Sunday, June 6, 2010

Steamed Artichokes

Stan and I love steamed artichokes.  Here's how I prepare them.

At the store:
Choose artichokes that seem heavy for their size.  Purple discoloration on the petals just means it was exposed to a frost, but do make sure the stem doesn't show any signs of mold or rot.

At home:
Rinse well and cut off stem at base.  Cut off top 1/4 and trim petal tips with scissors (I don't always do this, but it makes them pretty and less "pokey").

Stand, stem up, in 1-2" of water in a pot (arrange so they hold each other in place). Add some crushed garlic, salt and lemon juice.  Bring to a gentle boil with lid slanted so that some steam can escape.  Cook until tender, test by pushing a butter knife thru the base - if it goes all the way in, you're done.  Usually, 30-45 minutes.

Use tongs to pull them out and turn them petal-side up.  Dip in garlic butter or mayo and scrape the meat off with your teeth.  When you get to the "choke", scrape it off with a spoon and enjoy the heart.  I buy 1 artichoke for each of us.

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