Thursday, July 1, 2010

We made Bittman's braised artichokes

It's artichoke season, but lately it seems like they've been flying off the racks at grocery stores. I always notice them when I don't need them, but then when I come back, they're gone. Especially after reading Mark Bittman's article on braising artichokes complete with a witty ("it's artiCHOKE not artiSWALLOW!") instructional video, I was intent on finding some artichokes to braise.

When I finally found them, Martha and I decided to make our own witty instructional video, below, as a Bittman homage:

Here's the recipe, copied and pasted. We followed it pretty exactly.

Bittman's Braised Artichokes


4 medium artichokes

4 tablespoons butter ( 1/2 stick)

1 cup chicken stock, or more as needed

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Zest and juice of 1 lemon.

1. Cut each of the artichokes in half; remove the toughest outer leaves, use a spoon to remove the choke, and trim the bottom.

2. Put 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. When it melts and foam subsides, add artichokes, cut side down. Cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add stock (it should come about halfway up the sides of the artichokes), bring to a boil, and cover; turn heat to medium-low. Cook for about 20 minutes or until tender, checking every 5 or 10 minutes to make sure there is enough liquid in the pan, adding more stock as necessary. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and transfer artichokes to serving platter.

3. Raise heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to a sauce. Stir in lemon zest and juice and remaining tablespoon butter; taste and adjust seasoning. Serve artichokes drizzled with sauce.

Yield: 4 servings.

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