October 29, 2008

Giada's Baked Artichokes with Gorgonzola and Herbs

The two recipes I have planned tonight, although both from Giada de Laurentiis, may not go together all that well. They are both Italian inspired, and both from her new cookbook Giada's Kitchen, but I don't know if they should belong in the same meal together. With that being said...I don't care, I am making both for tonight's dinner anyway. I got some fresh artichokes at the store for a good price, and if I don't use them tonight, then I will have to toss them. That is not going to happen...I will use them. Also, I have all the ingredients on hand for both this recipe and my chicken dish (recipe in next post). Since I want to try both recipes, and I have everything on hand, why not just do them both at the same time? Also, the cookbook I borrowed from the library needs to be returned soon, and I may as well make the most out of it. See...perfectly logical.

Giada's Baked Artichokes with Gorgonzola and Herbs

4 artichokes
3 lemons, plus 1 lemon
10 ounces mild Gorgonzola cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons cream
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus 1 tablespoon
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons bread crumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Trim the artichokes by cutting off the top 1-inch or so. Cut the stem close to the base of the artichoke so the artichoke can sit up straight, and remove some of the bottom leaves. Using kitchen shears, trim the sharp points off of any remaining outer leaves. Add the artichokes to the boiling water. Halve the lemons and squeeze the juice into the boiling water. Toss in the lemons. Cook the artichokes until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain the artichokes and let cool.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl stir together the Gorgonzola, cream, thyme, 2 teaspoons parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper. In another small bowl stir together the bread crumbs and remaining 1 tablespoon of parsley.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the center choke of the artichokes using a small spoon. Stuff the cheese mixture into the center of the artichokes. Place the artichokes into a baking dish. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top of the artichokes. Drizzle the tops of the artichokes with olive oil. Bake until the artichokes are heated through, the cheese is melted, and the bread crumbs are crisp and golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer the artichokes to a serving dish and serve.

Jen's Notes:
I am using only 3 artichokes, so I will cut back the amount of cheese/breadcrumb mixture. Also, I boiled my artichokes earlier today and I have them standing by in the fridge. So, really all I have left to do is mix the filling, stuff, and bake.
The cookbook indicates that this is a great make ahead dish, and it reheats easily.

Oh, I almost forgot the most important detail! Due to the fact that I love my husband...and due to the fact he does not care for Gorgonzola...I made a batch of cheddar/parmesean filling,as well. I think I will stuff one (mine) with the Gorgonzola filling and then the other two with the cheddar/parmesean mixture. The husband was already balking about having artichokes for dinner, so the least I can do is stuff his with some cheese that he likes.

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