By Quentin H. / May 20th, 2022
I don’t like being reminded of my mortality.
One of the most annoying things about moving to California are the unexpected nosebleeds from how dry the air is here. I’ve woken up in blood from it before, and I’ve randomly had a nosebleed happen while I am going about my daily business. It’s annoying to deal with, and I hate seeing my blood just pour out of me like that. In the past week, I also fell and hit my knee. That caused some inflammation in my knee, and I also had a chunk of skin taken out of that part of my body. I’ve missed kendo as a result, since I don’t want to aggravate that wound. Finally on this past Saturday, I gave myself a scalding burn on my left hand as I was trying to make the Ishgardian muffins. I finished making the dough to chuck it into the refrigerator, and then I spent the rest of the day with my hand in a cool bowl of water to try to bring the swelling down.
All of these unfortunate injuries and blood loss remind me that I am not invincible. It is so easy for me to think that I can handle, do, and survive anything. That makes it so much worse when I am brought down by a simple misstep on the sidewalk or because the air is too dry. I know I am getting older, and I will be more prone to injuries as I get even older…but I don’t like to think or dwell on it, and I really don’t want to think about it more than I have to.
Even if I am constantly changing out the bandage on my knee and trying to protect my burned hand.
If you’ve missed an installment of Cooking Eorzea, you can check out all the prior recipes here.
Recipe of the Week
This week’s Cooking Eorzea recipe is for the 10th recipe and is from the Othard Region…Salmon Muffins! This recipe uses avocado slices, smoked salmon, freshly-made Ishgardian Muffins, wilted spinach, and a Reunion Cheese Sauce that I will make. It doesn’t look hard to make, other than the time it will take for me to have to make the Ishgardian Muffins.
This is what the dish is supposed to look like:
Featured Ingredient of the Week
Avocado trees can grow up to 66 feet high and have a single giant seed inside of them. They have a high nutritional value, and they are healthy to eat. The trees like to grow in places with no frost, little wind, and it takes around 18 US gallons of water to grow a single avocado.
Personally, I really like avocados! And so they were an easy pick for this week’s featured ingredient.
My Cooking Attempt
This week’s Cooking Eorzea column requires me to make Ishgardian Muffins once again! It was during this recipe attempt that I ended up injuring myself when I pulled the wet ingredients out of the microwave, pulled the plastic wrap off the top, and the steam blew out across my left hand and burned me. My first injury from Cooking Eorzea, and I am still smarting from it. These two photos show the ingredients and how the dough circles looked in the final step as they were being cooked.
And here are the final Ishgardian Muffins! Injury aside, it is important to note that I only let these muffins rise for 12 hours in the refrigerator, and I have been able to make these quicker and quicker than ever before.
With the Ishgardian Muffins made, here is the full photograph of all of the ingredients for this week’s Cooking Eorzea recipe, Salmon Muffins:
First, I measured out the ricotta cheese.
I then chopped up the fresh dill, and I filled up two teaspoons with it. Once that was done, I added it into the ricotta cheese.
I then added in the lemon juice, and I whisked the Reunion Cheese Sauce together until it was smooth. It was surprisingly easy to do, and it definitely smelled like chopped dill.
I then added in some salt and pepper, and I whisked it all together again.
Setting the Reunion Cheese Sauce aside, I de-stemmed the spinach and started to weigh it out.
After I finished the bunch I had…I realized that I did not have enough spinach to make this dish. I ended up having to make an emergency run to the grocery store to get more. It was during this trip that I realized that there was a blood moon eclipse (of the heart!) going on!
I then heated up olive oil in a pan, rolled it around in the pan to make sure it covered it completely, and then I added in the full bowl of spinach to the pan! It definitely threatened to overflow the pan, and I had to be careful to make sure that it all made it inside.
The spinach started to wilt and sizzle in the pan, and it quickly wore itself down as I gently prodded it with a spatula. Once the spinach had finished wilting, I pulled the pan off of the active burner.
I then sliced each of the Ishgardian Muffins in half with a serrated blade.
Setting the sliced Ishgardian Muffins aside, I then grabbed the avocado and sliced it in half by running the knife around the inside around the giant seed.
I then peeled the avocado. I also tried to whack the seed with my blade to pull it out of the avocado as I have seen on YouTube…but that didn’t work, as the seed was stuck stubbornly in. I ended up scooping it out with a spoon. You can definitely see the knife strikes in the seed, however.
Once the seed was out, I sliced the avocado halves into strips.
With all the ingredients prepared, I started to assemble the salmon muffins! First, I took the two halves of an Ishgardian muffin, and I spread the Reunion Cheese Sauce upon each half.
I then carefully laid the avocado slices upon the bottom Ishgardian muffin half.
After that, I topped the lower half with smoked salmon before I drizzled more Reunion Cheese Sauce on top of it.
I then added the wilted spinach on top of the smothered smoked salmon. Once that was complete, I added the top of the Ishgardian Muffin! I repeated this for each Salmon Muffin that I made.
And here is the final dish for this week’s Cooking Eorzea recipe!
Afterwards, I sat down and ate it. And honestly…it was kinda forgettable. It wasn’t BAD, per se, but it wasn’t anything spectacular flavor-wise. Unlike the Royal Eggs from last week (which I have thought about daily since I made and ate them), I ate a couple of these salmon muffins to make sure that I could write about it, and that was it. The flavors of the Reunion Cheese Sauce, smoked salmon, wilted spinach, and avocado slices worked well together, but it just didn’t ‘pop’ for me with any unique flavor.
I wouldn’t make this dish again- there are definitely recipes (Royal Eggs!) that I liked (Royal Eggs!) better than these Salmon Muffins (Royal Eggs, anyone?). If I was to make it a second time, I would definitely make sure that I had enough spinach up front for the entire recipe…It takes a surprising amount of spinach to have six ounces of it!
Let’s talk acknowledgements! 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 should 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. This cooking column wouldn’t be possible without either one of them.
Cooking Eorzea will be going on a temporary hiatus, as I have too much going on for the next two weeks for me to be able to give this column the attention it demands/deserves. That said, when Cooking Eorzea returns on June 10, I will be making Knight’s Bread!
I’ve never used a dutch oven before in my home, so this will definitely be worth tuning in for!
Have you been able to whack a seed out of an avocado before? Any advice if you were successfully able to do so?
Let us know in the comments below!
CookbookCookingCooking EorzeaFF14FFXIVFinal FantasyFinal Fantasy XIVFINAL FANTASY XIV OnlineHiromichi TanakaIshgardian MuffinsMMORPGNaoki YoshidaPCPlaystationPlayStation 4PlayStation 5Salmon MuffinsSESquare EnixThe Official FINAL FANTASY XIV Online CookbookVictoria Rosenthal