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Artichoke help [moved from General Chowhounding]

I've never cooked artichoke before. I finally found some and cooked it yesterday, and it was ... terrible :(

I followed a half-remembered recipe from a TV program;
(this is for the heart btw) Cut off the stalk and the leaves (I know, I know), chop the top 3rd of the artichoke off, slice in half longways, then remove the choke.

These ones are giants, so I cut them into 8 pieces, and then fried them in oliveoil and balsamic vinegar. I made up the cooking method, but I know they can be pan fried.

So I take them out as they're golden brown, and they're like, too firm or something. And I didn't like the taste. I like them when you buy them in a marinade or from a jar, so surely I must be doing something wrong?!

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  1. Large artichokes take a long time to cook and tenderize. Use baby artichokes for frying, and if you must, parboil larger ones first. I prefer steaming globe chokes for 45 min or until tender.

    1. you might want to review this thread from earlier in the year. I agree with Passadumkeg, gotta steam them, especially if they are large.

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/501173

      1. Thanks a lot both of you, that makes a lot of sense (although thinking about it, cutting the artichoke heart into smaller pieces should have have enabled frying). I'll try this today/tomorrow and keep my fingers crossed :D

        2 Replies
        1. re: Soop

          soop, it is also that the fibrous texture has grown coarser with age/size. so cutting into smaller pieces doesn't solve the entire problem, but longer cooking will.

          1. re: Soop

            The leaves on the larger artichokes are just too tough to cook by just a quick fry, no matter how small you cut them. I don't think that's really a good method for a nice big artichoke. You'll be much better off just steaming and scraping the leaves with your teeth as you eat.

          2. I have never cut large artichokes. I just boil mine for about 40 mins with some lemon juice and no salt. I heard salt stopped them from softening.

            1. No need to go to so much trouble. Just cut off the last 1/8" of the stalk (the stalk is edible) and pull off the small, tough leaves at the base of the artichoke. Bring water to boil, add a slice of lemon, add artichokes and simmer uncovered, rolling over now and then, until a knife in the center goes in easily, 30-45 minutes depending on the size. Serve with melted butter and lemon juice, or vinaigrette.

              With the very small artichokes that you can find earlier in the season, do the same but cut off the tops, quarter, and saute then add some water or white wine, cover and steam til tender.