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ART OF THE ARTICHOKE

Stuffing them is an Art! And I could eat them every night. I saw a cooking show last night that put blue cheese in the middle and baked it so it melted and the middle became a dipping pot of cheese and bread crumbs, uh…YUM I will be doing that next time. For this time I am doing the traditional stuffed (according to my household tradition) with a little extra treat in the middle (wait…you’ll see).
WARNING! Do not under any circumstances put the leaves of the artichoke in the garbage disposal! especially 2 entire artichokes worth when you are done eating them. The repair man will think you are crazy and your dinner will end up costing you more then you bargained for (yep..i did it & yep the guy thought I was an idiot and would only talk to my husband after he found out what i did) hahahaha

WHAT YOU NEED:
2 Artichokes (or more if you have more guests. I eat the entire thing but these could be cut in 1/2 and shared)
2 Lemons and their zest
1 Cup + 1/4 cup breadcrumbs  (panko if you’ve got them or homemade is even better. I used panko today)
1 Tbls Capers
1/2 cup minced sweet onion or shallot
1 clove garlic minced
1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts drained (optional but worth it)
3 Tbls butter
oilve oil
fresh parsley & lemon zest for garnish

WHAT YOU DO:
Trim the artichokes: this is a little time consuming but take the time to do it correctly.
remove the stem and a few of the bottom outer leaves (if there are dried up looking ones)
then cut the top off about 1/2 inch I actually use kitchen scissors then trim the sharp tips of each leaf .
turn it upside down and press to loosen the leaves a bit.
In a large stock pot bring 6 cups water to a boil (at this point you can do just a little water and steam them or boil them in a lot of water, they come out the same)
add salt and 1 lemon cut the peel off to avoid it becoming bitter this will add great flavor to them
Put them cut side up or stem down & drizzle with a little olive oil.
They never stay really green even though you put lemon in the water so they do get a little drab looking but you will dress them up
Cover and cook for 35 minutes (this can be done a day ahead if you like)
Once they are cooked let them cool about 30 to 40 min so you can handle them.
Gently pull the artichoke open from the center to expose the pinkish tiny leaves on the inside. You have to remove those and take out the “choke” it is not nice to eat. use a spoon and scrape the “hairs” out trying not to take out the heart.

For the stuffing: Melt the butter in a saute pan and add onion and cook until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook just of a few min to soften the raw flavor and add the bread crumbs (add fresh herbs if you have them, thyme would be nice).
Squeeze the juice of 1 or 2 lemons into the crumbs and brown. If you notice the stuffing is too wet add more bread crumbs if it is too dry add more lemon & a little olive oil. It should be about the constancy of stuffing for a turkey. It is going to cook and the top will get dryer and crunchy.
Chop the capers and add them at the end of the cooking.
Drain the jar of artichoke hearts and chop them.
Once the choke is removed loosen the leaves and start stuffing, I try to put a little in each leaf and then once you get to the middle here is the TREAT put in some of the chopped artichoke hearts (Tablespoon or so) then fill it with the stuffing.
Bake at 350 for 30 mins until the stuffing is golden and the leaves are starting to brown.
Sprinkle with the parsley and lemon zest to serve. Put a couple dipping sauces on the table if you like. I do a sweet Balsamic vinaigrette and a creamy Aoli

A MASTERPIECE!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jasmine Pahl
    Mar 29, 2012 @ 18:16:57

    This looks DELICIOUS!! Thanks also for showing in detail how to clean the ‘chokes. I always seem to be left with the hairy stuff when I try and make them!

    Reply

  2. Trackback: Gorgonzola and Camembert Stuffed Artichokes « Kolpona Cuisine

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