I am constantly amazed at how animated and talkative people get when you mention food. The mere aroma of certain foods can evoke memories that transport us back to a special place and time. Food can bridge the gap between all ages, races and ethnicities.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Italian Stuffed Artichokes

We always had stuffed artichokes during the holidays. But it wasn’t unheard of to have them at any time. The great thing about stuffed artichokes is that they even taste good cold and last for at least a week in the fridge. Once you’ve scraped all that delicious stuffing off of those leaves your left with the prize….The rich and buttery artichoke heart. It really can be a decadent experience.
Artichokes can be pretty pricey in the stores these days, so do what we do and go to any local farmers market. Most of these farmers markets charge less than half of what the supermarkets do. It will be well worth it.

1 pound bacon, sliced (Italian sausage also works well) some people use mortadella, which is like an Italian bologna w/pistachio nuts in it. Quite frankly, you could skip the meat all together and it would still be equally as flavorful.
10 cups Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
10 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper or ground cayenne (use more or less depending on your taste) 8 large artichokes (if your artichokes are small to medium, this recipe will probably make at least a dozen)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil ( to lightly moisten crumb mixture)
lemon (to rub on artichoke to prevent browning then toss in pot with artichokes)

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, fry the bacon until crisp; drain. Crumble into a large bowl and add bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Romano cheese, olive oil, onions, parsley, garlic, salt,, and crushed red pepper; toss to combine.

Cut about 3/4-inch off the tops of each artichoke. With your scissors, snip off the pointed ends of each artichoke leaf. Rub a lemon on the cut ends to prevent browning. Slice off the stem end of each artichoke so that they sit up straight. Spread the leaves of each artichoke as much as possible, and pack in a generous amount of bread stuffing around each artichoke. Tap each artichoke gently to let any loose stuffing fall off. Stand them in a casserole or roasting pan just large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add water to a depth of 1 1/2 inches.


Bibliochef said...

Thanks for the link to Cooking With Ideas. I can put a link back if you want -- are you a finger lakes food link or? (I just have them separated into things nearish to where I am and others.)


Julie said...

That would be great bibliochef, Thank you