Friday, October 04, 2013

Okie Dokie, Artichokie

I am a sucker for artichokes.  They are my favorite vegetable.  Hands down.  I am also fascinated by them.  I mean who on earth would discover an artichoke and think, "hmm...I bet if I get past all these prickly leaves and then get rid of this hairy afro of a choke, there's a tender, tasty little heart in here that probably tastes like heaven"?  My sister and I used to have to share an artichoke when we were little.  Who knew two little girls would eventually try to kill each other over not receiving their fair share of the heart.  My mother quickly learned that we all needed our own choke to avoid future scuffles.  

I've had artichokes in a number of different ways.  In artichoke dips, on salads, boiled, stuffed, etc.  But it wasn't until recently that I tried a grilled artichoke.  And I was blown away.  It's so good, so smoky, and so much easier to eat than a boiled artichoke.  You can make an aioli to dip your artichoke in for extra flavor.  I like just melting a little butter and adding lemon to it for dipping.  

Here's the thing.  If you've never prepared and/or eaten a whole artichoke before they can be pretty intimidating.  And I'm pretty sure that if I tried to tell you how to do it, you'd be eating all the wrong parts.  So here's a link to help.

Here's How To Make Grilled Artichokes:  
Prepare a charcoal grill.  Follow the above link (Note...No need to trim off the stem for this recipe.  The stem becomes an extension of the heart and the more heart the better).  Once you get your choke all trimmed up, cut it in half.  You will notice a fuzzy choke.  You don't want that part.  So scoop it out with a spoon.  Now, throw your artichoke halves into a pot of boiling water for 20 minutes (you can apparently steam them this way too if you like, but I've never steamed an artichoke and I didn't want to mess anything up).  After 20 minutes, drain the artichokes and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and grill for about 4-6 minutes on each side.  You really just want to add some color and some smoky charcoal goodness at this point.  Just don't burn em. 

When they are done, you can eat them.  Just avoid the rough part of the leaves.  Peel the leaves off and using your teeth, scrape the meaty edge of the leaf into your mouth.  Once all the leaves are gone, you are left with the best part to eat.  So eat it all...before I come and fight you for it.


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