Artichokes Archive

Thursday, April 5, 2007

artichoke, cranberry bean and arugula salad

artichoke, cranberry bean and arugula salad

Sometimes I’m worried that I might be boring you guys. Yes, yes, being plagued by feelings of dullness and inadequacy, how very tired of me. But, let’s take some of the themes we have here; artichokes, beans, arugula, salad, bread and the most repetitive one of all: I ate something somewhere, and had to have it again ASAP so I tried to make it myself. Today, we’ve got all of them bundled into one. I try to say to myself, Deb, not everyone is infatuated by artichokes, arugula, beans and salads and every single way you can think of eating them either separately or together. I try to rationalize, although it’s not my strong suit. But then I imagine a world without people who get as excited as I do about artichokes! arugula! beans! and it makes me terrifically sad. Thus today I present to you: Artichoke, Cranberry Bean and Arugula Salad, or seriously the best thing I’ve gotten to eat twice in a week in way too long.

artichokes, stunners

We went out to dinner at really-you-must-go-there Dressler in Williamsburg on Saturday night with our most newly-married friends. Alex and Steve had leaden cocktails and I, well you know, I did that thing you do with your married female friends where you make sure they’ve ordered something with alcohol? Or you’ll start with the irresponsible rumor-mongering? Oh, I know this because it happens to me like every freaking day and people, there is always wine in my hand. We’re all caught up now? Onwards, then.

Continued after the jump »

Monday, January 29, 2007

asparagus, artichoke and shiitake risotto

asparagus, artichoke and shiitake risotto

Though it’s still and gusting the kind of evil, icy winds outside that make you grunt as they hit your face and sometimes (er like last night when I accidentally left the window open and spent most of the night under sixteen blankets cursing these landlords who were being cheap! with our heat! Ok, Einstein.) I swear, I will never get warm again, when I began to make a shopping list for yet another thick, hearty, rib-sticking meal on Sunday (Julia Child’s beef bourguignon, if you must know), I just couldn’t do it. Winter has really just begun and I began to feel like I’m caving without even trying to cope. This hibernation, it must stop.

So I threw seasonal eating to the wind and never-minded the ridiculousness of buying asparagus in January (which was perfect, eerily enough) last night, and cooked us the kind of risotto better associated with longer days. Somehow, just saying “See? We’re ready for you,” made me feel like we were luring springtime closer, fighting the good fight, keeping our chins up and horrifying you with clichés, I know, but there was some seriously warmer weather for dinner last night and it’s got me carried away… enough that after a glass (two) of bright white wine, I tried to breathe some fresh air into our place before we went to bed. Ah, well. If you’re like us and your next warm vacation feels like an eternity from now, I highly encourage you to fake yourselves out as we did. Just remember to close the window before you bed, lest winter come back and bite you in the arse.

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

artichoke ravioli with tomatoes

artichoke ravioli

It’s not exactly news that I am obsessed with artichokes. Heck, I even decorated this site so that it would never clash my favorite food. (Honey, the living room is next.) So, the fact that it took me almost ten days from the moment I first saw an artichoke ravioli recipe in January’s Gourmet to make is really only testament to the fact that I’ve spent more time this month swatting Resolutes off my elliptical trainer and lazily ordering dumplings for dinner in the New Year than involving myself in multi-hour recipes.

making artichoke ravioli

But fear not, that all fixed itself last night as my husband had to work and I took that as an excuse not to. I found this second attempt at making pasta (Does gnocchi count? Because although that would make three, it was a mess best forgotten.) ten-thousand times easier, possibly because you whirled everything in the food processor and it was done in five seconds, no kneading whatsoever. The recipe suggests you let it sit for an hour to let the glutens relax, which I think is brilliant; it’s also a perfect chunk of time to get everything else ready.

Continued after the jump »

Monday, November 6, 2006

shrimp cocktail + artichoke-potato gratin

shrimp cocktail

When Alex woke me up this morning, I was certain, and not for the first time, that he was indeed smoking crack, as it couldn’t have been even 4:30 in the morning, nonetheless 8. Someone really ought to tell him he can go back to bed for a couple hours, I mused to myself, but determining this to be a too-depleting energy expense, I simple rolled over and pretended he wasn’t there. After all, if he simply fails to wake me up this morning – if it is simply not possible – he’ll eventually have to give up and I will be able to sleep uninterrupted, forever. I am nothing if not the height of rationality in the morning.

Anyway, it didn’t work, I am sleepy and now here we are, aren’t we? Let’s step back to a more pleasant time, say, yesterday evening when this fatigue was incurred. It was a good cause, and I have no regrets, most importantly, none of the kitchen bounty variety. All of my obsessive prepping for the dinner for ten eight six, a sly excuse for what was really a chair-warming party, paid off. Even better, I cooked nothing I wouldn’t make again, thus breaking the cardinal party-planning rule of never auditioning new recipes on dinner guests did not bite me in the tush afterall. Having such fine and well-tested resources as Leite’s Culinaria and Cook’s Illustrated, of course, helped too.

our finest meats and cheeses

Recipe the first was for shrimp cocktail. Seeing as my husband loves cocktail sauce almost as much as he likes pickles – “I would eat anything dipped in it,” he says with not a hint of joking – when I saw that the America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook had a sinfully easy recipe for it, I couldn’t resist. Appetizers should always be as simple as opening a few bottles and mixing with a spoon. As for the accompanying herb-poached shrimp, I can’t say with any certainty that the flavors of the stock get imparted in the shrimp. I’d probably just splash the wine, lemon and maybe a garlic clove in the water next time, saving a step or two. And also? We got such a giggle out of the specification of four peppercorns, and even more out of the scandalous act of tossing in seven, and not five, coriander seeds. We’re all rebel yell, aren’t we?

Continued after the jump »