Friday, June 15, 2012

How NOT to Roast Stuffed Artichokes

Everyone knows that before you stuff and roast an artichoke, you have to boil it first. I know this, and have used this accepted technique many times.  

However, somewhere deep in the memory banks were vague recollections of a stuffed artichoke appetizer that the chef claimed had been roasted raw. This video shows what happens when a cook’s heart ignores a cook’s brain.

The finished product was visually arresting (to put it kindly), and despite looking completely inedible had quite a nice taste and texture. No, that wasn’t the problem. It was the almost 2 1/2 hours (seemed longer) I spent making it that took the wind out of my sails. I love stuffed artichokes, but not that much.

So, I’m recommending we boil our trimmed artichokes in salted water for 30 minutes, or until they just start to get tender. Then, drain very well, stuff with the crumbs and roast until tender and crispy-brown. You’ll have the same amazing artichoke appetizer without the Monopoly-tournament time commitment. Enjoy!


For each artichoke:
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
salt and pepper to taste
cayenne to taste
pinch of dry or fresh herbs
2 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 clove minced garlic
*boil for about 30 minutes in salted water, drain very well, stuff and roast at 375 F. until tender and browned.

20 comments:

VU Design Studio said...

Love everything you do....Do you have a recipe for stuffed zucchini boats....Something savory with an egg custard with cheese etc....
Thanks
VU

Elise said...

Great advice John! When I first attempted to grill artichokes years ago I sliced them and grilled them raw. Bad idea. Really stupidly bad idea. Such a waste of a perfectly awesome artichoke. Now I steam first, then grill. No surprise that the same holds for roasting them.

Chris K. said...

Steaming is a more efficient method of blanching the 'chokes than boiling. You just need to add more salt to the seasoning.

Luatica said...

Maybe a wet filling that contains more moisture would have helped to steam the artichokes in the inside as they cooked?

Pantalone said...

Steam(not boil)them first for about 1/2 hour. That's what I do. Then stuff and roast. They're gonna look a little "crunchy" whatever way you do it though!

You can also cut them in half, steam them and then scoop out the fibrous choke and put your "stuffing" there. Then roast(or broil). Lots of melted butter helps! Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Hillarious!
But seriously, they really do look good... I'd kinda like to eat them like that... I mean on purpose.

Chef John said...

Thanks everyone! Seems to be the consensus I need to steam first instead of boil. Duly noted! :)

bdwilcox said...

To me, artichokes are like crab. Way too much effort for too little return.

Dani Besednjak said...

why not microwave it first?

Rita said...

one reason why i love reading your blog - aside from teaching us techniques and sharing your incredible recipes - you also show us what and what not to do. makes this blog a really worthy read. kudos!

Kir said...

What about adding braising (not just water) liquid and covering with foil? And then in the last 20 mins or so - remove foil, and parmigiano and breadcrumbs.

Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

I laughed watching that video, too funny. I have been eating stuffed artichokes since I was a little kid. My Sicilian Nonna made them almost every Sunday. She trimmed them like you, but also snipped off the tops of the lower leaves. She would dig into the center with a spoon and remove some of the prickly parts of the choke, banged them open, stuffed them and then steamed them in a big pot with a few inches of water. I never saw her use lemon, but then again, she made them so fast they never had a chance to turn yellow. She also made an artichoke omelette that was to die for.

S/V Blondie-Dog said...

Yikes!! Hey Chef... I do hates to be da bearing of bad news but you've been chopped!

Claudine said...

Yep, steaming works great. I love that you let us have sneak peeks into reality in your kitchen. It's so easy to imagine great cooks, including you of course, whisking through recipes and never once breaking a sweat or having a dish come out less than perfect. One of your wonderful gifts is your willingness to share these less than ideal instances.
I'm glad your artichokes were tasty, even if they weren't actually worth the wait. Thanks for the lessen.
Blessings.

jbscot69 said...

I love your blog and am delighted to be able to let you in on a wee secret - I cook artichokes in the microwave ! I often eat them solo for a quick lunch during the season and have got the method down to a tee : having snapped off the stem I pop it into a jug/bowl and add a tablespoon of water. Tightly covered with film, pricked once then I cook for 8-10 minutes, depending on size. Delicious ! You could use this method to pre cook your recipe, I would recommend 5/6 mins ! Enjoy :)

jbscot69 said...

@bdwilcox et al : artichokes are the food of the poor, you end up with more than you started out with !

Ernesto said...

I will have to try this next time I grill baby back ribs on my charcoal grill. They take 4 hours anyway!

Steve said...

Chef:

I'm wondering whether you might not have had a better result by covering them with foil first to allow them to steam for maybe a half hour or so, then uncovering and finishing under somewhat higher heat.

That way you might be able to retain the flavor you otherwise would lose boiling them first.

Just a thought.

Personally, I'm not a fan of artichokes, anyhow.

They remind me of sex: usually a letdown in the end and sometimes you end up with more than what you started with.

Kori Tuggle said...

Chef John--we love your videos. But were disheartened to hear you incorrectly teach your viewers that a slightly opened artichoke is "old"...that part of video is absolutely incorrect. An artichoke is a flower. And if it experiences any variation of temperature..it will open up slightly while still growing on the plant.
We'd LOVE to have you come here to the Artichoke Captial..here in Castroville, California- and give you a field tour- show you exactly how artichokes grow- so you can correctly describe a fresh artchoke.
We hope consider correcting that incorrect footage as it is misleading people.
Thanks for listening.
Kori Tuggle, Ocean Mist Farms (Grower of artichokes for over 88 years)

Kori Tuggle said...

Chef John--we love your videos. But were disheartened to hear you incorrectly teach your viewers that a slightly opened artichoke is "old"...that part of video is absolutely incorrect. An artichoke is a flower. And if it experiences any variation of temperature..it will open up slightly while still growing on the plant.
We'd LOVE to have you come here to the Artichoke Captial..here in Castroville, California- and give you a field tour- show you exactly how artichokes grow- so you can correctly describe a fresh artchoke.
We hope consider correcting that incorrect footage as it is misleading people.
Thanks for listening.
Kori Tuggle, Ocean Mist Farms (Grower of artichokes for over 88 years)