Thursday, December 5, 2013

Gram's Stuffed Artichokes

Since we're on the subject of artichokes, it's time to introduce my Gram's stuffed artichokes. She made these every holiday gathering along with Italian Brown (Crimini) stuffed mushrooms! I looked forward to enjoying them every time! As often is the case, basic ingredients and simple skills allow these specialties to shine! Recipe Below. Enjoy!

Stuffed Artichokes

Artichokes, whole (one per individual/stems used in steaming)
Garlic, 2 large cloves, minced
Parsley, fresh flat leaf, 2 Tblsp
Bread, one loaf (Pepperidge Farm White Thin Sandwich Bread is The RQ's preference)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1/3-2/3 cup
Butter, 1-2 Tblsp
Oregano, dried, 1 Tblsp
Red Pepper Flakes, 1-2 tsp
Salt & Pepper, to taste
*Mushroom Stems (included if also stuffing mushrooms)

(Approximate spice amounts included only as a guide as these are per preference and amount of chokes cooked.)

Fill a large bowl with water and the juice of half a lemon. Rinse and trim artichokes, then set in cold water. To trim, cut stems from bases and trim tops with a chef's knife; then cut tips off all the leaves allowing for plenty of room to stuff later. Place artichoke and stems in lemon water to prevent leaves browning.

Slice bread into 1/2" cubes and toss with oregano, fresh parsley, salt & pepper. Sauté garlic, red pepper flakes, and mushroom stems (if also stuffing mushrooms) in butter. Add sauté mixture to dried stuffing and toss. Then add as much oil as needed to create a very moist and cohesive stuffing!

Dry artichokes upside down on paper towel, then stuff about a heaping tablespoon per leaf. Meanwhile have a thick bottomed pan on burner filled with two-three inches of water coming to a boil and simmer. Artichoke stems can be placed to create space between the artichokes which decreases cooking time. Artichokes are then carefully place into the HOT water. Return water to a boil, then turn down to a hearty simmer and cover for about an hour. You will know the artichokes are done when a leaf can be easily pulled from the choke. Remember to allow these delicacies a little time to rest on a plate or serving dish loosely covered with foil~they're HOT!

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