By Quentin H. / December 24th, 2021
One of life’s maxims could best be summed up as: There’s a Carrie Bradshaw quote or two for everything.
This weekend, I am visiting my family for Christmas. Out of my siblings, I am the only one who 1) isn’t married, 2) doesn’t have kids, 3) doesn’t own a home, and 4) leaves honey out for faeries on the equinoxes. Okay, the last one is a little more out there- but it still rings true.
I know I’m not supposed to compare myself and my life path to others, yet it is still so damn hard to not do that during the holiday season- especially when there is such a stark contrast between me and everyone else.
And of course, life’s maxim holds true, as there are a pair of relevant Carrie Bradshaw quotes for that:
“Eventually all the pieces fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment, and know that everything happens for a reason.”
“Maybe the best any of us can do is not to quit, play the hand we’ve been given, and accessorize the outfit we got.”
I’m trying to believe that everything happens for a reason and that things will fall into place in some way, somehow. That all I need to do is just keep trying to pull off that perfect Triple Triad deck and that it will all work out with a grand flourish, and I will finally have everything I want. And some days, I am more successful of convincing myself of that than other days. That said though, this weekend will be harder than others to do that with.
Therefore, I am going to do the only thing I can do…which is to accessorize my outfits this weekend with ridiculously nerdy stuff everyday through Sunday. I am going to do just that and try to remember yet more of the immortal words of Carrie Bradshaw in my heart as I try to also use a cast iron skillet for the first time in my life for this week’s Cooking Eorzea dish with Love, Eorzean Style:
“Don’t forget to fall in love with yourself first.”
If you’ve missed an installment of Cooking Eorzea, you can check out all the prior weeks here.
Recipe of the Week
This week’s Cooking Eorzea recipe is the fourth recipe of the book…Farmer’s Breakfast! This is a very simple and meat-heavy dish from the La Noscea region of Eorzea and has an ‘Easy’ difficulty. This dish, despite being prepared in a single skillet, is supposed to have two servings…though I found myself completely full after eating just a single decently large slice of it. This was also the first dish that required quite a bit of ingredient prep. I did most of it while the potatoes were in the oven, but I should definitely try to do as much of it as possible BEFORE I start cooking next time.
This is what the dish is supposed to look like!
Featured Ingredient of the Week
This week’s featured ingredient is shallots. You may be asking yourself: “Why shallots and not kielbasa or something else?” Well, that’s because I had no idea what a shallot was until I walked into the Trader Joe’s, asked where the shallots were, and was pointed to these small onion-like things. My shock was definitely palpable to the poor employee, and I had help trying to pick out a good pair of shallots for this week’s Cooking Eorzea recipe.
When I started to later peel them to chop up into chunks, I was also not expecting them to be purple.
My Cooking Attempt
First, a photo of all the ingredients I used this week:
First thing’s first: I preheated the oven and sprayed nonstick spray on my baking sheet.
I then got out my potatoes and started to peel them. I had not peeled potatoes in years before this, so it was quite the experience. I actually even bought a potato peeler for this recipe.
I then chopped the potatoes up into chunks.
I combined the olive oil, the salt, the pepper, and the oregano into a bowl with the potato chunks and tossed it all together until the potatoes were well-coated.
I then scattered out the coated potatoes on top of my baking sheet, and then placed it all into the oven to bake.
After shutting the oven, I turned my attention to chopping up the kielbasa. The meat turned out to be quite greasy to handle, and it took more effort than I would like to admit to properly cut through it.
I then set all that aside, cleaned my cutting board and my knife, and got out the thick-sliced bacon. The fat in the bacon proved difficult to cut cleanly through, but I made it work.
At this point, the potatoes were partway done. So, I had to pull the baking sheet out of the oven, turn the potatoes, and put it back into the oven to finish cooking. You can really see here that they were starting to get done.
I then removed the outer layers of the shallots down to the purple layers and then chopped them up.
I set the shallots aside, cleaned the chopping block and the knife once more, and chopped up the parsley after removing the plant stems.
I cracked all of the eggs into the bowl and whisked all the eggs together.
After warming up the cast iron skillet, I placed the sliced kielbasa into the pan to sizzle and brown. As the kielbasa cooked, black and white smoke started to pour out of the skillet. This was most likely due to my new skillet seasoning job.
It was then that I realized that my stove did not come with a vent hood. To try to prevent the smoke alarm and/or sprinklers from going off, I opened the front door and the balcony door to the 40-degree weather outside.
It worked. Mostly.
You can see that I had blackened the kielbasa by the end of it.
I then placed the bacon into the cast iron skillet and cooked it through. I then pulled it out of the skillet and left the grease behind.
I dropped the shallots into the skillet and kielbasa/bacon grease and let them cook in it.
Once the shallots had softened up and were cooked through, I added in the potatoes, the bacon, and the kielbasa to the skillet and I started to mix them all together.
Once it was all tossed together, I poured the egg mixture all over the skillet and then covered it so the whole dish could cook. While this was going on, I preheated the broiler function in the oven.
After the eggs had mostly set, I removed the lid and then slid the whole cast iron skillet into the oven on the highest rack so that the broiler could get to work finishing off the dish.
Once the dish had finished cooking, I pulled it out and I sprinkled parsley on top of it.
And here’s the final dish for Cooking Eorzea, Week 3!
After taking this photo, I cut out a large slice and I tried it out. It was actually really, really good and extremely ‘heavy’ to eat. The flavors of the meat and eggs worked well together, and I was more than a little impressed with how evenly the different ingredients were distributed through the entire dish. This is a very real and very hearty meal to eat, and you can definitely feed more than two people off of just one skillet.
This was a really good dish to make for my first cast iron skillet dish, and I am happy that it worked out so well…other than the whole ‘smoking out my home’ business. I hope that there are more cast-iron skillet dishes in the future for this recipe book.
I want to thank Victoria Rosenthal for writing The Ultimate FINAL FANTASY XIV Online Cookbook. I also want to thank the staff over at Insight Editions for giving me permission to use the photos from their book to show how these recipes are actually supposed to look. Furthermore, I owe Brandon Rose a special thanks for creating the logo for this series on short notice. You can check him and his works out over on Twitter.
Finally, I want to thank both Hiromichi Tanaka and Naoki Yoshida for producing FINAL FANTASY XIV Online in both iterations of the game.
Even though I am going to be visiting family for the holidays, I am still planning on tackling La Noscean Toast for next week’s Cooking Eorzea recipe!
It’ll be coming out on New Year’s Eve, so please look forward to it.
Have you cooked in a cast-iron skillet before? What have you made?
Let us know in the comments below!
Cooking EorzeaEndwalkerEorzeaFinal FantasyFinal Fantasy XIVFINAL FANTASY XIV OnlineHiromichi TanakaInsight EditionsNaoki YoshidaVictoria Rosenthal