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Saturday, August 15, 2009

More seafood!

Well, I certainly seem to be on a seafood kick recently! Between pan-frying cornbread battered fish, making fish and spinach quesadillas, and the last daring cook's challenge of Skate with Traditional Flavors Powdered, I think I have eaten more seafood in the last two months than...well...in the entire rest of my life combined! o.0

Not that that is a bad thing. I really like seafood. :)

So this months daring cooks challenge is ALSO seafood. This time, cuttlefish (and once again, a kind of fish that is not easily accessible in the middle of the midwest)!

This month's daring cooks challenge was hosted by Olga of Las Cosas de Olga and Olga's Kitchen. She chose a Spanish dish called Rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes by José Andrés, a well-known Spanish cook.

ingredientsHere's all of the ingredients..

So first I started the sofregit cooking. That wasn't too hard, just a couple of tomatoes (chopped), and onion (chopped), some garlic (chopped), bay leaves, and spices.

sofregit...mmmmTomatoes and spices and onions oh yum!

While that was cooking away (and smelling mighty good!), I learned how to cut artichokes. I don't think I have ever EATEN artichoke before, much less cooked with it. So, that was definitely an experience.

Conclusion? Artichokes. Are. Weird!Interesting...

I need a better knife. And now I need to clean my kitchen, and I just cleaned today! D:

And then I de-stemmed and gilled the portobello mushrooms. I have never done that before either, but it was kind of fun. Mushroom gills are soft. ^_^

Portobello Road, Portobello Road...Mushrooms!

Anyways, so then I took out the shrimp and ran half of it under cold water to thaw, removed the sofregit from the stove, and heated up olive oil and started cooking the shrimp.

And it was at this point that...my digital camera died. T_T Noooooooooooooo....So, sorry, no pictures of the finished dish. ^^'

Once the shrimp had been sitting in the oil for a bit, I threw in the mushrooms and artichoke hearts, and a couple of bay leaves, and sauteed that for a while.

Then, I added white wine, mixed that up for a bit, and then added the entire amount of sofregit. I didn't make a terribly large amount, to begin with...

After letting that sit for a bit, I added the water and brought that to a boil. Once it was really boiling, I added the rice, and boiled that for five minutes.

I substituted tumeric for saffron. I could actually find saffron, but I wasn't going to spend $16 on it, and I already had tumeric.

Then the rice boiled for another 8 minutes and sat until we decided to eat.

Final DishRice and shrimp!

I was going to make some delicious Spanish dessert to go with this, but I either didn't have the ingredients for things or my husband wasn't hungry for them. And I didn't really want to run to the store, so...no dessert. I'll have to make dessert another night. :P (I was debating between arroz con leche, which Syd doesn't really like but I do, churros, flan, and custard...sigh...but my milk went bad!)

Anyways, here is the official recipe, with my changes in italics.

Rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokesExcept I used shrimp instead
Cooking time: 45 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4):
As I was serving only 2, I made a half recipe, but it still served more than two :P
•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 freezed cuttlefish or squid if you don’t find it fresh)or shrimp...seafood is hard to find in the midwest, and cuttlefish are too cute to eat anyways!
•“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 sushi rice because that was the only short-grained rice I could find
•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) I tok the tumeric option, saffron is too expensive
•Allioli (olive oil and garlic sauce, similar to mayonnaise sauce) - optionalOptional, so I didn't make this, I don't have a mortar and pestle...gosh, some people have everything!


1.Cut the cuttlefish in little strips. Thaw the shrimp
2.Add 1 or 2 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and put the cuttlefishshrimp 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 cuttlefishshrimp 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 or the whole batch 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.
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)

I also made a half-recipe of this

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


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!)

Because I did not make the optional part of this recipe, the Allioli, I am not including the recipes for that here.

Final Verdict
I have decided that I don't really like artichokes, and they taste kind of like cooked broccoli. Ew.

However, overall this dish was very good. I think it might have been better if I had been able to use fish stock, but I definitely liked it with the shrimp.

Syd thought it was good, too. =)

1 comment:

Audax said...

Wow the 1st time you prepared artichokes!!! Well it seems that you really enjoyed this challenge and from the pixs you did an excellent version. Yes seafood is very good for you I wonder if we will get seafood again in the next DC challenge. Bravo on you effort. Cheers from Audax in Austrlia