Saturday, July 2, 2011

Stuffed Artichokes

Behold  the Beauty, the Majesty, the Yumminess of the Artichoke!
This is one of my All-Time favorite veggies to eat and while they may look complicated...they aren't.
Picking your artichoke is very important. You want to look for a nice green color without too much brown edges or scarring (signs that it's old). Also you want to see some purple at the base of the leaves. Finally when you are holding it, and it's feeling heavy, give it a sqeeze. Do the leaves cave in? (another sign of an old artichoke) or do you hear a sqeeky sound and it feels firm? (the sign of a good one!)
Washing. If you wish to cut the tips (the pointy ends) of the leaves I would do it at this now (use kitchen sissors). Now put the choke under the water and make sure to open some of the leaves so the water can get in & around (if you didn't cut the tips off be careful, you might get poked). Then hold it upside down to drain out.
Then cut the stem off and put it on a microwave safe plate (be sure that it's sitting evenly)

Take a spoon and Stuff breadcrumbs down into the leaves (ya know right where there is a pocket). Keep pushing back leaves and stuffing them until you reach the top and you can't pry any more leaves open.
Melt some butter (2 TBS), lemon juice (1 TBS) and pour over the top. Add a bit of water to the bottom (2-3 TBS) of the plate and cover in plastic wrap

Yummmy do you see all that stuffing? Do you have to stuff the artichokes? No - you don't, but it makes it more filling and exciting!!
You want to Cook your artichoke in the  microwave (in your really clean microwave I might add) on high for
3 minutes for a small artichoke
6 minutes for a large artichoke (the artichoke pictured is a large one)

Aaaaah yummy....I'm drooling. But how can we tell that it's really done?

 Pull a leaf out (watch out it is literally steaming hot. I usually use a pot holder to handle it)
Can you pull the leaf out easily?  (If yes move onto the next question. If  No, cover it up and put it back to cook for 1 minute. Repeat until you can pull out a leaf. Do not exceed a total cooking time of 15 minutes)
Bite the base of the leaf  is it soft or crunchy? (well to be technical you scrape the end of the leaf off, as you can see)
Soft = Go and eat
Crunchy = cook one more minute
Eat! Pull leaves off  one by one dipping them in your preffered dipping sauce and eating each leaf at the base.
You have a few choices of dipping sauces out there. I've heard of melted butter or Mayo mixed with a bit of balsamic vinegar or even Ranch dressing.
My preffered dipping sauce is a simple Vinegarette of: Olive Oil, Vinegar, salt & pepper and basil
Once you get to the very thin leaves that are tipped wth purple and slightly translucent stop and pull them off (sorry I don't have pictures of it) You want to scrape off the Fuzz with a small knife. This Fuzz is the "choke" of the artichoke. Once scraped off you will be left with a grayish base of the artichoke - the Heart - this is the main event!! Cut up the heart and savor it, dipping it in the sauce.

How did you do? How was it? Let me know!! I want some feed back.
We are still looking for recipes that don't use your oven. It's summer FiNallY!! So turn off your ovens and show us what you can do!! E-mail us your no-oven recipe to (include recipe & picture of the dish)

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Heather said...

I love LOve LOVE artichokes. Definitely going to try this. I didn't know you could cook them in the microwave.

Carolyn Barber said...

Sounds yummy to me!

Erin @ Art+Food+Life said...

I have two artichokes in the fridge now for stuffing. I am looking all over the net for ideas. Thanks for the washing and picking seems mine have a little browning so are probably a bit old. Oh well. Now I know better!

Gaby Godoy de Porras said...

They look yum!! Look at mine too!!

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