Thursday, September 26, 2013

Experimenting with Artichokes

 

I love artichokes.
 I literally buy cans of them and eat them as a snack food out of the can with a fork. 
This probably just made some of my readers cringe, but it is the truth. Unfortunately, I have not recently been able to get fresh artichokes. I finally came home with some artichokes when I found them on sale this past weekend, though. I traded two with my wonderful neighbor for some other fresh produce, and proceeded to experiment with cooking the two I had left. Mind you, I've never done this before.
First, I did some research (as always) and learned the basics of artichoke preparation. So, I cut about an inch off the tops and shortened the stem. Then, I trimmed the tip of each petal to cut off the sharp points. I was surprised by how quickly the artichoke began to turn color once I started trimming it...kind of like how an apple turns.


Then I tossed them into some boiling water with the juice from a fresh lemon, a lemon that I got from my trade. The color went from a bright green to a pale-yellow green during the cooking time. I let the artichokes boil for a few minutes and then simmered them for about 20-30 minutes until they were tender enough to easily pluck off a petal.


Once I removed them from the water, I plucked the pieces off one by one and enjoyed the meaty bit at the base of each leaf. I have to admit, I was anxious to reach the little gold nugget inside where I knew the heart was, though. I kept on with my process: pluck, eat, toss, pluck, eat, toss. I even began using two hands to quicken my journey to the heart: pluck with R hand, eat, toss with left hand and pluck with right... 
I was pathetic. 
The most pathetic part of this entire experience was that I didn't educate myself enough to realize that the artichoke was indeed a flower....with a purple inside and tons of tiny little hairlike projections. I finally broke into the center to see a squished little heart covered in hair bits that I could hardly remove completely from the "heart". 

Next time I'll try harder to separate the heart better. I need much more practice.
'Till then, I'll stick with the canned artichokes..

Do you ever make fresh artichokes?
Do you have tips on how to get the heart out more easily?

3 comments:

  1. I have honestly never had an artichoke before. I don't think I have anything with artichoke in it either. I want to but they intimidate me a bit. I'm never sure what I am supposed to do with it. My Grandma says that you can eat them with Mayo. Which I think is what put me off, as I do not really care for Mayo. lol.

    Anyway, I am stopping by from the North East Bloggers Link up. I hope you hop on by & say hello! :)

    Krys @ The Mister & Me

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hmmmmm...never had fresh artichokes! I've put the canned kind on pizza, though!

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  3. Yum, I love artichokes, especially the fresh kind! Boil and dip in butter...it's been a long time since I've done that.

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