Coctura’s White Fish in Tomato Sauce

Coctura“Wow, this place is so romantic!”

—Prompto Argentum, FFXV

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, peeled, quartered lengthwise and sliced thickly crosswise (about 1½ cups)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • One 2-ounce can anchovies, drained and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 8 ounces fresh tomatoes (about 1 medium tomato), seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 12-ounce jar pitted Kalamata olives, drained
  • ¼ cup (60 g.) drained capers
  • Zest of 1 lemon or 1 slice preserved lemon, chopped
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) dry white wine
  • 2 fillets of barramundi (sea bass) or other white fish, about ½ pound each
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 French baguette
  • Freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep oven-safe skillet with lid.  Add onion and garlic and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring frequently and reducing heat as needed to prevent burning. Add anchovies and red pepper and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the wine, scraping the browned bits. Stir in tomatoes, olives, capers, and lemon.

Place the fish fillets in the pan, skin-side down if skin has not been removed, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon vegetables on top. Bring to a simmer, cover, and transfer to oven. Bake until fish is opaque in the center and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 130°F, about 12 minutes.

Turn off oven and remove skillet. Place baguette in oven for a minute or two to warm.

Divide fish and vegetables between two plates, sprinkle with parsley, and serve with the baguette.

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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.

Tenebraean Garulet Winter Stew

Tenebrae Castle“Can you cut vegetables?”

“Can you be a little more specific?”

“Finely will do just fine.”

—Ignis and Noctis, FFXV

This recipe is slightly adapted from the version posted in Chapter 69 of Classified to be more accessible to non-European cooks. (Lardons, for example, are very difficult to find in North America.) Thanks to Sekiei for the original recipe.

  • 2½ pounds braising mountain garulet or lean beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 large or 2 small yellow onions, halved, peeled, and sliced thinly
  • Fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, flat parsley)
  • 1 bottle of full-bodied red wine, such as Syrah
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 big heads of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 long and thin Caem carrots, peeled and sliced thickly
  • 2 cups rich garulet broth or beef broth
  • 8 ounces lean lardons or cubed pancetta
  • 16 ounces small brown alstrooms, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 16 ounces frozen peeled pearl onions

Place the stew meat and onions in a large bowl. Reserve half the flat parsley for garnish. Tie the remaining herbs together with cooking twine to make one big or two small bouquets garnis. Add to the bowl and cover with wine. Add pepper and 1 teaspoon sea salt and mix well. Refrigerate overnight or at least 3 hours.

Remove the meat chunks from the marinade and transfer to a colander to drain. Set the marinade aside for later use.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a Dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Sear meat on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes. While the meat is cooking, remove the onions from the marinade and transfer to the colander to drain. Set the remaining marinade aside for later use.

Add onions to the pot and sauté for a few minutes, until soft. Dust meat with flour and mix well. Add garlic and carrots and cook for a few minutes longer, until garlic is slightly softened. Pour in the remaining marinade and bouquets garnis. If the liquid does not cover the contents of the pot, add garulet broth.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 2½ hours.

About an hour before serving, melt half a tablespoon of butter in a large heavy pan. Cook lardons on medium-high heat until they start to brown. Add alstrooms, and sauté for about 10 minutes more, until alstrooms have released their liquid and are browning. Remove lardons and alstrooms from the pan and set aside.

Add half an inch of water (about 4 cups) to the pan and bring to a boil. Add sugar and remaining 1½ tablespoons butter and cook until melted. Add pearl onions and boil until all liquid has evaporated. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until onions are golden. Remove from heat.

Remove the bouquets garnis from the soup pot and stir in lardons, alstrooms, and pearl onions. Serve with steamed potatoes or fresh pasta. Dish into bowls and garnish with parsley, sea salt, and freshly-ground black pepper.

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.

Ivalice Stewed Chicken with Olives

Ivalice“Food would be a start—the good stuff, mind you.”

—Balthier, FFXII

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, peeled, quartered lengthwise and sliced thickly crosswise (about 1½ cups)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • One 2-ounce can anchovies, drained and chopped
  • 1½ lbs. skinless boneless chicken thighs, uncooked
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ras el hanout
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth, divided
  • 8 ounces fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup (180 grams) whole-wheat couscous
  • 1 12-ounce jar pitted Kalamata olives, drained
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or large, deep oven-safe skillet with lid.  Add onion and garlic and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring frequently and reducing heat as needed to prevent burning. Add anchovies and spices and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Push anchovies and vegetables to the side and add chicken. Sprinkle with flour and season with salt and pepper. Brown on all sides, about 15 minutes.

Slowly pour in the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan. When the wine is at a simmer, slowly pour in ½ cup broth. Add tomatoes and their juices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until chicken is very tender.

Uncover and stir in olives. Cook for 15 or so minutes until sauce is slightly thickened.

Meanwhile, place couscous in a large Tupperware container. Heat 1½ cups 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.

Fluff couscous with a fork and divide into 4 bowls, about 4 ounces of couscous per person. Divide stew into each bowl, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.

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.

Steakhouse-Style Mandragora

Mandragoras in FFVII“Thought to be a variant of mandragora, for the vines that reach up from its collar, covering its face like a mask. Notes the famed naturalist, Merlose: ‘It weareth its skin in layers, much like to the root of similar name, perhaps for the proffering of protection ‘gainst the cold.'”

—bestiary entry, FFXII

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 ounces sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 2 leeks, trimmed, halved, thickly sliced, and rinsed well
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon red wine
  • Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh baguette

Heat butter and oil in a large skillet. Add mushrooms, leeks, garlic, thyme, and salt, and saute over medium heat for about 30 minutes, until leeks are very tender. Add capers and red wine and season with black pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes more, until liquid has evaporated. Stir well and serve with warm bread. This recipe pairs beautifully with Basch’s Campfire Steak or Bahamut’s Baseball Steak, but it’s so good you can eat it all by itself.