Don’t choke on making artichokes. It’s EASY.Main Course / August 1, 2013
Braised Artichokes with Butter and Parmesan
So many of my friends and family lately have mentioned that they steer away from making artichokes because it seems so formidable. You can understand why, they’re spiny, heavy and really, really firm when you buy them. It’s like a green pine cone with attitude. Read on to see how easy and fool proof it can be to serve.
FOLLOW THIS RECIPE: First, find firm chokes with the leaves mostly closed and green. Visually you can see if it looks like it’s seen better days. Just pick the one that looks pretty to you.
Wash and cut off the stem right to the base, and about 1 to 1 1/2 inches down from the top, cutting off the upper, smaller and mostly tight leaves. Fill a large pot about 3/4 full of water. Add 1/2 C vermouth, 3 T olive oil, and a little salt. When the water is a rolling boil, place the artichokes in the water.
Now, don’t panic when you try and push them under the water. They will float so keeping them submerged won’t be possible. Instead, just keep tongs around to kind of turn them over so that at least one side is under the water. Turn every 10 minutes or so. Boil on a low rolling boil, at about medium heat, (just enough to keep the bubbles up and intentional,) for 40-45 minutes. Chokes are done when you pull one of the bottom leaves off and it simply gives easily and comes right out.
Take out of the water and invert to drain. Place on a plate and serve with good old mayo, drawn butter and grated fresh parmiggiano reggiano. I served it with a delicious Yalumba Viogner which brought out the sweetness of the choke and was great with the top notes of savory butter and green ymminess!
The prize is the lovely heart. which is a rush of earthy, tender and amazing softness. When you get to the bottom of all those leaves simply scrape out what looks a little like fur to reveal the heart. (Eat the leaves by inverting the leaf in your mouth and closing your bottom teeth over the meat of the leaf and pull. the soft part with remain in your mouth along with that glistening slather of butter, mayo and cheese that went in with it!!)