Monday, March 18, 2013

Steamed Artichokes with Blender Hollandaise Sauce

This has to be one of my favorite foods. It is the 2nd favorite food of my Princess - right behind tomatoes, my kids love tomatoes!
  Steamed artichokes are a cinch to make, and the only reason why we don't have them more often is because they are on the pricier side. I picked these ones up from Costco for a little over $1.20 a piece. The hubby has been asking to have some, so I decided to splurge. :)
  Whenever we eat artichokes the hubby quotes his dad and says, "I wonder what the po' folks are havin' tonight." It always makes the kids laugh. :)

Here's how you get started:
  Fill a large pot (preferably one with a steamer basket) with 2 inches of water, a little salt, 1 lemon (cut into pieces and squeezed) and 1 bay leaf. Put the pot on the stove over high heat, so it came come to a boil.

While the water is getting hot, trim the artichokes. Just peel off the two bottom layers of leaves at the base of each artichoke. There's not much "meat" on these leaves, so they just get in the way.

Then, using a pairing knife, trim the ends off of each artichoke (1/2 inch to 1 inch) and then trim the woody outside off from the stem. Go from the base of the artichoke down to the end.

When it's all trimmed you'll see the lighter inside portion of the stem. This tender goodness can be enjoyed along with the heart of the artichoke. (The best part.)

Place the artichokes into a colander (I just use the streamer basket that fits the pot I have on the stove. -Saves dishes.)

Rinse the artichokes thoroughly to get off any dirt.

Place the artichokes, in the steamer basket. into the pot of boiling water on the stove. The artichokes should not be touching the water. Put the lid on the pot and turn the heat down to low. Steam the artichokes for about 20 minutes.

While the artichokes are cooking you can make the Hollandaise sauce. You can go the traditional route and make it in a double boiler on the stove, but ever since I discovered the blender method when I was in high-school I have never looked back! It's literally done in less than 3 minutes! Place 3 egg yolks and the juice of a lemon (1 Tbsp is traditional, but I like the tang of 2 Tbsp) into a blender. (Hot sauce and salt are optional)

Put the lid on and turn the blender on. Remove the center portion of the lid and slowly drizzle in the HOT melted butter. The butter is essentially cooking the egg yolks, but you don't want scrambled eggs so go slowly!

Run the blender for a minute or two longer to make sure everything is emulsified. It will look like this when it's done.

Pour it out into a dish and it's ready to be poured over Eggs Benedict, or some steamed veggie of choice. Tonight it's artichokes!

After about 20 minutes the artichokes should be ready. The leaves will have opened up like this:

And you should be able to pierce the bottom of the artichokes easily with a knife.

Serve them up with the sauce you just made and voila! A meal fit for a king - or a house full of kids in my case. :)

Here's the recipe:

Steamed Artichokes  (They don't really have a recipe, just a list of ingredients: The same method is used to make any number of artichokes. It can make only one -although why would anyone want to make only one? Or it can do 8 like I did tonight.)

1 Lemon cut and squeezed
1 bay leaf

Take of the bottom two layers of leaves from each artichoke. Trim the stems and cut off the ends (about 1 inch). Rinse the artichokes thoroughly to remove any dirt. Fill a large pot with about 2 inches of water, about 1 to 2 tsp of salt (I just pour some in), the lemon and bay leaf. Bring water to a boil and turn down to low. Place the artichokes into a steamer basket and place into the pot of simmering water. Put a lid on and steam the artichokes for 20 minutes - until the leaves are open and you can pierce the bottom easily with a knife. Serve warm with Hollandaise sauce.

Blender Hollandaise Sauce
adapted from Betty Crocker Cook Book

3 egg yolks
1-2 Tbsp of lemon juice (to taste)
1 stick (1/2 cup) of salted butter, melted and HOT
a few dashes of hot sauce (optional)

Place the egg yolks and lemon juice into a blender. Put the lid on and start the blender. Take the center portion of the lid out and slowly drizzle in the HOT butter while the blender is running. Be careful not to let it splatter back on you. Run the blender for a minute or two to make sure everything is fully emulsified Serve warm or at room temperature.  

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