Monday, February 7, 2011

Stuffed Artichokes

The first time I had artichokes was about 9 years ago. Since that time I had always looked out for them but could never find any. And then I saw them this artichoke season at Woolworths. Hubby was ecstatic. I'm not one for repeating something that was already said well enough by others so pardon the links:

How to cook and eat an artichoke from the pages of
The only difference we do is that we stuff it.

It has been suggested that you steam the artichokes for HALF the time, let them cool, then stuff them and complete the steaming until the leaves are loose.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Before you start steaming them, hold them by the stalk, and point the head down and give it a couple of hard knocks on the preparation surface. It will loosen the leaves for stuffing later. My kids loved doing this :)

Our stuffing (enough for 2 artichokes):
  • Bread crumbs from 4 pieces of dried bread (dry white bread in toaster on lowest setting, cool, cut off crusts and put in food blender until fine crumbs)
  • One packet of parma ham (about 5 thin slices) - cut into small pieces (you can even then add it to the blender with the crumbs. It mixes it nicely.
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup grated parmesan or we prefer something like provolone or pecorino.
  • A little freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of salt
Stuff this into the inside of each of the larger artichoke leaves:

Place the artichokes upright into a heavy-base pot (preferably one that can also go into the oven) and finish steaming them.
TIP: put a bay leaf into the water. It gives the artichokes a beautiful aroma.

When you finished steaming them (in total I gave them 50min - 1hr), you put them in the oven under a hot grill and quickly grill the tops. It makes the top of the stuffing nice and crispy.

NOTE: These CAN be made in advance and heated in the microwave. Works like a charm.

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