Past Questions Asked & Answered By Chef Tony Baker

Q:

How long do you cook on a BBQ grill?

A:

Hi David,

 

That is a great question. We have a great video on our website that takes you through the grilling process.  http://www.oceanmist.com/video/how-to-make-grilled-artichokes/ Please let us know if you have any additional questions.

 

Thanks,
Mary

 

Q:

What can you do with pickled artichoke hearts, besides sit down and eat until the jar is empty?

A:

Hi Willie,

Artichoke hearts are a very versatile item. Although we tend to prefer fresh artichokes for all of these great recipes, here is a great list of what you can do with them. We realize that artichokes of any sort are hard to resist.

http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/ingredients/article/use-jarred-artichokes

Q:

What do they mean when they talk about baby artichokes? Are they ones that just didn’t get huge, like the rest of them . We’ve picked and eaten most of them, but there still are some left t that I think I need to freeze. Do you have any good advice once I blanched or fully cooked them on how to reheat them ? Thank You-Kathy

A:

Hi Kathy,

Thank you for contacting Ocean Mist Farms. Baby artichokes grow on the same plant as the larger artichokes. The plants produce various sizes. The baby artichokes peak during the spring and aren’t as readily available during the remainder of the calendar months. You could reheat them by microwave, oven or any other method that you prefer. Here is some more information on baby artichokes and various preparation methods. http://www.oceanmist.com/artichokes/preparing-ocean-mist-farms-baby-artichokes/

 

Q:

Artichokes Are difficult to pair with wine. What do you suggest?

A:

Hi Emily,
 
Question: Artichokes Are difficult to pair with wine. What do you suggest?
 
Please click on the link below to learn more about pairing artichokes with wine.

Q:

do you steAM ARTIChokes with the stem end down or upside down with the leaves pointing down ?

A:

Hi David! Thanks for taking the time to reach out to us about how to prepare artichokes. Here is a great video on how to prepare them. http://www.oceanmist.com/artichokes/steam-artichoke-2/ We are sure this will answer your question. If you have any addition questions, please let us know. Happy Artichoke cooking!

 

Mary

Q:

What is the best way to store artichokes?

A:

Hi Marianne,

Hi Marianne,

 

Thank you so much for reaching out to us about the storage of artichokes. Click the link below to read about the best way to store them.

 

http://www.oceanmist.com/artichokes/selecting-storage/

 

Please let us know if you have any additional questions.

Q:

Can one freeze uncooked artichokes (for storage purposes)? If so, for how long?

A:

Hi Janice,

 

REEZING ARTICHOKES

 

Artichokes can be frozen after cooking, but not raw.  Uncooked, they will turn brown upon thawing and taste pretty awful.

 

Thanks,

 

Ocean Mist Farms

 

Q:

how long do boil an artichoke for

A:

Hi Christine,

Thanks for reaching out to us about Artichokes. Here is a fantastic video on “How to Boil an Artichoke”. This should help you.

 

http://www.oceanmist.com/artichokes/boil-artichoke/

 

Thanks,

Ocean Mist Farms

Q:

A long time ago in Provincetown, MA, I found a restauarant that served the most wonderful stuffed artichokes….it was stuffed with breadcrumbs and had a terrific garlic/buttery taste….is there a recipe for this anywhere?

A:

Hi Douglas,

 

We have a few different recipes for stuffed Artichokes on our website. Click the links above to see them.

 

http://www.oceanmist.com/?s=stuffed

 

http://www.oceanmist.com/recipes/joanne-ws-stuffed-artichokes/

 

Thanks,

Q:

can you steam artichokes on the grill

A:

Hi,

 

We have a great video on “How to Make an Easy Grilled Artichoke”. http://www.oceanmist.com/artichokes/make-easy-grilled-artichoke/

We also have a great video on “How to Steam an Artichoke”. http://www.oceanmist.com/artichokes/steam-artichoke-2/

 

We aren’t too sure if you could steam an Artichoke on the grill or not. You might be able to use this method with the Artichokes. However, we have never attempted this method.

 

http://www.livestrong.com/article/436038-how-to-steam-vegetables-on-the-grill/

 

Also, are you a member of our Artichoke Club? Once a member, you are automatically entered into a weekly drawing for a chance to win free Artichokes. Click the link to join. http://www.oceanmist.com/artichokes/join-the-club/

 

Thanks,

Q:

Please let me know how to make an only arichoke bisque

A:

Hi Ruth,

 

Thank you so much for reaching out to our about artichokes. Below is a WONDERFUL recipe for artichoke bisque. We hope you enjoy this recipe. Make sure to rate it if you end up cooking it.

 

http://www.oceanmist.com/recipes/artichoke-sourdough-bisque/

 

Thanks

Q:

In Siena, Italy I once had a dish that was baked like a casserole, with artichokes mainly, cheese, bread or bread crumbs. Never been able to find anything like it or duplicated something on my own. Any ideas?

A:

Hi Jana,

We aren’t too sure of the exact recipe that are referring to, but we do have something similar on our website. Please click the link to see the Artichoke Heart Casserole Dish. http://www.oceanmist.com/recipes/artichoke-heart-casserole/

We hope this helps!

Q:

KID-FRIENDLY fUN RECIPE/IDEAS TO INDRODUCE KIDS TO ARTICHOKES

A:

Hi Kathy

We suggest our chili and chokes recipe. Please click on the link to view the recipe. We hope this helps! http://www.oceanmist.com/recipes/chili-chokes/

 

This is a kid friendly recipe that is really fun to eat!

 

Thanks,

Q:

Do artichokes really have 120mg of salt? I am on a no/low salt diet and love artichokes and i try to stay under 100mg of salt in a meal. .

A:

Hi Patty,

The answer is on our nutrition page. Please refer to this tab for your answer. Thanks for asking! http://www.oceanmist.com/artichokes/artichoke-vitamins-minerals/

Q:

When you cut the artichokes in half to cook on the grill, are you able to eat the end of the leaves or only the heart?

A:

Hi Linda,

 

Many thanks for your question!

 

“When you cut the artichokes in half to cook on the grill, are you able to eat the end of the leaves or only the heart?”

 

In short the answer is YES!

 

Just be sure to fully cook your artichokes prior to grilling, either boil or steam them preferably, then cut in half and remove the fuzzy choke. I like to toss with a little balsamic and oil before I grill them. Don’t be shy on the grilling, I like a little color, the artichoke takes on a nice smoky flavor, especially if you can grill over wood.

 

Serve with a nice dipping sauce.

 

The new Ocean Mist Farms web site is awesome and features an amazing list of recipes, CLICK HERE to start surfing.

 

Happy Cooking,

 

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

www.montrio.com

 

www.bakersbacon.com

Q:

I have a large artichoke plant but fruit is very bitter. What can I do in cultivation process to reduce bitterness

A:

Hi Allen,

I just cook for a living, so I can give you some perspective from the culinary angle on how to reduce bitterness in your preparations. As far as gardening tips, that’s another forum. However, a suggestion if I may: grow carrots then buy Ocean Mist Farms fresh artichokes, how else will I make a living? The kids need new shoes, so Allen help a brother out and leave artichoke growing to the professionals!!

Artichokes have a naturally bitter film that grows on the outside of this edible thistle. Always a good practice to wash your artichokes under running cold water really well. 

Next, acid combats bitterness, I use a generous amount of red wine vinegar and salt when boiling my chokes.

Finally, serve your chokes with a vinaigrette or other high acid food.

I hope this helps Allen, have fun in your garden.

Here is a short video clip on boiling chokes click here,  please explore other areas of the Ocean Mist Farms website, we have a veritable plethora of great artichoke recipes.

Happy Cooking,
Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

How long should one boil artichokes?

A:

Hello Evelyn,

Many thanks for your question!

In short the real answer is ‘until they are cooked’. I know that this is really not very helpful, so here are a couple of tips.

Generally a large artichoke will need 35-45 mins of simmer time. Baby artichokes 20-30 mins of simmer time.
To test, on the large artichokes pull a brack (leaf) it should come out with minimal resistance. On the babies, insert a small paring knife into the heart, don’t worry it won’t feel a thing! They are ready when your knife goes in with ease, just like when testing a boiled potato.

We have some great video clips that go into a little more detail. Please click here to view.

Happy Cooking,
Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

How do you cook a tough artichoke?

A:

Hi Joyce,

Many thanks for your question.

Well, I’m not sure how to answer this one, Ocean Mist Artichokes are never tough when cooked properly. I’ve been cooking artichokes in large volume for over 20 years and the only time I’ve had a bad one is because I screwed it up in the cooking or preparation of my dish.

So Joyce this is why it’s a hard one to answer. Firstly I’m not sure what size and type of artichoke your working with. Is it an Ocean Mist Farms beauty? How are you planning on cooking it?

So without all of this information, I’m just going to throw out some of my more generic cooking tips, followed by a couple of helpful links to our website, that for sure is worth a gander, whether you are a seasoned artichoke professional or an artichoke virgin.

My favorite way of cooking an artichoke is to boil, I use red wine vinegar, salt, olive oil, garlic and oregano. Large artichokes will generally take 35-45 mins. They are ready when the bracks (leaves) pull out with minimum resistance.

Here are a couple of great links, the first is a short video click here, the second is a link to our artichoke recipe section. click here.

Thank you Joyce have fun cooking with artichokes and have a great Thanksgiving!!

Happy Cooking,
Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

I used to love to go to the Renaissance Festival to eat the artichokes there. Any chance you could get their recipe?

A:

Hi Colleen,

How did they prepare them?? Are the deep fried babies??

My wife really wants to try and make the festival this year, although I think it’s almost done. If I do, I’ll take a look and see if I can replicate them, I may be able to find out who the vendor is.

Sorry I can’t be of any more help at this time.

Happy cooking,

Chef Tony Baker
www.montrio.com

Q:

Can you reheat artichoke

A:

Hi Victoria,

Many thanks for your question, it’s one that I get asked a lot. Artichokes are a fairly resilient vegetable and stand up well to a re-heat whether that’s in a microwave, steamer or wrapped in foil and placed over some hot coals. Just follow your standard food safety procedures, especially if your recipe includes any proteins or dairy. Click here for some great artichoke recipes, i’m guessing when you follow these recipes, you won’t be having a problem with many leftovers!!

Victoria, have a blast in the kitchen,

Bye for now,

Chef Tony Baker

www.montrio.com

Q:

Do you have to refrigerate artichoke and how long are they good for?

A:

Hi Katie,

Many thanks for your question, the answer to your question is yes. Treat Artichokes like any fresh green vegetable and keep them in your fridge until your ready to cook them up. Depending on how fresh they are when you purchase them you should have around 5 days on them, although my motto is ‘Fresh is Best’ so with that in mind it’s better to buy them when your ready to enjoy them.

Q:

Can you eat the whole artichoke?

A:

Hi Sonja,

Many thanks for your question, the answer in short is no. I think the best way for me to explain how to eat an artichoke is through the videos on the web site, so grab some popcorn, a tasty beverage, get comfy then click here.

I hope this helps, feel free to explore the other videos and recipes on the website.

Happy Cooking,
Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com
www.bakersbacon.com

Q:

I special ordered the huge box of baby artichokes from Ocean Mist… They just arrived an hour ago… but there were no instructions on how to cook these babies…Help I’d like to cook them b4 they go bad… thanks and aloha

A:

Hi Christopher,

Many thanks you for your question:

Baby Artichokes in Hawaii, wow!

The baby artichokes are a treat in that they require very little preparation, you can simply trim, remove the outer leaves and cook them. Getting into the anatomy of an artichoke, the choke hasn’t fully formed and therefore does not need to be removed as with its big brother. I like to boil them with a little red wine vinegar, salt and garlic, they take about 25 mins to cook depending on size.

An interesting fact about artichokes and how they grow, is that each plant actually produces every size of artichoke and a baby artichoke is just a small artichoke, if it where to be left on the plant it would open up just like it’s larger brothers. The folks that harvest the artichokes know when an artichoke has reached its peak and cut it regardless of size.

The good news, is that we have some great instructional videos on our website that show you simply how to prepare the babies. click here

Here is a link to some recipes click here

Happy Cooking,
Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com
www.bakersbacon.com

Q:

How do I freeze peeled artichokes?

A:

Hi Jane,

Many thanks for your question, I get this a lot. April and May of course is peak season for this delicious treat. Naturally they are going to be at their best and likely the best prices of the year, so why not stock up on them!!

You can freeze artichoke hearts very simply. Trim the artichoke to the heart so you are left with clean white artichoke heart meatBe sure to liberally apply fresh lemon juice to prevent oxidization while preparingPlace in a vacuum bag ideally and seal, if one is not available use a zip back and remove as much air as possible. Label bag with contents and date and freezeRemove and cook as fresh. Take a look at this customers approach click here. For a literal plethora of great recipes dig around the amazing Ocean Mist Farms website for some artichoke inspiration, you might find you’ll just end up eating them all and not freezing any after all!

Jane, Happy Cooking!

Q:

would like to know how to prepare, baby artichokes Italian style, I think they are fried, do they have to be parboiled before?

A:

Hello France,

Thank you for your question, babies, what a treat! Baby artichokes are a interesting because they are not really baby at all, each green globe plant grows all sizes at the same time. The small artichokes grow further down the plant and are harvested at peak. We love them because they don’t develop the fuzzy choke in the middle and therefore we can eat virtually the whole thing. This makes the babies very versatile and work for so many recipes.

Take a look at this link, the videos and information contained in this link will do a much better job explaining cooking with babies than I can do in an email!

Click Here

Q:

How to prep and cook fried artichoke?

A:

Hi Mike,

Deep fried artichokes are great, generally the baby artichokes are used for deep frying as they require less prep time. You will still need to pre-cook your artichokes before frying. click here for some direction on prepping your baby chokes.

Here is a simple beer batter for you to play with. If beer is not your thing, just sub ice water.

3 – Parts Flour
2 – Parts Corn Starch
1 – Part

Baking Powder

Cold Dark Beer

Combine all of the dry ingredients and mix very well, gradually mix in the cold beer until a thick batter consistency is reached.
TIP: Don’t add the liquid until you are ready to start frying, baking powder is activated when you add the beer and is only good for a while, so only mix enough batter for the amount of artichokes your going to fry. The dry mix can last for weeks.

Slice your cooked babies in half or quarters and toss in a little flour before dipping into the batter.

Fry in fresh vegetable oil at 350f until light brown and crispy, season with garlic salt.

Baby Artichokes,

An interesting fact about artichokes and how they grow, is that each plant actually produces every size of artichoke and a baby artichoke is just a small artichoke, if it where to be left on the plant it would open up just like it’s larger brothers. The folks that harvest the artichokes know when an artichoke has reached its peak and cut it regardless of size.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com
www.bakersbacon.com

Q:

How do you grill artichokes ?

A:

Q:

I grew up eating my mothers recipe for boiled artichokes. I say “recipe” because she would flavor the water with ingredients that gave them a “Dill” flavor. I think she used a flavor packet that had these little round balls of different size and color. I’ve seen them in home made Dill Pickles. Do you know what I’m talking about?

A:

Hello Fawn,

Many thanks for your question, I’m not entirely sure what your Mum used in her chokes, but it sounds to me that she used pickling spice and that the balls where mustard seeds and allspice. You could pick up dill pickle spice in the store and give it a go.

I like your Mum like to fortify my cooking liquid, most traditionalists choose to plain steam or boil. I think garlic, oregano, red wine vinegar and bay make a great combo of flavors that compliment the artichokes really well. I’m curious about the dill pickling spice. I may just have to give that a go!

Fawn, we do have a bunch of great stuff on the website, recipes that will keep you going for months! Just click here.

Q:

How would artichoke taste in a creamy spinach dip?

A:

Dear Alexis,

Many thanks for your question, If you were a little closer I’d be coming over for dinner, that sounds banging!

I think artichoke and spinach is a marriage made in heaven, perhaps that’s why Ocean Mist Farms grows them both!

I like a really good stinky cheese in my artichoke dip, real gruyere or the French/Swiss Raclette cheese, Raclette is one of the finest cooking cheeses very full flavored and easy melting. Probably available at any fine cheese shop. This stuff will put hairs on your chest. OK i’m getting sentimental now, back to artichokes!

So Alexis, it sounds like you are on the right track, and the fact that you are using artichokes in Ohio, God bless you! So if you haven’t already taken the time to peruse the plethora of ridiculously delicious artichoke dishes on the Ocean Mist Farms website, I’ll make it easy for you, just click here and it will take you to the heart of the website! Enjoy!

Q:

What is the best steamer for multiple artichokes and where do we buy one?

A:

Hi Cathy,

I like your question, however I really have no idea of how to answer it. As a chef we cook artichokes by the case, as a home cook I generally boil or roast them.

I would suggest a steam pot at least 10 inches in diameter and steam them upside down. This size pot should be able to cook 4 at a time.

Please take a look at the Ocean Mist Farms website, their is a veritable plethora of delicious artichoke recipes for all cooking styles. Click Here.

Many Thanks,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

Baker’s Bakon

Q:

Any thing with artichokes good and easy. Please help me

A:

Hi,

Many thanks for your question! I think the common misconception with artichokes is that they are laborious and hard to prep, they don’t have to be. They’re so many simple recipes and preparations that can be done with artichokes. Even down to microwaving them, in some areas, you may be able to find the Ocean Mist Farms microwave bag that has clear and simple instructions to a tasty choke, click here.

If you are a soup person, my artichoke bisque is super simple to make, and very tasty. click here

Please cruz around the Ocean Mist Farms website, a great resource with multiple videos demonstrating multiple ways to prepare and cook this versatile and delicious Vegetable. Happy Cooking!

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

Feel Good About What You Eat!

www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

I was cooking some of your artichokes last night and a large worm appeared. Is this common I have not had that happen before. We, of course, could not eat them because of the worm and I hated to throw them in the garbage.

A:

Hi Joanne,

Many thanks for your question. I’m sorry that you felt you had to discard the artichokes.

Worms in fact any pests are an unfortunate part of farming, from my perspective as a chef, bugs happen! In most cases one can cut around the damaged part of the fruit or veg and continue with your recipe. In most cases the damage is nearly cosmetic. The quality control at Ocean Mist Farms is very high, if any product is suspected of harboring a foreign body it is pulled from packing immediately. Please bare in mind this response is based on my personal experience as a chef. Ocean Mist staff may have a different take on things. Joanne, have fun with food, I am a big believer in the products that Ocean Mist Farms grow and insist on them for my restaurant. It’s unfortunate that you received a little extra protein in yours.

Happy Cooking, Feel Good About What You Eat!

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

Baker’s Bacon

Q:

Something about artichokes and how they beneficial to human beings?

A:

Hello Lakshay,

Many thanks for your question, well I am not a nutritionist I went ahead and grabbed some great infer from the website and will include a useful link to help you find further information on the health benefits of eating the lovely choke: What are the nutrition benefits of Artichokes?The Artichoke is a low-calorie, nutrient-rich vegetable. According to the USDA, one medium Artichoke is an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C, and a good source of folate and magnesium. Artichokes also are a natural source of antioxidants.

In fact, recent research shows cooked Ocean Mist artichokes are the highest antioxidant source among all fresh vegetables.

Source: adapted from American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2006) Study data. Click here

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

Q:

I have a recipe for stuffed artichokes using shrimp, breadcrumbs, herbs and cheese. Can I make these one day in advance of a dinner party, refrigerate overnight and just steam them before serving? If so, should they be wrapped in foil or plastic wrap?

A:

Hello Donise,

Many thanks for your question, your shrimp stuffed artichokes sound killer what times dinner i’ll be right over?!

Artichokes are very forgiving and handle reheating very well. You may want to consider pre cooking just the artichokes the day before and then adding the stuffing the day of your dinner party.

My concern is that the shrimp and the stuffing will dry out and suffer as a result of the reheating.

As far as foil or plastic wrap, I am not a big fan of reheating with plastic wrap, it is not recommended to have plastic wrap to be in contact with hot food.

Be sure to check out some of the great recipes on the Ocean Mist Farms website. click here

Happy Cooking!

Chef Tony Baker

Feel Good About What You Eat!

www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

Is an artichoke good for kidney problems or even for your health????

A:

Hi Melissa,

Many thanks for your question.

Unfortunately, while I did study a fair bit of nutrition in culinary school, I really didn’t pay much attention in class. I was always more of a hands on learner ; )

As far as the cooking of artichokes, I’m a bloody genius! Fortunately the website does contain a fair bit of nutritional information however, just click here hopefully this will make up for my clear lack of experience in answering your question.

From my limited knowledge, I can share that they are indeed considered healthful and are high in antioxidants, the highest of any cooked vegetable I believe. Now that can’t be bad.

Melissa, happy cooking I hope the website can be of more help than I.

Kind regards,

Chef Tony Baker

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

Q:

Hello Chef,
Do we eat the fuzzy part in the center or do we toss it out. I’m thinking that is the healthest part to eat, but not sure. Thanks in advance for answering my question.

A:

Hi Jana,

Many thanks for your question, it’s a common one, you are not alone! The fuzzy part attached to the heart of a large green globe artichoke is unfortunately to the best of my knowledge inedible. If you eat it you could “Choke”! I typically remove it after the artichoke is fully cooked, take a dessert sized spoon, pluck the center leaves out and then gently scrape away the fuzzy choke in the center. I hope this helps. Don’t forget we have “how to” videos and a bunch of great recipes available online. CLICK HERE

Q:

I am preparing baby artichokes for the first tme, is there a fuzzy choke that needs to be removed?

Thanks

A:

Hi Michele,

Many thanks for your question, wow you have baby artichokes on the East Coast, you are a lucky lady!

I say that because baby artichokes are a real treat for the very reason you mentioned above. The baby chokes do not have the fuzzy choke that needs to be removed. Simply remove the dark green outer leaves and trim the dark green from around the heart. Then cook em up. From that point all of the baby artichoke is ready to eat.

Here is a link to a simple how to video that will do a better job explaining how to prepare them. Please click here.

Have fun with your baby artichokes,

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

What is the best way to store an artichoke? Is it better out on the counter or in the crisper in the refrigerator?

A:

Hi John,

Many thanks for your question, Artichokes are a fresh green vegetable and should be treated to a nice cold refrigerator. Assuming the artichokes in your market and nice and fresh, an artichoke should keep nicely in your fridge for 5 to 7 days.

For other tips and some great how to videos, click here.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

Have you ever stuffed an artichoke with a meatloaf type mixture and cook in spaghetti sauce. VERY GOOD.

A:

Hi Ron,

Sounds bloody delicious! No, I haven’t personally made what you are suggesting, but you are inspiring me. Now you’ve given me an idea, let me return the favor. I’ve been playing with baked artichokes, and having a lot of fun with various seasonings and stuffings. Click here to see simple instruction on baking an artichoke. Try placing your meatloaf recipe into the artichoke prior to baking. You may find that this will save you a step and simplify the dish. Keep the ideas coming.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

We steam Artichokes…done this forever. I want to try something on the BBQ for a change…got any “First-Timer”" suggestions?”

A:

Hi Robert,

Thanks for your question. I love the flavor of a good grilled artichoke. Unfortunately, its hard to get around pre-cooking the artichoke before it hits the grill. Any attempt at grilling an artichoke from raw, will usually result in a product that resembles and tastes like Grandpa’s old boots! My preference is to first, boil the artichokes. Then cut in half, remove the fuzzy choke with a dessert sized spoon. Drizzle with good olive oil, and salt. Place on hot grill. Alternatively, take your whole pre-cooked artichokes, remove center and fuzzy choke, pour 2 fl. oz. of balsamic vinaigrette between the leaves and the center, and then wrap well in aluminum foil. Place this packet of goodness directly on the coals or on the hottest part of your grill until the artichoke is well charred and hot. This goes great with a smoky chipotle lime mayonnaise. Hope this helps Robert, we are in peak artichoke season. Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

I heard about eating artichokes raw, is there a special variety needed, or can I go with a CA artichoke. I also wish there were baby artichokes available at my local Safeway of Fred Meyer store. Where are they available in Oregon?

A:

Hi MJ,

Thank you for your question. Raw artichokes can be delicious, and the California green globe artichoke is exactly what you need. A couple of tips. A natural film occurs on the outside of the artichokes during growing that is bitter. Take a stiff brush, rinse and wash the artichokes under cold running water prior to preparing. Then, I like to trim the artichoke down to the heart, removing all of the green, rubbing with lemon juice as you go. Like many vegetables, artichokes will naturally discolor (oxidize), citrus will help prevent this. When your artichoke is cleaned, remove the fuzzy choke using a dessert sized spoon, and again apply lemon juice. I prefer to shave the artichokes using a japanese style mandolin available at most premium cooking equipment stores. Here is a great recipe that you can add/substitute with shaved, raw artichokes.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

What do I do with baby artichokes?

A:

Hi Lucy,

Many thanks for your question: Baby Artichokes, The baby artichokes are a treat in that they require very little preparation, you can simply trim, remove the outer leaves and cook them. Getting into the anatomy of an artichoke, the choke hasn’t fully formed and therefore does not need to be removed as with its big brother. I like to boil them with a little red wine vinegar, salt and garlic, they take about 25 mins to cook depending on size.

An interesting fact about artichokes and how they grow, is that each plant actually produces every size of artichoke and a baby artichoke is just a small artichoke, if it where to be left on the plant it would open up just like it’s larger brothers. The folks that harvest the artichokes know when an artichoke has reached its peak and cut it regardless of size.

For detailed instructions click here

Happy Cooking!

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

Q:

Pressure cooking – I slit one artichoke half way through, set it on a steaming basket and cook for 9 minutes once pressure has been reached. Your directions seem quite different.
Thanks

A:

Hi Rosemary,

Many thanks for your question. Gotta love those pressure cookers. The only things I can see really different, is the fact that you are cutting them in half. Which, naturally, will reduce the cooke time. The test I did that produced the 22-minute cook time was on a Fagor pressure cooker, on the low setting with jumbo green globe artichokes. I found this time to be optimum, the artichokes were not mushy and the heart was cooked through. Since all pressure cookers are slightly different, and the pressures that they create, vary, I suggest you stick with what works. However, I like the seasoning mentioned in my recipes. I think they add a nice touch. Flavors really carry through the artichoke. While we love pressure cooking, I don’t know if you’ve tried the easy bake artichoke, but its worth a shot. Great flavor, easy to prepare, about an hour at 400 degrees. Then you’re grubbing!

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

Why do you cook artichokes in a pressure cooker upside down?

A:

Hi Pat,

Thank you for your question. Pressure cookers offer a lot of advantages when cooking artichokes. About a year ago, I did a testing with a Fagor pressure cooker and worked on different pressures and times, and the placement of the artichokes in the pot. The reason for cooking them upside down is that I would trim the top of the artichokes off so that they lay flat on the bottom of the pot and when cooking the right way up, you would have to remove the stem, which I don’t like doing since it is an extension of the heart. Also, the artichoke tends to collect water when cooking right way up. With the Fagor cooker, I found that using the lower, slower setting produced a more evenly cooked artichoke. If you try to cooke an artichoke too fast, the outside becomes mushy while the heart is under-cooked. I hope this answers your question. A new favorite of mine is the easy baked artichoke. Give it a go and no more prep time, but it does take about 60 minutes in the oven. I prefer the flavor over pressure cooking.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

Should I look for artichokes that are pointed on the top or those with the top leaves still tucked in? I love them any way but sure miss being able to grow then here in Central Oregon with a 62-day growing season.

A:

Hi Lou,

Many thanks for your great question. Certainly, during the off-season it can be hard to find great artichokes. My first tip is to stick with Ocean Mist Farms and you won’t go far wrong.Now let me explain the shapes of artichokes. Although artichokes are available year round, the main artichoke season is now through July, and in the fall. During that season you’ll find plenitful suply of the wonderful green globe artichoke. These are recognizable by the pointy top, large thorns, and massive hearts. Many growers, other than Ocean Mist Farms, will use seeded varieties that are simply not good. They’re recognzeable from heart shaped leaves that turn in on the top. And while they are large and pretty to look at when you cut them open, there is very little heart. Ocean Mist Farms tries its best to use the green globe variety for most of the year. During times where the season does not cooperate, Ocean Mist has proprietary artichoke varieties that resemble the characteristics of the green globe variety. Allowing us, the consumers, to enjoy great tasting (and, of course, eating) artichokes all year round. Be sure to check out the amazing recipes on the Ocean Mist Farms website, if you haven’t already. The videos are great. And if you haven’t tried the easy bake artichoke, its simple to prepare and a great tasting way to cook an artichoke.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

Do you have any recipes for pickled artichokes? And any recipes for using bacon with artichokes?

A:

Hi Gail,

Many thanks for your question.I’m not much for a pickled artichoke person. Although, I don’t mind getting pickled from time to time. :) As far as bacon goes, I am a huge fan of swine! Artichokes season is in full swing, and even in New Haven CT, you should have no problems getting fresh baby artichokes. If for some reason, your store is not carrying them, ask your store’s produce manager and insist he brings you Ocean Mist Farms baby artichokes. They are normally very good about fulfilling customers’ requests. Now here is an Ocean Mist Farms favorite, Chef Tony B’s artichoke bacon risotto.

Now let’s talk about bacon for a minute. I’ve become quite the bacon snob over the past few years, and now failed to recognized the typical brine pumped, store packaged bacon as an option. I like to use unsliced slab, dry cured bacon. Brands such as Vande Rose Farms, Hobs, Nueske, and Prime Smoked Meats from Oakland, CA. All produce incredible applewood smoked goodness. Hope this helps.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

I was told the artichoke is good source to lose weigth….if I drink it as a tea..do you know about this….did u hear about it???

A:

Hi Mercedes,

Thank you for your question. I have to admit, this one is a bit beyond me. My profession as a chef hasn’t brought me to artichoke tea, yet. However, your question is very enlightening. My Internet searches have led me to many sources for artichoke tea and it’s health benefits. I found one great resource for the benefits of artichoke tea,

Fresh cooked artichokes have been tested as having the highest antioxidants of any cooked vegetable per serving. Here is a recipe for fresh artichokes that is both low in saturated fat, and cooked in a way that protects the water soluble vitamins and nutrition the artichoke has to offer. So as well as your artichoke tea, give fresh artichokes a go.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

How do I make artichoke tea?

A:

Hi Forrest,

Thank you for your question .I have to admit, this one is a bit beyond me. My profession as a chef hasn’t brought me to artichoke tea, yet. However, your question is very enlightening. My Internet searches have led me to many sources for artichoke tea and it’s health benefits. I found one great resource for the benefits of artichoke tea.

Fresh cooked artichokes have been tested as having the highest antioxidants of any cooked vegetable per serving. Here is a recipe for fresh artichokes that is both low in saturated fat, and cooked in a way that protects the water soluble vitamins and nutrition the artichoke has to offer. So as well as your artichoke tea, give fresh artichokes a go.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

Can I clean and stuff the artichokes then leave then sit overnight before cooking them?

Thanks

Alice

A:

Hi Alice,

Many thanks for your question. First, be sure to wash the artichoke well. Even use a stiff bristled brush. And, purely for aesthetics, trim the leaves and rub with fresh lemon juice to stop discoloring. Now as far as leaving your artichokes overnight, it really depends on what you plan on stuffing your artichoke with. I would suggest, for as much time as it takes to add the stuffing, that you add it directly before cooking. If you’d like, here is a recipe for a great classic stuffed artichoke.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

How to prepare baby artichokes and some good easy recipes for cooking them.

A:

Hi Guido,

Thanks you for your question. Baby Artichokes, The baby artichokes are a treat in that they require very little preparation, you can simply trim, remove the outer leaves and cook them. Getting into the anatomy of an artichoke, the choke hasn’t fully formed and therefore does not need to be removed as with its big brother. I like to boil them with a little red wine vinegar, salt and garlic, they take about 25 mins to cook depending on size.

An interesting fact about artichokes and how they grow, is that each plant actually produces every size of artichoke and a baby artichoke is just a small artichoke, if it where to be left on the plant it would open up just like it’s larger brothers. The folks that harvest the artichokes know when an artichoke has reached its peak and cut it regardless of size.

For detailed instructions go to:

http://www.oceanmist.com/products/artichokes/artichokebaby.aspx Here is a great seasonal recipe. Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

I have lost my recipe for shrimp stuffed artichokes. Would you please send me one? Thank you. Love artichokes!!

A:

Hi Marne,

Thanks for your question. I’ll be honest with you, I’m a shrimp stuffed artichoke virgin! However, you got me thinking. So, I’ll get cracking and get something sorted for you. Check back on the Ocean Mist website in a week or so, and I’ll hope to have something up for you to experiment with. Meanwhile, here’s a link to an Italian classic. Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

How long do you cook large artichokes that I have cut in half before cooking?

A:

Hi Joan,

Thank you for your question. May, of course, is peak artichoke season here in California. The stores are brimming with fresh Ocean Mist Farms green globe artichokes. To answer your question, I prefer not to cut the artichokes in half. It exposes the delicate heart of the artichoke and allows it to discolor. If you were to cut it in half, a jumbo artichoke would cook in an estimated 25 minutes, if boiling. A fun and non-traditional cooking method is the easy bake artichoke. It’s a great, quick way to enjoy an artichoke with only 5 minutes of prep time.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

Do you recommend eating artichoke hearts out of the glass jar daily?? I heard it is good for you on my local cooking radio show. What brand is the best??

A:

Hi Barbara,

Many thanks for your question. While the convenience of jarred artichokes is great, we really need to get you to cook fresh artichokes. The health benefits of a fresh cooked artichoke are enormous. Per serving, cooked artichokes contain the highest level of antioxidants. They’re high in fiber, and when partnered with light vinaigrettes and other fresh ingredients, they are fun and delicious to eat. Not surprisingly, some folks are intimidated by this delicious edible thistle. However, we have made things very simple. Here is a great recipe for an easy baked artichoke that will have you drooling with only 5 minutes of prep time. May is peak artichoke season, the stores are filled with Ocean Mist Farms artichokes. Now is the time to experiment and have fun with this delicious vegetable.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

Has it ever been tested cooking in the microwave and if so – how to proceed.

A:

Hi Sandy,

Many thanks for your question. We have a great way to microwave your artichokes. Watch this video to see how easy it is.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

How can I grill an Artichoke?

A:

Hi Patty,

Since you’re from Texas, you should be showing me how to grill artichokes. :) First step, pre-cook your artichoke in your favorite way. My preference is to boil. Second, cut the artichoke in half (length-wise). Drizzle with olive oil and season, then place directly on a hot grill. Try with my chipotle lime mayo. Take advantage of artichoke season. The store are brimming with fresh Ocean Mist Farms artichokes this time of year.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

For artichokes, do you recommend steaming them or boiling them?

A:

Hi Jeffers,

First of all…bangin’ name! Thank you for your question. From your email address, do you happen to have a Tesla?? I’m a huge car geek and would love to hear about it. Now back to business…I’m a fan of boiling. I like to use aromas that compliment the artichoke, such as garlic, oregano, and lemon. Nothing against steaming. When we were cooking artichoke at the restaurant, we are cooking in quantities of 24/48 at a time, and I guess it’s just what I’m used to. Steaming is a perfectly acceptable alternative. Although, it’s harder to introduce other flavors. Hope this helps.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

Are there more than one kind of artichoke? I notice some are pointy and some are rounder and I think they taste different. Thank you! Shannon

A:

Hi Shannon,

Many thanks for your great question. Certainly, during the off-season it can be hard to find great artichokes. My first tip is to stick with Ocean Mist Farms and you won’t go far wrong. Now let me explain the shapes of artichokes. Although artichokes are available year round, the main artichoke season is now through July, and in the fall. During that season you’ll find plenitful supply of the wonderful green globe artichoke. These are recognizable by the pointy top, large thorns, and massive hearts. Many growers, other than Ocean Mist Farms, will use seeded varieties that are simply not good. They’re recognzeable from heart shaped leaves that turn in on the top. And while they are large and pretty to look at when you cut them open, there is very little heart, and at the end of the day…the heart is the prize! Ocean Mist Farms tries its best to use the green globe variety for most of the year. During times where the season does not cooperate, Ocean Mist has proprietary artichoke varieties that resemble the characteristics of the green globe variety. Allowing us, the consumers, to enjoy great tasting (and, of course, eating) artichokes all year round. Be sure to check out the amazing recipes on the Ocean Mist Farms website, if you haven’t already. The videos are great. And if you haven’t tried the easy bake artichoke, its simple to prepare and a great tasting way to cook an artichoke.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

I am a Raw Foodist, can you eat Artichokes raw?

A:

Hi Angel,

Thank you for your question. Raw artichokes can be delicious, and the California green globe artichoke is exactly what you need. A couple of tips. A natural film occurs on the outside of the artichokes during growing that is bitter. Take a stiff brush, rinse and wash the artichokes under cold running water prior to preparing. Then, I like to trim the artichoke down to the heart, removing all of the green, rubbing with lemon juice as you go. Like many vegetables, artichokes will naturally discolor (oxidize), citrus will help prevent this. When your artichoke is cleaned, remove the fuzzy choke using a dessert sized spoon, and again apply lemon juice. I prefer to shave the artichokes using a japanese style mandolin available at most premium cooking equipment stores. Here is a great recipe that you can add/substitute with shaved, raw artichokes.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

One I steamed my artichokes with water, olive oil and garlic, do they have to be refrigerated overnight if I am serving the next day. Jackie

A:

Hi Jacqueline,

Many thanks for your question. Your question strictly pertains to food safety and the prevention of food-borne illness. And in this area, as a professional chef, I always err on the side of caution and since the growth of illness causing bacteria is slowed by refrigeration…I would definitely suggest alway refrigerating prepared foods. Here is a great recipe for easy baked artichokes. I hope this helps.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

We have been eating, and enjoying artichokes for years, twice a week when they are available. My wife buys them at Berkeley Bowl market in Berkeley every 2 weeks, and last week bought 2 with long stems. We want to make artichoke soup with the stems. Can they be treated the same as the hearts in soup recipes? I kind of like the artichoke sourdough recipe, but think I would like some more simple – like cream of artichoke, but not bland. Any ideas?
Thanks – Chris

A:

Hi Chris,

Many thanks for your question. Long stem artichokes are a real treat. The outer part of the stem is very fibrous, however when peeled, the stem is an extension of the heart and contains great tender artichoke meat. For soup making, simply take a good vegetable peeler, peel approximately 2 mm around the stem and slice. The artichoke sourdough bisque recipe is a great one. The texture is very creamy and is quite healthful without cream or butter. If you’d like to embellish, add diced smoked bacon and crumbled bleu cheese. This will really pack a punch and is right up my ally! :)

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

Is artichokes good for weight loss.

A:

Hi Margaret,

Many thanks for your question. I am not a nutritionist, I cook for a living. However, assuming that you don’t stuff the artichoke with cheesy cream sauce, then dip the leaves in drawn butter it’s hard to beat a fresh steamed artichoke and artichokes as part of a balanced diet can’t be bad for you. Artichokes contain the highest amount of antioxidants per serving than any other cooked vegetable. You may want to consider alternatives to mayonnaise or butter and consider low fat plain yoghurt with garlic and basil. I also love a simple balsamic vinaigrette using good olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chili flakes and garlic. Give them a go!

Click Here for the easy baked artichoke, this recipe is very healthy, roasting means that you will keep many of the water soluble nutrients as well as being very simple to make, and naturally delicious.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

We had a smoked Artichoke at the White Chocolate Factory in AZ. The petals weren’t as wet as having one grilled and it definately had a smoked flavor. Do you know how I can achive this? Also do you have any dipping sauces receipes, something like a ranch spicy dip?

A:

Hi Kris,

Many Thanks for your question!! Smoked artichoke, now your talking my language I love grilled and smoked artichokes. I can give you pointers on how you can achieve a nice smokiness on your artichokes at home without needing any special kit. I first boil or steam my artichokes click here, then I marinade in balsamic vinaigrette (1 cup Balsamic, 1 cup xvo, pinch garlic, chile flakes. Shake well) wrap in the heavy duty aluminum foil. Use heavy duty as the regular stuff will melt! OK i’m assuming you have some type of grill either gas or charcoal. Fire that bad boy up to high heat (be sure your grill is free of any grease build up) then drop your wrapped artichokes into the coals or the hottest part of the gas grill. Coals are really the best for this, you can even scoop some of the red coals and bank up against the artichoke. Leave the artichoke in the coals for about 4 mins or so. You are looking to get a little char on the outside leaves. You will find that the artichoke will take on a delicious smokey flavor. Now serve em up with some BBQ mayo or something similar, click here for a simple recipe. Here’s another click here. Ok Kris I hope this helps,

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

Hi Chef! I am a Personal Chef in Ohio, I love artichokes!!! I want to try to introduce them to my clients, I have a few ideas, but what would you say is the best way for them to reheat them. I was going to steam them for 20 minutes and let them finish the steaming and provide Hollandaise to serve with them. What are your thoughts?

Thanks!
Marianne Hobstetter CPC
Dining In of Columbus LTD

A:

Hi Marianne,

I’m glad your wanting to work with Artichokes, they are actually perfect for what you want to do, Artichokes are very hearty and hold up well after they are cooked. You had mentioned cooking them for 20 mins, I would suggest you cook the artichokes completely and for a standard large artichoke 24 count you would be looking at 35 mins +/- 5 mins. Babies take about 20mins and 18′s can take as long at 45 mins when boiling. click here for a serving suggestion. To reheat, steamer, microwave and grill all work great. Here are a few recipes to play with for sauces that may be more convenient than hollandaise. click here and here

I hope this helps you out a little, drop me another line if you have more questions.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

Last year we attended the Artichoke Festival and had a muffin made with artichoke. It was so good. I have been trying to find a recipe for them without success. Can you help me?

A:

Hi Jean,

Many thanks for your question, yes the artichoke festival is a great time. In fact it’s coming up again in a few weeks May 20th to 22nd 2011 so you’ll be able to grab your muffins without having the clean up in your own kitchen! Anyway I did find a couple of recipes that should interest you just click here. The weather seems to be clearing up now, which will help out our farmers get into the fields. So expect lots of Castroville goodness in your supermarket!

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

Just how long should I boil my Artichokes?

A:

Hi Lora,

Many Thanks for your question, in short a large artichoke takes about 35mins, however for more detailed information click here this is a short video that covers the basics.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

When are California (Ocean Mist) artichokes going to be harvested? We got in Mexican chokes today that were no good… Thanks 312-666-3106

A:

Hi Jim,

I’m sorry that your not getting the best artichokes in your area. I suggest talking to the produce buyer in your grocery store and calling out Ocean Mist Farms artichokes by brand. Like most of the state farming has been a challenge this year battling frost and unusually high rainfall, however, we have plenty of great quality green globe artichokes available.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

CAN YOU RECOMMEND A PARTICULAR PAN THAT A STUFFED ARTICHOKE CAN STAND IN AND NOT TIP TO SIDE?

A:

Hi Beverly,

Many thanks for your question their is no right or wrong pan for this case, I have a cast iron round pan that is about 4 inches deep that fits 4 large artichokes perfectly. Stuffing: A couple of points on trimming your artichokes for stuffing, following cooking your artichokes you can remove the stem thus allowing the artichoke to sit up straight, just serve the stem alongside your stuffed artichoke so it doesn’t go to waste. Don’t cut it to short or you’ll get too deep into the heart. You can also bake your stuffed artichoke while it’s wrapped in aluminum foil allowing it to lay on it’s side. I hope this helps a little Brenda.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

Q:

Hi there..I make artichokes all the time. I use my late grandmothers recipe. I stuff them. We are Italian. Today I purchased the long stem ones. What can I do tasty with the stem?

A:

Hi Cathy from New Jersey!

Many thanks for your question. Long stem artichokes are great, they look cool and they add to the things you can do with artichokes. The stems are an extension of the heart and when you peel some of the more fibrous material from the sides the stems are very tasty. The Long Stem Artichokes benefit from slower cooking methods such as braising, however I have peeled, then cooked then battered and fried the stems calling them artichoke coins. I have also cleaned the artichoke down to the heart, peeled the stem, quartered then beer battered and fried that. Looked great on the plate and one could eat the whole thing with that preparation. OK Cathy, if you would like a visual demonstration click here. Many thanks for visiting.

Happy Cooking

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel good about what you eat”

Q:

I have been watching your videos and got excited about cooking your yummy recipes. I steamed one for lunch and we enjoyed it. Do you just scrape the soft inside with your teeth to eat? I saw the video about how to eat one but then I saw all these other recipes. Do you not eat the petals just scrape them? I am a little confused.

A:

Hi Jamie,

Many thanks for dropping me a line, can you imagine the first person to consider eating an artichoke? I agree not the most obvious of vegetables. The artichoke is actually a thistle which may help explain a few things. Firstly, pat yourself on the back, you went for it and cooked up some of these amazing veritable vegetable delights, that’s the first step to artichoke addiction! It sounds like you are on the right track, here is a little info that may help. The basic anatomy of the choke: Leaves: Also referred to as BracksChoke: The fuzzy stuff in the middle. Heart: The firm white meat in the center. Stem: Is an extension of the heart, although fibrous exterior it contains good flavorful heart meat. Following cooking, I like to take out the very center leaves and using a dessert spoon, gently scrape away the fuzzy choke, this just makes it a little cleaner and easier for your guests to eat. Then pull each leaf, dip in butter, mayo or other great sauce and using you bottom teeth scrape the the meat and discard the leaf, discarding the leaf as you go. The goal is to eat all of the leaves exposing the “prize”, the heart, that’s when the fights typically start. So you are correct in assuming you do NOT eat the entire leaf. I hope this helps to de-mistify a little.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel good about what you eat”

Q:

The recipe ingredients for Ocean Mist Farms Artichoke Dip Appetizers list “1 can plain Artichoke Hearts-drained or Fresh Artichokes.” What is the can size, or how many fresh artichokes are required? In other words, how many ounces of hearts are needed to yield 6 to 8 servings of dip?

Thank you.

A:

Ray,

Many thanks for your question. I’ll do my best to help. I looked up the recipe and I agree it is very vague. In fact I try not to use canned artichokes at all. I would suggest 4 cooked large artichokes or 1 14oz can if you need to use them. Now I haven’t tested this personally so good, luck, let me know how it turns out! One of the Ocean Mist Farms chefs Adrienne Meier wrote this recipe and it’s delicious! It’s on the same lines but also uses bell peppers, give it a go. Many thanks for stopping by our site and dropping me a line.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel good about what you eat”

Q:

Once you’ve trimmed stem and dry leaves off baby artichokes and cut off an inch at the top, do you have to worry about the “choke”, the pricklyy bit in the center, attached to the heart? Can you just cook the whole, trimmed baby artichokes and eat everything that is left?

A:

Hi Susan,

Many thanks for you question, you are right, that is the nice thing about the “babies” you don’t need to worry about the choke, once cooked, simply slice or quarter and enjoy. Baby artichokes are actually small artichokes on the plant and are harvested at their peak, they are most plentiful in spring around April and May. They do not develop the furry “choke” on top of the heart, just the beginnings of it can be found and it’s all edible. Be sure to peel all of the dark green leaves off and trim any dark green away with a small knife, you want to expose the light green tender parts. The darker parts can be bitter. Here is a little video tip on baby artichokes, click here.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

Q:

Artichokes are the favorite vegetable for our family (DH excluded). Years ago I was served a soup plate filled with an artichoke in sitting in a seasoned tomato and beef broth. I’d never seen an artichoke prepared and served like this so I asked the server how to eat it. I was told to eat the whole thing – which I did – every bit! I seem to recall that the restaurant said it was braised all day. I would love to repeat this recipe – maybe my husband would eat this one. Thanks!

A:

Hi Cindy,

Many thanks for taking the time to send me a note. The dish that you describe sounds amazing! I have to say I have yet to prepare a dish that one would consume the artichoke in it’s entirety, I am somewhat anxious to give it a go. Joyce Goldstein has contributed a braised artichoke recipe, Joyce is a dear lady and amazing Mediterranean chef, I highly recommend her books. In this recipe Joyce uses citrus and a little sugar which works very well and counters any bitterness that can occur. Click here for the recipe. Good, luck, although this recipe is not going to be like the one you described, it is delicious, you never know give it a go on the old man and see if we can make a convert of him.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel good about what you eat”

Q:

I bought some baby artichokes and wondering how to best prepare them. I know how to do globes, stuff them, steam etc…

But not sure what to do with the babys and really want to do something yummy. I know they braise well, but need some guidance.

Thanks much for the chef link ;-)

Leslie

A:

Hi Leslie,

Many thanks for taking the time to write! Baby artichokes are a real treat, it’s not everyday you see them in the store, so when you see them, it’s worth grabbing em while you can.

A couple of facts about the babies. Firstly a mature Green Globe Artichoke plant will produce artichokes of all sizes, the babies really aren’t babies at all, they are small artichokes cut at just the right time. The Ocean Mist Farms website is a great resource for you artichoke lovers, click here. For a little “how to” video on preparing baby artichokes, then click here for a number of great baby artichoke recipes that you can have fun with. The nice thing about baby artichokes is that once you get into the artichoke, all is edible. They are the easiest to work with and work great in salads, pastas, risotto etc.

My preferred cooking method is to boil the first, however everyone has a preference.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

“Feel good about what you eat”

www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

In Castroville, my family had deep fried artichokes. They were delicious, the deli told me I could find the recipe on this site, but have been unsuccessful. I would love to try it at home. Thank you!

A:

Hi Ruth,

Many thanks for your question, the deep fried artichokes are truly a treat!

The Ocean Mist Farms website has this recipe you may want to try. I little tip though, prior to dipping the artichokes into the batter, dip the chokes into some plain flour first. This little tip will help the batter cling to the artichokes and avoid any naked spots. Be sure to serve right away and season them with a little salt when they come out of the hot oil. In addition to this recipe, the Ocean Mist Farms site has a bunch of really great information including videos of artichoke preparations. click here

For instructions on preparing the baby artichokes.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

Q:

I wanted to make fried artichokes, What do you suggest?

A:

Hi Tonia,

Fried artichokes are a popular dish, for good reason. I recently received this question from another fellow foodie. Click here to see my response. I hope this helps.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

“Feel good about what you eat”

www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

I have never made artichokes. The directions on preparing them always seem complicated. For your baked artichoke recipe did you remove the choke? If so, how do you do that? Is it always necessary to do so? Do you have to remove the outer leaves, or just cut off the tips? Your recipes sound so good.

A:

Hi Janet,

Many thanks for your question, artichokes can be pretty intimidating, I often wonder who first came across this huge thistle and said “yum, lets cook these puppies up!” Anyway we have come up with a few aids to help dispel the myth that they are hard to prepare.

The baked artichokes are very easy and whether you remove the choke or not is entirely up to you. My preference is to remove it after cooking. Here are a couple of videos that should help.

Baking a banging choke

Removing the Choke

So here you go,

Happy Cooking

“Feel Good About What You East”

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

Q:

Recipe please for chopped artichoke hearts, mayo and parmesan cheese appetizer on bread, (not melba toast)

A:

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for your question, I flipped through out data base, and I found something that is banging spread on fresh crunchy bread or toast, I would even melt some pepper cheddar over the top in the broiler.

Just Click Here. By the way, ignore the picture, trust me!

Give it a go and let me know how it works out,

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

I try hard to cook a tender artichoke. I follow the cooking directions to the letter. Bu,t results are not good. Only part that is tender is the heart. Very discouraging. Being a trans planted Bay Area person makes it all the worse since I can’t find the fine produce from Ocean Mist. I have decided the problem is the artichockes that I find in the stores. they look old and funny. Tips of the leaves are brown. They just look old and dried out. Are your products distributed in Indiana?.

A:

Hi Richard,

Many thanks for your question, sorry to hear that you are having troubles. I would suggest that you talk to the produce manager at your local store and give them hell!!

Ocean Mist is in many national chains and it’s very likely that your produce department has access to them if asked.

It’s sounds like you are well versed in cooking artichokes, but here is a link to some good info.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

We have tried your baked artichoke recipe three times. We wrap with two sheets of heavy duty foil, yet during the baking, the bottom of the foil disintegrates or burns through, allowing oil and other liquid to drip onto the bottom of the oven, causing both smoke and a mess. Is this normal? How to avoid this problem? Thanks in advance.

A:

Hi Chet,

First of all many thanks for trying the recipes and cooking with our Ocean Mist Farms Artichokes.

In the restaurant I fire roast the artichokes, however I have a couple of chokes warming on the cooler side of the grill prior to the order coming in. Translate that to the home kitchen, warming the choke first at a lower heat would require less time at high heat, thus you could remove the choke prior to the molton aluminum. Glad to hear you are using heavy foil it really makes a difference, not all foils are created equally.

A couple of other suggestions. Place an old sheet tray at the bottom of the oven. Double fold a piece of foil and place that down before you add the chokes.

Good luck and happy cooking!

Chef Tony Baker

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

Q:

Are you suppose to eat the stem of the artichoke?

A:

Hi Amber,

The most prized part of an artichoke is it’s heart, the stem is an extension of the heart filled with lots of good artichoke meat, the outer part can be fibrous and therefore a good peeler may come in handy. We have available “Long Stem” artichokes for that reason, they make for a real treat, I have braised the whole thing, cut them and beer battered them, pretty bloody good even if I do say so myself.

Feel free to take a gander at the many recipes on the site here is a link to one in particular you may find nice.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

Q:

I have had baby artichokes in restaurants but I have not been able to duplicate. Any recipes?

A:

Hi Annette,

Many thanks for your question.

Not being able to duplicate recipes, is that due to not being able to find them in the store??

I can make a suggestion, try and talk to the produce buyer in your local store and let him know that baby artichokes are an item that you would like to buy. Most of the time the produce buyers will want to help and can get them in for you.

In the meantime, here is a link to some tips on baby artichokes to help you out when you get them.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

Q:

I just purchased a container of Ocean Mist baby artichokes. Having never cooked babys before I expected the OM website to have suggestions but there were none. What is the best way for a first timer to cook them?

A:

Hi Bill,

Many thanks for your question, I apologize for the information on the baby artichokes being a tad hidden. We’ll need to get to work on that.

I looked around and found one of my first youtube “how to” videos click here it’s a little long, it gets to the babies at around the 4min 50sec mark. Within the artichoke recipes on the website, many of them are designed around the baby artichokes. One of them being the baby artichoke risotto which is a real favorite and a dish being featured at this years Castroville Artichoke Festival.

Well Bill, I hope this helps, baby artichokes are a real treat. The plant gives off a smaller amount of baby artichokes when compared to the larger sizes. They should be considered a real treat. They are easier to prepare and in many respects more versatile. So when you see them in the market, pick em up and play!

Cheers,Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

Q:

When steaming artichokes, my mom always taught me to put some vinegar in the water, and I see some recipes online that put a lemon slice or lemon juice in the steaming water. Is there a reason for this?

A:

Hi Duncan,

Many Thanks for your question, acidulated water will help discoloring of the artichoke, especially raw exposed parts of an artichoke prior to cooking.

I like to use red wine vinegar when I boil my artichokes, I also think the acid enhances the flavor of a choke a little.

I hope this helps,

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

“Feel good about what you eat!”

Q:

Can you eat the entire artichoke leaf?

A:

Hi Linda,

Many thanks for your question. The answer to your question is not as simple as a yes or no. In the case of the baby artichokes one can remove the dark green tougher outer leaves and expose the light colored tender leaves. Once trimmed the entire baby artichoke including the leaves can be enjoyed. Large artichokes: The heart is the prize when referring to large artichokes. The leaves all attach to the heart, so when an artichoke is cooked, one can remove a leaf and scrape the piece of the heart on your lower teeth. Linda, click here for a video demonstration.

Many Thanks,

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

“Feel Good about what you eat.”

Q:

I have not cooked this veg before. I know now that it one of the healthiest veg to eat. Your recipes for grilling sound very good. What part do you eat?

A:

Hi Mary Ann,

Many thanks for your question, artichokes can be a tad mysterious can’t they. Luckily there is a great resource in the Ocean Mist Farms website. Here are a couple of links that should help explain the anatomy of an artichoke and open your eyes to the plethora of great and fun dishes one can create with this vegetable.

How to prepare video

Eating an artichoke

I hope this helps Mary Ann. Enjoy your chokes.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

I cooked a couple of artichokes and overnight they turned dark green. The water I boiled them in also turned a dark green like food coloring. Do they add food coloring to artichokes and is it harmful?

A:

Hi Ed,

Many thanks fro your question, strangely enough you are not the first person to bring this topic of food coloring up. However I can’t stress enough that all Ocean Mist Artichokes in fact everything Ocean Mist Farms grows are 100% natural fresh grown vegetables. Any vegetable grown above the ground that is exposed to the sun will develop chlorophyll, this is all natural green. In cooking I will often take spinach through a process to make what we call chlorophyll and use that in pasta recipes and sauces to make them naturally intensely green. At certain times of the year, chlorophyll is stronger and could transfer in to the water differently. The amount of acid in the water can also affect color it seems. In short, please be rest assured that all our artichokes are 100% grown free of any artificial color, and are one of the most healthful cooked vegetables one could eat.

I hope this helps,

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

Regarding one of your reader’s questions about drinking artichoke juice, I have a comment. Recently I was speaking with someone whose mother was from a country on the Mediterranean Sea. She told me that her mom would boil artichokes (for eating) then she would strain the boiled liquid, mix sugar in it, refrigerate it and drink it as a kind of “iced tea.” I grow artichokes in my garden and I tried it — not bad!! The color of the water turns an incredible dark green.

A:

Hi Tricia,

Well, I have always said that you can never stop learning about food.

Frankly it sounds bloody awful but I should perhaps reserve judgment and give it a go!

Many Thanks for your feedback, I’m off to the kitchen to try artichoke tea……Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

If there are any artichoke holidays I will become Artichoke Orthodox!

When visiting supermarket for artichokes I see that some are round and some pointed on the top. Is there a difference in the taste in these two variations?

BiLL

A:

Hi Bill,

Many Thanks for your question, and indeed your enthusiasm for artichokes, it’s shared!

To explain your question. There are several species of artichokes the main one being green globe (Pointy). In order to keep a plentiful supply all year long several hybrid varieties have been developed (Round).

One variety that you want to stay away from that you won’t find from Ocean Mist is the “thorn-less” The thorn-less chokes are identifiable by heart shaped bracts (leaves) and the leaves tend to turn inward. They are typically very round. The main reason for avoiding this variety is the lack of heart. At the end of the day the heart is the prize and if the prize is small, well you get it………

March is the start of the primary harvest for the Green Globes in my area Castroville, CA. Everyday their will be 200 or so folks out harvesting around 7000 acres of incredible chokes. These plants will continue to produce all sizes of artichokes for the 3 to 4 months slowing down in the heat of summer only to pick up again in the fall.

So run out and get the best the season has to offer right now, and of course, make sure they are Ocean Mist Farms Artichokes, because no matter the variety they will always have the heart!

For a plethora of incredible artichoke concoctions Click Here.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

I stuff my artichokes with a breadcrumb filling. I’d like to know if I can freeze them after they have been cooked?

A:

Hi Madeline,

Thank You for your question, it’s one we get asked a lot.We have been fooling around in our kitchen and experimented a bit with some of our cooked thistles. It seems it’s best to freeze the whole cooked artichoke without any stuffing, stuffing them after you defrost them and finishing your recipe as if you had cooked the artichokes fresh.

Here is a recipe for homemade chili served in an artichoke with melted brie and cilantro, served with a nice cold glass of beer.

Now I know what I’m cooking for dinner tonight! Click Here

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

Q:

How would I bake an artichoke filled with meatloaf..Would I steam it first? I’ve personally never worked with an artichoke…I had a meat loaf stuffed artichoke at a luncheon years ago and have always wondered how to do it? She had a meat loaf mixture in the center and stuffed around the leaves..it was awesome…(whole artichokes stuffed)

A:

Hi Becky,

Ok Meatloaf stuffed artichokes, now I have to admit, this is a new one on me. I’ve stuck a lot of things in an artichoke but never a meatloaf. Not a bad idea though, actually pretty cool.

I think the trick here is to:

  • Partially cook the artichoke, I prefer boiling Click Here for a how too, reduce the cook time by 15 mins, since you’ll be cooking again in the oven, be sure to use them right away or they will discolor
  • Then remove the fuzzy center and some of the smaller leaves in the middle
  • Stuff the artichokes with you meat loaf mixture, don’t over stuff, as the mixture will expand a little when cooking
  • Place the stuffed chokes in a glass oven proof dish with about an inch of beef broth
  • Cover with aluminum foil
  • Bake at 375f until your meatloaf is cooked through, about an hour
  • Remove the foil for the last 10 mins of cooking

Good Luck,

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

Hey Chef,
We love artichokes and enjoy making kettle corn at home. A friend challenged us to make artichoke kettle corn. Can you offer any suggestions or is that out of the question? Maybe boiling little pieces of the heart, drying them and throwing the artichoke pieces in the popping oil while popping or would they burn? Help! I’ve $5 bucks riding on this.
Thank you in advance for your time,
Craig

A:

Craig,

I think you win the prize for the most creative question, this is a good one!!

OK I was giving this some thought, a couple of things you need with kettle corn is salt and a little fat is always good. So with that in mind I was thinking of things that go with artichokes that are salty and fatty and of course I came up with bacon.

So start by preparing your artichokes Click Here

Follow the link and prepare the artichoke hearts per the directions, when they are cooked and cleaned, cut into small dice. Take some unsliced or “slab” smoked bacon and cut into small dice. Starting in a cool pan cook the bacon slowly so as to render most of the fat out. Start your kettle corn the usual way with corn oil, when the corn is just about finished popping combine the diced hearts, bacon and bacon fat then toss with the corn, add additional salt as needed.

Grub on!! I hope this is worth the $5 good luck.

Happy cooking,

Cheers,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

Can you boil the artichokes and drink the juice from them?

A:

Hi Kellie,

I’m not sure I fully understand the question, I figure it’s one of two:

Place cooked artichokes through a juice extractor?

Cook artichokes and drink the cooking liquid?

To be honest I have done neither, I have juiced raw artichoke hearts and when you juice them straight into fresh lime juice you can slow the oxidization process and actually use the juice. I used it as an ingredient in a cocktail, it is however very perishable and needs to be used within 24 hours.

Drinking the cooking liquid does not seem like a pleasurable experience!!

Good luck with your experiments, if you find something out let us know.

Check out the new video recipe section on the website!

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

Can whole artichokes be frozen after they have been steamed?

A:

Hi Terri,

Many thanks for your question! In short they can be frozen after they have been cooked, but the leaves don’t do well frozen, so I prefer to trim the artichokes down to the heart, cook them, vacuum seal them and freeze them. When done like this and defrosted slowly in the fridge they actually hold up very well.

I hope this helps you out a little. Be sure to take a gander through all of the recipes on the Ocean Mist Farms web site, we have also added a whole bunch of cool video recipes using artichokes.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

What would be the proper way of cooking an Artichoke… Steaming, or soaking in boiling water? What lenght of time should be given for the cooking? Should the water be salted? What should I look for to know the Artichoke is cooked correctly or thoroughly for dipping?

A:

Hi Stephan,

Many thanks for taking the time to write in, ok lets start with your first question:

“The proper way of cooking an artichoke” there really is no proper way, it’s all about preference, my preference is to pre-boil them, marinade and then grill them, but that’s just me. I spoke with a lady yesterday that swears by steaming in the microwave. I guess my advice would be to watch THIS video fire up the kitchen and try for yourself.

“How long?” Boiling will take approx 35 mins for a large artichoke, microwave 5-8 mins, Pressure cooker 14 mins etc…..

“Should the water be salted?” For me yes, it improves flavor and helps protect the color. If you have problems with salt and it’s your preference to cook without it, go at it, they’ll still be great!

“What should I look for to know the artichoke is cooked?”

Well the large leaves should be able to be pulled from the artichoke with little resistance. I will give the stem a little squeeze as well, after you have cooked a few, you will know if it’s ready by a little squeeze.

Well lucky for you the web site contains a plethora of great recipes and information on cooking any size of artichoke in many different ways from roasting, to steaming etc….

So surf away and most importantly get cooking! The artichoke is an incredible vegetable perfect to share.

Many thanks again for your questions,

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

How beef roast with artichokes are prepared?

A:

Thank you for your question Jack,

If I were preparing Roast Beef and wanted artichokes as a side dish, I think I would go with a saute of the babies. CLICK HERE for directions on how to prepare them.

I suggest dicing a little smoked bacon, saute until slightly golden, add the cooked baby artichokes cut into quarters, lightly saute and serve.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

Q:

Hi Tony,
I’m having a dinner party for some gourmet friends of mine, and am thinking of serving a salad followed by shrimp with ouzo and orzo, and a potato/tomato gratin with gruyere. I think artichokes would also be a great addition, but I’m not sure how to serve them. Your Roman Style artichoke recipe shows a great picuture of artichoke hearts that look easy to eat, but then the recipe says to prepare baby artichokes as directed, which sounds different than those pictured. Help!

A:

Hi Linda,

Many thanks for your question I’ll do my best to help. Firstly I like the sound of your menu, what time does the party start!! Only kidding, although the menu does sound very tasty!!

OK Artichokes, good call to go with artichokes in your menu. Firstly I just reviewed the “Roman Artichoke” recipe and it appears an error has been made by partnering that image with that recipe, thank you for highlighting that, we’ll correct that shortly.

Now you have the great Gruyere along with tomato gratin, my suggestion would be to do some grilled artichokes and partner them with your favorite salad dressing, I always like balsamic, but with your gratin you may want more of a classic Italian dressing. CLICK HERE for directions on how to prepare your large artichokes and get them ready for cooking. TO COOK click here and watch my rather lengthy and I’m afraid slightly boring home video of cooking chokes Baker style!! Cook your chokes up long before your guests arrive, clean out the choke and cut into quarters, marinade them and then grill them just before you serve them.

Feel free to drop me another line if you have any further questions, of course feel free to peruse the plethora of exciting artichokes recipes by clicking here

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

Q:

Chef Tony B.,

I’ve read that nursing moms are supposed to consume 300 more calories a day, but I hardly find the time to eat! Do you have any easy artichoke recipes that would be nutrient rich for a breastfeeding mother?

Thanks in advance for your help!

A:

Well Megan, many thanks for your great question!

While I am not a nutritionist, I did a little bit of homework and basically it seems like folks that know more on the subject than I recommend nursing Mums eat a well balanced diet of fresh foods. Which is what we should all be doing anyway.

Here are a few links to some recipes that I think should meet your needs: fresh ingredients, healthy, quick and most important are bloody delicious!

My family love my Artichoke Sourdough Bisque, My youngest requested it as her birthday dinner! Now there is no higher accolade that could be bestowed on a recipe in my opinion! Here is the link

Here is a killer recipe that uses plenty of dairy (calcium) is incredibly tasty, fairly simple and is so delicious it may even get boomer eating vegetables! Click here.

Here is another great one for when the weather warms up! Grilled artichokes are a real favorite. Well Megan, I hope you can find some time to whack these recipes together and eat. If not give me a holler and i’ll pop over and drop some goodies in the fridge. Good luck with the little-un!

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

Q:

I am new to the artichoke and am not sure of what part of it you eat or scoop out to use in different recipes. I watch the videos and see the base of the leaf eaten what else is eaten and can all be eaten please help really what to make some salsa using this thanks. Bridget

A:

Hi Bridget,

Many thanks for your question, many people are confused when faced with an artichoke for the first time, your not alone! I’m glad that you found them, they are a real treat.

It sounds like from your research that you are on the right track, the artichoke is all about the heart. In short all you really eat is the heart, however there are many ways of doing this, the simplest way being cooking the artichoke whole, pulling off each leaf, with each leaf you get a little taste of the heart by scraping it on your bottom teeth. When all of the leaves have been removed you are left with the heart.

Now there is a “furry” part in the middle that can be removed prior to leaf pulling or after, but that should be done by using a desert spoon and gently scraping, be sure not to cut into the heart meat.

I hope this helps de-mystify artichokes a little.

I’m not sure if you’ve seen all of the videos on the website, but this one does a good job of demonstrating what I just wrote. Now Bridget if it’s artichoke salsa your after, you may want to trim all the way down to the heart prior to cooking, be sure to rub any of the white heart with lemon juice right away as artichoke naturally oxidize very quickly, lemon juice will put a stop to that and keep them looking pretty.

Have fun with artichokes,

Happy Cooking

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

Recently we ate at a small cafe and they served an artichoke butter and it was wonderful. They would not give out the recipe. It was made of chopped artichokes, parmesan cheese and maybe some mayo. It was a smooth, light wonderful spread served with warm french bread. I have looked and can not find a similar recipe. Do you have one?

A:

Hi Sallie,

Many thanks for your question, I really like the sound of the “Artichoke Butter” although I don’t have a recipe for it, I am going to have to work on one. I have made variations of tapenade in the past using artichoke meat as the main ingredient however it was slightly chunky and not the creamy texture that you described. I will post an Artichoke Butter recipe, after I make one I’m happy with. Sounds great.

In the meantime, have a rummage through the plethora of artichoke recipes that are continually expanding click here

Happy Cooking!

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

I noticed when buying artichokes in the markets, they are advertised as “artichokes 46′s or 52′s”. What does the 46 or 52 referred to?

Thank you.

A:

Hello their,

Many thanks for your question, for the most part artichokes are all packed in the same commercial carton, the number refers to the number of artichokes that fit in the carton, the lower the number the the larger the artichoke. However most store retailers simply call them small, medium or large, it is unusual to see a retailer using the case count to describe the size. I’m glad your not missing out on our wonderful artichokes out in Hawaii, enjoy.

Please take a look at some of our great recipe ideas they often serve as inspiration for the next meal.

Happy cooking!

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

On Friday 8-14-09 at the Monterey County Fair there was an artichoke and spinach salad with feta cheese I looked for the recipe online today and could not find it. I would really appreciate it if you could email me the recipe. This salad was given away at the free tasting. Thank you very much.

Vannesa Sorvetti

A:

Hi Vannesa,

Many thanks for your question I’m really glad you enjoyed the salad at the fair, the combo of the salty olives and cheese with the spinach and baby artichokes is great.

You’ll be happy to know that the recipe has been added to the website, please click here

Since you are local, Montrio Bistro in Monterey features Ocean Mist Farms artichokes including them in several dishes on our menu, swing by sometime and say hi.

Many thanks,

Happy Cooking!

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro, Monterey

Q:

How long does it take to steam an artichoke?

Isn’t steaming more healthful?

A:

Hi Carole,

Many thanks for your question. You are absolutely right about steaming an artichoke it is more gentle on the water soluble vitamins, however I prefer boiling, it allows me to add aromas to the cooking liquid, I think the artichoke eats better and cooks quickly and evenly. A tip is to use the minimum amount of water needed to facilitate cooking and be sure to have the water boiling before you drop in the artichokes. A large green globe choke should take about 30-35 mins from boiling. Steaming is about the same time for a large artichoke, pressure cooking also works well on the low setting and will reduce cook time by about 40%.

You may also want to consider other cooking methods, braising and baking are great and can be very healthful.

Please click here for some great artichoke recipes.

Happy cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

How do I preserve whole artichokes. I am not interested in brines or Olive oil just want to be able to have my favorite veggie in the off seasons.

A:

Hi Jeremy,

Many thanks for your question, it’s a question I receive a fair bit. It sounds like you want to preserve whole artichokes yet you don’t want to mess around with canning jars etc.

While it’s not my favorite thing to do, you can freeze artichokes. You need to steam or boil them first, clean out the center, wrap well in plastic wrap several layers to protect them from freezer burn. I would not recommend keeping them past about 3 months as they dehydrated in the freezer.

Good Luck,

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

Hello! I’ve always heard that steaming veggies vs. boiling them is better since they retain more of their vitamins and minerals when they are steamed. If I boil my artichokes, will I be boiling out everything best about them? I have been steaming them but it seems to take much longer than boiling. Thanks for your help!!

A:

Hi Elizabeth,

Many thanks for your question.

You are absolutely right about water soluble vitamins, however I do prefer boiling, it allows you to add aromas to the cooking liquid, I think the artichoke eats better and cooks quickly and evenly. A tip is to use the minimum amount of water needed to facilitate cooking and be sure to have the water boiling before you drop in the artichokes. A large green globe choke should take about 30-35 mins from boiling.

You may also want to consider other cooking methods, braising and baking are great and can address all of your concerns. Please click here for some great artichoke recipes.

Happy cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

My absolute favorite artichoke recipe is one I learned after going to a Turkish Festival, called Zeytinyagli Enginar.

see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NB7fvpfm_cc

Wonderful flavors of dill, lemon, garlic & olive oil. I steam the artichokes, then separate the hearts and prepare using olive oil. I serve abundantly on top of the hearts, as shown, and decorate the outside of the plate with large artichoke leaves for dipping.

A:

Hi Mark,

Many thanks for sending this along, I would imagine this dish with fresh green globe artichokes would be delicious, as a carnivore I would probably use chicken stock and instead of corn oil I would use a good strong olive oil. I’ll give it a go!!

I really appreciate you sending this along.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

How long to parboil and how to stuff and bake?

A:

Hi Terry,

Thanks for your question.

Click here for a detailed link on how to prepare an artichoke.

A large green globe artichoke should take about 30-35 to cook from boiling.

To stuff:

Cook the artichoke, cool then carefully remove the center and gently scrape the “furry” part out with a dessert spoon. Your artichoke is ready for your favorite filling, I like fillings with lots of cheese that gets soft and delicious when baked.

The Ocean Mist Farms website is full of great recipes and ideas, click here and check them out.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

How many calories in the average artichoke?

A:

Hi Lea,

Many thanks for your question, however I cook for a living and have absolutely no bloody idea of how many calories in an artichoke, many variables exist based on any number of recipes, size and cooking method. I do know that a boiled or steamed artichoke is very healthful and contains more antioxidants than any other cooked vegetable. Luckily for us, the Ocean Mist website has a plethora of information on health and nutrition.

Click here and surf away.

Thank you,

Happy cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

Hi! Im on this real new health kick since I have been pregnant (only 5 or 6 weeks) and I have really enjoyed artichokes, is there any heath benefits to this? I dip in butter, but not all and the ones I do, is just barely… Just curious on the health benefits… Thanks for your time! – Erin

A:

Hi Erin,

I just cook for a living however I’ve done some homework in order to best answer your question. Artichokes themselves are an incredible food for a lady in your position. The main favorable attributes are Fiber, one of the best sources of antioxidants from a cooked vegetable and possibly the most important for a pregnant mother to be, is folic acid. One study I read claims that artichokes are a strong source of Folic Acid. Click Here to read more.

In addition to the artichokes themselves being a great source of valuable vitamins and fiber, think about what you can serve with them, perhaps stuffing with some crab and or shrimp bound with a little light mayo or sour cream and tarragon. Add some nuts or seeds into that mixture for some added crunch and vitamin E. Take a look at the health and nutrition portion of the website for a lot of facts on the benefits of artichokes and other Ocean Mist Farms Vegetables. CLICK HERE

Many Thanks,

Happy Cooking and good luck with that baby!!

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

We like artichokes year round, but sometimes we can not get a good quality one. We want to prepare and freeze them if possible. Can artichokes be frozen and if so, what do we do to prepare them?
Thanks.

A:

Hi Sue,

I’ll be honest with you I’m not a big fan of freezing artichokes.

Some other methods you can employ are vacuum sealing, several home use vacuum seal machines are on the market, I suggest cooking and cooling the artichokes first and then seal and chill them, it’s amazing how long they will last in the fridge when you take away the oxygen, use a little extra acid when cooking that will help with the color.

Canning is also a great way to go and preferable over freezing or vacuum sealing if longevity is what you are looking for.

Please refer to a recent post for detailed instructions.

Also take a look at the great recipes available on Oceanmistfarms.com CLICK HERE

Artichokes are available all year round, no doubt we have down times which make availability challenging a couple of times a year. Right now is growing time, we have plenty of beautiful artichokes that should be available even in Michigan!

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

I live in the UK near London. We have a prolific Artichoke plant and we’d like to preserve the crop. I need a recipe to preserve the Artichokes in brine. Can you help?
Thanks

A:

Hi Allison,

Many thanks for your question.

I’m not exactly sure of the exact recipe you are referring too. Below are instructions for canning marinated artichokes, CLICK HERE to access hundreds of Ocean Mist Farms artichoke recipes.

It’s great to jar your own artichokes for use down the road. In England I used to use the Kilner Jars with the clamp down lid and orange rubber gasket, they seem hard to come by in the states however canning jars work well with the metal two piece lid.

Some folks have canning machines that dial in the pressure etc. I just do it old school in a large pot with a little cardboard on the bottom so the jars don’t rattle and break.

Anyway this is how I like to far my chokes.

  • Step One, prepare all of your jars, heat them with boiling water and make sure all of the lids and gaskets (if you are using them) are clean and in good shape.
  • Prepare your artichokes as you would for fresh cooked CLICK HERE for directions.
  • Prepare your cooking liquid, 1 Gallon of Water, 1 Cup of Red Wine Vinegar, tsp dry Oregano, 5 whole cloves of garlic1/2 cup good olive oil, generous salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
  • Part cook the artichokes 5mins in the covered liquid.
  • Remove the artichokes and while hot pack the jars leaving about half inch at the top.
  • Pour cooking liquid over until covered.
  • Place sealed jars into pot of boiling water with cardboard on the bottom to help prevent breakage OR use your canning machines instructions.
  • Boil the jars for 30 mins, be sure to have plenty of water in your pot, never let the water level drop below the jars, they should be completely covered at all times.
  • Turn off heat and leave them for a further 10 mins
  • Remove from water and store at room temp, they should keep this way for at least a year

I hope this is some help,

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

The directions for your fire-roasted artichokes don’t make sense. The first paragraph says to combine “all” ingredients in a small bowl. The second paragraph says to combine certain ingredients in a small bowl. Can you please tell me the correct directions for the overall recipe? Thank you!

A:

Janis,

You are a star, thank you for bringing this to our attention, I’m not sure who submitted this recipe, but I will get this tested and corrected shortly. Meanwhile, I have a tested recipe for a fire roasted artichoke you can try CLICK HERE Another tip, try wrapping the cooked artichokes in a little foil with your favorite salad dressing (non creamy kind) and wrap in heavy foil. Throw them into the coals for about 5 mins, they get a little char on the outside and are delicious, great smokey flavor.

Many Thanks.

Happy Cooking

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

What can I do if the artichoke is bitter? Is there anything in the growing process or prep process that could cause this?

A:

Hi Ms McFarland,

Many thanks for your question, it is one that pops up a lot. Artichokes can taste bitter especially uncooked. Licking your fingers after prepping uncooked artichokes can really wake you up. Genetics plays a role: We each taste in different ways and to some folks the bitter taste will knock their heads off and to others they won’t even get it. The population is broken down into 3 groups, non tasters, tasters and super tasters. Studies done at U.C. Davis have proven that this is how we are made and profession or experience does not change this. I’m guessing that if bitter is a big deal to you, you probably fall into the “super taster” category, which can be as much a curse as a blessing. Ways to curb the bitterness: In short, acid. Citric acid counter acts the bitterness very well, I often make a salad of shaved raw artichokes with fennel and red onions I add fresh lime juice and some good olive oil and those raw chokes are crisp and delicious without even a hint of bitterness. Likewise with your cooked artichokes adding red wine vinegar or a good amount of lemon in the cooking liquid will help.

OK, well I hope this helps you out a bit,It’s peak artichoke season right now, so grab em and cook up a storm!

CLICK HERE to check out the plethora of great recipes, especially the grilled chokes it’s that time of year.

Well, happy cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

I like to eat steamed Artichokes. Sometimes as i am eating them i find these little black dots on the leaves. Do you know what that is and is it bad for me to eat? Many thanks

A:

Hi Mehdi,

Black dots eh! Well like any field grown crop it is susceptible to pests and critters. The black dots can be caused by the presence of a pest at some point during the growth cycle that has bruised the artichoke and the black is some of the juice that has oxidized. Your preference should be to try and select artichokes without the black spots, however once cooked its not bad to eat, the spots are cosmetic. Ocean Mist do a very good job and seldom have problems like this, I have cooked tens of thousands of artichokes and it’s very seldom I have to pull one due to blemishes.

Feel free to play around in the Ocean Mist Farms website, tons of great recipes that will tease your taste buds and have the family crying for more. CLICK HERE

Well Mehdi (pretty name by the way) I hope this answers your question,

Grub on!!

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

Stuffed artichokes, How do you make these?

A:

Hi Gloria,

Many thanks for your question, stuffed artichokes are banging aren’t they! I like a good strong cheese and breadcrumbs with a smokey tomato chutney, always a crowd pleaser.

CLICK HERE for a list of stuffed artichoke recipes on the Ocean Mist Farms website.

However, feel free to experiment, go ahead and cook up a few large artichokes the way you normally would, either boiled, steamed or baked. Using a dessert spoon scoop out the center taking care not to remove any of the heart. Trim the stem leaving about half an inch. Place the artichokes in an oven proof dish and stuff them with your favorite mix. Bake them in the oven at about 375f, time will change depending on the stuffing. Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony B

Q:

What is the best way to cook artichokes that will keep all the vitamins and minerals as well as retain their wonderful flavor. Thank you!

A:

Hi Liz,

Many Thanks for your question, it’s a good one. We often don’t take into consideration the preservation of the nutritional content of foods. I’m no nutritionist but from what I took away from culinary school and what I continue to practice in my cooking today, when it comes to vegetables, less water is good.

Vegetables contain a lot of water soluble vitamins and therefore when boiled in water the vitamins are cooked into the water. Based on this analogy steaming should be the best way to preserve the nutritional content of an artichoke. Don’t forget to take a look at the many recipes on the Ocean Mist Farms website, many of which will work perfectly well with steamed artichokes. CLICK HERE for the recipes.

Many Thanks,

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

I was told you can also eat the stem of an artichoke. Is that true and if so how would you prepare it? It seems like it would need to be peeled.

A:

The stem of the artichoke, Thanks for asking this question Jill, it’s a good one!! Too many folks whack off the stem right at the base of the artichoke, fact is the stem is an extension of the heart and full of meaty artichoke goodness.

Some time ago Ocean Mist Farms introduced Long Stem Artichokes, just for this reason. You are right about peeling, the stem of a large artichoke can be pretty fibrous on the out side, but a few strokes of a good vegetable peeler prior to cooking can take care of that. Some suggestions for the stem include:

Slicing them into coin sized pieces and braising with onions, chicken stock, finish with a little cheese.

Trim the whole artichoke leaving the stem, cook, then beer batter and fry, banging!!

Here is a link to a great long stem recipe.

Don’t forget to browse all of the great recipes at OceanMistFarms.com

The stem, give it a go!!

Happy cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

Hello Chef Tony!

Would you tell us about your favorite all time recipe using fresh artichokes. The only catch, (you knew there would be one) is that the recipe must be prepared and cooked within 45 minutes.
Looking forward to your ideas……
Artichoke Annie in Albuquerque

A:

Wow Ann,

Many thanks for your question, I love a challenge!! Firstly I’m going to tell you of my favorite dish using fresh artichokes, now this dish absolutely does not meet your criteria for being ready in 45 mins!! In addition 95% of home cooks would never make it, however I have to mention it, because it’s one that has stood out in my mind for several years as being a stand out artichoke dish.

It dates back to my early days as a cook at a hotel restaurant in England called Lucknam Park Hotel, good times!!

Pasta wrapped Artichoke Terrine with roast chicken butter, tomatoes an chives

We would use a terrine mold (long rectangular cast iron mold) and line it with fresh handmade pasta sheets, then I would have to trim and cook an entire case of large artichokes, (just the hearts). Then peel and cook Jerusalem artichokes (which aren’t artichokes at all).

The Jerusalem artichokes are made into a mousse with a little nutmeg, cream and eggs.

Then I would slice the cooked artichoke hearts and using the mousse as a sort of glue, pack the artichokes into the terrine mold. When the mold was packed solid with artichokes, the terrine gets gently cooked in a water bath to set the mousse and cook the egg.

Once the terrine was left to set overnight, it could be sliced and served. We would serve it warmed with a rich chicken butter sauce, with fresh chives and very fine diced tomatoes. Killer!!

This was obviously a lot of work and in a Michelin Star restaurant dishes like this were the norm. However lets come back to earth and talk about real food that we can all cook in our homes.

Artichoke Stuffed with Brie

This is a recipe that someone at Ocean Mist Farms came across

Q:

Can Artichokes be frozen? If not what a some tips to keep fresh longer?

A:

Hi Joanne,

I prefer not to freeze my artichokes, they simply don’t do well! So in answer to your question of how to keep them longer, I like to vacuum seal them. There are household vacuum seal machines on the market that are very effective tools for prolonging the life of foods. They especially work well with cooked artichoke hearts and babies. Once sealed they can be kept in the refrigerator for two weeks. Try marinading them first, or rubbing them with a little oil. Reheating your artichokes is also made easy, since most of these bags are microwave safe or you could pop them in to hot water and “boil in a bag.” Don’t forget to take a look at some of our great recipes for ideas on what to do with those cooked artichokes. click here

Give it a go, I’d be interested to here how you get on.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

Can you refrigerate Artichokes to keep them from getting too soft and discolored? Does the refrigerator stop the growing process, or does it keep ripening?

A:

Good question Cathy,

Correct handling procedure goes a long way to enjoying the final product. Firstly when picking up your artichokes at the store, make sure your getting the freshest product, Ocean Mist Farms always ships the very freshest artichokes, blast chilling them directly from the field.

Your artichoke when fresh should be very firm, if you bend a petal back, it should snap! When you get it home, trim a little of the stem, rinse in cold water and place in a bag and pop in the fridge. Refrigerators will dehydrate any uncovered unwrapped foods. Stored this way your artichokes should last 5 to 7 days, prior to cooking. The artichoke should not change during those 5-7 days.

For some great information on how to correctly store your fresh artichokes click here

Don’t forget to take a look at the huge selection of artichoke and other Ocean Mist Farms recipes click here

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony B

Q:

Have you ever seen the inside of an artichoke turn a turquoise color after it’s cooked? And if so- What causes it?

A:

Well, artichokes can deliver some funky colors can’t they!

To achieve an attractive color in your cooked artichokes it helps to add lemon juice or vinegar to the water, raising the acid in the water (or lowering the PH) as well as adding salt will enhance the color and overall flavor of your artichoke. When boiling your artichokes be sure to have a pan lid or something similar to keep the artichokes below the water for this reason. For a turquoise color the PH would need to be pretty high, a contributor to this would also be under cooking. Plain water at a neutral PH will produce a grey or black looking artichoke when cut and exposed to the air.

The question was posed to one of “the big guys” at Ocean Mist Farms and he confirms this by saying

“If an artichoke is washed or cooked in high ph water, this kind of coloring can occur. I do know that if someone cooks an artichoke in water that has baking soda added to darken the artichoke during cooking…this will occur. The coloring does not take away from the delightful flavor of the artichoke, nor is it harmful in anyway. It is a natural reaction to the high water ph the artichoke is cooked or washed in. Enjoy!”

So the moral of the story folks is to squeeze a little lemon into your cooking liquid and you’ll have banging chokes every time!

Happy Cooking,

TB

Q:

What is the best way to steam an artichoke without getting too much water in the artichoke while cooking?

A:

Waterlogged Artichokes, ummmm!

The simple answer to this one is to cook them upside down. This way the water can’t accumulate between the leaves.

I’m assuming you are using a stove top steamer or double boiler set up, if not be sure to place some saucers or something in the bottom of a large pot to keep them off the bottom, that way you will have a nice flat surface to stand your artichokes on. Be sure to grab a gander at the recipe section of the site for some great ideas on how to spruce up those steamy treats!

Happy Cooking!

TB

Q:

How do you prepare the baby artichkes? Do you boil them just like the regular artichokes?

A:

Baby Artichokes.

In short Yes. The baby artichokes are a treat in that they require very little preparation, you can simply trim, remove the outer leaves and cook them. Getting into the anatomy of an artichoke, the choke hasn’t fully formed and therefore does not need to be removed as with it’s big brother. I like to boil them with a little red wine vinegar, salt and garlic, they take about 10 mins less to cook than the large artichokes depending on size.

An interesting fact about artichokes and how they grow, is that each plant actually produces every size of artichoke and a baby artichoke is not a baby at all, if it where to be left on the plant it would go to seed just like it’s larger brothers. The folks that harvest the artichokes know when an artichoke has reached it’s peak and cut it irregardless of size.

For detailed instructions go to: http://www.oceanmist.com/products/artichokes/artichokebaby.aspx

Happy Cooking!

TB

Q:

Should I cook the artichokes before I grill them?

A:

Yes, it’s a good idea to precook the artichokes, I like to boil them ahead of time, toss them in a vinaigrette or marinade and pop them right on a hot grill. Here at Montrio, we use a balsamic apple vinaigrette prior to popping them on the grill. Delicious!

Q:

Are your beets (#4539) genetically modified?

A:

Hi Denise,

Many thanks for your question.

The topic of GMO’s is a hot one right now, and rightly so, why mess with nature.

I am happy to report that none of the commodities that Ocean Mist Farms grows come from GMO seed.

Need some recipe ideas? click here

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com
www.bakersbacon.com

Q:

can I freeze ocean mist Brussel Sprouts BEFORE I cook them .they are microwaveable bag.

A:

Hi Corky,

Question: can I freeze ocean mist Brussel Sprouts BEFORE I cook them .they are microwaveable bag.

Answer: We would recommend blanching them prior to freezing them. They will get freezer burn if you freeze them raw. Storing 
To freeze, rinse and dry the heads and blanch for 4 to 5 minutes, depending on their size. Then refresh in cold water, drain and freeze in sturdy freezer bags or rigid containers.​

 

 

Q:

Bought artichokes from California and shipped direct. Leaves are bitter. What happened?

A:

Hi Jen,Many thanks for your question, i’ll do my best to help answer it for you.Artichokes contain cynarin, a naturally bitter compound. Especially when raw, if you accidentally lick your fingers after handling raw artichokes you will experience an overwhelming bitter taste.

Tips to overcome the bitterness:Firstly, all artichokes will have a naturally occurring film on the outside, wash thoroughly in cold water, a small thick bristled brush can help. Acid counteracts bitter; I always use acid in my cooking liquid when boiling, I use red wine vinegar, however lemon juice is also great

For a dipping sauce I like to keep them high in acid usually lemon juice. This also helps counteract any bitterness.

If these steps are followed you should have delicious tasting artichokes every time!

Happy cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

www.montrio.com

Q:

How do I cook brussel sprouts?

A:

Hi Lynae,

Pretty Name, thanks for your question!

Good old Brussels Sprouts! One of my favorites.

O.K. cooking the little buggers. The rule of thumb with any green vegetable is to cook in salted rapidly boiling water. Anything that grows below ground the opposite, start with cold water and bring that up to a boil.

Now I like to take a small pairing knife and trim the outer layer of leaves and trim the stem or make a small slit in the stem, this helps the sprout cook more evenly.

Pop them into your boiling water with the lid propped slightly off to the side and let those puppies rip for about 3mins, really I am looking for them to be slightly tender yet still bright green. The salt will help keep that color as well as flavor of course.

When they are cooked you can either toss them in butter and serve right away or chill them in ice water to reheat and serve later. Perhaps reheat them in a saute pan with a little chopped bacon and garlic, banging!!

Of course we have recipes online as well as a cool new video section.

Happy cooking,

Cheers,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

I was given several stalks of brussel sprouts and would like to know the best way to freeze them.

Thanks!

A:

Hi Shelley,

Many thanks for your question. Yep it’s Brussels time, I love them I just placed them on my menu at Montrio for the winter along with lardons of smoked bacon and pan roasted diver scallops. Really tasty dish.

Any way, lets try and help you with your problem, you have too many of them and you would like to enjoy them when they are less plentiful.

  • First, trim and score all of your Brussels Sprouts.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a raging boil
  • Heavily salt the water”Blanch” the sprouts cooking them only about 3/4
  • Remove the sprouts and place into iced water to cool quickly
  • The sprouts should be bright greendrain well and place in to a freezer bag or vacum seal bag
  • Label and freeze

Tip of the day: Green vegetables get cooked in boiling water and root vegetables start with cold water.

When you are ready to enjoy you can defrost and pop them right into a satue pan with bacon, or reheat with butter in the microwave, toss with a cheesy mornay sauce or heat them and toss with chopped black olives and fire roasted peppers.

I hope this helps,

Happy Cooking!

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

How do you cook brussels sprouts?

A:

Hi Dolores,

Good old Brussels Sprouts! One of the best things about autumn is Brussels sprouts.

O.K cooking the little buggers. The rule of thumb with any green vegetable is to cook in salted rapidly boiling water. Anything that grows below ground the opposite, start with cold water and bring that up to a boil.

Now I like to take a small pairing knife and trim the outer layer of leaves and trim the stem or make a small slit in the stem, this helps the sprout cook more evenly.

Pop them into your boiling water with the lid propped slightly off to the side and let those puppies rip for about 3mins, really I am looking for them to be slightly tender yet still bright green. The salt will help keep that color as well as flavor of course. When they are cooked you can either toss them in butter and serve right away or chill them in ice water to reheat and serve later. Perhaps reheat them in a saute pan with a little chopped bacon and garlic, banging!!

Happy cooking, you have plenty of time to perfect them before thanksgiving!

Cheers,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

What are some ideas for cooking brussels sprouts? I have some organic ones from my sister.

A:

Lucky You, Brussels Sprouts are a weakness of mine, I love them!

A couple of tips when cooking any green vegetable:

  1. Always heavily salt the water
  2. Always cook green vegetables in boiling water never cook from cold
  3. Refresh green vegetables in iced water to lock in the color

With that being said, trim the outer leaves off of your Brussels then either cut in half or score the stems, this helps the sprouts cook evenly.

I’m a Swine lover, love the Swine!! So I will dice bacon, take a large fry pan, cook the bacon until lightly crispy, add sliced red onions and garlic, pop in my pre-cooked (blanched) Brussles. Heat them up in all of that delicious bacon fat. Finish this off with a little sherry vinegar and serve.

This really makes for a delicious dish.

Ocean Mist Farms has Brussels Sprouts available all year round!

Drop me a line and let me know how they turn out, better still invite me over for dinner!!

Cheers, Happy Cooking!

TB

Q:

I love artichokes but had never tried cardonne . Bought some and didn’t know how to clean them. Learned the hard way to remove all the leaves. Is there any other way to prepare them for cooking Do you Strip them like celery? The leaves were inedible and I cooked them almost 1 hour and there is still some bitterness to the stalks .

A:

Hello Gayle,

Many thanks for your question, I have had a bunch of Cardone questions of late, it must been coming back in vogue! Cardone is an old Italian vegetable that when prepared correctly can be delicious. One of the most popular preparations is “Cardoni Fritti” or Fried CardoneIt is prepared by first washing and trimming the Cardone, boiling in salted lemon water (lemon will help with any bitterness) for about 20mins and then dipping in egg then flour and finally hot olive oil until golden brown. Recipes on our site. We do have a couple of cardone recipes to wet your appetite click here

As far as freezing: Clean the Cardone, trim the leaves and and strings from the sides. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a handful of salt and the juice from 2 lemons. Simmer the Cardone for 20mins or until tender. Lay out flat and dry. Place in a freezer bag or vacuum pack and place in freezer. From this stage you can fry: Prepare some flour with salt and black pepper. Dip the Cardone into the flour. Dip the Cardone into some whipped egg. Dip the Cardone back into the flour. Fry in olive oil at 350 degrees f until light brown. Enjoy! I hope this helps.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

Q:

HOW DO I COOK CARDONE

A:

Hi Jerry,

Many thanks for your question, I have had a bunch of Cardone questions of late, it must been coming back in vogue! Cardone is an old Italian vegetable that when prepared correctly can be delicious.

One of the most popular preparations is “Cardoni Fritti” or fried cardoni.

It is prepared by first washing and trimming the Cardone, boiling in salted lemon water for about 20mins and then dipping in egg then flour and finally hot olive oil until golden brown.

I will mention to the powers that be to post a couple more Cardone recipes on our site. We do have a couple to wet your appetite click here. As far as freezing:

  • Clean the Cardone, trim the leaves and and strings from the sides
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a handful of salt and the juice from 2 lemons
  • Simmer the Cardone for 20mins or until tenderLay out flat and dry
  • Place in a freezer bag or vacuum pack and place in freezer

From this stage you can fry as normal:

  • Prepare some flour with salt and black pepper
  • Dip the Cardone into the flour
  • Dip the Cardone into some whipped egg
  • Dip the Cardone back into the FlourFry in olive oil at 350 degrees f until light brown

Enjoy! I hope this helps,

Happy Cooking Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

Q:

Can Cardone be frozen and how? Thank You in advance for your answer.

A:

Hi Rose,

Many thanks for your question, I have had a bunch of Cardone questions of late, it must been coming back in vogue! Cardone is an old Italian vegetable that when prepared correctly can be delicious.

One of the most popular preparations is “Cardoni Fritti” or fried cardoni. It is prepared by first washing and trimming the Cardone, boiling in salted lemon water for about 20mins and then dipping in egg then flour and finally hot olive oil until golden brown. I will mention to the powers that be to post a couple more Cardone recipes on our site.

We do have a couple to wet your appetite click here

As far as freezing:

  • Clean the Cardone, trim the leaves and and strings from the sides
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a handful of salt and the juice from 2 lemons
  • Simmer the Cardone for 20mins or until tenderLay out flat and dry
  • Place in a freezer bag or vacuum pack and place in freezer

From this stage you can fry as normal:

  • Prepare some flour with salt and black pepper
  • Dip the Cardone into the flour
  • Dip the Cardone into some whipped egg
  • Dip the Cardone back into the FlourFry in olive oil at 350 degrees f until light brown

Enjoy! I hope this helps,

Happy Cooking Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

Q:

I would like to find out how to cook cardone. I was told you can boil, bread & fry. Can I freeze it after I boil it?

A:

Hello Joan!

Many thanks for your question, I have had a bunch of Cardone questions of late, it must been coming back in vogue! Cardone is an old Italian vegetable that when prepared correctly can be delicious.

One of the most popular preparations is “Cardoni Fritti” or Fried Cardone. It is prepared by first washing and trimming the Cardone, boiling in salted lemon water for about 20mins and then dipping in egg then flour and finally hot olive oil until golden brown. I will mention to the powers that be to post a couple more Cardone recipes on our site.

We do have a couple to wet your appetite click here

As far as freezing:

  • Clean the Cardone, trim the leaves and and strings from the sides
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a handful of salt and the juice from 2 lemons
  • Simmer the Cardone for 20mins or until tenderLay out flat and dry
  • Place in a freezer bag or vacuum pack and place in freezer

From this stage you can fry:

  • Prepare some flour with salt and black pepper
  • Dip the Cardone into the flour
  • Dip the Cardone into some whipped egg
  • Dip the Cardone back into the Flour
  • Fry in olive oil at 350 degrees f until light brown

Enjoy! I hope this helps,

Happy Cooking

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

Q:

Chef Tony, Where can I buy the artichoke plant? Some call it Cardoon, but the artichoke plant would be fine to purchase and cook. We use to boil the stems of the leaves and then fry them all the time when I was young.

A:

Hi Anthony,

Many thanks for your question.

You have kind of stumped me on where to buy the plants, I assume a good garden center could direct you find both green globe artichokes and cardone.

Cardone although a close cousin of the artichoke are not synonymous.

Feel free to peruse the web site, we do have a great selection of recipes although only a couple for Cardone at this time, click here.

Chef Tony Baker

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

Q:

What is a cardone, and where does it come from? My wife’s family has made them for years and I love them but don’t know were they come from.

A:

Hi Dominick,

Many thanks for your question!

Cardone is one of those vegetables that people grow up with and either love or simply haven’t had it yet.

It is actually grown here in Castroville California by Ocean Mist Farms, it is an old Italian vegetable and has a niche following within that community but is growing.

The website has several references to cardone that may be of interest to you, click here

Happy Cooking,

Feel Good About What You Eat!

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

I LOVE Ocean Mist!!! Am looking FOR A GREAT ARTICHOKE ALFREDO PASTA SAUCE RECIPE….CAN YOU HELP? lOWER FAT WOULD BE GREAT! tHANK YOU. cAROL

A:

We found a great recipe online with cauliflower as a substitute for alfredo sauce.  Cauliflower is a great way to add that creamy flavor without all of the extra added calories. We are so happy that you love Ocean Mist! http://www.crunchycreamysweet.com/2015/07/13/roasted-garlic-cauliflower-alfredo-sauce/

Q:

I want to make cauliflower tonight to serve tomorrow, all they want is it boiled with jack cheese melted on it. Is that ok to do?

A:

Hi Delores,

Cauliflower is a great vegetable to pre-cook or ‘blanch’. Although straight cheese may be a tad dry, I like to make what we call a ‘bechamel’ or ‘white sauce’. It may sound scary but it’s pretty simple.

2oz Butter

2oz Flour

Melt butter, add flour and beat together until it leaves the sides of the pan. On a medium heat, gradually add milk about 1/2 a cup at a time until a rich creamy consistency is reached.

Melt about 4-6oz of grated cheese into the sauce along with some salt, pepper and perhaps a spoon of dijon mustard and you have yourself a nice cheesy sauce. If it gets to heavy add a splash of milk. Pour that over your cooked cauliflower, be sure you drain it well. That will be fine wrapped in the fridge for a day or two then just pop it into the oven for about 45 mins at 350f when your ready for dinner.

For more ideas click here

Happy Easter

Good Luck,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

Are celery leaves safe to eat, freeze and cook with?

A:

Hi Nancy,

Many thanks for your question, Celery is a great vegetable, after all what would a Bloody Mary be without it!! I have used celery leaves in the past, they make a pretty garnish. Back in the day when I was working in the fancy kitchens of the finest hotels in Britain, we would crisp the celery leaves and dip the tips into paprika as a garnish. Very pretty. As far as eating them they simply taste like mild celery and are fine to eat. As with any leafy green, freezing is not great. It sounds like your an adventurous cook, feel free to drop me a line with the things that you came up with.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

What does a “head of celery” consist of?

A:

Hi Don,

Many thanks for your question.

A head of celery is the term given to a complete trimmed bunch of celery. No specific number of stalks constitutes a head, it’s simply one bunch.

Lettuce is also often referred to this way “A head of romaine” I hope this helps while your here at the Ocean Mist Farms Website, take a look at some of the great things that can be done with celery. CLICK HERE

Happy Cooking!

Chef Tony B

Q:

A recipe calls for Fava Beans, can’t find fresh or canned or frozen. What can I use to replace?

A:

Hi Theresa,

What about dried beans, I’m not sure of the recipe you are using them in, so dried beans may not work for your application however there are a lot of varieties of dried beans available these days in your high end store. Soak them in cold water over night then cook the following day. They can be great, cassoulet is one of my favorite winter dishes.

If this doesn’t work for your application, then perhaps frozen peas???

Happy Cooking!!

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

WHERE CAN I FIND FAVA BEANS?

A:

Hi Brenda,

I’m sorry you are having a hard time satisfying your hankering for fava beans, let me see if I can help you.

The key to your problem lies with the produce manager at your local grocery store. Ask to speak to him/her and let them know you what your after, they are normally very good about making sure that there customers are taken care of. They should be able to get them in a day or two of you asking.

When you get a hold of these little beauties, CLICK HERE and take a look at some of the ideas that Ocean Mist Farms has come up with for favas.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

Ahoy, Chef Baker,

What’s with the ubiquitous fennel in the Ocean mist recipes? I really dislike the taste of fennel. Is there a substitute? How seriously is a dish effected if the fennel is omitted?

Love Montrio, my neighborhood restaurant.

Avast,

John R.NcConnell

A:

Hi John,

Many thanks for your question, sorry it’s taken me a while to get to you, my two left thumbs have been busy of late. Glad to here your a local, unlike most of the folks I talk too through my fingers, you however have the luxury of face talk! Feel free to introduce yourself on your next visit. Perhaps I can treat you to one of Anthony’s new amazing cocktails! I assume one that does not contain, Pernod or any other anise infused concoction! Of course Fennel is not for everyone, however it is a significant crop for Ocean Mist Farms and therefore commands the appropriate respect in the recipe data base of this website. As far as omitting the fennel, each recipe would need to be considered based on it own set of ingredients. I would suggest in most cases it could be substituted with sweet onions.

Hope to see you at Montrio soon,

Cheers, Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

I have not the faintest idea on how to cook fennel. Is the green top cooked with the white bulb part? Thank you!

A:

Hi Mary,

Many thanks for your question, fennel is really a great veg. I love it especially when it is supper fresh and young. The anise scent when you cut into it is amazing.

The bulb is the main part that you use. The nice thing about fennel it is as delicious raw as it is cooked.

The tops make a nice garnish and if you want to get super creative there are things you can do, but most folks discard most of the tops, cut the top off about 2 inches from the top of the bulb.

The bulb is all edible with the exception of the root core that goes up into the bulb about 1 inch.

Fennel like artichokes, apples and pears will discolor when cut so keep a little lemon juice handy when you are ready to start cutting.

Mandolins are a great kitchen gadget (watch your fingers) they allow you to shave vegetables like fennel super thin which is perfect to enjoy the fennel raw. Since fennel is a hearty veg it really needs to be cut very thin if you want to enjoy it raw, right after cutting toss in a little lemon juice.

To cook, you can braise in stock, it can be a great ingredient in many soups and chowders. We make a fennel goat cheese gratin at Montrio Bistro that is delicious and goes great with Lamb.

Here is a link to several recipes on the Ocean Mist web site. Give them a go.

The most important thing is to have fun in the kitchen. It’s always fun to play with new ingredients.

Q:

Do you have a recipe for Mashed Potatoes with Fennel?

A:

Hi Steve,

Mashed potatoes and fennel, yum! I love fennel especially shaved thinly and tossed with a little citrus and olive oil. Mashing with potatoes, that sounds pretty darn tasty, although I don’t have a tried and tested recipe to give you I can give you a couple of pointers and lead you to the Ocean Mist Recipe database were a ton of great recipes live.

Firstly if you wanted to incorporate fennel into whipped potatoes I would:

  • Split the fennel
  • Remove the hard core
  • Cut it into rough half inch chunks
  • Place in a pot with chicken broth, butter and black pepper
  • Cook with a tight lid until tender
  • Drain the excess liquid and set aside
  • Cook potatoes and drain
  • Puree the fennel in a food processor, or use a food mill
  • Mash the potatoes with a masher and add the fennel to desired consistency
  • Season to taste

Drop me a line and let me know how it turns out!

For other fennel recipes click here

tony@cheftonybaker.com

Q:

What can be done with the bbq green onions sold by Ocean Mist Farms?

A:

Hi Brandon,
 
Many thanks for your question! Summer is rapidly approaching and as the ice melts and the BBQ re-appears from it’s hibernation, we start to think about grilling season.
 
Your question: “What can be done with Ocean Mist Farms Green Onions on the BBQ?” Well in England (from where I hail) we call them ‘Spring Onions’ which is appropriate given the season. I like them because they are fresh, clean tasting and add a nice bite to so many dishes.
 
They do work well on the grill. You can simply toss in a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper and pop them on the grill. Be sure to eat the whole onions down to the root. Some folks just use the green; the white part is the best! I like to use a little spice when I grill vegetables, one of my favorites is TW’s rub, it’s a little smoky, medium heat and slightly sweet. Use green onions as a part of a vegetable platter with corn, artichokes, peppers, fennel etc….
 
Follow this link for some great recipe ideas for green onions CLICK HERE
 
 
Happy Cooking,
 
Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.montrio.com
 
www.bakersbacon.com
 

Q:

Can you eat The top leafs of a KALETTES?

A:

Hi Bart,

 

Yes you can eat kalettes in its entirety from our ready-to-eat bags. Have you seen our recipe library full of recipes? http://www.oceanmist.com/vegetable/kalettes/ We have some great recipes for kalettes.  We hope you enjoy them.

Mary

Q:

Can I roast kalettes and potatoes together?

A:

Hi Melody,

 

We would recommend cooking the potatoes longer than the Kalettes because potatoes take more time to cook. Roasting Kalettes is a great way to bring out flavors in this delicious vegetable. Once they are both roasted, you could toss them together. Here is a great recipe for roasting Kalettes. http://www.oceanmist.com/recipes/roasted-kalettes-beets/

 

Thanks,

Q:

Hi, I was comparing labels of your hearts of romaine lettuce with River Ranch. Your product said 20% Vitamin A and 4% Vitamin C per portion.

River Rance said 100% Vitamin A and 35% Vitamin C per portion.

Both packages had hearts of romaine lettuce, why such a big difference? How is this monitored?

Please advise. I am very confused. Thank you.

A:

Hi Kandi,

I wish I could answer your question, I often wonder how that information comes about myself.

I am a chef that works with Ocean Mist Farms and this topic is a tad out of my realm, I’ll forward it on and see if we can’t get a response. My guess is that their is little or no difference in nutritional value of the lettuce itself, you mentioned “per portion” are the portion sizes the same?

Sorry I cant be of any real help.

Happy Cooking!

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

I have a horrible time for years trying to find some kind of sauce or dip to dip the steamed artichoke leaves in to enjoy the leaf meat. I cant find much of anything online for recipes for the “dip sauce”. Can you put up a bunch of recipes for this? I dont see any at OceanMist and its surprising.

A:

Hi E,

We actually have some great dip recipes online. Here is a link to them.  http://www.oceanmist.com/recipe-type/veggie-dips/

Thanks,

Ocean Mist Farms

Q:

What do I add to boiling water for vegetables grown above ground?

A:

Hi Cecilia,

Many Thanks for your question,

It depends a lot on what you are cooking. The general rule of thumb is that anything cooked above the ground, therefore green, should be shocked in boiling salted water. The salt will enhance the flavor of your vegetables as well as help bring out the bright green color of vegetables such as broccoli, green beans etc.

Root vegetables, generally take a lot longer to cook and in order to promote even cooking, bringing them to a boil from cold is preferred. Again salt will help enhance the flavor of your vegetables. So in short, salt is the answer to your question. I do add other aromatics to vegetables such as Artichokes with a longer cooking time, I use dried oregano, fresh garlic, red wine vinegar and olive oil.

Here is a link to my little cooking tip. click here

Happy Cooking,
Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

What should you add to boiling water for vegetable grown above ground?

A:

Hello Tameksio,

Many thanks for your question.

It depends a lot on what you are cooking. The general rule of thumb is that anything cooked above the ground, therefore green, should be shocked in boiling salted water. The salt will enhance the flavor of your vegetables as well as help bring out the bright green color of vegetables such as broccoli, green beans etc.

Root vegetables, generally take a lot longer to cook and in order to promote even cooking, bringing them to a boil from cold is preferred. Again salt will help enhance the flavor of your vegetables.

So in short, salt is the answer to your question. I do add other aromatics to vegetables such as Artichokes with a longer cooking time, I use dried oregano, fresh garlic, red wine vinegar and olive oil.

Here is a link to my little cooking tip. click here

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker
Montrio Bistro
“Feel Good About What You Eat”
www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

What are some dipping sauces?

A:

Hi Carol,

Many thanks for your question, Artichokes are great as they are, but I can’t deny I have a weakness for a a good slathering of a rocking chipotle lime mayo from time to time.

Let us help get you sorted, here is a link to some great recipes just click here

The Chipotle recipe is at the bottom, it’s simple and when ever I do artichoke demos I always get hit up for the recipe, just saying!

Anyway Carol, Happy cooking, drop me a line again if you have any other questions.

Cheers,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

Q:

How can I use the delicious flavored water left over when I simmer my artichokes to cook them. Couldn’t it be the base for a great soup? What about using it for the liquid for some kind of rice dish. Isn’t it full of nutrients as well as flavor?

A:

Hi Myrna,

Thank You for your question. My recipe for boiling artichokes includes red wine vinegar, oregano, garlic, olive oil and salt. Frankly the cooking liquor when done is not something I would want to use in another dish. I have also found it to be on the bitter side. As far as nutrients, you are right, any vegetable when cooked in liquid will loose some of the water soluble vitamins in the water, however their is still plenty of great stuff left in the artichokes that make them a very valuable source of fiber 16% per 100g based on a 2000 cal diet, vitamins A & C as well as a good source for antioxidants. If nutrition and waste is of concern to you, you may want to try the “Easy Baked Artichoke” here is the link I hope this helps.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

“Feel good about what you eat”

Montrio Bistro

www.cheftonybaker.com

Q:

I received a fantastic “foodie” gift that included sea salt flakes. How do I use sea salt flakes and how do they differ from regular sea salt?

A:

Hi Kori,

Great question, Salt is an ingredient I feel is very much taken for granted, we give very little thought to salt yet we take great care to select the other ingredients that we cook with. I think the majority of people use the iodized table salt, that fine ground rock salt, it really brings nothing to the dish except a crude saltiness. Today so much variety exists. Salt that has flavor in itself, Sea salts from all over the world, naturally harvested salt, salt made from evaporation ponds, volcanic salts, rock salt, smoked salts and flavored salts. Salt has been a valuable commodity for thousands of years, I read that evidence suggests that salt production existed as long ago as 6050BC!! For most of my cooking I use Kosher salt, it is an inexpensive course ground natural salt that has a clean taste. Then there are higher end artisan salts such as the famous hand harvested “Fleur de sel” (flower of salt) from the coastal salt pans of Brittany, France. Even our own Monterey Bay has a salt producer, Monterey Sea Salt is made by pumping volumes of sea water from about a mile out and placing it inland, into shallow ponds to evaporate, the salt is then collected, washed, tested for food safety and ground. Sea salt as has a delicious flavor, one that I like to use as a “finishing salt”. A little sprinkle on a tomato, or perhaps some delicious scallops, I may sprinkle a little course sea salt right before the plate goes out. When you eat that food the salt gives it a pop and a delicious flavor that compliments the food you are serving it with…Kori I suggest if you fancy yourself as an adventurous home cook, you should experiment with salts. I use a salt pig on the counter with kosher, then I keep some sea and flavored salts in the cupboard. Popular brands of kosher salt are Diamond Crystal and Morton, the densities are different so I suggest once you pick one stick with it, I find when I change from one salt to another it’s easier to mess up and under/over season your food. Anyway Kori, I hope this helps you out a little. Get cooking it’s almost time for dinner!

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

Montrio Bistro

Q:

Hi Chef Tony,
I love to use my” Fagor” pressure cooker.
It is stainless steal with very thick bottom.
Can that be considered as a pot crock. Thank you!

A:

Rosita Rosita!

How the heck are you, many thanks for your question. It looks like you have your pots and your crocks mixed up. The pressure cooker is a great tool and actually cooks a nice artichoke in a little over half the time of boiling or steaming. Crock Pots only came about in the early 70′s, the crock pot is a re-branding of an old bean cooker, that is essentially a heavy earthenware dish heated by an electric element with a lid and a timer. The reason for the heavy earthenware is that it holds heat and the heat is distributed evenly throughout the pot, so food can be cooked slowly and evenly. You could try and slow cook with your fagor pot, you would be simply be giving up the control that comes with a crock pot. Until recently I have lived without a crock pot. I like cast iron in a slow oven, to be honest it’s hard to beat a cast iron pot. So in answer to your question: No you wouldn’t consider a pressure cooker a crock pot, but they’re substitutions to a crock pot, i.e cast iron and an oven. For some great slow cooking ideas click here o download our new slow cooking booklet.

Happy Cooking, Rosita

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

Q:

This is not a question, but a compliment.

Your website has to be the best food/recipe website I have ever viewed. Kudos to all of you at Ocean Mist. The videos are a terrific learning tool.

I get asked often “How do you cook an artichoke?” Next time I will refer them directly to your website. :o)

A:

Hi Cathi,

Many thanks for the kudos! Very much appreciated, a lot of folks have contributed to the abundance of information posted here. It really is a great culinary resource.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

Q:

If you cook ahead, what is the best way to reheat for the next day?

A:

Hi Patti,

Many thanks for your question. It’s a good one!

Of course I am a restaurant chef and since large artichokes cook in about 35 mins, not many customers would still be waiting for them to be ready, so I have gotten pretty good at the artichoke reheat.

Luckily for us, artichokes are fairly forgiving. What I do is take my cooked artichoke, remove the fuzzy choke from the center, add my marinade or vinaigrette (this is important as it adds moisture to create steam that aids in the reheat) wrap in heavy foil, then pop them on the hottest part of the grill. They ony take about 5 mins to get hot and they are delicious. If you have real coals or fire, place them right in, a little char on the outside is great, they take on a nice smokey flavor.

Grilling may be easier and is also delicious. Here are a few ideas for you, just click here.

Many thanks for your question, Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

Have you ever used melted blue cheese and butter for a dip? It is so great!

A:

Hi Elaine,

Thanks for the tip, will my cardiologist like this one??

Screw him, I’m giving it a go, this is right up my alley, maybe some bacon in with it!

Many thanks,

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

After I boiled (water, lemon juice, salt and a little olive oil) the baby artichokes, can they be frozen??

A:

Hi Amelia,

Many thanks for your question. A lot of people ask about freezing, and while fresh is always best I understand that sometimes you just need a way to preserve them.

You called it, fully cooking them first and then freezing is the way to go. I would also recommend vacuum sealing the bag also. Try a little dried oregano and half a bulb of garlic in your cooking liquid as well.

In addition to freezing, canning jars are great and once cooked in the jars, they are shelf stable for months.

Good luck and happy cooking.

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

Chef
I have been cooking artichokes for many years and find , the easiest way to remove fuzzy part is with an apple corer. Hope that warrants a prize.

Regards

A:

Hi Rose,

Many thanks for the tip!

The fuzzy stuff can be a tad stubborn at times, so I will have to give this a go. I normally use an old dessert spoon, I have a favorite that I use all the time it seems to have just the right shaped curve on the bottom for a standard sized large artichoke. I’ll give the corer a go.

For a plethora of artichoke creations and things to do after you have used your corer, Click Here.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

What kind of sauce do you suggest for an artichoke?

A:

Hi Gerdy,

That’s a tough question, only because it’s almost endless what you can do with artichokes. The good news is we just posted some cool and very quick videos on some simple sauce ideas. Click Here

So give em a gander Gerdy and let us know what you think by rating the recipes on the site.

By the way, great name, I had a great aunt Gerdy whom I was very fond.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

“Feel Good About What You Eat”

Q:

This is not a question, but rather something I have learned recently. Having used my rice cooker/steamer, saucepan and various other kitchen tools in which to prepare artichokes, I have learned about Ziploc Steamer bags. The bags are medium and large sizes, and one artichoke per bag … 5 minutes in the microwave in the steamer bag, and voila … perfectly steamed artichoke. You can then use the steamer bags for the used petals. A wonderful thing for our household!

A:

Hi Vickey,

Many thanks for the info, there are so many ways to enjoy artichokes, although I’ll be honest I still prefer pre-boiling and grilling or roasting my chokes but that’s me. I do see the advantages of convenience. 5 mins to enjoying a fresh steamed choke is pretty awesome!! Click Here for other cooking methods, we will have to add the steam bags to the list.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

I would like to know how to preserve artichokes to use as a decoration?? Can you help???

Donna

A:

Hi Donna,

Many thanks for your question! Now your kinda stepping out of my realm here, I cook artichokes and when I do they don’t last very long!! I can see how you may want to preserve the look of this unique and interesting veg though.

From your question I assume, you would like to use them in a floral arrangement or something of that nature? I’ll forward your question to our Ocean Mist Farms florist she may or may not have a few suggestions for you. Well I hope you cook and eat them at times as well, when you do click here for some great recipe ideas to kick around.

Happy cooking or arranging or whatever else you plan on doing with our prickly friends!

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

My wife hates peas. What’s a good substitute in recipes that call for peas as a secondary ingredient. I usually just leave them out.

A:

Hi Javier,

An interesting dilemma, I guess there are folks out there that don’t enjoy peas, terrible!

Anyway you may want to try taking French Green beans, blanch them and then line them up on a cutting board and cut them into pea sized pieces.

Now of course don’t forget about the artichokes!!

Many Thanks for your question and happy cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

How long can I keep unopened marinated artichokes?

A:

Patricia,

Thanks for your question!

Of course Ocean Mist Farms is a fresh artichoke grower from California and does not produce any processed versions of this great vegetable, most likely the marinated product you are referring to is imported.

Anyway, hopefully we can encourage you to try fresh artichokes, they are so much better in every way and well worth the little effort. In answer to your question, you should treat the unused portion of the product as fresh and use them up within 3 to 5 days. Please take a gander around the Ocean Mist Farms web site, they have an incredible database of artichoke recipes, simply CLICK HERE

Many Thanks and Happy cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

Am making artichoke bruschetta. Boiling chokes in homemade veggie stock w/ lemon. Since I need sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil for the bruschetta, can I marinate the cooked bracts with sun-dried tomatoes and use them for dipping some of the bruschetta that is not on toasted bread? Hate to waste anything! Bruschetta also has mayonnaise, sour cream, red onion and parm cheese. Your web site rocks!

A:

Hi Gretchen,

Thank you for your comments on our website! As far as what you can and can’t do, that’s the great thing about food. Their is no right or wrong. Your idea of using the bracts as a medium for your bruschetta mixture is great.

Carry on cooking,

TB

Q:

What is the ideal dipping sauce for artichokes?

A:

The perfect dip? To many, good ole drawn butter or mayonnaise is hard to beat, it’s simple and frankly a hot fresh cooked artichoke dripping in warm salted butter it’s hard to go wrong. However if you’re ready to spice up your life a little bit, flex your culinary muscle, blow the dust off the blender and play around a little.

Some simple suggestions:

  • Take Mayonnaise and try mixing different ingredients, such as:
  • Roasted and chopped red bell peppers with garlicFresh garlic and lemon juiceCayenne pepper, lemon and cilantro
  • Chopped olives and basil
  • Smoked paprika, lemon, garlic and parsley

These are a few simple things you can do to go beyond the norm. A favorite of mine is to get good European butter (it simply tastes better) heat it with lots of fresh garlic, lemon and chopped parsley.

If you’re not a garlic lover, well………. Below is a link to a simple from scratch olive dip that is delicious with the artichokes but makes a great sandwich spread as well.

Banging.

http://www.oceanmist.com/recipes/80/recipe_detail.aspx

Happy Cooking!

TB

Q:

I’m interested in pairing my Artichoke meal with wine. How do I pick the best one?

A:

Picking the perfect wine to go with an Artichoke is really a matter of personal taste, but a good rule to follow is based on how the Artichoke is being cooked and served. Merlot and Zinfandel go well with grilled chokes, while a fruity Italian red wine or dry rose would make a good match for Artichokes served with tomato sauce. Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay would work best with Artichokes paired with a cream-based sauce.

Q:

How many Leeks do I need to make 2 cups?

A:

Hi Nannie,

Glad to hear your in the kitchen using leeks, lovely vegetable in their own right, I love them baked in garlic cream with cheesy bread crumbs on top, yum! Anyway I’d love to help you but your question is a little like “how long is a piece of string?’ Leeks come in all sizes from very small to some weighing a pound or 2. At a guess I would say that an average large leek would yield 2 cups once washed and diced. It’s tough when writing recipes, because of the variables, one needs to be specific yet it is hard to work out some of the variables. Sorry it’s not a lot of help.

Regards,

Chef Tony Baker

Montrio Bistro

“Feel good about what you eat”

Q:

What are some things I can do with Leeks?

A:

Leeks are used a lot in restaurants as an ingredient in sauce making. They can also be a stand out vegetable by themselves. I like to braise them. Split and wash them, place the leeks whole in an oven proof dish, add about 2 cups of chicken broth for 4 large leeks. Cover with aluminum foil and cook in the oven until tender. When I serve with beef, I like to drain the leeks and melt blue cheese over them.

Happy Cooking!

Q:

What is rapini and how do I cook it? I thought it was turnip; I feel bad.

A:

Hi Ruth,

Don’t feel bad! We are here to answer your questions. There are a lot of vegetables out there and we are here to help educate you. The assertive flavor of Rapini/Broccoli Rabe, a favorite of Italian and Chinese cooks for centuries, is causing this unique leafy green vegetable to gain increasing popularity with American cooks, in part because it’s so easy to prepare. The blossoms, leaves and stalks of the Rapini/Broccoli Rabe are all edible, and feature identical taste levels. Rapini/Broccoli Rabe has a pungent flavor that once sampled can become addictive. Commonly known in the United States as Broccoli Raab (also spelled Broccoli Rabe), it is revered in China and is Hong Kong’s most popular vegetable. Rapini/Broccoli Rabe has a slightly bitter taste and is frequently steamed or lightly sautéed in olive oil. Its strong flavor makes it a perfect complement to milder foods, like polenta. Click here to learn more. http://www.oceanmist.com/products/rapinibroccoli-rabe/

Thanks,

Ocean Mist Farms

Q:

I need to get my hands on this Broccoli Raab/Rapini but I can’t find it anywhere in my local grocery stores, i really want to use it in my spicy penne pasta, gosh what i would do to get my hands on that stuff, where can i find it, i was searching all evening on the internet and the only thing i came across that’s close is ocean mist, but i’m all the way in north carolina? Thanx Chef

-Anthony

A:

Hi Anthony,

Thanks for the question, the best advice I can give you is to speak to your grocery store produce manager. These folks have the power to bring in what ever you will buy. A good store should go out of there way to procure you some Rapini.

Good luck,

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

My question is where can you purchase Rapini??? Does Ocean Mist Farms sell to individuals

A:

Hi Darlene,

Great to here from another Rapini lover! Many thanks for taking the time to write to us.

I posed your question to the Ocean Mist Farms brain trust and they said that the list of wholesale customers spans far and wide, they suggest the best course of action for you, would be to chat up your local grocery stores produce manager. That person holds the power to bring in what the customers will buy. So let him or her know that you are starting a Rapini fan club in Charleston (lovely town by the way, the Mrs. and I had a blast in Charleston last year) and that folks will be coming from far and wide to source this wonderful vegetable, purchasing it in mass quantity!! Anyway, I hope you are succesfull in getting the produce manager at your local store to bring in some Rapini. Now remember your produce manager holds the key to all sorts of amazing products, so if you don’t see them in your store give them hell!! Now when you get your hands on your Rapini, click here and get some tips on how to cook it up.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker

Q:

How would artichoke taste in a creamy spinach dip?

A:

Dear Alexis,

Many thanks for your question, If you were a little closer I’d be coming over for dinner, that sounds banging!

I think artichoke and spinach is a marriage made in heaven, perhaps that’s why Ocean Mist Farms grows them both!

I like a really good stinky cheese in my artichoke dip, real gruyere or the French/Swiss Raclette cheese, Raclette is one of the finest cooking cheeses very full flavored and easy melting. Probably available at any fine cheese shop. This stuff will put hairs on your chest. OK i’m getting sentimental now, back to artichokes!

So Alexis, it sounds like you are on the right track, and the fact that you are using artichokes in Ohio, God bless you! So if you haven’t already taken the time to peruse the plethora of ridiculously delicious artichoke dishes on the Ocean Mist Farms website, I’ll make it easy for you, just click here and it will take you to the heart of the website! Enjoy!

Q:

I’m looking for recipes that feature mostly spinach…not mixed w/ lots of other things, especially to accompany pasta dishes.
Any ideas?

A:

Hi Andre,

Thanks for your question,

My fav way to eat spinach is also the simplest way is to saute with shaved garlic, kosher salt, frehs nutmeg and olive oil.

Get the pan screaming hot then add garlic, 30 seconds later add the spinach and the seasonings.

Cook until barely wilted, dry on a towel then enjoy. The most time consuming part of this recipe is heating the pan!

For other banging recipes, Click Here

To save more time, be sure to use the triple washed spinach from Ocean Mist Farms.

Happy Cooking,

Chef Tony Baker