Sunday, April 17, 2011
Someone's in the Kitchen with Ginger!!!
Once you get them home, slice off the stems near the base, creating a flat surface on which the 'choke will balance. Next, lay each artichoke on it's side, and slice off the top third. Rub the cut areas with half a lemon to prevent browning, and trim the tips of the remaining leaves if they are sharp.
To prepare the stuffing, use fresh white bread crumbs- Momma G usually used leftover hamburger or hot dog buns, which have a perfect "brown" to "white" ratio. You can use dried bread crumbs from the store, but your stuffing will be dryer. Create enough mixture of half bread crumbs and half grated parmesan to fill the amount of artichokes you're making, and season the crumb mixture with italian herb seasoning and garlic- lots of garlic!! Use fresh garlic, garlic powder, or garlic juice, depending on you taste and comfort level. Momma G loved her some garlic powder (she said it didn't leave an aftertaste), but Miss G uses fresh garlic, and LOTS of it!
To stuff the artichokes, place it in a large bowl and work from the outside in, pulling out each leaf and stuffing in the garlicky goodness with your fingers. It's kind of like glittering: you spill as much as you use, so using a big bowl allows you to keep "recycling" until the chokes are all stuffed! Stuff them as full as you can get them!!
Once they are stuffed, you can cook them however you like! As I said, Momma G used a big roaster pan, but any pot with a tight fitting lid will do. Miss Ginger likes to use a pressure cooker when she does just a few. Place the artichokes, bottom down, in about an inch of water, cover, and steam for about 45 minutes. Toward the end, check for doneness by tugging an outer leaf... if it comes loose, it's ready!
You can cook them on top of the stove or in the oven, as long as they are in a constant steam bath for the 45 minute cooking time. Miss G sets her pressure cooker for 30 minutes, and uses a natural release which gives about 45 minutes total.
They are also good cold, and you can reheat them in the microwave, so make plenty! You can serve them as a heavy appetizer, or just eat one as a light meal!!