BAKED STUFFED ARTICHOKES WITH COUSCOUS
Fresh cooked artichokes stuffed with a sweet onion and fresh garlic couscous, flavored with extra virgin olive oil and poultry seasoning. Baked till piping hot!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2 whole fresh artichokes
½ fresh lemon
½ c. couscous
2 t. extra virgin olive oil
½ t. salt
¾ c. water
2 T. margarine
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
½ med. onion, diced into ¼ inch squares (no larger)
¼ t. poultry seasoning
salt and black pepper
2 T. water
Slice off 1/8 inch from bottom of artichoke stems and discard.
Slice stems off flush with artichoke bottom and reserve.
Peel and discard large, blemished outer leaves. Then slice off 1 inch from top of artichoke. Using kitchen shears, snip off ¼ -1/2 inch from tip of each petal. Wash artichokes.
Bring large pot of water to a roaring boil. Place artichokes, stems and ½ lemon into water. Cover; reduce heat to a slow boil and cook for 20 minutes, or till petals separate easily from the crown. Remove artichokes and stems from water and drain right side up on wire rack.
In small saucepan combine couscous, olive oil, salt and water. Bring to boil. Stir; cover, then remove from heat and let set 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.
In small skillet, over low heat, melt margarine. Add garlic and onion; salt and pepper. Saute till onion wilts and becomes sweet. Remember low heat.
Add poultry seasoning, then cooked couscous. Stir well, then salt and pepper to taste.
To stuff artichokes: Place artichokes in a loaf pan. Put stems in the pan as well. Gently spoon stuffing between artichoke petals.
Add 2 tablespoons of water to bottom of pan. Cover pan with 2 wraps of aluminum foil, each going in the opposite direction completely around the pan (over and under the pan). This prevents the steam from escaping while baking, which further cooks the artichokes.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.
Remove from oven; lift artichokes carefully from pan to individual serving dishes, along with stems, and serve immediately.
Notes: Couscous makes a great stuffing for artichokes, being quick and easy to prepare as well as delicious.
For onion, use the yellow type (medium-sized) that come packaged in 2 or 5 pound netted bags. When sautéing onion, do so on low heat and long enough to bring out the sweetness. This sweet is critical to the flavor achievement.
The lemon doesn’t keep the artichokes bright green as many chefs have indicated. I use it for the flavoring of the petals.
Peel stems of artichokes before eating. They taste much like the meat of the insides of the petals – a bit more fibrous, but still delicious.
For instructions on how to eat an artichoke click here then scroll down to artichokes: http://chefdavies-tight.com/chefs-assistant
Use the freshest artichokes possible–crisp and firm. The petals of soft, dry artichokes will cook up dry and stringy, taking forever to soften them while boiling. There are two types of artichokes, those that are large and round and those that are smaller and more pointed. Look for green without any yellowing and petals that are tightly formed around the core, in the case of the large round ones; and in the case of the pointed ones, that are not bound tightly around the core, look for smooth petals that indicate fresh-picked. The large round artichokes are better for stuffing.