February 17, 2012

Artichokes Anyone?

It's not often that I find a perfect food for me, but artichokes are one of the vegetables that fit the bill. I try to keep an eye on my magnesium and potassium intake and artichokes are high in both. Keeping those levels up seems to help in keeping my random tachycardia episodes at bay. They're also high in vitamin C, which I always need more of, since keeping my immune system in good shape goes a long way towards fighting off upper respiratory infections that are a result of Houston's ever-changing yo-yo weather and the constant high humidity. That they have no fat, cholesterol or trans fat is just an added bonus.

A few days ago, I received several recipe booklets from Ocean Mist Farms, who is the largest grower of fresh artichokes in the United States.

The four booklets are:

Grilling: Year-Round Vegetable Grilling

Soups and Salads: Year-Round Vegetable Cooking

Appetizers for Entertaining: Creative Ways to Use and Serve Artichokes

Slow Cooking: Year-Round Vegetable Cooking

Each booklet gives several valuable tips for cooking with artichokes, which is particularly useful if one isn't used to serving them on a regular basis. Did you know that besides steaming, you can also bake, microwave or grill them? There are nice detailed instructions with illustrations that help you understand how to prepare them for cooking.

Browsing through the recipe booklets upon their arrival certainly made me hungry... for artichokes! Since Ocean Mist also grows many other vegetables, there are a few non-artichoke recipes included as well. Creamy Crock Pot Baby Artichoke Soup. Easy Grilled Artichokes. Artichoke Hummus. Fennel Tangerine & Spinach Salad. Mmmm. All accompanied by beautiful, mouth-watering photographs.

It's a cool, damp and dreary day here, with more rain in the forecast, so I found the following recipe for Artichoke Sourdough Bisque to be especially appealing. A trip to the grocery may be in order. Ocean Mist grows artichokes year round so I'm not too worried that I won't be able to find any at the grocery. One of the benefits of living in Houston is that you can usually find anything you need somewhere around town.

I also liked this page from the Appetizers booklet, 5 Ways to Spice up Mayonnaise for Artichoke Petal Dipping. The Chipotle Lime Mayonnaise sounds like a good thing to dip any vegetable into (or maybe just to eat with a spoon!).
Don't take my word for it that these are very nice booklets with some potentially great recipes. You can go right now to the Ocean Mist website and download your own copies, as they have made them available in PDF format. For free. That's always a good price in my book.


At 5:36 AM CST, Blogger T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

These look like beautiful books. I love artichokes, and I have cooked with them before. I once did that routine where you hollow them out, and it can be a bit time intensive. The soup recipe looks really interesting.

At 5:59 PM CST, Blogger Kathy said...

T.W. - The food photography keeps getting better and better each year. Right now I just wish I had a personal chef.

At 2:30 PM CST, Blogger ~~louise~~ said...

My sister makes the bestest stuffed artichokes! I missed them this year for Thanksgiving and shied away from making them myself, dang!

I Love to see you get so excited about a veggie, Kathy. I must reconsider "The Artichoke." Chipotle Lime Mayonnaise sounds outstanding too!

Thanks for sharing...


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