Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Steamed Artichokes with Cumin Lime Mayo

Artichokes always seem so intimidating in the grocery aisle. How do you cook it or even eat the non-canned kind? It's been on my list of things to learn and with artichokes in season I finally decided to give it a try. And it's actually a lot easier than I thought!

You first need to trim the artichoke. Cut off the top of the artichoke with a serrated knife (about an inch off the top). Then peel off the 2 bottom layers of leaves around the stem. Next, take a pair of scissors and cut of the spiny tip on the remaining leaves (about 1/4-1/2 an inch off the leave's tips). Then, using a vegetable peeler, peel the outer layer of the stem. There, now you have a trimmed artichoke! If you have more artichokes to work on trimming, keep the already trimmed artichoke in cold water with the juice of a lemon, until ready to cook.

For my first artichoke dish, I kept it simple by steaming the artichoke. In a stockpot, I simmered a couple of inches of water. Then placed a steamer basket on top. Place the trimmed artichokes in the steamer basket and cover with a lid. Cook over medium heat for 45 mins. You can stick a knife in the center and if it comes out clean it's done cooking. I made a cumin lime mayo for dipping. Mix 1/2 c mayo, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, the juice of 1/2 a lime, and some salt and pepper to taste. Keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.

To eat the artichoke, pull off the outer leaves and scrape off the meat with your teeth. When you get to the center, that's the artichoke heart. There's a spiny, inedible "choke" in the center of the heart. Use a small spoon to remove the choke. (The choke is the very hairy thing if you're still unsure.) With the remaining artichoke heart, just chop it up and eat it. If the stem is intact you can eat that as well. Basically everything in the artichoke is edible except the spiny choke. Really, easier to prepare and eat than it looks!

Steamed Artichokes with Cumin Lime Mayo

2 artichokes, trimmed
1/2 c mayo
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 lime, juiced
salt and pepper to taste

Simmer a couple of inches of water in a large stockpot, over medium heat. Place a steamer basket on top. (You don't want the bottom of the steamer basket touching the water.) Place the trimmed artichokes in the steamer basket, cover with a lid. Cook for 45 mins. While the artichokes are cooking, prepare the cumin lime mayo. Mix the mayo, garlic, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, salt and pepper together and keep in the fridge until ready to serve. When the artichokes are ready for eating, serve with the cumin lime mayo as the dipping sauce.

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