victorthecook: (Default)
[personal profile] victorthecook
Another recipe, naturally. My corner store has been selling high-quality artichokes for $1 each, and slightly imperfect ones for fifty cents. So I started playing around with roasting/braising/gratineeing them. Tonight was simple, with thyme from the garden and lemons from the corner store.

Take 6 or so artichokes and 2 lemons. Prepare the artichokes to the artichoke bottom stage: Cut off the top half of the artichoke and throw it out. Break off the outer leaves all round the outside, until you reach the pale green part and the leaves start looking more meaty and less stringy. Cut the artichoke in half vertically and scoop out the choke and the thorny leaves just over the choke. Rub the artichoke half with a cut lemon so it doesn't go brown and nasty looking. If the stem is meaty, trim the green parts. If it's like mine, just cut the stem off. Put the artichoke half, cut half down, into a glass baking pan or casserole. Repeat for the rest of this artichoke and the other 6. You want to crowd the pan to keep evaporation down. Squeeze the rest of the lemons over the artichokes, then put the spent lemon halves into the pan too. Sprinkle the whole business with a generous amount of salt (a tablespoon would probably do), and sprinkle on a tablespoon of dried thyme or so. Drizzle the whole business with a bunch of olive oil. Now cover the pan with foil and bake it in a 375F oven for 20 minutes with the foil on. Remove the foil and give it another 20-30 minutes in the oven to finish. Discard the lemon halves and serve the artichokes with the thyme-lemon-artichoke juice pan sauce.

If you let it cook too long uncovered, the outsides will be dried and tough, and the middles will be a bit soft. If that happens, remove the outer leaves before serving them. The flavor will still be good even so. I expect they'll also be fine at room temperature, if you have leftovers.

Date: 2011-06-24 04:20 pm (UTC)
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
From: [personal profile] madfilkentist
That reminds me of the old joke with the punchline, "Artie chokes two for a dollar!"

Date: 2011-06-26 05:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] victorthecook.livejournal.com
oooof. My career as unintentional straight man continues unabated.

Date: 2011-06-26 01:36 am (UTC)
batyatoon: (cooking is...)
From: [personal profile] batyatoon
I have never been able to bring myself to try any recipe that begins with "cut off the top half of the artichoke and throw it out." I love whole artichokes too much. *sheepish*

Date: 2011-06-26 05:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] victorthecook.livejournal.com
I completely understand -- I wasn't prepared to do anything of the sort until I had an excess of artichokes. When they were fifty cents each, I bought quite a few all of them... which gave us 6 or 7 artichokes per person. After two days in a row of whole artichokes, I felt I could branch out a bit for day 3.

The other thing is, there's not much if any edible artichoke in the top half. You're cutting above the choke, and the part of the leaves that's up there isn't anything you'll get edible material out of. The choke is inedible, of course, and when you snap the outer leaves off, the meaty part stays behind. You may lose a bite of the tiny thorny leaves above the choke, but that's all.

That being said, you could also serve whole steamed/boiled/roasted artichokes with a vinaigrette made with lemon juice and thyme-infused olive oil.

Date: 2011-06-26 02:59 pm (UTC)
batyatoon: (chibi!)
From: [personal profile] batyatoon
My usual dipping sauce for steamed artichokes is made with melted butter (or margarine), lemon juice, garlic, and a few herbs including thyme. I've tried an olive-oil variant for room temperature, but it never seems to work as well.

An excess of artichokes sounds like a fabulous dilemma to have. :D

Somewhere around I have a recipe for cream of artichoke soup; would you be interested?

Date: 2011-06-26 07:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] victorthecook.livejournal.com
Sure! Our weather has been in the high 50's and foggy; a cream soup would ward off the chill.

Date: 2011-06-26 07:23 pm (UTC)
batyatoon: (cooking is...)
From: [personal profile] batyatoon
I could not find the cookbook. :( But a quick google search found this: http://localfoods.about.com/od/spring/r/ArtichokeSoup.htm

It looks pretty close to the version I have. Somewhere.

Date: 2011-06-26 05:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] victorthecook.livejournal.com
As an update to this recipe -- the artichokes are indeed fine at room temperature as appetizers. I wonder if my landlord would notice if I snuck some artichoke plants into the back of the yard...

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Date: 2011-07-29 01:57 am (UTC)
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