Recipe: rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish, and artichokes
I’m here, but I’m not really here – in all likelihood I’m someplace up in the Rocky Mountains as you read this. But that doesn’t keep me from posting a Daring Cooks challenge because the challenge MUST BE MET (thanks to cron jobs).
daring cooks – ha cha!
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty here, shall we?
Our most revered and badass founders: Lis of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice.
Our beautiful host this month: Olga of Olga’s Recipes.
The challenge: a delicious Spanish recipe, Rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes by José Andrés.
The recipe is not paella, but it is similar to paella according to Olga. Either way, it is filled with a fantastic combination of fresh ingredients that are cooked into a hearty dish of traditional Spanish flavors. This post is going to be heavy on pictures and short on words… you’re welcome.
trimming the artichokes
chopped onions, garlic, mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes for the sofregit
I actually went on braincation and cooked the artichokes instead of trimming them down and slicing them up raw. Oh well – still awesome! I was quite psyched when I read the list of ingredients included fish stock because I had 6 cups of homemade fish stock in my freezer taking up valuable space (been making a lot of ice creams of late).
using up my homemade fish stock
and don’t forget saffron
I couldn’t find any of the types of rice that Olga had recommended, so I went with short-grained organic Arborio rice which worked out just fine. Once I got all of mise en place (mess in place) ready, I began making the sofregit.
arborio rice – cute little short grains
sautéing the vegetables for the sofregit
While the sofregit simmered down into a thick and aromatic red sauce, I attempted the traditional allioli. I have a baby mortar and pestle, so I figured why not try the traditional method? It was incredible to see the transformation from minced garlic into this creamy, smooth sauce. I’m crazy for garlic too, so it smelled heavenly while I sat there smashing the garlic into smithereens for 20 minutes (and yeah, it was a hot day).
ready, set, go!
that’s a nice allioli
Once the sofregit was done, I began to sauté the squid in olive oil.
the recipe makes a lot of sofregit
now to begin the main recipe
I think the only snafu I encountered was that I had cooked my artichokes when I should have left them raw. Because of that oversight, I didn’t get the nice fond on the bottom of my pan that would have probably enhanced the overall flavor of the dish. Even so, it wasn’t bad.
pouring white wine into the pan
adding rice to the whole shebang
Olga said not to stir it too much, so I didn’t, and it cooked down to a creamy consistency just as the rice reached al dente. I served each bowl with a dollop of allioli on top, which is to be stirred into the dish. I loved the extra boost the rice got from the allioli, because I felt it was otherwise understated. We also spread some of the allioli on bread, which was – dare I say it? – better than butter! You heard me.
just off the stove
A huge thank you to dear Olga for selecting such a wonderful challenge. I have been wanting to try something like this for quite some time. I have to say that of all the components, that allioli is the bomb – a keeper for me. Please check out what the other Daring Cooks did with the challenge this month!
Rice with Mushrooms, Cuttlefish, and Artichokes
by José Andrés
4 artichokes (you can use jarred or freezed if fresh are not available)
12 mushrooms (button or Portobello)
1 or 2 Bay leaves (optional but highly recommended)
1 glass of white wine
2 cuttlefish (you can use frozen cuttlefish or squid if you don’t find it fresh)
2-3 tbsps Sofregit (see recipe below)
2 cups (300g) short grain rice (Spanish Calasparra or Montsant are preferred, but you can choose any other short grain)
6 cups fish stock (use 1 ½ cup of liquid per ½ cup of rice)
saffron threads (if you can’t find it or afford to buy it, you can substitute it for turmeric or yellow coloring powder)
allioli (olive oil and garlic sauce, similar to mayonnaise sauce) – optional
Cut the cuttlefish in little strips. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and put the cuttlefish in the pan. If you use fresh artichokes, clean them down to the hearts. Cut artichokes in eights. Clean the mushrooms and cut them in fourths. Add a bay leaf to the cuttlefish and add also the artichokes and the mushrooms. Sauté until we get a golden color in the artichokes. Put a touch of white wine so all the solids in the bottom of the get mixed, getting a more flavorful dish. Add a couple or three tablespoons of sofregit and mix to make sure everything gets impregnated with the sofregit. Add all the liquid and bring it to boil. Add all the rice. Let boil for about 5 minutes in heavy heat. Add some saffron thread to enrich the dish with its flavor and color. Stir a little bit so the rice and the other ingredients get the entire flavor. If you’re using turmeric or yellow coloring, use only 1/4 teaspoon. Turn to low heat and boil for another 8 minutes (or until rice is a little softer than “al dente”). Put the pan away from heat and let the rice stand a couple of minutes.
a well cooked and fragrant sauce made of olive oil, tomatoes, garlic and onions
2 tbsps of olive oil
5 big red ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 small onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped (optional)
4 or 5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup of button or Portobello mushrooms, chopped (optional)
1 bay leaf
touch of ground cumin
touch of dried oregano
Put all the ingredients together in a frying pan and sauté slowly until all vegetables are soft. Taste and salt if necessary.
4 garlic cloves, peeled
pinch of salt
fresh lemon juice (some drops)
extra-virgin olive oil (Spanish preferred but not essential)
Place the garlic in a mortar along with the salt. Using a pestle, smash the garlic cloves to a smooth paste. The salt stops the garlic from slipping at the bottom of the mortar as you pound it down. Add the lemon juice to the garlic. Drop by drop; pour the olive oil into the mortar slowly as you continue to crush the paste with your pestle. Keep turning your pestle in a slow, continuous circular motion in the mortar. The drip needs to be slow and steady. Make sure the paste soaks up the olive oil as you go. Keep adding the oil, drop by drop, until you have the consistency of a very thick mayonnaise. If your allioli gets too dense, add water to thin it out. This takes time—around 20 minutes of slow motion around the mortar—to create a dense, rich sauce.