|New Orleans Style Stuffed Artichokes|
Last weekend, just as I was about to finish up 100 cupcakes for a bowling party, Mr. B poked his head into the kitchen, the typical sheepish look on his face that he always wears whenever he’s about to ask me for something that he’s already committed me to.
Sure enough; we were off to a crawfish boil the following day and he told me he’d signed me up to bring along my stuffed artichokes. Why, if I wouldn’t have been in the middle of frosting all those cupcakes, Mr. B would have had to use his southern charms to calm me down. But, as long as he was willing to clean the artichokes, I was happy to stuff them. And that’s what I love about Mr. B–he’s happy to get me signed up for all sorts of big cooking projects, but he’s always willing to play sous chef to my chef.
Traditional stuffed artichokes can be gummy and very heavy, especially if there’s too much olive oil involved. My version incorporates chopped artichoke hearts for extra flavor and the way I mix my stuffing together, while more time consuming, results in a lighter and more flavorful stuffing. These are a lot of work, but well worth making. If you’re going to make them, make extra; they freeze well and your guests will be begging you for any leftovers to take home with them.
Mel’s New Orleans Style Stuffed Artichokes
8 good sized artichokes, cleaned, trimmed and chokes removed (soak in cold lemon water until ready to use)
6 cups Italian bread crumbs
3 cups parmesan cheese
2 cans of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped in the food processor
1 can drained anchovy olives, chopped fine in the food processor
1 bunch of Italian parsley, chopped in the food processor
6-8 peeled, chopped garlic toes
2 lemons, juiced
salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350º.
2. In a very large bowl, mix together bread crumbs, cheese, chopped artichoke hearts, olives, parsley, garlic and lemon juice. Mix well to combine.
3. Put two cups of the mix into the food processor with 1/2 cup of olive oil; mix until olive oil in incorporated.
4. Add olive oil mix to bowl of remaining mix and mix into the main mixture. Stuffing should hold together lightly; if not; repeat step #3.
5. To stuff artichokes: drain and pat dry. Working over the bowl, spread the leaves and push the stuffing between the leaves; fill the center of each artichoke with the stuffing.
6. When you’re finished stuffing all of the artichokes, put them into a large baking pan so that they fit snuggly together.
7. Top each artichoke with a lemon slice.
8. Squeeze lemon juice over the artichokes and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
9. Pour 1 1/2 cups of water into the bottom of the pan; cover with aluminum foil.
10. Bake for 2-2 1/2 hours or until you can easily pull out an artichoke leaf.
11. Serve warm or at room temperature.