RaNdOm iNgReDiEnT: ARTICHOKE

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I thought of a new idea for a blog post and that is: RANDOM INGREDIENT! I always like to experiment with ingredients I have never cooked with before so I thought I would document how it works out!


I always see fresh artichokes in the store but have only worked with canned artichokes for my AMAZING bread bowl artichoke dip or marinated artichokes in oil for pasta and salads. One of my cousins used to enjoy microwaved fresh artichokes which would cook them until tender and then she would dip the leaves in butter.. I figure that I had to have a go at these by myself!

It is said to pick a good artichoke the leaves should be tight, not "blooming". If you squish the artichoke lightly it should make a squeaking noise if it is fresh and should also have some weight to it.

First I cleaned the artichokes really well and cut off a bit of the stem and used kitchen shears to cut off the thorny tips on each of the bracts.I also took a sharp knife and cut off the tip of the artichoke.

Next I cut the artichokes in half and steamed them for a half an hour... The artichoke is really pretty inside with the purple "choke"

 
In order to steam the halves I put them in a large frying pan filled with water about 1/4 full and placed a steamer such as this one into the pan and waited for the water to boil. I put the lid on the frying pan and just let the artichokes steam away!

Once steamed the "choke" must be removed which is just the purple "hairy looking" things.. I used a melon baller and it worked great!

Next I seasoned the artichokes with a hearty amount of olive oil, salt and pepper and placed them in a grill basket on the BBQ. We grilled them for about 15 minutes or until nice and charred. I also cooked up some portobello mushrooms which went really well with the artichokes :)

Once the leaves were tender and they had a great char these artichokes were ready and man were they delicious!!!! I love using my BBQ grill basket to do a bunch of mixed veggies such as zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, asparagus etc so it is nice to have a new vegetable I can grill.

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