Sunday, April 1, 2012

I Choked on the Chokes

Hey blog. I think you'll like the post for today.

Late one night O was browsing the channels, and landed on PBS. They were doing a show called "Glenda's Italian," and she was stuffing artichokes. My husband and I love artichokes, but I didn't know they were Italian or that you could stuff them either. So I sought out a recipe that I could actually
make. My cooking still have been on pause when I took on a cooperate roll and my husband became Mr Mom. Honestly, not only was I scared to try this, but I hate making recipes that call for wine or beer or alcohol
because my family doesn't drink. Glenda's recipe called for white cooking wine, and there's just not a great way to duplicate that.

Using my extreme Googling skills, I found a recipe for stuffed artichokes that does not call for wine. Plus the fact that it has garlic in it makes me drool. Check out the name of this guy's blog. It's called The Italian Chef. He has a video on how to do it so you can check that out, follow along, etc. OR, you could watch see what I did.

I assume that if you're reading this paragraph, you've decided to at least see what I did. Okay, so I started by mixing up the stuffing like the recipe called for, EXCEPT, I didn't have the right cheese so I used Parmesan cheese instead. It's the same type you'd use for spaghetti or something. Also, at the last minute, I had to find a sub for my garlic. I didn't know mine had gone bad, so I just looked up emergency substitutions for garlic and went with that. After everything was mixed up, I grabbed my artichokes ad washed them up. It's not a challenge when they say to wash in cold water. It WILL turn your artichokes brown and/or black. Not pretty.

See how much more the top one is opened?

So, everything is mixed, everything is washed, and my husband reads me the next step. "Spread out the artichoke leaves and put them in a pot to boil." Okay, I take the palm of my hand (which is best for this kind of thing), and spread the leaves. Then I follow the recipe and put them in a pot with oil and garlic to boil. After 45 minutes, I'm done right? Well, you didn't hear about the part where I stuffed the artichokes. It wasn't a mistake; it didn't happen. NOTE TO READERS: If your husband helps you by reading recipes or what not, make sure he's not sick, sneezed, and missed something. Yep, that's what happened. They looked SO pretty too. I those spinney little knot-heads and stuffed the crap out of them making sure I got a little bit in side every layer. I popped them in my oven at 350 for about 5-10 minutes. They got brown on the top, but never really "fused." The parts that did fuse looked great, and it was obviously supposed to happen, and it was supposed to go down to the edible part of the artichoke. It was good though.

In the pot boiled and pretty without stuffing.
On my pan, stuffed. The taste better than they look.

For next time, I will double check my recipe. Also, I will remove the choke. The recipe didn't say to, but it REALLY needs to be gone. It's too painful to get the spinney parts off of the yummy stuffing. The white thing in the middle of the picture below is the choke. Also buy artichokes that are close to each other in size. Makes cooking easier. And keep that size as close as you can when you trim them. That way you don't have to worry about flooding one choke versus another when you add more water. My spaghetti pot was just barely too small for the chokes, and I think that had something to do with their success. Some of the leaves had to get squished back together in order to fit in my pot. Make sure that doesn't happen to you.

Do you see the choke yet?

So that's my post. If you try this, please let me know how it turned out for you. I'd love to know from someone that actually followed the directions. Your results can get posted up here too. That'd be cool right?

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