Monday, December 6, 2010

Fancy Holiday Artichokes

I love artichokes! Pretty much anything with artichokes in it I'm a sucker for; artichokes in pasta, artichoke dip etc. When I saw this recipe in Giada's cookbook (in the kitchen she's my right hand gal!) it looked absolutely FAB-U-LOUS!
It is called Baked Artichokes with Gorgonzola and Herbs. If you like artichoke dip then you will LOVE this version and it looks a whole lot fancier than just your average artichoke dip.

Start off with 4 artichokes and trim the top inch or so off the artichoke.

Then trim the stem off the bottom of the artichoke until it can stand upright.

Next, break off some of the really tough outer leaves and use kitchen sheers to trim the pointy leaves. This is how they should look after all your trimming.

Next cut 3 lemons in half (I doubled the recipe in the pictures so it looks like I have more).

At this time place a large pot of salted water on the stove and bring it to a boil. While the water is boiling mix together your other ingredients.
* 10 oz mild Gorgonzola cheese, at
room temp.
* 2 tbs heavy cream
* 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
* 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
* 1 very large garlic clove (or 2 small) finely minced
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Once your water is at a rolling boil, squeeze the lemon juice into the boiling water and toss all the lemons and artichokes in. Cook the artichokes until tender. (30 min)

Next, drain the artichokes upside down on a clean kitchen towel. Mine were so tender some of the outer leaves came off.

Once they are cooled, spread the leaves with your fingers and with a small spoon scrape out the center choke, then fill the artichokes with your Gorgonzola mixture.

Place all your artichokes into a baking dish. Sprinkle with 3 tbs bread crumbs, 1 tbs chopped fresh parsley and drizzle with 1-2 tbs olive oil. I also sprinkled pecorno-Romano cheese on top for a little extra goodness!

Bake in 400 degrees for about 25 minutes and then enjoy.
P.S. The outer leaves will still feel kinda tough but you are not supposed to eat the whole leaf. If you are like me and have never eaten an artichoke like this before, you just tear off the outer leaves, dip them into the cheesy goodness and then scrape off the pulp from the leaves with your teeth. DO NOT eat the outer leaves just scape the pulp off. You can eat the inner leaves that are soft. (Thanks Jenn for the tip, or I would have eaten the outer leaves! HAHA)

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