven.  I’ll take you there.  Come on!”

—Aeris Gainsborough, FFVII

  • 12 oz. ground chuck, 85% lean
  • ½ tbsp. onion powder
  • ½ tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 4 slices of whole-grain bread, or two hamburger buns
  • 2 1-oz. slices of pepper jack cheese
  • 1 onion, sliced thick
  • 1 tomato, washed and sliced thin
  • Lettuce, washed and torn into pieces

Remove the meat from the fridge and bring to room temperature, about 30 minutes.  In a bowl, combine meat, onion powder, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce.  Mix lightly, being careful not to overwork the meat.

Shape into two patties, each approximately 4 inches across.  Using the back of a spoon, put a dimple into the center of each patty.  Spread light coat of olive oil on each side of the patties, and salt and pepper them to taste.  Butter the bread on one side.

Prepare a grill for high heat.  Place burgers directly over heat and cook for 3 minutes, covered.  Flip and cook for an additional 2½ minutes, covered.  Add a slice of cheese to each burger.  Cover and cook for 30 seconds.

Remove burgers to a plate and tent with aluminum foil, being careful not to let the foil touch the cheese to prevent sticking.  Let rest, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, grill onion and bread, about a minute on each side.  Continue cooking onion until golden and soft.

Arrange bread with the buttered side down and place each burger on a slice of bread.  Top with grilled onion, tomato, and lettuce.  Makes 2 cheeseburgers.

Biggs and Wedge Potatoes and Chicken

Biggs in the Sector 1 Reactor“Tifa always lets me taste her cooking.  And look at me now, I’m rolly-polly.  Don’t know whether I should be happy or sad.  But it’s the good food and drinks that make this shop famous.”

—Wedge, FFVII

  • 2 to 2.5 lbs. uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, washed, dried, and cut into strips
  • 6 medium russet potatoes (about 2 lbs.), scrubbed and cut into ¼” – ½” wedges lengthwise
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • Dipping sauce, prepared at least 1 hour in advance (choose one from the recipes below)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Coat baking sheet with cooking spray.  Soak potatoes in bowl of hot water for 10 minutes to remove excess starch.  Drain, pat dry, and return to dry bowl.  Pour oil over potatoes, and toss to coat.

Arrange potatoes in single layer on prepared baking sheet.  Bake on the lower oven rack for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are golden on the bottom.  Turn, and bake 20 minutes more, or until golden and crisp.

Meanwhile, coat a second baking sheet with cooking spray.  Add chicken to the bowl and toss with the remaining oil.  Arrange chicken in single layer on prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes, turn the strips over, and continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes, until golden and cooked through.

Season potatoes and chicken with salt and freshly-ground pepper.  Serve with one of the dipping sauces below.  (Make the dipping sauce at least an hour in advance and refrigerate, so the flavors can blend.)

Makes 6 servings (about 4 oz. chicken, 2½ oz. potatoes, and ¼ c. dipping sauce per serving).

Rooster Dipping Sauce:

  • 1½ c. mayonnaise
  • ½ c. sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning, crushed

Honey-Dijon Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 c. honey
  • 1 c. hot Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Wasabi-Ranch Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 packet ranch dip mix
  • 14 oz. Greek yogurt, or 16 oz. sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. powdered wasabi
  • 2 tbsp. minced chives