Thursday, November 21, 2013
Baked Artichokes with Mandarin Orange, Juniper Berries, Clove, and Whole Grain Mustard
As Max's birthday approaches, I can't help but marvel at his smartness. Not the, "Wow, my child is way ahead of his developmental milestones," kind of smart. Oh no. The kind that knows exactly how to make me angry, repeatedly does it, then watches me get mad and laughs. That kind. The kind that I thought didn't happen until the teenage years. I was so terribly wrong.
This is where your mind goes when making an artichoke. The prepping gives one ample time to get lost in thoughts. Between the trimming of leaves, the halving, and the rubbing with lemon juice, and removing of choke, there is little else to do but get immersed in one's own head. That, and making sure you do not injure yourself with a sharp object.
Then while these bake, one has time to move on to a different set of thoughts. Happier ones, like amusement at getting Max to say the word artichoke. ...Then refusing to actually try one (someone has yet to internalize the message of Green Eggs and Ham, despite the frequent readings).
These baked artichokes are made with delicious Maille Whole Grain Dijon Mustard, ground juniper berries and bay leaf, and scented with mandarin orange. Max may be smart enough to know how to make me mad, but he isn't smart enough to try the artichoke. He'll figure it out one day.
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon Maille Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
2 teaspoons ground juniper berries
1 bay leaf, ground
1 sprig thyme
1 tablespoon mandarin orange juice
1 teaspoon mandarin zest
lemons, for prep
Heat oven to 425.
In a small pot, over low heat, melt the butter, and stir in the mustard, juniper berries, clove, ground bay leaf, thyme leaves, juice and zest, and a generous pinch of kosher salt. Once melted, remove from heat.
Using kitchen shears, trim off pointy tips of artichoke leaves. Using a large, sharp knife, cut off the end of each stem. Carefully remove any small leaves attached directly to the stem. Wash artichokes thoroughly under cold water to clean them off, and dry with paper towel.
For this part, you will want to do one artichoke at a time. Take your big sharp knife, coat it with lemon juice from one of your lemon wedges, turn an artichoke upside down, so the stem is sticking up and slice it straight down in half. Immediately rub down all cut surfaces with lemon wedges to prevent discoloration. Take a serrated spoon, or regular spoon, and coat it with lemon juice. Scoop out the fuzzy choke in the center, as well as the inner, purple leaves. Make sure you get all of the fuzzy part out, and liberally rub down the top of the heart with lemon to prevent discoloration. I also try to cut any remaining prickly points off of the inner curled leaves to prevent poking the eater. Repeat for other halves.
Place the artichoke in tin foil with 1/4 of the butter mixture spooned over it, taking care to fill up the cavity left from the removal of the fuzzy choke. Wrap it cut-side up, and place on a baking sheet. Repeat for remaining halves.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until heart and leaves are tender.
NOTE: We did not receive financial compensation for this post. We received the Maille mustard for review purposes. The opinions are completely our own. The mustard is absolutely wonderful.