Big Game Bites: Stuffed Artichokes

1 Feb

So the Super Bowl is this Sunday and while I’ve never been a big fan of football, I have always loved a party.  This appetizer is delicious and easy to pick at as you and your guests graze over the course of the game.  Stuffed artichokes may seem mystifying, like something you’d get in a restaurant, but I promise, the recipe is really simple once you get past the work of prepping the artichoke.  So easy, in fact, that I cooked it in class for a high school home economics project.  That’s right, in high school– where I was, amazingly, a football cheerleader (despite having almost no understanding of the game).  Go figure.

Since my grandfather was a baseball player with five daughters, I don’t really have any football-related photos to share this time, but here are a couple of pics of T and Popo enjoying food at parties over the years.

 

STUFFED ARTICHOKES (Serves 4)
4 large artichokes
1C Italian bread crumbs
3T olive oil

1C water
1T olive oil
3 lemon slices
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, split
1t salt
6 peppercorns

Wash artichokes; drain.  Cut off stem at base of each artichoke.  Using scissors, trim off tips of artichoke leaves and cut 1-inch slick off across the top.  Gently spread the leaves open and cut away the small prickly leaves in the center of the artichoke.  Scrape away the fuzzy “choke” beneath them, being careful not to cut away any of the heart (the best part!).

Sprinkle the olive oil over the bread crumbs and rub together to moisten.  Place crumbs between loosened leaves and cavity.  Stand artichokes upright in a heavy saucepan and pour the water into the pan from the side, being careful not to pour the water onto the artichokes.  Add the olive oil, lemon slices, bay leaf, garlic, salt and peppercorns to the water.  Cover the pan and simmer for about 45 minutes or until leaves can be pulled out easily.

While cooking, be sure to check water level.  If the water evaporates before the artichokes are cooked, add more water.  When artichokes are done, lift from the pan with slotted spoon.  Serve whole or cut in half.

If you prefer, cook artichokes without stuffing and serve chilled with your favorite dip or hollandaise sauce.  Mangia!

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