August 14, 2009

daring cooks august 2009 challenge | rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes

my very first daring cooks exciting!! i purchased some cuttlefish from a local asian market, picked some veggies from my garden and got to cookin'...

i decided to make the sofregit sauce the night before to intensify the flavors...

my ingredients....onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, portabello mushroom, garlic, bay leaf, cumin and dried oregano (not pictured)

which were then minced with a hand food processor

everything came together quite nicely to form an intensely flavored tomato sauce. i imagine this could work great with many spanish dishes.

the next day i started on my dish...

my ingredients...white wine, home-made fish stock (thanks mom!), rice, cremini mushrooms, artichokes, saffron, bay leaf, sofregit and cuttlefish

before putting everything on the stove, i made my traditional allioli...what a workout!
garlic, salt, extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.

finally i got my rice dish going...

oops, was i not supposed to cook my artichokes before? oh well, i decided to just add those at the very end.

and lastly...the final product...ta daa!!

and my sad attempt at plating....haha...I'M LEARNING!

overall i liked the taste of the dish...although it definitely needed a bit more seasoning in the end. always a problem when i'm cooking since i'm so sensitive to sodium and always scared of over-salting. i registered for these challenges to learn new cooking techniques and i definitely feel this one stepped up to the plate. i would have never attempted to make a spanish rice dish on my own. and don't get me started on the cuttlefish!! it was my first time ever handling any type of whole fish...peeling the skin and cleaning the innards was not a pretty sight!

having a sister in spain, who happens to be a chef, i kept on thinking how any of her rice dishes could easily put mine to shame. haha. this whole cooking thing is definitely a learning process. can't wait till the next one...

rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes
serves 6
  • 2 fresh artichoke hearts - cut into eighths
  • 8 oz of cremini mushrooms - cut into fourths
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 class of white wine (i used 2 buck chuck sauvignon blanc)
  • 1 cuttlefish - cleaned and cut into 1" strips
  • 3 generous spoonfuls of "sofregit". recipe to follow.
  • 2 cups short grain spanish rice
  • 5 cups of fish stock (though chicken or vegetable would work too)
  • saffron threads
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • allioli. recipe to follow.
add olive oil to pan and add cuttlefish. cook for a few minutes. add the bay leaves, artichoke hearts and mushrooms. saute until artichokes are golden. pour white wine over the mixture so all solids at the bottom get mixed, resulting in a more flavorful dish. add three generous spoonfuls of sofregit, making sure to mix well. add the fish stock and bring to a boil. add the rice and boil over high heat for 5 min. add a couple pinches of saffron threads to enrich the dish with its flavor and color. turn to low heat and boil for 8 minutes, or until the rice is a little softer than "al dente". put the pan away from heat and let the rice stand for a couple of minutes. serve with alliloi and sofregit.

  • 10 small tomatoes or 3 large ones - chopped
  • 1 portabello mushroom - chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper - chopped
  • 1 med onion - finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves - minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • salt
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
heat olive oil in a pan. add garlic and onions and saute for a minute. add mushrooms and bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes. add tomatoes and bay leaves. let cook for 5 min. add the cumin and oregano. salt to taste.

allioli (traditional recipe)
  • 4 garlic cloves - peeled.
  • pinch of salt
  • fresh lime juice - some drops
  • extra virgin olive oil
place the garlic in a mortar along with the salt. using a pestle, smash the garlic cloves to a paste. add the lemon juice to the garlic. bit by bit, pour the olive oil to the paste, mixing in between pours. keep turning your pestle in a slow, continuous, circular motion in the mortar. keep adding oil until you have the consistency of a very thick mayonnaise. this will take about 20 minutes.


  1. Ciao ! I think you did a wonderful job !! I love your dishes !

  2. Excellent first DC challenge! I'm always afraid of over salting too, so I need to have others That said, love your photos, and the dish turned out lovely and mouth wtering!

  3. Great final result - deliciously looking dish. Like your plaiting and your photos a lot :) Cheers!

  4. wow, this looks fantastic! well done!

  5. Wonderous effort yes I know what you mean all my friends and family are top class chefs and it's hard to keep the standard sometimes. Superb photos so professional looking. Cheers from Audax in Australia

  6. Your photos are great and it looks like you did a swell job with this dish! Congrats on a first challenge well done!

  7. Your allioli turned out much better than mine.

    What is that beautiful table of yours. I am looking for a mortar and pestle, do you like yours?

  8. Congratulations on your first challenge - nicely done!
    Your dish looks delicious!

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  10. thanks everyone for the encouraging comments :)

    climbhighak - the table is actually part of a costco living room set. you just never know what you'll find there. i absolutely love the rustic look of it and am now in search of a similar dining set.

    my mortar and pestle was a gift from my grandmother and is very old. i love it...but the pestle is heavier than most and quite a workout. have never used another kind, so i can't compare to more modern models.