Monday, March 26, 2007

Artichokes. Because I can't think of any more inspring a title.

Two ways to skin an artichoke, courtesy of Google video.

Catalan style and footage from the vegetable market in Venice. In the market, they leave the top on, apparently. Presumably the tops are cut off at home. Ditto the final trimming of the leaves, and scooping out the furry choke. Guv'nor. Sorry. Gorgeous knifework though.

Chuck them into acidulated water, with the lemon husks. And rub the artichokes with lemon while prepping to prevent discolouring.

The Seattle times have a worthwhile AV presentation, to initiate ingenues like me into the arcane mysteries of artichoke prep, with clear instructions on how to prepare one. As a rider to this, there are other ways. With especially good artichokes, about an inch and a half of the stem can be kept attatched, peeled back to the whitish core, and pared to a point, and this can be boiled, sauteed, or fried. But the artichokes have to be particularly good for this. Apparently.

Last time I cooked them, I prepped as above - but without the stems. I boiled them in salted water for 30 minutes, then drained, cooled and patted them dry. Sliced them up into fours, and dipped them in flour and then egg, deep fried them, and served with a generous squeeze of lemon and some black pepper, along with some similarly cooked fennel - boiled, quartered, fried, and lemoned. Gorgeous.

That said, I'm far from an expert.

Thanks to both RandomGrub and Bibliocook for the links.

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