Artichoke Club Articles

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When I cook at home for my family, one of my favorite pans in my collection is my roasting pan. As a child, my mother’s Sunday roast was a traditional favorite. Often the entire meal was cooked in one roasting pan, taking advantage of all the flavor and natural meat au jus: “One Pot Cooking.”

Here is how to use this technique at home:

Start by choosing your favorite protein and season it well. Experiment with hearty herbs such as rosemary, thyme, savory, oregano and sage. Mix herbs with coarse salt, black pepper and minced garlic, and then rub mixture on the protein.

I start my roast on high heat, searing the meat at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Then I reduce the temperature to 325 degrees (see note below on specific cooking times). Depending on the size of the roast, the meat will take the longest to cook, so plan the addition of vegetables based on the time needed to cook the meat. Add potatoes to the pan, and then Artichokes, fennel, celery, carrots and onions.

When all the vegetables are tender and meat is cooked (see cooking times below), remove from oven and transfer both the vegetables and meat to a serving platter to rest, covered with foil. Keep excess drippings in roasting pan.

Drain off excess grease from drippings and place the roasting pan on the stovetop on medium to high heat. Add 2 cups of red wine (white wine for chicken) and boil until the sauce is reduced by about half. Add 4 cups beef (or chicken) broth, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Taste check seasoning for salt.

Slice the protein and arrange roasted vegetables around the meat, ladle the hot jus over the meat and vegetables before serving.

Roasting is possibly one of the oldest forms of cooking; this is a back to basics way of cooking delicious food.

Protein Cooking Times:
Chicken: Rule of thumb is 20 minutes per pound plus 10 minutes and a final internal temperature of 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.

Beef: Depends on the cut but medium rare will have an internal temperature of 130 degrees after resting.

Pork: 145 degrees based on USDA recommendations however, some people eat pork a little less done. Cooking time is a personal preference.

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

Chef Tony Baker

 

Vegetable Brush: Many people don’t realize that the Artichoke produces a natural, light film while it grows and the film can give the Choke a bitter taste if not removed. We recommend cleaning your Artichoke with a vegetable brush while rinsing it under cold water. Check out Crate and Barrel’s vegetable brush.
Serrated Knife: A serrated knife is the ideal knife for cutting a raw Artichoke in half.
Scissors: The easiest way to remove Artichoke thorns before cooking is with cooking scissors. We recommend keeping a pair in your kitchen to just be used for food.
Basting Brush: This tool allows you to easily apply sauces and oils to an Artichoke before, during or after cooking and it’s especially helpful when grilling. We prefer a brush with a stainless steel handle and a silicone brush for easier cleaning and you can put it in the dishwasher. Crate and Barrel sells a good basting brush.
Oil Mister: We love using an oil mister to apply olive oil to our vegetables. The mister makes it easy to quickly apply a thin layer of oil and it gives you piece of mind that there are no additives found in traditional aerosol cooking sprays. Crate and Barrel sells a good oil mister.
Steaming Pot: Steaming Artichokes is the healthiest way to cook fresh Artichokes as they retain more healthy nutrients than when boiled. A layered-style pot with a steamer basket is our ideal tool for steaming Artichokes on your stovetop. There are a variety of steaming pots in all price ranges. If you have the layered baskets as in this example: you can steam your larger sized Artichokes in the bottom basket while steaming your baby sized chokes in the higher basket at the same time.
Tongs: Tongs are a helpful tool when you are preparing Artichokes – whether you are steaming, grilling or baking! The tongs allow you to grab the Artichokes without burning your hands.
Slow Cooker: The slow cooker is an untraditional way to cook Artichokes but you can create delicious recipes using it! Check out all of our slow cooker recipes.
Wine Bottle Opener: A must-have for anyone who enjoys a glass of wine with his or her Artichoke dishes. Wondering what wines pair well with Chokes? We have a wine expert who provided some great pairing tips!
iPad Holder: iPads are terrific and can be used for following online recipes or cooking tutorial videos. We love this gadget!

This cooking method is for grilling rebels who want to try something different on their backyard barbecue or indoor grill.

What many people don’t realize is you must cook the Artichoke before finishing it off on the grill. The grill really only adds flavor – it is not cooking the Artichoke.

Grilling Globe Artichokes:

  1. Cook your cleaned and trimmed Artichoke. You can boil, steam, bake or microwave your Artichoke. Watch our preparation videos for Artichoke preparation and cooking tips.
  2. Set cooked Artichokes “tops down” to let any liquid drain from the Artichoke petals.Tip: Cook your Artichokes ahead of time – they can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. Just bring them out when you are ready to grill!
  3. Preheat grill to about 350 degrees.
  4. Cut cooked Artichokes in halves or quarters and remove the fuzzy center with a spoon.
  5. Brush both sides of Artichoke with olive oil or melted butter and season to your preferred taste.
  6. Place Artichoke halves directly on the hot grill and cook until they char (about four minutes). Flip with tongs and continue to grill until desired charring marks appear. For an increased smoky flavor, let the Artichokes grill for longer than the recommended four minutes.Tip: Many restaurants baste Artichokes with seasoned melted butter for extra flavor.

Grilling Baby Artichokes:

Baby Artichokes are a great addition to veggie kabobs. To grill Baby Artichokes, follow the directions for grilling Globe Artichokes above. Grilling Baby Artichokes is a bit simpler as you don’t have to cut the baby Artichoke in half and there is no fuzzy center to remove.

Seasonings to try on your grilled Artichokes:

  • Teriyaki sauce
  • BBQ sauce
  • Italian dressing
  • Balsamic vinegar with garlic salt
  • Melted butter with crushed garlic

Grilled Artichokes are flavorful enough to serve alone, but for some added flare check out some of our easy dipping sauces to serve alongside your grilled Choke!

Excited to grill Artichokes? Show us! Post pictures from your summer barbecues featuring Artichokes on our Facebook page! Not on Facebook? Email the photos toourclub@oceanmist.com.

Don’t be fooled by the name, because Baby Artichokes are simply smaller, fully mature versions of the traditional Artichoke and grow on the lower part of the plant. Since the Baby Artichoke is a fan-favorite, we compiled everything you would ever want to know about the dainty vegetable.

Availability:
Baby Artichokes are a seasonal size, and availability varies throughout the year. May is the peak harvest time for the small Artichoke, so you should find them in stores this month. If Baby Artichokes are not at your local grocery store, we recommend telling the produce manager you would like to see them on-shelf. You can tell the store Ocean Mist Farms confirmed that Baby Artichokes are in season now and are available to order!

Flavoring:
Fresh Artichokes of all sizes produce a natural, thin film that, if not removed, can have a bitter taste and cause other ingredients in the same dish to taste bitter. To remove the film from your Baby Artichokes, rinse and remove both the short stem and outer bright green petals.

Preparation:
Baby Artichokes are easy to prepare – with a little trimming you can eat the entire Artichoke, as they do not have a fuzzy center. First, rinse Baby Artichokes under cold water and remove the outer layer of bright green petals until you reach the pale, yellow layer of petals. With a sharp kitchen knife, trim the stem and remove any dark green edges, which can cause a bitter taste if not removed. Next, cut about one half inch off the top of the Baby Artichoke. To preserve the color and prevent browning, soak the Baby Artichokes in lemon or vinegar water after trimming and drain when ready you are ready to cook. Watch our How to Prepare Baby Artichokes videofor detailed preparation instructions.

To Cook:
Baby Artichokes can be prepared just like larger-sized Artichokes, but they don’t take as long to cook. You can even cut Baby Artichokes in half prior to cooking to promote a faster cooking time. Baby Artichokes are done when a toothpick or knife tip goes into the base of the Artichoke with ease. The following are some popular methods for cooking Baby Artichokes:

  • Steaming: Arrange Baby Artichokes in a steamer insert or basket in a pot deep enough to keep the Baby Artichokes above water. Cover tightly and steam over rapid boiling water until tender. Depending on size and quantity of Baby Artichokes, steaming time can range from 15 to 20 minutes. Lift out carefully and drain.
  • Microwaving: Arrange Baby Artichokes in a microwaveable bowl with about 1-2 inches of water. Cover the bowl with a microwavable plate or plastic wrap and microwave on high until tender: about 10-12 minutes for 6-8 Baby Artichokes and 12-15 minutes for 10-12 Baby Artichokes. Keep covered and let Artichokes stand for 5 minutes prior to serving.
  • Sautéing: Place quartered Baby Artichokes in a skillet or wok lightly coated with olive oil. Cover and sauté slowly on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until the Artichokes begin to brown. Season the Chokes with salt, pepper and garlic.
  • Grilling: First, pre-cook Baby Artichokes by microwaving, steaming or boiling. Then, brush with olive oil and grill – turning frequently and watching carefully – over hot coals just until nicely browned. Option: Cut Baby Artichokes in half before grilling for a bite-size snack or side dish.
  • Boiling: Add whole, trimmed Baby Artichokes to enough boiling water to cover the Artichokes. Cover tightly and simmer just until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes (time will vary depending on how many you are cooking). Drain well. Option: Substitute vegetable or chicken stock for water when boiling Artichokes for added flavor.

Get delicious Baby Artichoke recipes on our recipe page and if you have a favorite recipe featuring Baby Artichokes, be sure to share it!

How many servings of vegetables should you have at each meal? Do you wonder if you and your family are eating enough vegetables? The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) made it easier to determine appropriate serving sizes for fruits and vegetables with the new MyPlate diagram.

The MyPlate diagram is a visual example of serving sizes. According to the diagram, your plate should be half-filled with fruits and vegetables at each meal. Check out details of MyPlatefor more information.

Another helpful tool for nutrition and physical activity is theDietary Guidelines for Americans. Every five years, the USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services compiles the latest developments in the guidelines.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 illustrate strategies for consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices and being physically active, to help Americans attain and maintain a healthy weight, reduce their risk for chronic disease, and promote overall health. Please note the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommendations are intended for healthy Americans ages two years and older, and for those who are at increased risk of chronic disease. Please consult a physician before making changes to your diet or exercise routine.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommend increasing vegetable and fruit intake and eating a variety of vegetables. Most vegetables and fruits contain nutrients that are under-consumed by Americans, including folate, magnesium, potassium, dietary fiber, and vitamins A, C and K. And if you know your Artichoke nutrition facts, you know Chokes are an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C, and a good source of folate and magnesium. Artichokes are also a natural source of antioxidants!

According to the USDA’s vegetable nutrition database, one Artichoke is considered a serving and they are cholesterol free, low calorie, fat free, and low in sodium. Visit the Nutrition sectionof the Ocean Mist Farms website for more information about the health benefits of Artichokes!

What timesaving tips or cooking secrets do you use to make meal preparation manageable? Read timesaving tips provided by one of our employees and some of our Artichoke Aficionados Club members!

Laura at Ocean Mist Farms has a great water and timesaving tip – she cooks Artichokes in the same water as her pasta when she makes spaghetti. The result is pasta with a flavor-rich punch. Plus there is only one pot to clean instead of two!

Artichoke Aficionados Club member Dave shared his favorite Artichoke cooking tip with us – he freezes stuffed Artichokes and then uses a steamer to both defrost and cook the stuffed Artichokes.

Did you know the stems of Artichokes are edible and delicious? Club member Francine puts her Artichoke stems to good use by slicing the stems from her Artichokes and freezing them to use later in stews or soups.

Making meals in a slow cooker is another great timesaver. With a little morning prep, you can return home to a fragrant slow-cooked dinner. The key is to not overfill your slow cooker. Limit contents to one-half to two-thirds of the slow cooker. If it’s too full, it will take too long to start simmering. If it’s not full enough, you risk overcooking your ingredients. Be sure to stick to the cooking time indicated in the recipe.

Check out Ocean Mist Farms’ unique collection of slow cooker recipes that will surely delight your family and friends! You can also download our Slow Cooking Cookbook!

When it comes to nutrition, Artichokes naturally offer a unique inventory ofpotassium, magnesium, vitamin C, dietary fiber and protein. And, with only 60 calories, a medium-sized, steamed Artichoke is the perfect food for whatever diet plan you may be following.

Potassium

Potassium is a mineral that’s vital to maintaining normal heart rhythm, fluid balance, and muscle and nerve function. One medium Artichoke provides more than 400 milligrams of potassium, about as much as a small banana. There is strong evidence that a diet rich in potassium is linked to reduced risk of stroke. Potassium also blunts the effects of salt on blood pressure.

Magnesium

Magnesium is used in building bones, manufacturing proteins, releasing energy from muscle storage and regulating our body temperature. Many adults – especially women – aren’t getting enough of this mineral and Artichokes are a good source.

Vitamin C

Artichokes are an excellent source of vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin that functions as a potent antioxidant. Vitamin C is vital for a healthy immune system and is important in forming collagen, a protein that gives structure to our bones, cartilage, muscle and blood vessels. Vitamin C also aids in the absorption of iron.

Dietary Fiber

Artichokes are fiber rich! Found only in plant foods, fiber helps maintain a healthy digestive system, lowers blood cholesterol, reduces the risk of heart disease and may prevent certain types of cancer. Fiber also works to keep blood-sugar levels stable, which is especially important for people with diabetes. It can also help us feel full, aiding in weight control.

Protein

With no fat, cholesterol or trans fat, Artichokes are a healthful source of protein. One medium Artichoke provides four grams of protein!

For more nutritional information about Artichokes, visit www.oceanmist.com/health/health.aspx.