Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sicilian Stuffed Artichokes

Artichokes are no doubt a springtime treat.  One of my favorites is my mom's Sicilian Stuffed Artichokes. She doesn't use many recipes, but I watched her make them enough time to get it pretty close -- Thank you Mom! The smell of these cooking brings back many great memories.

For Easter, C was kind enough to run out and pick up the last minute perishables.  I don't know where these monsters came from, but they were amazing!

Sicilian Stuffed Artichokes
4 large artichokes
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups bread crumbs
4 oz grated pecorino romano cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cups artichoke steaming liquid

Preheat oven to 350

Trim the artichokes: 

  • Cut stem at base so artichoke rests eavenly.
  • Cut off about an inch from the top to remove the pointy stems.
  • Using a scissors, trim the tips off the rest of the leaves to remove the spiny parts.
  • Tear away any tough outer leaves.
  • Spread leaves. Using a melon baller or small spoon, scoop out the hairy choke center of the artichoke.  (see below for detailed instructions on how to do this)
Stand the artichokes up in pot, add about two inches or water and steam for 30 minutes (inexpensive artichoke steamers make this really easy... but if not, simply choose a smaller pot so you can wedge the chokes tightly together)

While the chokes steam... 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine bread crumbs, lemon juice, garlic, cheese, and olive oil. Stir to combine. 

Transfer chokes (stands and all) to a baking dish -- don't throw out the steaming liquid! 

Spoon stuffing into the center cavity. Then gently pull each artichoke leaf out and spoon stuffing inside leaves.  Repeat with as many leaves as you have patience for... Repeat with remaining artichokes.

Drizzle artichoke water over each choke.

Bake until the artichokes are tender – about 30-40 minutes.

If you haven't worked with artichokes before, here are a few references that might help:

How to clean and prepare artichokes: 

Video: How to make a stuffed artichoke:
Warning: the artichoke filling used in this video is WAY to healthy  :)

Yes, they can be somewhat time consuming but the extra effort is sooo worth it.

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