Heartichokes

5 Feb

Ooohhh look at what I found in my draft folder from June:

I love love love artichokes. I only used to think that artichokes can only be bought in cans…you know, coming from the Philippines, we didn’t have fresh ones. I didn’t even know what a fresh artichoke looked like until coming to France. And that time I had no idea how a big scary thing like that can fit into tiny (and expensive) canned goodness called artichoke hearts in oil.

Then in 2004, when I went to my in-laws for the first time, they served me a huge artichoke head. Okaayyy…I didn’t know what to do with it. It looked like some alien head landed on my plate. Good thing the boyfriend (now husband) wasn’t in his prank-playing mood and gladly showed me how to eat it. Para hindi mapahiya in front of the in-laws.

It was amazing! I loved it the minute I put the meaty part of the thorny leaf in my mouth. The vinaigrette I think is the most important thing here. It adds that tang to the otherwise bland artichoke meat. I guess that’s why artichoke hearts are almost always sold in some sort of brine thing or olive oil with herbs.

Anyhoos. ‘Tis the season of the artichoke. On my way home from a loooonnnnggg day at the prefecture, I decided to treat myself with some. The problem is I didn’t really know how to prepare them. I know how to eat them, but cooking them is a whole new challenge. So I arrive home and ask the husband how it’s prepared – who in turn called up his momma to ask.

So how does one prepare and savor the deliciousness that is – Artichoke?

You’ll need:

  • a good knife – a serrated one if possible
  • a huge casserole. one that can accommodate your artichokes
  • a plate
  • lemon slices (optional)
  • water

1. Break off the stem of the artichoke – break, not cut. Breaking it allows you to get all that hard fiber from the bottom of the heart.

2. With a serrated knife, or a very good knife, cut off a bit of the top of the artichoke. With a pair of scissors, cut off the thorny part of each leaf.

3. My mom-in-law ties a slice of lemon at the bottom of the artichoke. I forgot why. It might have something to do with preventing the bottom from browning or something.

4. Arrange the artichokes in the casserole and fill with water. Add in a bit of salt.

5. Put a plate on top of the artichokes to keep them from floating.

6. Bring to a boil then keep it on a simmer until you can easily poke a knife into the heart of one of the artichokes.

7. You’re done!

 

Or…just watch this episode of Alton Brown’s Good Eats. His style is different from my MIL’s so you can choose whichever’s better for you.

—– okay, I’m having a problem embedding the video. But if you search for the episode in YouTube you’ll surely find it.

You have to try it if you find some. I’m sure you’ll love it.

 

So how do you eat it??????

 

You make a mustard – lemon vinaigrette. Add some shallots if you want. Then peel off each leaf and dip the hearty part of it in the vinaigrette then scrape/suck off the hearty part with your teeth. **I’m sure there’s a nicer way to describe that.

 

When you get to the violet-y part, you’ll need to grab that and pull off the rest of the leaves. You can still eat that like the leaves – but as a bunch. You’ll then have the “hairy” part – don’t eat those! Scrape that off.

You’ll now end up with the fond d’artichaut. I have no idea what that is in english. Just cut it up, dip and eat.

 

It was my first time making this and the artichokes I think were a tad under cooked. But the husband and I finished them off fine anyway.

I hope you definitely try it and that yours turns out just perfect.

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One Response to “Heartichokes”

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  1. Aguacate y Alcachofa « Entre Sahuaros y Pitayas - February 9, 2012

    […] Heartichokes (xcinthecity.wordpress.com) […]

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