Saturday, April 23, 2011

Steamed Artichokes

His = garlic butter
Hers = mayo

Ever steamed an artichoke?  It's easy.  First, a quick lesson on picking one out at the store:

Chose ones that seem heavy for their size.  Purple streaks aren't bad, they just mean the plant was exposed to a frost.  This can actually make them sweeter!  I found these beauties on sale for $1 each!!  I can usually find them, in season, as little as $2 each.  They are a treat for both Stan and I.

When you get them home, chop the stem close to the bottom of the globe.  You can keep this and use the flesh in recipes, but I don't bother.  Then, cut the tip of the globe off to make a flat that exposes the petals, like you see above.  I typically take of the top 3rd.  If you want to get fancy, you can get your a good pair of kitchen scissors and snip the pokey tip off each of the remaining petals, but I don't worry about it.  We're grown ups.

Rinse, pulling the petals toward the outside a little to loosen them up.  Place face down, snugly with other artichokes in a pot.  Put water, 1-2" deep in the bottom with 1 T crushed garlic, 1-2 T lemon juice, and 1/2 t salt.  Simmer on low-medium for 40 minutes, or until a butter knife will easily go thru the center of each stem.

These reheat well too.  I put them on a plate with a damp paper towel over, or heat in the zip top bag they were stored in.  Dip in mayo or melted butter with garlic.  Peel each petal off and scrape the flesh off the bottom of the petal with your teeth.  Discard remaining petal.  When you get to the choke, scrape it all off.  Discard.  Cut up and enjoy the heart.  The best part!

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