Preparing baby artichokes for use in a recipe

baby artichoke

baby artichoke

Baby artichokes are prepared and eaten differently than the big ones. First you need to prepare them.

Preparing the artichoke

Preparing the artichoke

The picture above shows the steps.

1. Peel the leaves away until you get to the all yellow tender leaves.

2. Cut off the stem.

3. Trim the area around the stem.

The baby artichokes are now ready to cook. Everything left is edible. I have seen recipes using them raw, very thinly sliced, dressed with olive oil and parmesan. They can be steamed or sautéed. I chose to roast them today. I cut them in quarters. Tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then I roasted them in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Grated some parmesan over top and they were delicious!

Roasted baby artichokes

Roasted baby artichokes

 

 

Advertisements

How to Roast a Pepper

roasted red peppers

roasted red peppers

I love roasted red peppers. I serve them with a bit of olive oil and a drizzle of salt. They are also used in many recipes. Sure you can buy the ones in a jar but homemade are cheaper and so much better.

You can roast the peppers over your gas burner or in your oven. I prefer the gas flame method unless, I have a lot to do, because it is faster and leaves a fresher flavor and texture.

gas flame method

gas flame method

The gas flame method is just that. Roast your pepper directly on your gas burner, turning it with tongs until it is blackened all over. This takes about 7-10 minutes. When the pepper is all charred put it in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or foil for 20 minutes. When cool enough to handle you can rub the charred skin off with your fingers. DO NOT use water! That just washes a lot of the flavor away.

pepper with the skin rubbed off

pepper with the skin rubbed off

For the oven method preheat to 450 degrees. You can put as many peppers on a foil covered rimmed baking sheet as you like as long as they are not touching one another.

Roast for 20 minutes. Then turn over and roast another 20 minutes

Time to turn over

Time to turn over

Done roasting

Done roasting

When the peppers are done roasting put them in a covered bowl or even a tightly closed paper grocery bag for 20 minutes. Just like the burner peppers the skin comes right off with your fingers. DO NOT use water.

With either method the peppers are ready to use once you remove the seeds and pith. I reserve the liquid they exude to use in dressings and such.

 

 

 

 

How to cut a mango

two champagne mangos

two champagne mangos

 

Mangos are easy to handle if you know how. The mango has a large flat seed in the center, so you need to cut around it. Hold the mango upright on a cutting board and start cutting down the center of the wide side. When you hit the seed just work right along it. Then turn and repeat. This is what you will have.

DSC00076

cut mango

Now score the fruit with a paring knife and scoop out diced mango with a spoon

DSC00077

scored mango

DSC00078

scoop out with a spoon

 

diced mango

diced mango

There you go! Your mango is ready to use!