Wednesday 23rd March 2011

Lunch at Work
Steamed Corn, gourmet Italian Baked Beans,
slivers of Brown Onion & Sardines in Hot Sauce

Oh yeah, I had onion and fish breath big time when I returned to work after my break! But a few mints took care of that. I love sardines! I would prefer a can of sardines in a salad over a can of tuna. Sardines are just much tastier and since I was young, I have always loved nibbling on the edible spine bones!

I bought some fresh artichokes when I was at the Malaga markets on the weekend. I've made soup using Jerusalem artichokes but not the Globe artichoke.

I googled how to prepare the artichokes the other day and didn't have enough time since it is quite involved. So today I made sure to set aside a few hours!

I found this online tutorial on How to Trim an Artichoke very helpful. There are gorgeous photos and step by step instructinos. My artichoke looked a bit different to the ones pictured though but I managed ok.

I had four artichokes so I trimmed two of them and put them in the steamer while I prepared the remaining two to make soup.

The 'fuzzy choke'. It looks really pretty!

Here is my artichoke heart after the fuzzy choke has been removed. Despite using wedges of fresh lemon to try to stop the discolouring, it just oxidised pretty much immediately after I made any cuts into it.

Creamy Artichoke Soup

For the soup I cooked some garlic, onion, leek and potatoes in a bit of butter. I added some Vegeta stock, a few pinches of thyme and two bay leaves. It didn't look like much after it had all cooked down, but after I blended it with my mixmaster, it looked much more appetizing.

Meanwhile, I enjoyed eating the fleshy parts off the petals with a glass of wine. As has been suggested online, I dipped the base of each petal into some butter and scraped the fleshy parts off with my teeth. Yum! When I got to the hearts, I sliced them up and added them to the soup.

So, my verdict with artichokes?

It's a lot of work so I wouldn't recommend them unless you've got some time on your hands to waste. But they do taste so good when you've spent the time to prepare them yourself!

Leggo's Spinach & Ricotta Agnolotti
in a rich Tomato Sauce with Basil

I couldn't go past buying a bag of this agnolotti when I saw it was reduced to only $2! I made a simple sauce using a can of crushed tomatoes, crushed garlic, diced onion, chopped fresh basil from the garden and cracked black pepper. Serve with some fresh grated pecorino, pour another glass of red and all set!

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