So, since I was a little child, grandma used to prepare these cheese filled artichokes... I asked her to share the recipe with me, so I could share it with you, and here it goes. I am convinced that no matter the recipe, the taste and consistency will be different according to who is cooking. And that happened. She told me the recipe, the cheese consistency was different, the taste too.... but thery were still so good!!! Oh, and another thing.... the hubs had never tried out an artichoke before, at least like this (only spreads and dips)... so he tried it out and he loved it.... he even asked for more!
- 3 large artichokes
- 4 tbsp salt (to cook the artichokes)
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cream, divided
- 1/2 1-lb pack Pepper Jack cheese
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 6 salted crackers, crumbled (she emhpasized on using SALADITAS, I guess you could also use bread crumbs)
- salt and pepper
- 400 gr tomato paste/sauce
- 1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes
Let's begin!!! Wash the artichokes and place them on a deep skillet. Cover them with water, add 4 tbsp salt and the garlic clove and cover the pot and cook them for about 20 minutes (until you can very easily take one leaf away).
In the meanwhile, prepare the cheese filling. Melt in medium heat 1 tbsp butter.
Whisk in cream and lower the heat.
Add cheese, cream cheese and crumbled crackers, a dash of salt and another one of fresh pepper. I usually cut the cheeses in small pieces so it won't take long for them to melt.
Whisk and remove from fire when it starts to boil. Now, depending on the consistency you want for the filling, you can add more cream or even milk to the mixture.
Now that your artichokes are fully cooked, place the artichokes in a bowl were you can keep them standing up.
Start opening each leaf and filling it with cheese filling. Go from the outer layer to the inner.
Check them out and now start from the inside to the outside, filling the spots you missed the first time.
Now, prepare the tomato sauce you will use for them. Again, melt 1 tbsp butter in medium heat.
Add tomato paste/sauce and stir.
Add 2 tbsp cream, red pepper flakes, dash of salt and another one of pepper.
Stir and when it starts boiling, remove from heat.
Serve the artichoke and cover it with a little tomato sauce.
You will love it.
Now, for those who don't know how to eat the artichoke, here goes a little step-by-step tutorial. The hubs didn't believe me that this is the way they are supposed to be eaten. LOL.
Ok, start by taking one of the leaves with cheese and tomato sauce. Now, this is NOT the correct way to take it. If you can see, on the "top" of the leaf -at least most of the times-, there's a spine. And there's almost any "meat", so.....
You turn it around.
You see? Better look from behind?
Now, place it in your lower teeth, bite trying to take away all the "meat" with your lower teeth and almost any with your upper teeth. Ta-da! Yeah, suck your fingers.
In the middle, the leaves are so soft!!! Really, you will enjoy it.... try it out!!!
When you get to the purple part, stop. It's full of spines.
June 4th, 2012:
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