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Jaymes

Artichokes

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Posted (edited)

Okay, I'm crazy for artichokes. Of course I love them steamed whole, with something for dipping and that's always easy. Here in CA the artichokes have been very good and not too pricey this season. Gabrielle Hamilton has a relatively novel way to steam artichokes currently, but as with some simple ideas, hers can take a turn for the labyrinthine. I swear she could write several pages on how to butter a slice of bread. Lately I came across a simple technique which is rather clever: cut off the top third and steam them cut side down over lemon water.  They cook a little faster that way.

 

But my favorite way to eat them is also the most labor intensive: peeling away a lot of the raw leaves (on large chokes), cutting them, scraping out the fuzzies, putting in acidulated water. Then I dry them briefly with a cloth and sauté them in oil or butter until they are crispy. Prepped like that they are then fabulous whether they are on top of spaghetti, in a lasagne or, my favorite way, as a pizza topping.

 

But that's a lot of work and, sadly, I'm getting kind of lazy. When chokes are not in season or I want an adequate substitute, I'm looking for a short cut. I don't want marinated in oil; I'm not after a salad. I can't stand canned artichokes. I tried the Spanish style roasted chokes from TJ's, and the texture was okay, but they were so heavily seasoned I had to wash them off. Plain frozen artichokes seem like they have more potential, but even thawed and drained they are pretty watery and flabby. How do I get them to dry out a bit without overcooking them? Are all frozen artichokes pre-cooked? Or are there any frozen raw ones? So far any artichoke that isn't fresh seems not very good. I shouldn't be surprised; it isn't as if I eat many frozen vegetables. I suffer through corn withdrawal ten months a year.

 

If anyone has a clever way to deal with this dopey problem let me know. My husband has volunteered to prep fresh artichokes so I don't have to do it, but I'm not sure he knows what a pain it is and to be honest I am worried that he will stab himself with a knife or a leaf tip or a grapefruit spoon when removing the fuzz.   


Edited by Katie Meadow (log)

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On 5/26/2019 at 12:57 AM, Katie Meadow said:

 

If anyone has a clever way to deal with this dopey problem let me know. My husband has volunteered to prep fresh artichokes so I don't have to do it, but I'm not sure he knows what a pain it is and to be honest I am worried that he will stab himself with a knife or a leaf tip or a grapefruit spoon when removing the fuzz.   

 

 

I don't think there is one - it's possibly the sheer hassle that makes artichokes so delicious.

 

Just get your husband a pile of artichokes, a YouTube video and a lobster glove.  Keep him in beer and he should be OK.

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J.Pepin on Utube has a pretty easy way to prepare artichoke bottoms.

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I'm with @Katie Meadow on this.  I have yet to find a simple way to prep artichokes; last week, I prepped a lousy 4 fresh artichokes, and my wrist was killing me...one of the pleasures of getting to middle age.

 

And yeah, I have tried all sorts of artichoke offerings; the frozen, the canned, the jarred, the TJ's (ugh). They all pretty much suck. Well, the best one's I've found are imported from Italy, grilled, and they have really long stems, but good luck finding them regularly (I got mine at DiPalo's). 

 

"Baby" artichokes (not really babies, but you knew that) are a slightly easier way to go, though I don't think they have the full flavor that a large globe does.

 

What about cooking them to death, i.e. alla Romana.


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On 5/27/2019 at 10:25 AM, jmacnaughtan said:

 

I don't think there is one - it's possibly the sheer hassle that makes artichokes so delicious.

 

Just get your husband a pile of artichokes, a YouTube video and a lobster glove.  Keep him in beer and he should be OK.

You had me at husband. Then you lost me when alcohol joined the mix along with knives, grapefruit spoons and lobsters. I'm weighing my options. I could have the beer myself, but that might be trouble if I end up having to drive to the ER. 

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