Sunday, April 14, 2013

Baked Artichokes and Leek Poached Haddock

The easiest way to cook artichokes is just to boil them in water with some garlic for anywhere from 30-60 minutes depending on the size of the artichoke. To eat them, pull off the leaves, one by one and scrape the "meat" at the base of the leaves with your teeth. When you get to the fuzzy leaves in the middle, scrape them out, then enjoy the juicy and delicious base. This is what you find canned/jarred. Some people make a dipping sauce, but I don't think its necessary. For a little more complicated recipe, be sure to try this one. It is picture perfect, so its sure to impress dinner guests.

The fish was also delicious, and the nice thing about baking fish this way is it doesn't cause too much of a smell like frying or baking fish sometimes can.

These carrots were a side dish. I just sauteed them in half butter and half butter flavored olive oil until browned slightly.

Stuffed Mediterranean Baked Artichokes
adapted from a recipe in Chatelaine November 2012

4 small to medium artichokes
1 lemon (optional)
2 slices stale whole grain bread
1/4 C parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp olive oil (I used lemon infused olive oil)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 C diced red pepper
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut off the tips of the large artichoke leaves and peel tough outer layer of stems. 
2. Cut each artichoke in half lengthwise. 
3. Cut off the top third of each artichoke, and remove fuzzy leaves from center with a spoon. 
4. If using lemon, cut in half, and rub over the cut edges of each artichoke
5. Simmer the artichokes over low heat in a large pot from 30 to 60 minutes depending on the size of your artichokes. The outer leaves should pull off easily when they are done. 
6. Drain the artichokes, then place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet, cut side up. 
7. Process bread into crumbs, then mix together with all remaining ingredients and juice from half a lemon if using. 
8. Using all of the crumb mixture, cover the artichokes evenly. 
9. Bake at 400F for about 10 minutes. 

Leek Poached Haddock
adapted from Milk Poached Fish with Chive Cream in "Almost Vegetarian" by Diana Shaw 1994. 

1 C milk of your choice (I used brown rice milk)
1/2 white onion sliced
1 leek, washed and sliced
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp dried thyme
2 fillets haddock, or white fish of your choice

1. In a deep skillet or wok, combine the onion, leek, and herbs. Heat gently over low heat for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat, cover, and let steep 15 more minutes. 
2. Add the fish, then gently heat over low-med heat being careful not to boil. 
3. When you notice, the fish start to turn white, flip with a slotted spoon to cook other side. It will not take long to cook ( anywhere from 3-9 minutes depending on thickness of fillets)
4. When fish flakes easily, remove with slotted spoon, and place on plate covered with paper towel.
5. Transfer to serving plates and top with leek/onion mixture if desired. 

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