Sunday, January 13, 2013

It Might Choke Artie. . .

As a child, I used to enjoy steamed artichokes.  I'd pull the leaves, dip the bottoms in lemon butter, and scrape the meat on the bottom with my teeth.  I still enjoy artichoke dip, and I marvel at how chefs break down an artichoke.  I've tried it myself and always wonder why I bothered spending over $3 for 3 bites of food.  So, I started looking into canned artichoke hearts.  They come packed in water, salt and some citric acid to stop the food from oxidizing and turning brown.  You get a decent number of hearts in a can for about the same price as one fresh artichoke. 

I thought it might be nice to make traditional artichoke dip into a casserole.  I started with this recipe that looked pretty close to what I wanted:

So, we have five ingredients:  artichoke hearts, parmesan cheese, mayonaise, salt/pepper/garlic powder, and chicken.  Then, I saw a recipe with pasta, bechamel, and artichoke hearts:

I decided that a combination of creamy, starchy, and meaty would be good, so I combined the concepts, using the recipes mostly for proportions.  My concept:

Make a bechamel.  I like whole milk.  I usually cook some garlic before adding the liquid.  I heat the milk in the microwave before adding it so it cooks faster.  Near the end, I add the parmesan, but you can add cream cheese, or whatever you like that does not set you off.  I also added some chicken stock and Better than Buillion to thin the sauce and add some chicken taste.  Just to help the color a bit more, I added a pinch of tumeric.  Salt and white pepper are also suggested.

I rinsed the artichokes thoroughly to help the taste and reduce the additives.  I baked and cut up the chicken.  I boiled some whole wheat penne for something different.  I mixed it all together, topped it with some panko, and baked it at 400 for thirty minutes.  Presto - the taste of artichoke dip in a casserole! 

1 comment:

  1. PS You should already know this, but DO NOT use marinated artichoke hearts. First of all, they don't taste good in this dish. Second, marinade is a migraine no-no.