It's been a long day. It started at 4 a.m. here
Mondays are generally chaotic, and today was no exception. I really did mean to post last night, but I got sidetracked.
Last night after dinner cleanup, I finally got to sit down and pop open my laptop. I wanted to show you all what my wonderful children gave me for Mother's Day. And I found another beautiful gift. My email was full of comments addressed to Allie. I opened the blog and found what she had written.
And I cried.
Thank you, Allie. I love you too.
We all took a drive to Raleigh yesterday to stroll the big Flea Market. My wonderful eldest and his girlfriend met us there with flowers for me in hand. It was a wonderful day. My 11 year old went off with Allie and returned clutching a little white bag
Isn't it beautiful?? (excuse the gym clothes- I wore it to work this morning)
My 13 year old shocked me. He walked around a bit, then presented me with a bag of his own.
I have a set of 6 peach lustre ramekins that I love. One was irrepairably broken. (I can't believe he even KNEW that) And he managed to spot this ONE and bought it for his mama.
I have the best kids!
And when we got home I got a Mother's Day call from my son in Florida.
"MOM! You have to change that picture you posted on your blog- I look terrible!!"
Apparently I don't get enough of that from a certain picky 16 year old. Baby boy, I think you look wonderful! Or I would if I saw you more often (hint, hint, hint!!)
So, those of you who travel through Blogland on a daily basis may be familiar with the foodie phenomena that's been getting quite a bit of press on the Web- Meatless Mondays.
Now, health benefits aside, this would be an impossible sell to my Irish carnivore husband, but Allie and I are going to give it a go. As it happens, some beautiful artichokes happened to be on sale at our local market, so stuffed artichokes it is!
Ray will be gorging on a pizza burger.
I got the original recipe for these artichokes sometime last year in a doctor's office waiting room. It looked interesting, so I asked the receptionist for a sheet of computer paper and scribbled it out (I HATE finding torn out pages in waiting room magazines, so I try not to do that). Unfortunately, that was before our blogging days and I didn't bother to write down the original source, but I THINK it was credited to a vegetarian cookbook. I have since tweaked it quite a bit, so it may not even be the same.
Just trying to be honest
I'm lucky I remember my name these days. Most days I mix the kids up
1/2 cup hazelnut meal or GROUND toasted hazelnuts
2 large artichokes
2 TBLSP olive oil, plus more
1/2 large onion, finely diced
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
, 1/3 cup dried porcini, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes ( I usually use a mix of water and veggie stock)
1 8 oz. package mushrooms, wiped clean and finely chopped
half a small jar of sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped OR some chopped roasted red pepper
freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup mixed chopped marjoram, parsley, and oregano
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (I use homemade Italian bread in my food processor)
OPTIONAL- handful of toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup coarsely grated Asiago
water or part water and part dry white wine, or stock as needed
Some fine dry bread crumbs, well seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and herbs (I didn't measure- enough to stuff the outer leaves)
Trim the base of each artichoke so that it will stand uptight. Slice 2 inches off the top.Rub all cut surfaces with a cut lemon. Stand artichokes in a pot with about an inch of water and cover. Steam for about 30-45 minutes till just tender and leaves move easily. Keep watch that water doesn't evaporate- add water if necessary. Turn them upside down on a rack to drain.
Meanwhile make filling: Warm the oil medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until limp, about 4-5 minutes. While the onion is cooking, drain the porcini, reserving the liquid, and chop finely. Add the porcini and the fresh mushrooms to the onion, raise the heat to high, and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and begun to color, about 6-8 minutes. Season well with the salt, pepper, and herb mixture and stir in the tomatoes, bread crumbs, nut meal , pine nuts if using and half of the cheese. The mixture should be moist and sort of fluffy. If it seems dry, add some of the reserved mushroom soaking liquid .
Scoop out the chokes from the center of each artichoke and discard. Make sure you get the fuzzy center. I find a grapefruit spoon helpful. Fill the cavities with the filling and then stuff the remainder and the seasoned bread crumbs into the base of the outer leaves- be sure to stuff them all.
Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F. Set the artichokes in a baking dish. Add water or water mixed with white wine or stock to reach 1/2 inch up the sides of the dish. Drizzle olive oil and a bit of stock over the top to moisten crumbsover the top, cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes, Remove the foil, sprinkle the remaining cheese over the tops and down into the leaves, and continue to bake, uncovered, until the cheese and filling begin to brown, about 5-10 minutes longer. Serve with lemon wedges
Buon Alimenti, Buon Amici,
Pattie and Allie