If you’ve been following Cooking Eorzea, then you will notice that there have not been any new installments since last July. I did not abandon the column, and I did not get too busy to keep to a weekly publishing schedule. Instead, the reason was simple: I had a house fire that burned up my kitchen.
No one was hurt, but I had to live in a hotel for several months while my home was being repaired. I then had to wait for insurance to pay me out, buy new kitchen supplies, and finally get my life back in shape enough in order to cook again.
It was honestly a really hard blow to deal with emotionally, as there is nothing quite like seeing things you own get ruined by sprinklers, smoke, and fire, and I definitely had an emotional breakdown over it. The spice cabinet and random ingredients that I had built up over cooking this column, along with a lot of my kitchen hardware, was ruined. Additionally, my own cookbook for this column was soaked through too, and I had to look for a while on eBay to find the same version again for purchase.
Emotionally, I am doing…okay. I am definitely very, very cautious with the kitchen, and I do not want another fire. I am so lucky that it wasn’t worse, and that I can still cook for this column. I will do my best, as always, to make these upcoming dishes with Love, Eorzean Style.
If you’ve missed an installment of Cooking Eorzea, you can check out all the prior recipes here.
Recipe of the Week
Cawl Cennin is the 29th recipe in The Ultimate FINAL FANTASY XIV Online Cookbook and it comes straight from the La Noscea region of Eorzea with an ‘Easy’ difficulty rating! This dish can be created two different ways: with chicken stock or with vegetable stock. I intended to originally make it with vegetable stock, but that obviously did not happen due to the fire.
I was definitely nervous about how this soup would turn out for Cooking Eorzea, the low difficulty standard notwithstanding, as I had definitely not cooked a serious dish like this since last July. Anyway, here is what the final dish is supposed to look like:
Featured Ingredient of the Week
This week’s featured ingredient is crumbled goat cheese!
Goat cheese is made from goat’s milk – which should not be a surprise. The goat’s milk is filtered, a curdling starter is added, and then the whey is separated from the cheese. The cheese is dried and cured, and then…crumbled!
I actually love goat cheese, and so I was thrilled that it was to be used as part of this week’s Cooking Eorzea recipe!
My Cooking Attempt
As always, we start off with a picture of all the ingredients used! And with this column restart, I picked up new risers to help show off the ingredients with:
First, I pulled out the two trimmed leeks, and I chopped them up. I ended up buying prepackaged and pretrimmed leeks because I wasn’t impressed with the whole leeks that were for sale in the first store I went to.
I then split the yellow onion in half, peeled it, and chopped up one of the halves. After setting that aside, I peeled and chopped up the shallot before setting it aside too.
I then grabbed an arm of celery and chopped it up…and then took a small break and ate some additional celery since it is simply delicious.
I grabbed my russet potato next. I peeled it with a lot of difficulty and then I cubed it up before setting it aside.
I heated up a pot, and then added in the butter and the olive oil. I let them both warm up until the butter was fully melted.
I then added the chopped leeks, the chopped half-onion, the chopped shallot, and the chopped celery into the pot. I blended them all together to make sure the butter and oil coated everything inside.
After letting the vegetables cook for around 10 minutes, I added in minced garlic, salt, pepper, and thyme.
I then blended it all together and let it cook for another five minutes.
I then added the chicken stock, the cubed potatoes, and a single bay leaf to the pot.
I brought the dish up to a boil, and then I lowered the heat to let the dish simmer for about 20 minutes so the potatoes could soften up. I made sure to also stir occasionally. Surprisingly, I noticed that the soup was thickening up as the water evaporated.
After the potatoes were ready, I ladled the pot’s entire contents into a blender and blended the ingredients all together until it was a smooth mixture.
Once the soup was finished blending, I added it back to the still warm pot.
I then added in the heavy cream and the lemon juice.
After both ingredients were added, I blended them together and I let the entire soup simmer again for awhile longer.
Once the soup was ready, I scooped out a portion into a bowl and added in the crumbled goat cheese on top of it.
And here is the final Cawl Cennin dish for this week’s Cooking Eorzea!
The Cawl Cennin is probably the dish that surprised me the most with how it tasted. It was perfectly creamy and slightly tangy, and absolutely fantastic. I think the creaminess came from a blend of the goat cheese and the blended potatoes. It was absolutely a green dish (as you can tell from the picture), most likely due to the leeks and celery. It was also quite thick, and it tasted like a solid, non-watery soup. Personally, I loved it.
I would absolutely make this dish a second time. It was fairly easy to make, and the bulk of the time making this dish was letting the vegetables simmer in the soup. The only thing I would do differently is that I would definitely remove the bay leaf before I blend it together, so that I wouldn’t have to pull out small bits of leaf out of the final soup!
For the first time in awhile…I want to start the ‘thank you’ section of Cooking Eorzea. First, 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.
Barring another fire, next week’s dish will be the Exquisite Beef Stew from a little city called Eulmore in the Norvrandt Region of some other star…
Please return next Friday to see how it turns out!
What do you think of my soup? Would you have used vegetable stock instead of chicken stock?
Let us know in the comments below!