Sunday, August 7, 2011

Artichokes, etc.

As a result of my forced laziness we have a lot of carry-out food for dinner these days.  Now that I enjoy food again (enjoy may be an understatement) Jack has been a great chef on the weekends.  Today we had french toast for breakfast, BLTs with avocado for lunch, and grilled pork chops, roasted red potatoes, and grilled artichoke for dinner (not included:  all of my between meals and snacks). 

Some of the foods I usually prepare, like artichokes, Jack is now learning to cook.  Since I refuse to follow recipes exactly and don't measure anything, the knowledge transfer is a bit challenging.  So I decided to do a step by step for the blog during Jack's lesson tonight.  Exciting.  My friends and family know that I love to talk about artichokes anyway, so this is par for the course.

Warning:  pictures taken with cell phone and you still won't get any measurements from me
  • Clean the artichoke
  • Cut off the stem, cut about an inch of the top off, trim the pointy parts of the leaves with scissors, and cut in half. 
  • Steam the artichoke for about 20-30 minutes, depending on size.  It needs to get good and tender.  I put a few lemon slices and salt in the water below the steamer basket         

  • While the artichoke is steaming, make a few sauces.  The one on the right is just olive oil, fresh minced garlic, salt and pepper.  This will be put all over the artichoke before you grill it.  The one on the left is for dipping after it is ready to eat.  This can be anything you have.  My current favorite is sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, chili powder, and cumin.
  • After the steaming is complete, spoon out the center part (the purple hairy part).  If you have steamed it enough this should come out easy.  You can eat it at this point if you don't feel like grilling.
  • If you do feel like grilling, put the olive oil/garlic all over.

Throw the artichoke on the grill for about 10 minutes.  It really doesn't matter how long since it is already cooked, the grilling just gives it more flavor (we do ours on charcoal). 

Take off the grill and enjoy!  The outer leaves are delicious because they have all the garlic flavor but not as much substance, the inner leaves are delicious because they have lots of substance, and of course my favorite part is when I'm down to the hearts. 

You may be feeling sorry for me because my obvious boredom has lead to this post.  Not to worry, I also got in a few movies.  Goodfellas, Scarface, Donnie Brasco, A River Runs Through It, Stand by Me, Pelican Brief, and a few others I can't recall.  Thank goodness for AMC and Ion channels.  I also got in a little reading and decided to see what the Pinterest craze is all about.

I'll be 22 weeks tomorrow.  Had a good doctor visit last week and they said just keep doing what I'm doing. 

Frances is doing great and may get to go home very soon.  She moved out of the CICU yesterday and is having a really good recovery all around, as you can see in this pic stolen from Anna Ruth's blog.

I just wish I was there to get to hold her too!  She loves to lay on my stomach.

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