Saturday, July 16, 2011

Artichoke Mania Part 2- The Braise

You can see Cleaning Instructions Here.

After cleaning, I now had artichoke hearts to cook, but what's the best approach? My favorite prep is a braise, which gives the hearts a deep flavor and provides you with other components to add with the hearts. If you cannot find fresh you can use frozen hearts from the market.

To put this into perspective here, I decided on a whim to do all of this on a Tuesday night. Yes, my planning stages should be more thought out. Oh well, that's the life I lead.

You can also, for vegetarian or pork hating reasons, leave out the bacon. But that's like leaving your child outside at night. Just saying.

Braised Artichokes
adapted from Tom Colicchio

8 cleaned artichoke hearts or 1 bag frozen hearts
2 slices bacon, sliced (optional)
1 onion, sliced thin
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 cup cup dry white wine

In a large pot over medium heat, render bacon for 3-5 minutes (if using) and 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Add onion, carrots, and celery to the pot along with some salt.  Lower heat to medium-low and cook until tender, 10-15 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another minute.

Place artichokes in pot and season with salt and pepper.  Add 2 more tablespoons olive oil (if desired), bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary.  Mix and arrange hearts in a single layer and white wine.  Add water to cover artichokes and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Partially cover the pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer until artichokes are tender and have little resistance when pierced with a knife (about 25-30 minutes).  Cool and store in refrigerator for up to a week.