Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Be still my heart: (Insanely) Great grilled artichokes

Grilled artichokes and reduced fat kielbasa. Next time, I shall grill the sausage
for much longer--needed more char to it.
'Tis the season for chokes, people. And have I got a recipe for you.

Now, you may know of my artichoke obsession already. I've written a how-to (see here) and even included steamed artichokes on my "Last Meals" list (seriously, see here). Until last week, I thought steamed-with-butter was the holy grail of preparation. Simple. Tasty. Perfect.

And then I found this post: Grilled artichokes ala Bandera. Heavens.

For those of you not in the Sacramento region, Bandera is a good date place. Low lighting, bustling bar, phenomenal cornbread and mashed potatoes, well-cooked meat dishes. And grilled artichokes. Oh, the grilled artichokes. Mr. T and I ordered them once, and enjoyed the buttery, garlicky deliciousness. But truth be told, I forgot about them until finding the how-to online. Oh my.

After grilling some up myself, it's a struggle, a daily struggle, not to make them again* and again and again. Yes, they turned out that good. So please, take a few minutes and grill some up today. Please. For me!

NSFD Ranking
*-** (Depending on how much oil/butter you use)

Prep time:
10 minutes
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30-90 minutes

Ingredients
2-4 artichokes
Balsamic vinegar
1 lemon
Olive oil
3-4 cloves of garlic, pressed or chopped
Salt and Pepper

Directions
Make sure to cook the chokes all the way through before
grilling. And DON'T skip the chilling step.
1. Trim artichokes and steam for 20-30 minutes until completely cooked. (Before cooking, add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to the water, or as the article above mentions, a slice of lemon and a bay leaf)

2. Remove artichokes from steamer and slice in half from stem-to-tip. (Take care, they will be hot!) Do your duty and eat any leaves that fall off during this process.

3. Rub chokes with copious amounts of lemon juice and put in the fridge for an hour or if you're in a hurry, 10 minutes in the freezer. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. Cooling off the chokes keeps them from falling apart on the grill.

4. While the chokes are cooling, combine the juice from the rest of your lemon, three tablespoons of olive oil, the garlic, salt to taste and lots of fresh cracked pepper.

5. When you're 15 minutes from eating dinner, remove artichokes from the fridge or freezer, and scoop out the "choke" part (center small leaves and hairy bits just above the heart).

6. Cook on a grill over medium heat, basting generously with the marinade, and turning every 2-3 minutes to keep them from catching fire. (The oil will cause some flame-ups, so a water bottle nearby might be handy.)

7. Serve with garlic butter and enjoy!!

xoxo,
Shawna

* I would totally make these twice a week, but T tires of repeat fare.
As with the sausage, the onions could have used some extra
time on the grill. Also, I just threw big slabs of onion on, and lost
about half through the grates. Need to be more strategic next time!

Other artichoke related posts:
- Project Pantry Waste Not, Want Not: Roasted artichoke and pasta casserole
- How to make, serve and eat the perfect artichoke
- Shawna's last meals


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