I'm so excited to have participated in my first Daring Cooks Challenge. August's challenge was hosted by Olga from Olga's Recipes, and the recipe was a Catalan dish: rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes. I had been meaning to make paella for some time now (I had even bought saffron!) so this was a perfect opportunity to try it out!
Instead of using cuttlefish, I used pre-cleaned squid -- partly because Seafood Counter Guy at Whole Foods had never heard of cuttlefish and partly because I saw some pictures of not-cleaned cuttlefish (ink sac and innards and all) and I got REALLY scared.
I also substituted the fish head stock with chicken broth and a dash of Japanese dashi since I was scared of dealing with fish heads (yes, I know, I'm Chinese - how could I be afraid of some fish heads?)
Finally, instead of cleaning out 4 fresh artichokes, I bought canned artichokes.
Over all, this dish was a success! It met the HAF - Husband Approval Factor (actually, my husband's quite a foodie, so this means something. 🙂 The allioli totally made the dish - the pungent raw garlicky essence on the rice really created a zing that made this dish incredible.
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 4 Artichokes
- 12 Mushrooms (Baby Bellas)
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 glass of white wine
- ¾ lb cuttlefish
- Sofregit (click here for recipe)
- 300 gr (2 cups) Short grain rice
- Fish stock (use 1 ½ cup of liquid per ½ cup of rice)
- Saffron threads
- Allioli (click here for recipe)
I had never bought or cooked squid before so I was slightly scared when I opened up the package. Yeeks!
I guess they didn't look too bad. At least they were clean, and quite easy to chop.
1) Add 1-2 T of olive oil in a pan and saute the squid.
3) Saute until the artichokes turn golden brown. (since my artichokes came from a can and were already sort of yellow, I just sauteed until the veggies softened a bit ~ 5 minutes)
4) Add a splash of white wine so that all the solids in the pan get mixed together
5) Add 2-3 tablespoons of sofregit and mix to make sure everything gets impregnated with the sofregit. (I ended up dumping ALL the sofregit that I had made into the pan - it still turned out great!)
8) Add saffron (I added like 10-20 threads)
9) Bring to a simmer and let cook for 8 minutes or until "al dente"
10) Remove pan from heat and let it rest for another few minutes
Serve with allioli on top.
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