Chorizo Stuffed Artichokes – Dinner for Two
There are many blessings living on the Central Coast of California and easy access to just picked artichokes in early Spring is one of them. Castroville, “The Artichoke Capital of the World” is mere minutes away where the superb soils of the Salinas Valley abuts the coastal breezes of the Monterey Bay. A perfect growing environment to this prickly vegetable with the generous heart.
I learned to love these as a little kid, eaten simply with a bit of mayonnaise. Pull off a leaf, dip, grasp just the bottom edge firmly between your teeth and pull. Repeat until you expose the tender flower. Dad would help me removed the flower and scrape down to reveal the whole of the artichoke heart. Jackpot! The meaty flesh now consumable bite by bite. Well worth the effort. He would also buy pounds and pounds of the little ones and marinate them, jarred for later use for antipasta, salads or dishes.
I’m not a big fan of the breadcrumb version of stuffed artichokes, so to take this little adventure to the next step I am stuffing two extra large globes with a chorizo rice mixture. Precooking and removing the inner flower leaves creates a nice container for the spicy ricey goodness. A dipping sauce with sour cream and horseradish compliments the chorizo zest.
|A large artichokes stuffed with Beef Chorizo and Basmati Rice Medley|
2 fresh extra large artichokes
5 oz Cacique Beef Chorizo
¼ cup red onion
¼ cup green bell pepper
1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon fresh basil
½ tablespoon fresh oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups cooked Trader Joe’s Basmati Rice Medley
¼ – ⅓ cup cooking water from artichokes
¼ cup Parmesan Cheese
Place washed and trimmed artichokes In a medium pot, fill half way with water. Brush tops with lemon juice. Bring water to a boil and add 1 tsp dried minced onions, ¼ tsp granulated garlic, 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp salt. Gently boil for about 25 minutes until hearts are fork tender. Remove and let cool before removing the inner leaves and flower in preparation for stuffing.
Chopped up onion, bell pepper and herbs finely.
Preheat oven to 350º
Remove Chorizo from package and cook over medium heat in a saute pan until slightly browned and crumbly, drain excess oils. Add bell pepper, onions and saute until just soft. Add rice, tomato paste to mixture. If mixture is still too greasy, dab with a folded paper towel to remove oils. Add a bit of the artichoke cooking water to just moisten. Cook to combine flavors about 4 minutes. Turn off heat and divide mixture into the cavity of the artichokes, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and place them in a baking pan, bake 15 minutes just to warm through and melt cheese.
Note: Stuffing mixture would also work well with peppers.
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
Blend ingredients and then divide into two small bowls, sprinkle with smoked paprika