Why, I Artichoke You!

Artichokes5

May the 4th be with you, everyone!  Yes, I could not have timed this better.  Last night I made artichokes and I think I scared my children by consuming them with a speed and pleasure they have never before seen.  I couldn’t help it.  I adore those weird looking things!  My mother used to make them on special occasions when we were growing up and I remember feeling the same level of excitement when they hit the plate in front of me.  I have my mother to thank for most of my exposure to lesser known foods and I hope to expose my kids to the same wonders.

I only made 2 artichokes last night because Jamie wasn’t home and my boys don’t inhale them like I do, but the recipe will make 4.

Eating an artichoke can be daunting for a lot of people, so I’ll try to give an easy tutorial for those new to their wonders after the recipe.

Boiled Artichokes

Ingredients
  • 4-5 quarts water
  • 4 artichokes
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
Dip Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup mayo or Miracle Whip
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice (you may need to add a little more if using mayo)
  • Salt, pepper, Tony’s to taste
Directions
  1. Fill a 6-8 quart sauce pan with enough water to cover the artichokes, and then add the 1/4 cup salt and 1/8 cup lemon juice.  Bring to a boil.
  2. Cut the top 1/3 off of the artichokes, trim the stems so they will sit flat on a plate and snip the sharp points off of the outer leaves (if necessary).
  3. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, place the artichokes, leaves up, into the boiling water.  Use a heavy pot lid or similar to keep the artichokes submerged (I learned this trick from Emeril and I love him for it!), like so:Artichokes2.jpg
  4. Reduce heat to a gentle boil and cook for about 30 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the dip ingredients, adding salt, pepper and a dash of Tony’s (if desired) to taste, stirring until creamy.  Set aside.
  6. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove the cooked artichokes and place upside down to drain, cooling until not to hot to handle. Artichokes3
  7. Serve with dip.

For the artichoke newbies:

  1. Remove the leaves by pulling gently downward and away.
  2. Dip the thicker end of the leaf
    Artichokes7
    Gross?  Maybe.  But this is what it should look like when you’ve eaten it.

    (the side which pulls away from the body of the artichoke) into the sauce and then scrape the thicker, lower inside of the leaf with your teeth to remove the “meat.”

  3. When you get close to the center, the leaves get smaller and you can actually eat the meaty end without scraping.
  4. When you reach the fuzzy looking part, you are at the heart.  Simply use a spoon or knife to remove the fuzz and enjoy the heart.
Artichokes6.jpg
The fuzz hiding the good stuff is easy to scrape away

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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