Saturday, July 19, 2008

Stuffed Artichokes

I saw artichokes at the supermarket and something inside me yelled "Get them, get them". But what will I do with them? This was sort of like a coq-au-vin moment (don't ask) and the little voice answered "Stuffed them."

That was it. I'd been reading alot about Italian food recently and for me, stuffed artichokes sounded Italian and rustic. So off I went in search of a recipe for these big bulbs.

My first stop was YouTube where I watched Alton Brown and Grandma Thelma prepare artichokes. Having never seen anyone do anything with an artichoke before, YouTube helped. Tuns out the trick is to chop the top, another chop above the stem, dig out the choke, remove a few of the tough outer leaves and chop off the little thorns which top every large leaf. You then follow a recipe like the one I found at Make stuffing, pull back leaves, shove in stuffing. Simple. I served it with grilled prosciutto wrapped halibut.

The recipe was alright. It was different but there's alot in an artichoke that you can't eat. There are even videos out there which show you how to eat an artichoke. Except for the middle-lower leaves, the crown and the heart, an artichoke is a pretty boring affair. But I saw another recipe where you boil the artichokes and then fill the hole in the middle where the choke used to be with hollandaise sauce. The artichoke is like it's own dipping bowl. Genius.

Of course you could always buy the preserved artichokes in the cans or bottles. They'll save you the trouble. But if you're up for an experience, buy a few artichokes. They're fun. And a bit scarry. Just a bit.

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