HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (9/26/13) - First off, I’m a geek, and I’m a foodie, that was born and raised in Paducah, KY.
I’ve had an affinity for video games ever since the first time a controller graced my hands when I was six. My love for cooking took hold the moment I held a knife, and I started my career in food at 14. I’ve spent serious time playing every make and model of video game out there, while working every position in various area kitchens. At 21, I enrolled at Louisville Kentucky’s Sullivan University College of Culinary Arts and graduated with my degree two years later. From there, I spent the next three years in kitchens around the Washington, DC area. I’ve now returned to Western Kentucky and am completing another degree at Murray State University in Nutrition and Exercise Science. In my spare time, I co-host a video game podcast called TADPOG (Tyler and Dave Play Old Games).
I’ve had a strong desire to share my love of food and its preparation with others, and am honored that the good people at Sugg Street Post are giving me an opportunity to blend all of my passions together. I now have a place to present them to the public in the form of The Gastromancer’s Guild.
The Gastromancer’s Guild
Gastromancers, I’m a sucker for classic Japanese role playing games (or JRPGs for short). In the Super Nintendo and PlayStation eras they were basically all I ever played. A little known series in the US is a favorite of mine and my wife and I can’t help but feel we could do some spells inspired by the game. Wild Arms is a wonderful game that mixes the medieval and Old West styles in an amazing way. There isn’t much food in the game but there is a healing item that is one of my favorite in any game – the heal berry. So here are some spells based on that great healing food, enjoy.
Need a reference? Here you go:
WEEK 35 – Wild Arms
Sweet Ricotta and Mascarpone Mousse with Fresh Berries (Apprentice)
12 oz. whole milk ricotta
6 oz. mascarpone
1 oz. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. orange zest
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
½ oz. powdered sugar
1 cup each of fresh strawberries, raspberries and blackberries
4 sprigs of mint
Process the ricotta, mascarpone, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in the zest and vanilla. Whip the cream with the powdered sugar until it has stiff peaks. Stir a small amount of the whipped cream into the ricotta to lighten it. Add the remaining whipped cream and gently fold until well combined. Layer the mousse with berries in 4 large wine glasses. Garnish with berries and a mint sprig. Chill for 1 hour before serving.
Berry Compote (Journeyman)
1 pt. fresh or frozen berries
4 oz. granulated sugar
3 fl. oz. honey
1 cinnamon stick
3 tbsp. brandy
ice cream and pound cake as needed
Select an assortment of fresh or frozen berries – any kind of berry can be used. Place the fruits and sugar in a nonreactive saucepan. Finely grate the zest from one orange and set aside. Add the juice from the two oranges to the saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat until the fruits are soft but still intact. Strain the mixture, saving both the fruits and the liquid. Return the liquid to the saucepan. Add the finely grated zest from one orange and the honey, cinnamon and brandy. Bring to a boil and reduce until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Remove the cinnamon stick. Gently stir the reserved fruit into the sauce, cover and chill. Serve with ice cream and pound cake.
Fresh Cranberry-Orange Relish
1 lb. granulated sugar
4 fl. oz. orange juice
8 fl. oz. water
1 lb. 8 oz. fresh cranberries
1 cinnamon stick
2 fl. oz. orange liqueur
2 tbsp. finely grated orange zest
20 orange segments
Combine the sugar, orange juice and water in a nonreactive saucepan, bring to a boil. Add the cranberries and cinnamon stick and summer uncovered until the berries begin to burst, approximately 15 minutes. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Add the orange liqueur and zest and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and remove the cinnamon stick. Add the orange segments. Cool and refrigerate.
Tiers of Difficulty
Apprentice – At this level, very few ingredients and basic preparation are used. Recipes of this level are often components of other dishes.
Journeyman – This is where applications of heat and knife-work may start, but the steps are still few in number.
Mage – A fairly competent level of work is required as a Mage. Recipes of this level require a fair amount of skill, use teachings from the previous tiers, and increase in complexity while adding more techniques.
Alchemist – At this level, very complex single dishes are created that require several applications of numerous techniques, as well as multiple ingredients.
Gastromancer – This is the highest degree of difficulty. This may take the level of the Alchemist, but will be multiplied into several dishes.
Sugg Street Post
Written by Tyler Holland
Photo by Jeff Harp