There are very few things in life that I find as satisfactory as the ability to ‘kill two birds with one stone.’ Regardless of what it is, I love the feeling of getting double the results from my effort. I still remember the exact feeling of the light bulb going off above my head in undergrad when I realized that classes for my political science major could also count as my general curriculum requirements. In lieu of a language, I could apply classes I was already going to take for my major and count them as culture requirements. Score!
I went through a similar feeling when the stars aligned properly for the two cooking groups in which I participate. This week’s Whip It Up up theme is “Favorite Chef” – i.e., make a recipe from your favorite chef. Well, the chef part was easy for me – Jose Andres. Those in the D.C. area know him from his outstanding restaurants Jaleo (my favorite), Oyamel, Zaytinya, Cafe Atlantico, and minibar. The rest of you may know him from his public television show “Made in Spain" or perhaps from his appearance on Iron Chef, where he defeated Bobby Flay in ‘Battle Goat’. But then came the hard part… what to make? I don’t own any of his cookbooks, so I scoured the internet. While there were several recipes that piqued my interest, such as this amazing looking Guacamole in a New Way, I was often lacking access to ingredients or supplies (for example, my ice cream maker for the guacamole is in storage in my parents’ basement along with the rest of my kitchen supplies, waiting until I have a kitchen larger than a shoebox).
Then, the Daring Cooks’ challenge recipe was announced. And what was it? Rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish, and artichokes from none other than… Jose Andres.
The recipe was chosen by Olga of Olga’s Recipes, and you can view the original recipe here (I made a few changes in my version). She suggested adding in squid in lieu of cuttlefish, which is what I did, since I was easily able to purchase fresh, cleaned squid at Whole
Paycheck Foods. I was a bit concerned about the squid in the recipe since it is boiled for so long – I have not worked with cuttlefish so perhaps it is perfect for the cuttlefish – but decided to just go ahead and try it as the suggested direct subsitute. Typically when I deal with squid, if I am boiling it, I do it for no more than 30 seconds. This recipe has a good 12+ minutes of boiling with the squid. Indeed, the squid did turn out far chewier than I would have liked. In retrospect, I should have listened to my gut and pan seared the squid in the beginning, removed it from the pan, and then added it to the boiling mixture for no more than a minute. I need to be better about trusting my own judgment in the kitchen even when it deviates from a reputable recipe. Even with the rubbery squid, I still enjoyed this quite a bit, and will certainly experiment with it more in the future.
Rice with Mushrooms, Cuttlefish, and Artichokes
adapted from Jose Andres
- 6 artichokes, cleaned, chopped into eights
- 1 large portobello mushroom, chopped roughly
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 generous splash white wine
- 1/2 pound squid, mixture of tubes and tentacles
- 3 tablespoons sofregit (recipe below)
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 3 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon tumeric
- Cut squid tubes into strips. Cut apart any large clumps of tentacles.
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan and add the squid. Add bay leaf, artichokes, and mushrooms.
- Sauté until artichokes are golden in color.
- Add splash of wine to deglaze the pan.
- Add sofregit and mix well to distribute the flavors.
- Add water and bring to boil. Stir in rice and boil over high heat for 5 minutes.
- Add tumeric and lower heat to medium. Boil another 8 minutes. or until rice has softened.
- Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes before serving.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 giant tomatoes, or 3 medium sized, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 green pepper, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 portobello mushroom, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- salt to taste
- pinch ground cumin
- pinch oregano
Place all ingredients in a frying pan and sauté slowly until all vegetables are soft, approximately 1 hour.