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Welcome to Seasoned Cooking and to Phil's International Flair!
With spring upon us, cooking in the outdoors seems like a welcome reprieve from being limited to the inside kitchen. It's time to get outdoors and do some grilling!
This month I would like to discuss grilling in general. Grilling need not be limited to meat dishes. Vegetables take on a new flavor when grilled and they can be served as a side dish or as a main course. Grilled vegetables can also be use to create some wonderful sauces and side dishes. Try using grilled tomatoes in a pasta sauce or grilled zucchini as a side dish for that outdoor BBQ.
Better yet, when you fire up that outdoor grill, do some planning ahead of time. If you are going to grill burgers or hot dogs, make some room to grill some Roma tomatoes that you can use the next day to make a spectacular pasta sauce. Or, grill some green chilies, red peppers, onions and tomatillas for a spring salsa side dish.
Don't be afraid to experiment a little. Many vegetables are suitable for grilling. Asparagus is one of my favorites, but you can even grill artichokes. In general, to grill vegetables, coat them with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and throw them on the grill, turning frequently until you have an even char on all sides. The flavor is well worth the effort.
You can serve grilled vegetables as a main course, or side dish for that outdoor BBQ.
Now, on to the recipe! Be well, and good eating!
Artichokes are probably one of the most difficult vegetables to grill because they take more preparation than other veggies. However, the results are well worth the effort.
2 large artichokes
4 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Prepare a mixture of olive oil, butter and garlic in a small bowl. Heat this mixture in the microwave or melt in a skillet and set aside.
Crop about 1 inch off the top of the artichokes and then split them lengthwise. Trim the stem as well. Next, scoop out the furry part of the thistle in the center of the 'choke with a paring knife. Discard the furry part. Trim any small outer leaves from the outer surface of the 'choke.
Brush the artichokes with the melted olive oil, garlic and butter mixture, coating evenly on all sides. Apply salt and pepper to taste and place on a covered grill. Turn every 4 minutes and baste with the remaining olive oil mixture before and after turning. Allow the artichokes to cook for about 20 minutes total, 10 minutes per side, more or less depending on the size of the artichokes. Test the tenderness with a fork before removing from the grill. Prevent flareups by spraying water over the heat source if necessary. The steam will also help the artichokes cook more quickly.
Remove the artichokes from the grill and serve with your favorite dipping sauce. Many people prefer mayonnaise. You may want to consider a blue cheese dip instead. Or, consider serving with hollandaise or béarnaise sauce. If you really want to keep it simple, serve with melted butter.