sábado, 14 de febrero de 2015


We are back to the kitchen with a great recipe, very tasty, and very nutritionally complete, with ingredients from the Sea and from the Garden, with artichokes and squid, which we find very yummy.

We love rice, rice of all kinds, seafood rice, assorted meat rice, mixed rice, black rice, we just love them all, ... but this one is very special and it was superb. We truly encourage you to prepare it and if you follow the step by step recipe, you will definitely succeed !

But before we share our recipe, we have some useful information about one of the centerpiece ingredients of this recipe, the artichoke.  Now, while they are in season, is the best time to take advantage of this highly nutritional ingredient—it’s the perfect time of the year to cook them often and enjoy them very much.

In addition to its culinary benefits, the artichokes offer a number of health benefits that compel us to incorporate this food into our menu.  We are going to list some of its many benefits:

* Artichoke is low in calories and fat. Dietary-fiber helps control irregular digestion, decreases bad or "LDL" cholesterol levels by binding to it in the intestines and helps cut down colon cancer risks by preventing toxic compounds in the food from absorption.

* Fresh artichoke is an excellent source of vitamin, folic acid. Scientific studies have proven that adequate levels of folates in the diet during pre-conception period, and during early pregnancy, help prevent neural tube defects in the newborn baby.

* It also contains moderate amounts of anti-oxidant vitamin; vitamin-C. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.

* It is also rich in B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid that are essential for optimum cellular metabolic functions.

Further, artichoke is a rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. Additionally, it contains small amounts of antioxidant flavonoid compounds like carotene-beta, lutein, and zea-xanthin.

You can read more at http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/artichoke.html

What a healthy and also rich vegetable. We are ready share the recipe with you and hope you enjoy preparing and eating it as much as we did:

* 11 oz (300 grs) Round-Grain Rice
* 2 Squid, cleaned
* 4 Artichokes
* 1/2 Cup (125 ml) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* 1 Leek
* 2 Cloves of Garlic
* 1 Red Bell Pepper
* 1 Green Bell Pepper
* 2 Ripe Tomatoes
* Saffron Strands
* 1 Tbls Sweet Paprika (Pimentón Dulce)
** 1 Spanish ñora, a dried sweet pepper with almost no hotness
* 1 Glass Dry Sherry Wine
* 1 1/4 Cups (750 ml) Fish Broth ++
* Salt
* Freshly Ground Black Pepper
* 1 Lemon
** We urge you to prepare this dish with the pulp of the ñora pepper.  They are easy to find in your local grocery store in Spain, or procure online if you are no longer in Spain.  As a last resort, you may substitute with 3 parts California Chilis, 2 parts Ancho Chilis and about 1/8 teaspoon of Lemon Juice for each chili used - ñoras have a definite sour tang to them. This mix is a shade darker in flavor and has a little more heat than real ñoras, but it's reasonably close.

* To start with our recipe, we are going to wash, and peel the artichokes well, and then quarter each of them.  And we are going to keep them in a bowl with water, juice from half a lemon, and some parsley, so that they don’t discolor.
* We rinse the squid well and cut them into rings, then set aside for now.
* And let's chop all the vegetables, separately, into small cubes (brunoise style); the leek, the cloves of garlic, the green and red peppers, and the tomatoes.
* In a large oven resistant frying pan we add the olive oil, and when it is hot, we'll brown the artichokes, and then add the squid and continue browning.  Remove the browned artichokes and squid from the frying pan and set aside.
* In the same frying pan with the remaining oil, we are going to fry all the vegetables; first the leek, the cloves of garlic, the red and the green pepper.  Add the sweet Paprika and stir in well, and finally add the chopped tomatoes, the saffron strands and the pulp of the ñora, stir again and let's fry everything again very slowly.
* We add the squid and the artichokes, we stir everything, and then add the white wine, and keep on cooking it until the alcohol evaporates, and finally we are going to add the rice.
* We are going to stir well so that all the flavors mix together, and after a few minutes, we add the fish broth.
* We are going to cook it on the stovetop on high heat for 10 minutes, and then place the pan in a preheated oven for 10 more minutes at 355º F (180º C).
* Once this time is up, we remove it from the oven, and cover the rice pan with a cloth for a few minutes before serving at the table.

And ready to enjoy our nice rice dish with our friends or family :)  It is delicious and we are sure they will be very pleasantly surprised!

For the Fish Broth – Yields 6 1/2 cups (1 1/2 liters):
* Shells and heads from 6-8 Shrimp  
* 1 Small Rockfish
* ½ White Onion
* 1 Green pepper, roughly chopped
* 1 Bunch Parsley
* 1 Tomato
* Add to a cooking pot 6½ cups (1½ liters) water, the rock fish, the skin and the heads of the shrimp, the onion and the roughly chopped green pepper, the parsley and the tomato.  We let it boil for half an hour.  Strain the liquid broth and discard remaining ingredients.

But before we leave, we would like to remind you that it would be great to hear your opinions about our recipes !  Please feel free to contact us via email: pilaraprendiendoacocinar@gmail.com and tell us about your experience.

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