I do not remember a time when I have really ever touched or met an artichoke. I have tried the canned variety, but was a little disgusted by the taste and texture. I was very nervous last night while reading Jack Bishop discuss in his book on how to prepare the artichoke for this recipe. I was afraid I could not do it. So many mysterious moments. "Remove the choke". What's the choke? "Rinse off to make sure all the hairs are gone". There are hairs? What am I eating?? I decided to watch a video on YouTube to prepare me for this moment, I wanted to see someone else open this strange poky, tough...thing.
cookingguide — October 27, 2008 — Cooking Tips: How to Remove Artichoke Hearts. Basic cooking techniques and tips. Expert Village How-to Videos
It took me forever to find any good artichokes in town. Walmart had some, but they only had 4 and they were not in good shape. My favorite open air produce market had run out and may not get any till Thursday. I went home, and in despair, I called a store that was in another city. I was filled with joy when they said they had some... although, those artichokes had been there since Saturday.
I loaded the reluctant chefs into the car and gathered a few artichokes and brought them home.
I learned that these things have thorns at the tips of their leaves. Nobody warned me! They hurt. The inner leaves, guess what, they have thorns too, and hair. That is the choke, that is what you want to remove, not because it chokes you, because for other reasons I need to research. I have 5 more days of cooking artichokes to figure that out and share it with you.
I stored my extra artichokes in one of those new rubbermaid "produce saver" I lack a crisper in my fridge, so I hope these help to keep my veggies going when I buy in bulk.
Final result? I love Pan-Fried Artichokes! The gentle notes of garlic, salt, and olive oil were music on my tongue. If you own the book, and you have not tried this recipe, you are missing out. It is worth the work.
Tomorrow: Grilled Artichokes, Two Ways. --> I am going to need to get a propane tank tomorrow :D
Forgot to talk about The Two Chefs! Chef Turbo helped a little bit with other parts of the meal, I figured with all the knives and hot oil, that this was not a good recipe for him to work with. Sous Chef Squeaker had fun knocking food off my plate (it was an accident, he quickly helped me clean it up). Chef Turbo thought it was "yucky" at first sight, but when I made him take a 'thank you bite', he changed his mind and also fell in love with the fried artichokes. SC Squeaker tried it, but is 2 year old mouth just could not handle the texture.