I can never leave good enough alone. This recipe would have been perfect for Meat-Free Friday if I had resisted the temptation to add a little chorizo to it. But I didn’t so there’s no meat-free post this week. Unless you want to make this without the sausage.
For a daring cooks meal, I actually didn’t find this to be very intimidating. It has a lot of steps, but none are very complicated. I actually made it on a weeknight – and not even a night where I came home straight from work! (I will confess though that dinner wasn’t on the table until 9 – this took about 90 minutes to make). It’s all about time management- make the allioli with the sofregit simmers, then you can relax while the final dish cooks.
Flavor-wise this was pretty good. I’ll confess that I’m not a big fan of paella, and this was a very paella-y dish. I don’t hate it or anything, but I do find it to be a little bland for my tastes. I loved what the artichoke added to this though. I’ve never had cuttlefish before, and was a little intimidated to use it, so I bought some that was precleaned and frozen from the Asian market. It had a very mild flavor, and a texture similar to squid or octopus. A little chewy, but not really tough. If you can’t find or don’t want cuttlefish, you could easily substitute squid, any other firm white fish, or even chicken. i think it would also be great with mussels and clams, but we might be venturing more into paella territory with that.
I used tomatoes and a green pepper from my garden for this dish. I’m so happy that things are finally ready to be harvested! I had a garden tomato sitting next to a store tomato and the difference in the way they looked was astonishing. I wish I had thought to take a picture. The tomato from the grocery store looked fine until I put it next to the other one – then it looked pale and sickly and not very delicious.
Rice with Mushrooms, Cuttlefish, and Artichokes
For the Sofregit:
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 4 tomatoes
- 1 small onions, chopped
- 1 small green pepper, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 Bay leaf
- Pinch of ground cumin
- Pinch of dried oregano
For the Allioli:
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- Pinch of salt
- Fresh lemon juice (a few drops)
- Extra-virgin olive oil- I used less than 1/4 cup
For the Final dish:
- 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and patted dry
- 12 Baby Bella mushrooms, cut into 8ths
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 glass of white wine
- Cuttlefish (I eyeballed the amount)
- Spanish Chorizo (I eyeballed it again)
- 2 cups short grain rice
- 6 cups seafood stock
- Pinch of Saffron threads
To make Sofrigit:
Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan. Cook for 30 minutes over medium-high heat until vegetables soften and form a thick sauce. Set aside.
Allioli (do this while the sofregit cooks):
Place the garlic in a mortar along with some salt. Use a pestle to mash the garlic into a thick paste. This might take a few minutes. (If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can use a coffee mug and a heavy spoon). Add a few drops of lemon juice. Add the oil, drop by drop, while you continue to mash everything with your pestle. Keep adding oil and mashing very slowly until you have a thick sauce, about the consistency of mayonnaise. This will take about 20 minutes. Chill until ready to use.
To prepare the dish:
Cut the cuttlefish into strips and slice the chorizo into thin rounds. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the fish and chorizo and cook until heated through. Add the artichokes, mushrooms, and bayleaf. Cook until artichokes begin to brown. Deglaze the pan with a little bit of the wine. Add the sofregit and the seafood stock, and bring to a boil. Add the rice and let boil for 5 minutes. Add the saffron, reduce heat to low, and cook an additional 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit several minutes before serving. To serve, top with a dallop of allioli on each pate.
The original recipe says this will serve 4, but I say it serves at least 6-8.