Fiction-Food Café

June 2, 2018

Onion Focaccia w/ Steak & Raspberry Sauce | Delicious in Dungeon

          Delicious in Dungeon by Ryoko Kui is such a fun manga full of dungeon crawling, monsters, and food! In a nutshell, the premise is a group of adventurers working their way down the levels of a massive dungeon (it's like its own world, it's own ecosystem) and making delicious meals of the various creatures they come across so they won't have to keep leaving the dungeon to resupply! The meals are also made with the nutrients and energy they need for adventuring in mind. :)
          There are other aspects of the story like saving a party member from being digested in the belly of a huge dragon, discovering the mystery of the dungeon-world like who created it, how is it sustaining, and what is at its heart (was it a wizard-king and is there a great treasure??), and learning about the various races that make up the dungeon, including the adventurers from the world above.

          These recipes are inspired by a meal had in volume 4 of Delicious in Dungeon, just after a major plot point is resolved. It looked so yummy, I wanted to try my hand at it! I hope you enjoy it, and that it gives you the energy and heart you need to continue on your journey. ;)
For another Delicious in Dungeon recipe, check out my Golem Field Fresh Stewed Cabbage!

          This post is in conjunction with an episode of Fiction Kitchen Podcast (finally, we're back!). I talk about Delicious in Dungeon, and Carrie talks about the anime adaptation of Death Note.

Onion Focaccia

1 lrg. Onion (white or yellow), 1/2 diced, 1/2 julienned
1/4 lrg. Red Onion, julienned
1 lrg. Garlic Clove, minced (~1 tsp., or more to taste)
Olive Oil
1 pkt. Active Dry Yeast (~2 1/4 tsp.)
1/2 Cup Warm Water (110-115ºF)
1/2 Milk, lukewarm/room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. Salt, + more for sprinkling in top (you can use sea salt for this)
2 tsp. Sugar, + sprinkling for yeast
2 1/2-3 Cups Flour (all-purpose, or all-purpose & bread flour combo.)
Shredded Cheese such as parmesan
(optional) Fresh Rosemary, chopped

Pour the warm water into a large mixing bowl & sprinkle in some sugar. Add the yeast & let sit for a minute & then stir gently. Let sit for another 5-10 minutes to foam up.

In a medium pan on medium heat stir together 3 Tbsp. olive oil, the diced onion, & garlic, & cook until tender, ~3 minutes.

To the yeast in the mixing bowl stir in the milk, salt, sugar, & cooked onion/garlic mixture, + 2-3 Tbsp. of the optional rosemary. Stir in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until it comes together.

At this point you can use the dough hook on your mixer for a few minutes, or you can the dough out onto a lightly floured surface & knead by hand for about 10 minutes, until the dough becomes smooth & elastic.

Lightly oil a large bowl (I like to wash & dry the mixing bowl & use that) & get oil on your hands too. Ball the dough up & get oil all around it. Place it in the bowl & cover with plastic wrap or a warm, slightly damp towel. Let sit in a warm place to double in size, about 1 hr or so.

Punch the dough down & turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead it a bit just to get the air out, & then let it rest for a few minutes.

Oil a large baking pan* & lay the dough on it, pressing & stretching it out to about 1/2"-1" thickness (you don't have to be really exact). Dimple the dough all over with your fingertips or the handle of a wooden spoon (you can do it in a pattern or not, no biggie) & brush with oil. Cover again & let puff up for about 30 minutes in a warm place (a dish of hot water in an OFF oven works great).
*You can make 1 large focaccia in something like a 9"x13" pan, or you can cut the dough in half & make 2 rounds (which is what I did).

Preheat your oven to 425ºF. Cook 2 Tbsp. of olive oil with the julienned onions until just tender. Spread the cooked onions over the puffy, dimpled dough & sprinkle with cheese*, a little salt (can be sea salt) & optional chopped rosemary.
*You can put the cheese on halfway if you're worried about it getting too brown, depending on preference & the type of cheese you are using.

Bake on the middle rack for about 20 minutes or until golden brown (pay attention to your oven & turn the pan if needed to cook evenly). Remove from oven & slide the focaccia on a wire rack to cool slightly before eating. Wonderful as is, or serve with pieces of sliced (dragon!) steak on top & a red sauce drizzle (see below).

Spicy Raspberry Balsamic Sauce

1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup well-mashed Raspberries
1 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1/4-1/2 tsp. grated Fresh Ginger
1/4 tsp. or more Red Pepper Flakes

In a medium pot on medium-low heat, melt 1/2 cup sugar to amber, swirling it instead of stirring.
Remove from heat & add in 1/2 cup of well-mashed raspberries. The mixture will seize up, but don't worry!

Return the pot to low heat & add in 1 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar, plus fresh ginger & red pepper flakes depending on how spicy you want it. Stir until the sugar is re-melted & the sauce has thickened.

Pour the mixture into a fine mesh strainer set over a small bowl & stir & press the mixture to separate the sauce from the solids. You can eat the solids or discard them. Use the sauce for dipping or drizzling! (If you've making the steak too, you can stir the cooked meat juices into the sauce if you'd like.)

Seared Steak
(I don't use exact measurements; it's all up to preference!)

For a quick, seared steak heat a pan to medium high with a bit of oil & rub a cut of beef–like rib-eye, porterhouse, or strip–with a combo of salt, pepper, & a little sugar (plus spice powder if you want it) just before placing it into the hot pan. Flip about every 30 seconds until it's your desired doneness.*

Let the meat rest for several minutes on a plate or cutting board before cutting. Cut AGAINST the grain of the meat, never in the same direction as the grain! The grain is the path of the muscle fibers. When you cut perpendicular to this you get a tender, easily chewable bite.

If you'll be putting meat onto the focaccia like in the manga, make thin, bite-sized slices.

*An easy tip to test for doneness is to use your thumb and fingers as a gauge; focusing on the palm base of your thumb, medium rare is when your thumb is tip to tip with your index finger, medium is touching your middle finger, medium well is to your ring finger, & well is your pinky. Compare the cooking meat to your palm by poking them in turn. :)

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For another Delicious in Dungeon recipe try my Golem Field Fresh Stewed Cabbage*
Delicious in Dungeon is published through Yen Press in the US. You can find out more here.

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