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Okay, I finally bought an artichoke for the first time, now...how do I cook/cut/eat it? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/huh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":confused:">
 

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Bring it to the store and trade it in for marinated artichoke hearts.<br><br>
(just kidding)<br><br><br><br>
Well, I'm not really good with Artichokes - but since nobody else answered this post I'll tell you how I do it:<br><br><br><br>
Cut off the bottom part (where the stem is - cut that bottom part off - this way it will sit up in the pot)<br><br><br><br>
Cut off the top part (maybe 2 inches? - so the flower part is exposed)<br><br><br><br>
Mix up some olive oil, lemon, garlic to make a basting liquid.<br><br><br><br>
put some water in the pot and bring it to a boil (only like 1 inch)<br><br>
(pot should be tall but narrow - typical sauce pot - and you need a lid)<br><br><br><br>
Put the artichoke in it - drizzle oil/lemon/garlic mixture over it good (into the center part and over inner part of al lthe "leaves")<br><br><br><br>
Steam for - I dunno - 20 minutes? until it's done (inside part of "leaf" is soft).<br><br><br><br>
To eat - you scrape off the soft part of the inside of the "leaf" with your teeth and eat.<br><br><br><br>
That's how I do anyway (which is why I buy marinated artichoke hearts in the jar at the deli) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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It's close to how I do an artichoke. I love artichokes and do them all the time when they're in season. My method is:<br><br><br><br>
Cut the end off until it's level and will sit up in the pan straight and pull the "lower leaves" off (the tiny leaves that are at the very base). Some people also cut about 1" off the top and cut off the spiny ends of the leaves, but I don't (it's up to you, though). Since I tend to do more than one at a time, I use a stockpot but use whatever you have that will hold enough water to cover. You can cut/trim the fibers off the stem piece and boil it with the artichoke which is pretty good but most don't fool with it so, it's up to you about saving/tossing the stem part. Boil the artichoke itself for about 30-45+ minutes on a "slightly less than rapid boil". A rapid boil will throw water out of the pot and make a mess, so I keep my boil to where it doesn't do that but yet, will boil the artichoke nicely. They are done when one of the leaves pull away very easily with no resistance at all. When they fall off in the pan and start floating around, you know the artichoke is <span style="text-decoration:underline;">really</span> done and almost to a mushy stage (which is good, just the same <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D"> ). Drain them upside down in a colander for a few minutes. If you're not going to eat them with mayonnaise (common method), then drain them out while you fix up a spice oil, soy mayo pile or whatever you want. I've eaten these with tofu ranch dressing and they're superb but use what you like and what you have on hand. Like DVMarie said, scrape off the soft part with your teeth but hold the leaf by the pointy end (or the formerly pointy end...). When you get to where the leaves are almost "see-through clear" and very-nearly too hard to handle, then pull them off. Some people try to eat those bits and avoid the choke and some don't. After you remove the fine leaves, you should see some "fuzzy stuff" left behind. That's the choke and it's nassty to try to eat so DON'T EVEN TRY. Scrape the choke out with a spoon (grapefruit spoon works fabbo here but use a regular eating spoon if you don't have a GF spoon) and toss the choke. Be VERY CAREFUL not to get any of the choke in what you're eating. What you have left is the heart and once you've cleaned the choke out, dip your heart in your dipping sauce and chow down!<br><br><br><br>
Done right, artichokes are wonderful! Done wrong, they are an experience in misery. DVMarie and I have both given you the right ways in steaming and boiling the perfect artichoke. As for dipping sauces, some use mayo or melted butter, but you can use anything you'd like. Like I said before, my preferred way is to dip them in tofu ranch or make a spice oil but it's up to you. Use what sounds yummiest.<br><br><br><br>
I LOVE artichokes! YUUMMMM <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/lick.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":lick:"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">
 

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