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Carmine’s Stuffed Artichokes


STUFFED ARTICHOKES
Carmine's Restaurant Recipe

Stuffing:
10 slices white bread, coarsely torn
4 fresh basil leaves, sliced
1 teaspoon minced Spanish onion
1 1/2 teaspoon chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
generous 1/4 cup grated Romano Cheese

Artichoke:
1 large globe artichoke (about 1 pound)
lemon quarter
3 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup olive oil
grated Romano Cheese, for garnish

To Make The Stuffing: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, chop the bread slices to coarse crumbs. Add the basil, onions, garlic, parsley and oregano. Pulse to mix the ingredients and continue processing until the crumbs are coarsely ground and about the size of grains of rice. Add the cheese, pulse the stuffing for 2 seconds and then transfer it to a bowl. Set it aside.

To Prepare the Artichoke: Cut the stem close to the base of the artichoke so that the artichoke can sit flat. Discard the stem. Hold the artichoke on its side on a cutting board and, using a serrated knife, cut off the first 3 inches from the top of the artichoke. Open up the artichoke with your hands to expose as much of the heart as possible. With a soup spoon, cut into the thistle that sits on top of the heart and remove the inedible thistle, or choke.

Fill a bowl with water and squeeze the lemon quarter into it. Rinse the artichoke and then submerge it in the water to keep it from darkening. Lift the artichoke from the water and turn it upside down to drain. Using scissors, cut 3/4 inch off the pointy end of each leaf on the artichoke. Return the artichoke to the water.

To Stuff the Artichoke: Remove the artichoke from the water. Let the artichoke drain for several minutes on several layers of paper towels until it is well drained. Work from the bottom of the leaves up to the top of the artichoke. Push the bread-crumb mixture into each leaf, stuffing them so that they come partially away from the artichoke without separating from it. When the first row is filled, work on the second row, until the entire artichoke is stuffed. Finally, put several spoonfuls of stuffing into the center of the artichoke on top of the heart.

To Cook the Artichoke: Transfer the artichoke to a pot that easily holds it so it can sit upright without tipping. Pour the chicken stock into another pan and warm it over medium-high heat. When it is warm, carefully pour it into the saucepan with the artichoke. Try not to knock out too much of the stuffing. Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the artichoke so that all the leaves and stuffing are moistened. Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium heat. Do not let the stock boil. Cover the pan with aluminum foil or a lid and cook the artichoke for about 45 minutes or until the leaves are easy to pull off and the artichoke is very tender. Lift the artichoke from the pot and transfer it to a platter. Spoon some of the broth around it and sprinkle it with some more cheese, if desired.

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