Dalmascan Tomato Salad

Rogue Tomato“Here’s the bill I posted for the Rogue Tomato, the mark I’ve petitioned to have hunted. Do you want to hear all the details?”

—Tomaj, FFXII

This vegan summer salad is light and refreshing, but also quite hearty and filling — exactly what you need at the end of a long hunt.

  • ½ cup white quinoa (about 3 oz.)
  • ½ cup red quinoa (about 3 oz.)
  • 1 pound Persian cucumbers
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 1 15-ounce can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3–4 small tomatoes
  • ¼ ounce fresh mint

Place quinoa in a small pot and add 1½ cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Cook until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15–20 minutes. Set aside, covered.

Meanwhile, wash the cucumbers, remove the ends, and slice thinly. Transfer to a medium bowl and add 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and ½ teaspoon salt. Toss to combine.

Preheat broiler with rack in highest position. Dry garbanzo beans on a paper towel and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Broil, shaking sheet halfway through, until golden and crispy, about 8 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together tahini, turmeric, cumin, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons water, ¼ teaspoon salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Slice tomatoes and sprinkle lightly with salt. Pick mint leaves from stems.

Divide quinoa between two bowls. Visualize each bowl as being divided into three sections. Place tomatoes in one section, cucumbers in another section, and chickpeas in the last section. Top with dressing and mint leaves.

Makes 2 bowls of salad. Per bowl: 871 calories, 36 g. fat, 583 mg. potassium, 1421 mg. sodium, 114 g. carbohydrates, 22 g. fiber, 28 g. protein, vitamin A 53%, vitamin C 68%, calcium 13%, iron 44%

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Ivalice Eggs

Estersand“The region consisting of the three continents of Valendia, Ordalia, and Kerwon, blessed throughout with verdant natural landscapes and climatic conditions supporting a great variety of life. Regional climate trends are thought to be determined largely by the density of Mist present in the air, though this correlation is as yet not well understood. Many humanoids call Ivalice home, each belonging to a distinct cultural sphere. By far, most prevalent of these are the humes, and it is around the civilization that affairs throughout the rest of the world revolve.”

—FFXII, Sage Knowledge piece 29

  • ½ cup (90 grams) whole-wheat couscous
  • 1½ cups chicken or vegetable broth, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, peeled, quartered lengthwise and sliced thickly crosswise (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8 ounces fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Place couscous in a large Tupperware container. Heat ¾ cup (6 ounces) of broth to boiling and pour over the couscous, stirring once to make sure that the liquid is evenly distributed. Cover tightly and set aside for at least 10 minutes.

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add onion and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, paprika, and cumin, and cook until spices are fragrant, about 2 minutes, lowering heat as necessary to avoid burning the vegetables.

Add chopped tomatoes and the remaining ¾ cup broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.

Crack eggs one at a time and place over sauce, spacing evenly apart. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until yolks are just set, about 5 minutes.

Fluff couscous with a fork and divide into two bowls, about 4 ounces of couscous per person. Spoon tomatoes and eggs on top. Sprinkle with feta and parsley and serve.

Rabanastre Roast Chicken

Penelo and Vaan“It’s our home. It belongs to us all.”

—Penelo, FFXII

You’ll need about 4 small lemons or 2 large lemons for this recipe. You can buy ras el hanout at many stores, including Trader Joe’s, or make your own blend.

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 large or 2 small lemons
  • 1 garlic bulb, top sliced off to expose the cloves

For the spice paste:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 large or 2 small lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons ras el hanout
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ tablespoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Remove the giblets from the chicken and discard. Trim excess fat.

Place the chicken, breast-side down, on a rack in a roasting pan. Slice 1 large or 2 small lemons in half. Stuff the lemon halves and garlic bulb inside the chicken cavity.

Put the chicken in the oven and begin roasting, uncovered. Meanwhile, mix together the spice paste ingredients.

After the chicken has roasted for about 20 minutes, remove from the oven and spoon some of the spice paste on top. Turn the chicken breast-side up and baste again. Return to oven.

Check on the chicken after 20 minutes have passed, and baste with the remainder of the spice paste. The breast should be beginning to brown; if not, roast for a few more minutes.

Reduce heat to 325 degrees and roast for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads 160 to 165 degrees.

Tilt the pan or the chicken to let the juices from the bird’s cavity flow into the pan (if they are red, cook another 5 minutes). Remove the chicken to a platter or carving board and let it rest for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove the garlic bulb from the chicken and place on the roasting rack. Return to the over and continue to bake for another 15 minutes or so, until the garlic is very tender and comes out from the cloves when squeezed.

While the garlic is baking, carve the chicken. Serve with the soft garlic and pan juices.

Tsenoble Pork Tenderloin with Horseradish Sauce

Vaan taking the cab to Tsenoble“Good to be back, eh? My regards to your lord father, Master Ffamran… er, rather, Master ‘Balthier.’ Anon, anon.”

—Jules, FFXII

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pork tenderloin (about 2 pounds)
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 7 oz. plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons (45 g.) prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g.) Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tablespoon (7 g.) Louisiana-style hot sauce, such as Crystal
  • Snipped chives (optional)

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add pork and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, turning and seasoning occasionally, until all sides are golden and crispy, about 40–45 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the horseradish sauce. Mix together the yogurt, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and chives. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Check the tenderloin’s internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. Continue cooking and turning until thermometer inserted in center registers 140–145 degrees. Remove and let rest about 5 minutes. Slice into ½-inch-thick medallions and serve with horseradish sauce.

After you’ve finished eating, hand wash your cast-iron skillet with water and a soft sponge, then dry immediately and rub with a light coat of vegetable oil, such as grapeseed. Any leftover horseradish sauce goes great with smoked salmon and crackers, or on a baked potato.

Rabanastre Chicken Stew

Rabanastre, Southern Plaza“I’d just hate to see the Consul upset because his food wasn’t ready on time.”

—Vaan, FFXII

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup blanched, slivered raw almonds
  • 3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 8-12 garlic cloves (1 bulb), peeled and halved
  • 1 lb. carrots, scrubbed and sliced diagonally
  • 12 oz. frozen artichoke hearts
  • 1 15-oz. can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ¾ oz. flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons to ¼ cup)

Heat butter and oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add onions and cook for 10 minutes. Stir frequently and reduce heat if the onions are browning too quickly.

Add the almonds and chicken pieces to the soup pot. Sprinkle with spices and salt. Brown chicken on all sides, about 10 minutes.

Add garlic and stir well to combine. Cook 5 minutes. Add carrots and artichoke hearts.  Stir and continue to cook, about 5 minutes.  Add chickpeas, broth, and cinnamon stick, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Remove from heat and stir in parsley and lemon juice.  Remove cinnamon stick and serve.

Makes about 11 heaping 1-cup servings. Per serving: 332 calories, 14.4 g. fat, 3.1 g. saturated fat, 2.4 g. poly. fat, 7 g. mono. fat, 75.9 mg. cholesterol, 1165.8 mg. sodium (this will be less if you use homemade broth instead of storebought), 459.8 mg. potassium, 18.9 g. carbohydrates, 6.1 g. fiber, 32.1 g. protein, vitamin A 47%, vitamin C 10%, calcium 8%, iron 13%

Sandsea Salmon Chowder

Vaan at the Ogir-Yensa SandseaMigelo: “I’ve arranged for some replacement goods from Tomaj over at the Sandsea.”

Vaan: “So you want me to go to the tavern to pick ’em up.”

Migelo: “Actually, I asked Kytes to do that. Wouldn’t you know he’s gone missing on me, too. Bah. I can’t leave my shop, and I’ve Penelo on another chore at the moment, you see. I want you to run over to the Sandsea and fetch Kytes back! What do you say?”

Vaan: “Sounds wild.”

—FFXII

Potatoes don’t freeze well (they tend to get mealy), so divide this recipe in half if it’s more than you can eat within a week.

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 1½ cup chopped celery stalks (about 6 stalks)
  • About ½ bottle of white wine, such as Pinot Grigio (1½ cups)
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 16-ounce package frozen corn kernels
  • 1 pound smoked peppered salmon, flaked into pieces
  • 4 6-ounce cans of skinless boneless salmon, drained
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce, such as Cholula or Tapatio

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. Add celery and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add wine, broth, and thyme and bring to a boil.

Add potatoes, cream, and milk. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 1 hour, being very careful not to let the milk boil. Stir in corn, salmon, and hot sauce and continue to simmer, uncovered, until corn is tender, about 5 minutes. Remove thyme springs and serve.

Makes about 15 heaping 1-cup servings. Per serving: 366 calories, 20 g. fat, 8.3 g. saturated fat, 0.3 g. poly. fat, 1.9 g. mono. fat, 73.4 mg. cholesterol, 846 mg. sodium (this will be less if you use homemade chicken stock instead of storebought), 480.9 mg. potassium, 27 g. carbohydrates, 3.1 g. fiber, 22 g. protein, vitamin A 10%, vitamin C 10%, calcium 7%, iron 6%

Flask of Oily Liquid

Vaan at Muthru Bazaar“Sages are said to have taken draughts of this liquid to replenish lost arcane energies.”

—from the description of an item in the Bazaar catalog, FFXII

This blend of essential oils is great for moisturizing dry hair. It’s also a remedy for flaky scalp.

  • 4 oz. bottle of jojoba oil
  • ½ teaspoon tea tree oil (about 30 drops)
  • ¼ teaspoon lavender oil (about 15 drops)

Uncap the bottle of jojoba oil and add tea tree oil and lavender oil.  Tightly refasten the cap and tilt the bottle back and forth until the oils are mixed together.

Massage oil into scalp and let rest for about 30 minutes.  (Be careful; the oil can stain your clothes.)  Shampoo until clean, and condition as usual.

For best results, do this several times per week, until dry conditions improve. This recipe makes enough for several applications.