Friday, August 14, 2009

August Daring Cooks ~ Rice With Mushrooms, Cuttlefish and Artichokes

Olga, from Las Cosas de Olga and Olga’s Recipes, chose the August Daring Cooks Challenge for the The Daring Kitchen website. Her choice was a delicious Spanish recipe, "Rice With Mushrooms, Cuttlefish and Artichokes," by José Andrés, one of the most important Spanish Chefs of this time. He trained under well-known Ferran Adria at his three Michelin star restaurant El Bulli.

José Andrés lives now in Washington DC and he owns several restaurants in Washington DC area, such as El Jaleo, Zaytinya, and Oyamel. This recipe is from his US TV show "Made in Spain."

Rice with Mushrooms, Cuttlefish and Artichokes

The first step --make the "Sofregit" which is a well cooked and fragrant sauce made of olive oil, tomatoes, garlic and onions, and may at times be made with different vegetables such as peppers or mushrooms.

Cooking time: aprox. 1 hour


2 tablespoons 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

The completed Sofregit

Rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes

Cooking time: 45 minutes


1 Chopping Board
1 knife
1 medium saucepan
1 Paella pan (30 cm/11” is enough for 4 people. If not available, you may use a simple pan that size)
1 Saucepan

Ingredients (serves 4):

4 Artichokes (you can use jarred or frozen 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)
“Sofregit” (see recipe below)
300 gr (2 cups) Short grain rice (Spanish types Calasparra or Montsant are preferred, but you can choose any other short grain. This kind of rice absorbs flavor very well) – about 75 gr per person ( ½ cup per person) Please read this for more info on suitable rices. Water or 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

The ingreadients

A cleaned cuttlefish


1 - Cut the cuttlefish in little strips.
2 - Add 1 or 2 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and put the cuttlefish in the pan.
3 - If you use fresh artichokes, clean them as shown in the video in tip #7. Cut artichokes in eights.
4 - Clean the mushrooms and cut them in fourths.
5 - Add a bay leaf to the cuttlefish and add also the artichokes and the mushrooms.
6 - Sauté until we get a golden color in the artichokes.
7 - Put a touch of white wine so all the solids in the bottom of the get mixed, getting a more flavorful dish.
8 - Add a couple or three tablespoons of sofregit ( see recipe above) and mix to make sure everything gets impregnated with the sofregit.
9- Add all the liquid and bring it to boil.
10 - Add all the rice. Let boil for about 5 minutes in heavy heat.
11 - 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.
12 - Turn to low heat and boil for another 8 minutes (or until rice is a little softer than “al dente”)
13 - Put the pan away from heat and let the rice stand a couple of minutes.

The completed dish -- a delicious taste of Spain!

Some of Olga’s helpful tips:

(1) In Spain, rice is not stirred as often as it is when cooking Italian risotto. You must stir it once or twice maximum. This tip is valid for all Spanish rice dishes like paella, arròs negre, arròs a banda…

(2) If you can’t find cuttlefish or squid, or you’re not able to eat them because of allergies, you can substitute chicken or a vegetables of your choice.

(3) Sofregit can be done in advance. You can keep it in the refrigerator or even freeze it.

(4) For more information on how to clean and remove the heart of artichokes, please watch this video

(5) To watch how Jose Andres cooks this dish click here.

(6) For help on conversion to metric to imperial, visit this page.

Olga gave us the challenge to make Allioli (a crushed garlic condiment) as the optional part of the recipe, and as much as I love garlic my husband can not eat as much of it as he used to, so I did not make it. Please visit Olga's blog today see two recipes for Allioli.

Thanks, Olga, for a wonderfully challenging recipe and a delicious authentic Spanish dish! I learned quite a bit making it and we enjoyed the interesting flavors.

Please be sure to see The Daring Kitchen web site's blogroll for the links to other blogs that participated in this month's Daring Cook Challenge, and to learn more about the monthly challenges and to see information on how to join.


Anna said...

I also enjoyed the challenge! Your dish looks great! Cheers :)

Jenny said...

Looks like an intriquing dish. The base is much like sofrito - a staple I use in Cuban cooking with the addition of achiote seeds.

Lauren said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed the challenge!! Your dish looks amazing, bursting with flavour =D.

Juliana said...

Your feature dish looks very tasty and the idea of cumin and oregano in it...yummie!

Joyce said...

Cuttlefish? Now that is a first for me and some challenge too. It looks delicious. Glad you enjoyed my Woodstock post:)

Rhonda Hartis Smith said...

I've never heard of a cuddlefish but your dish looks delish!

Audax said...

Wow that is the biggest bag of saffron I have seen in Australia that would cost over $200!!!! It is $10 for a small pinch here. Your Sofregit is so red and so rich looking wonderful effort. Love how you used cuttlefish that is superb. Cheers from Audax in Australia

Tracy said...

Oh, this is sooo good, Pat! I just love everything about this dish...i wish you could send me some--LOL! Gosh, I've not had cuttlefish in years. Even the base itself is good enough to eat! And where did you get that HUGE bag of saffron? Inquiring minds want to know. ;o) Hope you are having a great weekend, my friend. ((HUGS))

Valérie said...

I love how smooth your sofregit looks!Great job!

Anonymous said...

Looks and sounds so delicious. I've never had cuttlefish before.


steviewren said...

Pat, this post has something for all the senses, food, taste, music and beautiful pictures. You pull it all together so well. I imagine you and hubby eating by candlelight with Spanish music playing softly....if you ate in front of the TV don't spoil my fantasy by telling me!

Sue said...

Oh I usually adore all you cook but that cuttlefish is a bit creepy for looks like calamari on steriods...just what kind of fish does it look like with it's skin on??

isa said...

Your dish looks delicious - beautiful pictures!

cherie said...

love, love, love anything with rice! gotta try this!

Catherine said...

Now that is a creative recipe! I watch his TV show whenever I can.

Junie Moon said...

Since I couldn't use cuttlefish (substituted chicken), I'm glad to see what the cleaned fish looks like before cooking. You always do such a fine job with these challenges. The Daring Kitchen adventures is proving so much fun, new techniques, new foods, and unique ideas from around the world.

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Pat, my mouth was watering the whole time I was reading this post. Looks like a delicious recipe.
♥, Susan

Unknown said...

Absolutely scrupmtious!!! I am starving already :P

Foodfunfreak said...

Wow this looks so delicious and the photograph also look lovely and colorful :)