One woman's foray into cooking for herself, for her family, and for her friends. It's not always picture-perfect, sometimes a little messy,
but it's always delicious. Join me in exploring new recipes, savoring the "résultats" and learning from the "erreurs".

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Artichoke & Hollandaise

I love artichokes.  Their flavor can be an acquired taste, and to tell you the truth, I was not nearly as captivated by them when first introduced to this member of the thistle family.  But it wasn't long before addiction set in.  The flavor is not only wonderful, but there's something very 'cool' about scraping the leaves through your teeth.  It's one of those vegetables that makes you wonder about the first brave soul to figure out that such pleasure existed in this odd and somewhat intimidating-looking plant.  However, by far my favorite part of this vegetable is the heart.  It's definitely worth all the work excavating through the leaves to find.

My favorite way to enjoy artichokes is stuffed with flavored bread crumbs and served with a lemon-butter sauce.  But like the many other foodies who were compelled to break out their personal copies of Mastering the Art of French Cooking after watching the movie Julie and Julia, I had to try Julia Child's suggestion of enjoying a steamed or boiled artichoke with Hollandaise sauce on the side.  And while I'm sure Ms. Child would frown upon my shortcut blender Hollandaise, I cannot taste a difference (or enough of one, anyway) between my blender version and the stand-in-front-of-the-stove-and-stir-butter-til-your-arm-falls-off version.

As a bit of an aside, take a gander at the beautiful board my dinner is resting on.  It's one of Ann's (The Maple Cutting  Board Gallery).  I love the design in the wood, the beautiful edge of the board.  Now that Ann and her husband are creating these boards themselves, I'm going to have a difficult time reining in my wish to add to my collection.  I imagine that is going to be a futile endeavor...

Artichoke with Hollandaise Sauce

4 large artichokes
Hollandaise Sauce (recipe follows)

Trim artichokes by cutting off the stem so that the artichoke will sit flat and steady.  Cut off about 3/4- to 1-inch of top of artichoke.  If desired, snip tips of large outer leaves.  Rub cut edges with cut lemon to prevent browning.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (should be large enough so that boiling water will cover artichokes).  Carefully drop artichokes into boiling water, cover, and cook for 45 minutes - 1 hour.  To test for doneness, tug at one of the bottom outer leaves.  It will come out easily when artichoke is fully cooked.  When done, remove with tongs and drain.  Serve with Hollandaise sauce.

Hollandaise Sauce
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup butter, melted and bubbling

Add egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and hot pepper sauce to blender, and blend about 5 seconds. With blender running, and partially covering top, pour in bubbling butter in a steady stream. Blend until thickened, about 30 seconds. Serve immediately.

Yield: 3/4 cup

Source: GE appliance recipe, copyright 1978

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Unknown said...

Lori, artichokes are my favorites! I'd never had them any way but steamed until I tried stuffed this week. Yum! Steamed is still my favorite, but I've never considered serving with hollandaise. And, I love your fast blender version. Delicious!


Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

I fell in love with all things artichoke the first time I ate them. They are not only delicious and decedant, but a sensory experience. I love to eat with my hands. There is artichoke ettiqette and a process to it all. It all adds to the experience!!!!!
YOur images are like heaven! I can almost taste them. Wonderful, wonderful post!
Bless your sweet heart for bringing artichoke pleasure to bloggland tonight!

Jacqueline said...

This is a holiday favorite in our home. The kids beg for it. I loved it growing up and have been able to pass that on to them. Your photos are just gorgeous. I love the wooden cutting board/serving platter. That earthy texture is just lovely.

La Table De Nana said...

I love the look of artichokes.. There is an expression in French "avoir un Coeur D'Artichaut"..To fall easily and often in love:)

Isn't that sweet..

So your post is that..Especially nestled on that beautiful board..Have a great weekend.

Cathy said...

Simply steamed is my favorite preparation for artichokes and a quick dunk is a yummy sauce is the perfect topping. So beautiful on one of Ann's gorgeous boards.

susan said...

This is one of those guilty pleasures to make for myself when everyone else is gone--on my list for this week! The cutting board really is gorgeous and unique.

Holly said...

YUM!! This looks so good-I made one a long time ago but I was kinda nervous about which part to eat...;) Im new to your blog and am following along:)

Linda said...

Gorgeous my friend...I also happen to have a nig beautiful artichoke in the fridge for my dinner tomorrow night...GMTA!

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