Tuesday, June 2, 2015

thistle this thistle that

I am craving artichokes.  Artichokes stuffed with breadcrumbs would be ideal, stuffed with cheese and garlic would not be turned down.  I love artichoke seasons, but I especially like when the giant Globe artichokes are available with their magnificent stems.  It is heaven on earth.  They would be on our table every night of the week.  I think they even taste better when the are made for me.  I don't mean go out for them, I am talking about Andrew making them for me.  The Man makes a mean artichoke.  His artichokes are the best I have ever had and I have had my fair share.  When Luna on Mulberry Street was open, they had the best stuffed artichoke by far.  The old lady that cooked had magic in her fingers.  Mrs. Gallo also made a mean artichoke, her's were stuffed with egg, cheese, and garlic.  They were always tender and perfectly perfect.  Artichokes stuffed with breadcrumbs rock my world.

 I could really, really, really go for one about now.......

There is another thistle you can't forget cardoon, I could really go for some too.  The cardoon is definitely much more work, oh but so, so, so good.  We have been very lucky the past 4 cardoon seasons, they have had bumper crops.   Wegman's has had really good looking produce and the grocer down almost to Red Bank has been spot on.  Each time we have had it in the cart, we invariably meet either an older man or woman, who comments on it, and says the very same thing, "it's a lot of work to make cardone" and then asks how we make it.  Cardoon preparation is a lot more because first you have to wash it, then derib it to get all the chokey strings off, cut it into smaller pieces, and then steam or boil til tender.  That is where I loose steam.  Usually I put it in the fridge for the next day.  I make both a sweet batter and a savory batter, I dip the cardoon in it, and pan fry it til the batter is golden.  I have even breaded and fried the cardoon.  The best part of the cardoon is that it is all edible, well most of it.  It is like a giant artichoke heart, it is awesome. 

Just looking at these wonderful veggies........yummy, yummy....

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