Thursday, May 21, 2009

Making art from artichokes

I am obsessed with artichokes in every form.  It is hard for me to walk past artichokes in the grocery store without buying them.  Artichoke dip,  in pasta, marinated, steamed, sauteed, and today for the first time stuffed. 
Tonight the artichoke was the main attraction. I love to have a simple dinner of just vegetables and fruits (my children hate it obviously, too bad for them.)  
The hardest part of artichokes is turning it to art, which means you have to remove the choke (I am so proud of myself for coming up with this clever pun!)  The choke is the little pokey fur in the middle of the artichoke.
First cut off the stem so the artichoke can sit flat in the pan.  Then saw off the top with a big serrated knife. Using your fingers loosen up the leaves, and with a melon baller scoop out the center white leaves, along with the pokey choke.

Now artichokes brown really fast, so have a lemon on hand to rub on the bottom and squeeze a little juice on the inside and rub it around with your finger. Now that your artichokes are art, get about 2 inches of water boiling in a pot big enough fit your artichokes single file.

Time to prep the stuffing:
3 T approx. fine diced onion
2 cloves garlic fine diced
2 T butter
1 T olive oil
2 c approx. fresh bread crumbs (I put a hoagie roll into the blender, use whatever old bread you have don't use the store bought bread crumbs)
Big handful of shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

In a saute pan add the butter, oil, garlic and onion and saute till fragrant, careful to not burn the butter Season with salt and  fresh ground pepper. In a bowl, combine bread crumbs and cheese. Add onions and garlic mixture.  Season with a little more s and p. Combine well with your fingers. Stuff into the center of the artichokes and try to get some in between all the leaves.
 Put into the pot, the water should go up a little less than half way up the artichoke.  Steam them on medium heat until you can poke the bottom and it is tender ( it takes awhile between 30-40 minutes). They are so delicious!

1 comment:

Maria said...

I adore artichokes! Great post!