Thursday, January 6, 2011

Stuffed Artichoke Goodness

Many find the task of making fresh artichokes daunting and for good reason. Trimming, clipping, and scrapping out the choke is not the most riveting thing one can do in the kitchen. It is tedious, prickly, and takes a while. The reason I engage in this almost torturous activity is because few things can compare the sweet and rich result of a freshly made artichoke. Sure, the premade ones in the store are good, but they don't even hold a candle to freshly made artichokes. Just thinking of the sweet choke center makes my mouth water.

I grew up eating artichokes, both jarred and fresh. We had them on pizza, in salads, in pasta, and made them fresh. One of my favorite dinners was when my Mom would make stuffed artichokes for the two of us (my Dad wouldn't touch them). I thought the prep took a while, but I loved the end result! Sometimes we would even dip the stuffed leaves in a buttery Parmesan mix.

John also shares my love of the choke. When I became gluten free, I was sad that I would have to forgo the stuffed choke. Then one day an idea popped into my head. I had horrid gf rice tortillas in the fridge that I couldn't stomach on their own. They were nothing like a tortilla should be and were too firm to roll up for a burrito or enchilada. Instead of throwing them out, I decided to make bread crumbs. I didn't have to wait for them to get stale as they already had that quality. I got
out the coffee grinder and ground up the tortillas. And to my delight, the "bread" crumbs tasted a lot better then the whole tortilla.

Stuffed and Steamed Artichokes
  • 2 cups of gf breadcrumbs (see note above)
  • 3 medium sized garlic gloves, minced
  • Ground black pepper
  • Dried Italian spices
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 large artichokes
Prepare the stuffing for the artichokes by mixing breadcrumbs, garlic, pepper, spices, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and olive oil in a bowl. Save the cut lemon to rub on the cut artichokes.

Fill a large soup pot with an inch of water. Squeeze in 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Place the steamer basket in the pot and bring the water to a boil.

Now on to the chokes. Wash each choke in cool water. Trim an inch of the top of each choke. After each cut, rub the lemon on the cut choke to prevent browning. Use a spoon remove the center of the choke. The point is to remove the prickly hard leaves and the hairy stuff right above the heart of the choke. It will take a while, but keep digging! Next trim the stem off the bottom and rub the lemon across the cut to prevent browning. Compost all of your clippings.

Spread the leaves out so that they can easily be stuffed. Place the stuffing mixture into the center of each choke and within the spread leaves. Once you have stuffed all of the chokes, please them stem side down into the boiling steamer and place a lid on the pot. It will take about 15 to 30 minutes to steam you choke, depending on the size.

Serve warm and enjoy!


Hannah said...

I rarely cook whole artichokes because I just never know what to do with them. No more- This looks like the perfect preparation! I'll have to give it a go as soon as I find nice 'chokes at the grocery store.

VeggieAmanda said...

Yay! I'm glad you are going to cook with artichokes. I have so many other choke ideas. Maybe I'll post a few for you. :-)