Friday, August 14, 2009

Daring Cooks--August

Dear Daring Kitchen gods,

Please never ask/tempt me to prep an artichoke heart by myself.

Thank you,

This month Olga from Olga's recipes brought to us a wonderful dish created by Jose Andres. he hosts the TV show Made in Spain as well as owning a few restaurants in the Washington, DC area. Her dish of choice is......Rice with Cuttlefish, mushrooms, and Artichokes! Thank you Olga for the chance to play around with a wonderful looking seafood dish.

Since we all know (by we all, I mean me lol) that I follow recipes oh so well, I'll include my ministrations in blue. As well as my best attempts at some pretty pictures.

Here we goooooooo....

Rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4):

--4 Artichokes (you can use jarred or frozen if fresh are not available) I made a valid attempt to use a fresh one. I really did. Maybe I just bought a crap artichoke, but it honestly ended up a total waste of money by the time I had mauled the thing to death and gotten not very much heart out of the deal.
--12 Mushrooms (button or Portobello) I used a giant white one.
--1 or 2 Bay leaves (optional but highly recommended)
--1 glass of white wine She said in a later update that she meant somewhere around 1/3 cup. I just dumped some in. A couple
--2 Cuttlefish (you can use frozen cuttlefish or squid if you don’t find it fresh) Found frozen squid, but only in a 5 pound package. No way do I need that much squid on hand. I chose to use scallops. I like scallops.
--“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. I used brown rice. Gestational diabetes limited me here, and brown rice is a little better than white so it's what I used.
--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


  1. Cut the cuttlefish in little strips. I used smaller bay scallops so no cutting was needed.
  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. Cut artichokes in eights. I repeat. Failed miserably.
  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. I dumped some in a couple times. I like white wine in food. Don't hate. Gotta get my alcohol however I can for another couple months.
  8. Add a couple or three tablespoons of sofregit 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. Skipped this step completely. No way am I buying Saffron in Euro since that'd be uber expensive.
  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.
Sofregit (a well cooked and fragrant sauce made of olive oil, tomatoes, garlic and onions, and may at times different vegetables such as peppers or mushrooms)-

Cooking time
: approx. 1 hour

Ingredients: I didn't make near as much of this as this recipe made.

--2 tablespoons of olive oil
--5 big red ripe tomatoes, chopped Only used one
--2 small onions, chopped Used 1/2 cup maybe?
--1 green pepper, chopped (optional) nada
--4 or 5 garlic cloves, chopped forgot it when shopping...used minced. I slack I know.
--1 cup of button or Portobello mushrooms, chopped (optional)
--1 Bay leaf
--Touch of ground cumin
--Touch of dried oregano


  1. Put all the ingredients together in a frying pan and sauté slowly until all vegetables are soft.
  2. Taste and salt if necessary (maybe it’s not!)
And since I forgot to buy garlic while shopping I was missing an essential Allioli ingredient (It's made up of garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice. Mostly Garlic.) Luckily it was an optional component so my little (read large) pregnant self was not forced to get back in the car and go shopping again.

So Let me say that this was DELICIOUS! Both the husband and I loved it. While I didn't follow the recipe exactly, I tried to stay within the spirit of the dish. I know my pictures don't do it justice. Give it a shot. Not as hard as it seems. Most of it is just letting it cook on the stove while you wash the dishes and sweep the floor and scrub the fridge out. Don't like artichokes? Use asparagus! Not a fan of seafood or allergic? Try some chicken and chorizo! I'm hoping that the sofregit can be made in large batches and frozen since I loved it. Serve it over pasta (If I'm ever allowed to eat it again, or on crispy bread. Or as a sauce over some tilapia.) I have plans for this one! Delicious and worth the effort (other than that freaking artichoke.)


  1. I was wondering if brown rice would've worked with this. I know it will change the texture, but I think I'm going to give it a try next time I make it!

  2. Yummy looking Spanish dish! Great job! :)

  3. I loved the sofregit as well! I used it to cook a pot of mussels as a base for the broth with white wine and tons of garlic. Delish! And this rice recipe was beautiful (despite the artichoke problems!).

  4. LOL@ your artichoke letter to the DK gods! Yes, it's something you need to get used to, using a super sharp knife (I always cut

    Your final outcome looks so delicious and lovely! Great job!

  5. I honestly thought I was the only one who could not properly prepare a fresh artichoke! But there I find you with the same issue! I did buy two of the things and having never prepared and artichoke in my entire life, I can safely say that I will not attempt that again! Soooo little was left of the thing! Was it too small or is that normal? Anyway, love your idea to use scallops too; would have saved me the whole squid

  6. I actually enjoyed being pushed to try the fresh artichoke. Call me a masochist. Great work on the challenge. I skimmed through and read all of your comments in blue and was laughing as I read.

  7. Awesome post!! I'm glad you enjoyed the dish, it looks lovely =D. Sorry about the diabetes (my mom had it with me), but if you really really want a bit of pasta, you could always try some gluten free brown rice pasta, which is also lighter than wheat pasta... Anyways, wonderful job with this challenge!

  8. Diabetes what a bummer but you did the challenge so well and don't worry about the artichoke so much work for so little heart use the frozen stuff is much better. And I just love your plate that strong pattern is so nice against the seafood rice. Cheers from Audax in Australia

  9. Mary, that looks fantastic and it was very entertaining to read! yeah for you!

  10. Oh yum I bet the scallops were wonderful. I didn't even try to cut up an artichoke, I just bought a little jar and dumped them in.