Stuffed artichokes - how do YOU cook them
Ok, so I've got the artichokes stuffed with the seasoned bread crumbs and evoo stuffing. My ex mil used to cook them on top of the stove in about an inch of water but it was hell getting them out of the stock pot.
I put them in a shallow baking pan with the inch of water, cover with foil and put in a 350 degree oven for an hour or mor.
Anyone else have any other ideas? The heart must be tender and the leaves must pull away easily.
You don't tell us how you prepare the artichokes for stuffing, and that will determine how difficult or easy they are to get out of a pan. I've seen cooks and chefs split them in half, then remove the choke and stuff. If that's the method you're using, I don't know what to tell you.
But here's the method I use. First, take a whole fresh artichoke, trim the stem (but reserve) and any small scraggly leaves. Next, hold the artichoke in your had, stem side to your palm, and smash it head-on (tips of leaves hitting first) as hard as you can against the counter top or a cutting board.. Repeat until artichoke "blooms" and the leaves open up. Then spread the leaves by inserting your thumbs or fingers into the center of them and spreading the leaves apart so the artichoke opens wide like a semi-open rose. Be careful of the sharp barbs on the leaf tips.
Next, using a spoon (a thin spoon will be sharpest if you have one) reach in and dig out the choke. The more often you do it, the easier it gets. Swearing is only allowed on the first two. Finally, rinse the inside to wash out any little hairs left from the choke, and bash them again, nose down, on a paper towel to remove any excess water.
Now you're ready to stuff them. I use the largest artichokes I can find and open them to the max so they'll hold maximum stuffing. I use a wide variety of stuffings such as the same filling I would use for stuffed cabbage or pepper, I've used a "risotto" made with orzo and eggplant, sun dried tomatoes, and lamb. At Thanksgiving, they're good stuffed with regular "Thanksgiving stuffing," then served alongside the bird. No end to the fillings you can use in them, including a savory custard if have a pan that will keep them from tipping during steaming.
And THAT is the definitive word in my method. I steam the stuffed artichokes. Depending on how many I'm cooking, I may use a large pan with a steamer tray in the bottom, or even a huge soup kettle large enough to hold a full sized dinner plat that has a soup bowl inverted in water in the bottom of the pan, then the plate on top and the artichokes sitting on it. IF need be, I can stack them two high in my giant pot. I steam them until a leaf pulls away effortlessly and a sharp paring knife pierces the heart.
Hope this helps.
I do this as well - Tripper doesn't mention this step but after steaming them and before stuffing I remove the choke - it comes out easily due to the par cooking (also I use an old fashioned grapefruit spoon for the task - perfect!). Then I stuff the centre and pull away the leaves and stuff around them. Back in the oven uncovered so the stuffing crisps up.
Re Stuffing - sometimes do a sausage/bread crumb mixture; sometimes shrimp/bread crumbs - really depends on what I have around
That's about it:
--BIg pot, like a stock pot or Dutch oven, stovetop
--on the oven covered with foil or a lid
--microwave, which works better than you'd expect
Third option is skip the whole artichokes altogether. Not so showy, but good for a weeknight dinner or when you want smaller servings.
I started doing this out of a combination of shock at the price of whole artichokes and sheer laziness. Not to mention simply not wanting an entire one all by myself.
Use canned artichoke hearts or a combination of hearts and bottoms in a shallow casserole. The amount is determined by the number of people you're planning to serve.
You can also use frozen artichokes. I've used marinated ones - save the marinade.
Make the same stuffing and poke it around the hearts (and quartered bottoms if using.)
Drizzle with the same olive oil and lemon juice type dressing that you'd use for the regular recipe. If you've saved the marinade from mar. artichokes, add lemon juice to that.
Cover and bake until heated through, remove the cover and continue baking until browned. I usually top with some Parm.
Yeah, I know it's lazy but it's a good side dish, tastes great, works well for a group.
I've added oysters to it and it was terrific.
I stuff them with a mixture of melted butter, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and season to taste. Then into the pressure cooker they go..5 lbs. pressure, 10 minutes after the control jiggles. Yummy...especially with more melted butter for dipping.
You might try to make little cheesecloth bags for each artichoke for easy removal from any kind of pan if you have a problem. I've never had to do that but it would make sense.
I always cook them on top of the stove in a Dutch oven, leaving a little bit of space between each one. I add about two inches of lightly salted water, along with a good splash of olive oil. When the water starts to simmer, I cover, and cook at a simmer for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the artichokes are a grey/green and very tender.