Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Grilled Artichokes

The other day I bought a couple artichokes. Only a couple because these were the big daddy of artichokes. I mean really! Somebody gave this plant and extra dose of fertilizer. These are so big that I couldn't just steam them for a meal. Well I could but I'm an artichoke freak. I could probably eat both of these and never touch the meat on my plate. But I'm not sure The Fireman would find this massive artichoke as appealing as I do. He likes artichokes but its only a like and not a love. I love artichokes. So tonight I'm pulling out all the stops so he will love them. This isn't the quickest way to cook them but it's totally worth the work. I'm banking on the smokey grill to help me along. We are grilling some Blue Moon Chicken. These artichokes will cook right along the side of the chicken. Vegetables have never been so manly.

4 artichokes (again I'm using 2 that are the biggest I've ever seen)
Lemon cut in half
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce Or ponzu
1 tb Dijon
¼ cup olive oil-canola

alright, first things first. We need to prep these artichokes. Artichokes are known for having thorny leaves. You could leave them on but I like to snip them off. It's a chore but it's go fast.
Then trim up the stem. If I WASN'T grilling, I'd cut it completely off so the artichoke would sit on a plate all pretty but since I'm grilling, I want the stem so I can grab them on the grill easily and because frankly it's pretty.

Artichokes don't like to be cut and then exposed to the air so take that lemon you cut and rub it on the cut areas. you don't have to. It won't change the flavor at all. It just keeps it from browning the way a potato would if left exposed to the air.

Pop into a full pan of water. Squeeze the lemons into the pan. Once the water starts boiling, add a liberal TB or two of kosher salt.

Boil for a good 30 minutes. When you can pierce a skewer thru the them, they are done. Drain in a colander. I like to let them cool in the colander to assure there is no added water.

Here's the part that's work. Five minutes top. But it's work. Cut each artichoke in half.
Clean out the choke leaving the heart. The choke is the fuzzy center that is not edible. Take out the purple tipped petals too. They are too flimsy for eating, and won't hold up on the grill. Discard all of the centers.
Now since these monsters are so dang big, I am cutting again. I wouldn't do this if they were smaller.
Take all the remaining ingredients and mix them in a ziplock bag.

I like to do it in a bag and place the bag in a bowl. The bowl remains clean but it ensures no spilling
Grab the bag and mix well with you fingers. No your hands don't go inside the bag but squish the bag up. No dirtying up and dishes. My kids will love that.
Place the artichokes in the marinade. You don't need to refrigerate. Just leave on the counter. I'm marinating all afternoon but you could easily do this in 30 minutes. Best results are over night. (obviously then you put it in the refrigerator)
Drain artichokes (just take some tongs and pull out of the bag) and place cut side down on a grill. My grill is on low but it's new and HOT. Grill until lightly browned on the cut side, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn artichokes over you could drizzle some of the remaining marinade over the artichokes but frankly I didn't need to. Grill until petal tips are lightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes more.

You could serve with a serving sauce. One of my favorites is a quick Dijon sauce. Just mix equal parts light mayo with Dijon mustard. But I have to warn you, a dipping sauce really isn't necessary. These are that good. So good that The Fireman ate an entire artichoke proclaiming "this is the only way to make them"


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