Tuesday, August 24, 2010

stuffed artichokes -qaqoċċ mimli

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or in Maltese - Qaqoċċ mimli

I was lucky enough to be able to borrow quite a few Maltese cookbooks from co-op leader extraordinaire Margarita (she is Maltese also). Maltese cookbooks are hard to find!! So expect quite a few Maltese recipes filtering through! Artichokes are just about to go out of season so get to the markets quickly. This was my first time cooking them and I have to admit I was a little daunted but it was super easy and worked out SO DELCIOUSLY.

ingredients
4 globe artichokes
2 cups of stale bread (around 6 slices, crusts trimmed), sourdough if possible
2 tbsp of capers
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
2-4 tbsp of flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup of olives (preferably green)
2 tbsp olive oil
fresh lemon juice
salt

added extras/ideas:
fresh chilli
lemon zest

method
1. Cut the stalks off the artichokes about 1 cm from the base. Trim the outer leaves off altogether (around 2 levels of leaves) and slice the top off altogether so it removes the tips of most of the leaves (about 2 cm). Trim the hard stalky tips of the outer leaves that didnt get trimmed when you topped the head off.

2.Squeeze a lemon over the top of the artichokes and soak in some salty water (I just did this in the sink, make sure you clean it thoroughly first!) for about half an hour.

3. comes the fun part! Holding the artichoke like a baseball bash it onto the kitchen bench quite hard, rotating it in your hand after each hit until you've done the full 360 degrees. This loosens the globe to enable stuffing the leaves. Gently stick your fingers in between each layer to slowly open up the artichoke like a flowering rose. Now you are ready for your stuffing.

4. To make the stuffing tear the bread into small pieces and throw into a food processor. Add the olive oil, capers, olives, garlic and parsley (and whatever other flavourings you are adding) and pulse a couple of times until it is 'roughly chopped' Grab handfuls and stuff into each layer of the artichokes until they are full.

5. Steam them (I used my rice cooker!) in a steamer (packed in as tightly as possible) for about an hour or until one of the outer leaves falls out easily when pulled. Cut in half, drizzle with some olive oil, lemon juice and salt and ENJOY.

notes: The heart is fully edible but as you go out the leaves become less edible. In Malta you do not wasted anything, there is flesh on the outer leaves you just have to suck on them like getting an olive away from its pit.

A fair bit of work but SO DELICIOUS. Enjoy.

2 comments:

  1. I love artichokes and am scared of preparing real ones too. I thought there was a 'choke' you had to remove, or you would literally choke on it? Am I mental?

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  2. I think its a particular kind of artichoke? In the 15 or so recipes I looked at only one ever said anything about removing things from the inside

    http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_cook_and_eat_an_artichoke/

    but yeah.. weird I mean I didnt have that 'inedible' bit in my artichoke....

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