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I've always simply cut the stems off of artichokes and boiled them in water until tender but I came across this "how to prepare artichokes" link and it would be so much easier to eat them hot by preparing this way before cooking! Sure would avoid all the work it takes to remove the center fuzz to get to the hot artichoke hearts after eating the meat off the stems! No more burned and messy fingers.
Now that I know how to do this properly I am going to try some stuffed and baked artichokes! Recipes to follow after testing.
Here's the link for how to prepare. Below the link is my favorite artichoke dipping sauce for the past forty years:
By Ann from Richland, WA
Artichokes Sicilina Style
Here is how my Grandmother taught me:
(now keep in mind this is not for a delicate serving, this is home cooking with the family and you are going to eat this one leaf at a time and you are going to scrape each leaf between your top teeth and your bottom. So it is finger food and you discard the leaf onto your plate. Now let me tell you it may not be for the formal party but they are sure delicious!!
1 cup italian bread crumbs
1 Tsp grated Pecorino Romano cheese
salt & pepper
extra virgin olive oil
Take the artichoke lay it on it's side and cut of the top third of it. Do this on all of them.
Peel off a few of the rough and tough outside leaves. With a paring knife or a really good veggie peeler; peel the stem and then cut it off at the base (keep them to put in the pot to cook with the artichokes.)
Now, with your thumbs and fingers pull the leaves outward kinda stretching it open. You can rinse with water at this point and spritz with a little lemon juice.
***We did not remove the choke or the little fuzz on the inside as this was the work of eating the artichoke to get to this part. Ymmmm.
Okay, now for the good part.
Mix some Italian seasoned bread crumbs with a little bit of the additional spices,
add a sprinkle of garlic powder
pinch or so of basil
pinch of parsley
little bit of salt & pepper to taste.
Add a good teaspoon of grated pecorino romano cheese, or whatever you put on your pasta dishes.
Now with a teaspoon try and get a little bit of the crumbs all thru the spread leaves, keep pulling it open and adding the crumbs until they get decently fat and wide it is all good.
You really cannot get to the center at this point, but that is okay. Do all the artichokes the same way. put them in a dutch oven, toss in the cleaned stems. Add water to come up about half way. Add a little salt here to the water. Gently dribble some extra virgin olive oil over the tops of the artichokes.
Cover and bring to a boil, then drop to simmer for at least 30 minutes or so, test a leaf and see if the bottom is tender. If not keep cooking a bit longer.
We would have these after a sunday dinner at the end of the meal and we would all be at the table pulling off the leaves and scraping them on our teeth and all you could here were the Hmmm's all around. When you get to the delicate soft leaves you can just bite off the bottoms of the leaves. After this you are at the choke just use a spoon and scoop off the fuzzy part and you have a delicate artichoke heart before you. Tender and full of flavor. You can even eat the stems they are great too.
Give it a try see how you like it. My cousin would wait till you got to the very bottom (the heart and he would snatch from your plate). Now he is old and bald with four daughters.
You would think it was just my family who did it this way, nope my M-I-L made them pretty much the same way. Absolutely delish!