It’s Daddy’s Day this Sunday, so I have decided on beef and beans. Chris, however, is still on his ketogenic diet so he will not want to eat much of the beans. I need a filling vegetable dish to ensure that he gets enough to eat. I saw some nice globe artichokes at Trader Joe’s and I thought I might want to stuff and roast them.
I had an idea about stuffing them with spinach and mushrooms, but almost all of the recipes I found on-line were for mushrooms stuffed with artichokes and spinach. At least I knew that the combinations of flavors were popular. I did find one recipe from 1983 in a Spokane Chronicle cooking column by Sharon Sanders. I feel that she overcooks the spinach and I would lose the cheese and almonds. I also plan to use some different techniques in cooking my artichokes and a lot more garlic. I am changing it so much that I am not really “adapting” it, but her recipe will at least give me some guidelines.
The only remaining problem is Eilene. Yes, I do try to accommodate all needs and preferences of my diners. She does not like mushrooms, so I will have to stuff one artichoke with just the spinach without the mushrooms.
Karl’s Roasted Artichokes Stuffed with Spinach and Mushrooms
1 lb. crimini mushrooms
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 mediun onion
18 cloves garlic, separate uses
1 tsp. thyme
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. Kosher salt, separate uses
1 lb. spinach, fresh baby (or frozen and chopped)
5 large globe artichokes
Heavy duty aluminum foil
1. Cut the mushrooms into thin slices and brown them well in the olive oil. Remove them to a bowl and set aside. Do not clean the pan.
Tip: I had some pork lard that I had skimmed from the broth I had made for the beans. I substituted this for the olive oil for a little flavor boost.
2. Dice the onion finely and sauté them in the pan over medium heat until they are just starting to pick up some color.
3. Add three minced cloves of garlic and sauté 1 minute more.
4. Add the thyme, pepper and a pinch of the salt and stir to blend.
5. Add the fresh spinach and 2 Tbs. of water and cover the pan. Cook until the spinach has wilted.
Tip: Stir the contents of the pan once, but do not let too much of the steam escape.
Note: For Eilene I will remove 1/5 of the spinach mixture for her artichoke at this point.
6. Return the mushrooms to the pan and stir to mix well.
Tip: Let the contents cool while you prepare the artichokes for stuffing.
7. Remove the stem and small leaves at the base of the artichoke.
8. Cut the lemon in half and rub it where you have cut the artichoke, so that it does not turn black.
9. Cut off the top of the artichoke (about ½ to ¾ of an inch from the top).
10. Put the artichoke top cut down on your work surface and gently press down on the base to open up the leaves slightly.
11. Use a spoon to remove the inner leaves and the “choke.”
Note: The choke it the feathery undeveloped seeds of the artichoke and is very inedible.
12. Squeeze some lemon juice into the exposed base.
13. Fill the hole in the artichoke with the spinach/mushroom mixture and lay each artichoke separately onto a sheet of aluminum foil.
Tip: The sheet of foil should be large enough to completely cover the artichoke with enough to spare to twist close to seal the top.
Note: Eilene’s artichoke gets filled with the spinach mix without mushrooms.
14. Lightly score the 15 remaining garlic cloves and arrange them on top of the spinach/mushroom mix.
Tip: You are not trying to cut up the garlic. You are just trying to open up the surface of the garlic with 5-6 shallow cuts.
15. Sprinkle the remaining Kosher salt over the artichokes and wrap each one separately, twisting to seal it well.
16. Arrange the wrapped artichokes in a baking pan and add ¾ inch of hot water.
17. Bake in a 400º F oven for 1 hour.
19. Let the artichokes rest, wrapped for 10-15 minutes.
20. Open the wrappers at the table and pour off the excess fluid into a bowl. Discard the aluminum and present each diner with their artichoke.
21. Serve with Karl’s Lime, Chive and Dill sauce on the side.