I faced one of my fears last night. I cooked an artichoke. There, I said it. I'm afraid of Artichokes! After cooking it last night, rightfully so! Geez those suckers will getcha.
So, how did I end up with something I'm afraid of in my fridge? Well the conversation at the grocery store went something like this; Me: "Let's try a new veggie this week" B: "Okay, how about artichoke?" Me: "I have no clue how to make one of those, they scare me." B: "Well let's just try it, you'll figure it out". Notice, let us try it, you will figure it out. uhmm. So, where did I start? Google of course. I figured out the basic process and then just ran with it.
First, you want to cut off the stem and the bottom layer of leaves, then take your kitchen sheers and trim the top of each leaf so that you don't poke yourself while eating. BEWARE, you are preventing the poking of the mouth, but not the poking of the fingers! This darn thing stabbed me at least 9 times while preparing it. Once all the leaves are safety proofed carefully peel them back until you start getting to the purple ones inside. Take all the purple ones out and toss them, then scrape out all the fuzzy parts with a spoon and toss that too. You really have to use your muscles for this!
Then rinse it off with water making sure to flush out the now hollow center. I then sprinkled it with pepper and garlic powder and squeezed a lemon over the top, then put it on the stove to steam. Ah, and the lemon juice covering your poked-up fingers feels greeeat. Not.
While googling I kept reading that you need to steam them for 30-45 minutes and I thought that was just preposterous (you know, becuase I'm an artichoke expert) so I took it out after about 25 minutes. Then I put it back in for another 20 because what do you know, it wasn't cooked.
Then I remembered the other part of our grocery store conversation: Me: "Well you're supposed to dip them in butter." B: " My mom dips hers in mayo so I'm sure you can figure something out with greek yogurt." And I did! I made my very own southwest aioli dip and it's gooood. I used about 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 1tsp minced garlic, 2 tbsp southwest dijon mustard, 1tsp olive oil, juice of 1/2 a lemon and pepper to taste.
This sauce was perfect for the artichoke and will also go perfect on sandwiches or in wraps or just to dip some grilled chicken in. I just love when I make up yummy foods! Bryan also made up a really good chicken marinade ( He's getting quite a lot of credit in this post.... ) and it's really simple- just southwest flavor dijon mustard and lime juice. I used 2 limes and about 1/2 the bottle of mustard and a dash of cayenne pepper. Let it marinate over night and bake with the leftover marinade on top at 350 for 30 minutes. I paired this with asparagus last night [since I was unsure about the outcome of the artichoke] and it was delish. Points for B. Ouch. It pains me to say that. ;)
So, I did it.
Overcame my fear. Lie. They still scare me. But at least now I know that the fear and pain is all worth it in the end! Do you have a food fear? Please tell me I'm not the only one!