Stuffed Artichokes | Recipe | Breadless Stuffed Artichokes

Saying "it's been a while" would be an understatement.  Yes, I've been incredibly busy (as always),  but in truth, I haven't had the interest in blogging lately.  I have so many things I would love to share with you (including a fantastic upholstered headboard my dad, Mr. Stranded and I made last month), but I've been struggling with how much is too much information to share.  I used to sit down, spend 10 minutes typing up whatever blurb came to my head and hit the Publish button. 

But last month it was brought to my attention that I may be sharing too much.  I appreciated the comment and gave it significant consideration, especially since this observation came from a stranger who doesn't really know anything about me other than what's been shared on the blog.  And suddenly, with a snap of the fingers, blogging no longer felt like a fun activity.  I already felt that I limited what I wrote, but having to stop and think about how my innocently-intentioned paragraphs could possibly affect my husband's job or how people may misinterpret what I write, blogging came to feel like more of a hassle than anything else.  My life, while wonderful, has plenty of stresses and challenges as it is.  I didn't want the blog to feel like work too.

So I pushed the blog aside and didn't think twice about it.  But then last Friday night, I met my brother-in-law and sister-in-law in Manhattan for dinner (Mr. Stranded's brother and his wife, the only family members who follow my blog regularly.)  They commented on how they were left hanging mid-way through my Christmas menu and was wondering when I was going to finish it.  It's now mid-February and it seems almost ridiculous to finish posting my Christmas recipes at this point, but then I thought about it and I realized that ditching the blog in the middle of a killer Christmas menu was pretty lame on my part.  And it was really nice for my brother/sister-in-law to even notice that I stopped mid-stream.  So I'm going to finish my Christmas recipes for them.

After that, I don't think I'm going to blog as regularly.  I'll still blog about any dinner parties worthwhile, any menus I think were successful and any other projects, such as our headboard, that I'm particularly excited to share.  With that said, I hope that you continue to check back in and see what we're up to because I do enjoy sharing our adventures with you.

SO...on to the artichokes. 

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this to you before, but my parents are Italian immigrants.  My mom is from the Northern part of Italy and many of the recipes my family make have more of a Northern Italian influence.  I never thought much about this until Mr. Stranded and I became a couple.

You see, Mr. Stranded's side of the family is from Southern Italy.  And while his family and my family make the same types of dishes, we make them very differently.  For example, our families both make manicotti, but my family wouldn't think to pair the manicotti with meat sauce, while his family does.  Another example are artichokes.  Mr. Stranded seemed shocked that I wasn't stuffing my artichokes with breadcrumbs.  My family frowns upon adding bread crumbs to the artichokes because it's just filler, taking away from the wonderful flavors of the artichoke, garlic and parsley.

Our family's conflicting traditions aren't wrong, they're just different than what we're each used to.  But since I do the cooking, I do it my way ;)

But bread crumbs or no bread crumbs, artichokes are a favorite in my family.  I'll eat artichokes any way they come.  They're quite time consuming to make, but so worth it in the end.  Just remember to generously salt them as they cook and you'll have tasty, delicious artichokes.

Stuffed Artichokes Recipe
Yields: Assume 1/2 artichoke per person

2 Tbsp lemon juice (doesn’t need to be fresh)
chopped fresh parsley (3-4 Tbsp per artichoke)
chopped garlic (3-4 large cloves per artichoke)
olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Fill a large bowl with water and add lemon juice.  Set aside.

2. Pull off tough outer leaves by the stem and discard.  Place the artichokes on a cutting board and using a sharp knife, cut off the thorns towards the tip of the artichoke.  Using scissors, cut off the prickly tips of the remaining leaves.  Cut stems off artichokes and place the stems in the lemon water.

3. One artichoke at a time, cut artichoke in a half.  If you see any purple leaves, remove the purple leaves and discard them.  Using a teaspoon, remove the choke ("barba" or mustasche) being careful to leave the heart.  Put artichoke halves in lemon water and repeat with remaining artichokes.  Wash artichokes in lemon water being sure to wash off all choke.

4. Mix together parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.  Add a little oil, just enough to moisten mixture.  Remove artichokes from water and stuff each leaf with the garlic-parsley mixture.  Sprinkle both sides of artichoke halves with salt and pepper.

5. Place artichokes, cut side up, in a large rimmed pan.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Add water to the pan to cover artichokes about ¾ of the way up.  Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat and bring to a simmer.  Cover and simmer artichokes.  Once water is half evaporated, start basting artichokes with the water and salt once again.  Once water is about ¾ of the way evaporated, flip artichokes, continuing to simmer and baste as needed.  Cooking time will vary depending on how large and fresh the artichokes are, running between 45 minutes to 2-1/2 hours.

MAKE-AHEAD TIP: This recipe can be prepared two days in advance and reheated when ready to serve.


Nicole said... [Reply]

I've been missing your blog and have NEVER felt that you shared too much. You're actually pretty guarded, I thought. And I seriously enjoy reading what you have to share. It brings your recipes and your life in Cleveland alive. A blog is what you decide to make of it. Shame on that commentor.

Mrs. Stranded said... [Reply]

@Nicole No, No...It wasn't like that. Her concerns were justified and well-intentioned. And I appreciated them. I don't want to make this a bigger deal than it is. I just feel like I need to be more careful than ever what I write and I'm really at a loss on what's appropriate and not appropriate to share, especially with regards to Mr. S. And let's face it, my life in Cleveland revolves around Mr. S, so I don't know how to write less about him.

But thank you for your nice comments about enjoying my posts! I appreciate that :)

Tracy Wood said... [Reply]

This blog is yours and yours alone! Make of it whatever you want and disregard all of us! Do it for a creative outlet and for fun - don't worry about what people think.... I learned that long ago!
ps - for the record - I am a big fan

Mrs. Stranded said... [Reply]

Thanks, Tracy. I enjoy reading your blog too.