|The artichokes - picture from the Black Angus menu.|
|The artichoke plant in my garden!! (Healthy artichoke plants, with a lot of space can yield many chokes in a season from one plant!)|
Next, flip them around and cut off about one inch off the front of the choke.
Then, you want to get rid of those prickly spines. They are very sharp, so beware. Take a pair of kitchen scissors and snip to remove them all the way around (your fingers will thank you later).
The nice lady on the you tube video told me that artichokes oxidize fast, and to rub them all over quickly with a half of lemon to prevent browning. Next, it's time to steam them. I went looking all over a few different stores for that little metal "space ship" type device that steams vegetables, but alas I could not find one anywhere. Luckily, my husband is half genius and part "MacGyver" to boot, so we decided to jimmy-rig a steamer with household items we had on hand.
First of all, our artichokes were those BIG monster globe type. My normal pot was way too small, so we went for our extra large pot. On the bottom of the pot we put our metal strainer upside down. On top of that we put a plate right side up.
|I'd like to thank my hubby, aka MacGyver for this spur of the moment choke steamer|
Next we put in the artichokes in on top of the plate. Note: We laid them on their side because of the plate factor. Normally if you have a steamer/spaceship you would place them face down.
Next it is recommended to steam them about 45 minutes. I hate it when they are slightly tough though, so because of their size, I added an extra 10 minutes, steaming them for almost an hour.
You will know they are done when you can easily stick a knife through the stem without any resistance. By the way, the house will smell fabulous and they will look like this:
While they are still warm bring them to a cutting board face down, and with tongs, cut down the middle of the stem, slicing them completely in half.
In the center you will find a purple section of leaves (what would have become the flower) that you will need to scoop out. Because everything is so soft, it comes out pretty easily. Just take a big spoon and gently cut out the center part and remove so they look like the two on the left.
|Picture from Cooking's Good blog - The one on the far right still needs the center purple part removed|
Preparing them this way is genius I tell you, because now you have an edible bowl where you can pour in a slathering spoonful of garlic butter and as you pull the leaves off, each bite will have a bit of butter on it. If you have never eaten an artichoke before, simply pull off the leaves and scrape the lower half of the leaf in your mouth, pulling off all the "meat". It is DIVINE!
Don't forget to add on a couple of turns of sea salt over the finished chokes
We were so excited to eat these that we totally forgot to grill them. But the grilling part is not for necessarily cooking them, just to add the tasty char marks to the out side. If you don't have the time (or the patience) to grill, eat them as soon as you can! They are great as an appetizer, on their own as a meal, or a side to steak, chicken, etc.
Also after you have pulled off all the leaves you are left with the very best part, the heart of the artichoke. Be sure to saver these. I tend to cut them up like hunks of meat, dip them carelessly in garlic butter and chew slowly to enjoy the wonderful flavor. I could almost go vegetarian if I could have these every night. They are so satisfying! These have GOT to be my all time favorite green vegetable. So don't be afraid to try this alien-esque type orb, as it could easily turn out to be your go to veggie!