For 2 Person(s)
Learn how to clean and cook your artichokes like a chef! If you always cooked your artichoke in a "Blanc" which is a classic French cooking technique, they will never get brown.
Make a Blanc: In a saucepan, place the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and water and whisk in the flour. The combination of those ingredients is called a Blanc and prevents the artichokes from browning through the natural oxidation process.
Clean the artichokes: Artichokes should be cleaned and trimmed before cooking. Artichokes turn brown when cut, but rubbing them with a fresh cut lemon or putting them in lemon water stops this process. So always have one of these on hand when working with artichokes.
Do not cut the stems but break them just above the small leaves. If the stem is not too woody, it can be peeled and cooked as well.
Snap off the tough, dark outer leaves of an artichoke, or cut them off with a paring knife by turning the paring knife around the bottom of the vegetable. Stop at the point where the leaves begin to turn yellow, a sign that they are tender.
Cut the top of the artichoke flat with a serrated knife, about 1 to 2 inches from the point. Don't forget to rub them with lemon and put in the Blanc.
To clean artichokes down to the bottom or "heart": rotate the artichoke as you trim off all the leaves. You should work with a sharp paring knife, held perpendicular to the yellow fleshly base. Trim off the tops of the inner leaves and any green from the base. Again, remove the inner choke.
Cook into the Blanc: Cover artichokes with parchment paper, leaving a hole into the center for the steam to escape. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cook the artichokes for about 12 minutes or until the center is tender. Allow to cool before removing the choke; you may use a spoon to remove it. Use them according to your recipe.
Chef Eric hints and tips: Visit our Culinary Dictionary to learn more about artichokes.