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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Stuffed Artichokes

 

Stuffed Artichoke

 

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Growing up, whenever there was a special occasion this dish was in high demand. I can remember she would always ask what it was that we would like her to make. Stuffed Artichokes was one of those dishes.

I believe that Italians utilize as much of a vegetable as they can. If you know anything about artichokes a lot of it is either trimmed off or cut off until you get to the heart. Well, preparing the artichoke this way you don’t waste hardly any of it. Let me explain. I find that many home cooks tend to be intimidated by this strange thistle. But I’m here to fix that if I can.

Start by pulling off some of the outer leaves from the bottom. Then take a pair of kitchen scissors, trim the tips (the pointy sharp part) of the leaves. Next, cut the stems off so they will have a flat bottom. You’ll see why later.

Fill a 6-quart stockpot 1/2 to 3/4’s of the way full with water. Cut 2 lemons in half, juice the lemons right into the water. Throw the remaining parts of the two lemons into the water too. This will stop the artichokes from turning brown and oxidizing.

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As you can see I trimmed the stalks down quite a bit and threw them in as well. They are eatable also. To keep the artichokes submerged in the boiling water, place a plate on top like this.

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On medium-high heat, bring the artichokes up to a boil. Once up to a boil adjust the heat so as to keep the water at a boil but not so high the water boils over. Continue to cook the artichokes for 45 minutes or until fork tender. Transfer the artichokes and the stems to a large plate to cook. Prepare the filling while boiling the artichokes.

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To make the filling, in a large bowl, add Italian style bread crumbs, grated garlic, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, golden raisins, freshly ground black pepper, flat-leaf Italian parsley, and julienned Prosciutto. No salt. The prosciutto and cheese are salty enough. Finally, add the *E.V.O.O., stir to combine. You want the consistency of wet sand. You may need to adjust the amount of oil depending on the type and amount of breadcrumbs used.

 

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Take the cooled artichoke and remove the center. This is where the thistle is located and is not editable.  Repeat this process with the other artichokes. Pull the leaves apart gently until the center of the artichoke is exposed, take a tablespoon and dig out the thistle. It looks like a circular hairy piece also known as the choke.

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You can see here above how the center is now hollowed out. To stuff, the artichokes, start with the bottom working your way around pulling the leaves apart gently and with your fingers. Continue until you reach the center. Stuff as much of the filling between each row of leaves.

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Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.
In a large baking dish, place the stuffed artichokes along with the stems. Add a cup of white wine. Top each artichoke with more cheese and drizzle each one with a good amount of E.V.O.O.

Bake for around 30 minutes, or until the filling is nice and hot, the cheese is golden brown, and the artichokes have absorbed almost all of the wine.

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When you’re ready to eat the Stuffed Artichokes, just pull each leaf off using the leaf as a natural spoon, getting all that deliciousness off each one. As you make your way to the center, there you’ll find the best surprise of all, the heart of the artichoke. The heart is the most tender part of the whole artichoke. Don’t forget about those stems too, YUM!

This dish is a show stopper and any dinner party.

Stuffed Artichoke

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 6- stockpot, 9 x 13 baking dish

Ingredients:
4 medium fresh artichokes
4 cups of Italian style breadcrumbs
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 1/2 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated, plus 4 tablespoons
2 tablespoon pine nuts
6 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
6 slices Prosciutto, julienned
1/4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped, plus extra for garnish
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup *E.V.O.O. more if necessary
1 cup of good dry white wine
2 lemons, juiced, save lemons for the water
water

Directions:
Start by pulling off some of the outer leaves from the bottom. Then take a pair of kitchen scissors, trim the tips (the pointy sharp part) of the leaves. Next, cut the stems off so they will have a flat bottom.

Fill a 6-quart stockpot 1/2 to 3/4’s of the way up with water. Cut 2 lemons in half, juice the lemons right into the water. Throw the remaining parts of the two lemons into the water too. This will stop the artichokes from turning brown and oxidizing.

As you can see I trimmed the stalks down quite a bit and threw them in as well. They are eatable also. To keep the artichokes submerged in the boiling water, place a plate on top like this.

On medium-high heat, bring the artichokes up to a boil. Once up to a boil adjust the heat so as to keep the water at a boil but not so high the water boils over. Continue to cook the artichokes for 45 minutes or until fork tender. Transfer the artichokes and the stems to a large plate to cook. Prepare the filling while boiling the artichokes.

For the Filling:
In a large bowl add Italian style bread crumbs, grated garlic, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, golden raisins, freshly ground black pepper, flat-leaf Italian parsley, and julienned Prosciutto. No salt. The prosciutto and cheese are salty enough. Finally, add the *E.V.O.O., stir to combine. You want the consistency of wet sand. You may need to adjust the amount of oil depending on the type and amount of breadcrumbs used.

Continued Directions:
Take the cooled artichoke and remove the center. This is where the thistle is located and is not editable. Repeat this process with the other artichokes. Pull the leaves apart gently until the center of the artichoke is exposed, take a tablespoon and dig out the thistle. It looks like a circular hairy piece also known as the choke. The center of the artichoke should be hollowed out.

To stuff, the artichokes, start with the bottom and work your way around pulling the leaves apart gently and with your fingers.  Continue until you reach the center. Stuff as much of the filling between each row of leaves.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
In a large baking dish, place the stuffed artichokes along with the stems. Add a cup of white wine. Top each artichoke with more cheese and drizzle each one with a good amount of *E.V.O.O.

Bake for around 30 minutes, or until the filling is nice and hot, the cheese is golden brown, and the artichokes have absorbed almost all of the wine.

Garnish with fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley. Serve hot or at room temperature.

*E.V.O.O. is short for Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

 

 

 

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Braised Beef Short Ribs With Pappardelle

2014-08-11 18.46.53

I just loved the response I received on this dish. I know that once you make it, it will be something you’ll make again and again. Let’s get started. First it’s important to prep all the veggies.

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Here I have 5 cloves of whole peeled garlic, (all veggies cut into 2-1/2 in pieces), 2 carrots, 2 ribs of celery, 1 sweet potato, and 1 large sweet onion. I also had some left over tops to some bell peppers, red yellow and orange that I diced up as well. You could just add 1 of your favorite bell peppers to this mix.

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Now for the herbs. Here I have 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary,2 fresh bay leaves, and 6 or so sprigs of fresh thyme. Now if you don’t have fresh herbs, you could use dried, that’s fine. Remember to add less than I have here because dried tend to be a lot stronger than fresh and you don’t want to overpower all the other ingredients in the dish.

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The star of this dish are the beef short ribs. i want to let you know that this cut of meat can be expensive. My butcher happens to carry both types, bone-in and boneless. To be honest I’m really not sure if the boneless are the same cut, but whatever cut they are from they work perfectly. This allow me to get a lot more meat in this dish than if I had just used bone-in short ribs. Here I have 2-1 pound packages of boneless and a 2 pound package of bone-in. Above you will see that I have set the meat out on paper towel to pat them completely dry on all sides. The reason for this is to get a good sear on the outside of the meat. Brown is flavor and that’s what we want. I’m doing something a bit different here, instead of dusting them in seasoned flour and then browning them off in batches in a large pot. No not me, I’m going to roast them off in a really hot oven and save a bunch of time.

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I toss all the meat in some olive oil, Kosher salt, and pepper, and then spread them out onto 2 baking sheets. They will go into a 450 degree oven to roast for around 15-20 minutes.

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This is what they will look like when they come out. While the short ribs are roasting in the oven, on top of the stove this is what’s been happening. In a large braising pot, or any type of heavy bottom pot, I start on the veggies.

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Moving forward, I start with the onions in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. To that I add a sprinkle of Kosher salt and pepper, making sure to season each layer. Once they have softened slightly. I then add in 3 tablespoons of good tomato paste and let that cook with the onions for a minute, until the tomato paste has melted and coated the onions. I  then add in the rest of the veggies a little at a time. I add in the garlic, celery, and bell peppers.

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Now at this point I have my liquids for this dish ready and on stand-by.

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Now I add in all of my fresh herbs from earlier that I removed from their stems and 1 cup of red wine. I’m using a good Merlot for this dish. I’m adding in the bell peppers and celery at this point.

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I let this cup of wine reduce by half before adding any more liquid, for an extra depth of flavor. Stir this together and let simmer until the wine has reduced. Next I add in the carrots and sweet potatoes, and 1 can of San Marzano tomatoes, without their liquid,to the pot.

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I then add in equal parts wine and beef stock. You do not want to cover the veggies, just about 1/2 of the way up, because the veggies will release more liquid, and you don’t want the liquid to overflow from the pot once the lid is on and it’s in the oven. This is a braising process, and the meat will rest on the top. Now bring all of this up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer before adding the short ribs back in..

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Have the oven pre-heated to 350 degrees, with the lid on, place the pot into the oven and cook for another 2-1/2 hours.

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WOW! Does this not look amazing. So now I going to remove the meat take the bones out and shred the meat. Don’t forget to remove the 2 bay leaves, they’ve done their job.

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I have to say by adding the sweet potato to this dish give a nice sweetness. Alright now, we gong to thicken our sauce. To do this I process the veggies in a food processor. Be careful when processing hot veggies. Don’t fill up the processor too full.

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Start ladling the veggies into the processor.

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This is what it will look like when you’re done.

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Add the shredding beef short rib meat to the pureed sauce. Let this simmer on very low heat while you cook the pasta.

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This Artisanal pasta only cooks for 8 minutes. I cook it a little less because when I add it to the sauce it will continue cooking, and I want the pasta to be Al dente.  Toss the pasta through all that goodness. Garnish with some finely chopped fresh flat leaf Italian parsley, To serve it on I place it onto a large serving platter. This dish is one you’ll want to serve to company.

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