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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mushroom Stuffed Artichokes









Artichokes have always been a personal favorite of mine. I love the fact that they are so diverse and can be thrown into the mix with so many different things, i.e., pasta, veal, chicken, steak, fish and salads. They are even delicious on their own and I have always been a big fan of stuffed artichokes. This recipe is very tasty and gives us a break from the norm. We're moving away from the traditional method of a bread based stuffing and are going to substitute the breadcrumbs with minced crimini mushrooms instead. It's so tasty and absolutely ideal for those who are gluten free or carbohydrate conscience.

Mushroom Stuffed Artichokes
5 large fresh artichokes
1 qt container fresh crimini mushrooms cleaned and minced
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 small bunch fresh parsley finely chopped
1 1/2 cups olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 tbsp grated parmesan
(Optional)
1 cup low sodium fat free chicken stock
Stuffing
In a mixing bowl combine grated parmesan, cleaned and minced crimini mushrooms, chopped garlic, olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix contents together well using your hands. Put aside.
*Note-sometimes I add more olive oil if stuffing isn't moist enough.
Artichokes
Cut the tops of the leaves off, removing the thorns. Cut off 3/4 inch of the top of the artichoke. Cut off small leaves around the outer base and remove the stem. Spread and separate the center of the artichoke and with a spoon, lightly scoop out the small prickly thorns from the center base. Rinse in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.

(Optional)
If your a stem lover like me... take the stem and with a pairing knife lightly peel off the tough outer layer. Rinse in cold water.

Take each artichoke and generously stuff the center with the prepared mixture and, if your feeling ambitious, the individual leaves.
*If you choose to keep the stem...after stuffing the artichoke...stick the cleaned stem into the center.
Take a large pot and fill it with about 2 inches of cold water and a splash of olive oil.
If using chicken stock, take a large pot, add 1 cup chicken stock then add water filling the pot about 2 inches. Add a splash of olive oil.
Place the artichokes inside of the pot (they should be kind of snug) and cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook 45 minutes or until the outer leaves can easily be pulled off.



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