I Heart Artichokes

SaturdayStirrings

Since the holiday season is fast upon us, even though it’s still 114 balmy degrees in Florida, I’m going to give Mr. Linky a go for Saturday Stirrings next Saturday.

I for one will be searching for new holiday recipes to try.  Especially ones that include a liqueur as a primary ingredient.

Did I just say that out loud?  And yes, I’ll be republishing my infamous Rum Ball recipe soon.

So, if you have a recipe that you want to share, post it on your own blog, and copy and paste that particular URL link to Mr. Linky next week.  Or you can always leave a recipe in the comments section.

This week, I wanted to talk about a particular food that had me confounded and confused for years.  Besides Sushi.

I’m talking about Artichokes.

I just didn’t get them at all.  And I mean I DID NOT UNDERSTAND A FOOD THAT WOULD WANT TO HURT YOU BEFORE YOU EVEN ATE IT.

But then, many many years ago, my girlfriend Karen (the one who officially introduced me to Fiddledaddy) served Artichokes at a dinner we attended.  She opened my culinary tastes to a whole new world.

I’ve now been eating them for years (when they’re on sale, because they aren’t cheap) and there is usually a scuffle between me, Emme, and Cailey over who gets the best leaves.  Although leaves doesn’t seem the right description.

But, whatever.

Here’s what you do.  (And there are hundreds of Artichoke recipes out there, this is a nice basic one.)  I don’t have this written down anywhere, I’m just relying on my memory.  Which is dicey, at best.  I hope I make sense.

Recipe for Basic Artichoke

Wash the Artichoke thoroughly.  I soak them in a pan with 1/4 cup of vinegar, and then rinse really well.

On a cutting board, slice an inch or so off the top.  Then slice off the bottom stem.  Take kitchen shears and cut the pointy ends off of all the “leaves.”  Taking great care not to impale yourself.

Artichokes

(trimmed Artichoke)

Using both hands, open the center up just a little.  Sprinkle a bit of lemon juice over the Artichoke.  Then place the Artichoke (standing upright) into a pan that contains about an inch of boiling water.  Reduce to simmer, and cook in covered pan for 25 minutes.

When the time is up, drain the Artichoke on a paper towel, until it no longer will burn your fingerprints right off of your hand.

Heat up some trans-fat free Margarine (I love Smart Balance) or you could throw caution to the wind and use real Butter.  Season the margarine with a squeeze or so of lemon.

But how do you eat the darn thing?

Think of it as an appetizer.  You pull off a leaf at a time, dip it into the melted butter, and using your front teeth, scrape off the inside of the leaf into your mouth.

I KNOW!  TOTALLY PRIMITIVE.  It sounds just weird, but it tastes wonderful.  And it’s a vegetable after all.  Green even.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!  And don’t forget to set your clocks back Saturday night!

DeeDeeSig

October 30, 2009

6 Responses to I Heart Artichokes

  • I’ve only used the hearts. I’ll have to try this sometime. . .

  • Hubby and oldest daughter LOVE them too. I’m much lazier then you…..quick rinse, toss in covered dish, microwave for 6 minutes, let sit while BUTTER is melted in microwave and BAM I’m done and they are in heaven! 😀 I love when they “fight” over the heart!

  • Oops, forgot to mention there is enough water in the coverd dish to just cover the bottom. 😀

  • Artichokes are one of the great food mysteries of the world. Thank you for breaking it down into easily understandable words. I think I can do this! I’ve had them at restaurants but never tried cooking them at home. (They’re rather intimidating, aren’t they?)

  • I like to cook the artichoke in salt water and eat it with lemon.

  • My Aunt used to stuff them with breadcrumb stuffing (similar to stuffing used in a chicken or turkey.) Mmmm, Mmmm GOOD!