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I am cooking artichokes tonight

(39 Posts)
bigbadbarry Mon 13-Jun-11 15:02:20

Never done it before. Had a moment of madness at the farm shop and bought them. Any tips? I am soaking them in salty water ATM as advised by Jane Grigson.

RuthChan Mon 13-Jun-11 15:20:10

Didn't know they should be soaked!

I've always just boiled them in salted water for about 10-15 mins depending on the size.
I then like the leaves dipped in melted butter when eating.

bigbadbarry Mon 13-Jun-11 15:28:53

Apparently, upside down (they do not want to float upside down) in order to remove grit and insects that might be lurking confused
She then says to boil for 30 minutes: they are not huge, maybe 2 or 3 inches in diameter - do you think that will be too long?

ilovemydogandMrObama Mon 13-Jun-11 15:30:38

I love artichokes! I prefer the leaves trimmed and the prickly bits cut off, but it's a bit of a faff...

bigbadbarry Mon 13-Jun-11 15:32:52

I want my children to like them so if I need to faff I can a bit. Just with scissors? Before cooking?

RuthChan Mon 13-Jun-11 15:34:17

That's a good tip!

Actually, no, thinking about it, her time scale is probably better than mine.
Go for the 30 mins.
If you think it might be too long, you can always give them a poke a bit earlier to check.

bigbadbarry Mon 13-Jun-11 15:37:22

No good me poking them, I have no idea how soft they are supposed to be!

RuthChan Mon 13-Jun-11 15:38:56

Go for the 30 mins then.
Better too soft than too hard.

Do you know how to eat them once they're ready?

Bucharest Mon 13-Jun-11 15:43:56

Why are you boiling them? Neverhad them boiled, can't imagine it.

Either pan fry, for about 10mins in a bit of olive oil and water (just to stop them drying out) or even more yummy, oven roast. Slivers of garlic slosh-bosh with the olive oil, 15 mins or so in the oven.

Make sure you take the choke out before you start. (it's the furry bit in the middle, get it out by going in from underneath the artichoke with a shrp knife, you can see a ciruclar line marking where to cut it out.

Bucharest Mon 13-Jun-11 15:45:20

You must cut the prickly bits off, or they'll cut your mouth! Trim about an inch off the top all the way round, test you've cut enough off by running your fingers over the trimmed bit, if it's still remotely prickly, trim another bit.

bigbadbarry Mon 13-Jun-11 15:46:08

Oh blimey bucharest don't confuse me now. Jane Grigson says boil.
Ruthchan Jane has detailed instructions, something about pulling them off and not eating the tips?
Am rather wishing I hadn't started all this now smile

bigbadbarry Mon 13-Jun-11 15:46:33

Not sure I like the sound of a furry bit

RuthChan Mon 13-Jun-11 15:59:33

I've never had them pan-fried either.
Might be interesting next time!

Yes, once boiled, pull the leaves off one at a time.
Discard the very outer leaves.
From the second row in, take the leaf in your fingers, holding the outer part.
Dip the fleshy inner part in butter and eat the fleshy part by scraping it off with your teeth. Discard the outer surface of the leaf.
(That will make more sense when you do it.)

Keep eating all the leaves in this manner until you reach the aforementioned hairy part.
This should be removed, but not binned, as inside is the heart.
The heart is also delicious and can be eaten with the same melted butter.

It's easy once you start.
Enjoy!

Bucharest Mon 13-Jun-11 16:00:44

Jane Grigson has been dead for donkeys years and I live in artichoke land!

ChaosTrulyReigns Mon 13-Jun-11 16:06:00

erm, sorry to be a proper doily but which way is the top?

blush

It's just I imagined the top to be where the fluffy leaves are, but reading Bush's prep tips, that sounds like la bottom.

Sorry.....

Bucharest Mon 13-Jun-11 16:08:06

The top is the spiky bit.

Bucharest Mon 13-Jun-11 16:09:22

The furry bit is in the centre. Your eally don't want to eat that, although it depends on the size of it, tiny baby artichokes tend not to have them, the big stonkers will have a nest of furry stuff in the middle.

Bucharest Mon 13-Jun-11 16:10:19

The heart nestles under the furry bit. If you cut one in half you can see the fur and then the ordinary flesh underneath.

ChaosTrulyReigns Mon 13-Jun-11 16:11:26

Ahha! I thought so - so you trim the leaves at the top - till thrre's no spiky bits.

Grazie.

tiggersreturn Mon 13-Jun-11 16:17:14

No need to trim any spiky bits off, just cut about 1cm off the stalk to remove the hard end. Boil in water with vinegar or lemon juice to remove sourness until done. Done is when you can easily slide a sharp knife into the base/stalk.

Only trim spiky bits if you're doing something complicated involving removing choke and roasting or frying. Otherwise eat boiled and dipped into vinagrette or mayo

tiggersreturn Mon 13-Jun-11 16:18:15

You eat the boiled leaves by peeling them off, dipping in whatever you're using and scraping the flesh away with your teeth. You don't go near the point as it's not edible enough there.

bigbadbarry Mon 13-Jun-11 16:36:26

I am much more worried now than when I started this thread confused. I am going to follow the long-dead Jane Grigson's instructions as far as soaking and boiling the damn things are concerned; I am not going to trim anything (they don't feel that spiky) but assume that we eat the non-spiky end and keep the spikes out of our mouths. We will dip in melted butter. When we get to the middle furry bit - can I just cut off the furry bit and the "heart" will become obvious?

tiggersreturn Mon 13-Jun-11 16:45:15

yes - it looks grey

bigbadbarry Mon 13-Jun-11 16:59:38

OK here is my next stupid question: they are now in a large pan of boiling vinegary water. Lid on or off? And (ok. two questions): they are ridiculously bouyant and bobbing about on the surface - do I poke them every now and again to make a different bit go under the water?

tiggersreturn Mon 13-Jun-11 17:03:48

on and leave them alone - they are really easy to cook.

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