Number 3: Gautier Cheese Gratin

Welcome back, paesanos, it’s time for the Super Fire Emblem Super Show. And what better way to continue this culinary descent into madness than a dish that redefines “descent into madness”. Yes, Sylvain might have a deft hand when it comes to the ladies, but his family’s cheese is untraceable.

The Dish: Gautier Cheese Gratin

Ingredients: Poultry, Noa fruit. Also, obviously, Gautier cheese.

The Research: I at first believed it would be easy to locate Gautier cheese. “There’s no way”, I told myself, “that this cheese will seemingly have no real-world equivalent, and that the creators were pulling something out of thin air.” Oh, what a fool I was! So naive.

My research began with the man himself, Sylvain Jose Gautier. Now, I know enough about etymology to know that all three of those names are not unheard-of in France (yes, even Jose), so my research into real-world cheeses began there. Gautier cheese is described as low-fat with a distinctive flavor, so I looked into every French cheese that the Internet was at least vaguely aware of. This would be roadblock one: there are seemingly no low-fat French cheeses.

“Okay”, I told myself, undaunted. “Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places. What is Gautier Territory’s real-life equivalent?” You see, if you look at the Fodlán map side-by-side with a map of Europe, there are a heck of a lot of similarities.

It even has the Denmark jut around Kleiman.

Using the coastline as my guide, I figure that Gautier Territory is roughly where Estonia is in our world (as you’ll see, assuming Kleiman is Denmark there’s a similar kind of swoosh – could be Sweden, though). Armed with this knowledge, I ascertained that the closest equivalent to Gautier cheese is probably something called Soir, which is a combination of whole milk and quark (similar to cottage cheese). Second problem: I couldn’t find the stuff anywhere.

I searched everywhere for some reasonable equivalent, but all the internet hivemind knows of Soir is that it definitely exists, is Estonian, and involves milk, quark, and some other stuff. So after some more research, I settled on Gouda, as it was described somewhere as a “washed-curd” cheese, and I figure if Soir involves liquid and curds that’s close enough for me. It’s not necessarily low-fat, but finding low-fat cheese was its own ordeal (all I was finding were Livestrong ripoffs saying that yes, Virginia, you can diet and have cheese). And that was the end of that nightmare.

The Method: Since this is a gratin, I figured I’d do a spin on chicken pot pie with apple, topped with the requisite potatoes and cheese. The meal began by washing, coring and dicing two Granny Smith apples, followed by washing and thinly slicing four red potatoes (I used a mandoline, and I’ve gotta say, one of the better uses of $25 I’ve come across), then washing them again and starting a large pot to boil.

That took like 10 minutes of work. Seriously, buy a mandoline.

Once the mise en place was done, the next step was to make a standard Béchamel sauce. If you’ve never made one before, it’s very easy: just melt some butter, drop in an equal amount of flour, and combine until homogeneous. Then drop in some hot milk, and boil until the sauce is suitably thick. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the raw-flour smell and taste are gone. There, don’t say I never taught you anything.

Once boiling, I dropped my potatoes into said large pot and cooked them until tender. Now we must turn our attention to the poultry, for which I decided on chicken, specifically a half-rotisserie chicken from the store. You could roast yours up fresh (and if you do, I heartily endorse the method described in J. Kenji López-Alt’s The Food Lab), but I was feeling lazy.

Anyway, I pulled all the usable meat off my bird, combined it with the Bechamel, some diced apple, and – to really turn this from a double into a home run – some sage (if you’re not familiar with your spices, that’s the herb that makes stuffing amazing). Next, I put my mixture in a pie tin, topped it with my boiled sliced potatoes, then topped it with some Gouda for the cheese requirement.

Don’t be like me, find a block of Gouda you can shred, I implore you.

In the oven it went for 10 minutes. After some broiling to brown the cheese, here’s what we got:

See what I mean?

The Result: This isn’t the prettiest dish, but man, was it tasty. The cheese was delicious, the potatoes were perfectly crisp, and the sage really tied the filling together. The diced apple wasn’t amazing or anything, but it did offer a nice textural offset to the chicken (though if I make this again, I’ll definitely stick with the traditional peas and carrots for my filling). Gautier cheese may have been nigh-unto-impossible to find, but I think this dish would’ve done them proud.

Disclaimer: This is a fan-based blog and has no affiliation with Nintendo or any other rightsholders of Fire Emblem, Fire Emblem Three Houses, or any other associated brands. Author apologizes in advance for any future blatant Kenji fanboyism.

Number 2: Vegetable Stir-Fry

Welcome back! After last week’s decadent dessert that could only be called “delightfully devilish”, I figured I’d go in the exact opposite direction with something more…veggie-forward. Hence, vegetable stir-fry. Yes, no better way to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Three Houses than to cook one of the more boring dishes.

The Dish: Vegetable Stir-Fry

Ingredients: Chickpea, Tomato, Cabbage. Flavor text also mentions egg.

The Research: Do you know what chickpeas, tomatoes and cabbage are? Heard of eggs before? Cool? Cool. Unlike last week, this doesn’t require guesswork. I guess the rice isn’t necessarily called for, but…it’s stir-fry. Stir-fry without rice is like playing FE3H without recruiting Bernadetta: are you really even taking it seriously if you don’t include it?

The Method: I start by soaking my chickpeas, which is apparently a thing you’ve gotta do (hint: if you’re gonna do this, please choose canned chickpeas if available). As they soak, I chop up some green onion (uncalled for in the recipe text, but I feel they’re very welcome) and shred some cabbage. Once my chickpeas are ready, I toast and season them, then set them aside. Before we get to the rice, there are two ways to handle your egg: you can cook it as you cook the rice, or you can cook it in advance and add it later. I prefer the second as I’m somewhat particular about my eggs, but I leave the final decision up to you.

Now it’s time to combine the various elements. I started with garlic sautéed in olive oil (side note: I’ve noticed that unlike Breath of the Wild, FE3H’s recipes tend to not require you to gather the spices), and once my olfactory nerve was screaming in delight, I added the cabbage, onions, and sun-dried tomatoes. After these looked good and ready, I dropped in my rice (yes, the precooked packaged variety, I doubt that Garreg Mach, cooking for as many as it does, would be above such shortcuts either), hit it with the customary soy sauce, added in the chickpeas and egg, and gave it a good mix until it smelled and looked ready. And ready it was!

Disclaimer: I only used three eggs, a handful of chickpeas, and one of the bags of rice. Sorry if the first image for this blog is misleading.

The Result: You may want to be sitting down for this one, but the combination of fried rice, egg, green onion, and three solid vegetables is a delicious one indeed, and it was even better when I added hoisin and sriracha. The only element I didn’t love was the chickpeas – I’m only fond of them in hummus form, and I only included them for recipe accuracy (part of my promise to you, the reader, is that I will always include required ingredients or acceptable substitutes). That said, this is an easy, infinitely adaptable recipe that’s as delicious and filling as the in-game description claims.

Disclaimer: This is a fan-based blog and has no affiliation with Nintendo or any other rightsholders of Fire Emblem, Fire Emblem Three Houses, or any other associated brands. Do not claim fast-food cooking as your own unless from upstate New York.

Number 1: Saghert and Cream

Hello! If you’re new to this, I’m some guy who likes to cook and likes playing Fire Emblem: Three Houses. I decided to combine them for some reason! What fun. Let’s get to it.

The Dish: Saghert and Cream

Ingredients: 1 Peach Currant, 1 Noa Fruit

The Research: I decided to start my journey with the most mystifying entry into the cookbook: the confusingly-named “Saghert and Cream.” No doubt I and many others have wondered: “what on Earth is ‘Saghert’ supposed to be”? After some Googling I found this Reddit thread that suggests that it’s a mistranslation of “sagart”, an old word meaning “priest”. So in other words: “Blessed Fruit and Cream”. Since the equally-perplexing Noa Fruit is supposedly blessed, this tracks.

The next question: what is Noa Fruit? Based on my research of what area I’ve surmised Fodlán is meant to represent from around that time, I’m thinking apples. Maybe it’s meant to be a unique fruit, but I figure apples are delicious, ubiquitous and easy enough to come by to work. I went with apple cider for reasons that will be made clear later. Now for the other ingredient: peach currant, which isn’t a thing. Peaches are a thing. Currants are a thing. “Peach currant”, except in the minds of our demented Tomacco-dreaming farmers, is absolutely not a thing. But nonetheless, whatever is compelling me to write this demands accuracy, so peach currants we will make.

The Method: I’m guessing from both the in-game photo and recipe description that this is meant to be a cobbler of some sort, but I called what will be the first of many audibles and made a crumble. It’s easier and more delicious than a cobbler, flying in the face of all your parents’ maxims that hard work automatically leads to a better life. Confront them immediately! But not before you’re done reading this.

To make the filling, I started by slicing the peaches, removing the heinous pits therein and chopping them to the desired size. Once the peaches were perfectly prepared, I hit ‘em with some sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and allspice and rolled ‘em around. I then made good on the second half of the first ingredient by stirring in some blackcurrant preserves (as an aside, it’s simply impossible to find the fresh stuff in my region of the US, so this was all I could do). With the filling complete, all that I had to do was roll around some flour, sugar, butter, and salt to make a crumble topping, which kind of feels like wet sand. I threw the filling in a casserole dish, topped it with the…topping, and set it in a warm oven for baking.

“But wait”, I imagine you saying, “what of the Noa Fruit?” To which I say, patience. You see, the recipe calls for a Noa Fruit cream, which I took to mean an apple-infused whipped cream. According to this recipe I helpfully obtained from Rachael Ray, that’s as easy as heavy cream, vanilla extract (I used Mexican vanilla), and cider syrup. That’s, uh, this stuff below:

Smells like fall.

All one has to do is reduce the cider down (way easier than it sounds), pour the syrup in the mixture, and whip until it has that “whipped cream” look. It’s then placed in the fridge to cool until our crumble comes out, which it eventually does.

The Result: Dare I say: really good? The decision to make it a crumble was an inspired one and the peaches and currants, two tastes I was unsure about combining, play together very nicely. The apple whipped cream wasn’t very apple-y, but that’s easy enough to tweak with a little research, and besides, something this good was meant to be topped with vanilla ice cream. All in all, I’d say this was a rousing success, and one I would make again in a heartbeat.

Recipe bases used: 1. “Best Peach Crumble”, Delish; 2. “How to Make Flavored Whipped Cream”, Rachael Ray In Season.

Disclaimer: this is a fan-based blog and has no affiliation with Nintendo or any other rightsholders of Fire Emblem, Fire Emblem Three Houses, or any other games associated with the brand. Blog author is not responsible for blowback when you confront your parents.

It’s Chow Time

Hello! This food blog is my attempt to marry two things I rather enjoy: cooking and FE3H! So with that in mind, I’ve started what I surmise to be the thousandth food blog that attempts to recreate the dishes found in Garreg Mach’s mess hall. We’ll share some laughs, preferably at your expense, as we look at the menu and answer the burning question on everyone’s minds: how can this be recreated?!