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.

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Cream of Broccoli Soup in a Bread BowlMy Cream of Broccoli Secret!

Cream of Broccoli Soup doesn’t get any better than putting it in a toasted Bread Bowl, does it?  It’s not a necessity but it sure does boost the look and comfort of eating soup with bread.  For this Cream of Broccoli Soup recipe, I decided to dig deep and give you the best of the best with combinations of 5 star rating recipes.  So I know for a fact that this soup will strike a new chord for you and bless you with a terrific way to make Cream of Broccoli Soup in the future.

Cream of Broccoli SoupMy top 3 favorite soups start out sautéing onions.  At least the way I do it.  It seems to bring out more of a rich flavor in the soup when it’s done that way.  In my Cream of Broccoli recipe, I sauté the onions until they almost caramelize.  A little bit of sugar helps to speed that process up so it doesn’t take so long just caramelizing onions.  Also, I like my cream of Broccoli to be a little more on the chunky side, so I don’t puree the broccoli.  Of course that’s a personal preference, but I find that picking a happy medium allows the soup to consume the flavor of the smaller ground pieces, giving it that sweet broccoli flavor, and the larger pieces that throw in that meaty effect, giving the best of both worlds.  Who could ask for anything more?  Toyota probably!

Cream of Broccoli Soup Ingredients:

1 qt Chicken Stock or Broth
4 Broccoli Stalk Heads
1 Celery stalk (optional)
1 carrot (optional)
1 Onion
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp sugar
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 tsp ground pepper
4 Bread Soup Bowls

Bring Chicken stock or bouillon seasoned water to a boil.  Cut all the vegetables and combine the Broccoli, Celery and Carrot in a Food Processor and blend to desired consistency, pureed or chunky, then add to stock and reduce heat to medium. Saute chopped onion in butter, add sugar and cook until it’s golden brown and caramelized.  Add Flour, stir, then add the cream and stir again until it thickens and turns almost pasty.  Then add the creamy onions to the stock.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir in the pepper.

The Bread Bowl should be toasted but they don’t have to be.  I usually throw them in the oven under a high broil and watch them carefully. This allows the bread to have a toasted crispy exterior yet a soft fluffy interior, and it’s the way I like it.  Pull from the oven and fill with soup.  I like to top my Cream of Broccoli with a mild cheddar cheese before I serve.

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!