Monday, May 3, 2010

Artichokes with Bernaise

I LOVE artichokes with Bernaise Sauce!

I found some really fresh-ish (considering they were shipped from California) at the grocer's, and decided to cook them and make a Bernaise Sauce. (See next post for sauce.)

Cooking artichokes is easy. To prepare them, rinse carefully in case any critters are hiding in the leaves, slice about half an inch off the top (mainly to get rid of the thorns), and use a pair of scissors to cut the tips off all the leaves. Cut the stalk off at the base of the 'choke but don't discard it! If you trim the other end where it has partially dried, and cook it with the 'chokes, and later peel the stalk to eat, it is just as tender and sweet as the prized artichoke bottom!
(Notice the small round piece of stalk on the finished plate above... YUM.)

Bring a large soup pot of water to a boil; add salt, some whole peppercorns and any seasonings you like. I usually don't add any because the sauce is so flavorful. For years I have used a cut lemon on the cut ends of the leaves, but I don't see that they darken less by doing it. When the water is boiling, drop in the 'chokes (carefully!) and cook for about 2-3 minutes on high. Reduce the heat to a simmer, lid the pot, and cook another 20-30 minutes. The test for done-ness is when the leaves pull off easily.

Drain upside down in a colander, and cool to room temperature. Serve on a large plate (to accomodate the pile of spent leaves) with some Bernaise sauce in a ramekin. YUM!

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