Savor The Earth

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Chokin’ Under Pressure April 6, 2010

Filed under: easy,locavore,pressure cooker,vegetables,vegetarian — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 5:59 pm

getting to the heart of the matter

whistle for your thistle

This past Saturday was advertised as the last market day for Texas artichokes.  I’ve got my fingers crossed, however, that Miguel Ortiz’ artichoke farm in Brownsville may show up this coming weekend with some stragglers.  We’ve already enjoyed a few ‘chokes (kinky!) but of course we crave more, more, more!

Just in case you get your little paws on a few thistley globes, here’s my pressure cooker method for cookin’ em up.  I season the cooking water and the finished artichokes need no further enhancement.  They’re even great cold.

I’m chokin’ bigtime on springtime!

PRESSURE COOKER ARTICHOKES makes 3 or 4

  • 3 or 4 good-sized artichokes
  • ½ cup organic white vinegar.  Whole Foods 365 brand in the quart bottle is usually the best value.
  • 2 quarts water
  • splash of organic or local olive oil.  I love Spanish Villa Blanca organic and remember to check out Texas Olive Ranch at our farmers markets.
  • 1 Tablepoon kosher salt.  I prefer Diamond Crystal.
  • 1 clove of garlic, smashed or 1 stalk of local green garlic, cut into several lengths
  • a few small pieces of celery.  I bought my little bunch from Ringger Family Farm at Barton Creek farmers market.
  • 2 cloves
  • 3 peppercorns
  • 1 or two strips of local or organic lemon peel
  • 1 bay leaf—grow it!

Put all the ingredients except the artichokes into a 6-quart pressure cooker.  Prep the artichokes by first cutting a slice off the stem end with a sharp chef’s knife.  Next cut off about an inch off the top.  Then take your kitchen shears and snip the remaining tips off the leaves.  As you trim each artichoke, drop it into the pot.  When all your ‘chokes are ready, lock the lid ono the cooker and bring it to high pressure over high heat.  Lower the heat to maintain the pressure and cook the artichokes for 15 minutes.  If you’re cooking 3 rather large globes they may need a few more minutes to tenderize.

When the time’s up, remove the cooker from the stove and place it outside for 10 minutes to let the pressure drop.  If the weather’s chilly, which it ain’t right now, you can get away with leaving the cooker in the house.  Otherwise, I like to put that extra heat outdoors.

Remove the artichokes from the water and give ’em a little shake upside down to remove excess liquid.  Serve as soon as they’ve cooled enough to handle.

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