Dinner Table Talks - Our Food Legacy
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I'll be posting recipes (some secret!), so check back often. If you'd like your recipes posted, email them to me and I'll be sure to post them here, too. Be sure to give your recipe a title with the name of the original "chef"...for instance: "Grandma Gussie's Rice Balls."
(P.S. That's Grandma Gussie in the picture above!)
Stuffed Artichokes from "the old country." (Recipe of Gaetana Parrini Tomasetti -- a/k/a "Grandma Gussie")
4 medium-large size artichokes
½-¾ c. seasoned bread crumbs
4 tbsp. good, sharp Parmesan cheese
2 heaping tsp. fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1. Trim artichokes by cutting straight across the top of the artichokes (about an inch down) and cutting off the stems on the bottom.
2. Using scissors, trim the pointy tips off each petal.
3. Combine seasoned bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, oregano, and garlic in a bowl. Moisten the breading with olive oil (this is key to keeping the breading moist).
4. For each artichoke, loosen the petals by spreading them apart from the center, so it looks a flower. Fill in each petal with a little of the bread crumb mixture, pushing down into each petal. Don’t pack it too tightly. (Lighter is better.)
5. Place the artichokes (stems down) sides touching each other, in a pot that fits them snugly so they don’t tip over.
6. Fill the pot with an inch or two of water (up to the top of the lowest bottom leaf). Pour some olive oil into the water NOT ON the choke. Squeeze some lemon juice into the water also (this keeps the chokes from browning). Put a slice of lemon on top of each artichoke. Cover with a lid, tilted so steam can be released. Steam the artichokes over medium heat for 1 hour until the petals can be pulled from the center of the choke without too much effort. Keep an eye out to make sure water remains in the pot. If it dries up, add more water.
Enjoy the stuffed artichoke pulling out a petal at a time. Holding from the cut end, scrape the breading (with your teeth) along with the tender part of the petal. Discard the rest of petal of course, but keep the heart (the best part, in my opinion). If you’d like to eat the heart of the choke, after devouring the stuffed artichoke, clean out and discard the needles from the heart, sprinkle a little salt on the heart. Yum!