Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Baby artichokes....what NOT to do.

Okay.... I was pretty confident that I could handle these small morsels of goodness withOUT reading a single recipe. ALMOST!

Baby artichokes do not....I REPEAT, DO NOT cook the same way the larger blossoms do. They take minutes rather than HOURS.
Seriously! If you sauté (Of course, only after cleaning them) these bite sized wonders, are so tender they are done and ready to eat in minutes.
What to do first. Clean the other layer of the artichoke. The outer layer is typically fibrous and not as tasty...but, the inner layer...now, that's a different story. The texture (uncooked) reminds me of a hearty lettuce leaf. When cooked....more like a firm, yet ripe, avocado or a cooked asparagus.
Suggestions:
Cook them in a sauté pan with garlic infused olive oil. Or, warm good olive oil with one whole uncut and  peeled garlic clove. Let the garlic infuse the olive oil for 1 to 2 minutes on medium to low flame.
After peeling the baby artichokes, trimming any dark spots and slightly cutting off the bottom and top.... cut them in half and place in heated oil cut side down.
Season with salt, pepper, pinch of red pepper flakes and 2 tablespoons of good chicken broth or water to help with the steaming process. Steam the artichokes until knife/fork tender. Should take less than 3 - 8 minutes on low.

Recipe? Use your imagination. Artichokes are a blank canvas…use your taste buds as your guide. Or use a couple of tablesppons of great salad dressing. If you use salad dressing, skip the oil, chicken broth or water, noted above.

Viola! Better than from the can or jar.

Remember.... cooking with LOVE makes any recipe taste better!