Saturday, March 29, 2008


Growing up my family ate artichokes year round. Most of my family fought for the heart, but I always loved the ritual of pulling the leaves between my teeth. My daughter and I often share a piece of fish and an artichoke for a perfect supper. Fresh are always better (see the soup recipe for instructions on steaming) but they are avaible in cans (non marinated) and jars are usually marinated. As you can see I prefer to marinate my own.

Marinated Artichoke hearts
24 small to medium artichokes, trimmed and steamed
1 cup each red wine vinegar and olive oil
4 -cloves fresh garlic, sliced
3 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Steam the artichokes and remove leaves. You can eat these with melted butter, mayonnaise or aolie. 
Remove the choke and trim as desired. You can leave the chokes whole or cut them in half vertically through the stem. Mix together wine vinegar, oil, garlic powder and parsley. Add artichokes. Stir, cover and refrigerate. Better on the second day. Will keep several weeks in the refrigerator; stir occasionally.

Cream Of Artichoke Soup
1 Large artichoke
1 lemon
3 Cloves garlic, minced
1/2-teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4-cup butter
4 cups heavy cream
Pinch of salt, fresh ground pepper to taste
Cut stem at bottom of artichoke. Cut the top third of the artichoke and snip off remaining sharp tips of leaves with kitchen shears. Gently pull the leaves of the artichoke to spread them out a bit. In a large saucepan place artichokes in with 3 cups water and juice of one lemon. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium and cook for about 45 minutes until very tender. Drain the artichokes and cool down with water. When cool enough to handle cut artichokes in half lengthwise. Remove and discard the fuzzy choke part. Place artichokes in a blender or food processor until very smooth. In a large soup pan sauté the garlic and red pepper flakes in the butter over medium heat. When the garlic is golden add artichoke puree. Whisk in the heavy cream and salt and pepper. When at the desired temperature serve.

Zely’s Famous Artichoke Dip
8-ounce package cream cheese
1 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cup sour cream
1/2-cup mayo
1 cans non-marinated artichokes (coarsely chopped)
3 Cloves garlic
1 Tablespoon chopped dill
Few dashes Worchester sauce

Throw it all in a bowl mix it up. Put in baking dish and cook uncovered at 350 until it is bubbly and brown (about 35 minutes.) Serve with crackers, crusty bread or crudity. I must admit my favorite way to serve it is using a small round loaf of bread and turn it in to a bread bowl by cutting off the top of the loaf and scooping out the bread (save it for dipping.) Just pour the dip into the bread bowl and again bake until bubbly and golden brown. For larger gatherings (This is such a hit that I would do this for anything over 4!!!!!) double the recipe and use a large round loaf. I also buy a little extra bread and slice it as it goes fast.

Artichoke Frittata

1 cup canned artichoke hearts in water

6 eggs

1/2cup half-and-half 

1/4-teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper 

1/8-teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Spread artichokes in 4 well-greased individual au gratin dishes or 1 8-inch soufflé dish. Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese on top. In bowl beat eggs with half-and-half, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Pour mixture over artichokes & cheddar. Top with Parmesan. 

Bake at 350°F until frittata is puffy and lightly browned and center feels firm (about 20 minutes). Serve at once.

Chilean Sea bass with Lemon Caper Artichoke Sauce
8 tablespoons of butter
½ cup white wine
3 tablespoons capers
1/2 cup of vegetable stock
Juice of 4 lemons
Zest of 1 lemon
2 cups non-marinated artichoke hearts
Salt and Pepper
4 tablespoons canola oil

4 fillets of Chilean sea bass (approx. 2 lb.) with skin, if possible

Preheat your oven to 450°. In a stockpot melt the butter. Whisk together the wine, vegetable stock, capers lemon juice and zest. Add the artichoke hearts and bring to a boil. Let simmer to thicken for a few minutes. In an oven proof sauté (fry) pan and heat the canola oil until its so hot it's about to smoke. Season the fillets with salt and pepper and add to the hot pan cook them on one side for about 3 minutes and flip them over for another 2 minutes before (9) transferring to the oven for 3-4 minutes. Place on 4 plates and cover with Sauce. Great with roasted vegetables and potatoes.

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