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daring cooks: rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish, and artichokes

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

for dinner

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
[print recipe]
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.

traditional recipe

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.

39 nibbles at “daring cooks: rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish, and artichokes”

  1. yun says:

    wow loads of ingredients…and that looks really yummy…> <

  2. Anh says:

    Beautiful as always! I so love the look of your paella!

  3. abby says:

    looks goregous jen. hope you’re enjoying the mountains.

  4. Cate says:

    Your perfect dicing never ceases to amaze me! I need knife skills, stat!

  5. Anula says:

    Your allioli looks great – wish mine was so good… You had a lovely artichokes – unfortunatelly I couldn’t find them here (neither fresh nor frozen…). As always great job and beautiful photos! Cheers :)

  6. bekah jones says:

    I am a sucker for anything with artichokes in it. Can’t wait to try it! Looks delicious.

  7. Simone (junglefrog) says:

    O that looks absolutely gorgeous! I also used arborio rice for lack of spanish short grain rice, but thought it worked wonderful indeed…

  8. Fiona says:

    BETTER THAN BUTTER? I am shocked. Simply shocked.

    Otherwise, looks delish.

  9. TheKitchenWitch says:

    Hey, what IS a cuttlefish, anyways? (me sofa king)

    I think that allioli looks and sounds so good that I could just eat it with a spoon! Amazing!

  10. Whitney says:

    That is one impressive dish! Hope you are enjoying the mountains.

  11. Valérie says:

    Awesome job! I screwed up my allioli… But for the rest, I loved this challenge. Your pictures have such vibrant colours!

  12. Chez US - Denise says:


    This was a great dish! Your photos (as always) really capture the cooking steps and the finished result.

    I hope you have a GREAT time in the Rockies!


  13. jennywenny says:

    That looks totally delicious. I failed, yet again, to deliver on the daring cooks. Hopefully I’ll have time to get something together next month. I was totally planning on doing it on Sunday and my cousin visited.

    Seeing your pictures actually makes me want to give it a try, it kind of sounded a bit gross to me with the cuttlefish. Its the kind of thing I only eat at restaurants rather than at home.

    I’m not sure the allioli would work for me as my stomach really complains about raw garlic.

  14. Woman with a Whisk says:

    Beautiful pictures, as always. Yours looks absolutely beautiful!

  15. bee says:

    that looks sensational. enjoy your explorations of the rockies.

  16. pigpigscorner says:

    Wow, yours looks really good!Screwed up my allioli, had to add an egg!

  17. Rosa says:

    That dish looks so good! A delightful combo!



  18. Tartelette says:

    Aioli here, allioli there…it’s all good, it’s garlic! And you spread it on bread like the Frenchies do with their bouillabaisse. I officially adore you…yep, I am vain…just for that. Kidding! You know I already did!
    Looks scrumptious, delicious and I bet the smells were outstanding in your kitchen that day!

  19. Amy I. says:

    Braincation, ha! New favorite word. Your dish looks divine, I think I can smell it through the computer screen :)

  20. Denise says:


    Your post is incredible, as always. Hope you are enjoying the weekend, and please bring back more beautiful nature photos captured along the way!

  21. Charli says:

    High on pictures is always wonderful–especially when they look so wonderful!

    I thought the allioli was better than butter on bread too…although I was to timid to admit it :)

  22. spanish rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish, and artichokes recipe … | brownrice says:

    […] See original here: spanish rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish, and artichokes recipe … […]

  23. Richard Brandon says:

    I used to make aioli (with yolks) all the time at my last job in Ann Arbor. Use to but it on our fresh bread all the time! Geat post, Jen. The dish looks delicious. Enjoy the mountains.

    Richard from Boulder

  24. Audax Artifex says:

    Hope the mtns are delightful like this dish. Wonderful series of photos and the final dish superb. Wonderous effort and results. Cheers form Audax in Australia

  25. Megan@Feasting on Art says:

    Looks so yummy! I love the first shot of the artichoke, beautiful detail and colours.

  26. Asianmommy says:

    Yum! I never knew what saffron looked like. This dish looks wonderful!

  27. Manggy says:

    Oooh… Creamy, seafood-y, and, uh, artichoke-y. “Nutritious and delicious” as my friend says :) Great, it’s made me hungry just in time for a midnight snack! :P

  28. Caitlin says:

    Now look who’s throwing saffron around :) That looks absolutely fantastic, and the flavors sound wonderful. I’ve never made a traditional allioli, but you can’t go wrong with that much garlic, can you?

  29. Eesh says:

    Braincation? LOL. That’s what I plan to go on once I meet a stupid “milestones toward PhD” deadline tomorrow. The dish looks terrific, but then everything you make always looks and sounds so yummy. And the recipes I’ve tried have always rocked the house. I’m going to have to mark the start of my braincation with this recipe.

  30. Lori @ RecipeGirl says:

    What a gorgeous dish. Everything about it looks healthy and delicious! Hope you’re having fun in the Rockies… don’t try to bake anything! I was recently in Lake Tahoe & tried to bake as usual (using some high altitude modifications) and everything I made was a disaster!! Sinking muffins, flat cookies… bleh.

  31. Margaret says:

    Jen!! That looks incredible.

    I so wanted to make, but cannot get cuttlefish, or squid, or octopus anywhere in Podunk, USA. Maybe I could make without the fish.

  32. diva says:

    oh yum yum! this looks lush. :) lovin all the pictures too x

  33. Cindy says:

    You made me hungry..

  34. Suzie says:

    I loved the allioli best of all as well. I am in awe of your photos…something to aspire to!

  35. Mrs Ergül says:

    This is really cool! I will have to bookmark the recipe for further reading! And that reminds me that I NEED a mortar and pestle!!

  36. jenyu says:

    Thanks all for your comments! We had a lovely time backpacking and visiting with my in-laws :)

    Lori – I actually live at 8500 feet, so I bake at high altitude all the time :)

  37. mimi says:

    this looks delicious!! love your translation of mis en place :-) hope to join the daring cooks soon!!

  38. Michele says:

    Quick questions – I’m wondering why the recipe for the sofregit uses the large quantity of all the ingredients, when the paella only requires 3 tablespoons of it?

  39. jenyu says:

    Michele – I wondered that too. I have a boat load of sofregit in my freezer now… It’s great on bread :)

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