March 22, 2010

First Grilling of the Spring!

It's okay to be jealous - it tasted even better than it looks!


On the left is artichokes, the middle is zucchini and the right is teriyaki marinated chicken. We often have the latter two, but have never tried to grill artichokes. Anny tells me that there was only one time that we have even tried to COOK artichokes, and that it was quite the Fail. This time, though, it was a perfect add on to a great spring dinner.

Had I read in advance of my grocery store run how much work it takes to cook an artichoke, I probably would not have bought them. Heck, I never think to buy them because locally they are fairly expensive for a veggie, but these were marked down to $2 each instead of $5. Good deal and a new challenge? Sign me up!

I took a look, after getting home of course, at how to properly grill artichokes. As it turns out there are several steps that were common. These will serve as my "recipe" that I'm jotting down to use again in the future.  (Please note that I honestly pulled a little bit from all over the place and mostly made it up - I suggest you do the same!)

Cut off the top third of the artichoke as well as the bottom of the stalk
Trim the tips off of the outer petals (I think this is flame protection...)
Cut the artichoke in half lengthwise
Use a spoon to remove all of the "hairs" that reside within.* This is more apparent once you cut it open and get a good look at it.
Boil the now-halves for 15 minutes
Drain and cool long enough that you can pick them up.
(Insert 4 hour marinade from one website. I did not have that much time, nor would I have spent that much time doing it anyway!)
Coat both sides with olive oil - I dropped mine in a bowl and brushed both sides while on the grill
Place middle-side-down on the grill for 7 or 8 minutes, then flip and leave them on for another 5 minutes

We did not eat the outside petals - they were really tough.  There was plenty of food inside that it was not an issue, though!  I also made a quick "dip" (?) to go with it.  (the recipe I stole from also included basil and lemon peel and would have had me use the food processor.  Too much work for an afternoon grill out.)  My final dip consisted of:

3 spoonfuls of (light) Mayonaise
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 squirts of lemon juice (could have bought a real lemon, but didn't.  oh well)
stirred well with just a spoon

As I said, the whole dinner tasted really good - and everyone at the table agreed.  We always try new things when company is coming over, I don't know why.  (And Jason and Nadia are hardly "company" but they seem to enjoy trying new things too, so it works out well!)

*HERE is one of the recipes that I borrowed from.  Emeril is good, just has more time to put into cooking!
*Something that I was completely unaware of is the nature of an artichoke - it's a perennial  thistle plant. That is what all of the "hairs" become. 

2 comments:

  1. That's funny, I tend to try out new things when company is coming over. I've always wondered why we do that, but usually it turns out alright.

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  2. well there you go, i've learned something new today. did not know artichokes 'bloomed'. i will NOT be grilling them anytime soon....lots of work! you should totally try whole, grilled carrots. my best grill meal is all in one - whole carrots, halved potatoes, chunked onions and a beef roast. the roast goes on the grill grate side and the veggies go on the flat skillet side.

    oh yeah, and no kitchen clean up!

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