Thursday, August 13, 2009

Daring Cooks August Challenge

About The Daring Kitchen

The Daring Bakers: A History

In November 2006, Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice decided to challenge themselves to bake pretzels for the very first time using the same recipe. They each went ahead and posted about it on November 18, 2006.

Having enjoyed that experience tremendously, they decided to try it again the next month, this time choosing to bake biscotti. And to make matters even better, they were joined by a few more food bloggers.

As the months went by, their baking group continued to grow, until it was finally decided that this "little baking group" had to have a name and The Daring Bakers were born!

Today, The Daring Bakers span the world as bakers of all nationalities come together once a month to try something new in the kitchen!

August's challenge and my first was hosted by this is Olga from Las Cosas de Olga.

The Challenge

Rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes.

I'm sure she will post the original recipe on her site, so I'll just post my verson. It had a few minor changes.


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) I used a red pepper, to keep the red colour
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
Added a large pinch of paprika


Put all the ingredients together in a frying pan and sauté slowly until all vegetables are soft. Taste and salt

Because I’m lazy I put all the ingredients in a bar mix and chopped finely, before sautéing in a pan. After I had used the amount needed in the rice dish, I pureed the rest and used as a sauce in the plate.

Rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes
Ingredients (serves 4):

4 Artichokes (you can use jarred or frozen if fresh are not available) not impressed with this vegetable, this was my first time cooking with it. Not sure if it’s just the ones we can get here, would substitute fresh for jarred next time.
12 Mushrooms (button or Portobello)
1 or 2 Bay leaves (optional but highly recommended)
1 glass of white wine
2 Cuttlefish (you can use frozen cuttlefish or squid if you don’t find it fresh)

I used Chicken

“Sofregit” (see recipe above) tripled the amount added in the recipe

300 gr (2 cups) Short grain rice
Water or Fish Stock (use 1 ½ cup of liquid per ½ cup of rice) Used Chicken stock
Saffron threads Use Lots


Cooking time: 3-4 minutes

1 small egg
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil (as above, Spanish oil is highly recommended)
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 Tbs. Spanish Sherry vinegar or lemon juice (if Sherry vinegar is not available, use can use cider or white vinegar)
Salt to taste
I added a little saffron for flavour and colour

Break the egg into a mixing bowl.
Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the garlic cloves, along with the vinegar or lemon juice.
Using a hand blender, start mixing at high speed until the garlic is fully pureed into a loose paste.
Little by little, add what's left of the olive oil as you continue blending.
If the mixture appears too thick as you begin pouring the oil, add 1 teaspoon of water to loosen the sauce.
Continue adding the oil and blending until you have a rich, creamy allioli.
The sauce will be a lovely yellow colour.
Add salt to taste.

It is so much easier to make this in a blender; all you have to control is the flow of the oil. I didn’t like the flavour of this; if I was making it again I would change the following ingredients.

Roast the garlic in the oven for 1-2 minutes before peeling and adding
Use a flax seed oil or walnut oil

Perhaps because I didn’t use fish, the flavours of the rice where so delicate I felt the Allioli overpowered it.


  1. It looks great against the black, with the nice slash of orange in the foreground! Where can we see all the challengers and the winner?

  2. Congrats on your 1st DCooks challenge. I just love that black plate and those red and white sauce teardrops. And the seafood rice looks so delicious yummmmmmmmmmmm!!!!! I'm sure you'll tweak the recipe to your liking since it is so versatile. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

  3. Aah another early post from a fellow Aussie! Congrats on your 1st challenge and beautiful photo :)

  4. Thank you, it was alot of fun.

  5. Congrats on a first DC Challenge beautifully done! It looks delicious, and your plating is spectacular, as is the photo! VERY well done!

  6. Congratulations on your 1st challenge, you managed so well! Platting is just beautiful.
    Congrats again!

  7. Congrats on your first challenge! Very nice photo and yummy looking dish :)

  8. Congratulations on your first challenge! It's looks delicious!

  9. Great job on the challenge, looks wonderful!

  10. Gorgeous!! Your dish looks perfect - Wonderful job with your first challenge =D.

  11. I found I had the same issue with the allioli but I felt it had more to do with the rest of the recipe than the allioli itself.

    Loved the way you plated up :)

  12. Your dish looks delicious - love the presentation!
    Congratulations for your first challenge!


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