First and foremost, I apologize for going MIA in the last couple of weeks! I have been very busy celebrating Spring, turning twenty-six, and enjoying the new beau in my life ❤ Please, cut a girl some slack 🙂
With this post I am continuing the celebration of Spring by making a dish with one of the season’s most delicious offerings – ARTICHOKES! I love ’em. If you’ve only ever had artichokes from a jar or a can, you are seriously missing out. Fresh is best.
This recipe is proof that experimenting in the kitchen leads to great things! These are soooo not your Grandma’s Italian-style stuffed artichokes. These are packed with smokey, salty, cheesy flavor! Here is what you’ll need to make them…
Artichokes, chorizo, manchego cheese, pine nuts, parsley, and a lemon.
The first thing I did was make the bread crumbs. Cut the crusts off of four pieces of regular old white bread.
Break up the bread into small pieces and throw them into a food processor with 1/4 cup of pine nuts.
Pignoli breadcrumbs…I’d say we’re off to a good start! Pulse the food processor until the bread and pine nuts become fine granules. Set these aside for later.
Next up to bat is the chorizo. Peel the skin off of the chorizo and chop it up into tiny cubes.
Put the chorizo into a skillet over medium heat. Render out as much fat as you can and get the chorizo brown and crispy.
While the chorizo is browning, grate the cheese and chop up the parsley. I had to post this photo; apparently my cat wanted to make an appearance. (Look in the knife)
Back to the chorizo! Once it is brown and crispy remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving as much of the fat in the pan as possible. Now, as if this amazing chorizo fat wasn’t flavorful enough, crush a clove of garlic and throw it into the pan. Allow the garlic to sauté for a few minutes, perfuming the chorizo fat with it’s flavor. We are going to use this smokey, garlicky oil to toast our breadcrumb/pine nut mixture!
Remove the garlic from the pan. Keep the pan over medium heat and throw in the breadcrumb and pine nuts. Saute the breadcrumbs for about ten minutes, stirring frequently, until they are slightly toasted.
Toss the toasted breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, and chorizo into a bowl until well mixed.
Set this mixture aside until we are ready to stuff the artichokes.
Now for the hard part. I’m not going to lie, artichokes are not easy to work with. They are pretty high maintenance for a vegetable and a large portion of them goes to waste. Below is a step by step guide on how to prep an artichoke.
Cut a lemon in half and have it nearby – artichokes turn brown when they exposed to oxygen so after every cut you have to rub the exposed flesh with lemon. First thing to do is cut off the stem to create a flat surface on the bottom.
Next, cut off the top 1/3 of the artichoke.
Next step, dig out the choke! This is the hard part. Insert a spoon into the middle of the artichoke and twist. Dig out the center and you will begin to see a bunch of hairy, fibrous stuff. ALL of that needs to come out.
Ok, last step. With a pair of kitchen scissors cut off the top of each leaf on the artichoke. Yes, unfortunately I’m serious.
At last, we are ready to stuff! Fill the center of the artichoke with the bread crumb mixture. Use your fingers to spread the leaves and stuff as much breadcrumb mixture between them as possible.
Place the artichokes into an oven proof dish. Into the dish pour a 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup of white wine, and the juice of a half of a lemon (the wine is not a necessity – use a full cup of water if you don’t have any on hand). Cover the dish with foil and bake at 425 degrees for at least 45 minutes, until you can easily insert a knife into the artichokes.
For a printable version of this recipe, click on the link below!