I am so nice and relaxed after spending the weekend with my sister. We are usually so busy we never get to see each other. And while our trip was cut a little short due to an illness, it was still so great to go to San Diego and see her. We ate at two really good places, Cafe Coyote in Old Town and El Zarape, in Normal Heights. The fresh made tortillas at Cafe Coyote were wonderful. We also had a chance to stop in Dateland Arizona and try the famous Date shake. I did like the flavor, but could live without the texture of the date skin in my shake. I will put pictures at the bottom of this post.
One of my favorite things to make for a Barbecue is grilled Artichokes. They are easy to make and very delicious. While the prep takes a little time, it is well worth the effort. This post is for my aunt in Texas, let me know when you make them!
Start with a nice large artichoke (I usually cook 4 at a time, but make as many as needed)
These are from my Mom’s garden:
Some people boil the artichokes first, wait to cool and then cut them up, I however find it easier to cut them with a large sharp knife first and then boil, or steam if you prefer.
Hold the stem, and then cut the opposite end, meaning the leaves just at the tips, cutting off the sharp ends and making a flat tip. Do not cut off too much or you will miss out on some of the “meat” of the leaves. Then cut off about 1/2 an inch of the stem, again just making it even and flat. Then hold the Artichoke, leaves facing down on the cutting board and start to quarter. Once quartered you will have the fuzzy center, go ahead and cut out the spiky and fuzzy center while keeping as much of the meaty part in tact. If doing this is confusing, there are many sites on the internet that go into specific detail on how to cut an artichoke, including some video instructions. Just Google it.
This is what they look like when quartered and cleaned.
Once quartered and cleaned, put in a boiling pot of water (with a tbsp of salt) for about 30-40 minutes, until the center of the artichoke is fork tender. Remove artichokes from water, put in a bowl and while still hot, cover in whatever marinade you like. I usually use balsamic vinaigrette dressing. I keep the artichokes in the marinade anywhere from an hour to overnight. Once ready to grill, remove from the marinade and place each artichoke on the grill. You will have to stay close for this one, even on medium heat they can flare up easily or burn quickly.
This particular batch was pretty large, for a party we had. I also grilled red peppers to add color.
I think these are good enough to eat alone without dip. But here are two I sometimes use:
Lemon Butter –
1/2 Stick butter melted,
1 tbsp lemon
tsp of garlic salt. (you can even add some fresh crushed garlic if you like)
mix well before serving.
1/4 cup real Mayo
1 clove crushed garlic
1 tbsp horseradish
1/2 tsp of dry mustard
1 tsp white vinegar
mix well before serving.
Variations of marinade, Italian dressing, any chicken marinade, lemon pepper. All good, experiment with smaller batches until you find your favorite.
My sister & Zack and me & Zack.