The Challenge: Rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes by Jose’ Andres
The scoop from our hostess Olga from Las Cosasde Olga and Olga’s Recipes: Hi all, this is Olga and I’m pleased to be your host at August Daring Cooks Challenge. I’ve chosen a delicious Spanish recipe, Rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes by José Andrés, one of the most important Spanish Chefs at the moment.
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 (El Jaleo, Zaytinya, Oyamel…).
The recipe I bring you is from his US TV show Made in Spain. I hope you enjoy it.
Rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 4 Artichokes (you can use jarred or freezed if fresh are not available) (I used asparagus.)
- 12 Mushrooms (button or Portobello) (My choice was baby bellas.)
- 1 or 2 Bay leaves (optional but highly recommended)
- 1 glass of white wine (I used about 1/2 cup.)
- 2 Cuttlefish (you can use freezed cuttlefish or squid if you don’t find it fresh) (Used 1 pound of raw shrimp.)
- “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. (Like many other Daring Cooks I used sushi rice.)
- Water or Fish Stock (use 1 ½ cup of liquid per ½ cup of rice) (I made stock from Salmon Heads.)
- Saffron threads (if you can’t find it or afford to buy it, you can substitute it for turmeric or yellow coloring powder) (I used about $6.00 worth of saffron threads !!!)
- Allioli (olive oil and garlic sauce, similar to mayonnaise sauce) – optional
SOFREGIT – Preparation
Sofregit (a well cooked and fragrant sauce made of olive oil, tomatoes, garlic and onions, and may at times include different vegetables such as peppers or mushrooms)
Directions: Put all the ingredients together in a frying pan and sauté slowly until all vegetables are soft. (In the video it looked like the sofregit was cooked to a thick paste that was a reddish brown color.) Taste and salt if necessary.
2 Fresh Salmon Heads (I got mine from Whole Foods at no charge. The butcher had just prepared their salmon for display and had salmon heads.)
2 Shallots, sliced
Fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
Allioli (Traditional recipe)
Cooking time: 20 min aprox. (Took me closer to 30 minutes.)
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- Pinch of salt
- Fresh lemon juice (some drops)
- Extra-virgin olive oil (Spanish preferred but not essential) (Used just over 1 cup of olive oil.)
- 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 (took me longer) of slow motion around the mortar—to create a dense, rich sauce.
José’s tips for traditional recipe: It’s hard to think that, when you start crushing the garlic, it will ever turn into something as dense and smooth as allioli. But don’t give up. It’s worth the extra time and effort to see the oil and garlic come together before your eyes. Just make sure you’re adding the olive oil slowly, drop by drop. Keep moving the pestle around the mortar in a circular motion and keep dreaming of the thick, creamy sauce at the end of it all. (I even resorted to the “Dorothy from Kansas” move of closing my eyes, clicking my heels together three times while chanting “thick creamy sauce”… “thick creamy sauce” … “thick creamy sauce”. I am happy to let you know that magic not only happened for Dorothy and her ruby red slippers … but for me and my white Sketcher tennies!)
Thank you Olga for such an exciting Daring Cooks challenge.
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