This is my latest gourmet disasterpiece: Scorched Artichokes. I plan on making them again for Christmas, so if you happen to be coming over, here is your warning.
They actually tasted pretty good, and I know what I did wrong. Next time I'll steam the plain artichokes first, so I'm not so concerned about cooking them thoroughly in the oven, and I have to add more lemon juice to the tops so they don't turn brown.
It's very funny to serve artichokes to people who have never tried them. My husband just stared at his for about five minutes, then said: "So, do I eat the leaves, or just the heart?" You know I told him to eat the leaves and the fuzzy center part that gets stuck in your throat, just for kicks. It was a very amusing dinner experience...for me.
Milk Man must really love me, (or he's having an affair and feels guilty). Not only did he eat the entire thing, he told me it was excellent when he was finished. He must still be under the spell of my captivating charm, because if he were cheating, he knows I would "accidentally" poison him.
Here's the Recipe:
- Artichokes - whole
- Bread crumbs
- Parmesan cheese, and other Italian Cheeses- (your preference)
- minced onions and minced garlic
- crumbed, cooked bacon- optional
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Combine bread crumbs, onion, garlic, cheese in a bowl and set aside.
- Wash, and then steam the artichokes until they are soft, and the leaves peel off easily.
- Trim stems off of artichokes and trim tops evenly. Dip in lemon juice.
- Arrange in a Pyrex dish, and douse generously with EVOO.
- Press open the leaves a bit and stuff with bread crumb mixture.
- Coat tops with lemon juice.
- Bake artichokes at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes, until stuffing is brown, but leaves are NOT scorched and crispy, like mine.
Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832), poet and dramatist, shunned the artichoke. In his book Travels Through Italy, Goethe says, "the peasants eat thistles," a practice he could never adopt.
In the 1920s, Ciro Terranova "Whitey" (1889-1938), a member of the mafia and known as the "Artichoke King," began his monopoly of the artichoke market by purchasing all the produce shipped to New York from California at $6 a crate. He created a produce company and resold the artichokes at 30 to 40 percent profit. Not only did he terrorize distributors and produce merchants, he even launched an attack on the artichoke fields from Montara to Pescadero, hacking down the plants with machetes in the dead of night. These "artichoke wars" led the Mayor or New York, Fiorello La Guardia, to declare "the sale, display, and possession" of artichokes in New York illegal. Mayor La Guardia publicly admitted that he himself loved the vegetable and after only one week he lifted the ban.
- This info comes from http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/ArtichokeHistory.htm