Cooking an Artichoke

Artichoke

Grooming an Artichoke!

Preparing an Artichoke is no big deal.  You just need a sharp knife, and I mean Chef sharp!  An Artichoke is a very tough budding flower from an extraordinary plant so you have to bust through the meaty exterior to get to that wholesome tender center.  Not to mention that the leaves have thorns at their tips.  So, the first thing you want to do, after you get your seasoned water boiling, is cut through the base and sever the stem, and then expose all of the pedals by cutting the leaf tips.  This Allows the seasoned boiling water to penetrate through the entire Artichoke when it’s fully submerged, thus tenderizing the heart and making the leaves eatable.  Boil for approximately 8 minutes then serve an Artichoke with melted butter and mayonnaise.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip or Spread

Artichoke Recipe Favorites

My Favorite ways to eat an Artichoke usually involves the hearts.  And, because I’m lazy, I’ll just break down and by a jar of pickled or marinated Artichoke hearts and incorporate them into my recipes.

Artichoke

Here’s a few, with links if you want to look into making a few these your selves.  Broccoli and Cheese Dip with Marinated Artichoke Hearts,  Spinach and Artichoke Dip or Spread and one I haven’t added yet is Roasted Artichoke Hearts on my Alfredo Sauce Pizza.  So that’s just a free tip!

Artichoke Ingredients:

1 Artichoke
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Add enough water to a pot to fully submerge an Artichoke while it’s boiling.

Perfect Tempura Everytime

Tempura

Tempura is Touchy!

Lets nail down the issues most people have with making Tempura, starting with buying it in a box.  For the most part, you’re just buying a box of flour with a fancy picture on the front that shows you how good it could look if you buy their product.  But does that make sense?  You’ve got flour at home in your kitchen, right?  Oh, maybe you need the directions on the back of the box.  Wait, that doesn’t make sense either because you’ve got the web at your finger tips.  You can just look it up.  So here we are, you and I, and we’re going to get through this together.

Tempura

Tempura in a Box

Soda Water or Club SodaThe truth is that no matter what the contents of that Tempura box are, flour, corn starch or whatever, the box directions are WRONG!  Sure they give you a few pointers from step 1 to 3 but they don’t talk about a few key issues you will have if you don’t mix it in the right order, if you just use regular tap water or if you don’t keep your batter ice cold.  That’s right.  If you ignore any one of these 3 things, your Tempura is not going to turn out right.

Tempura Ingredients:

1 egg yoke
1 cup Tonic or Seltzer Water, Carbanated is the key
1 cup Flour

  • Mix the ingredients in a bowl over the top of another bowl full of ice water
  • Stir the liquids first, then add the flour and don’t over mix; leave it lumpy
  • Use ice cold Tonic or Seltzer water, not Tap, to get the batter to poof up

Watch the video tutorial and follow these simple instructions and you will have perfect Tempura, every single time.

Japanese Cold Cucumber

IMG_0271A Cold Cucumber is Hot!

There really isn’t a lot to be said about making a Cold Cucumber.  It’s simple.  I have yet to find anyone that doesn’t think it’s refreshing.  It’s normally an appetizer or side dish but I often find myself eating an entire bowl of this recipe for lunch.  So that being said, if you don’t already know about this recipe, I will be imparting it to you here today.

 

 

Cold Cucumber Ingredients are:

1 Japanese or Mexican Cucumber
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sesame seeds

Partially peel Cucumber into stripes.  Cut in half and in half again if your cold cucumber is large.  Slice bite size pieces on a 45 degree angle and toss in a bowl with all the ingredients.  Serve your cold cucumber immediately, and enjoy!