Entries Tagged as 'artichokes'

Mushroom Stuffed Artichokes…OMG you haven’t lived til’ you’ve tried these.

Ok.  So here I am.  In the middle of a “winter” depression sort of wallowing state…and BAM!  Out comes the sun.  The warmth.  The joy of breathing the air that sustains us.  The little push I needed to get the fack out of my house and do something.  So of course, where *does* one go when one wants to get out and explore new territory?  Tread new ground and experience new sensations?  Well, the Central Market of course.  Duh.  *rolls eyes*  “What stuff is fresh and wonderful and juicy and succulent today?  What awaits my dear windowless, but filled with birdsong kitchen?” I ask.  The answer?  Artichokes.  And Mushrooms.  And a few other things to tantalize the senses.  You see…it’s artichoke season!  Being from Minnesota, up until recently, I had no idea wth an artichoke really even was in its original state, let alone how to prepare one.  But last year,I made it my bidnez to learn.  This year?  I made it my bidnez to look beyond the typical artichoke dips, and dipped artichokes for that matter and decided to stuff that puppy.  Well, it really wasn’t a puppy….I’m not *that* adventurous (or heartless), but it was hella good, let me tell you….the mushroom stuffing is almost like a paté, but not quite. 

 

This was a bit of a mistake at first, being all zealous with my food processor and stuff, but in the end, it wound up being better than I expected.  Yay!  All hail mini food processor! Woot!  Lookit what came of the adventure in veggie shopping—first, the ingredients:

ingredients

BTW…if you’re not terribly familiar with fresh artichokes and how to choose them, here is a quick tip:  Be sure to choose heavy artichokes for their size.  The outer leaves should be a little tough, but not loose or soft.  If you can find them without the brown edges–even better.

Ingredients:

6 artichokes
1 lemon, halved (half to lemon the artichokes, half to throw in the cooking water)
sea salt to taste
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely minced
1 cup minced mushrooms (fresh)
1/2 cup minced ham (omit for vegetarian)
1/4 cup cream
grated parmigiano to taste (about 2-3 tablespoons)
salt and pepper to taste
chopped chives to taste
2-3 tablespoons grated parmigiano
1 tablespoon bread crumbs

Preparation:

First, prepare the artichokes.
For instructions on how to do this, please consult this post, with the following exceptions:
First remove all tough outer “leaves.”
After having rubbed the chokes with lemon, remove the stalks and centers with a paring knife.
While the artichokes are boiling, prepare the filling.
Using your mini food processor, mince first the garlic, then the onions, then the mushrooms. (If you don’t have one, you can obviously do this by hand, but for me? I saved a huge chunk of time using the gadget. lol)
Heat butter over medium high heat.
Saute garlic first, then add onion and saute until translucent.
Add mushrooms and saute over medium heat until liquid has evaporated.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add in ham and stir.
Add in cream, stir around and reduce a bit.
Add in some grated parmigiano cheese.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
When artichokes are finished cooking (it should take about 15 minutes, more or less…depending on the size of your chokes), drain and cool sufficiently to handle. (VERY important. I burned the crap out of my hand trying to stuff them while hot. *such* an idiot. :P )
Add chopped chives to filling mixture and stir.
Fill artichokes with mushroom filling.
Combine a bit more Parmigiano and the bread crumbs and top the chokes with this mixture.
Broil for about 5 minutes or until golden.

Artichoke Pasta

I made this a while ago, but as you have probably realized, I haven’t been able to get on the computer much recently.  This pasta dish is a simple and elegant side for chicken or pork, and I think it would even work cold as a salad.

artichoke pasta

Ingredients:

8 ounces (250grams) spiral (or other) pasta
1 can quartered artichokes (14 ounce 350 grams)
1 packet pine nuts (about 1/4 cup), toasted
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation:

Prepare pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, prepare artichoke sauce.
Toast pine nuts and reserve.
Heat olive oil over medium heat and sautee garlic until golden.
Add lemon juice, salt, pepper, and artichokes, and toss to combine.
Add sauce to pasta (previously cooked and drained).
Add Parmesan cheese and pine nuts and toss to combine.
Adjust seasoning and serve warm or cold.

Artichokes are in Season! What the heck do I do with them, though?

If you’re like me, and did not grow up in an area where fresh artichokes are plentiful, you may have felt a little intimidated by them. Maybe you’ve seen them in the store, but not had the slightest idea how to prepare them.  If you’re like me, I mean.  LOL  Well, now I am fortunate enough to live here, where artichokes are at the peak of their freshness, so I asked my local fruit vendor to clue me in.  Here’s what she said to do with them:

artichokes 

First, wash them thoroughly under cold running water.
Then get a pot of water ready, add a bit of salt and the juice from 1 lemon.
Now, using a sharp chef’s knife, cut approximately an inch from the top.

artichokes cutting

The artichoke should look something like this after cutting:

artichokes cut

You’ll need to rub the cut bits with a lemon to prevent them from oxidizing (turning black).
After you’ve lemoned (that’s not a word, is it? haha) them up, use a kitchen shears to remove any thorned edges.

removing thorns

Place the artichokes in the prepared pot of lemon and salt water.
Bring to a boil, then cover and lower heat to medium low and cook for about 20 minutes (depending on the size…for larger artichokes, cook longer and vice versa).
While the artichokes are cooking, prepare the lemon butter dipping sauce.

cooked artichokes

dipping the artichoke leaf

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons butter, melted
juice from 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons minced parsley
salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Preparation:

Whisk all together and use to dip artichoke leaves.
To eat the leaves, tear each one off, dip in sauce, and then bite down on the leaf, pulling the leaf through your teeth, to remove the softer flesh.
Discard the tough outer skin of the artichoke after removing the tender part.

I served the artichokes with a simple pan seared pork chop (just seasoned with salt, cracked black pepper and a hint of garlic, then garnished with chopped parsley) and a baked potato.  Deliciously springy. :)

pan seared chop

canarygirl




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