Rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes – a Daring Cooks challenge

This months Daring Cooks challenge brought to you by Olga from Las Cosas de Olga and Olga’s Recipes

daring cooks rice
Spanish Rice dish with killer allioli in the background, killer.
 
The great thing about The Daring Kitchen is that it pushes you out of your comfort zone, you are forced to make something different, unusual and prescribed by someone else. Hell its kind of like TAFE except there is no teacher Chef there to guide you, to tell you to add more olive oil to your allioli or else your lunch will keep those pesky vampires away for at least a week. With Daring cooks you are almost on your own. And I like that, except for the intensely garlic’ed allioli experience, that is.

daring cooks rice

This months challenge was Rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes, a dish that I would previously have overlooked because I don’t own any fancy equipment, like a paella pan. Now, I surely wasn’t going to go and buy a silly pan just for this challenge (and especially not considering my soon-to-unfold plans, more on that later), so I made do with my trusty frying pan, and it worked well enough. So the moral of this story is threefold:

- accept challenges, you might learn something,
- so much stuff is unnecessary,
- put more olive oil than you think necessary in your hand made allioli (or less garlic).

This dish is an interesting tumble of different flavours and textures, softly puffed rice, rich with complex vegetal, fishy flavours, slightly chewy cuttlefish, yielding earthy mushrooms. Just be sure not to overwhelm its subtlety with garlic crazed allioli. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

daring cooks rice

Rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes
Recipe by José Andrés
Serves 4

4 Artichokes (I used a jar), cut into quarters or eighths.
12 Mushrooms, cut into quarters
1 or 2 Bay leaves
1 glass of white wine
2 Cuttlefish
“Sofregit”
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) – optiona

Cut the cuttlefish in to small pieces. Fry in a few tablespoons of oil in your pan. Add the bay leaf, mushrooms and artichokes, and saute until golden. Deglaze your pan with the wine, carefully scraping all the deliciousness from the bottom of the pan. Add a whole pile of the sofregit (hell just use all of it, I did!) and let bubble away for a few minutes. Add the liquid, bring to the boil and then add the rice and boil for about 5 minutes.

Add the saffron, stir the mixture, then reduce the heat and simmer gently until the rice is cooked (the original recipe said 8 mins but what the hell? Mine took at least another 20 – 25 mins for the rice to be just al-dente). When rice is cooked to your liking, remove from heat and let rice stand for a few 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)

2 tablespoons of olive oil
5 big red ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 small onions, chopped
1 green capsicum, chopped (optional) (I used a red capsicum because they’re so much tastier!)
4 or 5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup of button mushrooms, chopped (optional)
1 Bay leaf
Salt
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 (maybe it’s not!)

Allioli
(Traditional recipe)
Can I say it one more time? Add more oil than you think necessary, my allioli was way too intense

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.

This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

7 Comments

  1. Posted August 15, 2009 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Looks delicious! I love alioli as well – but yes, the dreaded garlic breath that oozes out of your lungs and pores. Apparently chewing on copious amounts of fresh parsley is the antidote.
    .-= Forager´s last blog ..Vietnamese eating tour – the mighty Mekong =-.

  2. Posted August 15, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Hehe I loved the garlic aiolli. I couldn’t stop dipping my fingers in while I was cooking. But it was quite powerful wasn’t it?
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..Daring Cooks Challenge: Spanish Rice by José Andrés =-.

  3. Posted August 15, 2009 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Lili! I’m shocked. Turmeric as a substitute for saffron? Quelle horreur. Otherwise, all looks great! Do you think arborio would work?

    Forager, the Lebanese have been eating crazy amounts of tabbouli for centuries, and garlic is present in kilos in most of our dishes, but I promise you, parsely does not do the trick, neither for the breath, nor the thirst that results from eating garlic. Nothing can conquer garlic…
    .-= SydneyCider´s last blog ..Foraging Bamberg =-.

  4. Posted August 16, 2009 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    Wow what a great effort. I just loved the allioli in small doses. Lovely photos I really like the steam coming off the dish. Cheers from Audax in Australia
    .-= Audax Artifex´s last blog ..Hazelnut Citrus Stone Fruit Macarons #4 =-.

  5. Posted August 17, 2009 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I would hardly call a paella pan fancy. Specialised, yes. I purchased one myself but I didn’t have an pan with a suitably wide surface area to make paella. It’s a nice size and surface for pancakes and crepes.

  6. Posted August 24, 2009 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Interesting recipe – I would never have thought of combining these ingredients on one dish. Will give it a go. Thanks for sharing!
    .-= Foodlover´s last blog ..Richmond Hill Cafe & Larder =-.

  7. Posted August 31, 2009 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Forager: Interesting. I just deal with it. Haha, it takes a massive hit of garlic to make me shy away, doesn’t happen too often!

    Karen: I don’t think I added enough oil to mine, but it was awesome.

    SydneyCider: Well, I’m too poor to fork out the big bucks required for saffron, but I couldn’t stomach the tumeric, so I omitted both. And, I used arborio too.
    Thats right, garlic conquers all!

    Audax Artifex: Thanks! I was too hungry to wait for it to cool before photographing :)

    Simon: Maybe I meant ‘specialised’ as opposed to ‘fancy’. Plus, if it is something that you can use for something else then it isn’t so bad. In my situation I just can’t do it, (no kicthen space, no money, having to move often, crap stove, etc).

    Foodlover: No worries!

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