Tag Archives: artichoke

chickenartichokes1

Chicken Piccata with Braised Artichokes

Recipe for The Daring Kitchen
The March 2012 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Carol, aka Poisonive – and she challenged us all to learn the art of braising! Carol focused on Michael Ruhlman’s technique and shared with us some of his expertise from his book “Ruhlman’s Twenty”.

Love is a Thistly Warrior

Good things come to those who wait, and this month’s Daring Kitchen was proof of that fact.  When I think of my two favorite braised dishes, I crave fork-tender beef short ribs with crimini mushrooms that have greedily sucked up all of the surrounding juices, and braised chicken thighs with shallots, tarragon and cream. Both are stunning and ever-so-yummy, but are wintry treats perfect for curling up to replete with the roaring fire and snifter of cognac.  I wanted something appropriately light and savory for the warming weather here in Arizona, and our host of the month had a perfect suggestion.

On Carol’s list of recommended recipes, she listed Michael Chiarello (swoon!) and his Lemon Braised Artichokes.  I thought that it was simple and gorgeous and would pair perfectly with a pan of chicken piccata.  Turns out that the two were a match made in heaven, and I was treated to bites that sparkled with lemon, briny capers and tender chicken.  You’ve gotta love it when a good plan comes together! Continue reading

spinachdip

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Sexy Ass Spinach…For Lovers Only

I know that this is one of those recipes that you think of from 90s potlucks and progressive dinners. Pop it in a bread bowl and you are completely with the era. But I still go back to this recipe for the winning combination of flavors and the lack of pre-processed ingredients used to make it. This is no TGIF Frozen Spinach Dip in the freezer aisle of the grocery store. This one is for lovers only. Shallots and garlic flavor the creamy dip and bring out the sweetness of the spinach and artichokes. Best of all, the ingredient list is simple enough that you probably have most of the ingredients on hand already. So if you need a calorie splurge to go with a little junk TV, this’ll do the trick. Bravo, here I come… Continue reading

Beef Tenderloin with Artichokes in Bechamel

Foodbuzz 24 x 24 | An Ode to Orvieto

This recipe was a part of a special menu for Foodbuzz’s June 2011 food blogger party, 24×24. Showcasing posts from 24 Foodbuzz Featured Publisher bloggers, the monthly Foodbuzz 24 highlights unique meals occurring around the globe during a 24-hour period. Read more about my meal along with all of the other recipes at An Ode to Orvieto.



One of my favorite things about Italy, particularly in the sleepier towns, meals are a whole lot more egalitarian.  Wine is cheap and plentiful, and fresh ingredients used in wholesome cooking are never at a premium.  Tasty is tasty, and everything else fails to make it to the table.

On a dinner out with a group of other students in Orvieto, one of the guys told me that whenever he saw “filetto” on a menu, he ordered it without hesitation.  For the mounds of fresh pasta and pizza and risotto that we ordered as main courses over first courses, we never managed to get to the meat courses.  Learning about this filet obsession shook me from my carb-focused complacency, and I decided to go with a Filetto ai Carciofi, a filet mignon simply grilled with artichokes.  It was in that moment that I had felt as if I’d wasted how many dinners not indulging on a perfectly cooked steak.  Better yet, the dear price tag was nowhere to be found – it was as if I had ordered a chicken breast back in the states, the cost so reasonable.  I miss those days.

This dish has been adapted as a party pleaser, replacing the filet with a whole beef tenderloin.  You have the joy of the same tender meat, but can slice thinly to feed a group.  I’ve also found that buying the whole tenderloin results in a much cheaper price tag by the pound.  As such, you can roast a tenderloin one night and cut individual filets with the rest for dinners later on.  The artichokes are the perfect accompaniment, simmered in chicken stock and dressed in a lush, creamy bechamel.  This is a seriously rich dish of food and a little bit goes a long way.  You will be impressed with how far rich, fresh ingredients go in feeding a bunch, all the while keeping the price tag reasonable.

Recipe for

Beef Tenderloin with Artichokes in Bechamel

Ingredients
1 3-4 lb. beef tenderloin
kosher salt
cracked pepper
olive oil
sprig of thyme

4 artichokes
6 c. of chicken stock
2 lemons
1 sprig of thyme
2 bay leaves
4 tbs. of butter
3 tbs. of flour
1 c. of heavy cream
2 1/2 c. of whole milk
4 tbs. of parsley
salt to taste
white pepper

Season your beef tenderloin liberally with salt and pepper.  Rub with olive oil and let sit out while you prep your artichokes.

Halve the two lemons and squeeze into a large bowl. Fill the bowl with water 2/3 of the way full. Remove the outer leaves of the artichoke until you get to the tender golden leaves in the center [photo]. Chop off the golden leaves to expose the hairy choke in the center [photo].  Use a pairing knife to smooth the outside of the artichoke and remove any tough bits of leaves [photo]. Cut off all but 1/2 of an inch of the stem and peel with a pairing knife or vegetable peeler.  Cut the artichoke into quarters and scoop out all of the fuzzy choke.  Rub all of the cut sides of the artichoke pieces with the halved lemon and then add to the water.  Continue until you have prepped all of the artichokes.

Bring the six cups of chicken stock, thyme and bay leaves to a boil.  Add the artichokes and simmer on medium high for 30 minutes.  Remove artichokes with a slotted spoon and set aside.

In a skillet, add a bit of olive oil and heat on high.  Add the tenderloin and sear on all sides until deeply browned on the outside and rare in the middle.  Place tenderloin on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven until cooked off to your desired doneness, about 5 more minutes for rare to medium rare.  Remove from the oven and let rest.

While the beef is cooking, make your bechamel.  Melt the 4 tbs. of butter in a sauce pan.  Whisk in the flour to make a smooth paste.  Continue to whisk and add the milk and cream.  Working over medium heat, whisk until sauce thickens slightly.  Add the artichokes, about 1/2 tsp. of salt and a 1/4 tsp. of white pepper to taste and stir.  Continue to cook until the bechamel thickens around the artichokes.  Top with parsley.

Slice the steak into 1/4 inch slices and surround with the artichokes and bechamel.  Serve.