Chilebrown at home

Friday, February 6, 2009


It is not to far away for Spring vegetables to burst into the Chilebrown kitchen. Chris from Zukerman Farms claims that in 21 days he will be able to harvest the first asparagus.

"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, Bright globe artichokes and warm green asparagus, Brown paper packages tied up with pea tendrils, These are a few of my favorite things"(Sorry Rodgers and Hammerstein).

Our local store had some nice looking green globes of the thistle plant named artichoke. They will be cooked with just water, salt and a couple of citrus fruits. The citrus adds flavor and the acid stops discoloration. The first duty is to wash and trim your chokes.

Cut the stem to 1/2 inch before the globe. I know that 'Jacques Pepperin' leaves a longer stem and then peels it. That is why he is French.
Slice a good hunk off the top. Rub all freshly cut surfaces with lemon or other citrus. Cut all the thorny tips from the leaves to form a neat line around the orb. This is strictly for presentation and is optional. Place in a large pot that has cold salted water. Place a lemon cut in half and squeezed into water. Place trimmed artichokes in water and cover. Cook for 40 minutes at medium simmer depending on size of your spheroid. The way to check if your artichoke is done, is to peal a leaf. They should easily pull away from the body. You can also take a knife and insert it into its heart. The heart is located on the bottom of the choke. It should be tender. Drain well and let cool slightly.

Serve with mayonnaise spiked with a little chipotle en adobo. Peel away a leaf and dip. When the leaves are gone, cut away to expose the heart. There will be a purple hairy mass. Trim away and dispose. Eat the heart and break out into song. These are a few of my favorite things!


Zoomie said...

Mine, too! I love artichokes! I sometimes add vinegar to the water, too, and herbs, for just a little more flavor.

cookiecrumb said...

I love the "A" vegetables (and Zuckerman, here we come in two weeks).
You prepare and eat yours almost exactly like I do. None of that trimming. I even leave the pointy tips on.
I will say I've also had glorious luck pressure cooking them (on the little rack at the bottom of the pot that holds them out of the water). Add lemon rind, dried chile, bay leaf... man, that flavor gets driven right into the thistle we love to chew on.
Cranky LOL-ed at your remark about Jacques. :)

Chilebrown said...

Cookie and Cranky, At least somebody got it. I like Jacques.
Going to the Oakland market tommorow morning. Nice market on the waterfront.You will probably read this to late. Killer apple cider vinegar is the goal.