Oh my goodness did we dine well this evening!
Disclaimer for Jake: No cuttlefish were harmed in the creation of this wonderful Spanish dinner. I used squid and shrimp in its place, because I know that you have a soft spot in your heart for those cuddley cuttlefish.
Now, on to dinner....
This was fabulous! It was so good that I immediately felt like speaking Spanish as I was eating it. Making this dish was also a great opportunity for to try a few new things in the kitchen, which is the whole goal of the Daring Kitchen community. To learn more about the Daring Kitchen, click on the link at the right side of my post.
The host for August's Daring Cook Challenge is Olga from Olga's Kitchen. Click on Olga's link for the full recipe.
I enjoyed preparing this dish because many elements of the preparation were new to me. It made my house smell great and it challenged me to use some ingredients that I had not used before.
For instance, I had never heard of "sofriget" before, even though I am sure that I HAVE made that before. Essentially, this is a mixture of fresh tomatoes, garlic, onions and olive oil simmered until all the vegetables are soft. Other vegetables can be added as well. The recipe called for the addition of green pepper and a bayleaf. Isn't it pretty? It smelled good too!
The next step was something I had heard of, but had the courage to try before: cooking squid.
I used frozen squid- which worked fine for this recipe. (Someday I will disect my own - but in the interest of time and effort, frozen squid will do) The actual recipe called for cuttlefish, but ever since my son told me how awesome these creatures are...well, I just didn't have the heart (although I am a bit curious about how these might taste)...and SQUID? well, squid are just ugly little sea creatures that taste good...so they seemed like a logical substitution.
Squid was also suggested by Olga as a viable substitute as well, and she seemed to be spot on about a lot of things related to this dish.
I followed Olga's recipe, but added a few of my own special touches. I chopped some chorizo sausages (the spanish salami type, not the mexican ground stuff) and added some shrimp to the mix.
Olga added two recipes for garlic aiolli- one traditional, and one modern. The aiolli is served along side the rice and adds a new dimension to the rich tomatoey flavor of the dish.
I took the opportunity of having squid in the house to prepare some calimari (easy, easy, easy!) Just dredged the remaining squid in flour and dropped in hot oil. A little salt and pepper and a sprinkling of paprika and we were good to go. (oh, the manchego, chorizo and olives were also nice.)
This dish paired well with a nice green salad and a bottle Oak Grove Chardonnay. Muy Bueno!