Friday, July 07, 2006

Artichoke Obsession

I made grilled artichokes on the 4th of July along with grilled chicken. I hadn't had a fresh artichoke since a college friend introduced me to them my freshman year. I was always intimidated by the spiny leaves and figured that they would be too difficult to prepare, but I was wrong. After just cutting off the stem and the top 1 inch of the leafy end, you place them in salted boiling water for 20-30 minutes.

Back in college, we dipped the leaves into melted butter - yummy, but not so good for the arteries. This time, I made a dressing of lemon juice, olive oil and tarragon. After cutting the cooked artichokes in half and scraping out the choke, I drizzled the dressing on and we put them on the grill for a few minutes. I had high hopes that through the magic of the grill, Denis would find them palatable. But he still found them a bit weird. So I got the pleasure of enjoying 2 whole artichokes. I talked him into trying a bite of the heart, but he wasn't impressed. MMMmmmm they were so good. I didn't remember how good they were.

They were so tasty, that I had to go on an emergency artichoke run to the store on Thursday night. But my second artichoke experience did not quite measure up to the perfection of the previous one. I'm not sure if it was a problem in the artichoke itself (they didn't look as fresh at Safeway, and I really had to search for one that looked okay) or my preparation. I added lemon juice and a bay leaf to the boiling water this time and didn't bother with the grilling bit. Anyway, it just wasn't as sweet and luscious the second time around. I think I may have to give it a third try if I can find another beautiful artichoke.

9 comments:

lm1 said...

okay i am curious how do you grill an arti? i would like to give it a whirl.

Tracy said...

I kind of described it in the post. You cook it first till a fork easily peirces the stem end. Then you stop the cooking process with an ice water bath and let them drain. Then you cut them in half and scrape out the choke part. Put whatever dressing you want (like a marinade) on and pop them on the grill, just to add some color and caramelize the marinade a bit. That's it.

Priscilla said...

Hmmm. Never cooked them before. I can take it or leave it. But you make it all sound so delicious. I'm willing to taste it!

lm1 said...

okay fine i shell try them... i don't think darren will like them too much i think he is in line with denis... and the last time i had them was indeed with you, who showed me how to cook them.
:)

Tracy said...

You know you eat them from the outside in. The outside leaves first, you scrape the soft part on the underside of each leaf with your teeth. As you get to the inside leaves, more and more of it is edible. The tiny little leaves in the very center aren't that great though. When you get all the leaves off, then you are left with the heart which is the best part. There is definite sweetness to it. I was back at safeway today, but the artichokes still did not look very good.

lm1 said...

well I thought you to are peas in a pod. i personally really haven't gotten that into disecting a verse... my church really does and it is fine... but some times i think to much disecting and we loose the life of the word... well i do any way.

Tracy said...

I think it is most valuable when you are trying to understand a specific passage that may have different meanings. Such as Ruth was wondering what exactly is meant by the word blaspheming there. Or her question abou whether this means that young women should not teach older women. That was her original question. Getting a sense of the larger context can help in answering a question like that. But I understand what you are saying. That's why I really like it that she always asks about how it applies to our lives today. I think part of why we can get lost in the disecting is because we often don't take it to the point of application.

lm1 said...

yes I do get that and that is what is so very frustrating about some in my church is that they will complain about gnosticsism yet they are right there when it comes to this meaning vs that meaning this context vs that context yet they miss the entire point of application... so i guess that is what I was saying I do understand the reasearch and stuff... :P

Tracy said...

so let me know when you try the artichoke. :o)