Baby Artichokes-any & all advice!
I have never cooked or prepared any artichokes, but couldn't resist the box of them. Wanting to try steam with dips, stuffed, grilled and maybe fried. And am not sure-but with the baby ones is it not an issue with the choke for any of the ways to prepare? Thanks for any help!
You'll need to remove most of the leaves - pull until you reach a pale green in the body of the artichoke, cut off the top third to remove the darker green top, use a peeler to remove the tough skin of the stems, and place in lemoned water to keep from browning. You will end up with a huge pile of leaves and a small mound of beautiful chokes. Cut them in half and remove the choke if tough.
My favorite artichoke recipe is to first saute them in garlic, lemon juice, butter, and olive oil then add white wine, cover and steam them until just under done. Toss barely al dente pasta (fettuccine or spaghetti) in the pan with the artichokes, add some pasta water, and finish cooking. Serve with parm and parsley.
Clamshell boxes may have instructions on the bottom or inside. I've trimmed off most of the leaves (down to the point where I see the choke from on top), keeping the trimmed ones in acidulated water to retard discoloration. Depending on I then cut them in quarters lengthwise (roughly bite size pieces). Then I fry them with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, maybe moistened with a little wine or sherry.
It depends on how "baby" they are -- sometimes the choke can be well-developed even in small artichokes. If you're not sure, you can steam them and cut them in half (top to bottom) and scoop out the choke with a spoon or melonballer before you stuff them.
Here's a good thread on baby artichokes, including a link to my favorite recipe.